Tag Archives: tip

Synkron: a flexible & powerful way to synchronize your files or folders on Linux – An “encrypted” example for security and privacy reasons

Sometimes it is really easy, other times you waste your time. A good synchronization between files or folders is something you need everyday but it could become a nightmare if you miss something.

In my specific case I need to automate a synchronization between a folder (F1) where I usually save my office files (Documents) with a second folder contained, for security reasons, in an encrypted volume/partition (F2). This last folder (F2) automatically synchronize its content with a third folder (F3), located in the same encrypted volume/partition, that is the client folder of a remote storage hosting (F4).

This also means that when I am out of the office and I add a file in the online storage host (F4) the document is automatically copied to the client folder of the remote storage hosting and to the folder located in an encrypted volume/partition (F2 and F3).

Moreover, I need to erase the Documents folder F1 as soon as it is synchronized with its mirror F2 in the encrypted volume.

The described scenario is common in the everyday working life and it is conceptually not hard to solve… in theory… When I tried to set up the above described operations using grsync on Fedora and Ubuntu I had big problems to obtain an acceptable result.

Many times the synchronization was unidirectional and I was not able to run it properly just using grsync still I found one right solution with Synkron. Synkron  is a multi platform software (Linux, OSX, Windows and portable) written in C++ that is really flexible for all multitasking synchronization needs.

First of all, Synkron is multi-tab and this is a winning features because it let you to “slice” any problem (synchronization matter) into simple, easy to solve, tasks.

In my example I determined the two Folders I wanted to sync – F1 & F2) and  decided thath both folders had to be considered as Master by the software.

Then I used the Advanced Menu and I chose to “Move contents to Folder 2, leaving folder 1 empty” and to “Store database in a text file” for my convenience (F1 to F2 deleting F1 contents after synchronization).

At this point, I opened a second synchronization tab where I selected two folders (F2 to F3 sync) and I also asked Synkron to “Synchronize hidden files and folders” and to “Detect collisions”.

At this point I had obtained an acceptable solution to my initial task, simply dividing my problem into two separate operations.

Moreover, I’ld like to focus your attention on the fact that Synkron has a specific feature for multi-synchronizing three or more folders at the same tome. The tuning of this particular feature is really intuitive and you can also selected many of the different advanced options we described here above.

If you have complex synchronization needs and you have many tabs configured you can always choose what tabs you want to activate or deactivate using the “Sync folders” option you find in the upper part of each tabs. Another option for this specific issue is represented by the SyncView visualization that let ypu to have a quick general glimpse about the state of all the sync and multisync tabs.

Synkron has simply fantastic scheduling options that are able to solve any need you may have.

Furthermore you can decide to automatically synchronize your folder as soon as you launch Synkron.

You can also decide to automatically run Synkron at the startup but, in this case, you need to manually configure your Startup Menu.

As extra features you can always decide to create Blacklists that will exclude specific files, folders or extensions from the synchronization.

In addition you can define Filters by extensions to better refine your synchronization.

Last but not least, when you run Synkron you obtain a detailed report in real-time where you can check the state of operations by colors.


Why the fear over ubiquitous data encryption is overblown

How to dig more information on Wikipedia using Google

WikipediaWikipedia contains many information about million of topics but each single thematic page doesn’t contain all the possible info or links about that specific subject. In fact some other details about a topic, or related to it, can be in other parts of Wikipedia not linked to the main topic.

In my experience, sometimes you can find some really interesting details about a topic if you simply use a Google query as:

site:en.wikipedia.org “Chet Baker”

Where the topic is “Chet Baker” and it is searched by Google into the entire Wikipedia.org website. If you deeply peep the results you can now find some information not contained in the “Chet Baker” page in Wikipedia.

These tip is really simple but I think it could be useful for journalists, data miners or for all that people who are not satisfied by a simple Wikipedia search.  AddThis

How to repair a bad screen resolution on the IOMEGA Screenplay Pro HD

This is the situation: you have a IOMEGA Screenplay Pro and while you where trying to find a better output  resolution for your monitor you accidentally (or not) selected the HD option and now you are not able to visualize anything.

