Friday, July 29, 2011

Back Up Google Stuff- Just In Case!


Google has a tremendous number of free services they offer which many of your probably take advantage of. But have you ever considered what you might lose if all of a sudden you lost access to your account? Just like all important data on your hard drive, your critical data in “the cloud” should also have backup consideration.
So if your Google account contains data you can’t afford to lose or you simply would like to have a local copy of it for yourself, you can easily download just about everything.

Backup All Your Gmail Messages

Gmail offers the ability to download all your messages into a POP client. As you may know, a POP client downloads and stores local copies of emails to your hard disk so you can access them off-line or if you delete a message (which you have previously downloaded) from your Gmail account.
Once logged into Gmail, in the upper right corner click the gear icon and go to Mail Settings.
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Under the Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab, select the option to Enable POP for all mail. Selecting this option will flag every email in your account to be downloaded to your POP client. Also be sure to select the option to keep Gmail’s copy in the inbox in step 2 so that when your messages are downloaded, they are not removed from your Gmail inbox.
Once you have set these options, save your changes.
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Once POP access has been enabled on your account, you simply need to download the messages into your POP client. Google provides detailed instructions for several common email clients via the link in step 3. Rather than re-inventing the wheel in this article, check out their walkthroughs.

Backup All Your Gmail Contacts

After using Gmail for a while you will, no doubt, have many email contacts that you will want to backup as well.
On the left side menu, click the Contacts link. You can optionally select the contacts you want to export (if you are only exporting certain ones) or leave individual contacts unchecked and export groups.
Under the More actions menu, select the Export option.
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Select the contacts you want to export (typically All contacts) and then the format. If you are unsure, select a CSV format because this will be readable in Excel or Notepad and just about every email client supports importing via a CSV file.
Once you have your options set, click Export.
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Save the resulting file.
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Download Your Google Plus Data

If you have a Google Plus account, you can easily download just about everything you have made available on the service.
Once logged into your Google Plus account, click on the gear icon in the upper left corning and select Google+ settings.
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Select the Data liberation option on the right side menu and click Download your data.
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The data included in the download is as follows:
  • +1′s = Web pages you have +1′d (which show in the +1 tab of your Google profile) in HTML format. This does not include every post or comment you have +1′d in the Google+ system.
  • Buzz = Google Buzz posts and replies in HTML format.
  • Contacts and Circles = Contact information by circle/group in VCF format.
  • Picasa Web Albums = Pictures uploaded to Picasa. These are organized in folders with the respective album name.
  • Profile = JSON file which contains the information in your Google profile. Don’t worry if you don’t know what this type of file is, you can open it and Notepad and read all the information.
  • Stream = Posts you have made in Google+ in HTML format. This does not include comments to posts you have replied to, only “top level” posts you have made.
You can download everything (as we do in this guide) or individual pieces. To download everything, click the Create Archive button.
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Depending on the amount of data you have, this can take a while but once finished you will be presented with a Download button.
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Once your download is ready, save it to your hard disk.
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When you open the resulting zip file, you can see the data is organized into folders making it easy to navigate.
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Download Your Google Calendars

If you utilize Google Calendars, you can easily export this information into ICAL format.
Once in your Google Calendar, click the gear icon in the upper left corner and select Calendar settings.
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Under the Calendars tab, click the Export calendars link.
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Save the resulting file to your hard drive.
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When you open the downloaded zip file, you will have an ICAL file for each Google Calendar.
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Download Your Google Reader Subscriptions

To download your Google reader subscriptions (note this downloads the source RSS feed links, not the content), click the gear icon in the upper left corner and select Reader settings.
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Under the Import/Export tab, select the option to Export your subscriptions as an OPML file. This is simply a type of XML formatted file that you can open in Notepad to view the contents of.
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Save the file to your hard drive.
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Downloading Your Google Docs

If you make use of Google Docs, you can easily download selected or all documents at once. If you want only certain documents, pick the ones you want.
Once ready, under the Actions menu, select Download.
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You will have some options with the format you want to download certain documents types in. For the most part the default settings will do but you can customize to fit your needs. Click the Download button once you are ready.
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Save the resulting zip file to your hard drive.
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When you open the zip file, the documents are in the format and folder structure used in Google Docs.
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Thursday, July 28, 2011

Google Voice and Chat with a MAC-Can't see my friend but he sees me....here's how to fix!

If you have tried everything you can think of with your MAC and have downloaded and installed Google Voice and Chat plugin.....I have the simple fix....

Use the Safari browser!

Not Firefox, Chrome, or anything else....the default MAC browser is Safari and you will be chatting happily face to face...so get going and have fun!  Go into Gmail like normal and check the settings under CHAT and away you go.....

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My Homepage- Tab for Firefox to open your homepage each time

If you are like me you like the tab to open to something other than a blank page....since FF 5.0 the New Tab Homepage extention has not worked but now there is "MY HOMEPAGE"
which works and is compatible...
Get it HERE

Got Windows Live Calendar? - Sync It With Google Calendar-Here's How!

