Author Archive

GFI Backup (Free Backup Software)

July 6th, 2009 admin No comments

If you need great backup software, check out GFI Backup (Home Edition).  This tool is not only free but it’s very easy to use.  GFI Backup has a wizard feature that makes backing up files a snap.  bfiAlso, it allows you to backup and synchronize your files to an FTP site, over a network, or to removable flash drives.  The encrytion features on this tool are pretty impressive as well, as it allows you to encrypt files using AES encryption.  Like I stated above the software is free but you need to register first to downlowd the installer.

Till Next Time,


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Media Monkey — Best Freeware Media Player

June 21st, 2009 admin 2 comments

media monkey 

media_m2Today I was cruising the web when I ran into what I think is the best free media player to date.  Media Monkey by Ventis Media Inc. is a great music/media manager and is also an excellent tool for burning ripping/burning cd’s.  Media Monkey reminds me a lot of iTunes, as it has a similar look and feel.  This tool can synchronize with your ipod or iphone, and is less resource intensive than iTunes in my opinion.  What I find really cool are the add-ons for this tool.  If you go to you can see all the add-ons available.  One add-on that really caught my eye was “Evil Lyrics” because it tracks down lyrics and syncs them with a particular song.  Media Monkey is growing in popularity, as it is listed as one of the top freeware programs available.  Definitley check it out.

Till Next Time,


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Best (Free) Spyware/Malware Tools

June 14th, 2009 admin No comments

This week I have cleaned out a couple of computers and have put  together a little package that will fix the most sophisticated virus,trojan, or worm.  Here is my list:

1.) ComboFix

This little handy tool will remedy any nasty virus.  The user interface is a little intimidating, as it ’s just a command prompt that runs on your computer.  combofixComboFix will seek to perform a restore point before the “cleaning” begins and it will reboot your computer as part of the process.


2.) Little Registry Cleaner

This is a good tool for patching up your registry.  It does seem to catch some registry entries that are not harmful but overall it gets the job done.lrc






3.) Microsoft Malicious Software Kit

This is a pretty thorough kit and you can be sure it will catch any malware in your computer.  It has a Quick and Full scan option, however the Full scan takes about 3 hours to run.mlt 











All 3 of these tools work great and they are completely free of charge (no trial period).  I highly recommend using  ComboFix or the Microsoft Malicious Software kit  first.  Also, I would recommend turning off all your startup applications before running any of these tools.  If you have any questions please don’t hestitate to contact me:

Till Next Time,


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Google Wave…The new online colaboration and communication tool

June 9th, 2009 admin 2 comments

This week I have been hearing a lot about Google Wave and how it will revolutionize email.  Some call it Email 2.0, others have said it will replace plugins like Silverlight, Flash, and JavaFX.  I was not clear as to what this hype was all about, nor did I really understand the concept behind it.  This being the case, I decided to listen to the Google IO Wave keynote.  If you have some time, I have embedded the keynote video to this article…look below.


So did you get a chance to watch it?  Well after watching it for myself and reflecting on it for a couple of minutes, there is no doubt that this is awesome stuff.  I see Google Wave as a mixture of Gmail and Google Talk.  I think the real-time talk is very cool.  The real-time feature allows you to speak with someone asynchronously, which means you don’t have to wait for someone to type a message before you can send a message back.  The communication stream in Google Wave is a real live stream, so you can actually see what someone is typing right on your computer screen.   Also, I think the “playback” back feature is newsworthy.  The idea behind the “playback” feature is that you can invite another person to a chat session and that other person will recieve a “playback” log of the conversation that has taken place up to the point he or she entered the session.  Finally, I think the drag and drop feature is really cool.  A user can literally drag and drop files or images from their computer onto their browser to share with others. 

As I was watching the demonstration, I was wondering how Google Wave was compared to platform’s like Silverlight, Flash, and JavaFX.  I have read in some blogs how staff at Google describe Google Wave more as a tool than a platform and I certainly agree.  Google Wave is a tool that will be used like email is used today; I like to think of it as SuperEmail.  Silverlight (because I have done some XAML programming), Flash or JavaFX are browser client-plugins that are part of a platform.  There is a big difference.

There is still a lot to be seen with regards to Google Wave, but one thing is for sure, it seems very powerful and exciting.  There is a Google Web Toolkit that Wave is built on but it’s my understanding that it can’t be used today.  Apparently, the application can only run in HTML5, which is not ready yet and won’t be (I believe for some years).  Please correct me if I’m wrong on that.

