Battle of the SSDs: Intel 330 vs Samsung 830

I recently purchased an Intel 330 Series 120GB SSD in order to improve my ageing PC’s performance. My post about migrating an existing Windows 7 installation to an SSD was based on the installation of that new SSD. At the time, I mentioned some issues I was having with waking up from sleep/hibernate on the SSD. The stability issues gradually became worse, resulting in the following intermittent problems:

  • The PC would sometimes blue screen and restart during shutdown.
  • The PC would sometimes blue screen and restart following fairly long periods of usage (after 2 or 3 hours).
  • Filesystem index corruption was detected (and fixed) on C: by Windows 7 chkdsk.
  • Resuming from sleep/hibernate would sometimes result in a blue screen and restart.
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Migrating an existing Windows 7 installation to an SSD

With the advent of affordable and reliable high performance SSD storage, the possibility of running Windows on an SSD for lightning quick boot times and highly responsive applications is becoming more and more attractive. But the thought of reinstalling Windows from scratch is not so appealing, regardless of how good your backups are and how organised you might be. There is a regularly cited argument that in order to get the best possible performance from new storage, you should reinstall Windows. I don’t disagree with that, but we don’t live in an ideal world where we all have unlimited free time. And in the case of migrating from a fairly old desktop HDD to a brand new SSD, I’m not sure how noticeable the performance improvement will be if you take the extra time to reinstall Windows from scratch, compared to just migrating your existing installation.

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Client-side Rendering of RSS Feeds in Drupal

So I wanted to display the RSS feed of my latest Blog posts in the sidebar of my main website, which is powered by Drupal. Normally this would be trivial, if my Blog was also hosted by the same Drupal site. However, my Blog actually lives on a separate WordPress site running on the same web server. I wanted to learn both Drupal and WordPress, which is why I elected to have two separate CMSs (yes I realise this is just making life harder, but this is how we learn!).

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Unlock your TrueCrypt Encrypted Device without the Exact Password

So here’s the rather embarrassing story…

A couple of years ago, I encrypted a USB stick using TrueCrypt encryption to store some important/valuable files. I then put it in my bag and forgot about it. This weekend I came back to it and realised I had forgotten the password. I could remember using a combination of a couple of other passwords for increased security, but I couldn’t remember which passwords I had used, or in what order or combination. After numerous manual attempts to find the right combination, I gave up resigned to the fact that I would just have to wipe the device and start again.

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How to Override Inline Styles from an External Stylesheet

All web developers know that by default, inline styles take precedence over styles in external stylesheets. For example, the following inline style declaration:

<span style="color: red;">Red text</span>
Code language: HTML, XML (xml)

will ensure the “Red text” is coloured red, even if the following is included in an external CSS file, or in the <head> styles:

span { color: blue; }
Code language: CSS (css)

Now it is generally not a good idea to use inline styles, as one should avoid mixing markup (responsible for the content and structure) with styles (responsible for the presentation format). Sometimes this is out of our control, for example if you are using a CMS which generates HTML with inline styles. In this case, how do you override these inline styles to ensure the page looks right?

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Reclaim space by removing Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Backup Files

Once you have confirmed that Windows 7 Service Pack 1 is working correctly, after using it for a few weeks without any problems, you may as well uninstall the backup files it left behind. Most people can reclaim 500MB to 1GB of free disk space by doing this. If you’re running on a small hard drive (e.g. a brand new SSD!) this may well be really useful.

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