Status update

My laptop died on me last week. Fortunately, no data loss this time,
the hard drive is intact, but the system just will not boot up at all.
I think the motherboard has seen its final days. So until I can buy a
new laptop (hopefully in a few weeks), I won’t be working on any
projects. I am using an old laptop for the moment, so I can get online
and check email, at least.

My LSFinance app for Blackberry is still in progress, albeit slowly.
Probably after the new year, it will be ready for initial beta testing.

Status Update

A quick recap – 6 months ago, my laptop’s hard drive physically died unexpected, and my backup server got a bad firmware shortly afterwards that bricked the hardware permanantly and corrupted the hard drive partitions.  I lost access to all of my data files, including source code and version control repository for all of my Lebeau Software projects.

To give you a status update, I have not been able to recover a SINGLE FILE yet!  My laptop is functional again and I am able to work on new developments moving forward, but its previous hard drive is physically dead and unresponsive (and I don’t have the money to pay for that kind of professional recovery), and none of the downloadable recovery programs I have tried so far (and I have tried several) have been able to recover anything useful from the backup server’s corrupted hard drives.  I ended up resorting to making my own recover program from scratch, but my efforts are slow going due to time restraints, but I am still working on it nonetheless.

Fortunately, I am very hopeful that I should be able to eventually recover most of my data from the backup server’s hard drives, as they are fully operational in general, and the level of corruption on them appears to be minimal, just effective enough to render then unusable in a normal fashion, but most of the data is intact.  The backup server used a Linux OS and a Linux file system (XFS to be exact), so I am writing a program that can read the Linux XFS file system and make it accessible to Windows, then I should be able to copy most of my files like any other.  And before anyone asks, yes I have tried to perform an XFS recovery from an actual Linux OS, without much success yet.

I will post again when I have some more news to share.

Loss of data!

I’m writing with some bad news.  Due to a recent hard drive failure followed by a corrupted backup server, most of my data files are now inaccessible to me, possibly even lost forever.  This includes all of my Lebeau Software projects, except for one – my LSFinance for Blackberry app, which I started working on after the hard drive failed but before the backup was corrupted.  Which means that unless I can recover at least a good portion of my source files, or start over from scratch, what is currently available on my website will likely be all that will be available for the forseeable future.

I am still working on data recovery, but it is slow due to budget and time constraints.  I did get a few quotes from professional recovery services, like DriveSavers and OnTrack, but they want approx $800-$1000 for the job, which is a bit out of my price range right now.

I will let you know how things go

New Product, and upcoming TMSAgent VCL Beta

I am pleased to announce that I am beginning development of a new software application – LSFinance for Blackberry. This is a personal finance program targeted exclusively for the Blackberry smartphone platform. The first release of LSFinance will support importing/exporting financial data from AceMoney, a popular personal finance program developed by MechCAD Software LLC. Later releases will support popular open formats, such as QIF and OFX.

For those of you using my TMSAgent VCL component, I am working on a new v2.2 beta. In this release, I am making changes to how TMSAgent handles errors internally. The OnError event still exists, but now TMSAgent will throw exceptions into your code after firing that event, rather than returning error codes, NULL pointers, etc. This should help reduce unwanted side-effects in your code (access violations, etc). Also, I will add install files for C++Builder 2009 and 2010.

I will post again when these products are ready.

New MSAgent data spec released!

Microsoft has recently announced that it is discontinuing development of its MSAgent technology (  In light of that news, I have decided to release my latest MSAgent data spec sheet, which I have been holding on to for several years, as it now includes full details about MSAgent’s compression algorithm, as well as adds new information about the ACF and ACA file formats.  I was not sure how Microsoft would react to the compression information being released publically.  However, since they are not developing MSAgent any further, I figure it should be safe now.  Other people are already starting to implement their own MSAgent replacement engines, so my latest spec can be helpful for them.  I am still planning on working on my own MSAgent-related projects, as described in earlier mailings and on my website.  It is just a matter of having enough free time to do so.