Tag Archives: Computer + Software

Corrupted large inbox file in Thunderbird

I hope that will never happen to you but when reorganisating my email (from filtered subsets to virtual folder) a large inbox file with ~9000 emails and 1,2 Gb became corrupted.

Spending more than 3 hours on that file, I finally came across Emailchemy that could split the inbox file in chunks of 1000 emails that could re-imported. During this incident, I also found also eml2mbx that allowed to import my cms/vms elm (1991-1992) and windows vines (1993-1997) emails.


Another benefit: My anti virus program repeatedly complained about a virus sitting in an old email folder. Splitting up now this folder in a separate directory allowed to identify the email that had a script attached.

Print book preview

It seems that the online book giant as well as the internet search giant have disabled the print function from their preview pages – maybe somebody can explain to me what is the difference between free viewing and prohibited printing?

Looking at the page code, it seems that there is no encryption at all but some low grade user camouflage as shown in the Web Developer Extension. Is this “encryption” just an alibi function?

If you are interested in a more in depth analysis of the new library of Alexandria that Google is planning, German Tagesspiegel “Google hupf!” discusses three interesting points:

  • human knowledge is monopolized – is democratized
  • author sucks – is the winner
  • culture needs recollection – needs to forget

An alternative to ISI’s impact empire

In my experience Google Scholar already shows more counts than ISI Web of Science. A new paper in first monday highlights another search engine that allows even truncation of search terms*: Exalead is a European (Paris) based search engine which does allow truncation and has a nice interface too.



A new series of papers in the BMJ discusses some alarming consequences of “impact” measurements

The impact factor now has a worrying influence not just on publication of papers but on the science behind them too … One consequence has been to make universities prioritise laboratory based life sciences that produce research published in the highest impact factor journals, causing substantial damage to the clinical research base.

that goes beyond the previous view of Seglen.

Face recognition, face value

With a new child, people are always asking if the baby looks like the father or the mother – probably a prehistoric social reflex to confirm that this is your offspring that you are caring about.
Face recognition clearly is a science of its own – a lot of heuristics and Bayesian computing – more at face-rec.org – and even a big business if you think of automatic passport control or age determination for goods that are only allowed for adults.
Face recognition works quite robust as I found in the advanced online demo at betaface.com. A new browser plugin from polar rose will even allows to annotate web pictures – Orwell meets Flickr.


Many, many maps

Ever since I created a linkage map of the human genome with old-fashinoned crimap, we are talking about “mapping” diseases and genes. GIS mapping also ever increases – see the interesting first monday article Many, many maps: Empowerment and online participatory mapping, that has a lot of details about grassroots initiatives building on Keyhole/Google technology. I learned also about Common Census – looks like grassroot epidemiology.

Powerpoint slides in wordpress

I have tested several programs for their usefulness of showing Powerpoint slides on the web- some packages create standalone pages only while others have major problems with figures, graphics or transitions (or are quite expensive).

A rather simple method works at least in part – loading a .ppt file in Open Office Impress and exporting it to .swf. The flv player, however, creates a messy display as it doesn’t use the full display area.

Another option is to export all pages as 800×600 .jpg files and mount them in File Show Maker to a standalone flash film – as seen below in a talk that I have given in 2006:

To bookmark or not to bookmark

Instead of bookmarking I am printing instead with PDFcreator and let GDS later index these files. Pages (in particular supplements and news stories) are frequently vanishing while printing into a file lets me store a local copy. Printing to a PDF file is only one click away if you use the following “save” options:

Undocumented Thunderbird function – help needed

For documenting a research project I want to insert quick links to previous emails. Clicking a link should kickstart Thunderbird and go directly to a known message. Mozilla.org says

Athough Google desktop is able to do it, there is no clear API to instruct Thunderbird to display a given email stored in its mail box (knowing the folder & message ID)

Here is how Google Desktop Search (GDS) links to an email


What I have found out so far by comparing different links

(1) is the fixed parameter relating to my hard disk??
(2) is a variable parameter relating to the physical location of my \daten\Mail\thunderbird\imap\INBOX file??
(3) is the unique Message-ID that may be seen in Thunderbird with the View Header plugin
(4) the variable salt/seed value that is stored in the registry at HKEY_CURRENT_USER\\Google\\CustomSearch\\Google Desktop Search\\Url which may be retrieved with a 2 line perl script.

So I am ready to construct URLs that link to an email by using GDS. This is, however, not very elegant. Isn’t there any other way (maybe by a Thunderbird extension) to construct and follow links directly to emails? Can somebody trace with Sysinternals Process Explorer what GDS spits out and follow it up at XUL planet ?

At its heart

43 folders writes:

Remember that your blog is only incidentally a publishing system or a public website. At its heart, your blog represents the evolving expression of your most passionately held ideas. It’s a conversation you’re holding up with the world and with yourself — a place where you can watch your own thoughts take different shapes and occasionally surprise you with where they end up…

wow – couldn’t say that in a better way.

Anything better than impact factors?

Here is a nice inside view from the BMC journals – you can watch how often your own papers are being downloaded.


Hopefully these hits are not only generated by search engine spiders, yea, yea.

Laptop stolen – phoning home

Scientists are frequent travellers – hopefully you have always your harddisk encrypted. There are many companies that offer to trace your computer like Computrace(R), zTrace(R), LapTrak(R), BoomerangIt(R), LoJack(R) and PC-Guardian(R). Save your $/€ for your next experiment, here is the trick: During the next boot your laptop will send out a http request to any server you like. You simply need to watch the server logfile if your stolen laptop is phoning home…
For installation please download LaptopService.cmd, LaptopService.reg and two small binaries from the windows ressource kit. Adjust path and server name before running LaptopService.cmd. Voilà, that’s it – for a good joke look at Slashdot.

@echo off
if "%1" == "stop" goto stop

echo installing...
"c:\programme\poweroff\instsrv.exe" LaptopService "c:\programme\poweroff\srvany.exe"
echo editing registry...
regedit LaptopService.reg
echo start service...
net start LaptopService
goto end

echo Stop...
net stop LaptopService
echo deinstalling...
"c:\ntreskit\instsrv.exe" LaptopService remove


XP system crash

I had to manage a system crash this weekend – where even the rescue console did not work. I learned that (1) my old Knoppix CD could neither write to the hard disk nor (2) read access a truecrypt partition. (3) Too late, I should have spent some money on ghost(r) or true image(r)! I further learned on the next day that (4) Bart PE does not work with OEM versions, (5) truecrypt versions are not compatible and (6) a grml iso is not helpful at the system prompt. Ultimately I came across (7) sysresccd that includes

  • GParted: partition resize tool
  • GNU Parted: a text tool for editing disk partitions
  • Partimage: a partition image tool
  • Plenty file systems tools allow you to format, resize, and debug an existing partition of your hard disk
  • Ntfs3g allows you to mount your partition and get a full read/write access to the NTFS partition
  • Sfdisk allows you to backup and restore your partition table

wow, simply a lifesaver.

Science of course and effective too

Most people in the field search Pubmed but there is another site that I frequently visit – the European patent database that often have more concise information. Look at current allergy patents – the last one will definitely work you may also use a big plastic bag ;-)


Be aware that being cynical is probably bad for your heart.