System Maintenance

A lovely fire­wall prod­uct that hogs lesser resources than the ubiq­ui­tous Zone Alarm, pro­vides bet­ter report­ing and pro­tec­tion options, and is still com­pletely free.

Fire­walls are dime a dozen these days. When the con­cept of a fire­wall first became impor­tant on home com­put­ers, with the advent of real high-speed broad­band, Tiny Per­sonal Fire­wall was the best. It even had the approval of experts. Unfor­tu­nately, CA stepped in and gob­bled up the company.

Zone Alarm was already a strong con­tender, but with Tiny gone, it soon became the de-facto fire­wall on the machine of users who knew bet­ter than to let this com­puter floun­der under the bloat­ware of Mcafee or Symantec.

Unfor­tu­nately, of late, Zone Alarm has been a bit of a hog on my machine. It's a Core2Duo, which means soft­ware such as Zone Alarm should cheer­fully work in par­al­lel with no fuss. AVG for instance scans my entire machine for an hour with­out my so much as both­er­ing about it.

It is in this con­text that I came across Comodo Fire­wall, one that is rec­om­mended by more than a few techies. Being a born tin­kerer, I was off in a jiffy to down­load the thing. And short story: it rocks.

Below's a screen­shot. It looks more pro­fes­sional than even Zone Alarm Pro. There are more options, explained more clearly.

Read More

There are sev­eral ways to do this, the most preva­lent among sys admins being this:

find {/path/to/folder/} -type f -size +{size-in-kb}k -exec ls -lh {} \; | awk '{ print $9 ": " $5 }'

Which lists the largest files in the folder /path/to/folder. You could just use the ls com­mand too, as such:

ls -lhS

But there is a sim­pler, more effi­cient method to do this:

du -xak .|sort -n|tail -50

But the best method involves a small Perl hack that shows a very neatly laid out list­ing of largest files:

du -k | sort -n | perl -ne 'if ( /^(\d+)\s+(.*$)/){$l=log($1+.1);$m=int($l/log(1024)); printf  ("%6.1f\t%s\t%25s  %s\n",($1/(2**(10*$m))),(("K","M","G","T","P")[$m]),"*"x (1.5*$l),$2);}'
Read More

If not to make things sim­pler for you, then for the sheer delight of it, it's kind of fun to make your Win­dows PC look like a Mac. A full theme from Fly­aki­teOSX, sounds and all, makes it a breeze.

Want a Mac look on your Win­dows machine? Skins and themes would be nice, but there's more to that when you want to REALLY emu­late a Mac OSX inter­face entirely. There are plenty of pro­grams avail­able to emu­late spe­cific fea­tures of OSX, e.g. Finder, icons, etc [exam­ple].

But Fly­akite OSX is a project that's look­ing mature, and it comes with a very com­plete theme, includ­ing sounds and mouse cur­sors and Explorer cus­tomiza­tion, things you don't typ­i­cally expect from a sim­ple 'theme'.

Down­load Fly­akite OSX here

The web­site goes for a Mac look itself, which is a bit painful, but it's worth the download.

Before you go for it, some caveats

  1. The per­for­mance of your machine in gen­eral may be affected, of course. Not too much though.
  2. The theme does fun­da­men­tally change some core files like Explorer.exe but (a) it makes a backup so you can go back with a sim­ple unin­stall, and (b) it doesn't screw up any addi­tional func­tion­al­ity like my Groove but­ton on my Explorer bar.
  3. I don't like shad­ows under my win­dows, but that seems to built-in in the skin.
  4. Some things like Win­dows Media Player will not change. WMP has its own skin, which remains untouched.
Read More