How To

CoreFTP Free FTP Client

[ad name=”200x200all”]

I’ve used CoreFTP for so long that I can barely remember a time when I didn’t use it. According to the CoreFTP website, it appears to have launched in 2003, and I’ve probably been using it close to that long.

Before CoreFTP, one might say I was less “freeware savvy” when it came to certain (most) tools. I purchased CuteFTP years ago until I realized there were a number of free alternatives that would perform the same tasks.

For getting files from point A to point B, I don’t think there’s anything simpler than CoreFTP, but surprisingly I find I’m the only one using it in my work environment. Most other IT people I interact with go for FileZilla which isn’t surprising since it’s the first result in most search engines.

Yes, apparently we are that lazy. Or perhaps FileZilla is the superior ftp client. I don’t know. For the simple tasks I use an ftp client for, I could probably just use the built in Windows command line ftp utility, but I’m still a sucker for a point and click GUI option. Since I don’t use CoreFTP for anything more than uploading the occasional file to a website or for retrieving a technical tool remotely, I’ll keep my example dead simple.

Here’s how you set up a new site in CoreFTP and transfer files with it, start to finish.

Browse to and download CoreFTP LE, the free version. You’ll have to select whether to download a 32 bit version or a 64 bit version which you can get from your operating system.

Once the setup begins, it’s a fairly quick and simple install.

That’s it. CoreFTP is installed. Now launch it to set up a couple of default settings and configure your first site.

Next you’ll see the Site Manager window appear. Give your site a name, then fill in the host, username, and password fields before connecting.

If you see a window with two separate panes, you’re in good shape. The left side will be your local computer/server you connected from and the right side should be the target computer/server you connected to. On the very left hand side you will see a tree icon. Clicking this will open up a box (Local) where you can navigate to a specific folder on your computer. Once you’ve selected a directory (where the file you wish to transfer is located), the path will show up on the line to the right of this tree icon.

Click once on the file/folder you wish to transfer to highlight it, then click the blue arrow pointing to the right. This sends your file/folder to the target machine.

Once you see your file/folder in the right window pane, you’re done. Your file has been transferred. Just make sure to select the correct directory on the right side as well so you know where to retrieve your transferred file from.

Expand NTFS Volumes with Extpart

[ad name=”200x200all”]

With nearly 95% of our servers being of the rackmount Poweredge variety, we’re definitely what you would call a Dell shop. Naturally I’ve become familiar with a number of tools offered by Dell, with extpart.exe being one of the most utilized. It’s a great alternative tool (to the built in DiskPart) for extending partitions that we use on every Windows virtual machine in our vmware environment. We include this tool on the C: drive of every template we deploy from to ensure it’s always available.

After adjusting the size of the disk from vCenter, it’s rather an quick change to extend inside the os. As I mentioned, extpart.exe is on the root of C: for us, so all I have to do is open up a command prompt, navigate to the root of C:, and type extpart c: 5120 (or whatever amount  of megabytes you’ve expanded the disk).

I usually open up disk management first to make sure the extra space is showing up after extending the vmdk inside vCenter. If you don’t see the extra unallocated space at first, you can try to right click on Disk Management and select Rescan Disks to see if that works.

As you can see from the image above, I expanded the C: drive by 4 gigabytes from 16gb to 20gb. Now all I have to do is open a command prompt, navigate to C:, and run extpart.

And after you hit Enter…

If you’re lazy like I am and want to avoid math (1024 x # of gb’s you are extending), just extend it by a whole number. For example, I extended the drive by 4gb, so I ran extpart for 4000. This is where it helps to have Disk Management open because you can see what’s left for unallocated space after you run it the first time.

All you do is hit your up arrow and alter the number to what you have left and run it again. In this case, I’d simply type extpart c: 94 and hit Enter. Bam, done!


Building Backlinks with Blog Comments

I’ve often read that by commenting on other blogs you can build backlinks for your site which pushes you higher in search engine rankings. The three recurring tips I’ve come across make it absolutely clear that these are tried and true steps one should follow in order to achieve the greatest possibility of comment backlink success.

1) Comment on blogs that have posts similar to your own

This seems like sensible advice. I’d assume you want search engines to recognize that your website has similar keywords in common with the site where you’re leaving your comment. I would think that a link having similar keywords would have a a higher chance of being relevant and trusted over sites with no matching keywords.

[ad name=”Small Square”]

Finding relevant blogs has been one of my biggest challenges so far. This site talks about open source and commercial software from the non-programmers perspective, but the usual blogs relating to open source software are usually highly technical and code related. Perhaps I’m an anomoly which could be both a good and bad thing, but I definitely need to broaden my searches for blogs similar to my own.

2) Comment on DoFollow blogs.

DoFollow blogs are the ones that allow the website link in your name to be picked up by search engines. The reverse of this is obviously the NoFollow blogs that prevent your comment link  from being influenced by their site search engine ranking.

From a webmaster perspective, I don’t see the big deal either way if all comments posted to your site need to be approved prior to going live.  However, if you’re the one commenting, I suppose there is always the possibility of visitors clicking through to your site regardless of NoFollow or DoFollow link settings, but why not go for the search engine benefit at the same time by sticking with NoFollow sites.

3) Leave genuine comments relating to the subject matter.

