How to Automatically Backup Your Web Server Files With WinSCP over FTP

WinSCPYou’ve heard it time and time again: back up your data. There are plenty of backup solutions, but nothing is better than an easy and free solution. So with a few lines of code and a very helpful program called WinSCP, we’re going to set up an automatic sync between your FTP server and your home computer.

Requirements

  • An FTP server and access credentials
  • A Windows computer
  • A copy of WinSCP (Windows only)

Setting Up WinSCP

Once you've downloaded your copy of WinSCP, install it on your computer. It also wouldn't be a bad idea to start remembering your FTP address, username, and password while WinSCP is installing.

From the login screen, enter your host name (i.e. ftp.puresourcecode.com), username, and password. You can use either FTP or SFTP, but be sure to change the port number the appropriate port your FTP host has provided you. Then click Save to save the profile. Open the profile to log into your FTP server. This will verify that you typed the right credentials in the profile.

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Create the script

We’re going to create a simple script that logs into your FTP server, tells WinSCP where to download the missing files to on your computer, and then creates a log file that records FTP activity. Go ahead and open Notepad on your computer. Copy the following script template into Notepad:

option batch on
option confirm off
open ftp.puresourcecode.com
cd backups
option transfer binary
get /testremote* f:\backups\testlocal*
synchronize local f:\backups\testlocal testremote
exit

WinSCP will answer all prompts negatively to avoid holding up the script. Then it will automatically overwrite files when prompted. It then logs into your FTP server using the profile we created earlier, changes directories (if needed), and transfers binary (as opposed to ASCII). Finally, it reads the remote FTP directory and transfers files to the specified local directory. For even more options, check out the official WinSCP scripting page.

Now before you modify or run this script, we suggest creating test directories on both the remote and local targets. The last thing you want is to accidentally wipe your FTP server without any backups. So create a directory on your computer called “testlocal” (we created it under f:\backups) and another called “testremote” on your FTP server (we created it at the root). Once you run the script and it executes successfully, save it as “sync.txt” to your computer (we saved ours in our testlocal folder).

Automating the script

Now you’re ready to automate the script. For this we can use Task Scheduler.

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Click on Create Basic Task and follow the following screens. First insert a name for your task.

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Select when you want to start the task.

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Select Start a program in the next screen.

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Now click on Browse... and find WinSCP executable file in your program folder.

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Underneath, add

/console /script=f:\backup\sync.txt /log=f:\backup\log.txt 

to Add arguments. Be sure to change the arguments if your sync.txt is in a different location and if you want to generate the log file in a different location. Click Next.

So the task is created!

Microsoft’s new Office icons are part of a bigger design overhaul

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Microsoft is modernizing its Office icons as part of a broader focus on design for its various Office apps. It’s the first time the Office icons have changed in five years, and they’re designed to be more simple and modern to span across multiple devices and platforms. Office now exists on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android, and Microsoft has been building a single core codebase to make rapid monthly improvements to the apps. These icons are designed to reflect how Office has changed recently, with new AI features, more collaborative features, and its platform independence for key apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

The new icons deemphasize the letter for each Office app, but still manage to look familiar. “Our design solution was to de-couple the letter and the symbol from the icons, essentially creating two panels (one for the letter and one for the symbol) that we can pair or separate,” explains Jon Friedman, partner director of design at Microsoft. “This allows us to maintain familiarity while still emphasizing simplicity when inside the app.”

Google hints shutting down Google News over EU’s implementation of Article 11 or the “link tax”

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Last week, The Guardian reported that Google may shut down Google News in Europe if the “link tax” is implemented in a way that the company has to pay news publishers. According to the “link tax” or Article 11, news publishers must receive a fair and proportionate remuneration for their publications by the information society service providers.

The vice president of Google News, Richard Gingras expressed his concern regarding the proposal and told The Guardian that the discontinuation of the news service in Europe will depend on the final verdict, “We can’t make a decision until we see the final language.”

The first draft of the “link tax”, or more formally, Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market was first issued in 2016. After several revisions and discussions, it was approved by the European Parliament on 12 September 2018. And, now a formal trilogue discussion with the European Commission, the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament is initiated to reach the final decision. The conclusion of this discussion is expected to be announced in January 2019.

Another part of the proposed directive, Article 13 is designed to ensure content creators are paid for material uploaded to sites such as the Google-owned YouTube. Article 11 and Article 13 have faced a lot of criticism since the directive was proposed. Mr. Gingras further said that when in 2014 the Spanish government attempted to charge a link tax on Google, the company responded by shutting down Google News in the country. It also removed Spanish newspapers from the service internationally. This resulted in a tremendous fall in traffic to Spanish news websites. “We would not like to see that happen in Europe,” Gingras added.

