Monday, May 22, 2006

regain

regain is a search engine similar to web search engines like Google, with the difference that you don't search the web, but your own files and documents. Using regain you can search through large portions of data (several gigabytes!) in split seconds!

This is possible by using a search index. regain crawles through your files or webpages, extracts all text and puts it in a smart search index. All this happens in the background. So if you want to search something you get the results immediately.

There are two versions of regain: The desktop search and the server search. The desktop search is to be used on a normal desktop computer and it offers you a fast search for documents or intranet webpages. The server search you can install on web servers. It provides searching functionality for a website or for intranet fileservers.

regain is written in Java and thus applicable on all Java compatible platforms (amongst others Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Solaris). The server search works with Java Server Pages (JSPs) and a tag library, the desktop search comes with its own small webserver.

regain is released under the open source license LGPL (Lesser General Public License). I.e. regain may be used for free without any temporal limit.

You can find more information about the details of regain here.


Another viable option in place of Google Desktop Search, though not as many docked windows and indexing limits as the latter.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

‘MS was never against Open Source’

FACE TO FACE [source : http://economictimes.com]
Publication: Economic Times Mumbai; Date:2006 May 18; Section:Networked; Page Number 13
[http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/1536097.cms]
Get the whole article here in print

MICROSOFT and Open Source software - one always thought they were like India and Pakistan. Forever doomed to be enemies. However, a tad surprisingly, it turns out that both Microsoft and Open Source have learnt to cooperate in many areas. Prabhakar Deshpande caught up with Bill Hilf, general manager, Platform Technology Strategy of Microsoft to understand this newfound love.

Aren’t Microsoft and Open Source software rivals?
Not really. The way we look at it is that Open Source is a process of developing software. Microsoft has never been against the Open Source community, or the process. Yes, we do compete with an Open Source product – say Red Hat Linux. We also compete with other commercial software like those from Oracle. Then again, we work jointly with Oracle too as the software can be loaded on Windows.

What is Microsoft’s stand on Open Source?
Building software is a process that has many aspects – understanding customer requirements, code writing, quality assurance and support. On code writing, Open Source does pretty well. However, the challenge is in customers’ requirements. Who is Open Source coders designing the software for? Most often, the developer is designing for himself – something like scratching your own back. Microsoft, on the other hand, tries to understand customer requirements. These are entirely two different approaches.

Are Microsoft and Open Source platforms now more closely integrated?
We have to work together. We share a common customer base. Microsoft software products have to work with Oracle or IBM products as well. It is more of co-opetition. We are simultaneously adopting a competitive and collaborative approach. For instance, I went to deliver the keynote address at Linux World this year. We are vitalising and supporting Linux on the Windows Server environment. We work on Windows so that it can run Linux and even, Linux can run Windows.

How do you see the future of Open Source software over the next 10 years?
Open Source will be around in certain areas. However, due to the deficiency in their development model, they will not be able to do better than they have done in the past.
It is the same 10 companies that have been there are dominating. It could be argued that Open Source has peaked. They are incrementally getting better no doubt. But there is unlikely to be any big-bang change.

Are there any special challenges in trying to work on inter-operability with Open Source software?
There are some advantages in working with Open Source. They are faster to work. They are more pragmatic. They are, in fact, more open to Windows. However, there are disadvantages too. They have a very restrictive licensing regime. This surprisingly constrains the freedom and choice, despite being known as Open Source.

Why do software engineers work on open source?
Though there are millions of Open Source engineers – most of them work on device drivers and so on. But often the work on, say Linux, is done by paid engineers. There are only 100-150 engineers doing work on Linux and 99% are employed for doing the work. Similarly, most of the work on MySQL, Apache, PHP is done by paid engineers.


Had to put it up for all to read. Interesting is it not? Especially comments like "They have a very restrictive licensing regime. This surprisingly constrains the freedom and choice" and "there are millions of Open Source engineers – most of them work on device drivers and so on". Now this is news from the omniscient M we did not know, did we?

Monday, May 15, 2006

TaskSwitchXP Pro 2.0

TaskSwitchXP is an advanced task management utility that picks up where the standard Windows Alt+Tab switcher leaves off. It provides the same functionality, and adds visual styles to the dialog and also enhances it by displaying thumbnail preview of the application that will be switched to. TaskSwitchXP also has a powerful process and window management capability that allows you quickly to close/minimize applications and their groups. The unique capabilities of TaskSwitchXP make it useful for tracking down multitudinous windows, and provide insight into the way Windows and applications work.

I miss this program in Windows 2000 sorely! Please point me to anything similar for Windows 2000 incase anyone comes across one. This is one which basically redefines Alt-Tab use. Once used to it, its impossible to be without it!

Open Source - Your Open source Plan

Once a toy for geeks, open source is slowly but surely filtering into the enterprise and transforming the way software is designed, sold and supported. And any CIO without an open-source strategy in 2003 will be paying too much for IT in 2004.

BY CHRISTOPHER KOCH

A great article on Open Source and its permeating nature.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

ClamWin

ClamWin is a Free Antivirus for Microsoft Windows 98/Me/2000/XP
and 2003. It provides a graphical user interface to the Clam AntiVirus engine.
ClamWin Free Antivirus comes with an easy installer and open source code. You may download and use it absolutely free of charge. It features:
* High detection rates for viruses and spyware;
* Scanning Scheduler;
* Automatic downloads of regularly updated Virus Database.
* Standalone virus scanner and right-click menu integration to Microsoft Windows Explorer;
* Addin to Microsoft Outlook to remove virus-infected attachments automatically.

ClamWin Free Antivirus uses the GNU General Public License by the Free Software Foundation and is free (as in freedom) software. To find out more about GNU GPL, please visit the following link:
Philosophy of the GNU Project - Free Software Foundation.

Now why would anyone want to select a antivirus software which is open source? I don't think many ask this question. What are the benefits of having a open source antivirus software and what are the cons? Does ClamWin provide the kind of response that other free or not so free antivirus softwares provide for newer and upcoming viri?
Lets start with the benefits I have observed:
1. It scans for virus and informs me when it find one! (basic but very important)
2. Its free and open source so I can be re assured that nothing is happening behind my back.
3. Its light both in CPU and memory for me(this might not be the same for everyone!)
4. It has got a auto email attachment scanner, scanning my email attachments runtime.
5. Its got a daily virus scan scheduler
6. Its got a auto downloader for the latest virus definitions from its site. This is very very important to keep the software up to date and working. And best of all I don't have to ask some one to give me the updates or more interestingly to pay for the virus definition updates.
7. And have heard from some (reliable) sources that they are usually the first to find and come out with a solution for any new virus! After all they have got to be at least as close to the virus and as early as possible. No use if I get the fix after the damage has been done right?
8. Its only a antivirus and nothing else!

Now for the not so good things about ClamWin
1. Its does not support realtime file access scan yet! Thats a problem they are working on and also humbly accept that this is needed and a must for any anti virus software.
But hold on lets not lose hope, for the time being we can use Winpooch another open source utility. They both combine to bring it at par with most of the well known anti virus softwares. Also if you use Firefox you might want to install the ClamWin download scan extension for auto scanning of downloaded files from Firefox.
2. "Although the total number of viruses may seem less than other commercial Antivirus vendors claim to have but if ClamAV database misses some viruses then these will be ancient species" - a genuine problem as they have not been in the scene for a very long time have they? ;)


Another small but nice review here.

ClamWin making the world a virus free one!