A New Version of WAMPserver is Out!

This is, without doubt, the easiest way to install Apache, MySQL and PHP on Microsoft Windows! I have used it in both test and production environments, and it is rock solid… now, there is a new, updated version.

WAMPserver Web Site

If you haven’t tried it… go for it! If you already use it, it is time to upgrade, the versions of the software included are:

  • Apache 2.2.8
  • MySQL 5.0.51a
  • PHP 5.2.5

Competition to Exchange: Unified Messaging on Linux

A new communications suite called: “Unison” was introduced at CeBIT this week. It combines Open Source technologies and offers both Windows clients and a single, unified Linux-based server.

Everything in Unison on Linux

“Software developer Unison has launched what it claimed is the world’s first fully-unified communications suite based on Linux. Announced at CeBIT, the suite (also simply called Unison) combines IP telephony, email and instant messaging with diary, address book and presence capabilities, all in a single Linux server. It is available free as a public beta. ‘You can get all these elements separately on Linux, but this is the first time they have all been in one server,’ said Rurik Bradbury, Unison’s chief marketing officer. Other unified communications (UC) schemes, such as Microsoft’s Office Communications Server (OCS) can require three or more servers to do the same thing, he added. ‘If you’re reasonably familiar with Linux, you can deploy Unison in a couple of hours, and have a complete system running for a company of perhaps 50 or 60 people in half a day,’ he said. The server software works with a Unison client program for Windows PCs. This provides a genuine alternative to Microsoft’s combination of Exchange and Outlook, Bradbury claimed. ‘We’re amazed no-one has done this before – build both a client and a server. Others have either one or the other,’ he said. He added that a Linux version of the client will come later this year. Unison is aimed at 20- to 300-seat organizations, but the US-based company plans to add server clustering in the future to support more. It is partly based on open source technology, such as Thunderbird for email and Jabber for instant messaging, and partly developed by Unison’s own programmers.”

“The Very Full, Very Geeky Edition” of the Dr. Bill Podcast #126

Dr. Bill Podcast – 126 – (03/08/08)
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This week… a jammed FULL podcast with Geek Culture from “Sudden Death,” an interview with David Friend, CEO and Co-Founder of Carbonite.com and the Tech News! A VERY Geeky Show!

Will Internet Explorer 8 Be Decent? I Hope So!

IE has been one of the worst browsers insofar as adhering to Internet standards. Try, it doesn’t at all! Microsoft has had the attitude, “Dewd, we MAKE the standards, suck it up!” But now they MAY be getting in line… I sure hope so! Designing web sites and having to “allow” for IE is getting old!

Microsoft’s IE architect: IE8 is what we’ve been building up to

BetaNews: “FROM MIX 08 – For Internet Explorer platform architect Chris Wilson, IE8 is more than just a new version. It’s the realization of an effort that began with IE7 to build the best Web browser for both developers and consumers. ‘IE7 was the start to IE8,’ Wilson told BetaNews this afternoon in Las Vegas. It’s not a secret that Microsoft largely abandoned its browser after IE6 and rebuilt the development team from scratch for IE7. Although it brought a number of much-needed improvements, version 7 was only a stepping stone for the company on the road to IE8. According to Wilson, IE8 will deliver everything that Microsoft has wanted to do from the beginning, and in turn finally get Internet Explorer back to the same level as its competitors in terms of features, performance and standards support. That’s not going to be an easy job, but the company says it remains committed to the task. ‘We have to rebuild our credibility on the Web,’ Tim O’Brien, director of the Platform Strategy Group at Microsoft, acknowledged to BetaNews. A key component of this is reaching out to the Internet community and listening to feedback — much of which revolves around the pain developers experience when trying to make their Web sites and applications compatible with IE. To that end, Microsoft has introduced a minor but far-reaching change in the way IE8 will render sites, adhering to stricter Web standards than IE7, which vastly improved upon IE6 but still had quirks in its standards implementation. The goal is to deliver full CSS 2.1 support in the final release of IE8, Microsoft has said. While it seems a logical shift, especially when considering that Microsoft wants its own online services to work for the growing number of Firefox and Safari users, the move is an about-face from a decision in January in which Wilson explained IE8’s standards mode would require a special HTML tag to activate. Microsoft was worried about breaking existing sites designed for IE7’s standards mode.”

Google and Microsoft Battling Over Digg?

DiggAnother big competition by the two industry giants… over Digg? Kevin Rose must be jazzed!