Julia Reda, an MEP, however, believes that this “link tax” will not be as extreme as the link tax implemented in Spain, where Google was required to pay publishers even if they didn’t want to be paid. “What we think is more likely is that publishers will have the choice to ask for Google to pay or not,” she told WIRED.

To know more in detail about Google’s response towards the link tax, read the full story on The Guardian.

Connect ASP.NET MVC 4.6.2 project to IdentityServer4

I have a website running on ASP.NET MVC 4.5.2. I have an IdentityServer4 server running but when I try and authenticate against it I get an:

invalid_request

I googled a bit but I can’t find a solution. Finally, I found the way.

First, in your IdentityServer4 you have to create a new client:

public static IEnumerable GetClients() {
    return new List<client> {
        new Client {
            ClientId = "yourid",
            AllowedScopes = new List<string> { "openid" },
            AllowedGrantTypes = GrantTypes.Hybrid,
            RedirectUris = new List { "http://yoururl/signin-oidc" },
        }
    }
}

When you added the new client, you can update your other MVC project. Under App_Start open Startup.Auth.cs and add this code:

using Microsoft.Owin.Security.Cookies;
using Microsoft.Owin.Security.OpenIdConnect;
using Owin;

namespace PSC
{
    public partial class Startup
    {
        public void ConfigureAuth(IAppBuilder app)
        {
            app.UseCookieAuthentication(new CookieAuthenticationOptions
            {
                AuthenticationType = "Cookies"
            });

            app.UseOpenIdConnectAuthentication(
              new OpenIdConnectAuthenticationOptions
              {
                Authority = "https://yourIdentityServerUrl",
                ClientId = "yourid",
                ResponseType = "id_token code",
                SignInAsAuthenticationType = "Cookies",
                RedirectUri = "http://yoururl/signin-oidc",
                Scope = "openid",
              });
        }
    }
}

You have to add a Nuget package called Microsoft.Owin.Security.OpenIdConnect.

Happy coding!

Connect ASP.NET MVC 4.6.2 project to IdentityServer4

I have a website running on ASP.NET MVC 4.5.2. I have an IdentityServer4 server running but when I try and authenticate against it I get an:

invalid_request

I googled a bit but I can’t find a solution. Finally, I found the way.

First, in your IdentityServer4 you have to create a new client:

public static IEnumerable GetClients() {
    return new List<client> {
        new Client {
            ClientId = "yourid",
            AllowedScopes = new List<string> { "openid" },
            AllowedGrantTypes = GrantTypes.Hybrid,
            RedirectUris = new List { "http://yoururl/signin-oidc" },
        }
    }
}

When you added the new client, you can update your other MVC project. Under App_Start open Startup.Auth.cs and add this code:

using Microsoft.Owin.Security.Cookies;
using Microsoft.Owin.Security.OpenIdConnect;
using Owin;

namespace PSC
{
    public partial class Startup
    {
        public void ConfigureAuth(IAppBuilder app)
        {
            app.UseCookieAuthentication(new CookieAuthenticationOptions
            {
                AuthenticationType = "Cookies"
            });

            app.UseOpenIdConnectAuthentication(
              new OpenIdConnectAuthenticationOptions
              {
                Authority = "https://yourIdentityServerUrl",
                ClientId = "yourid",
                ResponseType = "id_token code",
                SignInAsAuthenticationType = "Cookies",
                RedirectUri = "http://yoururl/signin-oidc",
                Scope = "openid",
              });
        }
    }
}

You have to add a Nuget package called Microsoft.Owin.Security.OpenIdConnect.

Happy coding!

Create a well formed URI using UriBuilder class with C#

You can use System.UriBuilder class to build a new well-formed URI. You need to set some property of UriBuilder object's, like Scheme, Port, Host, Path etc...

You can get generated URI using AbsoluteUri Method.

    // Generate a new URI.
    UriBuilder objUri = new UriBuilder();
    objUri.Scheme = "http";
    objUri.Port = 80;
    objUri.Host = "www.microsoft.com";
    objUri.Path = "en-us/default.aspx";

    Response.Write("Genereted URI: " + objUri.Uri.AbsoluteUri);

Happy coding!

The English Patient wins public poll of best Man Booker in 50 years

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Twenty six years ago, the panel of judges were so unsure who should win the Man Booker in 1992 that they ended up with a tie: Michael Ondaatje and Barry Unsworth. But on Sunday evening Ondaatje edged ahead, with his bestselling novel The English Patient being named the best winner of the Booker prize of the last 50 years, in a public vote.

