Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Recovering deleted files from USB flash drives

I just deleted a folder accidentally from a USB flash drive connected to my computer. There are several reasons why I prefer to use a flash drive to a HDD drive:
1. They have better durability because they have no moving parts
2. They can more easily backup and move between computers

I did not know until now that any deleted files are not recorded in the Recycle Bin, which means when I accidentally deleted a folder, I needed a tool to recover my lost files. There are several programs available. These are the steps:
1. Do not attempt to do anything before you do this. If you start recreating or deleting files, you could be hindering your chances of recovering your desired files.
2. Download Recuva software from www.coastalcomputerconnections.com/downloads.html
3. Install the software
4. Run the application from your desktop
5. Having identified the files you want to recover, press the RECOVER button.

Its really simple. You can search by date, quality of residual file, or the file name. I suggest doing all three.
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Solid State Drives (SSDs)

If you are in the market for a computer my advise is that you cannot go past the solid-state drive based computers which are starting to enter the market. We have yet to see a really outstanding machine. I viewed one last week which came close, but it suffered from a bad sound system. There are a number of things you want to look for on such a computer:
1. Memory: About 100Gb of SSD memory would be adequate because you will eventually be able to substitute it will USB-based flash drives as the capacity of those units improves
2. Flexibility - make sure that the unit is easily upgradable, that the main components are easily accessed
3. Keyboard: Some mini-laptops and micro-laptops can sacrifice on keyboard layout. I find it annoying that the DELETE key gets smaller, or the shift key. You really want to type on the thing as if you were using it. If you cannot get used to it in 30 minutes you probably never will.
4. Sound system: I want to hear the sound of music and videos on my computer to establish how good the computer is for VOIP, TV, music, etc. I prefer a built-in microphone too because those headsets are designed to break.
5. USB slots: I want three USB slots at least, and four would be better when you consider that you might like to swap or backup data between drives in future. More important still is the need for those slots to be located in the right position. I use the mouse on the right side, so I want this side free of USB slots. I also don't want a DVD device because the only time I use them is for installing software. In time, software will come on flash drives anyway.
6. Windows 7: The Vista operating system is a joke. With it we actually lost basic functionality. Maybe Win& will redeem the MS crowd. Anyway stay with Win Xp for now; and hope for a better Win7.
7. Battery life: I want a mimimum of 4 hours of battery life, which means you want a 6-cell battery on a small laptop, and more for a larger computer.
8. Optional extras: I want the power for adding discretionary functionality as external devices. For instance, the DVD can be external capacity.
9. Wifi: I want to be able to use my mini-laptop at coffee shops around the world.
10. No extra software: I'm tired of computer manufacturers who place a lot of crap on your computer. I don't want all these extras which are going to slow down my computer.

For a basic word processor and entertainment system, that is all I need.
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com
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