Geek Software of the Week: ImgBurn!

ImgburngWow! This one totally rocks! If you have been looking for something like this, you will be amazed that it is freeware. No kidding! Check out the features!

Imgburn Web Site

“ImgBurn is a lightweight CD / DVD / HD DVD / Blu-ray burning application that everyone should have in their toolkit! It has several ‘Modes’, each one for performing a different task:

* Read – Read a disc to an image file
* Build – Create an image file from files on your computer or network – or you can write the files directly to a disc
* Write – Write an image file to a disc
* Verify – Check a disc is 100% readable. Optionally, you can also have ImgBurn compare it against a given image file to ensure the actual data is correct
* Discovery – Put your drive / media to the test! Used in combination with DVDInfoPro, you can check the quality of the burns your drive is producing

ImgBurn supports a wide range of image file formats – including BIN, DI, DVD, GI, IMG, ISO, MDS, NRG and PDI. It supports Unicode folder/file names, so you shouldn’t run in to any problems if you’re using an international character set. ImgBurn supports all the Windows OS’s – Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000, XP, 2003 and Vista (including all the 64-bit versions). If you use Wine, it should also run on Linux and other x86-based Unixes. It’s a very flexible application with several advanced features that are often lacking in other tools, especially when it comes to burning DVD Video discs. It supports all the latest drives without the need for updates (including booktype / bitsetting / advanced settings on many of the major ones – i.e. BenQ, LiteOn, LG, NEC, Plextor, Samsung, Sony). There is an image queue system for when you’re burning several images (which you can automatically share between multiple drives if you have more than one) and an easy-to-use layer break selection screen for double layer DVD Video jobs. The Automatic Write Speed feature allows you store your favourite burn speed settings on a per ‘Media ID’ basis, right down to a drive by drive level. Data captured during the burn (write speed, buffer levels etc) can be displayed / analysed using DVDInfoPro. Whilst ImgBurn is designed to work perfectly straight out of the box, advanced users will appreciate just how configurable it is. Oh and let’s not forget the best thing about it…. it’s 100% FREE ;-)”

“The Beatnik Turtle Edition” of the Dr. Bill Podcast #102

Dr. Bill Podcast – 102 – (09/08/07)
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Geek Culture from Beatnik Turtle with a Star Wars song, the Gamemaster Segment, Tech News, talking about this week’s video netcast, lot’s of cool geeky stuff as usual!

Opera 9.5 Looks Good!

The alpha version of Opera’s Web Browser is out… and it looks pretty good! I like it’s “integrated” e-mail feature (current versions of Opera have this as well… I could get spoiled on it. BUT, I still am a Firefox kinda guy!

First impressions: Opera 9.5 alpha a worthy contender

“Opera has always defied conventional wisdom: in the past, the company was able to survive by selling web browsers when Microsoft and Netscape were giving them away. More recently, the company shifted to giving away its desktop browser, pulling revenue from sales in the mobile arena and affiliate deals integrated into the browser. The company has proven to be rugged and focused on quality. Now, the company has released alpha builds of the latest version of their desktop product, Opera 9.5 (code-named Kestrel). While it doesn’t quite add enough features to justify a full version number bump, it is a welcome update for any Opera fan and may well get users of more popular browsers to take a second look. Despite being an ‘alpha’ release, we’ve found a solid improvement to an already very strong browser. Opera claims that the latest version is faster than ever before, and our experience bears this out. When running various JavaScript speed tests, Opera 9.5 scored slightly higher (281ms) than the previous released version, 9.23 (546ms). And Opera 9.x, let it be known, smacks silly the likes of Firefox and Internet Explorer, which tend to have results in the 900-1500ms range on this test machine (a 1.8 GHz Core 2 Duo with 2GB RAM). Opera was 50 percent faster on average than Firefox, and 100 percent faster than IE7 on Windows Vista, for instance. (In all versions, the speed of the test depends on how many tabs are open, so your results may vary. In our experience, Opera always came out on top.) Opera also claims that the user interface itself also received significant optimizations for speed, and while it’s tough to accurately benchmark this, the new alpha does feel slightly ‘snappier’ than its predecessor. While this is still an alpha and there are undoubtedly still bugs present, Kestrel on Windows XP was stable and did not crash once during testing. The Macintosh version, unfortunately, had some serious UI display problems running under Panther on my PPC iBook, likely due to the new skinning code that is in this version. Performance enhancements aren’t limited to browsing speed, either. The integrated BitTorrent client (first introduced in 9.0) has been reworked, and support for Peer Exchange should make torrent downloads faster. While still not as full-featured as a standalone BitTorrent client, being able to download torrents with a single click on a web page is an extremely useful feature and is one that I use all the time. Speed isn’t the only thing that Opera has addressed with 9.5. Plenty of refinements have been added to make things more convenient. For example, the Zoom mode in previous versions was a great way to magnify not just text but entire web pages. Kestrel makes the magnification control immediately available in the bottom-right corner of the status bar, along with a toggle to view/hide images. Like most controls in the Opera user interface, these can be removed or repositioned if desired.”

