Tutorial for Adding OpenSearch via Google to Your Blog/Website

DeWitt Clinton has
a nice tutorial on adding an OpenSearch plug-in to your website.

OpenSearch is a search engine description standard supported by both Firefox 2 and Internet Explorer 7 that makes it easy to customize the search engine. For example, if you’re using Firefox 2, you can left click on the down arrow next to the search box and see an option to “Add Brian.Carnell.Com”, which will give you the option of search this site from the search bar.

I’m not necessarily sure why you’d want to do so, but it’s there if you’re as obssessed with my life as I am.

The OpenSearch setup for this site uses the internal search engine, but Clinton’s tutorial shows how to set one up a Google search of just your site. But the example is easily modifiable to use your own blog or web site search engine.

File Scavenger — Best NTFS Recovery Tool

I recently had a series of nightmares with NTFS-formatted hard drives failing because of corrupt master file tables. NTFS apparently has a lot of difficulty with lots (>1 million) of subdirectories and files (>14 million), as I find NTFS drives predictably fail when I approach such large numbers.

I downloaded, tried and even bought a couple NTFS recovery tools, and QueTek’s File Scavenger was hands-down the best program I found for WinXP.

Quite a few of the programs I threw at the recovery process simply choked on the huge number of directories and files — they’d reach a certain process in analyzing the hard drive and then fail. Others could handle the recovery, but were unable to preserve the subdirectory and file names, so I’d end up with thousands of subdirectories labeled Unkown4752, Unknown4753, etc, with files often also labeled Uknown573.jpg, etc.

File Scavenger was the only program I tried that was able to reliably restore most or all of the data, and preserve the file/directory name information. I couldn’t recommend it highly enough — if you’re trying to recover an NTFS volume, definitely give this a try. The demo version’s diagnostic tools are fully functional — you only have to pay if you want to recover more than one file per day, so at least you can download, install and run the program to see if it will recover the data you need before you pay the $49 fee to register the program.

Activewords’s Productivity Reports

I’ve mentioned before how much I absolutely love and rely on ActiveWords which combines text substitution and program launching into one incredible application for Windows.

What I also love, as a stats freak, is its extensive reporting features which are pretty thorough considering its just a text substitution/program launching application.

For example, ActiveWords knows that in the 607 days I have had my current laptop, I have entered 5,673,094 keystrokes. Of those, 148,768 were the result of ActiveWords text substitutions — or 2.62 percent of all my keystrokes. Based on my typing speed, that’s 11 hours of typing that the program has saved me.

Similarly, based on the number of ActiveWords command that I have that perform multiple steps (i.e., macro-like processes which open an application, then a file, then do complicated string search and replaces), the program has saved me 8,159 total steps — or about 13.6 hours worth of time.

So, in total, I’ve saved about a day of my life. W00t. Actually it is much more than that because I have quite a few processes that I use ActiveWords for where before I would have had to sit and think for a few moments about all of the steps I needed to take, where now I just type a short keyword and hit F8 and the program takes care of it for me.