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Archive for the 'Linux' Category

Rainlendar Lite – free and feature rich calendar application

Wednesday, April 18th, 2007

970572945-1.pngCheck out this free and feature rich calendar application.

Rainlendar is a feature rich calendar application that is easy to use and doesn’t take much space on your desktop. The great thing about the application is that it is platform independent so you can run it both on Windows and on Linux.

You’ll love the fact that the appearance can be customized with skins and you can even mix different skins together to reflect your taste or preference.

One really cool thing about Rainlendar is that, all the coming events are shown in a separate list where you can see the week’s events at one glance. You can decide how many days in advance you want to see in the list. Different events can have a different appearance in the list so you can easily spot the important events from the others. The icons in the calendar are also available in the event list and other windows to make it easier to separate the events.

The latest version, Rainlendar Lite for Windows 2.1 Build 38, has these changes:

Fixed:

  • Weekly recurring events were sometimes shown in incorrect day
  • Start time for Outlook tasks wasn’t read correctly
  • Due time was shown incorrectly for Outlook Tasks
  • All buttons were missing from ini-format skins.

Want to check it out? Go to http://www.rainlendar.net/cms/index.php

TrueCrypt

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

TrueCrypt is an amazing free disk encryption program.

truecryptmini.jpgThere are a couple of different ways in which you can use TrueCrypt. First, you can encrypt an entire partition on your drive (but not an existing partition). Or, you can create a file on your system that will act as a virtual partition. I like to do the latter because it allows me to backup the partition to DVD or even carry it around with me by putting it on a USB drive, like my iPod. This is handy if you like to carry sensitive information with you wherever you go.

The following main features are some of what make TrueCrypt simply the best disk encryption software around:

  • TrueCrypt partitions look and work just like any other drive. Once you mount a TrueCrypt volume–by entering the volume’s password–it gets assigned a drive letter. So you can deal with the files just as you would if it were a secondary hard drive (copy, paste, delete, etc.)
  • TrueCrypt is both free of charge and it’s open-source; which means you can trust it to do what it claims.
  • TrueCrypt doesn’t use the Windows registry. Instead, it uses an XML file. This makes it portable and version compatible. Not only can you use TrueCrypt on XP, 2000, Windows Server 2003 and Vista, but you can use it on Linux and OS X (and it will probably be ported to even more operating systems than that.)
  • TrueCrypt volumes can exist on CD’s, DVD’s, USB drives and so on (as long as you make sure to use UDF or FAT32 file systems).
  • TrueCrypt affords you plausible deniability. What this means is that if, for whatever reason, some adversary tries to get at your files, they not only wouldn’t be able to hack your encryption. They wouldn’t even know that you encrypted anything in the first place! There’s simply no way to prove you’re using encryption. TrueCrypt makes your encrypted volumes undetectable as being encrypted. Instead, they just look like some random garbage file. Also, TrueCrypt allows for nested encrypted volumes. This means you could throw some junk files in the first layer–then tell someone the password for that–and they would only see that junk and assume you cooperated with them, since you gave them your password. However, the real data that you wanted encrypted would actually be contained within that as a second layer, invisible to the adversary.
  • Of course, to really convince them, those “junk” files should look like something worthy of being encrypted or they might assume you’re trying to trick them.

  • TrueCrypt is superior to Windows XP’s built-in hard drive encryption because it’s open-source, portable across multiple Operating Systems and comes with plausible deniability. XP’s encryption doesn’t have plausible deniability because it uses certificates that anyone can view from the windows directory–which means they can know that you’re hiding something.
  • TrueCrypt lets you choose from of the best algorithms in existence and you can even layer multiple algorithms on top of eachother for added security; though doing so is really overkill. Unless you really know what you’re doing, just use the default AES encryption. Furthermore, TrueCrypt doesn’t even know which algorithm you’re using. It tries your password against them all, until one works. This feature is needed for plausible deniability.

There are some other things to note: Currently, when you install TrueCrypt it will come with pretty good documentation in PDF form, so don’t worry about finding documentation online. Also, if you lose your password/key you won’t ever be able to access your TrueCrypt volume(s)! There’s no way you can hack your password back; this is truly strong security. So make sure you don’t lose your password. An additional precaution you can take is to back up the header file that TrueCrypt uses. What this allows you to do is change your password and the original key will still work as the master key.

