How To: Recover Lost Data on Windows

How To: Recover Lost Data on Windows

Awhile back we featured a tutorial on recovering data on OS X via a tool known as DiskDrill. Not to long ago the makers behind the app Clever Files released a windows equivalent completely free! So I wanted to showcase the app that allows you to easily recover files/lost data on Windows.

Be it accidental deleted data, corrupted partitions, SD-Cards and so on. Disk Drill for windows has you covered & more importantly offers features to help prevent future data loss. Disk Drill also supports all major formats & drive types.

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Video Overview:

 

The steps to recovering data is literally as simple as 2-steps on the windows app.

1- Scan

Select your drive that you’d like to recover data from be it local or external & choose the scan method of choice.

You have the options of deep, quick, and all scan/recovery methods. Personally I recommend running the default all recovery method scan in the case your looking to recover important data that may have been deleted or corrupted.

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2- Recover

After your scan has either completed or its found the data your trying to recover you can then set the data to recover to a set location. You can easily filter through files that are detected by file type, size, and date to make it easy to recover specific files.

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However thats not all that DiskDrill offers. The app features several other extras which are worth noting such as the ability to setup a recovery vault on your drive. This helps prevent file loss in the future by protecting certain files you specify within the app. Preventing accidental deletion and corruption of data. DiskDrill also packs a full data backup solution allowing you take partitions or drives & create .DMG (Disk Images) for you to save your entire drive.

The best thing about the Windows port of the app is its completely free. No hidden fees or costs just simply download & get recovering. Data like images, videos, audio, documents, and so on are priceless so in the event you lose them most will do anything to recover said files. DiskDrill makes that all possible simple & free.

Find out more information & download DiskDrill for Windows today.

How To: Paint on iOS w/Pixelmator

How To: Paint on iOS w/Pixelmator

Pixelmator has made the series of content we’ve been producing this week possible. A huge thanks to their team for the support & for making the amazing image editor that is Pixelmator. Download it for iOS & OS X today!

I’m no artist but I’ve always loved painting & creating art on digital based devices. I think the ability to create whenever inspiration strikes on our phones & tablets is revolutionary. Pixelmator is an app that facilities just that with their amazing painting tools. Painting on Pixelmator is easy whether your a novice or veteran designer/artist. The vast array of brushes, options, and technology built into the app makes it all seamless & allows you to focus on your art.

 

Video Overview:

 

Brushes-

Pixelmator offers a wide variety of brush types to get that right touch for your image.

  • Pencil
  • Crayon
  • Marker
  • Ink
  • Paint
  • Spray
  • Watercolor
  • Smudge

Each with a collection of styles within each category. The design & technology that goes into their brushes are unparalleled. My favorite for example the water color brushes allow for great blending of colors & make edges that are defined & detailed.

Here’s an example of an image thrown together using the watercolor brushes. Notice how the colors overlap & blend into each other rather than featuring harsh edges. That level of detail is what makes pixelmators brushes so great.

IMG_0010

 

Tools have never been easier to use & the interface no matter mobile or desktop is simple to use. The best part of Pixelmator & its toolset such as paintbrushes is that your limited by what you want to create.

How To: Clone Objects in Photos on OS X w/Pixelmator

How To: Clone Objects in Photos on OS X w/Pixelmator

A thanks to Pixelmator for making this video series possible. Pixelmator is a great image editing tool that is available for OS X & iOS. Built with the platforms in mind taking advantage of both hardware in mac such as the force touch trackpad to iOS technologies like cloud support,  OpenGL, & handoff. Find out more information here.

Continuing on with the Pixelmator series we’re focusing today on the clone stamp tool. A tool that is commonly known on image editors to clone objects in photos. This tool can be used to clone certain elements in a photo such as a water droplet & multiply it over the image. Optionally cloning can be used to hide portions of images as well.

