Simple Cart

Simple cart is an open source java script cart application that exclusively work on the client side which then connects to a payment gateway like PayPal or Google wallet depending on the developers choice, yes ecommerce in minutes!

“No databases, no programming, no headaches. A simple javascript shopping cart that you can setup in minutes. It’s lightweight, fast, simple to use, and completely customizable. All you need to know is basic HTML.”

I am going to implement Simple cart to build up a simple one page shopping cart application that would allow users to pay via PayPal, the application will comprise of a CSS file, a favicon, an index page and of course a SimpleCart.js

This simple one page can be used as a template and replicated as many times as possible depending on a developers needs, all image files will be hosted externally from other location such as website/FTP server, for this example I am extracting all test images from my Google Drive.

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Fig 1: Directory structure without any images

The directory structure as see above is quite simple and unique, the  CSS file will implement the the overall page layout, colour, fonts and CSS background images only while the index page will exclusively be dealing with the products extracted from Google drive.

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Fig 2: Extracting image URL from Google drive

As seen above individual URL for each image is randomly generated by Google drive and they differ from the page URL (page URL and image URL). To get the image URL right click the image and select “Copy image URL”, implement this URL into your HTML code for ever image source.

N/B Mind the URL https://docs.google.com once the upgrade takes place to the new URL https://drive.google.com the enhanced security applies and this method won’t work.

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There is a another method of which you can extract the image links by making use of Google Sites under Attachments, where you can get individual links to images in the cloud.

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Fig 3: Complete application with dummy swappable items 1-8

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Fig 4: Adding items to shopping cart

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Fig 5: Connecting to PayPal for payment processing

www.alkathirikhalid.com

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QR Code

I am planning to have my contact card embedded with a Quick Response Code for easy access for the geeks out there who can’t do without their mobile phones, as I venture in to QR Code one of the best, free generator and Manager is being offered by Microsoft which allows to keep track and produce an individual report for each code you produce, this also allows you to download your QR codes in different formats including PDF.

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Fig 1: Microsoft Tag manager

The generation of the code and tracking is simple, straight forward as seen above.

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Fig 2: My Contact number

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Fig 3: My Site

www.alkathirikhalid.com

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Portable Development Environment

I have always wanted to carry only the essentially needed applications and software tools, something light enough that would allow me to continue to work on any other computer apart from mine, taking into consideration operating systems, storage capacity and speed which is the data read/write transfer rate and the computer resources specifications.

I carried out some experiments to see how far a 4 Gb pen drive can go, and the software tools I used were:-

  1. Android SDK android-sdk_r18-windows.zip to build android apps on the go
  2. Eclipse eclipse-jee-indigo-SR2-win32.zip to facilitate android apps development
  3. JDK jdk-7u4 a backup location in case a local JDK is not up to date
  4. TCP View TCPView V3.05 to free and release local ports to be use by pen drive applications specifically Apache and MySql
  5. XAMPP XAMPP USB Lite 1.7.7 comes with Apache server and Mysql database for web application development and testing

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Fig 1: Pen drive with the portable applications

Mobile application development

Android portable development under Linux and windows experience, the experience proved to be slow due to the fact that I am using a USB 2.0 pen drive as opposed to USB 3.0, which has a lower data read/write transfer rate than USB 3.0 either way it proved to not be efficient but effective enough to build small applications on the go such as seen below I manage to develop an xylophone application.

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Fig 2: xylophone application

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Fig 3: xylophone application

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Fig 4: xylophone application

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Fig 5: xylophone application

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Fig 6: xylophone application

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Fig 7: xylophone application

Web Application development

The experience proved to be highly fruit full, as seen below both Apache and MySql database are running. In htdocs, three website are open my site, my online store, my cart. These are all web applications.

  1. My site a skeletal structure of a static website, more like a template awaiting contents and rearrangement for finalization/personalization
  2. My online store, a free and open source store application that incorporates MySql database for storage of descripting of items and customer data
  3. My cart, a free and open source java script cart application with no database incorporated where payment is customizable via Google wallet or Pay pal

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Fig 8: XAMPP control panel

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Fig 9: My Site website template

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Fig 10: Pay pal payment

I have been tackling a to do list, in preparation to accumulate specifically FOSS (free and open source software)  for the only most highly efficient and effective tools and techniques for rapid software development, that would only require a business to invest on services with minimum annual expenditure leaving room for more profit and offer competitive prices to customers.

The things I would recommend:-

  1. For portable development of highly aggressive IDEs that consume a lot of resources, try to not use a USB 2.0 since the data read/write transfer rate would be time consuming, in the timing being you can experiment on USB 3.0
  2. when installing local applications such as integrated development environments and servers try not to install them as window services hence there would be no need for port conflicts when switching to use portable applications on your pen drive

www.alkathirikhalid.com

Thank You.

