Tag Archives: cross-platform

System Recovery Tools: a possible cross-platform approach through open source and proprietary solutions

The following system recovery tools will be useful to you if you are facing problem of data loss or if your system is simply crashing. It is advisable to burn copies of these tools much before any disaster strikes.

Open Source and Free approach:

G4L aka Ghost for Linux is one of the system recovery tools that is mainly a cloning and hard disk and partition imaging tool. This tool is similar to “Norton Ghost”. The images created are compressed optionally and transferred to a FTP server instead of opting for cloning locally. Ideally, of the several tools described above it is advisable to use the most suitable tool for your needs. The tool that will be most useful during a crisis like a crash or server failure will be a better tool.

The Ultimate Boot CD is one of the system recovery tools which will be very helpful when you want to run CDRom-based diagnostic tools thereby consolidating as many diagnostic tools into one bootable CD as possible. Since you can now boot from USB memory devices a script you can run “Ultimate Boot CD” from USB memory stick and a script on the script on the CD will enable you to boot newer systems from your USB sticks. This is many steps ahead than many of the other recovery tools. Moreover it gives you the flexibility of booting your system with a USB memory stick.

Knoppix is one of the system recovery tools which is essentially a bootable CD with GNU/Linux software. It ensures automatic detection of hardware and supports a wide range of devices like sound cards, most of the graphic cards, USB and SCSI devices and other peripherals. It can be used as an educational CD, a Linux demo or for system recovery purposes. Alternatively it can be used as a commercial platform for software demos. There is no need to install anything on the hard-disk as the CD is capable of storing 2GB of software installed in it. Thus this tool is a truly multi-purpose recovery tool.

Proprietary solutions:

O&O Disk recovery: This software tool scans every portion of your hard-disk, digital camera or memory card for lost files. It is so effective and reliable that it is possible to reconstruct data even when files systems have been destroyed or formatted. More than 350 types of files like music formats, word documents, movie, graphics, Excel workbooks, photo and access databases can be recognized, reconstructed and restored.

SuperDuper is one of the system recovery tools makes recovery effortless as it creates a completely bootable backup effortlessly. The strengths of this software are that it is user-friendly, easy to use with a built-in scheduler that it makes backup automatically. Moreover it performs well independent of the processor that is both on Power PC Macs as well as Intel PCs. It is particularly useful when your software application with the latest update is not working or when your hard drive begins to make noise. It is also very handy when you want to restore a stable copy of your system though you do not want t lose your existing system files or cases like this. AddThis mp3 link

Prey: a multiplatform, open source anti-thefth free software for laptops

What about losing your laptop? Obviously the chances to find it and have it back are very few! But there are several software you can install on your laptop to trace the ip and geo-location of te laptop and with a bit of fortune you could find it. Prey is one of these programs you can use and it is particularly interesting because it is open source and free up to three laptops. After the download of the proper version for your OS (Linux, Windows, Mac OS X or Android) you have to run it on your machine and configure it through a very simple interface (on Ubuntu: Applications —> System Tools —> Prey Configurator). Do not forget to select Enable guest account and Wifi autoconnect to improve the possibilities to trace your laptop. You are also asked to provide an email account where you will receive the geo-location reports if your laptop is stolen. When you activate your Prey account do not forget to fill in the Configuration and Modules tabs. Personally we suggest to switch to ON the following commands: Auto update, Notify new reports and all the commands contained in the left column of the Modules tab. At this point, if your laptop is missed, you have to log in your on-line Prey account and, in the Configuration tab, switch the Missing option on YES. Since this moment, Prey software on your laptop is activated and will start sending reports to your email and to your Prey webpage. Last but not least, to better protect your laptop I suggest to hide or cancel the Prey Configurator icon from the OS menu (in Ubuntu: System —> Preferences —> Main Menu —> System Tools and deselect Prey Configurator). AddThis mp3 link

How to easily check HD health using a cross platform software: GSmartControl 0.8.3

GSmartControl is a multiplatform (Windows, OS X, Linux) freeware drive health inspection tool which is very useful in all that case when you think something is not working perfectly on your HD. Today, in our Linux Page (in Spanish) we have posted a brief comment about this software which basically is the graphical user interface for smartct. The program is very intuitive and easy to use; it automatically detects all your internal HDs (with some external USB disks we had some problems because they were detected as unknown) and let you decide if you want to activate the SMART feature. This particular feature let you “predict certain kinds of failures with certain chance of success” so you have a better chance to avoid HD crashes and all the consequent data loss. If you prefer, clicking on the “Enable Auto Offline Data Collection” the HDs will be tested every four hours without impacting your CPU performance. I would like to focus your attention that GSmartControl is very well developed and it is possible to download many “personalized” versions for all the main Linux distributions, OS X and Windows. Last but not least, do not forget that SMART could predict some HD crashes but it is not 100% safe; for this reason we strongly recommend you to backup your PCs, at least every week! AddThis mp3 link

Instantbird: the best cross platform and multi-protocol instant messaging client on the market now!

This week, in our Linux Page (in Spanish) we have posted a brief post about Instantbird which could be actually considered as the most complete and flexible software to manage all your instant messenger client you normally use (IRC, ICQ, AIM, SIMPLE, SILC, YAHOO, MySpaceIM, XMPP, Sametime, Google, etc..). Moreover Instantbird is completely free, open source and cross platform so you can use it on every PC you have (also at work). We have tested Istantbird for a couple of weeks, without stressing it too much, and we really did not find any bugs so we are really satisfied from the results. Frankly speaking, this software does not contain any “revolutionary” new feature but it can be considered as the state of the art software in its category; something everyone has to benchmark if he (or she) is planning to develop a new instant messaging client! Recommended! AddThis mp3 link