Update on ntfs-3g

Back in December I posted about setting up direct read and write access to a NTFS drive from 10.5. It all seemed to be working okay until last week when I had to move a couple of VHD files, close to 500Gb, from a Mac running 10.5 across the wire to a windows based NAS. Good grief is all I can say about sustained performance. It took days to complete. More like a week to be honest… Why, as of yet I do not know but there is defintely something “up” with either the Mac or the driver. As the NAS is “fine.”

Opera Unite – a perspective change from the centralized model used by SharePoint?

Opera Unite, a web browser melded with a web server. Now there’s a novel concept.

Opera Unite allows you to share your files, stream music, host sites, and communicate real time with people. The suite of services, that’s what they literally are, are comprehensive.

  • File Sharing
  • Photo Sharing
  • The Lounge
  • Fridge
  • Media Player
  • Web Server
  • and more…

But there’s a problem with it. A very big problem that I suspect Opera Marketing are all too aware of. Although Opera Unite claims to “directly link people’s personal computers together,” to use it you must have an account on Opera’s servers. Once you have that all of your exchanges pass through Opera’s servers first. Sure, that’s an effective way to get around technical difficulties such as NAT, firewalls, etc, but the big issue is that it makes Opera the intermediary in your social interactions — not Facebook, not MySpace, but Opera. Think it through. Stepping past all the hype, the benchmarks*, etc. you have just another lockin scenario. Opera is up you’re up. Sure your stuff is on your machine but it can only be accessed via Opera the domain.

Is there a way around this? Do we need a way around this? Yes, it would be possible to create a swarm and find your friends, but what happens when your computer is down and somebody wants to access your content. Nothing.


Excerpt from http://unitehowto.com/Performance below. Take them in context.

Opera Unite uses very smart file I/O! Even if you save data to file each request (simplest, but stupidest way to do it) – it still can push out very impressive 744 requests/second! (It probably means that this data is saved to memory and dumped only sometimes, smart move!)

It seems like Opera uses 13 threads (seems like a soft limit, but unchangeable). 13 concurrent connections max out @ 810req/s, 1.23ms processing time.

For comparison:

PHP+Apache(+MySQL) is almost 2 times faster than peak Unite performance.

Compiled C++ web server (MadFish WebToolkit ) is only 6 times faster than Opera Unite, but that is compiled raw C++.

nginx (one of the fastest Web Servers available) is only 5 times faster than Opera Unite (clocked at 4900 req/s in raw C++) “Welcome to nginx” cycle (no I/O or scripting).

iPhone OS 3.0

Looks like the field will level. And about time…

Two cool additions to the iPhone that now use HTML5 features:

Safari JavaScript Database Programming

The HTML 5 specification provides a new mechanism for client-side data storage: JavaScript database support. HTML 5 is currently in development by the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG).

JavaScript database support is available in Safari 3.1 and later, and in iPhone OS 2.0 and later.

You should read this documentation if you are a web developer who wants to store data locally on a user’s computer in amounts beyond what can reasonably be stored in an HTTP cookie.

HTML5 Application Cache

Michael Nordman of Google asked “Is this stuff built into shipping Safari or iPhone browsers yet?”

David Kilzer replied “This feature shipped with iPhone OS 2.1. When you use “Add to Home Screen” from the “+” button on Safari for iPhone, a web application with a manifest defined (per the HTML5 spec) will be saved with any cached resources. Note that the manifest file *must* be served with the correct MIME type for this to work.

There is no shipping version of Safari for Mac OS X or Windows that supports this feature yet.”

dd: clean your drive securely

Now like anybody I’m a BIG fan of wiping old drives using dd but sometimes there’s a tool out there that will do most if not all of the work for you. Cue DBAN. OR as the site says:

Darik’s Boot and Nuke (“DBAN”) is a self-contained boot disk that securely wipes the hard disks of most computers. DBAN will automatically and completely delete the contents of any hard disk that it can detect, which makes it an appropriate utility for bulk or emergency data destruction.

