Corrupt File Trimmer

Before BitTorrent, before eMule/eDonkey, the file sharing platform of choice was WinMX. It seems like a lifetime ago and in technology terms, it was. It required a lot more manual intervention in order to exchange files compared to modern software. It was very inefficient, slow and quite frankly a little ugly. However, one thing I did love about WinMX was the built in chat room facility which nurtured many a community, usually centred around whatever files were being shared. I got quite friendly with the bloke who ran one of the chat rooms and completely out of the blue he emailed me recently. It was great to hear from him and it took me right back to my days at University, he says as if I’m sat in my easy chair with slippers and a pipe, offering Werther’s Originals around to small children.

My friend did have good reason for making contact, aside from to say “Hi”. You see, WinMX had an annoying bug where large files would occasionally become corrupt if the transfer was terminated before competition. Attempting to resume the file would sometimes give you a warning message and many people simply restarted the file from scratch. My connection at the time was 128kbps down and 64kbps up and the files I shared were mostly around the 700mb mark. So when corruption occurred, it could take hours just to get back to the same stage of competition and it could just as easily happen again.

However, some smart people discovered that if you stripped back the corrupt “dead wood” from the end of the file then resumed transfer of the file, more often than not it worked. The easiest way to do this at the time was to use file splitting software, which was designed to split large files so they could fit on multiple floppy discs or CDs. It was an awkward process and often you would trim a file only to find it needed more trimming off. At the time I had just completed a course in MFC programming as part of my degree so I decided to write a very simple program to handle this task better.

And lo, Corrupt File Trimmer was born. A tiny Windows app which allowed the user to select a file up to 2GB in size and trim a certain number of bytes from the end of it. I distributed it around on the chat room and asked people to pass it on to other WinMX users. Well apparently it became quite popular and continued to be requested long after I left the WinMX world. Indeed a quick google search reveals that someone took the initiative to write a replacement program which would handle files bigger than 2GB. Finding all of this out now brings a smile to my face. So the request my friend had was that I put the program on my website for everyone to download. Well, here it is!

Please note this is most definitely beta software, I did absolutely no formal testing, but it would appear to have been in widespread use for years and work quite well. Remember, this is only for use on files that are partially downloaded and corrupt. If you trim a perfectly good file, well that’s just silly! If you’ve been using this program over the past decade I’d love to hear from you! Enjoy 😉

Download Corrupt File Trimmer

RoundCube Webmail

Hayley asked me to install a web mail client on her domain a while back which might get past her work’s web filter (they don’t like you checking email at work). I came across RoundCube Webmail and got it installed in 5 minutes.

Haven’t had time to really put it through it’s paces but the interface uses AJAX to good effect, much like GMail, but less cluttered. It certainly beats NeoMail, Squirrel Mail and Horder which were the pre-installed options bundled with cPanel and I would highly recommend anyone interested try it out, despite only reaching a 0.1 beta release it seems to handle basic functions faultlessly.

Turion 64 X2 dual-core mobile processors

As many of you know, I have a reputation for doing things with laptop processors which really shouldn’t be done; modding them to run in desktops I mean! I’m still running my Mobile P4M 2.0GHz on 1.15v with a fanless Arctic Cooling AC-FRZ-4 Freezer 4 (yes, only the PSU fan quietly shuffling air around) and haven’t felt the need to jump to the next generation of processor, not that I could justify the outlay anyway.

Having said that, I do like to keep an eye on what’s happening in the world of CPU’s just to see if there’s anything exciting on the horizon. Nowadays performance per watt is all the rage and AMD’s standard desktop line of processors does a pretty good job of running cool enough to run fanless while still kicking out great performance but what if you want to step up to dual core processing? You’ve got your work cut out for you trying to run the X2 fanless!

Intel’s Core Duo finally brings Pentium M power characteristics to the desktop with the advantage of two cores and there are a few standard retail motherboards out there you can run one with. The exciting news is that AMD has just released details of their new Turion 64 X2 processor and it wouldn’t surprise me if this manages to keep AMD ahead of the game on both pricing and performance per watt. The only down side is that while existing Turions work in the majority of standard s754 desktop motherboards, which can be picked up very cheaply since they’re used for Semprons, the new Turions use a 638 pin socket S1 and I’m not sure if there are any plans to release desktop motherboards with this socket. Let’s hope they do because that may be enough to make me take the plunge on another upgrade!