Both Google Calendar and Windows Live Calendar are handy for keeping track of your important appointment and scheduled events. They allow you to quickly check and update your schedule online, from any computer. However, it can get tedious manually entering the same information in both calendars. Fortunately, there are ways to sync your Google Calendar information to Windows Live Calendar, as well as to sync Windows Live Calendar to Google Calendar.

Syncing Google Calendar to Windows Live Calendar

Sign into your Google account. Go your online Google calendar. Under My Calendars, click Settings. Click the Share this Calendar link, then select the Calendar Details tab.
Google Calendar Settings
Beside Private Address, click the green ICAL button. Copy the URL which appears in the pop-up window.
Google Calendar Private Address
Go to the Windows Live website and log in. Open your calendar, then click Subscribe. Click Subscribe to a public calendar, then paste the URL for your Google calendar in the field provided. Give your calendar a name, then select a color and charm if you like. Click Subscribe to calendar, then click Done to complete the process.
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Syncing Windows Live Calendar to Google Calendar

Sign into your Windows Live account, then open your calendar on the Windows Live website. Click the Share tab and select your calendar name from the list. Click Share this calendar.
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Then clear the check mark beside Share your calendar privately with friends and family. Select the check box beside Send people a view-only link to your calendar, then click Get your calendar links. When prompted, click .
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Under Links that show event details, and beside ICS, select Import into another calendar application. Copy the link that appears.  Paste the link in a new web browser window, changing webcal at the beginning of the URL to http. When prompted, save the ICS file to your hard drive.
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Log into your Google account and go to your Google Calendar. Under My calendars, click Settings. Click Import calendar, then click Browse and find the ICS file you just saved. Select the file and click Open. Beside Calendar, make sure the right calendar is selected, then click Import. If the import is successful, Google will inform you how many events were processed, and how many events were imported.
importcalendartogoogle

Friday, July 22, 2011

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lost Your Stuff? Here's how to regain files...........Use Ubuntu Live CD

