utilitly list

Scott Hanselman has a useful list of utilities that he’s collected over the years. Some of them I have used before, some of them I have better (imho) utilities, or I’ve written my own to do a similar thing. I guess I should really write my own list. It’s certainly been something I’ve been meaning to do for yonks, with the first incarnation being “tools I use(d) to maintain and build this website.

Using Sed.

I had the need to change a directory listing of all files on a server from a name such as f:\directory\fred.doc to DIRECTORY/FRED.DOC ie to remove the f:, swap \ to / and uppercase all the files. Using SED I was able to do all of those using repeated substitutions like the following, sed “s/f:\\i/i/;s/\\/\//g;s/a/A/g;s/b/B/g;s/c/C/g;s/d/D/g;s/e/E/g;…s/y/Y/g;s/z/Z/g” . Thats a really powerful utility and very complicated. I’m sure there is an easier way to UPCASE the characters but I didn’t have the time to discover it. For those of you curious as to why I need to do this, its because I’m creating a cpio of some data on nt, and copying it to unix. If I uncpio’d the data on a unixbox, the backslashes acting as directorys would just be treated as a normal file character.

Awasu update.

Thanks to Tara posting on my comments, I have discovered that the newsfeeds in Awasu are actually available offline as long as you don’t click in the right hand window which contains the headlines of each feed. If you do that, the body page returns a 404 not found as it’s trying to return the individual entry webpage. So you have to click on the feed in the control center window to view them. Apparently it also integrates with mozilla, but I’ll need to investigate that when I’m back on a lan connection to the net and not on a mobile dialup!

More thoughts on desknow.

Having played with this a bit more tI’ve found that it produces a sig at the bottom of the email to say that the email has been sent using desknow. I’ve not found anywhere in the documentation that is provided with the system which says exactly what is crippled/changed in the free version as opposed to the licenced version. The information on services that are crippled just says it will stop working “after a short while” – not very helpful.
One good thing is the messaging service that is built in – theres also the ability to send a message to everyone that is currently attached to the server although I am not sure if this would be disabled after the trial period is finished.

This lack of information is similar to a favourites synchronisation program I found on the web the other day – this allowed you to synchronise favourites between browsers and computers (although it didn’t seem to be synchronising my firebird favourites properly). It took me a long time searching on their website to find that the software was timebombed to stop working after 30 days unless you paid $50ish, which is an extortionate amount to pay for synchronising bookmarks! This is rather misleading as the main page trumpeted the free software with no smallprint or asterix’s to say “we wait until you are hooked on our app before making it really clear that you hafve to pay”. Having said that the email they sent welcoming you to the service did mention the time bomb but not on the website, which is where you are first hooked in.