Monday, April 29, 2019

dnGrep - Free GUI "grep" and "sed" tool for Windows

If you are familiar with UNIX/Linux operating system, you must be using a lot of "grep" command to search for string inside text files, and "sed" command to find and replace string in the text files.

There are identical command in Windows such as "find", "findstr" or even the PowerShell "Select-String", but they are just not as easy to use as "grep" in UNIX/Linux.

There are also GUI tools for Windows which aim to perform the "grep" and "sed" function, majority of the good ones need you to pay for it, except dnGrep which is licensed under GNU GPL v2 and is therefore free for use.

dnGrep is indeed a very powerful find and/or replace tool for Windows. It can not only search for text or keywords inside the target file(s), but also able to perform a text replace action in target text file(s).

Beside normal text files, it is also able to search inside MS Word documents and PDF files. It can also search inside archived file.

You can perform your search by plain text input, or XPath query language, or regular expression (regex), or even phonetic.

You can also specify to search for files in a folder (and sub-folders) within a particular date range in which they are created or last modified.

The search result is displayed with yellow background highlight, together with the line number in the target document. Double click on the search result will open up the target document for further action.

The beauty of its replace function is that, the replace action can be undone.

You can also create "bookmarks" to store frequently used search keywords and conditions.

dnGrep is lightweight, fast in action, powerful and free for use. It is an essential 3-party tool in your Windows computers.

Click here to go to the download page of dnGrep.

Monday, April 22, 2019

My UGREEN LP144 gravity handphone holder for car CD/DVD slot

Handphone holder (a.k.a. phone cradle) is a very handy and useful gadget when we want to hold our phone in our car at eye level.

One of the common use case is when we use our handphone for navigation on Google Map, or Waze, or some other similar navigation apps.

There are generally 5 types of handphone holders available in the market:

  • CD/DVD player slot holding type
  • Air-cond vent fin clipping type
  • Suction mount type which attached onto the windscreen
  • Standing type putting on top of the car front panel
  • Rearview mirror attaching type
I would recommend the first 2 types, because they can take advantage of your car aircond blowing to cool down your phone. If you attach your phone onto the windscreen or put it on top of the car front panel, the sunlight will heat it up to a high temperature, which is unfavourable to the phone and its Li-ion battery.

Depends on the design of your car front panel, you can choose the more popular air-cond vent fin clipping type, or the CD/DVD player slot holding type.

My UGREEN LP144  gravity handphone holder of car CD/DVD slot holding type costs at RM20++ and has a simple packaging.

This is how it looks like (front and back).

As you can see from the picture, it has 3 rubber pads to be inserted into the car CD/DVD slot to hold it firmly. The big button at the back of the center rubber pad is used to align the rubber pads for insertion and removal.

This handphone holder can still be used even when there is CD/DVD inside the player. It would not affect the CD/DVD playing.

I have chosen it because of its special 3 arms design, whereby when the lower arm is pulled down, the left and right arms will contract. When you slot in your phone, the weight of the phone will pull down the lower arm, forming a strong grip by the side arms.

As such, it can hold your phone firmly, and you don't need to be worried about the phone fall off the holder when you are driving on bumpy road.

This holder can fit for handphones with width up to about 8.3cm. If the phone is too large (for example, the Huawei Mate 20 X with width of 8.54cm), then might not be able to fit in.

For my car, the phone is sitting at the position just nice to be cooled by the air-cond behind it.

The only thing I dislike about this product is that, it will produce rattling sound when you are driving on uneven road, and there is no phone put on it. This is caused by its plastic arms knocking onto the center part and producing the noise. Anyhow, this problem does not exist when there is a phone put on it.

If the manufacturer can enhance its design by putting a layer of thin soft sponge at the knocking points which produces the noise, then it will be a perfect product.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Free database clients able to access multiple DBMS - DBeaver CE & DBSL Database Browser

Nowadays it is not unusual for IT personnel to deal with multiple databases at the same time. There is also a high chance of the need to deal with databases in different database management system (DBMS).

It will be nice to have a universal or multi-platform GUI database client as a single tool for accessing databases in different DBMS. If you are searching for this kind of database tool, and prefer for free solution, I would recommend 2 of them.

DBeaver Community Edition is a more popular one, which can run in Windows, Linux and Mac OS. It is a beast with extensive number of features to view and manage the databases.

