Have I just found a PC equivalent of Quicksilver?

Find Run Robot

I’ve had this installed for about two minutes and am starting to get very excited. I watch Merlin Mann manipulate Quicksilver for OS X in MacBreak and The Merlin Show with fascination. I do have a MacBook but I almost never use it with OS X, which is a shame really, but that’s how it is. I’m sure that if I were to become more of a Mac lad (beer, beer, we want more beer!) I’d take to Quicksilver like an Arthurian wizard to Hg and I’ve long been wishing that there was a Windows equivalent.

After my recent PC rebuild (caused by my skirmish with DBAN), I thought I would seek out a desktop search utility that isn’t Copernic. I really love Copernic, but the latest version has always hung on this particular PC and, after exchanging a few emails with their tech support, figured out that it’s caused by my Nvidia Desktop manager software. Well, I find that hard to believe — just how many people our there are running Nvidia graphics cards I wonder!?

So, I did a search for best desktop search and found this thread at wildersecurity.com. It’s basically a thread about who likes what desktop search utilities and why. And it was from there that I was directed to FindRunRobot.

As I say, I’ve had it installed for a few minutes, but it immediately seems like the very thing I’ve been looking for. I don’t think it will search within docs, so I’m still going to need a desktop search (any recommendations would be gratefully received) but FindRunRobot can be used as a program launcher AND it will find files too. I checked it to search my My Documents folder, typed out the first few letters of the document I was working on earlier today, and up it popped immediately in the FRR window. It all works from the keyboard, which is a big plus for me as I touch the mouse as little as possible AND is lightweight and resource friendly (it doesn’t even go NEAR the registry!)

I’m excited!


Lost Weekend — Darik’s Boot and Nuke

I got a hard drive from a friend who wanted me to get the data off it and then wipe it so she could donate her old computer to charity. On a recent episode of DL.TV (episode 165), they recommended Darik’s Boot and Nuke for doing Department-of-Defense-level drive wiping. I installed into that and loaded up interactive mode. I selected the drive to nuke and chose the Gutmann level wipe (27 passes). It was only a 1 GB drive so I figured it would take maybe an hour to do 27 passes. Not so. It said four hours or so remaining, so I rebooted and, this time, thought I’d do something which I usually don’t, which is to hit the F key to read the instructions. It said there something about the autonuke mode being the recommended mode for most people, so I typed in autonuke, hit return then watched in horror as it began wiping ALL FIVE of my HDDs at the same time! I quickly hit the power reset button, but it was too late. It can’t have been running for more than 2 seconds, but it was enough to kill BOTH my Windows installs.

The ironic thing is that I had planned to use my Saturday to do drive maintenance, so tidying out crap, removing duplicates, and, of course, taking a disk image of my Windows install. I figured I’d do the drive nuke first, since it was the least enjoyable job and involved plugging the drive into the motherboard (it wouldn’t work in the external USB enclosure for some reason). It would have made much more sense to take the disk image first, so I guess I went about things the wrong way. Thankfully I didn’t lose any data, but I did lose the weekend trying to recover the partition table and master boot record, before giving up and doing a reinstall.

Oh well, I had plenty of time to read my book whilst watching Active@ Partition Recovery scanning my disks. Not really a fun weekend though.

A Widow for One Year

John Irving I’m almost done with the reinstall — just a few more apps to install and my Backup4All to configure. It’s now actually a much neater system than it was, now that I’ve got my drive topography all sorted out and my Backup strategy worked out so it was kind of a blessing in a way. Once I’m done, I WILL take a disk image. I already took one of the fresh Windows install with all the patches, but I’ll take one of the fully operational system as well.