Video Tutorial:

 

Pixelmator’s clone stamp tool is super easy to use. Simply define first your clone source point, the object or pattern you want to clone and from there begin to drag along your cursor to paint in your cloned source. This will begin to follow the original point you set as you drag along. This can be used to fill in certain parts of the image you want covered or take something as shown in above like a water droplet & duplicate across the image.

By holding “Control” when clicking you can define your tools hardness & diameter to make it easier to precisely clone over the part you want. This in conjunction with other effects can make for great ways to enhance an image. Cloning objects has never been easier.

It’s worth noting this tool is easier to use cloning rounded objects or flat patterns than lets say a person for example. As the cloning takes into account whats in the background as well it can make a photo look uneven if you copy a source across another portion of the image. However for something with a solid background duplicating various objects is a breeze.

How To: Remove Objects from Photos on iOS

How To: Remove Objects from Photos on iOS

This video was made possible by the great folks at Pixelmator. Pixelmator is a full featured image editor for OS X, iPhone, and iPad. Allowing you to edit, enhance, and create great works of art. Download Pixelmator today! Get a 30 day free trial for mac OS X users.

So you took that great selfie, landscape photo, or what have you. Then you realize theres that person or object that just throws off the photo. If only you could easily remove it. Using Pixelmator on the iPhone you can! Making it as simple as coloring over the object & few seconds later away it goes. This is a look at how to easily remove objects from photos on iOS.

Pixelmator for iPhone runs at $5 USD & while its a full feature image editor it also offers great tools like the repair/retouch tool.

This tool makes easier than ever to strike out the object from your photo as soon as you take it on your iPhone.

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Video Overview:

 

Pixelmator offers this tool across all platforms mobile & desktop. The great part about the repair tool is its simple & easy to use. Anyone can remove objects be it skin blemishes or people in the background. Repair tool removes the object while also blending in whatever is in the background. Making it look seamless. You can adjust the tool size in order to precisely color over the object no matter the size.

Before & After Example:

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Cover, wait, erase it really is that simple.

UPDATE: As of July 15th, Pixelmator has been updated to version 2.0.2 which has improved the repair tool to be 5x faster & even more precise!

How To: Create/Publish an eBook with Scrivener

How To: Create/Publish an eBook with Scrivener

My thanks to the team over at Literature & Latte for sponsoring this post & series of content on writing. They’re the makers of the essential writing app Scrivener for Windows or OS X. Providing an all in one writing studio that allows you to edit, outline, storyboard, and most importantly write in an efficient system. Use it for scriptwriting, books, essays, and more. A must have for all writers.

Scrivener is no doubt a powerful all in one writing tool. Be it essays, books, or what have you. One thing I specifically have been using it for lately is for outlining, creating, and publishing an eBook. Scrivener makes it all simple & easy while allowing you to fill in all the elements you want in your eBook whether its for personal or professional distribution. Here’s a look at the process.

Video Overview:

Step 1: Creating a new Project

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I recommend starting off under the “Fiction” templates and then selecting “Novel”. This takes care of a lot of the structural formalities you’ll have to worry about when setting up your eBook. Such as chapters, metadata, and cover art.

Step 2: Importing/Creating Content

Now begins the actual creation aspect. Essentially with Scrivener each folder under the originally labeled “Manifest” folder (you can rename it of course) represents a chapter of your eBook. So the folder naming scheme would reflect that of your chapters. This can be tweaked later in the export process as well.

Within each folder you can easily start to create your content. So your actual material text & other media. You can of course deal with things like formatting here if you’d like however keep in mind at the end before exporting there are many options to deal with such issues.

Step 3: Cover Art

Arguably a very important part of your eBook like any book is the cover. The thing that’ll be represented within whatever digital library you publish to. Scrivener designates this section very easily and allows you import/replace the existing image very simply.

Note: 600×800 JPEG/PNG format is the recommended size and format for your cover art

Step 4: Compliation

After you’ve written and imported all your material. It’s time to compile all of it together. Opening the File menu on windows or OS X should reveal a dropdown with “Compile” as one of the options. Selecting this will bring up a window allowing you to select your desired format. In the case of eBooks theres 3 major file types supported by Scrivener that you’ll be interested in.