Till Next Time,


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Introducing Microsoft Live Mesh (Beta)

June 7th, 2009 admin 2 comments


Have you heard of Microsoft Live Mesh?  No?  Live Mesh is a device network platform that brings your files (pictures, music, etc) all together.  Basically the way it works is that you add devices on your cloud network (like your own private network online) and then all your devices will be synchronized at the same time.  I know it sounds confusing but let me further explain.  When you sign into to Live mesh you sign into a virtual computer online.  This cloud/virtual computer allows you to add different devices to create your private network.  When you add a new device to your network, you will have to download an installer which enables you to have a synchronized folder on the computer/device you are working on.  Pretty cool right?  250px-meshdesktopWhat’s even cooler than this is that you can add a Mac to your network.  The premise behind Live Mesh is that you can synchornize your files accross a number of devices (Your main PC, your computer at work, your sister’s Mac, and your mobile phone) at the same time.  Live mesh has a remote desktop (RDP) feature, which allows you to connect RDP into numerous computers on your network. 

Let me give you an example of how this would work in real life.  I sign into Live Mesh and I download the installer for my computer, creating a synchronized folder on my computer.live1Then I sign into Live Mesh from my Sister’s Mac and add her  computer as a new device.  I will be asked to download the Mac installer for her computer, and when the install is complete, my sister will also have her respective synchronized folder.  So basically, my computer’s synchronized folder connects with my sister’s synchronized folder.  So now let’s say I download Def Leppard’s “Pour some sugar on me” from iTunes on my computer (and I know how much my sister loves this song) all I have to do is place this song file in my synchronized folder and my sister will have this song her Mac computer.  This is again because when my synchronized folder is updated with a file my sister’s synchronized folder is also updated with the same content as well.

Microsoft Live Mesh is free at the current moment and I would encourage anyone to try it out.  It has some kinks (still in Beta) like it increases your CPU Usage (moe.exe) and the remote desktop feature sometimes dosen’t work so well.  Still, it’s really cool to see in action…Trust me.   There is also a Visual Studio toolkit which you can download to build your own custom applications on your cloud/virtual computer.   If you have any questions about this article, please feel free to leave a comment or email me at

Till next time,


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I deleted my Files and Pictures on my Computer, what can I do about it?

June 4th, 2009 admin 3 comments


So you lost all your important files or pictures on your computer huh?  No problem, thanks to a tool that is called DiskDigger.  By the way it is completely free too.  The tool options menu let’s you specify what kind of files you would like to search for including: images (.JPG, .PNG, etc) documents (.doc, .pdf), and multi-media (.MPG, .MP3, etc).  DiskDigger even has a preview, so you can view the files you are tryingdisk_digger1 to recover on your computer.  Pretty cool right?   One of the important things to note here is that this tool only runs on Windows.  DiskDigger recover popular file types like I mentioned above rather effectively but more complex file types are not as likely to be found.  That being said the tool has a very user-friendly interface and oh did I mention it was free!

Till Next Time,


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Bing and Wolfram Alpha take on Google. Is Google facing real competition in the future?

June 2nd, 2009 admin 2 comments


Over the last month or so there has been a lot of talk about Microsoft’s Bing Search engine and Wolfram Research’s Wolfram Alpha Answer Engine.  The talk has been mostly about how these two “search/answer” engines will compete with Google.

What’s different about Bing?

The claim is that is seems to work better than Google for finding real product information and reviews.  Google leverages keyword searches that alter particular searches.  What I mean by this is that when you do a search on Google the results are sometimes governed by websites that have tweaked their coding to help their ranking on a particular search.  I guess you can say that Bing is a lot cleaner in its search criteria.  For now… 

It is my understanding that some of Google’s commands still work with Bing, which makes the transition from Google to Bing a lot easier.  For instance, the “search” (the quotes for a particular word) will work in Bing.  I think overell Microsoft is aware that it will take time (some years) to come close to Google’s popularity.  I think a more reasonable aim is to take on Search engines like Yahoo!, Ask Jeeves and some others.

What’s different about WolframAlpha?

This one is a bit more interesting.  WolframAlpha proclaims to be an answer engine and not a search engine at all.  Huh?  Let me explain.  Wolfram Research states that the “answer engine” is like a student asking a question and a professor giving a direct answer.  So basically, you enter a key word or phrase into the WolframAlpha engine and instead of getting back a whole lot of links to different websites (like Google and Bing), you get an answer or data based on your keyword of phrase.  For example, when I typed in Miami in the WolframAlpha engine, it gave me the history of Miami and other key statistical data.  I would encourage everyone to at least test out the new engine.  Wolfram Research also states that the engine can solve complex mathematical equations, which is interesting for some academics.