Complemented with TrueCrypt you will have a mighty secure setup. Possible / definite paranoia issues too… But your data will be secure. For the more command line orientated the old reliable dd if=/dev/urandom of=/dev/disk bs=1k is good enough imho. (It puts random bits in place as opposed to a regular pattern. Not that it will stand up to NSA level scrutiny but it’s more than enough for most data recovery…)

For more go to:

DBAN: http://www.dban.org/
TrueCrypt: http://www.truecrypt.org/

MOSS: Enable Anonymous Search – The Easy 3 Step Way

1: Make a copy of “C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft SharedWeb Server Extensions12TEMPLATELAYOUTSosssearchresults.aspx”

2: Remove Inherits=”Microsoft.SharePoint.WebControls.LayoutsPageBase” from the same file.

3: Add the following script to the the same file after changing the bolded text to your custom page.

function getURLParam(strParamName){

var strReturn = “”;

var strHref = window.location.href;

if ( strHref.indexOf(“?”) > -1 ){

var strQueryString = strHref.substr(strHref.indexOf(“?”)).toLowerCase();

var aQueryString = strQueryString.split(“&”);

for ( var iParam = 0; iParam <>

if (

aQueryString[iParam].indexOf(strParamName.toLowerCase() + “=”) > -1 ){

var aParam = aQueryString[iParam].split(“=”);

strReturn = aParam[1];





return unescape(strReturn);


var urlstring = ‘/Search/Pages/results.aspx?k=’ + getURLParam(‘k’) + ‘&cs=’ + getURLParam(‘cs’) + ‘&u=’ + getURLParam(‘u’)


Nifty: Microsoft Business Data Catalog Definition Editor for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007

Ah Microsoft, you giveth and you taketh.

The Microsoft Business Data Catalog Definition Editor for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 aka MSBDCDEFMOSS2007 (all me…) is a nifty yet hobbled tool fresh(ish) from Microsoft. In brief its features include:

  • Underlying XML is abstracted by the design surface and properties window
  • Drag and drop web methods, tables, or views to create line of business (LOB) connections.
  • Entities and methods are created automatically from database metadata and WSDLs.
  • Additional method instances can be added to further enhance the database or web service connection.
  • Method instances can be tested from within the tool, enabling incremental development of LOB connections

That said… Here’s the catch. (For now I hope…)
The tool is unusable with SQL Server 2005/2008 schemas… So, you cannot use it against AdventureWorks, BUT you can use it against AdventureWorksDW. If you dare to try, you will be rewarded with a “Could not process Table ‘….’. Also, make sure you have SELECT Rights on the Table/VIEW”.

Helpful links

Nifty: Layers

Layers is a new utility that can capture your entire desktop—including every application window, menubar item, and desktop icon—in a Photoshop file or a variety of other formats that are ripe for hacking and compositing. It’s a screen capture tool on steroids for those who cannot live by Mac OS X’s Grab app alone.

Layers is a Universal Binary that requires Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, and licenses have a “launch promotion” price of $15. There is no word on how much that price will increase or when.

Nifty: SharePoint Search Service Tool

I discovered a very handy project on Codeplex recently, The SharePoint Search Service Tool. To quote their own site:

“The SharePoint Search Service Tool is a rich web service client that allows a developer to explore the scopes and managed properties of a given SharePoint Search SSP, build queries in either Keyword or SQL Syntax, submit those queries and examine the raw web service results. This tool can be useful in troubleshooting and verifying the behavior and configuration of a SharePoint environment.

The SharePoint Search Service Tool is an evolution of a tool that used to be available back on GotDotNet moons ago that was called the MOSSQueryTool. Because the tool has been enhanced and should work with all SharePoint Search products, it has been renamed for its initial public release.”

Right now it is at V1.1 and is well worth a look see: http://www.codeplex.com/SharePointSearchServ

Reflecting images with Javascript under 5k

If you need to add a reflection to an image or series of images on a site with minimal overhead a handy solution is Reflection. To add a reflection you just add a class=”reflect” to the image and the reflection will automatically fade into the background colour.

Reflection.js allows you to add reflections to images on your webpages. It uses unobtrusive javascript to keep your code clean.

It works in all the major browsers – Internet Explorer 5.5+, Mozilla Firefox 1.5+, Safari, Google Chrome and Opera 9+. On older browsers, it’ll degrade and your visitors won’t notice a thing. Best of all, it’s under 5KB.”

Get it here:http://cow.neondragon.net/stuff/reflection/