So, I hope I’ve sold you on this program. Many–if not all–of the top security gurus out there use TrueCrypt. But don’t let its sophistication intimidate you. To the user, TrueCrypt is very easy to set up and use; the program will walk you through it very nicely. It’s extremely stable and is even something you could teach your family to use. In fact, another cool use for TrueCrypt is to create an encrypted volume, store some private files in it, and then share that volume–and its password–with trusted persons only. Such as: family, friends or coworkers.

Looking for a better email client? Check out i.Scribe

Monday, March 12th, 2007

app-window.jpgi.Scribe is a fairly compact email program with an easy to use interface and it has some good features. These include a split view of folders and items, signatures, drag and drop, previewing and more. It doesn’t require an install and can be run from a USB memory stick or even a floppy disk if needed. It allows you to manage email accounts, check your mail periodically, preview mail on the server, colour code your messages, and more.i.Scribe can import existing mail from Outlook Express, Netscape, Outlook and Unix MBOX. Additional features include plug-in support, proxy support, ESMTP authentication, message templates, its own built-in Bayesian spam filter, intergrated contact database and calendar and more.

A very capable little email program with a ton of features, excellent as an alternative to the big guys, or as mobile solution on a USB drive. Check it out.

XAMPP

Monday, February 26th, 2007

xamp.jpgHere is a useful tool that comes highly recommended, it is called XAMPP. It is an easy-to-install Apache distribution containing MySQL, PHP and Perl. It is really very easy to install and to use: just download, extract and start. This tool is really easy to use.

Compared to many other software in its category like Apache2Triad, XAMPP is so much better as it is easier to use, has more features, and also allows you to switch between PHP versions in seconds. It is a complete web, database and FTP server package that’s so easy to install and use. Where does the name XAMPP come from? XAMPP’s name is an acronym for X (any of four different operating systems), Apache, MySQL, PHP and Perl.

One other great thing about this program is that no matter what your system runs on, Windows, Linux or Mac OS X, there is a version available for you.

If you are really serious about improving your web development productivity level, this cool tool is for you. Check it out HERE!

Game Editor – Create cool games easily

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007

3453634535345.jpgYou are going to love this software. It’s called Game Editor.

Game Editor is a game design software. It lets you create the games of your dreams. I love the fact that it is so easy to use you can create nice games with little or no programming or technical knowledge.

With Game Editor you can design and develop 2D games for personal computers and mobile devices.

What about compatibility issues?

I don’t think you need to worry about system issues or compatibility, though I’ll advise that you use at least windows 98 for better output.

Game Editor is designed to be portable across all popular platforms, including Windows (95, 98, Me, NT, 2000, 2003, XP), Linux, Pocket PC, Handheld PC, GP2X and Windows Mobile-based Smartphones. 

Go check out the trial version HERE!

Songbird: Media player with a difference

Monday, January 29th, 2007

4567890-09876567890-90.jpgSongbird is a media player, but not all media players are quoted as promising “to be the Firefox of media players”.

Apparently the user interface is very similar to iTunes, but the main thing I noticed about this media player is its ability to list all the sound or video files on a page, almost as if they were local files.

You see how this thing operates, is you surf to sites such as mp3 blogs etc, by using the built-in browser, and all the media on the page will be listed. You can then choose if you would like to save or play any of these songs/videos locally to your collection. Of course you can also play and organize playlists etc, with your current mp3 or video collection that resides on your computer.

It is pretty cool to be able to instantly play media without having to open it in a separate program.

This might be useful software for anyone who routinely browses for music or videos online. You can find out more details and download it by clicking here!

7-zip File Archiver

Monday, January 29th, 2007

7-Zip is an open-source file archiver with high compression ratio. It can compress your files using a variety of methods, such as 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2 and TAR. It can also extract RAR, CAB, ISO, ARJ, LZH, CHM, Z, CPIO and NSIS archives.

7zip_sshot.JPGLike other file archives you may be used to, 7-zip can integrate into the windows shell and it also has a command-line version. 7-ZIP also offers some advantages over other windows based archive programs such as winzip and winrar:
Open-source – You can read and modify the program source code.