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Password Retriever

Make your own application to retrieve passwords from your system, If you are like me I have different passwords for everything, categorized according to sensitivity and level, hence I usually have to mentally generate a 4-16 character password by using the site name, purpose and date, hence once in awhile I do tend to forget when I last visited a site hence the date gets mixed up and there goes I have to either think for awhile or just reset the password.

Collect the below applications and depending on your preferences you can either put them in a folder or on the main drive, my way is to put them in a separate folder and change its attribute to hidden.

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Fig 1: Required executable applications

After you have downloaded and extract the applications into a folder you will need to create a batch file that would point and execute the applications within the hidden folder, a launch.bat sounds more meaningful.

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Fig 2: Setting up a batch launch file

By doing so this would allow you to be in the position to add more tools to your launch.bat to be executed. From above:-

“start Documents\mspass.exe” this line will start the mspass.exe as the name suggests this is a Messenger Password retriever.

“/stext Documents\mspass.txt” this line will save text to Documents\mspass.txt

That’s it, you can run the application by executing the batch file, in the case where you want to install the application into a pen drive and automate the process, you will have to create the auto run file so that batch file gets executed every time a pen drive is inserted into a PC.

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Fig 3: Setting up an autorun file

The Action will be prompted to the user to either accept or dismiss to retrieve passwords or you can have your own message. After the completion of the three steps you can enhance and convert your batch file to exe file.

  1. The applications is labeled as a hack tool since all passwords are considered to be secret and only to be know by the owner, retrieving peoples passwords without their consent is illegal and a crime
  2. To protect one self from such auto run applications is to disable the auto run feature in windows go to Start window > Default Programs > Change Auto Play Setting  and then deselect use auto play for all media and devices. This will inhibit plugged in devices to your PC to auto play

www.alkathirikhalid.com

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FreeNAS

Since I had the interest of building my own NAS (Network Attached Storage) for personal use I ventured into something along the easy to install and carry that said platform on a pen drive leaving the rest of the hardware resources intact.

Most of the instruction online might not really give a fruitful result, since different platforms have slightly different installation processes, so I came up with my own way that made the whole process a breeze, it is wise to note as quoted from m0n0.ch you have to play around with the security within Vista and Win 7.

My version of the installation is

  1. Download physdiskwrite.exe and FreeNAS.img (Your version of choice)
  2. Insert the above software’s in the same directory a good example would be C:\
  3. Attach your pen drive to the computer (128MB is sufficient for NAS 7 anything higher is a waste)
  4. Disable User Account Control (UAC) right click command prompt (CMD) and run as administrator
  5. Change directory to where the file resides
  6. Any attempt to write to the disk will fail hence you will need to have a clean build of your pen drive run diskpart to remove the current partition

Follow the steps

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Fig 1: Searching physical drives

Step1: Change directory to where the software resides
>cd c:\\

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Fig 2: Start diskpart utility

Step 2: Start diskpart to be in the position to remove partition within your pen drive
>diskpart

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Fig 3: Successful cleaning drive and ready to install

Step 3: Depending on the number of drives attached to your computer, you will need list disk so as to know how many are attached and what is the number assigned to the pen drive you want to install FreeNAS, for my case is 1, select the disk then clean it to remove the partitions.
>list disk
>select disk 1
>clean

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Fig 4: Select the disk to write the img file

Step 4: After you are done, exit diskpart and run the physdiskwrite program and include the name of the file to write, as seen in the screenshots above.
>exit
>physdiskwrite FreeNas.img

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Fig 5: Writing in progress

The writing process begins.

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Fig 6: Process completed

Above the writing process is complete, since I am in no position to offer screenshots for the GUI of FreeNAS unless I take a photo with my camera, I will retrieve some GUI images from the web until I do.

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Fig 7: FreeNAS version 6

Version 6 screenshot, convert any old hardware to home servers without spending at all, the minimum requirements for version 7 which is mostly for home use, of which I have installed on my pen drive requires 400MB Disk (64MB Flash)  and 256MB RAM.

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Fig 8: FreeNAS version 8

Version 8 screenshot, this is mostly for organizational use and minimum requirements are for UFS only is 2GB Disk Space and 4GB RAM.

I am currently using a network attached storage server NSA221 and accessing it over one of my DynDNS accounts of which later on I am planning to change my CNAME records from my domain name www.alkathirikhalid.com to point to the media servers package services such as blog, public folder, login portal, etc…

Currently I have incorporated Google Apps For individuals and small teams into my domain name.

www.alkathirikhalid.com

Thank you.

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Android Market

There is a great market potential for Apps developers in Android market but the down side is that not all the countries are supported merchants yet, hence merchants in a given region have the freedom and flexibility to publish and sell their apps while others will just have to wait, there is a backdoor for this in the mean time and that is to use a credit card registered to a trusted friend or family in one of those regions.

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Fig 1: Supported locations for merchants as of October 2011

In the mean time exploring, developing and publishing minor apps.

