Wednesday, February 18, 2009

free MS utilities - today, sysinternals

It must have passed about 5 years (or maybe more) since I discovered the ProcessExplorer.exe utility built by Mark Russinovich at sysinternals.com (at the time).

Now they've been bought by MS (good for them), and I sincerely hope MS will include Mark's utilities in their future OS (if they didn't already done so), and Mark would become a multi-millionaire, because it deserves it :)

I hope I'll never run my future OS on MS, since Ubuntu and Fedora come closer and closer to my ideal desktop. As a matter of fact, I've decided to wait for my next business laptop to make the replacement from XP to either Ubuntu or Fedora, since I cannot afford the waste the timeframe required to set everything up. But that's another story.

Every now and then I ran into "Windows experts", you now, those fellows with attitude, born with the MS OS in their arms, thinking they know everything ... and I ask: you're running ProcessExplorer.exe to kill that damn process which default Task Manager forbid you from killing, right ? And the answer is invariable the same: What is ProcessExplorer ?

So, if you read this blog or accidentally came on this article, or recognize yourself in above description, do yourself a favor and get the sysinternals suite, a 10MB download you'll never regret, if you claim the 'expert' keyword on your CV:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/0e18b180-9b7a-4c49-8120-c47c5a693683.aspx

There are more useful utilities in the suite, it just happens I use procexp.exe all the time, and I don't claim I'm a Win expert ...

Next time we'll run into each other, you'll have no excuse for not knowing what ProcessExplorer is :)

Sunday, February 08, 2009

ISA 4.0 glitch

For the Eclipse / Rational / Expeditor fans, I'we already mentioned how useful ISA (IBM Support Assistant) can be. Let me refresh this, as they constantly update the tool.

Apart from the IBM support searches, it also includes IBM Java tools for different analysis (log viewers, java heap and core analysis and so on). All these tools comes and Eclipse plugins, deep burried within the install of ISA.

And here comes the 'BUT': if you install it as default, it will for sure clutter your c: drive, as the default install is made in 'c:\program files\...whatever'

Same happened to me, on some previous install of the tool, when I was amazed to discover that my c: drive was almost full. Digging a little bit with the 'TreeSize Free' tool (this unveal your biggest folders in size), I discovered the cause: ISA installed in the default location, with the results of analysis stored as well on the same location.

So, here is a workaround: install ISA 4.0 on different drive. How ? It's saying on the FAQ on the IBM site, but basically you need to launch the installer as:

On Windows
setupwin32.exe /v"RCPDATA=c:\myisadata"

On Linux®
setupwin32.sh -V rcpData=/data/isa

What triggered this article was that I've just discovered 7GB of my d: wasted on some unsuccessful MDD4J analysis, launched as a plugin from ISA (I've tried to look into some 250MB Java heapdumps .. oh oh). Appears that these analysis results are stored under: \rcpdata\.metadata\.plugins\

happy digging :)

Time-Tracking combination: Notes8.5 / timeEdition / Gcal

Finally, a solution for me to time track what I do, and have this information in my business Notes 8.5 calendar. It involves three pieces of software, but looks pretty nifty.

1. Notes 8.5 can display Google Calendar. If you didn't knew it, search planetlotus.com or Saint Google on how-to accomplish this.
2. I discovered a pretty nifty piece of time-tracking software, thanks to LifeHacker site. It's name: timeEdition
What this software do so great, beside recording time on events ? It will create an event in the Google Calendar.

So, here it is. timeEdition -> Google Calendar to display items I recorded -> Sync back with the Notes 8.5

It remains for me to see if I'll be able to remember to record items, when I work on them. This is a matter of discipline. However, the benefit is for me to be able to tell one what I've been doing at one particular time or day.

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