.ePub (Widely Universal)

.mobi (Amazon Kindle)

.docx (Apple iBooks)

Selecting your compilation format obviously depends on what market your trying to target and publish to. After selecting this you can then enter your advanced options by clicking the “All Options” tab.  This reveals a ton of options to edit before exporting.

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You can use this menu to do general formatting to sections, edit metadata for the eBook, adjust the overall layout and so on. It’s definitely worth combing through all of these and tailoring your eBook before the final process.

Step 5: Export!

The last and final step is selecting your desired export destination and letting Scrivener do the rest. From here you can now preview it in a eBook reader of your choice such as “iBooks” app or even sync it to a device to see how the eBook behaves. This allows you preview everything before publishing it out there to the web and for others to consume.

Here’s a few places you can submit eBooks to:

Kindle Direct Publishing (Amazon)

Scribd

Apple iBooks

From there you can now enjoy your published eBook! Scrivener takes this complex process and makes it as simple as 5 steps. Of course your free to populate the content as much as you want and add in all the details your heart desires but at the end of the day Scrivener makes it that much more simpler to outline, create, and ultimately publish an idea to an eBook. Get started with Scrivener today!

Our thanks again to the Literature & Latte team for sponsoring the series of content on Scrivener & other writing posts we’ve done over the last couple of weeks be sure to check out the other posts below!

Best Writing Tools for OS X

How To: Improve your Writing Workflow

General Internet Safety Tips

General Internet Safety Tips

Thanks to the Curbi team makers of a parental control app for iOS that allows parents to track, block, and set limits to their children’s iPhone,iPad, or iPod for sponsoring the series of content on web safety. We approached them with the idea of publishing a playlist of content on web safety tips for the web 2.0 age & they happily supported our campaign. Check out the video playlist here of the content & download Curbi today!

When it comes to the internet it really is a sense of “anything goes” it can be a well of knowledge or pure distraction depending on where you land. That said we all have devices that are somehow connected to the internet these days. Safety now is more important than ever with much of our lives encapsulated digitally in our social media profiles, computer hard drives, and more. There’s a ton of “bad” out there on internet that can range from explicit content, scams, and of course viruses/malware.

Here’s a roundup of some general web safety tips that you can utilize & of course pass on to those you care about.

Blocking Content:

Let’s face it if your a parent your kid may experience or come into contact with explicit content whatever you may consider that. Adult material, profane language, etc. While this exposure can’t be 100% eliminated it can be filtered significantly to reduce or block all together.

Using a browser like Google Chrome you can easily install a plugin like WebFilter Pro to block out specific content from pornography, gambling, and more.

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This can also be done at a browser level by enabling “Safe Search” on Google so that anyone who is searching via Google on your computer or family computer is provided safer results. By simply googling “Google Safe Search” you’ll be provided a simple set of instructions to turn it on/off

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Achieving this on the mobile end can be done with in-app solutions depending on the device operating system. Curbi for iOS provides a great solution, SecureTeen is one of the many solutions available on Android, and so on.

Always DOUBLE check:

This is more of a common sense tip however one that needs to be reiterated. Remember if it looks to good to be true on the internet it probably is!

You most likely haven’t

  • Won $1,000,000 from someone in Africa or a past family member
  • Companies will NEVER ask you for your password or security details
  • Get rich quick schemes for a limited offer of insert amount here
  • Random girl/guy has confessed their love for you via e-mail, app, etc

Scammers and so on are all over nowadays and will prey upon your e-mail, social network accounts, etc.

This also goes in line with anything sign up for nowadays. You’ll be surprised to see what it is we’re actually agreeing to when we scroll all the way to the bottom to check that “I agree” button.

A site like TOSDR (Terms of Service Didn’t Read) aims to make it all simple and provide in laymen terms what we’re agreeing to when signing up and using a site. What the site has access and rights to do with our content/information.

