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Archive for February, 2008

Hard Drive Crash and Backup

Posted by anirudhsaraf on February 23, 2008

As the title says, I suffered a hard drive crash last week. I didn’t have a backup ( I knew I shouldn’t have put it off ) but I managed to salvage my important files ( Read : My OneNote Books) thanks to some free utilities like TestDrive. However this incident made me look into making sure my OneNote notebooks were backed up on a separate drive on a semi-regular – NO make that regular – basis.

I turned to look for online solutions which could provide backup solution. This is when I discovered XDrive from AOL. It does incremental scheduled backups and gives 5gb of Storage Free. Outline below is the steps to set it up to backup your OneNote Notebooks on a regular basis.

1) Go to and create an account

2) Download the xDrive Desktop Client and Install

3)Under the Basic Tab you can find the various types of files you want it to backup. Unfotunately OneNote is not one of them. It lists Word, PowerPoint and Excel but no OneNote. So we need to go the advanced tab



4) Choose New and Browse to the folders where your OneNote Notebooks are stored.After that you have the options to specify Incremental Backup / Full etc. After setting that up click next


5)Next you get to set the frequency/ schedule your automatic backups.


6) Click Finish and everything is set up. Do Backup Now to have XDrive backup your data.

Now when your Hard Drive crashes, your world won’t. So go ahead and set this up if you don’t have a backup system in place.

I wish OneNote some sort of Online Storage/ Backup mechanism built in ( like with Windows SkyDrive) so that I wouldn’t have had the nightmare I had when my Hard Drive crashed, but till that happens I suggest you go and set up XDrive.


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8 Bit Doesn’t mean 8 Instructions

Posted by anirudhsaraf on February 13, 2008

First off, I apologize to those readers who come here primarily to follow OneNote news and Tricks and my posts have taken a turn towards electronics ( which is what’s occupying most of my life right now ). However, I promise to sprinkle usage tips for OneNote as often as I can. Also apologizes to those readers who find these posts hard to follow as I am not posting in any particular sequence. I have to turn in my project by Feb 28th, so I have to go from conception to design to wiring in a relatively short period of time. I am just posting my progress and random observation, but if people are interested I might do a more detailed series after I finish my project.

So as for my progress, I have the Instruction set ( YAY !!) and the Control ciruit designed. I have basically modified the instruction set, added a few more and changed around a few things, from the notes I linked to earlier. And Yes 8 – bit doesn’t mean you have fewer instruction, it just limits the number of registers and the maximum and minimum numbers you can feed in.

The Instruction set table I am implementing is


SideNote: I actually created this Table in Word. I don’t know if its just me but when I know I won’t be using Ink I tend to avoid OneNote, typing in Word and then later Printing it into OneNote. Typing in Word as compared to OneNote just feels “cleaner” to me. I guess it’s the Outlines, lack of rulers etc. which contribute to this effect. Do other OneNote users feel the same way?

And the corresponding control circuit, created without much effort, except for the painfully excruciating strain on the eye as I fed in the Truth Table in Logism ( Yes, you just feed in the truth table and it does the work for you, amazing isn’t it )


And once I created and tested this circuit in Logism it went straight to OneNote so that I could mark it up and make notes and annotate the circuit. Seriously, how do people work without tablets? Without my tablet, it would have taken multiple printout ( meaning multiple trips to the library) and probably such a mess of paper that I would have literally gone crazy ( not that I am not going crazy). I guess a virtual mess in OneNote is lot easier to handle ( thanks to its awesome search) than going through sheaths of paper looking for that one thing I really need but can’t find.

Watch out for snapshots soon 🙂

Posted in build a cpu | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

First Step to building a CPU

Posted by anirudhsaraf on February 11, 2008

For those wishing to build a CPU on their own here are the steps I would outline :

1) Understanding completely how a CPU works. There are many resources out there which explain the process in detail. It’s called a Single Cycle Datapath. If you Google it you will come up with a bunch of links from CS departments of various places explaining the process. Most of them are software simulations, so you will find 32 bits implementations of MIPS processor explained. Before you begin building your own CPU, it is vital you understand clearly how the CPU actually functions. ( I had the advantage of taking a class in CS where we build a software simulation of the 32 bit MIPS processor in LOGISM)

2) Find a software simulation of the MIPS processor / any other processor online and run it just to see how the big picture looks. It helps to know how to work in one of these simulation softwares too. Logism is free and an awesome piece of software to test out your circuit before you actually build them.

3) I found these helpful notes online which outline a 8 Bit processor ( Note : a 32 bit processor is way to many bits to wire up in a short time) Lecture Notes by Andreas Moshovos I found Online.

4) Break your circuits into testable units i.e the Instruction memory and Program Counter, the Control, the Registers, The ALU ( breaks down into many subcircuits), the Datapath and the data memory and possibly a few more.

5) Find datasheets and chips which can reduce your work :). I am currently on this step of the process and incidentally OneNote is of great help here as I just print the Datasheets and notes I gather online to OneNote for reviewing later. This way I don’t have to worry about saving(remembering where I saved it) the huge amounts of data I seem to gather in one “googling session” . For anyone doing research OneNote is an indispensable tool.

Side Note : it would be really nice if the OneNote Printer somehow allowed me to print to a particular section insteaad of putting the print out into the unfiled notes. A trick I often use is to capture the page using Snagit and use its Send to Onenote Plugin Tool.

6) Be willing to spend a lot of sleepless nights in the lab….. more to come as I actually progress to this step 🙂

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Build A Simple CPU

Posted by anirudhsaraf on February 11, 2008

For my Electronics Project this semester I have decided to take on the slightly daunting task of building a very simple 8 bit CPU. Since I will be using my tablet extensively as I plan and execute my project I though it would be an interesting exercise to show off just one of the advantages of having a tablet PC. So stay tuned as I outline the progress (and sleepless night) in my attempt to build a simple CPU. Wish me luck and hopefully I’ll get back to oneNote powertoy programming after I get done with this.

<UPDATE> I initially had this on a separate page, but it seems that page tabs don’t do what I assumed they did. So Instead I got a new category called build a CPU which will show the related post, while oneNote users can click on the one Note category

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Double Hyperlink

Posted by anirudhsaraf on February 3, 2008

I know I have been sporadic with my posts, but its just that I have been keeping super busy, with little or no free time. However, to make up for it I am finally releasing Double Hyperlink with Inking Support 🙂 .

Double Hyperlink – What is it? It creates a new page, with the user specified title, pastes a hyperlink to the new page in the current page, and navigates to the new page where it puts the hyperlink from the current page.


he default values i.e if you just click OK are

New Page Title = Blank

Hyperlink Text(new page) = Title of Current Page

Hyperlink Text(current page) = Extra Info

The installer creates a separate windows application. Since a lot of people have issues installing/uninstalling a plugin for OneNote I have not integrated this into OneNote but let it be a separate windows application. If enough people think that they want it integrated inside OneNote, leave a comment and I’ll release a separate installer. Also I have tested this only on my machine running Windows XP tablet version, so install at your own risk. I would appreciate feedback, comments and criticism.


Download double hyperlink

Posted in One Note powertoys | Tagged: , , | 18 Comments »