Tagged With archives


Mac: If you've been using Messages for a while, you may not want to let your archived messages go when you move to a new Mac. iCloud should backup and restore a lot of it, but if that history goes back pretty far, it won't get it all. iMore shows you how to make sure it comes over to your new computer.

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.


Dear Lifehacker, I'm organising my family photos digitally and have a burning question -- how can I tag people's names for posterity? Picasa, iPhoto and the like can recognise faces and record names, but the names are stored in a separate database, not attached to the photo. How can I store this data for posterity, guarding against different programs and different operating systems for the next 50 years? What is the digital equivalent of writing a person's name on the back of a photo?


Tracking the lightning quick development of modern cities is easy with Google Street View, but a big new project aims to provide context for the past 1000 years of urban evolution in Venice, Italy. The Venice Time Machine will digitise and catalogue a staggering amount of historical documents -- a combined 80km worth of shelves! -- then turn the data into an internet archive and adaptable 3D model.


When it comes to data security, you really don't want to mess around. On the other hand, if you want to hide some files for another reason -- say, as part of a challenge or game -- then a neat way to do it is to compress those files and use a program like Steganography to make that archive appear as an image to unsuspecting users.


One of the much-discussed advantages of open source software is that it should make it easier for future generations to access data. But in his keynote address at Linux.conf.au in Brisbane, "father of the Internet" Vint Cerf noted that even open source systems weren't completely free from the challenge of data being created that might not be accessible to future software, a problem he refers to as "bit rot".


When you're at your own (Windows) computer, use 7-Zip to extract almost any kind of compressed archive. When you're somewhere you can't use 7-Zip, try WobZip, a neat, helpful online decompression tool. WobZip can take any compressed file upload, up to 100MB in size, and extract its files for individual downloads. It supports 7z, RAR, TAR, g-zip, zip, the RPM and DEB Linux packages, and a handful of even more rare examples. If that's all it did, that would be great. But WobZip also lets you decompress files that are password protected, assuming you know the password, and can open files that are located online. So if you're not quite sure if you'll need all the files in that big driver download, go ahead and patch the URL into WobZip, then just grab the .INF you really want. If you're on pretty much any modern system, WobZip lets you download all your files as a more-compatible .ZIP archive, WobZip is free to use, no sign-up required, and makes a point of stating its "in development" status, so don't be surprised to see an occasional bug.



Windows only: Octopus is a lightweight media indexer that sorts and searches your data across flash drives, burned discs, and other removable gear. If you back up your data to an external drive, you've got half the equation down; when it comes time to use and restore it, though, the free Octopus takes only a few seconds per disc (or drive) to create a quickly searched index. Like the similar multi-indexer Virtual Volumes, Octopus lets you locate needed files by folders, file names, file sizes, creation dates and attributes. Better still, you can tag individual files and entire indexes with keywords, and search using wild cards and narrow results by file size, modification date, and other factors. Octopus supports floppy disks, CD/DVDs, and removable flash based media like thumb drives and SD cards. The big drawback is that it treats external hard disks as fixed disks and won't index them. Octopus is freeware, Windows only.



Windows only: Why download a hefty ZIP file only to find out that the file you needed is only a tiny fraction of the bulky download? Grab only the files you want with LoadScout. Plug in the address of the archive—a web or FTP address will do—and LoadScout remotely displays the contents. From there, you can browse the directories and files just like would if the archive was open on your computer. The option to cherry pick what you want to download is extremely helpful if all you need, for example, is a single driver file out of a bulky driver pack. In addition to remote archive browsing, LoadScout previews media like MP3 and AVI files by jumping to any location in the remote file and starting playback from there. Even if you intend to download the entire file, LoadScout lets you verify the contents before you waste time and bandwidth downloading it. LoadScout is freeware, Windows only.



The Tombuntu blog points out a seriously helpful package available in Ubuntu's extended repositories that make creating super-efficient 7-Zip archives simple and fast, whether you're right-clicking or working with a command line. Run this command to install it:

sudo apt-get install p7zip

Users of other Linux distros should find a similar package in their own sources. Once installed, creating compressed archives for storing or emailing is as simple as selecting the files, right-clicking, and choosing "Create Archive," and de-compressing just as simple.

Add 7z (7-Zip) File Archive Support to Ubuntu


Most any savvy computer user is probably pretty handy with a free compression and archiving tool (like, say, 7-Zip), but not everyone they send files to will be. The Confessions of a Freeware Junkie blog points out that IExpress.exe, a built-in utility you simply type into the "Run" menu in Windows XP or "Start Search" in Vista, can create self-extracting archives to be emailed to anyone using Windows. Just choose "Extract files only" while clicking through the wizard interface, choose the files to be zipped up, and the end user only has to double-click to get them. IExpress also works as an easy way to convert batch files into executables. Need more info on IExpress? Check out Microsoft's help page on the tool.

Did you know? Windows has a built-in tool to create self-extracting archives via 'Iexpress.exe'


Linux only: Open and extract files from ZIP, RAR and 7Zip archives you've forgotten the password to, or never found at the download location, with RarCrack, a free Linux command line utility. Using a brute-force algorithm, RarCrack simply gets to work determining the password for compressed archives, which, in the case of most downloaded RAR files, isn't all that tough. You can point RarCrack in the direction of any special characters you know were used in creating the password, but the standard use—rarcrack yourfile.zip—works just fine in most cases. RarCrack is a free download for Linux systems only; Source files are available at the home page, and Ubuntu Unleashed explains how to quickly compile them.



Windows only: Freeware application SmartJournal archives your Windows Mobile cell phone's call history—including incoming, outgoing, and missed calls—with Outlook's Journal, a lesser-known feature of the popular email client. After you've installed SmartJournal (which is in German—though that shouldn't affect any operation, since its actions are all behind the scenes), the program runs alongside ActiveSync and writes the phone number, the type of call (incoming, outgoing, missed), date, duration, and name of contact (when available) to the Outlook Journal. SmartJournal is freeware, Windows only, requires a Windows Mobile phone. My Windows Mobile device is on the fritz so I was unable to test this, but if you give it a try, let us know how it worked for you in the comments.