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Some Cool Software You Might Not Know About

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Sahil's post on "Things I can't live without" got me thinking about some software I use that might not be so well known. XM Radio Studio

XaMp Studio plays XM Radio from a desktop application. Looks like Winamp and offers more features than the XM web interface. There is a toast notification to tell you when your favorite artist or tune is streaming. Note: don't download the "desktop" edition, as it seems incompatible with Vista and Windows Media Player 11.

DynDNS Updater coupled with the DynDNS service can give any computer a name – even if your ISP hands out dynamic IP addresses. The Updater can run as a Windows service to keep addresses in synch.

FoxIt Reader is a small, fast PDF reader. Scott Hanselman first mentioned Foxit a couple years ago, and the feature list has grown since that time. The only downside is that Foxit does not seem to decrypt password protected PDF files, so no e-book reading with Foxit.  

Robocopy now comes standard in Windows Vista. It's the tool I use for large file operations, particularly when moving bits over the network. Robocopy easily beats copying files using Windows Explorer, after all, the "robo" is short for robust.

There is only one weakness with robocopy. Try copying an Outlook PST file when Outlook is running:

PS> robocopy C:\Users\bitmask\appdata\Local\Microsoft\Outlook d:\temp outlook.pst

   ROBOCOPY     ::     Robust File Copy for Windows

  Started : Tue Jul 24 12:33:20 2007

   Source : C:\Users\bitmask\appdata\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\
     Dest : d:\temp\

    Files : outlook.pst

  Options : /COPY:DAT /R:1000000 /W:30


                           1    C:\Users\bitmask\appdata\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\
  0.0%      New File             856.3 m        Outlook.pst
2007/07/24 12:33:20 ERROR 33 (0x00000021) Copying File C:\Users\bitmask\appdata\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\Outlook.pst
The process cannot access the file because another process has locked a portion of the file.
Waiting 30 seconds...

Which brings me to my "last but not least" entry: Hobocopy.

PS> .\hobocopy C:\users\bitmask\appdata\local\microsoft\outlook\ d:\temp outlook.pst
HoboCopy (c) 2006 Wangdera Corporation. hobocopy @ wangdera.com

Starting a full copy from C:\users\bitmask\appdata\local\microsoft\outlook\ to d:\temp
Copied directory
Backup successfully completed.
Backup started at 2007-07-22 12:46:25, completed at 2007-07-22 12:47:48.
1 files (856.39 MB, 1 directories) copied, 7 files skipped

Hobocopy is Craig Andera's tool that uses the Volume Shadow Service to copy locked files. Pure goodness.