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Month: November 2009

Matt Deegan Writes: Come in Analogue Radio, Your Time is Running Out

Matt Deegan Writes: Come in Analogue Radio, Your Time is Running Out

Here’s some interesting insights into the world of radio, through a friend of mine I know from University.   I’m not a media type but his take on the DAB (digital radio) stituation is interesting, can I recommend you have a read?
Come in Analogue Radio, Your Time is Running Out

Yes I joined in the conversation, at the end….

Synchronize your files and folders: SyncToy

Synchronize your files and folders: SyncToy

Making sure you backup your files is vital, being able to take work home with you is also important.   That’s where this tool called SyncToy comes in useful, yes it is a microsoft product, but it is small quick and free.  I personally don’t like automatic backup software because I have to set a rigid time for when it backsup, oh and I like to be in control!

Basically it can help you ensure anything on your computer is copied to a backup device, but the clever thing is   that it analyses any changes and only copies the files that are new or changed.  It also retains your directory structure.

I strongly recommend it, but be careful to set it up right!   I use it to copy everything from my work folder to a network drive (NAS) and an external hard disk using the ‘echo’ function.   Basically anything on my work folder (on the left) is reproduced on my NAS or external HD (on the right).

My top tip:
It’s not really backup software so always use the preview button first (so I can be sure its not copying over something I need!). 

You can get it from Microsofts site by here: SyncToy, or by searching for “SyncToy 2.1”.

Here I am writing this post not realising we now have a version 2.1!  I was browsing Download Squad when I saw this article I honestly had no idea when I was writing this topical post!

Stop Paying for Windows Security Software?

Stop Paying for Windows Security Software?

I came across this article from LifeHacker :

“When it comes to keeping your Windows PC secure, all of the scare tactics and overblown virus stories out there make it hard to feel safe online. The fact of the matter is that you don’t need to pay for Windows security.”

It’s an interesting piece that suggests being careful about what you download and install is far more effective than all the anti-virus/malware tools. It’s true to say that anti-virus vendors have an interest in keeping a level of ‘fear’ to ensure they have a healthy business. However that is a bit unfair to anti-virus vendors who after all are serving a purpose.

This article is of course completely true for people who have an interest in computers and know some of a computers inner workings (like myself). Unfortunately in the real world we’re not all educated in the ways of computer security and we sometimes make mistakes. I’m a belt and braces person when it comes to computer security but I am guilty in lapses of judgement and have had the odd virus (and not every virus is from a download).

Working in a small company and looking after its security is sometimes a full time job, I make sure updates are installed as soon as possible and I ensure that every PC has a firewall and an anti-virus program. Why? Well our users do not know or want to have to be involved in some of these things, we often need to download documents from websites as research. An ‘always on’ anti-virus program scans these automatically without user intervention. People do not want their work flow interrupted, so to stop and scan each file realistically (no matter how much training you have) is not going to happen 100% of the time. Especially when there are deadlines to meet!

I like the idea of having minimal amounts of security software on my home PC, for one thing it would make it quicker, however I wouldn’t want to apply the same principles in the office!

OneNote for research and sharing articles with colleagues.

OneNote for research and sharing articles with colleagues.

Have you heard of Microsoft’s OneNote?   It’s very underrated in my opinion, if you like research using the internet this tool is perfect!   It organises your notes as well as allowing you to capture and copy extracts from webpages with ease.   Anything you copy from a website will be stamped with where it came from and a date and time!

Now if you’re in a small officeenvironment with say a Network Attached Storage (NAS) drive, rather than a server you can use a shared directory to share your notes!   In our office we use it to share and catalog news articles rather than print them.

Does anyone have any experiences of using OneNote they’d like to share?

Clipping your satellite image in ArcGIS, and importing into AutoCAD

Clipping your satellite image in ArcGIS, and importing into AutoCAD

Do you need to export just a small part of a satellite image for use in AutoCAD or just so you can work on one small part without loading a huge file in ArcGIS?  Then perhaps this technique is for you!

  1. Create a new rectangle graphic in data layout using the drawing toolbar, over the area you want to export.
  2. Select this rectangle.
  3. Right click on the satellite image that the rectangle is over, then Data then Export Data.
  4. In the export Raster dialog box check Extent: “Selected Graphics (Clipping)”, Spatial Reference: “Data Frame (Current)”
  5. Select a Location
  6. Choose a name for it and a Format
  7. Now click save, it will also ask if you want to add it to your GIS.

That’s it you can then use this smaller satellite image instead.  You can also do the follwing to get it into AutoCAD:

  1. Select the rectangle
  2. In the drawing toolbar menu select “convert graphics to features”.
  3. Save this rectangle as a shapefile.
  4. Open ArcCatalog
  5. Find your new feature rectangle shapefile and right click on it, now click on export to DXF.
  6. Open AutoCAD (I use 2002) and open your new rectangle shapefile.
  7. Select Insert –> Raster Image Refence or type “IMAGEATTACH”
  8. Select your exported satellite image.
  9. Now once you have inserted it you can scale it to fit your dxf rectangle.
  10. Now save this as a dwg file
  11. To test this has worked trace draw a shape in your new autocad file, now go to ArcGIS and add this data to your GIS. It should overlay perfectly!

This doesn’t work with AutoCAD LT unfortunatley as you need the full version to insert images, however once you have done this you can share the dwg file with its satellite image with other people who have AutoCAD LT.

I hope this helps people, if anyone has any suggestions on how to cut out the full version of AutoCAD I’d be interested to hear about it!