Friday, November 28, 2008

[tips] Sharing a folder from the command line

Ever had a (windows) laptop screen or graphics card died? (ie. the 'headless' computer effect). Well it just happened to me. Now, here is where it becomes tricky: How do you get to the files without taking the laptop apart? (you don't want to void the warranty, you don't trust support when they swear your data will be just fine).

One idea is to share folders so that you can access the files through the network. But that does not seem too easy without a screen... Well, usually you can get to log into windows without visual feedback. It is also fairly easy to launch a command line (CTRL-R (run) on XP; on Vista use the 'windows' key, type "cmd [enter]" and your are in). But, how can you share a folder from the command line, so that it will show up on the network?

I found the answer here: There is a command line tool, WMIC, which lets you do many things, such as sharing a folder, from the command line. In principle you can even create the shared folder remotely. In my case it did not work out (password was refused for some reason) but I could do it 'blindly' from the command line.

Hope it helps!

[grrrr] Sorry, your IP is outside the US

I've always found region locking to be a significant annoyance (ie. you cannot play a console game in Europe if you bought it in the US, and vice versa). But even if I don't like it, I can only recognize that it is an efficient way to force money out of customers (what is a right price anyway?). I just admire the irony of globalized companies putting such measures in place...

However, region locking on Internet - especially for video on demand - defies any sort of logic. It has become a sort of marketing reflex, hurting the very interests it is supposed to be protecting. Exactly like these stupid moves we sometimes do, such as looking at your watch when you're holding a glass of water.

Let me explain. I like many of the latest US shows. I want to reward the people making the show and I am perfectly fine with the idea of paying to watch them online. So, here I am, on a popular VOD website, my credit card number half entered, when suddenly, a doubt strikes me. The sort of thought that you sometimes get, along the line of: 'no way ... that would really be too stupid'. But no, there it is, in the service agreement I too quickly agreed with: "We do not broadcast outside of the US".


Where this really gets mindbloggling is that 1) there is no equivalent service in my country 2) most of these shows will never be on TV here anyway 3) I could watch all of them, 'for free', with very little effort. So what the hell is going on? ... go figure ...

(note that even if bullet 3 stops being an option somehow (!!) it becomes even worse: people will never get to discover the show, they'll be even less inclined to buy it on DVD ...).