Google, Microsoft Said To Be Preparing Bids For Digg

“User-generated news site Digg has been working with influential investment bank Allen & Co. (the ones that recently got Slide a half billion dollar valuation) for a few months now, and pitching big tech and media companies on a sale. And despite a number of false starts, this time a sale looks like it might actually happen, and soon. We hear from a source very close to the deal that four companies are in heavy due diligence with Digg – two media/news companies, and two big Internet companies – Google and Microsoft. And Google and Microsoft are on the verge of making their bids. Digg is prepared to take less than the $300 million Allen & Co. were floating late last year. Google, our source says, will likely bid $200-$225 million, which Digg would likely accept. Microsoft is looking at a somewhat lower price. That makes sense, since most of Digg’s revenue today comes from a three year advertising deal that Digg signed with Microsoft last year. That deal has revenue guarantees – and Microsoft may be hesitant to value Digg based on revenue that they supply. Any sale is likely to give Microsoft an option to terminate that advertising deal, which means Google isn’t valuing Digg based on revenue, either. But it is a big slap in the face to Microsoft to steal Digg away, and Google can certainly generate revenue on all those page views.”

Dell Gets Into the “Rugged-ized” Notebook Market

Dell Rugged-ized NotebooksYou may have heard of Panasonic’s “Toughbook” line… well, Dell now has a similar offering.

Dell challenges Panasonic in rugged notebooks

“Today, Dell announced the availability of its Latitude XFR D630, a ruggedly designed notebook meant to serve as competition to Panasonic’s Toughbook. Though it cannot claim to have made the strongest nor first rugged laptops, Panasonic’s Toughbook line of computers undoubtedly is the most recognizable rugged laptop brand on the market today. Dell, however looks to be moving in on the territory, by making direct challenges to Panasonic’s performance. Dell’s Latitude XFR D630 meets the oft-cited MIL-STD 810F, or the Department of Defense-certified standard of toughness. MIL-STD is a series of specifications that cover resistance to different conditions including pressure, temperature, and humidity variance, fungus, fog, sand, dust, acceleration, shock and even gunfire.”

The Dungeon Master Has Lost His Last Dice Roll

Gary Gygax, the co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons died today. I can remember playing D&D in college; my best friend, Matt, was an awesome DM. Pretty wild. It seems like the end of an era!

Gary Gygax, ‘Father of D&D,’ Dies at 69

Gary Gygax, one of the co-creators of the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, died Tuesday morning at his home in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, according to Stephen Chenault, CEO of Troll Lord Games. Gygax designed the original D&D game with Dave Arneson in 1974, and went on to create the Dangerous Journeys and Legendary Adventure RPGs, as well as a number of board games. He also wrote several fantasy novels. ‘I don’t think I’ve really grokked it yet,’ said Mike Mearls, the lead developer of the upcoming 4th edition of Dungeons and Dragons. ‘He was like the cool uncle that every gamer had. He shaped an entire generation of gamers.'”

Which Linux Distro is Best for YOU?!?

There are so many! How do I decide?! Well, now, there is automated help with JUST that question, take the test and see which distro YOU should be using! (My result?) Why – Kubuntu, of course!

Linux Distribution Chooser

“What do you look for when switching from Windows to Linux? We’re updating our quiz, and we want you to help us find the most important questions. Take the test and use the feedback form, and we’ll use your questions in our next update!”

Geek Software of the Week: Spywareblaster 4.0!

SpywareblasterI have recommended Spywareblaster for a long, long time… but this new version is even better! Spywareblaster is one of the utilities I put on EVERY system I build… period! Version 4.0 is BRAND NEW! Check it out!

Javacool Software’s SpywareBlaster 4.0

“Spyware, adware, browser hijackers, and dialers are some of the fastest-growing threats on the Internet today. By simply browsing to a web page, you could find your computer to be the brand-new host of one of these unwanted fiends! The most important step you can take is to secure your system. And SpywareBlaster is the most powerful protection program available.

  • Prevent the installation of ActiveX-based spyware, adware, browser hijackers, dialers, and other potentially unwanted software.
  • Block spyware/tracking cookies in Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox.
  • Restrict the actions of potentially unwanted sites in Internet Explorer.

SpywareBlaster can help keep your system spyware-free and secure, without interfering with the ‘good side’ of the web. And unlike other programs, SpywareBlaster does not have to remain running in the background.”

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