  • Cross-platform – You can run 7-zip on any modern operating system (Windows, Linux, OS X, and so on)
  • No registration – There are no annoying splash screens or nagging registration pop-ups
  • Provides a compression ratio that is 2-10% better than PKZIP and WINZIP provide for ZIP and GZIP archives.

Note that you can register 7-zip if you want to support it by clicking Help->About 7-Zip->register in the 7-Zip File manager but it’s not a requirement and it will never bug you to.

There are two basic ways you can associate certain file types with 7-zip. The easiest way is to open up the 7-zip file manager and choose Tools->Options and in the System tab choose the file extensions you want to associate with 7-zip. This will make it so files ending in those extensions are automatically opened in the 7-Zip file manager for extraction. If you choose to add the associations manually by the standard MS Windows way of right-clicking on a file, choosing “open with”, selecting the “always open files of this type with this program” and then browse for the 7-zip program then make sure you select C:\Program Files\7-Zip\7zFM.exe. There are two other binaries in the 7-Zip installation folder that could confuse you and they are called 7z.exe and 7zG.exe; so make sure to use 7zFM.exe (FM means File Manager)

It is possible that 7-Zip can handle all your file archiving needs but you may run into some files that were compressed using Winzip and they won’t always be compatible with 7-Zip. I personally haven’t came across this issue but just be aware of it.

To extract all the files of an archive first click Edit->Select All and then click the ‘Extract’ Button (As shown in the included screenshot)

RootkitRevealer

Tuesday, January 16th, 2007

rootkitrevealer.jpgRootkitRevealer is an advanced rootkit detection utility.A rootkit is an advanced method used by some types of viruses,trojans and spyware. It’s much harder to detect, as it hides itself deep within places most scanners usually don’t look. Rootkits can also help hackers gain greater control of an already-compromised computer.

Rootkits are more common in the world of Linux and UNIX-based computers. So called because they help a hacker gain or maintain root access (the highest level of administrative privileges) to a computer, several Windows-specific rootkits have appeared online in the past couple of years. They tend to be bundled with the most dangerous kinds of malware, such as keystroke-logging tools that steal passwords.

Although RootKit Revealer is powerful software, it is sure to generate false positives,it isn’t easy to use, so you really have to know what you’re doing, don’t delete anything without first seeking a second opinion and looking it up online, you have been warned. But for the truly paranoid/ extremely techy computer types, this could be an interesting addition to your computer defense kit! Remember, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you!

Download RootKitRevealer here and read more detailed information.

ArcExplorer gets geographical

Thursday, December 21st, 2006

If you are someone who uses Geographic Information System (GIS) files then this might interest you. ArcExplorer lets you display and otherwise probe a variety of standard geographical data sources. As a stand-alone desktop application, you can look at ESRI shapefiles, ArcInfo files, various sorts of image files, even Spatial Database Engine layers, and a bit more.

You can pan and zoom through map layers and interact with all the attribute information. You can also colour up map features based on data in the files, and present the data in a variety of other ways too. The really cool part is of course as the software is free you can re-distribute the ArcExplorer software and your data to your users, who can then install ArcExplorer on their machines and view your data as easily and effectively as you did.

There are editions of the software for Java (which basically offers cross-platform support for Windows, UNIX, and Linux), a Java Edition for Education (primarily for the Macintosh OS X platform, but also Windows) and then there’s ArcExplorer Web which you can use directly from your Web browser.

Follow this link to download ArcExplorer for free.

XnView – view and convert your graphic files with ease

Saturday, December 9th, 2006

If you’ve been having problems with software that claim to help you view and convert graphic files, then you need to try this.

XnView is a group of utilities that features viewing, converting, screen capture, slideshow, and Twain support. These utilities support viewing more than 400 graphic formats and can create about 50.

989386705-1.jpg

Some of its nice features include :

  • Import about 400 graphic file formats
  • Export about 50 graphic file formats
  • Multipage TIFF, Animated GIF, Animated ICO support
  • Image IPTC, EXIF metadata support
  • EXIF auto rotation support
  • IPTC editing
  • Resize, rotate, crop support
  • Lossless rotate & crop (jpeg) support

AND SO MUCH MORE.

XnView has the following other editions available: XnView for Linux, XnView for FreeBSDand XnView for Mac OS X.

Want to try it out? It’s free! CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO AND DOWNLOAD!

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