Patchou's Cabana

The personal blog of Patchou

New: NovaBackup Retention 28.03.12

I’ve been using NovaBackup for some time now and recently, I decided to give it a try in my network domain. I’m happy with the product in general but one thing that’s been bothering me is the lack of a proper backup retention mechanism. The only tool I found for this was NS_Cleaner (NSCleaner.exe) and unfortunately, it was absolutely not adapted to my needs (part of the reason being that it messed up backup chains by deleting full backups and only keeping more recent incremental sets).

So, being a developer with a free weekend ahead of me, I decided to do something about it: the name of the tool is NB-Retention and it can be downloaded (for free of course) on this site. It automatically deletes data files and catalog entries based on time spans, generation count and name. Here’s an excerpt of the built-in documentation.

The NB-Retention program applies retention policies to backup sets created by NovaBackup é(version 11 and above). The program uses catalog files to determine what backup sets can be deleted without affecting “incremental chains”. If a Full backup is needed by an Incremental or a Differential backup, it is kept until all related backup-sets are marked for deletion.

Always use the /R switch to test the program and to see how your retention policies would be applied. In read mode, files are left untouched. The current version of the program works on Disk and Network backups, with optional catalog support for Tape backups. Also, imported backup sets are not processed as their original date and time of creation can’t be guaranteed.

If you give NB-Retention a try, please let me know what you think of it! Download here.

Released: Media Center Themer 1.42 20.03.12

…yup, another update for Media Center Themer has been released. Version 1.42 improves the way programs are launched from custom menus, fixes reordering priorities and allows to move or duplicate built-in menu items from one menu to another (for example, to group Picture and Music libraries in the same menu strip). This was a heavily requested feature so I’m sure some of you will enjoy that. The documentation has been updated as well.

Get Media Center Themer now, for free.

Media Center Themer for Windows 8 CP 01.03.12

Media Center ThemerToday, the Consumer Preview version of Windows 8 got released by Microsoft. Within it, Media Center enthusiasts will be happy to discover a working and slightly updated version of their favorite media hub.

In order to make sure that you can all continue to enjoy a personal experience and a properly themed interface, Media Center Themer has been updated to version 1.41. This new version is fully compatible with the current beta of Windows 8. It also allows to modify the menu titles of add-ons. Have fun :-).

Released: Media Center Themer 1.40 07.02.12

A new version of Media Center Themer has been released. Version 1.40 brings in lots of improvements such as string replacements, reorganization of menus, and the possibility to add your very own menu items to launch custom programs or display web pages inside Media Center. You can download the new version right away from the usual web page, see below for a full list of changes.

Media Center Themer is a lightweight add-on that lets you completely customize the interface of Media Center. Modify text colors and other formatting attributes, pictures, MCML interfaces, and automatically re-colorize most of the built-in pictures with a single setting (say goodbye to the original blue theme). All of it is done in memory, without modifying a single resource file on disk, preventing screws up and the reversal of changes during software updates. and yes, it’s entirely free to use.


Change log from version 1.30 to 1.40:

  • The <TextFormat> element has been modified to include <LegacyText>  sub-elements in addition to <Text>. They now replace the old <Legacy> and <String> elements for better organization (see the updated schema).
  • MCML resource files (mcml and xml extensions) are now modified when extracted to look properly formatted when viewed in any text editor (identation and line breaks).
  • The new <Resources>\<Strings> element can be used to replace any of the text displayed by Media Center, such as menu labels and titles.
  • A new <StartMenu> element has been added. Its <Builtin> element can be used to reorder or hide menus and sub-menus in Media Center’s start menu.
  • The new <Custom> element of <StartMenu> allows for the creation of a custom menu strip with user-defined menu items to launch programs or display web pages.
  • Command line parameters can now be used instead of some registry settings. See the updated documentation for more details.
  • The documentation has been updated new sections have been added to it for the new features.
  • The setup is now copied to Program Files and an uninstall entry is added in Windows’ Control Panel to easily uninstall the application.
  • The setup now creates shortcuts in the Start Menu of Windows.
  • Fixed: the first resource loaded in each DLL was not taken into consideration. This could prevent important files, such as CommonStyles.xml to be logged or replaced.

This site will shutdown tomorrow 17.01.12

This site,, along with the 16 other web sites I’m hosting on the same server will shutdown for a day, on Wednesday 18th, January 2012. Downloads will be down as well. This is done as an effort against SOPA, PIPA and any other future similar US bills that threatens our cyber-way-of-life. Wikipedia, Reddit, Minecraft and many other big names are doing the same. If you have a presence on the web, we encourage you to join the blackout.

For more information, check news posts such as the one on Neowin.

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