Even if you leave comments all over the place just for the possibility of getting those curious comment clickers to visit, you won’t have much luck retaining visitors if your site is unrelated. Your political opinion blog probably won’t see much benefit by those comments you left on that Beanie Baby collector site you visit. Commenting for gain should be saved for sites with a similar themed site as your own.

How do we find keyword relevant DoFollow blogs to read and comment on?

As I mentioned before, randomly searching for similarly themed blogs as my own has been arduous, but at least there are a number of resources that help in finding DoFollow sites. This helps narrow the two pronged search into one. Just by searching for the keyword phrase “DoFollow sites” I found a number of articles and posts with lists relating to DoFollow sites. Apparently there are also a couple of FireFox add-ons that will help locate NoFollow links by highlighting them on a page.

The one site I found that I wanted to briefly mention is called FastBlogFinder. It’s an excellent way to find blogs related to your niche by reporting on whether it’s DoFollow or NoFollow, the site PageRank, how many outbound links it has, and when the site was last updated. There is a free version but unfortunately it is limited to only fifty blogs for each keyword. I think a lot of sites might be able to find a ton of new blogs to post to with just the free tool, but if you find you’re having trouble locating quality blogs that relate well to your own, or you want to aggressively grow your backlinks, you may want to give the Gold Edition a try.

Buying a Domain From Sedo

As I posted about earlier, I recently purchased a premium domain through the Sedo marketplace and had quite a difficult time knowing what to do along the way. Here’s my attempt at explaining the post purchase transfer process. If it sounds confusing and parts of it don’t make much sense, you’ll understand why I felt so overwhelmed.

[ad name=”Half Banner”]

This document will pick up after the agreement to purchase has already been made since signing up for an account and buying a domain was very straight forward.

After logging into the Sedo site, from My Sedo, click on Transfer Center. This is where all your updates are regarding the transfer status of your new domain will be.

Here you will see transfer updates on the left hand side and communication between you and a Sedo agent on the right hand side. The first few steps (left side) went smooth and they all happened on the same day. I was instructed to pay, I paid. The seller was instructed to push the domain to Sedo which was also completed quickly.

The next part is where it got confusing. I figured since the domain was at Sedo, I needed to let someone know my registrar was GoDaddy, so I posted a comment.

I logged into GoDaddy and saw nothing about any transfers pending, so I waited until the next day. I still saw nothing from the Sedo side, and there were no updates on the next step, so I posted another comment asking how I initiate the transfer.

When I went back to GoDaddy, I saw a notice that they had emailed Sedo for approval of the domain transfer, so I posted this fact. I also noticed that the next step at GoDaddy was to input a Transaction ID and a Security Code.

I have no idea how this all worked up to this point because I did not inform Sedo of my GoDaddy account number and my technical contact info had not been filled out. Perhaps it was by name, or billing address? I don’t know. I also did not inform GoDaddy that I was expecting a transfer. I think it may have been magic.

The Sedo transfer agent responded saying I would need this transaction ID and Security Code to authorize the transfer.

Over the next three days I waited, checking both GoDaddy and Sedo for updates, not knowing if someone was waiting for me to do something. Not knowing what happens next was the most frustrating part. Who was I waiting for? Sedo or GoDaddy? Or were they both waiting for me? For the next three days I checked both of my accounts in hopes that someone would send me an update.

Three days later I received a message in my GoDaddy account that they were now waiting for Sedo. I posted this information at Sedo.

I never received another message about the actual transfer from Sedo, but four or five days later the domain name was finally in my GoDaddy account.

The transfer process certainly worked, but I felt like I was in the dark the entire time. I never knew what was expected of me along the way. Perhaps there was stuff I was supposed to be reading, but if that’s the case I most certainly missed it. I really feel that despite it working,  this process is a little bit broken. Customers should not feel so confused about what is expected of them or what they should expect of the process.

Not much of a help guide, huh? Unfortunately the only advice I can give anyone new to the whole Sedo domain transfer process is to be patient and ask questions along the way. Even though I didn’t have a clue, I still eventually got my new domain name.

Setting Nameservers for Your Domain

You’ve just purchased a brand new domain name. Now what? You’ll need a hosting account where you can store all your website files. If you’ve already got both of these necessary components, the next step is to set the nameservers for your domain name. I purchase and manage all of my domain names through GoDaddy so I’ll be using them as my example.

[ad name=”Small Square”]

They’re certainly not the only game in town so there’s plenty of other places to go to order your domain name. They’re just the biggest. Here’s a list of the top domain name registrars by market share and domain name count if you’re interested. Where ever you go, you’ll just have to familiarize yourself with their site and figure out where to go to set the nameservers.

Here’s the steps I take to set nameservers over at GoDaddy. You probably would never have guessed this first step in a million years, but I’ll tell you anyway.

Step 1: Log in.

Step 2: Click “Manage”.

Step 3: Select your domain by clicking on it, then click “Nameservers”.

Step 4: If your hosting account is not at GoDaddy like mine, here is where you would select “I host my domains with another provider” and then add a minimum of two nameservers.

So where do you find what nameservers you should be using? To find the correct nameservers, you would need to find out from your hosting provider. This is why I like HostGator because they list the nameservers in the left hand menu of your cpanel account.

I’ve used some other hosts that don’t make it as easy, so depending on where you go for hosting, you may have to hunt around the site a bit to find the appropriate nameservers if they’re not included in your welcome email.