Backup folders outside your sync app using symlinks

I say “sync app” as this process works on Copy, Dropbox and the like, in just the same way.

The idea is to make it appear to your sync app that a folder is inside it’s watched folder, when it is in fact somewhere else entirely.

Use either the JUNCTION utility from Sysinternals, or the MKLINK command built in to Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Server 2008, for example:
junction "C:\Documents and Settings\User\My Documents\My Dropbox\DesiredFolder" "C:\Path\To\DesiredFolder"

mklink /D "C:\Users\Steve\Documents\Dropbox\DesiredFolder" "C:\Path\To\DesiredFolder"

Or, if you prefer a GUI, install Link Shell Extension.

OS X or Linux:
Use the ln command, for example:
ln -s /path/to/desired-folder ~/Dropbox/desired-folder

This works with files too:
ln -s /path/to/desired-file ~/Dropbox/desired-file

Another easy way to do this with Terminal is type the ln -s part, then from Finder drag the folder/file that you want into the Terminal window then drag the Dropbox folder and hit return.

Reduce the number of malicious URL requests that hit your website

If your site runs on Apache and you’re familiar with .htaccess, the 5G Blacklist is an effective way to secure your site against malicious HTTP activity.

[Update: The 6G Blacklist is now available.]

The 5G Blacklist is a simple, flexible blacklist that checks all URI requests against a series of carefully constructed HTAccess directives. This happens quietly behind the scenes at the server level, saving resources for stuff like PHP and MySQL for all blocked requests.

Simply add the following code to your site’s .htaccess file. Make sure you make a copy of your existing file before making any changes.

What is web hosting and why do I need it?

After being asked this question many times, we thought we would write the answer up so we can simply refer people here.

In order for people to access your website, the files that make up the site must be saved (hosted) on a fast computer that is permanently connected to the internet via a very fast pipe. We call this type of computer a server as when users visit your pages, the server responds and serves up the content that is being requested.

If you try to host your site over a standard broadband line, or the server is overloaded, it will take longer to display your pages and visitors may click away before they have ever seen your site! Some hosting providers charge you based on how much data is being transferred (your bandwidth). With our hosting, you have unlimited bandwidth, so if your site gets a sudden increase in popularity, you won’t get any extra bills, plus you’ll always get great performance and all of your content is being backed up to 2 different physical locations.

server racks
Racks of servers in a datacentre.
Photo by getbutterfly

The server also handles all your email – saving messages to their various mailboxes and serving it up to you when you check your mail.

You can find out exactly what’s included in our “all-in-one” hosting package over on our web hosting prices page (there are actually more features than listed, but we wanted to keep it simple). At just over £80 to run your website for an entire year, it provides great value for money, especially when you consider you could easily spend that on having a tiny ad in the EDP for a week, for example. We also manage all of this for you, making it as hands free as you like, all included in the price. If you would like a new email account etc, you tell us what you want and we make it so!

If you have any questions about web hosting or anything else, feel free to contact us or leave a comment below.

How to Reset Your Forgotten Windows Password the Easy Way

padlockForgetting your password is never any fun, but luckily there’s a really easy way to reset the password. All you need is a copy of the Windows installation disk and one simple command line trick.

Basically, the plan is to temporarily replace the Sticky Keys utility with a command shell which we can launch from the login screen.

  1. Boot from your Windows install disk and choose the “Repair your computer” option.
  2. Choose “Command Prompt”
  3. Move to the System32 directory:
    cd c:\windows\system32
  4. Backup the Sticky Keys file:
    copy sethc.exe sethc.old
  5. Copy our shell to replace Sticky Keys:
    copy cmd.exe sethc.exe and confirm the file being overwritten
  6. Reboot
  7. On the login screen, repeatedly press the [Shift] key until the command window appears.
  8. Change the password as desired:
    Substituting the caps for your username and new password
  9. Login with your new password.

>Once you successfully login, remember to replace the Sticky Keys file!


Let us know what you think in the comments here or on Facebook and remember to share this post with your networks.

Weather Links

weatherAs a population, we British love talking about the weather. We love moaning that it’s too hot, too cold, too windy, too wet, it seems we’re never satisfied! We’ve put together a selection of links that keep you up to date with what Mother Nature is throwing at us.

Wunderground – Weather Underground is committed to delivering the most reliable, accurate weather information possible. In short, they’re weather geeks (this is a good thing). The nearest station providing Attleborough weather is located in Morley at Wymondham College.

Met Office – World leading weather services for the public, business, and government.

Meteox – Up to the minute radar images that are great for tracking rainfall. They also provide a great mobile weather page.

Sat24 – Similar to Meteox but with visible satellite images.

Blitzortung – Shows lightning strikes in the last 120 minutes.

UK Wind Map – Shows wind speed and direction.

WeatherSpark – Nice looking site but it can be a bit overwhelming. Try the Attleborough weather page.

Meteorologica – A variety of weather images and data that you can either refer to or copy the images onto your own web site.

Costessey Weather Station – A weather station run by a hobby operator.

Let us know if you have a favourite weather site in the comments here or on Facebook and remember to share this post if you liked it.