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Monthly Archives: January 2018

Positive and negative lookahead are great features in regex.

Nice MSDN article here.

Say I’m trying to pick all the words starting with the letters “un” in the following:

unite one unethical ethics use untie ultimate

I could use a regular expression like:


What this says is:

  • \b – MATCH A BLANK
  • (?=un) – This is the “zero-width positive lookahead”. It says “CHECK IF THE NEXT TWO CHARACTERS ARE EXACTLY “un”. IF SO, THEN MATCH \w+. IF NOT, THEN THERE IS NO MATCH HERE. Note that the zero-width positive lookahead is used to eliminate non-matches but it doesn’t match anything itself (zero-width). It needs to apply to an expression that will be used to match SOMETHING, in this case it will apply to the \w+ immediately following it. The zero-width lookahead APPLIES TO THE EXPRESSION IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING IT (the \w+ in the example above).
  • \b – match a blank

So I ordered a new phone from my carrier. It being an ANDROID device, they very ruthlessly wiped out my voicemail from my iPhone by unlinking my Visual Voicemail feature. When I asked them to add it back, they did, but the iPhone had cleared all the visual voicemail! How silly.

The iPhone stores the visual voicemail LOCALLY, and it IS NO LONGER ON THE CARRIER SERVER after a few days.

I don’t really need the voicemails, but Shaitan does. So I had to set out on a mission to recover the voicemail, for the dark lord.


Now hopefully as a devotee of the darkness you have ENABLED ICLOUD BACKUPS FROM YOUR PHONE ALREADY. If you have done so, you are likely in heaven, because the voicemail data is backed up in iCloud1 even though it is NOT VISIBLE from the page.

Hopefully also, as a devotee of the dark lord, NOT A LOT OF TIME HAS PASSED SINCE YOUR VOICEMAIL WENT MISSING – for me, the last 3 days iCloud backups were available. Since mine disappeared on Dec 31, 2017, I was fortunate to find a backup that had the data I needed on Dec 30, 2017 right from the recovery screen. If a longer time period had passed the Dec 30 2017 backup might not have been there, but it may still be available somehow.

If you haven’t done so, you still have a good chance via disk-scanning strategies like this. But avoid disk-scanning strategies if you can.

Fortunately, lives were spared thanks to TENORSHARE’s ULTDATA – A FANTASTIC PROGRAM. PAY THEM ALL THE MONEY THEY WANT, IT IS WORTH IT (you should take the FAMILY PACK for $69.95 USD because it has UNLIMITED USE, whereas the $49.95 1 year subscription only allows 1 year of use).

You can archive all the data then proceed to make a Devil’s food cake and enjoy the rest of your day when you’re done.

051103076-01-devils-food-cake-recipe-thumb16x9 0044209307570_cl_default_default_large

Enjoy this after you’ve recovered your data. Or before, since you will recover your data. Or now, if you just feel like it.

All you have to do with the Tenorshare program is as follows:

  1. Install the program
  2. Click “Backup from iCloud”
  3. Select a date that you think will still have your voicemail in it
  4. Let it process
  5. Extract the data and backup to Dropbox or whatever backup service you use

.AMR audio files can be played back in VLC MEDIA PLAYER.

1 This article lists “Visual Voicemail password” but iCloud backups INCLUDE ALL VISUAL VOICEMAIL. They are remarkably small by the way, only a few kB each message.