Thursday, September 13, 2007
1. Quickly create an empty file of an arbitrary size
This command is useful if you quickly need a file of a certain size. The command execution is instantaneous (no matter what you put for length), but the file contains only zeros.
fsutil file createnew filename length
2. Create a hardlink
A hardlink is useful when you want to make the same file appear in different folders. Even if you can see it in many places on your drive, the hard drive space is allocated for only one instance.
The file is physically deleted when the last hardlink is removed.
fsutil hardlink create new_filename existing_filename
3. Associate a path with a drive letter
The command is very useful for testing installation kits or running a CD from a folder. It basically creates a new drive letter that points to the indicated folder.
subst [drive1: [drive2:]path]
4. Compares two binary files
This command is useful to check if two files are identical. Checking only the file sizes is not enough since the content may be different.
The fc command, with /b switch, compares the files in binary mode and tells if they are identical or not.
fc /B [drive1:][path1]filename1 [drive2:][path2]filename2
5. Create a list with all files in a given folder
dir *.doc /b > documents.txt
If you want to search also in the subfolders, add the /s switch in the above command line.
dir /s *.doc /b > documents.txt
6. Concatenate two files
This command can be used to concatenate both text and binary files.
copy /b a.txt + b.txt c.txt
7. Check if a server is up
When a machine (internal server, web site, etc) doesn’t respond from the regular application, try to open a command prompt and ping that machine.
Ping can be also used to find the IP behind a web address.
8. Display network configuration and IP addresses
If you are using a DHCP server in your network, then you can use this command to check the IP address leased to your computer.
9. Lock workstation
You can lock your workstation by running this command.
10. Shutdown local computer
You can use this command to automate the process of computer shutdown. Some prefer to put it as a link on the desktop.
shutdown -s -f -t 00
Monday, September 10, 2007
FireFly is a cell phone specially designed for kids. It is supposed to offer kids a way to make emergency calls to 911, their parents or other few persons.
The phone lacks the regular keypad, so the calls are limited only to those people in the predefined list. More than that, parents may setup it is such way that only the calls from the people in the address book will ring the phone.
Kajeet targets bigger kids. Kajeet offer kids modern cell phones with wallpapers, ring tones, games, etc., while the parents enjoy prepaid like benefits.
Parents can define the time schedule when the phone can or can’t be used or decide who can call and who cannot call the kid.
While the above are nice, the most interesting feature is the wallets concept: a wallet for parents and a wallet for the kid. Parents decide whose wallet pays for what calls. For instance parent’s wallet pays when the kid calls them, while kid’s wallet pays when the kid calls his friends. In this way there is no risk that you’ll not be able to contact your kid because he consumed all the credit on text messages with his buddies.
Saturday, September 08, 2007
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Friday, September 07, 2007
Since the website requires entering two US numbers, both you and your fried have to be in US. Anyway, with a little effort you can call your friends in US even if you are living in Europe. All you have to do is to obtain a free US DID number ahead of time.
For alternatives ways of calling for free US numbers, check also this post.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Send an SMS
You can send short text messages (SMS) to any T-Mobile subscribers using:
- your cell phone. You may be charged by your provider.
- by using email to SMS. Read this post for more information.
- by using T-Mobile’s online tool available at this address.
Send a voice mail
Most people don’t know that you can deliver a voice mail directly to the inbox of the other party, without making the phone ring. The recipient will usually be notified on the screen or through a short beep of any new received voice mail.
To send a voice mail you can use any landline/cell phone:
Step 1. Dial 1-805-MESSAGE. This is the same phone number that you can use to check your voice messages – as explained in this post.
Step 2. Dial the recipient 10 digits T-Mobile cell number
Step 3. At the prompt speak your message and then hang-up.
Step 1. Dial 1-805-MESSAGE (1-805-637-7243) from any landline.
Step 2. Press * (Star) key
Step 3. Enter your 10-digit T-Mobile phone number
Step 4. When prompted, enter your password.
For a visual representation of T-Mobile VoiceMail shortcuts please refer to the following PDF diagram.
This tip works with both postpaid and prepaid accounts.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Most probably your cell phone provider offers you a pretty basic (dump) voicemail feature. To listen to your voicemails you have to dial a number and check all messages one by one.
Using this simple trick you can take your voicemail to the next level:
- online access to your voicemails
- download important messages to your computer
- receive voicemails as by emails as mp3 attachments
- SMS notifications
The trick consists in conditional forwarding (if you don’t answer, you’re busy or unreachable) your calls to a free GrandCentral number.
Step 1. Create a free GrandCentral account (GrandCentral was briefly presented in this post) and do basic settings. Do not define any phone numbers since you want the voicemail to handle all incoming calls.
Don’t worry! You don’t have to change your phone number! Your GrandCentral number will remain hidden behind the scene, while you’ll continue using your regular cell phone number. People will not even know about this little trick of yours.
Step 2. This step is optional but important if you wish to go back to your old voicemail system. Check with your cell phone provider the current status of conditional forwarding and voice mailbox number.
If you have a GSM phone the following codes, typed on your phone keypad, should give you this information:
*#61# [SEND] (forward on no answer)
*#62# [SEND] (forward on unreachable)
*#67# [SEND] (forward on busy)
Normally all three should be forwarded to the same number.
Step 3. Activate/Change conditional call forwarding feature for your cell phone.
Depending on the wireless carrier or network, the activation procedure may differ:
For GSM networks (T-Mobile, AT&T/Cingular), dial the following number sequence, as if you’re dialing someone: *004*YOUR_GC_NUMBER*11#
It’s also possible to specify the interval after which your calls are forwarded (on no answer). In this case the sequence is: *004*YOUR_GC_NUMBER*11*x#, where x is the amount of time from 5-30 seconds in increments of 5,
For CDMA networks (Verizon), dial any of these codes followed by your GC number: *71, *90, *92
For all other wireless carriers, is recommended to contact them to check this information.
Note: Using the same technique, you can even skip your company PBX voicemail system altogether and forward your business phone number to GrandCentral.
For an alternative solution, check callwave.com