Thursday, November 23, 2006

CrossLoop - based on TightVNC

CrossLoop is a FREE secure screen sharing utility designed for people of all technical skill levels. CrossLoop extends the boundaries of traditional screen sharing by enabling non-technical users to get connected from anywhere on the Internet in seconds without changing any firewall or router settings. It only takes a few minutes to setup and no signup is required.
CrossLoop screen sharing has countless remote applications:
  • Collaborate with a coworker in Word, Excel or Powerpoint or any other application
  • Troubleshoot difficult to describe computer problems for a family member
  • Talk on Skype with a friend while co-browsing the web
  • And many more...

  • All data sent between computers is encrypted using a strong 128-bit blowfish encryption algorithm.

    CrossLoop also uses the free, open-source VNC (Virtual Network Computing) viewer and server combination from TightVNC. CrossLoop makes it possible for TightVNC to operate when either or both of the computers are situated behind restrictive firewalls.

    Mrinal Desai says:
    "CrossLoop by itself is not opensource but tightVNC, what we use underneath, is. We packaged it with our code to make it really simple."
    "is powered by proprietary VIP Tunnel technology"
    "It is built on a P2P architecture and is available at"

    Wondering why I posted it here when CrossLoop is not open source? Well I wanted to write about TightVNC and ended up posting about CrossLoop. I mentioned about UltraVNC sometime back and talked about some of its features. The reason I have included CrossLoop here is because this will help us in some ways to appreciate the open source development sensibility and how it empowers others to think in different yet simpler ways. I will not talk about the pros or cons of CrossLoop because that is not something that will fit in here but definitely talk a bit about TightVNC which seems to have proved that it can be fit into any industry standard software so seamlessly thus not only empowering the person using it but also the idea behind having open source software in the first place. TightVNC is similar to RealVNC except that it is much more advanced and feature packed than RealVNC. A small introduction to TightVNC is available which describes in detail the amazing capabilities of TightVNC. No wonder we can expect it to be part of many more applications to come. I am watching out for some exciting options from DimDim which is part of this application space (collaboration, screen sharing etc...) and I can say from the way it looks it will be one more amazing initiative in the open source realm. More on DimDim in the future.

    Incase you are interested to know more about CrossLoop you may visit:
    Open Source, Innovation and Service - Story of Crossloop by Rajesh Shetty.

    Question to readers:
    Can open source and closed source applications complement each other ? Does CrossLoop based on TightVNC prove this?

    Tuesday, November 21, 2006

    Searchmonkey - power searching without the pain

    What is searchmonkey?

    A fast real-time search engine for displaying regular expression matches (both file name and content) across multiple directories.

    Written in Gtk2+ it is highly portable, and as well as running on Linux, ports are available on FreeBSD, or even Windows and MacOS.

    Why searchmonkey?
    Linux currently has two leading search methods:
    * Beagle – simple to use, but shows too many matches.
    * Find/Grep – hard to use, but provides exact matching.
    searchmonkey takes the best features from both.

    It provides a simple to use interface, but has the power of find and grep combined. In addition, the end search result is an easy to browse list of matching files, and matching lines.

    I haven't been able to either see Searchmonkey in action yet. But I was impressed by the features mentioned. I have tried and use free desktop search and none had regular expression search in them. I had mentioned many desktop search applications before but have been searching one which will be based on the Beagle search. Finally I found one which seems to address that. Beagle is a renowned desktop search application in the Linux environment and we don't have a windows port of Beagle yet. It was then that I chanced on Searchmonkey. Since it is in Gtk2+ it is extremely portable and we have instructions of compiling and running it in windows. The entire procedure has been documented well and can be carried out by someone who has some time. I would have liked to do it myself but with even less time these days to post here I am not sure if this will happen soon. But it would be exciting if someone who reads this tries it and provides it for downloading. I am ready to host the executable here if required too. The instructions for compiling Searchmonkey on windows is available here. Lets be hopeful as I have been. At least there is a way to compile Searchmonkey in windows!

    Tuesday, November 07, 2006

    SWiK : A Database of Open Source Projects

    Back after a very long hiatus indeed. Had been to my home town with my wife for a vacation. The best is that we still don't have net connectivity from there and whatever telephone services which we have are also usually down. Gave me time to be truly disconnected for sometime ;-)

    SWiK is a community driven resource for open source software. Try starting a page about your favorite project, syndicating a blog for a topic, or browsing through tags people have added to projects or pages.

    SWiK contains information and news about thousands of open source projects and people are constantly adding cool new stuff.

    I literally stumbled upon this one. An interesting approach to find open source applications on the web. You can search for items under Tags and also a direct search through their search engine. I think the novelty is letting people add and maintain the list of open source applications and letting them tag them. But that may be its drawback too. I have observed that there still exists a lump of misunderstanding between freeware and open source apps. I will not try and get to the details but if this is of help then I could say:

    "Open Source applications are freeware; but freeware applications need not necessarily be Open Source"

    There is a growing need to identify quality open source applications and put it in the right perspective. In these times when there is so much about something available, it is not difficult to have incorrect information about the same in considerable numbers.

    My number one source till today to find quality open source applications has been hopefully it turns out the same for you too.