U.S. Justice Department Comes Out Against “Net Neutrality”

Ack! Much evil! Pfffft! (Such intellectual responses from the Doctor!) So… we need new Justice Department workers that have a clue… any takers?

Justice Dept. against ‘Net neutrality’

“The Justice Department on Thursday said Internet service providers should be allowed to charge a fee for priority Web traffic. The agency told the Federal Communications Commission, which is reviewing high-speed Internet practices, that it is opposed to ‘Net neutrality,’ the principle that all Internet sites should be equally accessible to any Web user. Several phone and cable companies, such as AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and Comcast Corp., have previously said they want the option to charge some users more money for loading certain content or Web sites faster than others. The Justice Department said imposing a Net neutrality regulation could hamper development of the Internet and prevent service providers from upgrading or expanding their networks. It could also shift the ‘entire burden of implementing costly network expansions and improvements onto consumers,’ the agency said in its filing. Such a result could diminish or delay network expansion and improvement, it added. The agency said providing different levels of service is common, efficient and could satisfy consumers. As an example, it cited that the U.S. Postal Service charges customers different guarantees and speeds for package delivery, ranging from bulk mail to overnight delivery. Whether or not the same type of differentiated products and services will develop on the Internet should be determined by market forces, not regulatory intervention,’ the agency said in its filing. The agency’s stance comes more than two months after Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Deborah Platt Majoras cautioned policy makers to enact Net neutrality regulation. Such a regulation could prevent rather than promote Internet investment and innovation and have ‘significant negative effects for the economy and consumers,’ the Justice Department said in the filing.”


A New Version of KompoZer is Out!

As I have mentioned before, KompoZer is the unofficial “bug-fix” version of Nvu, an Open Source HTML WYSIWYG Editor. Nvu is good, but KompoZer just plain rocks!

KompoZer HTML Editor

Changes and Fixes:

HTML Editor

* fixed: the HTML 4.01 doctype is now standard (instead of quirks)
* fixed: the editor correctly selects a tab when re-loading a file that’s currently edited
* fixed: the editor correctly updates the window title when closing a tab (avoids crashes)
* added: it’s always possible to revert the current page
* fixed: the PHP/Comment dialog is resizable
* fixed: the current page is marked as modified after changing a PHP/Comment
* added: the format toolbar has been splitted in two
* added: relativize local URLs in the markup cleaner
* TODO: option to launch the markup cleaner before saving/publishing
* added: show id/class attributes in the status bar
* fixed: id/class attributes can be properly removed with the status bar context menu
* fixed: inline style dialogs have a localized title
* fixed: doctype prefs are kept when a new document is created

CSS Editor

* fixed: the CSS Editor becomes a real dialog box (with OK+Cancel buttons)
* fixed: the CSS Editor fits on an SVGA screen (800*600), even on MacOS X
* added: graphical toolbar buttons
* added: ‘modified’ flags on stylesheets
* added: edit style rules in text mode (CSS Editor / Advanced properties)
* added: keyboard shortcut (F11) to open the CSS Editor
* fixed: external stylesheets can be saved on the hard disk
* fixed: better serialization of CSS files
* fixed: real-time preview
* fixed: *lots* of UI bugs

Businesses Save Millions with Open Source!

Now there’s a headline that is fun to type!

Enterprises saving millions of dollars with open source

“Organizations are saving millions of dollars on IT by using open source software. In 2004, open source software saved large companies (with annual revenue of over $1 billion) an average of $3.3 million. Medium-sized companies (between $50 million and $1 billion in annual revenue) saved an average $1.1 million. Firms with revenues under $50 million saved an average $520,000. Asked to categorize all the benefits (cost savings and other) from open source, most companies said they were moderate or major. Some 70% of large firms are seeing moderate or major benefits from open source. Of the companies under $1 billion in revenue, 59% are seeing major benefits.”

Wow! And, check out the stats in this example that the author of the entry (Matt Asay) uses:

“I would argue that the cost savings in the larger organizations is even more substantial. As but one anecdotal example, Alfresco recently talked with a prospect where Microsoft had quoted them tens of millions of dollars for a simple intranet application. The same application built with Alfresco would run the prospect $100,000 (and that’s if they really, really tried hard to spend the money).”

Now THAT’S some REAL savings! Open Source rocks!

“The 1st Amendment Edition” of the Dr. Bill Podcast #101

Dr. Bill Podcast – 101 – (09/02/07)
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Dr. Bill reads a e-mail that is full o’ Geek Culture… the “man” tries to control my blog! DirCaster News! Breaking the Speed of Light! The JW FLV Player is our Geek Software of the Week! Wow! Lot’s of stuff!

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