MacOSX

CardRaider - great little app for recovering lost photos

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Recently the HD in my main Mac died. While I had just made a full backup, I had also moved some pictures off our digital camera into iPhoto, causing me to lose about 60 pictures. Well, thanks to how digital photography software work (they don't fully erase pictures off memory cards, just do a partial delete) I stood a chance to recover the pictures using one of the file recovery tools available.

After looking on MacUpdate for a suitable tool I settled on CardRaider, a $20 app that makes the process very easy: run the app, insert your memory card, click Scan and wait while it pours over the card looking for your lost media. As each photo is discovered it will be displayed as a thumbnail with some associated metadata, giving you enough information to decide which photos to recover. You decide which photos to recover and can either save them out to disk or import them straight into iPhoto - a little touch that goes a long way to boosting its simplicity.

The only issue I discovered was a slightly glaring problem that will hopefully be remedied soon: only photos can be recovered, the movie clips that almost all digital cameras can take are completely ignored, as are any other types of files. This greatly reduces its usefulness for me, and ultimately I'm going to have to find another app to recover the lost movie clips (we take a lot of them of our kids playing). I emailed the developers to ask when this feature would be added and was informed that while the feature was being considered for a future release nothing had been decided yet and so they could not give any guarantees.

If you are someone who only uses their digital camera for taking photos and not movie clips, this is $20 well spent that can probably save you much anxiety for those occasional accidents. If, on the other hand, you do take a lot of movie clips with your digital camera, you may want to look elsewhere.


Update!

Interestingly, I emailed the author my suggestion that it also be able to recover other files and at first he didn't seem too interested. Before I'd even finished this review, however, he sent me a test release of the next version that can recover AVI files (the format most cameras use). Talk about support! So, with this feature due to be added soon, I can't recommend this program enough! Well worth it!


And then I discover File Juicer which can recover images, movies and do a boatload more. Doh. C'est la vie.

Cleanly install RMagick on OSX Leopard

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Apple's latest Mac OSX release, 10.5, dubbed "Leopard", does a great job to remedy the problem Rails developers had with previous releases - Ruby is now installed and works correctly, with Rails and a whole bunch of other common gems installed too. Awesome stuff. The one thing they missed, however, was the graphics manipulation package RMagick, but thankfully OnRails.org has put together a tutorial for installing RMagick that covers everything needed to get it working.

OSX Leopard - highest selling and best Mac OS ever

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According to news today, Apple's latest version of OSX, code-named Leopard, is the fastest selling release of OSX they've done to date. This is good news as it brings a wealth of new features that developers have committed to working with, which should bring even better software to the market. Having used it for two days I have to say I'm very impressed - the improved UI is very good, the minor adjustments to the Finder are excellent, Time Machine should save my posterior a few times, and both iCal and Mail became much more useful. Good stuff all round, it's just a shame that so few people will get a chance to use it.

Bug in Safari 3 beta: hidden file fields don't get submitted

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I've just wasted several hours due to what turned out to be a bug in the current Safari 3 beta (on OSX Tiger). If you have a form with some DIVs set to display:none;, any file fields that are in the hidden DIVs do not get submitted along with the rest of the data, whereas text fields are submitted. This inconsistency does not exist in Firefox 2 - it submits all of the available fields. Bad Safari, bad!

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