erase free space on an SSD drive

DeleteAs you probably know (because you’re reading this post) Windows doesn’t really destroy a file when it is deleted. It merely removes the references in the file table so you don’t see it in on the file system anymore. But the file is still intact sitting there on your hard drive until some other file is written over it.
If you want to truly erase those files on a HDD drive you can use a number of tools to erase the free space on the drive. What these tools do is simply overwrite all free space with random data and thus effectively overwriting and destroying those deleted files still sitting intact in your free disk space.
Free tools that can do this are the command line Secure Delete tool from System Internals and the handy CCleaner (see the tools menu).

For an SSD drive however overwriting the free space with random data is bad for your drive. SSD’s have a limited number of times you can write data to their blocks. Using a random data overwrite tool, which can even end up do this multiple times, is just a bad idea.

Luckily everything is built into your SSD drive to do this automatically. It’s called the TRIM function and from Windows 7 on this is activated by default so normally you don’t have to do a thing to take advantage of this secure-delete feature.

However if you are like me then you want to be sure if this feature is activated.
On Windows, you can do this by opening a command prompt and entering the following command:

fsutil behavior query disabledeletenotify

If you get the following, your TRIM command is already active on Windows:

NTFS DisableDeleteNotify = 0

If this would return a value of 1, you can activate the TRIM function with this command:

fsutil behavior set DisableDeleteNotify 0

You can find more detailed instructions and information about activating the TRIM function here:
How to check if TRIM is enabled on your SSD and how to enable it
Why SSD TRIM support is so important and how to enable it

And then there’s always Google of course.

Photo by Delete, cc-licensed.

some end of year breakcore & jungle goodness

Here’s some things that have been sitting around in my inbox for too long. Time to get rid of them before the year ends and it starts becoming really embarrassing. :)

Synthamesk‘s Regression release on Kaometry records presents some very cinematic breakcore which makes me think of Venetian Snares’s “My Downfall” and “Rossz Csillag Allat Született” album. So basically that means you get some crazy chopped up breakbeats at hyper speed with some more chill classical instruments on top. Good stuff.

Another release I’ve been digging from the more drum’n’bass/jungle front, but still whack enough to be classified as somewhat breakcore is something from the Jigsore label. It’s the More Love EP from DJ L.A.B, featuring some classic chopped up jungle beats and heavy sine wave subs and ragga vocal bits. The choppage is pretty high level so it’s jungle for the advanced listener I guess. :) Also good stuff, so check it out.

Check out the Jigsore and Kaometry Soundcloud profiles if you’re wanting for more, cause there’s plenty.
Enjoy!

nian dub, dark and dubby dnb

UK-based collective Nian Dub is making some really cool dark and dubby drum’n’bass on EXE project.
I ran into them on Soundcloud and I recommend checkout out the EXE podcast Transmission 002 with Nian Dub and Semiotix linked below. There’s a bit of banter and chatting in there, but the tunes in between are awesome and you learn a thing or two about the lads.
If you like it without chatting there’s the EXE M004 mix featuring much of their music as well.

More cool stuff on the EXE project stream as well like an old favorite Aaron Spectre and Gore tech. Check it *does some of those wicked streetwise finger gesture shizzle and all*

disable flash and silverlight for safer surfing

Flash, Silverlight and (*gasp*) QuickTime plugins in your browser with the modern web are about as necessary as a horse whip is on a Tesla. Well I might be exaggerating a bit. There are still some useful sites out there that actually use these things. Intranet sites that run on IE only for example, or flaky game sites. But any self-respecting web developer has long ditched them in favor of fancy new HTML5 features.

So why would you still run these things in your favorite browser (Firefox right?) where they only take up extra memory and have a bunch of security problems that might end up causing you trouble. There have been enough exploits for the Flash plugin out there to be sure to actually update those plugins every time they ask for it. Which is about every week if I recall correctly.

Anyway, it’s better to turns those damn things off completely and only turn them on when you hit one of those web sites maintained by a dinosaur. That way you’re stopping that evil hacker from taking over your machine with his Flash exploit and you’re gaining some free performance along the way.

In Firefox you can turn those plugins off in your Tools menu, under Add-ons. Just select “Never activate” and you’ll be fine.
Switch it back to “Ask to Activate” if you’d need them again. That way they’ll never activate by accident either, if you forget to turn it back off.
On Chrome it’s a bit more elaborate, but the option “Let me choose when to run plugin content” sounds like a safe bet instead of having plugin code be ran willy-nilly.
IE? Ha! Who cares right?! For anything else, a properly aimed search query should find you the answer in no time.

