Photo and video recovery software

Corrupted memory cardA while ago, a corrupted XD card gave me an opportunity to try a bunch of picture (and video) recovery programs. When reading the following reviews, please keep in mind that 1. files can “disappear” for different reasons, so what didn’t work for me might work for you and 2. the more programs I used on the same xD card, the higher the chance it got more corrupted (due to card or card reader defects or maybe software actions) 3. the whole thing is just my personal experience and no fair comparison under “lab conditions”.

Recover My Photos from GetData (the makers of the general-purpose Recover My Files software [affiliate link]): Using the “deep scan” option, this program was able to find all lost files within only 15 minutes. I liked the way it lets you select the file types it’s supposed to look for. I also liked the preview function, though it’s a bit sadistic, because you have to buy the program before it’ll actually restore any files. What I didn’t like was the 39,95 US$ price tag, especially since cnet / listed it as “$29.95 to buy”. That’s why I went looking for other programs.

PC Inspector smart recovery 4.5: It’s freeware, sponsored by Convar. Unfortunately, the setup program refused to work until I disabled my virus scanner (Bitdefender). Furthermore, PC Inspector was much slower than “Recover My Photos” and could only recover one file type each time it worked its way through the xD card. I wasn’t patient enough and started looking for other options (below), though I eventually returned to PC Inspector and had it recover the pictures in about 2 hours plus another 2 hours for the videos. While it did a great job with the pictures, some AVI file were still damaged (but playable with VLC media player).

Smart Data Recovery 3.2: Freeware. Unfortunately, it couldn’t find any files.

Art Plus Digital Photo Recovery 2.3: Freeware, too (donations are appreciated). You select the drive with the corrupted pictures, a folder to save them in and then the software does its job. Unfortunately, it did way too much: after 3 hours, I had to stop it because it had recovered more than 2000 pictures, most of them tiny useless and unreadable 37kB files. While it had found some real photos, too, and I believe it would eventually have recovered all of them, it was unable to recover video files. Note: A new version (3.0) has been released in the meantime.

Amazon-Gutscheincodes und der Wert der sofortigen Verfügbarkeit

10€ hätte mein kürzlich zu Mac 0S.X konvertierter Bruder gespart, wenn er über Amazon bestellt hätte statt am Freitag zum nächsten Apple-Händler zu rennen, um sich OS X 10.5 (“Leopard”) zu kaufen. Die Möglichkeit, bereits am Wochenende mit dem neuen Betriebssystem zu arbeiten, war ihm allerdings mehr wert und den Kommentaren im Heise-Forum zufolge war er nicht der Einzige.

Auf Platz 2 der Amazon-Topseller im Bereich Software [Affiliate-Link] hat es Leopard dennoch geschafft. Was dies im Vergleich zum Absatz im stationären Einzehandel bedeutet, ist leider nicht klar. Mit dem Erscheinungstermin an einem Freitag dürfte Apple den Versandhändlern allerdings keinen Gefallen getan haben.

Der Gutscheincode lautet übrigens AMZNLPRDAPPL und gilt bis Ende November und für alle Versionen von OS X 10.5 [Affiliate Link]. Weitere Gutscheincodes gibt es im Amazon-Affiliate-Blog (für jeden zugänglich) oder über diesen Affiliate-Link auf

Wii’d like to learn

After reading that moderate physical activity makes it easier to memorize stuff, I attached a wireless trackball to my home training machine and used it to control Rosetta Stone language learning software running on my Mac Mini attached to a flat screen TV. I was sure I had mcguyvered the perfect learning and exercise machine.

That was before I bought a Nintendo Wii. Just like the DS, this machine is begging to be used for something more serious than shooting “rabbids” with a plunger-gun (as addictive as that might be). My killer application would be a combination of a flashcard software like Supermemo with the physical activity and entertainment value of mini games. The result would be quicker, more enjoyable learning plus the general benefits (and downsides) of waving your arms around.

If that’s not enough, add an option for users to sell their self-produced content (flashcards) and you could even make money (or at least Wii-points) with your game console. While I’m at it, why not integrate a virtual meeting room where Miis learning the same subject can meet and support each other? Then you could learn more efficiently, have fun, improve your health, make money and find new friends – all in one application. If this can’t change the world, what else could? 😉

Please feel free to implement my idea and make more money you could ever spend while I go back to my learning and exercise machine… either that or the plunger-gun.

P.S.: Nintendo says 45 new games are currently being developed/translated for the Wii (including Big Brain Academy: Wii degree) and 79 for the DS (as reported on, in German) and in an interview with brand eins, Langenscheidt‘s Hubert Haarmann announced e-learning applications for the DS (and Sony PSP; brand eins 05/2007, p. 98).

Weblin explained in one sentence

Imagine taking the avatars from a virtual world like Second Life and setting them free on the World Wide Web. That’s my explanation of Weblin (formerly known as Zweitgeist).

So instead of logging in to a virtual world and flying your avatar to a virtual showroom of your favourite car manufacturer where he could inform himself about the newest car models, he could now just go to the manufacturer’s website… I mean, you could go to the website and your avatar would be there, too, like the avatars of other people just visiting this website at the same time. Presumably, you could then do whatever it is that avatars do. Or think about IBM: Instead of meeting somewhere in Second Life, IBM’s teams could meet right on the company’s website, eliminating the need to invest a lot of money in a new virtual presence.* The WWW’s virtual enough already!

If you see it from this perspective, Weblin makes a lot of sense. I might actually install it after having had a closer look at their privacy policy.

*If I just saved your company a lot of money, feel free to send me huge cheque. 😉

vtiger CRM 5.0.3 release announced for April

vtiger CRM - photo montage using iStockphoto file no. 2093341vtiger announced today that the newest version of its popular open source CRM software is going to be released at the beginning of April.

I had installed their software some months ago and found it to be very powerful and promising, but still a bit too buggy for my taste. I’ll certainly have a look at the new “solid and bug-less” 😉 release and post a review.