The Golden Booker was held this year to mark a half-century of the prize. A panel of judges read all 52 former winners of the award, with each assigned a decade from the Booker’s history. The Observer’s Robert McCrum, taking on the 1970s, chose VS Naipaul’s In a Free State; poet Lemn Sissay, reading the titles from the 1980s, went for Penelope Lively’s Moon Tiger; The English Patient was novelist Kamila Shamsie’s selection from the 1990s; Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall was nominated as the best of the 2000s by broadcaster Simon Mayo, and George Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo topped poet Hollie McNish’s reading of the 2010s Booker winners. The five books were then put to a public vote.

Speaking at the close of the Man Booker 50 festival in the Southbank Centre, London, on Sunday 8, Ondaatje said he had not reread The English Patient, which moves between a nurse tending a horribly burned man in an Italian villa at the end of the second world war and a tragic love affair from his past, since 1992.

The Last Slice: challenge

thelastslice

Beat challenge 1 (download the game, change the code) here. Then beat challenge 2. First five to beat challenge 3 win $10,000 USD each. No joke.

Challenge 1

This is the first of three challenges for The Last Slice: A retro 8-bit video game that's currently impossible to beat. Clone or download the code, install the prerequisites on your Windows 10 PC, open TheLastSlice.sln file with Visual Studio and run the game. You have the source code...change it any way you'd like to beat the game.

The Prerequisites

Here's what you'll need to get started:

After installing the prerequisites find and open TheLastSlice.sln file with Visual Studio, and run the game.

The Problem

The Last Slice retro video game is fun to play, but impossible to beat as coded. You won’t beat this challenge with just gamer skills. Break out your development skills, change the code and find a way to win the game. The possibilities are endless, and you have the source code...so what’s next is up to you.

The Reward

Solving this challenge gives you instant access to challenge 2, and you'll be one step closer to being one of five lucky participants that could win $10,000 USD.

But hurry - to be eligible to compete in the third and final challenge, you'll need to solve both this challenge and challenge 2 before midnight UTC on July 17, 2018.

Less: Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2018

Less: Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2018 by [Greer, Andrew Sean]

"Dressed in his trademark blue suit, Less adorably butchers the German language, nearly falls in love in Paris, celebrates his birthday in the desert and, somewhere along the way, discovers something new and fragile about the passing of time, about the coming and going of love, and what it means to be the fool of your own narrative. It's nothing less than wonderful."--Book Page

"A piquantly funny fifth novel."
--Entertainment Weekly

"Greer, the author of wonderful, heartfelt novels including The Confessions of Max Tivoli, The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells and The Story of a Marriage, shows he has another powerful weapon in his arsenal: comedy. And who doesn't need a laugh right about now?"--Miami Herald

"Greer elevates Less' picaresque journey into a wise and witty novel. This is no Eat, Pray Love story of touristic uplift, but rather a grand travelogue of foibles, humiliations and self-deprecation, ending in joy, and a dollop of self-knowledge."--National Book Review

"Greer's evocations of the places Arthur visits offer zesty travelogue pleasures"--Seattle Times

"Less is the funniest, smartest and most humane novel I've read since Tom Rachman's 2010 debut, The Imperfectionists....Greer writes sentences of arresting lyricism and beauty. His metaphors come at you like fireflies....Like Arthur, Andrew Sean Greer's Less is excellent company. It's no less than bedazzling, bewitching and be-wonderful."
--New York Times Book Review

"Greer is an exceptionally lovely writer, capable of mingling humor with sharp poignancy.... Brilliantly funny.... Greer's narration, so elegantly laced with wit, cradles the story of a man who loses everything: his lover, his suitcase, his beard, his dignity."--Ron Charles, Washington Post
"Greer's novel is philosophical, poignant, funny and wise, filled with unexpected turns....Although Greer is gifted and subtle in comic moments, he's just as adept at ruminating on the deeper stuff. His protagonist grapples with aging, loneliness, creativity, grief, self-pity and more."--San Francisco Chronicle

"I recommend it with my whole heart."
--Ann Patchett

"Less is perhaps Greer's finest yet.... A comic yet moving picture of an American abroad.... Less is a wondrous achievement, deserving an even larger audience than Greer's bestselling The Confessions of Max Tivoli."
--Booklist, starred review

Book Description

The Pulitzer prize-winning novel about a failed writer trying to escape his problems by traveling abroad.

Arcana: A Novel of the Sylvani (Novels of the Sylvani)

Arcana: A Novel of the Sylvani (Novels of the Sylvani) by [Leake, Jessica]

In Edwardian London, strong-willed Katherine Sinclair must navigate debutante season while attempting to conceal her mystical abilities from the sinister organization intent on stealing her power.

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Planet Xamarin

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