Don Pedro

Disk Drill 3.x Lifetime License

As part of my switchover to macOS, I’ve been looking for a disk recovery tool. For Windows, I’ve got EaseUS Disk Recovery and Recover My Files. These have served me well and Recover My Files recovered tens of gigs worth of data from an external drive fiasco.

Now that I’m using macOS, I’ve got TimeMachine as a backup tool and have been looking for full file recovery. Disk Drill comes up time and time again as a tool of choice and it’s now on sale for 70% off, including Lifetime License.

I haven’t had need of Disk Drill’s services yet, so this is a preventative purchase. But this is a solid deal and it’s worth the small investment now, rather than full price later should things go awry.

I will say, I have Disk Drill running to take advantage of the SMART monitoring. I have a couple of drives in this Mac, and want to make sure nothing happens to them. So far, all is running well.

The discounted version is available on BitsDuJour and the license key is immediate. I’ve been watching for a sale, so it looks like Black Friday is at hand.

Disk Drill Pro 3 for Mac

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The dirty and beautiful SpinTires: Mudrunner

It’s no secret that the original SpinTires is a strangely wonderful game with an equally strange relationship between developer and publisher. At one point, SpinTire disappeared from Steam only to return hours later amidst accusations of sabotaged code. The thrill of outrageous 5mph white knuckle driving was marred by a completely uncertain future and lengthy gaps of silence.

Adding to the frustration, the game always seemed unfinished, perpetually living as a technical demo, sporting odd bugs, a quirky interface and almost a complete lack of objectives to play.

The tables may be turning as SpinTires: Mudrunner comes to Steam, still helmed by the original developer, but published by Focus Home Interactive without ant oversight by Oovee, or at least we hope so.

In essence SpinTires is back with the same gloriously large and ridiculously powerful Soviet era trucks, the same sparse and eerie rain soaked landscapes and the same impossibly brutal terrain, narrow roads and debilitating mud.

I’ve already taken advantage of the 50% off discount for previous SpinTires owners and the trucks are just as well detailed as they ever were, with articulated suspension, winch points, and top heavy loads of wood just waiting to topple over at the most inopportune time.

While it looks and feels a lot like the original, it actually feels complete this time. There is a tutorial to get acquainted with the basics. There are challenges to get the ball rolling and mud flying. And there are new maps full of log toting goodness. There is also multiplayer, which is basic, but will hopefully improve. And it works more fully with a controller.

The Steam Workshop is also included, so if things work out well, there should be a slew of trucks to play around with. I also have the feeling that although Mudrunner might be the spinoff, it’s most likely the one that continued to be developed while the original SpinTires has probably reached it’s end of life.

So, if you’re looking to drive oversized trucks, throw some mud and balance an obscenely overloaded logging on the side of a cliff, Mudrunner is the game you need to get.

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Selenium IDE – The Long Kiss Goodnight

Several months ago, we were tasked with creating tests using Selenium. That came in the guise of the IDE. At first, it was an uphill struggle, as the documentation was pretty poor. But, once I found the right places to look and the right questions to ask, it began to come together.

Since then, I’ve been able to create dozens of functional tests and validate large sections of code in a short amount of time. I’m no expert with the IDE, but I can put things together pretty quickly these days. And with the use of SelBlocks, decisions making and loops made the scripts pretty powerful.

But with the change to plugins in Firefox, the IDE is all but dead. It came to a screeching halt in v55 and it doesn’t look like anyone will take up the mantle of updating it. And that’s a pity because it’s been a real beneficial tool.

Now the question comes, what’s the replacement? We could certainly try to use Selenium with Javascript, even though I’m not a developer. There are some professional packages to pick from, but the cost is pretty hefty. I thought iMacros might be useful, but after digging deeper, you have to get the Enterprise version to get basic feature.

Or perhaps use something like Katalon Studio. Katalon looks quite robust, but I have to admit, I’m not sure where to start with it. I can understand some of the commands, as they look similar to Selenium IDE, but I haven’t quite got the hang of the object model. Hopefully that will come with more trial and error, since I’m a little lost at the moment.

I keep checking to see if there is a real replacement, but so far, nothing really fills the void.

Other articles of interest:

Protect your privacy in Windows 10 – Free

I just received this from O&O Software and it’s just one of the many reasons I feel it necessary to steer clear of Windows and Microsoft.

The all-new Windows 10 Fall Creators Update brings a lot of new features, and aims to make your daily work as easy and hassle-free as possible. This enhanced comfort is to be taken with a grain of salt though: Windows 10 quite freely shares your personal data with Microsoft and certain apps.

An operating system that spies on you and needs 3rd party tools to stop it sending information back home isn’t worth having.

O&O ShutUp 10

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A professional writer using Word?

I just saw this tagline and it made me cringe. “I’m a professional writer and I use Word 2016.” Ironically, the article was about making Word faster by turning off a slew of features and UI elements. I won’t question someone being a professional writer, but I will call using Word an amateur decision. The fact you spent big money on a high end piece of software and then need to turn things off proves to me you have chosen poorly.

Word is a terrible tool for writers. It’s bloated with features people don’t use. The design is clunky and cumbersome with an emphasis on formatting rather than generating useful content. The interface is a game of hide-and-seek and the underlying text is riddled with hidden formatting code that makes other programs angry.

There are far better, far cleaner, far more efficient, and far cheaper alternatives out there. I haven’t used Word in nearly 5 years and I’m the better for it. Anyone who is serious about writing first needs to kick Word to the curb and get the right tool for the job.

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