Formatting an external drive with FAT32 under Windows

The GUI in Windows XP later OS’s allows only NTFS as the format type for external drives; not too handy when you want to transfer files both ways between a PC and a Mac, as Macs can only read (not write) NTFS partitions.

However, you can drop into a command prompt to force formatting using FAT32:

format /FS:FAT32 X:

This is good for drives up to 32GB, which is still a bit small. For drives of up to 8TB, you’ll need a partition tool such as SwissKnife, PartitionMagic or Acronis Disk Director.

Original info from here:

How to encrypt passwords in the Tomcat server.xml file

By default, Tomcat stores passwords in server.xml in clear text, which can lead to obvious security lapses.

The easiest way to mitigate against user account compromise is to use a password digest (SHA, MD2 or MD5 are supported).

With $CATALINA_HOME/lib/catalina.jar and $CATALINA_HOME/bin/tomcat-juli.jar on your class path, just use the following to generate the digested passwords:

java org.apache.catalina.realm.RealmBase \
   -a {algorithm} {cleartext-password}

The digest technique works by having the incoming clear text password (as entered by the user) digested, and the results compared to the stored digested password. If the Two digests match, the password entered by the user must be correct, and the authenticate() method of the Realm succeeds.

Burn ISO images to CD in Windows XP

There are some curious anomalies when it comes to writing CDs/DVDs in Windows XP, and one of these is the lack of inbuilt support for writing ISO images to CD.

However, Alex Feinman has an ISO Recorder V2 for Windows XP SP2/SP3, which even comes recommended by Microsoft.

Petri has more information, including use of CDBurn.exe from the Windows 2003 resource kit, and the screenshots of ISO Recorder V2 (above).

If you just need to use an ISO image (without burning a CD), then software such Daemon Tools or Alcohol 120will mount ISOs as virtual drives.

LightWindow – an excellent LightBox implementation

LightWindow is perhaps one of the best of the LightBox-type implementations around, supporting almost every media type currently in use.


I found a few gotchas, but these were very minor:

  1. needs XHTML pages with correct DOCTYPE for it work in IE
  2. Might need to edit lightwindow.js to correct the hardcoded paths to the skin elements
  3. Replace the first line with the second in the HTML HEAD:

You can grab the files here: