usability

Usability: How could you know what is better?

Sometimes during development we argue about user interface elements. You can try to convince the developer about how to place controls on the forms to better organize the user’s workflow. But the truth is that it is very hard to know exactly what is better. Usually it is more about psychology and perception than about logic. So how can you be sure? The answer is simple – test! Just pick some random person near you, who is in a target group for your product who sees your product the first time, and ask to perform an action using your interface. And watch how he would perform. In a few minutes Read more…

data recovery

Undeleting files

My colleague from our lab is working on damaged NTFS file system analysis. This is needed for our new project currently in development. Recently, we thought it would be nice to release some free utility based on the developing library. And so we did. A couple of weeks for GUI development and an hour for a web site and here it is — a free NTFS Undelete utility. It should work on any NTFS file system from Windows NT/2000/2003/XP/Vista, and as far as I know it is the only free undelete software that is distributed in a different bundles — in ready for burning ISO image, ZIP archive and windows Read more…

hdd password

Unlocking device

Just returned back from my trip to Las Vegas and Los Angeles. The trip was mainly divided into two parts – entertaining (visiting CES), and working (the office of Ji2 Inc). Both of them were good. Currently, we (A-FF Labs) are developing partnership with Ji2, and we’ve started pretty well. These guys are developing and selling good HDD duplication and testing equipment for a couple of years: The goal of partnership is to incorporate our HDD unlocking technology (from the Repair Station and HDD Unlock project) with their hardware device to produce a device for forensic investigations, basically for password removal purpose. I am happy to announce that we have Read more…

hdd password

HDD Security System

BIOS password was the first method widely used to protect the computer from unsolicited use. The idea was that your computer won’t boot until the correct password entered. This type of protection was rather weak and was primarily intended to protect from intruders who have no access to the hardware itself. To bypass such protection, one could take the drive off the computer, attach it to another computer and all the data can be copied. At that time, to protect the data on the drive, one had to create additional layers of security by using special software for data encryption. The idea to protect data by setting the password not Read more…