Tag Archives: file

Et Tu, Cloud? Caveat Clickor!

For the longest time, we knew where our data existed – it existed on our computers, typically on a hard drive or potentially a floppy disk. So now when we create files, let’s say on a Web service like Google Docs, for example, we may never actually know where that file sits. We know we can get to it from anywhere, of course, but it’s out there. In The Cloud. We don’t know the physical location of that file, but do we need to know, anymore? No, we don’t. That’s for someone else to worry about and track.

Our whole life is eventually going to be stored in The Cloud, no longer tied to a physical machine or hard drive. I’m not even really tracking any of my media, anymore. I have a Rhapsody account for my music; I subscribe to Netflix and Hulu. I’m not really buying any physical media, anymore. I’m not storing them on my local network. This data exists in The Cloud on these Web services that I pay to access. I know that, somewhere, the file is sitting on a hard drive waiting for me to point and click my way to it, but the responsibility of holding on to it is no longer mine.

Think of a public library – you can check out books, read them, and then put them back on its shelves without cluttering up your own at home. The archives are there for your benefit without requiring you to be their ever-vigilant custodian. The Cloud doesn’t charge you overdue fees, either, so don’t go saying the 21st century’s never done you any favors!

Storing your life remotely has its benefits, but as with any service that offers to simplify your day-to-day doings, be sure to research these places in The Cloud and make sure they’re reliable. Let your vision look toward The Cloud, but keep your head on Earth when you’re making the decision about what chunks of your life to stow away there.

How Do You Find Duplicate Files (or Compare Them)?

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How many files do you have on your computer? You probably have too many, and you probably have a lot of duplicate files. Finding those duplicate files can be a challenge without the right software. What if you need to compare files? Again, this can be a challenge. Thankfully, I have a couple of pieces of software to tell you about – one for Windows, and one for OS X.

WinMerge is an Open Source differencing and merging tool for Windows. WinMerge can compare both folders and files, presenting differences in a visual text format that is easy to understand and handle. You might need to see the difference between one revision of a document and another one. Using something like WinMerge makes this much easier on you.

Then, if you want to detect duplicate files on your Windows system, you might want to check out this donation-ware called CloneSpy. You might want to scan for duplicates to get rid of ones that you don’t need. This was a big issue back when we had tiny hard drives – like my first hard drive of 420 MB. Yes – I said MegaBytes!

For those of you on OS X, you can check out Araxix. They have two utilities that can help you out with your files. Araxis Merge allows you to compare text, images and binary files. Then you have Araxis Find Duplicate Files, which helps you find, view and manage files that have duplicate content, regardless of name.

There you go – solutions to help you manage the files on your computer, whether you’re using a Mac or a PC. If you know of other utilities that can help all of us, please let me know of them!

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How do you Improve File and Process Management?

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I hear a lot of traditional Windows power users complain that the Mac and the Mac Finder doesn’t show enough. To a certain degree, they’re right. A lot of data is hidden from the average user. There’s a little hint I wanted to share with everyone, though. This will hopefully explain the way Mac does things, in comparison to Windows.

On Windows, you have an .exe file and that’s that. With Mac applications, a program is usually a .app file, and is usually a series of files that come bundled together inside of a package. If you right click (or CTRL+Left click) any application (program) in Mac OS X, you’ll get an item in the menu that says “Show Package Contents”. What that will do is allow you to peek inside the application. You’ll see all the icons, and everything that the application needs to run. It all comes together in a nice little package.

If you’re into knowing more, and being really Geeky… you can install something called FinderPop. This is for power users like myself. When you install FinderPop, it will install a few things into your right click menu. For instance, if I right click my desktop, it allows me to look at my desktop and processes in more depth. I can get a list of running processes at any given time, simply by right clicking the desktop. I can reveal that process and its location on my hard drive… information about it… and much more. All of this is done with just a mouse click or two. FinderPop doesn’t really add anything new. It just makes it easier to find what’s already there.

A lot of things may work differently in Mac and Windows. They’re files, folders and objects still. They’re just managed differently. When you find tools like FinderPop, it can make things much easier on you.

I’m interested to hear what other software you know of and use to make life simpler on a Mac. I’ll definitely pass along all of the good ones.

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What FTP Client do you Use?

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Nat from Nat.tv called in during the live call portion of our show tonight. It was fun to just chit chat for once. The next caller wondered what type of FTP clients are good.

Pretty much the only recommendation I have for Windows is WinSCP. It’s free, it’s fast and it works great. It uses the same client as FileZilla. To me, FileZilla is actually ugly, and I don’t much like it. However, using WinSCP is just nice.

WinSCP is an open source SFTP client and FTP client for Windows. Its main function is the secure file transfer between a local and a remote computer. Beyond this, WinSCP offers basic file manager functionality. It uses Secure Shell (SSH) and supports, in addition to Secure FTP, also legacy SCP protocol. Its main function is safe copying of files between a local and a remote computer.

Features include:

  • Graphical user interface
  • Translated into several languages
  • Integration with Windows (drag&drop, URL, shortcut icons)
  • U3 support
  • All common operations with files
  • Support for SFTP and SCP protocols over SSH-1 and SSH-2 and plain old FTP protocol
  • Batch file scripting and command-line interface
  • Directory synchronization in several semi or fully automatic ways
  • Integrated text editor
  • Support for SSH password, keyboard-interactive, public key and Kerberos (GSS) authentication
  • Integrates with Pageant (PuTTY authentication agent) for full support of public key authentication with SSH
  • Windows Explorer-like and Norton Commander-like interfaces
  • Optionally stores session information
  • Optionally supports standalone operation using a configuration file in place of registry entries, suitable for operation from removable media

For a Mac, there really isn’t an “excellent” FTP client as of yet. But if you’re running Windows at all… it’s WinSCP FTW!


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