My Conclusion

Both engines are still in their Beta stages, so they are very much still infants.  That being said, I think taking on a monster like Google is no easy task.  I believe Bing is more like Google and it has the greatest potential and could be a viable alternative to Google in the future.  Wolfram I believe is too technical for the general population and the search experience is a bit cumbersome.

Till next time,


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ASP.Net Chart Control-Exporting Chart to Excel FINALLY!

June 1st, 2009 admin 4 comments

Hi Everyone, I am writing this post because I have been trying to export a chart to excel using the new charting control that Microsoft has made available for Visual Studio.  I am building a Business Intelligence Dashboard for work and one of the essential components of this application is to export these charts to excel/word/etc.  After about 2 months (off and on) of trying to get this to work, I finally got it.

Let’s Get Started

Save the Chart as an Image to the server and make sure we have an empty excel file that is already stored in the server (For this example we will use MyExcel.xls).  You write this code either on the PageLoad or ButtonClick Handler.

Save the chart as an image to the server like shown below in


Now we can build the excel file after the image has been created and stored on the server.  This is the code to do that.  Note we must import the Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel and Microsoft.Office.Core namespaces.  Here is the code that writes a dataset (in this example the dataset is called mydata) into the “MyExcel.xls” file that is stored at the server level.  At the end we will have an html link that will call this “MyExcel.xls” from the server to the user via browser.

Dim sFileName As String = Server.MapPath(“~\WebCharts\Chart.Jpeg”)

Dim sFilePath As String = Server.MapPath(“myexcel.xls”)

If File.Exists(sFilePath)




Dim objApp As Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel.Application = New Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel.Application

Dim objSheet As Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel.Worksheet = New Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel.Worksheet

Dim objWorkBook As Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel.Workbook

Dim col, row As Integer


If myData.Tables.Count < 0 Or myData.Tables(0).Rows.Count <= 0 Then

Exit Sub

End If

Catch ex As




objWorkBook = objApp.Workbooks.Add()
objSheet = objWorkBook.ActiveSheet

objSheet = objWorkBook.Sheets(1)

objSheet.Name =
“Graph with Report”

‘This is where we add the picture.

objSheet.Shapes.AddPicture(sFileName, Microsoft.Office.Core.MsoTriState.msoFalse, Microsoft.Office.Core.MsoTriState.msoTrue, 50, 150, 850, 500)

Dim i As Integer= 1


objApp.Worksheets(1).Range(“A1″, “H1″).Interior.ColorIndex = 23.Worksheets(1).Range(“A1″, “H1″).Font.Color = RGB(255, 255, 255)

.Cells(1, 1).Value =“Example History for Day(s) Selected: “ & Date1.Text & ” To: “& Date2.Text

.Cells(1, 1).EntireRow.Font.Bold =True

.Cells(3, 1).Value =“Example Sales Date”

.Cells(3, 1).EntireRow.Font.Bold =True

.Cells(3, 2).Value =“Example Amount”

.Cells(3, 2).EntireRow.Font.Bold =True

i = 2

Dim k As Integer= 1

For col = 0 To myData.Tables(0).Columns.Count – 1i = 4

For row = 0 To myData.Tables(0).Rows.Count – 1

.Cells(i, k).Value = myData.Tables(0).Rows(row).ItemArray(col)
i += 1


k += 1


objWorkBook.SaveAs(sFilePath, Type.Missing, Type.Missing, Type.Missing, Type.Missing, Type.Missing, Microsoft.Office.Interop.Excel.XlSaveAsAccessMode.xlNoChange, Type.Missing, Type.Missing, Type.Missing, Type.Missing, Type.Missing)

End With

Catch ex As





Okay now we should have a dataset and an image stored in our “MyExcel.xls” file ready to go.

Calling “My Excel.xls” From HTML

This is the easiest part and you don’t have to necessary call it from a hyperlink. You can use a button or any other control to call this file. Here is the code we will use to create the link in HTML:

a href=”MyExcel.xls””>Open Excel File from Browser /a

To make it even easier, I would just drag and drop the Hyperlink control in Visual Studio into my Project and find the excel file in Properties under Source.

I hope this helps as I have been looking for a solution for quite some time. The Chart Control forum has been very useful for other matter with regards to this new charting control. I would like to thank Alex Gorv (The forum moderator) personally for all his help with other issues I have encountered using this control.

Till next time,

Please contact me if you have any questions at:

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