Oh, and don’t forget to tweak your Flash security settings if you decide to keep it on after all.

The Firefox add-in screen with all plugins disabled. Just like it should be.

dope beats from lenkemz, jutrØ & co

JutrØ’s Travva came up as a YouTube suggestion at some point and the track blew me away. I can’t really stick a genre label on it, but it’s a chill, dope, beaty track with ripping synth lines and a powerful female vocal layered on top of it. It’s somewhere in-between dubstep (but not the shitty wobble-bass kind) and hip-hop/rnb/dancehall tracks.

JutrØ is apparently Polish, which probably explains the very annoying to type Unicode “Ø ” ;). He also has some friends that make similarly awesome tunes which you can find on the profile blurb on his Soundcloud page. Forxst is one of those for example and their collaboration Aurea is equally awesome. The video’s are also sublime. Cute girls pointing golden Uzis at you or walking around in dark forests at night, what’s not to like.
Their Czeluść label page has more goodness if you are digging their style.

Another artist creating tracks in somewhat the same vain I ran into is Lenkemz. He seems to be from the UK and has some great bangers up as well.
I started a playlist with my personal favs or these artist to blast while coding away in the office. Check it out if you want a taste of these guys and don’t feel like searching around a lot. If you like the list, be sure to favorite it yourself, cause I’ll most likely be adding more awesomeness to it in the future.

ip-cam considerations

Security Camera SystemsIP cams are great. They keep an infrared eye on your stuff while you’re not around and find out what keeps pooping on your driveway (a cat it turns out). But sometimes things can get a little out of hand.

So here’s a list of things that will trigger the IP cam motion detection you didn’t think of:

  • Cats parading on your driveway like they own the place.
  • Spiders shaking their arachnid booty in front of the camera while doing their webbing thing.
  • Spider webs moving in the wind, up close. All f-ing night.
  • The occasional bird.
  • The occasional insect in mid-flight. Sometimes even a mot at night caught in the infrared beams.
  • Trees and bushes shaking their leaves and branches cause it’s windy as hell.
  • Shadows of trees and bushes shaking their leaves and breanches because it’s windy as hell and sunny too.
  • Rain showers. Possibly in combination with freaky winds blowing it horizontally in places you didn’t think rain could get at.
  • The sun playing peekaboo with some clouds, causing abrupt changes in light levels.
  • Car headlights lighting up random bushes, walls and other stuff as they pass by your house.
  • Reflections of cats in the cars shiny exterior (what a great excuse for not washing your car).
  • Reflections of moving clouds in a puddle on the concrete at the right lighting conditions.

So watch out where and how you send those automated alert emails from the camera. GMail for example doesn’t like it when you send hundreds of emails a day using one account. They find it rather spammy. When this happens, they can block you from sending any more messages that day. This really blows if you have an urgent mail to send. Other mail providers have similar rules.
Uploading the images to a remote FTP server is another option. But make sure you have plenty of space there, and download those images regularly if you don’t want to run out of space.

Photo by Armend Krasniqi, cc-licensed.

time to chill

Breakcore and drum’n’bass are all cool and shizzle but sometimes you just need something to chill to. Or maybe you simply want to block out those blabbing (but otherwise so nice) colleagues in that open landscape office with some non-distracting music. In that case some soothing ambient music is excellent but it’s still a matter of picking the right tracks so they really don’t make you go “da fuk is that?” when weird noises burst into your ears while the whole point is not to be distracted.

Since Soundcloud is such a great library of free, streamable and sometimes downloadable music, I thought I’d try to find me some good ambient tracks for general chillage. I conveniently packed what I found in a playlist for personal office-chillaxing, but since it’s shared you can find it right here and check it out. It might still grow, or not. Suggestions are welcome. share it, like it, whatever.

Another great playlist I ran into on my quest for chill tunes is this one from no other than the great electronic music producer Moby. Long Ambients1 is a list of long ambient tracks (du-uh) produced for doing yoga, catching sleep, meditate or whatever. They are also great for coding with headphones in loud offices I noticed.
There are links to various other download and streaming platforms from Moby’s site but conveniently you can stream them from Soundcloud again.