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The Unavoidable:

Anonymity is simply apart of the web nowadays. Users can post without having any profile/name attached or for that matter hide behind usernames. This is one of the unavoidable parts of the internet. Comment boards/sections are filled with people who while have great and contributing things to say also have those who are just for the lack of a better term “internet trolls”. The best way to tackle said situations when on the web and your own social media accounts is to report the user on the platform the abuse is being dealt on.  As a parents its also important to explain and be aware this is apart of the internet as its so vast you can’t quite filter or protect your kids from everything.

Protecting against Malware, Viruses, etc:

A big part of the safety term relates to that of the viruses and so on that can be picked up on the web. There are many ways users get their devices infected nowadays. But most commonly this is a result of a direct download. So while your browser & OS has a layer of built in protection/scanning it can’t protect itself from direct human interaction.

Downloading any of the following exposes you highly to viruses/malware

  • Pirating Software/Serial Keys/Illegal Copies or Movies are all a big target for viruses
  • Clicking on Suspicious Links via social network

Keep in mind protection doesn’t just mean to be weary of what your downloading but all forms of scams. This can range from identity crisis or credit card theft. Be cautious of what your placing your important data into & always try to verify the source.

Using the following resources/tips can help keep you safe on the web-

  1. Scan sites for safety & verification with Norton’s safety tool or Web of Trust plugin
  2. Download a free or paid virus protection service such as AVG, ClamWin, or any that you prefer for your OS to scan any files or act as another level of defense. Run regular scans with said software to ensure your computer hasn’t been compromised.
  3. If you are using P2P services such as uTorrent or Bitorrent be aware of what your downloading and the source. Read a wiki post such as this one on torrent safety (NOTE: We do not promote piracy) however P2P can be used in multiple ways.

Be Mindful:

Being on the internet try to remember that it’s written in pen not pencil. So be cautious of what you choose to reveal as well as what you post on your social media profiles be it Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc. This can be achieved by using identities or screen names for young children who may be signing up for a service such as a game or website.

Other tips include:

  • Setting your social media profiles to “Private” to only allow those who you admit to see your information
  • Legal transactions when it comes to buying any music, apps, games, etc are the safest way to ensure you aren’t exposed to any malware/scams.This means networks such as iTunes, Steam, etc.
  • A Simple Google Search of your name can reveal whats available out there on the web about you. Doing this reminds you to keep in mind that the internet is public. This can be useful to do in the case of when applying for a job that may involve background checks.
  • Do your best to simply ignore unwanted contact or altercations with people online. Remember it’s easy for people to talk from behind their computer screens so do your best to either ignore or block people who are explicit/rude all together.

When a good thing becomes too much:

You can of course choose to limit the internet usage all together which in some cases is smart not just for productivity sake but your health. If you or someone you know is using the internet obsessively over things like games or what have you to a point where it interferes with everyday life. Then considering a program that limits usage to the network of tubes that is the internet. This can be achieved in a multitude of ways across many platforms.

Here’s a list of methods you can use to block/manage internet usage-

For Windows users

For OS X users

Curbi for iOS

Overall the internet is a vast place. I can’t truly cover everything you’ll encounter along your browsing experience. However using the tips outlined above it’ll provide a safer and better experience for you and your family. Protecting you against general scams/viruses and as always you are the gatekeeper when it comes to all of this. Your knowledge & choices are the first line of defense when it comes to anything on the net. As parents its worth taking time to explain the vastness of the internet and things your kids may run into along the way. Explaining the importance of privacy, security, and what they post out there on the net as they grow older and are introduced to thing such as social media. Nowadays the internet is accessible across almost all of our device be it phones, computer or tablet. So understanding the different platforms and practices we can use on each to be safe is investing in a more secure & stable future.

Again my personal thanks goes out to Curbi for sponsoring the series of content we’ve created on internet safety & the importance of it. Be sure to check out the posts down below & of course feel free to submit your own tips/resources in the comments down below!

Curbi Overview- Parental Control for iOS

Parental Control Tips for iOS (iPhone, iPod, iPad)