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Fig 2: Android Developer Console

I have been developing apps for android 2.1 update 1 so as to allow my apps to be available to as many android versions as possible, backward compatibility won’t be an issue. To add on that Android market automatically assigns apps to the respective devices according to the Android version they are running on.

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Fig 3: Total active installs of my Text to Speech application

As an observation the platform gap isn’t that huge in terms of percentage but once you calculate that in terms of figures it is obvious that 17.3% is still quite a huge number, as seen above it is wise to start and stick for awhile on developing apps for Android 2.1

Any sponsors for a new Android phone or tablet?

www.alkathirikhalid.com

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Recover deleted data

The recycler bin is useful but you will be surprised it is quite often user tends to clear the recycle bin only to realize some data was mistakenly deleted or on the other hand deleted data from pen drives or removable drive, these external drives tend not to have a recycle bin.

If such an incident happens the first thing to do is to stop using that particular drive, due to the fact that once a user deleted a file the operating system dose not literally deleted it but marks that space as available space in other words an empty space, you can relate this to the old magnetic tape drives where you can record a song over another song, hence further usage might cause that space to be overwritten, immediately stop using that particular drive.

Method for external drives

Observe not to use your external drive, in order to recover your data immediately use PC Inspector download it on your internal drive, run it and follow the procedure below.

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Fig 1: Language setup

Select your language and press ok as marked with the circle above presented by the green tick.

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Fig 2: Selecting a recovery type

Click the tab mark with the circle above to recover deleted files.

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Fig 3: Selecting a drive where the file last resided

Select the external hard drive as the above case drive I: 3.81 GB hence it is a 4 GB pen drive click ok presented by the green tick.

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Fig 4: Deleted files detected

As seen above I have two deleted files in my pen drive and the colour green means they are still in good condition and can be recovered 100 % while my pen drive appears empty purposely cleared for demonstration in the case where you have previously deleted more files you would need to wait till the program populates the list.

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Fig 5: Selecting destination to save the recovered file

Select the file or files and press the save tab on the left side presented as a floppy disk, select the preferred location and press ok presented by the green tick.

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Fig 6: Recovery process completed

As seen above the file has been successfully recovered.

Method for internal drives

To deal with internal drives it’s a bit tricky hence the best advice is to stop working on it and in no circumstance should you switch it off as this will force your operating system to auto save programs before shut down and might over write the empty mark spaces that the data to be recovered resides, the recovery procedure is almost similar but the hard disk handling is totally different.

When data or new data is saved it is scattered in pieces of bits all over the hard drive in other words the said files are fragmented hence the operating system will give the available marked empty space as required, the process is similar in most storage devices. You should consider the fact that if the drive is an external one then the chances of getting back the file are higher than an internal drive, this is highly risky if the data deleted is from an internal disk of which the operating system is installed on that particular partition i.e C:

The difference is that when the drive of interest has an operating system running on it, it will constantly have reading and writing activities in the background, this is because the presence of the page file folder, temp file folder, prefetch folder and auto save programs constantly changes hard drive contents.

If the file of interest is of low importance you can use the same recovery procedure as the “Method for external drives” the down side of this process is that the file might not be 100% healthy in terms of being usable/readable as the fragmented data chance of it being over written are higher and might recover an estimated figure of less than 100%.

The things I would advice is to only approach the below procedure as a professional, I do not take responsibilities nor will I be held liable to anyone’s losses.

  1. Force shut down your pc immediately to stop further data reading and writing, our aim is to stop any further writing/overwriting on the drive
  2. Remove your hard disk in the case of a desktop and connect it as a slave drive in order to run the program from another PC on a different hard drive, or in the case of a laptop remove your hard drive and mount it in an external drive casing, connect it via USB to another pc
  3. once the drive of interest is handled as an external drive, only then it is possible to ensure only reading access which would read and extract the lost data with out damaging it’s health

Before opening up any laptop or desktop make sure to discharge your body from any static electricity by simply touching a metal surface or the metal casing of your desktop/tower cover.

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Fig 7: Opening the laptop case to remove hard drive

Find the hard drive location, open up the cover and remove the metal casing that holds and protects the hard drive.

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Fig 8: SATA (left) and ATA (right) pin/connectors comparison

Distinguish the difference between SATA and ATA drives of which both of them have different mounting pins, this will enable you to know which type of casing will suit your hard drive, remember there are more others in the market and all with different properties but the most common is SATA.

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Fig 9: Inserting hard drive to external board

Align the pins and just slide it in gently, due to the lack of SATA casing, I am demonstrating it with an ATA casing.

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Fig 10: Close the casing

Secure the hard drive on the hard drive board and gently place it back in the casing to be used as an external hard drive and recover the necessary data as required by following the same steps above.

In many tutorials and DIY, inform users to stop using their machines while excluding the fact that there are authorized background process that will constantly have reading and writing activities in the background, and might affect the recovered data health, the most approachable way is to force shut down your pc and take matters from there.

Thank You.

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