Monthly Archives: February 2010

softlinks (symbolic links) and hardlinks in Windows

for the die hard unix and linux fans out there who appreciate the use of symbolic links and hard links, there’s actually a Windows equivalent out there. (then again, if you a die hard fan… you may not use windows much… but for those who do… keep reading…)

All these years, I thought the closest thing to symbolic links in Windows will be the shortcuts. However, In Vista and Windows 7 there is actually a good support for symbolic links and hard links. The command line utility to create/manage these links are not there by default however. One will need to download a package from Microsoft.

Now, I’ve discovered that someone has actually developed a Windows explorer shell extension to create/manage symbolic/hard links. You can download the freeware here.

I’ve downloaded and installed the utility called Link Shell Extension (LSE in short), and it works nicely for me. Mind you, I strongly encourage you to read through the online manual to understand how to use it effectively. It also has a good coverage on the pitfalls in the earlier version of Windows.

For the benefits of you who do not know what are symbolic/hard links, these are references to files and directories in your computers. There are many usage for these links, and the most common scenario is this….

Imagine you have a file located in c:usershellodocumentsdownloadsectionblahetcherethisfile.jpg

That is a very long reference to the file. To make things simple, you want the file to be available in c:directorythisfile.jpg but you need to keep a copy in the original location, and at the same time have c:directorythisfile.jpg as an exact copy. The traditional way is probably just to create a copy of the file, and anytime the original file is updated, we’ll just copy it again.

Now, imagine that we can create c:directorythisfile.jpg as a symbolic link to the original file. Access this symbolic link gives the exact same result as accessing the file directly. You can open, save, change the symbolic link just as if it’s a real file. And anytime the original file changes, you’ll get the update immediately. No need to copy the file over. In way, you save disk space as well, since there’s only one real copy of the file.

There’s a lot more to symbolic links and hard links, and you can easily find more information about them on the web.

Hope you’ll find this useful =)

[driving tip] don’t stop in the yellow box

maybe I’ll start a chain of posts devoted to better driving… (or just my cover up of my rants about hopeless drivers on the road)

Let’s start by my strong believe that there are no such thing as “woman driver”. I am not gender biased, and a firm believer that there are bad male and female drivers. There has been too many instances where we think “oh… another woman driver”, and it turns out to be a guy. I know many ladies who drives well, and even better than some guys I know.

So, this morning, I had an encounter with a less-than-experienced driver. Just so happens the driver is female.

I was waiting at the light on New Bridge Road, waiting for the green to allow the approach to make a right into Merchant Road. So, it was currently green for the Merchant Road traffic and there was a line forming a right turn from Merchant Road to New Bridge Road. At the end of the line, a fairly new Honda Jazz/Fit. Since the traffic ahead on New Bridge Road was jammed up, everyone was stuck in the yellow box.

So, the light went red for them, but further down, the cars started to clear ahead. The column of cars right turning into New Bridge Road cleared, except that Honda Jazz. The lady was lost on what to do and just stayed right there in the middle of the junction. Blocking 2 lanes of incoming traffic from Eu Tong Sen street. Traffic started to go around her, but it held things up a little.

Finally, incoming traffic cleared and she reversed back to Merchant Road.

What should have been most appropriate in the first place, before she advanced into the junction was to wait behind. This is according to the basic theory rules. Never advance into a yellow box if you may end up blocking traffic. So, maybe for some reason she missed that.

Alright, so she moved into the junction to join the queue of cars to make the right into New Bridge Road. The next best thing she should have done was to follow closely the column of cars ahead of her when they moved off. Instead she froze on the spot and created chaos.

So, tip of the day… if you are already out and sitting in the yellow box, keep moving when you can safely do so.