Day: May 1, 2011

May: 31 Days of Words


In the coming month, I am going to branch out a bit from purely technical issues. I am still wrestling with how much of myself I want on this blog and how much might be better served elsewhere. However, until I figure that out and make a decision you are stuck with me. All of me. The techy me. The emotional me. The Full Carl Experience.

I settled on the name Tech in the Trenches as a name for this site for two reasons. The first was that I am that tech in the trenches of IT Support day in and day out and I wanted to share my experiences, finds, workarounds and information I’ve come across and consider useful to my job. The second meaning is that I am the tech and my life is the trenches.

For the month of May, I am going to post something new everyday. It may be completely brand new and typed by me that day or it might be an older post from my old blog.

I decided I did not want to move over everything from my old space into this one. Instead I am hand-picking an reposting and in some cases updating the more interesting and still relevant items.

So for the month of May, it is my goal to have something new up on this site every, single day. Starting tomorrow morning, there will be something inside your RSS feed that will either enlighten, inform or entertain you.

It may be about technology. It may be about my life. It could be any number of things. I hope you like what you see and stick around to see where the month takes us.

Thank you for taking the time to read my humble words and take an interest in what I am doing.

Enjoy May!

Simple Tools: GParted

GParted short for the Gnome Partition Manager is my savior application of the week. Before your thoughts drift to garden gnomes like Squatsie or the one from Amelie or even the strange world of Linux, GParted works on Windows for a very important task.

GParted main screenshot from GParted site

It will edit your partitions without trashing Windows. This weekend, I imaged my laptop at home in order to replace hard drives. Because I’m a geek, I imaged it to an external hard drive then swapped drives and sent the image back down to the PC so it would be exactly as I left it.

However, this left me with a problem. The image only used 150GB of the 250GB drive since that’s all it had before. So instead od my glorious free space, I was stuck with nearly nothing left.

I popped in my USB key with GParted. I booted it up. I dragged and resized the partitions on my drive and hit apply. Fifteen minutes and a reboot later I was staring at a perfectly usable 250GB hard drive.

GParted has become an essential part of my toolkit. There are instructions for booting off a CD or USB key. I’ve tried a lot of tools for Windows partition management and at best they are expensive and at worse, they trash your partitions. GParted is free, reliable and does the job right every time. It supports FAT and NTFS partitions perfectly.