The Community Edition supports a vast number of SQL relational databases, while the non-free Enterprise Edition supports additional NoSQL databases including Apache Cassandra, Apache Hive, Hadoop, MongoDB, InfluxDB, Redis, etc.

The Community Edition itself can open and manage most (if not all) of the famous DBMS such as Azure SQL server, IBM DB2, Firebird/Interbase, Informix, Ingres, MySQL/MariaDB, SAP MaxDB, Oracle, PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL server, SQLite, Sybase, Teradata, etc.

It also supports file-based database like DBF, Microsoft Access, and even CSV file.

With ODBC connection, it supports all databases that is able to be connected via ODBC.

You can open multiple databases and multiple tables at the same time.

It has complete set of table management functions, including import/export and even generating mock data for testing or demo purpose.

If the table relationship is well defined in the database schema, DBeaver can also display the ER-diagram at a mouse click.

DBeaver, even though with the free Community Edition, has everything you need to work with the databases.

But sometimes we just need a simple, lightweight, straightforward, and preferably portable (no installation needed) database tool. Database Browser by DB Software Laboratory will be the one that suit for this purpose. It only run in Windows, either as installed application or as portable application.

Database Browser is very easy to use, and mainly used to view and/or edit the database content. The flow is simple: you select a database, it will list down all the tables. You select a table, it will list out the records in the table.

Database Browser supports famous DBMS such as Oracle, Microsoft SQL server, MySQL/MariaDB, PostgreSQL, Interbase/Firebird, OleDB, SQLite, BDE, MongoDB, etc.

With ODBC connection, it supports all databases that is able to be connected via ODBC.

The list is not as extensive as DBeaver, but is still comparatively more than most other database tool in the market.

It can also show the ER diagram in its SQL Query Builder function. The SQL Query Builder works in a way with GUI interface similar to Microsoft Access.

It supports data import from Excel file, and export to CSV, TAB, Excel, RTF or HTML files.

If you just want to browse or edit the database content, Database Browser will be a handy tool for you.

If you want to deal with views, indexes, stored procedures, sequences, triggers, and even database parameter fine tuning, then you will need DBeaver.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Get additional online purchases cashback through Shopback, including Grab calling

Nowadays online merchants and/or e-commerce websites tend to give rebates in the form of special discount, free shipping, coupons, vouchers, cashback, etc. to maintain their attractiveness in having customers purchasing with them.

In addition, if you make payment with certain cashback credit cards for your purchases, you will also receive cashback from the credit card issuing bank as well. During certain debit card cashback campaign, you can also receive cashback by using such debit card too.

Now, you can get another layer of additional cashback, if you perform your online purchases through Shopback.

Shopback has been around for quite some times, and has grown into quite a successful online affiliate marketing portal. It will give you cashback if you access the e-commerce websites from the Shopback website or mobile app (instead of accessing directly to the e-commerce websites or their mobile apps), and made a confirmed purchase within a tracking timeframe.

Many has joint Shopback and enjoy the additional cashback from their e-commerce spending. If you have not joint the bandwagon, it is never too late to create a free Shopback account now. You can get RM5 sign-up cashback if you join by clicking this link to access to Shopback website, and click on the "Claim Your Bonus" there.

After that, continue to click here to go to Shopback mobile app download page to download its app. Note that for certain e-commerce websites including Lazada, 11street, Shopee, etc., you can only get your cashback from Shopback for online purchases done in mobile app, but not in their e-commerce website. (Previously, purchases made in their website were count for Shopback cashback, but things have already changed now.)

For some other e-commerce platform such as Taobao, you can still get Shopback cashback even though you make your purchase in their website.

Beside online e-commerce shopping, you can also get Shopback cashback from Grab calling by opening Shopback mobile app first, then open Grab mobile app from within the Shopback app.

To ensure a successful Shopback cashback for Grab:
  • Book the Grab via Shopback mobile app only.
  • Do not edit the Notes to driver and ensure that there is a code similar to **29437185SB003** under the Notes.
  • Book only JustGrab, GrabCar and GrabShare rides. Cashback is not eligible on GrabTaxi rides.
  • Ensure no existing trips before clicking through Shopback.
  • Click through Shopback again for every ride.
  • No cancellation or incomplete trip.
In fact, inside Shopback app, there is an updated list of Grab valid coupons, promo codes and offers for your easy reference, so that you won't miss out using those deals with Grab.

