Semi-regular web-link clearance – May 2010

Save a Failed Hard Drive in Your Freezer, Redux

Years ago we suggested sticking a borked hard drive in your freezer for a chance at recovering your data before the drive goes completely kaput. Developer site Server Zone highlights the same tip, with more detailed instructions for saving your freezer drive.

Windows 7 / Windows Server 2008 R2: Print Driver Isolation

So what is Print Driver Isolation?  As the name implies, this feature allows some of the print driver components to be executed in a process (or processes) separate from the print spooler.  By doing this, any problems associated with faulty drivers are isolated from the print spooler service and will not cause it to fail.  For those of you that have been around since the Windows NT days, I’m sure you remember how a bad print driver could bugcheck the system.  Back then it was because print drivers were kernel-mode (Version 2) drivers.  With the move to user-mode (Version 3) drivers, bad print drivers only affected the spooler, and didn’t bring down the whole system.  With PDI, we’re taking this a step further – the isolated print drivers that are faulty affect … well, themselves.

Photo Magician

Photo Magician Converter If you’re not about to manually convert that pile of images in front of you but you’ve found the batch converters you’ve tried to be lacking, free and portable Photo Magician offers both fine tweaking and drag and drop simplicity. (via LifeHacker)

Chris Jackson: It’s Not Your To-Do List: Using Application Compatibility Tools to Diagnose Problems, Not Surface Them

No app compat tool is going to provide you with a to-do list of all the things you must fix in order to make your application compatible.

This is true for a couple of reasons. On one hand, it’s going to be impossible to find every possible bug, so this list is necessarily incomplete (Type II errors). On the other hand, not all of the tests we do can say definitively if the behavior we observed will create an application compatibility bug for you or not (Type I errors). In some cases, the behavior is actually wrong, but the application has handled the error gracefully. In other cases, the “test” has to use heuristics, so a negative outcome on the test doesn’t necessarily mean that the application is negatively impacted (even if it doesn’t handle errors), just that it might be.

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