Monday, January 31, 2005

Firefox from Mozilla

The wait is over. Firefox 1.0 empowers you to browse faster, more safely and more efficiently than with any other browser. Join more than 20 million others and make the switch today — Firefox imports your Favorites, settings and other information, so you have nothing to lose.

And exactly said... I am moving to Firefox from Opera (I never liked IE!) I have found more and much more in Firefox than what I could have asked for. Its way ahead than any other browser right now. The extensions add to the power of the browser and its customisable themes/skins are also good.

I was amazed at the kind of features we can add to Firefox using extensions. They are extremely useful and so very easy to install/modify/update.

I was able to show it to a few of my friends and believe me they have all rated it with flying colors.

I had used Firefox before but never used it much till I came across the extensions in it. I had mentioned about Firefox before in one of my postings .

Give it a go; I am sure the "fox" will "fire" your browsing experience ;-)

Download.com Review of Mozilla Firefox
At 55MB for 25 windows, the browser uses fewer resources than Internet Explorer but more than Opera. The built-in pop-up blocker works better than Opera's, IE's, and those of most paid standalone utilities. However, the download manager is still underdeveloped. Though the final release version vastly improves stability, we noticed occasional reluctance to maximize in response to Alt+Tab commands. People who want more security than IE provides should look at Mozilla Firefox.

Get Firefox

Monday, January 17, 2005

Open Source on the desktop

I recently found this site and seems to be all about the Open Source applications around for Windows.
The site neatly categorises the applications. Also if you ahve questions on the Why and What of OpenSource this might just come to help. I havent been through this site completely yet. here is a snippet from the contents listing in the page.
>Introduction
>"Free" vs "Open Source" Software
>Why I went Open Source
>How Open Source Software Evolves
>Does Open Source Offer Too Many Choices?
>How do Open Source Apps Measure Up?
>Running Windows Apps in Linux
A neat and good place to visit it seems. Though mind you the list of applications is not very exhaustive here. so if its just applications then you might just look here :-)

Friday, January 07, 2005

Open Source Apps for Windows-by Blane Warrene

This morning I wanted to jot down some of my favorite open source tools used on my Windows XP system. I have found development incredibly rich for open source projects committed to Windows, and often they provide a solution that replaces in some cases prohibitively expensive proprietary software....
-A good place to visit if you want to know what others use and like in Open Source.

Why Microsoft Should Open Source the Leaked Source

Why not make lemonade out of lemons by doing the unthinkable: Redistribute the complete NT4 and Windows 2000 code base via either a fully OSS-certified or quasi-open-source license on the MSDN web site?

Sound crazy? Maybe. But think about the positive implications of a fully Microsoft-sanctioned complete release of this code...

Open Source Software in a Windows Environment

This is one more link that has a good collection of open source applications neatly categorised. You might just find it very handy. Its a nice way of putting things togther. http://www.jairlie.com/ is also trying to setup a new site for making a repository of such open source applications and needs help. The new site under construction and needing a lot of help from sql and php developers is
http://www.opensourcelist.org/
All the best Jairlie!

Free and functional applications

I found this link which talks about quite a few of the opensource applications. These need not necessarily be for windows though. Thought someone might be interested.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Coolplayer

From http://www.daansystems.com/
It seems this wasnt open source till sometime now. Great cause this one is just so simple.
No frills music player is what I will call that. Indeed no installation and no nothing else. Just click and start playing. It can support a huge list of fomats and plays good. The source is avalable and you can join to its development too.
Features:
GNU General Public License
Freeform Skins
Simple User Interface
Advanced Playlist editor
Internet streaming
ID3 Multitagger
File Renamer
Fast mp3->wav converter
MAD mpeg engine
OGG Vorbis support
Winamp input plugins support
Smallest executable programmed in blazing fast 'C'
Continuous play
8 band precision equalizer
Lot's more...
Try it to know it... Its just 548Kb of a elephant ;)

7-Zip

7-Zip is a file archiver with the highest compression ratio. The program supports 7z, ZIP, CAB, RAR, ARJ, GZIP, BZIP2, TAR, CPIO, RPM and DEB formats. Compression ratio in the new 7z format is 30-50% better than ratio in ZIP format.

I have used it and have no qualms as of yet. It can be launched from the right click menu over a file (like winzip for windows). I tested this with a folder of around 650MB and compared it with Winzip. I found 7-Zip to be sligtly better in terms of the compression ratio. regarding the compression speed I never clocked it. Overall a very good substitute for Winzip. Moreover the formats supported are more than winzip and that can really be a big plus for this application. Found the interface to be slightly less interesting than Winzip. Try it; its not as jazzy as Winzip yet as compareable to it as any other archiver. Happy zipping...

You may visit http://sourceforge.net/projects/sevenzip/

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Ethereal


Ethereal is a network protocol analyzer for Unix and Windows. It allows you to examine data from a live network or from a capture file on disk. You can interactively browse the capture data, viewing summary and detail information for each packet.

You will have to have WinPCap for this too
http://www.mirrors.wiretapped.net/security/packet-capture/winpcap/

I was able to locate the packets flowing in the network and guess can be very useful if you want to sniff around what others are sending across in the network. I tried to see if I can find out the password to the unix machine I telnet to. I wasnt able to do so. Am I doing something wrong? I was able to find the packets related to my telnet session but a string search for my password did not find it!

Uniform Server

The minimal server solution for windows - 3.6Mb only. It includes latest versions of Apache2, Perl5, PHP5, MySQL4, phpMyAdmin,... NO INSTALLATION REQUIRED! NO REGISTRY DUST!!! Just unpack and start.
Set up your webserver in seconds and web away....

Eraser


Eraser is a secure data removal tool for Windows. It completely removes sensitive data from your hard drive by overwriting it several times with carefully selected patterns.
Eraser is an advanced security tool (for Windows), which allows you to completely remove sensitive data from your hard drive by overwriting it several times with carefully selected patterns. Works with Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000, XP and DOS.
Eraser is FREE software and its source code is released under GNU General Public License.

The patterns used for overwriting are based on Peter Gutmann's paper "Secure Deletion of Data from Magnetic and Solid-State Memory" and they are selected to effectively remove magnetic remnants from the hard drive.

Other methods include the one defined in the National Industrial Security Program Operating Manual of the US Department of Defence and overwriting with pseudorandom data. You can also define your own overwriting methods.

Top reviews from the most popular software sites and magazines confirm that Eraser is one of the best security tools available for Windows.
http://www.heidi.ie/eraser/

Now this is a real cool stuff. I tested it and found that the file doesnt even goto the windows recycle bin. I did not know how to test whether it really works and does its job! If someone can throw some light it would be great.

Dave's Quick Search Deskbar

Dave's Quick Search Deskbar is an add-on for the Windows Desktop Taskbar that lets you launch searches quickly. With dozens of search engines, a calculator, clock, calendar, and more in one little textbox, it's monster functionality in a flea-sized GUI

I wasnt able to install it in my machine. It was bringing down windows explorer evertime I tried putting it on my task bar. But it looks promising. If anyone tries out can let me know.

Why Open Source?

Read about the Open Source Movement and what "Free" means (its not as in "Free Beer")