Recover Data Like a Forensics Expert Using an Ubuntu Live CD

There are lots of utilities to recover deleted files, but what if you can’t boot up your computer, or the whole drive has been formatted? We’ll show you some tools that will dig deep and recover the most elusive deleted files, or even whole hard drive partitions.
We’ve shown you simple ways to recover accidentally deleted files, even a simple method that can be done from an Ubuntu Live CD, but for hard disks that have been heavily corrupted, those methods aren’t going to cut it. In this article, we’ll examine four tools that can recover data from the most messed up hard drives, regardless of whether they were formatted for a Windows, Linux, or Mac computer, or even if the partition table is wiped out entirely.
Note: These tools cannot recover data that has been overwritten on a hard disk. Whether a deleted file has been overwritten depends on many factors – the quicker you realize that you want to recover a file, the more likely you will be able to do so.
Our setup
To show these tools, we’ve set up a small 1 GB hard drive, with half of the space partitioned as ext2, a file system used in Linux, and half the space partitioned as FAT32, a file system used in older Windows systems. We stored ten random pictures on each hard drive.
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We then wiped the partition table from the hard drive by deleting the partitions in GParted.
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Is our data lost forever?
Installing the tools
All of the tools we’re going to use are in Ubuntu’s universe repository.
To enable the repository, open Synaptic Package Manager by clicking on System in the top-left, then Administration > Synaptic Package Manager.
Click on Settings > Repositories and add a check in the box labelled “Community-maintained Open Source software (universe)”.
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Click Close, and then in the main Synaptic Package Manager window, click the Reload button. Once the package list has reloaded, and the search index rebuilt, search for and mark for installation one or all of the following packages: testdisk, foremost, and scalpel.
Testdisk includes TestDisk, which can recover lost partitions and repair boot sectors, and PhotoRec, which can recover many different types of files from tons of different file systems.
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Foremost, originally developed by the US Air Force Office of Special Investigations, recovers files based on their headers and other internal structures. Foremost operates on hard drives or drive image files generated by various tools.
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Finally, scalpel performs the same functions as foremost, but is focused on enhanced performance and lower memory usage. Scalpel may run better if you have an older machine with less RAM.
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Recover hard drive partitions
If you can’t mount your hard drive, then its partition table might be corrupted. Before you start trying to recover your important files, it may be possible to recover one or more partitions on your drive, recovering all of your files with one step.
Testdisk is the tool for the job. Start it by opening a terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal) and typing in:
sudo testdisk
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If you’d like, you can create a log file, though it won’t affect how much data you recover. Once you make your choice, you’re greeted with a list of the storage media on your machine. You should be able to identify the hard drive you want to recover partitions from by its size and label.
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TestDisk asks you select the type of partition table to search for. In most cases (ext2/3, NTFS, FAT32, etc.) you should select Intel and press Enter.
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Highlight Analyse and press enter.
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In our case, our small hard drive has previously been formatted as NTFS. Amazingly, TestDisk finds this partition, though it is unable to recover it.
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It also finds the two partitions we just deleted. We are able to change their attributes, or add more partitions, but we’ll just recover them by pressing Enter.
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If TestDisk hasn’t found all of your partitions, you can try doing a deeper search by selecting that option with the left and right arrow keys. We only had these two partitions, so we’ll recover them by selecting Write and pressing Enter.
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Testdisk informs us that we will have to reboot.
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Note: If your Ubuntu Live CD is not persistent, then when you reboot you will have to reinstall any tools that you installed earlier.
After restarting, both of our partitions are back to their original states, pictures and all.
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Recover files of certain types
For the following examples, we deleted the 10 pictures from both partitions and then reformatted them.
PhotoRec
Of the three tools we’ll show, PhotoRec is the most user-friendly, despite being a console-based utility. To start recovering files, open a terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal) and type in:
sudo photorec
To begin, you are asked to select a storage device to search. You should be able to identify the right device by its size and label. Select the right device, and then hit Enter.
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PhotoRec asks you select the type of partition to search. In most cases (ext2/3, NTFS, FAT, etc.) you should select Intel and press Enter.
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You are given a list of the partitions on your selected hard drive. If you want to recover all of the files on a partition, then select Search and hit enter.
However, this process can be very slow, and in our case we only want to search for pictures files, so instead we use the right arrow key to select File Opt and press Enter.
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PhotoRec can recover many different types of files, and deselecting each one would take a long time. Instead, we press “s” to clear all of the selections, and then find the appropriate file types – jpg, gif, and png – and select them by pressing the right arrow key.
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Once we’ve selected these three, we press “b” to save these selections.
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Press enter to return to the list of hard drive partitions. We want to search both of our partitions, so we highlight “No partition” and “Search” and then press Enter.
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PhotoRec prompts for a location to store the recovered files. If you have a different healthy hard drive, then we recommend storing the recovered files there. Since we’re not recovering very much, we’ll store it on the Ubuntu Live CD’s desktop.
Note: Do not recover files to the hard drive you’re recovering from.
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PhotoRec is able to recover the 20 pictures from the partitions on our hard drive!
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A quick look in the recup_dir.1 directory that it creates confirms that PhotoRec has recovered all of our pictures, save for the file names.
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Foremost
Foremost is a command-line program with no interactive interface like PhotoRec, but offers a number of command-line options to get as much data out of your had drive as possible.
For a full list of options that can be tweaked via the command line, open up a terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal) and type in:
foremost –h
In our case, the command line options that we are going to use are:
  • -t, a comma-separated list of types of files to search for. In our case, this is “jpeg,png,gif”.
  • -v, enabling verbose-mode, giving us more information about what foremost is doing.
  • -o, the output folder to store recovered files in. In our case, we created a directory called “foremost” on the desktop.
  • -i, the input that will be searched for files. This can be a disk image in several different formats; however, we will use a hard disk, /dev/sda.
Our foremost invocation is:
sudo foremost –t jpeg,png,gif –o foremost –v –i /dev/sda
Your invocation will differ depending on what you’re searching for and where you’re searching for it.
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Foremost is able to recover 17 of the 20 files stored on the hard drive.
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Looking at the files, we can confirm that these files were recovered relatively well, though we can see some errors in the thumbnail for 00622449.jpg.
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Part of this may be due to the ext2 filesystem. Foremost recommends using the –d command-line option for Linux file systems like ext2.
We’ll run foremost again, adding the –d command-line option to our foremost invocation:
sudo foremost –t jpeg,png,gif –d –o foremost –v –i /dev/sda
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This time, foremost is able to recover all 20 images!
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A final look at the pictures reveals that the pictures were recovered with no problems.
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Scalpel
Scalpel is another powerful program that, like Foremost, is heavily configurable. Unlike Foremost, Scalpel requires you to edit a configuration file before attempting any data recovery.
Any text editor will do, but we’ll use gedit to change the configuration file. In a terminal window (Applications > Accessories > Terminal), type in:
sudo gedit /etc/scalpel/scalpel.conf
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scalpel.conf contains information about a number of different file types. Scroll through this file and uncomment lines that start with a file type that you want to recover (i.e. remove the “#” character at the start of those lines).
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Save the file and close it. Return to the terminal window.
Scalpel also has a ton of command-line options that can help you search quickly and effectively; however, we’ll just define the input device (/dev/sda) and the output folder (a folder called “scalpel” that we created on the desktop).
Our invocation is:
sudo scalpel /dev/sda –o scalpel
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Scalpel is able to recover 18 of our 20 files.
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A quick look at the files scalpel recovered reveals that most of our files were recovered successfully, though there were some problems (e.g. 00000012.jpg).
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Conclusion
In our quick toy example, TestDisk was able to recover two deleted partitions, and PhotoRec and Foremost were able to recover all 20 deleted images. Scalpel recovered most of the files, but it’s very likely that playing with the command-line options for scalpel would have enabled us to recover all 20 images.
These tools are lifesavers when something goes wrong with your hard drive. If your data is on the hard drive somewhere, then one of these tools will track it down!