In few words this is the easiest problem you can afford but also one of the worst because you are not able to visualize the menu and so you cannot revert the right monitor resolution.

I visited many websites but unfortunately I didn’t find any forum or post about this topic. In any case I like to focus your attention on this ScreenPlay Pro HD wiki which is a real mine of information and tips about this specific hardware.

So I tried to “play” with the Screen Play Pro HD remote but I was not able to find a solution without visualizing anything on the monitor.

At the end, when I was thinking to reset the Screenplay and loosing all the data contained, I tried to use an old solution I used different times with other stuff: I pressed the power button for more than 10 seconds while I was switching on the device.

Something happened because the monitor showed me the Screenplay boot up window for a couple of seconds. At this point I pressed the NTSC/PAL button and the Screenplay Pro HD menu was visualized on my monitor again. AddThis

How to protect your profile and emails on Thunderbird 3 (Ubuntu and Windows instructions)

On Thunderbird, the only way to be 99% sure nobody will read your emails is to save your profile on an encrypted folder (or disk partition) using e.g. TrueCrypt but if you are not concerned that you are under surveillance, you can simply use a quick and useful trick that allows Thunderbird to ask for the Master password every time you launch it.

In Ubuntu you have to follow two different steps. First of all, go to Edit —> Preferences —> Security —> Passwords and create your Master Password. Secondly, go to Edit —> Preferences —> Advanced —> Config Editor (click on “I’ll be careful, I promise”). Then in the filter bar, type password and change the parameter for mail.password_protect_local_cache to True. The next time you will launch Thunderbird nothing will be displayed (old and new emails) before you insert the correct Master Password.

If you are using Thunderbird on Windows you have to modify mail.password_protect_local_cache going to Tools —> Options —> Advanced —> Config Editor (click on “I’ll be careful, I promise”). Then, as for Ubuntu, in the filter bar type password and change the parameter for mail.password_protect_local_cache to True. AddThis mp3 link

How to add a text/word watermark on OpenOffice Word Processor and Microsoft Word

Just a quick reminder to add a text/word watermark in OpenOffice Word Processor or Microsoft Word:

In OpenOffice Word Processor

a- Create an image using GIMP

– insert a Text field

– choose your favourite font, size, colour (25-30% grey is suggested)

– use the “Rotate Tool” to rotate your text to 45.00 degrees

– save the file in a light graphic format (e.g .gif)

b- Create the watermark

– open OpenOffice Word

– go to Insert —> Picture —> From File and select your graphic file

– click on the image using the mouse’ right button and select Wrap —> In Background

– Done!

In Microsoft Word

– Go to Format

– Select Background and choose Printed watermark

– Click on Text Watermark

– Type “Your Text Here”

– Select Diagonal and then click OK

AddThis mp3 link

Something to know before the release of Firefox 3.5: how to disable the geo-locating feature.

This week in our Freeware Page we we have written a quick post about disabling geo-locating feature in the upcoming Firefox 3.5. I have always been an enthusiastic supporter of Firefox because I think it is so flexible that I can find any add-on I need for any purpose. I am also sure that the new Firefox 3.5 will be the perfect tool for my everyday navigation but there is something I am a little bit annoyed. In fact, the Firefox 3.5 will contain a default feature (which can be triggered remotely by a website you are visiting) declaring your geo-location everytime you connect to a site. This feature (previously known as project Geode by Mozilla Labs) could be useful for people involved in social networking but it is a potential wasting time feature for all the others. In fact, you have to declare if you want to automatically display your geo-location each time a website triggers this feature. For this reason, if you are not a social network addict, my personal advice is to disable this geo-locating feature as soon as you install (or update to) Firefox 3.5… (it continues in the Freeware Page). AddThis mp3 link