You can also use Shopback to get additional cashback from food delivery service with Foodpanda, Honestbee, DeliverEat, Eatigo, etc.

and also from hotel and flight booking with Agoda,, Expedia, Klook, etc.

and also from mobile prepaid plan top-up using online reload service from Lazada, 11street, Qoo10, etc.

and also from online ticketing with StubHub, buying concert, festival, event tickets with them.

even subscribing to new broadband service with Unifi, Maxis, Time, etc. and this Shopback cashback amount can be up to several hundred ringgit.

As such, whenever you want to make online purchase, just access to Shopback mobile app and use it to go to the targeted m-commerce app, or access to Shopback web portal and use the link in the website to go to the targeted e-commerce website, you will get Shopback cashback from your confirmed purchases.

The cashback will be accumulated in your Shopback account, which you can then withdraw to your own bank account as real cash.

Monday, April 15, 2019

T-Max full glue 3D tempered glass for curved edge display screen handphone

If you have a handphone with dual curved edge display screen, such as the Samsung Galaxy series of Note 8, Note 9, S8, S8 Plus, S9, S9 Plus, ... or the Huawei Mate and P series of 9 Pro, 10 Pro, 20 Pro, 30 Pro, ... or some other similar phones, you will need to be more cautious in selecting a screen protector for your handphone.

Due to the curve nature of the screen, curved edge tempered glass is a much better choice to fit for the phone than plastic screen protector.

Certain curved edge tempered glass only has adhesive at the curved surface, leaving the flat surface of the screen non-sticky. This will greatly reduce the touch screen sensitivity and is a big no-no. It will also cause "rainbow effect" which is a big distraction to screen viewing.

Certain tempered glass tends to attract dirt and dust at its edge, which is also a kind of annoyance.

Certain tempered glass when applied, would not fit well with the phone casing.

I find the T-Max full glue tempered glass for curved edge display screen handphone, when applied correctly, would not have these common problems and is good to use.

This tempered glass is to be applied with adhesive for full coverage on the flat and curve surfaces. The liquid adhesive needs to be dried with UV light. A UV lamp is included in the package.

It fits seamlessly on the phone, fits well with the phone casing, has a crystal clear display, does not affect touch sensitivity, and the phone's on screen fingerprint scanner can function well.

It also has a layer of smooth oleophobic coating, which will repel water droplets and reduce fingerprint left on the screen.

Installing this T-Max tempered glass on the phone will need some skill. You can watch the video below to see how it is done.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Format 64GB SD card to FAT32 with AOMEI Partition Assistant

Most Android based devices such as CCTV, dashcam, etc. indicate that they only support SD card up to 32GB only.

This is simply because SD card of 32GB and below is pre-formatted with FAT32 partition which is accessible by the Android system. Microsoft Windows has put itself a limitation to be able to format a storage device into FAT32 partition for up to 32GB only. It will force you to format storage device above 32GB (eg. 64GB, 128GB, ...) with either exFAT or NTFS.

However, most Android based devices don't support exFAT and NTFS, therefore unable to access your storage device with such partition format.

This does not mean that you cannot use storage device of 64GB and above in those Android based devices, because you can still format them into FAT32 by using 3rd party tool such as the free AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition.

The process to convert exFAT partition into FAT32 with AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition is pretty simple.

You just need to right click on the existing partition, select Format Partition from the menu, set the File System as FAT32, click OK, then click Apply which is the first menu bar option on top.

With this, your 64GB or 128GB SD card is very likely to be able to work without problem in those Android based devices.

Click here to download the AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard Edition software for free. It is free for both personal and commercial use.

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Friday, April 5, 2019

Fix the "need new app to open ms-wpc" message keeps on pop-up problem in Windows 10

If you are facing a problem with Windows 10 with a pop-up message as below that keeps on prompting even though you continuously clicked on the OK button, here is the fix.

Right click on the Windows icon on the left of taskbar, and run Windows PowerShell as admin.

Copy and paste the following command to run in the Windows PowerShell admin console.

Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}

Hopefully after this, your problem will be fixed.

Hint: Click on the "Older Posts" link to continue reading, or click here for a listing of all my past 3 months articles.