Flash Drive Showing 200MB on Windows

Well, I have 4GB USB Stick and decided to format as FAT32 using Disk Utility to use this flash disk both on Mac & Windows. Everything works fine on Mac, but not on Windows. When I insert the flash drive on a Windows computer, Windows (XP, Vista..etc) sees the USB Stick as removable media and will not let me open the flash drive to view the contents, it only forces me to format the stick at 200MB only. The stick is already formatted on Mac OS X and working fine on OS X with correct size.
Why ? When you format your flash drive using Disk Utility, it creates a 200 MB protective partition in front of the main partition. OS X ignores this partition and will see the entire flash drive as one partition.
You need to reformat the flash drive using additional tools. There are plenty of them like GParted (Gnome Partition Edior). But if you want a quick solution without any trouble, I recommend you HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool. This small application runs on Windows and all kinds of flash drives. When you format your flash drive using these utilities, you can use your stick on multiple platforms without any problem.

Securely Erase Your Dard Disk

When you format your hard drive, files are usually not erased in any way but are just deleted from the directory listings. Means that your files are still in your hard disk after formatting. This is a big privacy issue if you want to sell your computer (hard disk) to someone who’re not your friend. If you are a Mac OS X or Linux user, you have a chance to securely erase your hard disk. Mac OS X’s “Disk Utility” gives this options when you are formatting your hard drive; secure deletion of free space or disk using a “zero out” data, a 7-pass DOD 5520-22 M standard, or a 35-pass Gutmann algorithm. Most of the Linux distributions also have this Gutmann algorithim for erasing data.
But what if you are using Windows. The free software called DBAN (Darik’s Boot And Nuke), comes to our help. DBAN (Darik’s Boot and Nuke) is a self-contained boot disk that securely wipes the hard disks of most computers. DBAN will automatically and completely delete the contents of any hard disk that it can detect, which makes it an appropriate utility for bulk or emergency data destruction. The usage of DBAN is really so simple. Just burn it to a CD/DVD and reboot your computer.
A few weeks ago, I gave my old iBook to a friend of mine who wants to use this iBook as a router. So I decided to format my Mac. If I had a Mac OS X installation DVD/Cd’s nearby, it would be easy to securely erase my data but I couldn’t find any. I started to search a program and found DBAN, tested and used it. Really great application to securely erase your hard disk.

DMOZ Data in Search Results

Well, some search engines especially Google use DMOZ Data when displaying results. For example; when you search for your site name in Google, if your website is listed in DMOZ, then the results will be DMOZ Title & DMOZ Site Description. To prevent all search engines from using DMOZ information for the page’s description, use the following meta tag to your pages:

<meta name="robots" content="NOODP">

To specifically prevent Google from using DMOZ information for a page’s description, use the following:

<meta name="googlebot" content="NOODP">

Once you add this meta tag to your pages, it may take some time for changes to your Title & Description to appear in the Google index.

Terminal: Browsing Applications

Mac OS X has an elegant way of installing and uninstalling applications, just drag an drop and application to your desired folder and you are done. But once in a while every 10 years or so you need to make a change manually but there aren’t any files to edit it was a just a single file. Well it isn’t, its actually a folder OS X just treats them differently then regular folders on you computer. If you need to edit a setting inside an application manually you can do so in command line (terminal).

To do it, open up a terminal and browse to the folder where the application is you can use the change directory command “cd”, you also don’t need to type the whole folder name just type a few characters and hit tab and it will complete it for you. Following is how Firefox looks on the inside.

$ ls /Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/
.               Info.plist      PkgInfo         Resources
..              MacOS           Plug-Ins

Most applications has the same structure when it comes to organizing files.

$ ls /Applications/Mail.app/Contents/
CodeResources              MailTimeMachineHelper.app/ Resources/
Info.plist                 PkgInfo                    version.plist
MacOS/                     PlugIns/

Files and executables are under ‘MacOS’ folder. This is where you should look for the file you are looking for. Another neat trick is, you don’t need to run an application from GUI (Graphical User Interface aka aqua). If you need to run Firefox from command line you can use…

$ /Applications/Firefox.app/Contents/MacOS/firefox-bin

Installing MySQL on OS X

Unfortunately OS X doesn’t comes with MySQL installed. To create your lamp stack on OS X, first you need to get the MySql database from MySQL AB. Installation is straight forward. But don’t forget to install the Mysql.pref which adds a preferences pane to System preferences for starting and stopping the server.

After installation to test your configuration open up a terminal and type

/usr/local/mysql/bin/mysql -u root

If you get prompt like the following. You got your Mysql database running.

$ /usr/local/mysql/bin/mysql -u root
Welcome to the MySQL monitor.  Commands end with ; or \g.
Your MySQL connection id is 4
Server version: 5.0.51b MySQL Community Server (GPL)

Type 'help;' or '\h' for help. Type '\c' to clear the buffer.