Geek Software of the Week: Password Corral!

Password CorralDo you have so many passwords to so many websites, applications, etc., etc. that you just can’t remember them all? Are you writing them down on a napkin? Dewd! Don’t do that! Corral them with Password Corral! Check it out!

Cygnus Production’s Password Corral

“Password Corral is our popular freeware password manager. With a clean, easy to use interface, strong encryption and all the features you would expect from a program you’d have to pay for, it’s no wonder thousands of people have made it their choice for password management! Please note, Password Corral runs on the Windows platform only.


Password Corral uses Blowfish or Diamond2 encryption to encrypt all the information you store in the program, keeping it safe from prying eyes. Each password can have both a short description and comments which can also contain hyperlinks to launch your web browser. Each password entry can also have an expiration date to remind you to change the password. The program can be set to time out to the Windows system tray area after a specified period of system inactivity and be protected by your master password, so even if you forget to close Password Corral and walk away from your PC, your password information can still be protected. The program is customizable, allowing you to display your password information unencrypted on the screen, change the display fonts and hyperlink color and modify many of the security aspects of the program. You can export your password data in an encrypted (or unencrypted) format to keep a safe backup of your data or to transfer your passwords to another PC. Best of all Password Corral features a clean, easy to use, standard Windows interface – no wild icons or weird dialog boxes – you’ll be up and running as soon as you start the program!

* Clean, easy to use, standard Windows interface
* Secure Blowfish or Diamond2 encryption
* Multiple password accounts on a single PC
* Create detailed descriptions, usernames, URL, e-mail and comments for each password entry
* Group password data into custom groups you define
* Customizable random password generator
* Hyperlinks in the comments field will launch your web browser
* Password expiration notices
* Create encrypted export files of your password data for backup or import to another PC
* Customizable ‘time-out’ feature to secure the program and your data after a period of system inactivity
* Print hard copies of your password information
* Many Customizable interface elements and security parameters
* Full on-line and ‘What’s This?’ help”

So… What Do You Have Planned for Thursday? Well…

After all, if some scientists are right (and we trust them SO much… think global warming…) then, the world might come to an end on Wednesday (tomorrow as I write this.) Why? CERN will switch on the LHC (Large Hadron Collider.) Sorry about Thursday (I never COULD get the hang of Thursdays!)

Will the world end on Wednesday?

“Be a bit of a pain if it did, wouldn’t it? And the most frustrating thing is that we won’t know for sure either way until the European laboratory for particle physics (Cern) in Geneva switches on its Large Hadron Collider the day after tomorrow. If you think it’s unlikely that we will all be sucked into a giant black hole that will swallow the world, as German chemistry professor Otto Rössler of the University of Tübingen posits, and so carry on with your life as normal, only to find out that it’s true, you’ll be a bit miffed, won’t you? If, on the other hand, you disagree with theoretical physicist Prof. Sir Chris Llewellyn Smith of the UK Atomic Energy Agency, who argues that fears of possible global self-ingestion have been exaggerated, and decide to live the next two days as if they were your last, and then nothing whatsoever happens, you’d feel a bit of a fool too. Rössler apparently thinks it ‘quite plausible’ that the ‘mini black holes’ the Cern atom-smasher creates ‘will survive and grow exponentially and eat the planet from the inside.’ So convinced is he that he has lodged an EU court lawsuit alleging that the project violates the right to life guaranteed under the European Convention of Human Rights. Prof. Llewellyn Smith, however, has assured Radio 4’s Today program that the LHC – designed to help solve fundamental questions about the structure of matter and, hopefully, arrive at a ‘theory of everything’ – is completely safe and will not be doing anything that has not happened ‘100,000 times over’ in nature since the earth has existed. ‘The chances of us producing a black hole are minuscule,’ he said, ‘and even if we do, it can’t swallow up the earth.’ So, folks, who do you believe?”

By the way, you can watch them flip the switch live on their webcam network!

CERN Webcam

Live Migration Feature for Microsoft’s Hyper-V Two Years Out!

In news that can only make VMware grin broadly, Microsoft admitted that the upcoming “live migration” feature (which VMware’s ESX Server Converter already does) will NOT be available until 2010!

Microsoft postpones live VM migration for Hyper-V two more years

“At a virtualization product launch today, Microsoft give a long-delayed demo of Hyper-V live migration, but then went on to slate the feature’s eventual release for the next edition of Windows Server. In showing the upcoming capability to a crowd of customers in Bellevue, WA, Bob Muglia, senior VP of Microsoft’s server and tools business, suggested that in the Windows Server product which follows Windows Server 2008, users will be able to instantly migrate virtualized software deployments from one server to the next, for consolidation on the fly. But the live migration demo may actually come as bad news to some data center admins, who have been looking forward to Microsoft adopting some form of live migration since 2006. Microsoft’s first delay of this feature was announced 16 months ago, after the company had promised it for ‘Longhorn,’ which became Windows Server 2008. The feature was cut, said product managers at the time, in order that Hyper-V could meet its launch window; but then that window was later scooted to 90 days after Windows Server 2008’s own launch.”

The “I’m Feelin’ Wimpy, But The Show Must Go On Edition” of Dr. Bill Podcast #152

Dr. Bill Podcast – 152 – (09/06/08)
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Google’s new Chrome browser, Red Hat and Virtualization, Geek Software of the Week: SDP, Weird Al and more!

Cnet Says, “10 Things We’d Like to See in Chrome”

Sounds cool! I like Cnet’s take on Google’s new Chrome Browser and the need for more feature tweaks.

10 things we’d like to see in Chrome

“So far we’re pretty smitten with Google’s Chrome. It’s certainly not without its faults, but for version 1.0 of a browser it’s pretty sharp. We’ve compiled a list of 10 things we’d really like to see added or tweaked. Some come from other browsers, and some are just improvements on some of the existing features. Google, we hope you’re listening.

1. Profile roaming between multiple browsers. This may be a pipe dream, but if Foxmarks for Firefox has proved anything, syncing up your bookmarks between multiple machines is awesome. Doing the same with passwords, settings, and history would be even better. Considering Google already has a way for your browser to send data back to the mothership, and a hosted Web history service of its own, a little sync using my Google account doesn’t seem that hard does it?

2. Better bookmark management. Speaking of bookmarks, the bookmarking system in Chrome is about as basic as it gets. ‘Stripped-down’ might be a better way to describe it. On the outset, it seems as robust as Firefox 3’s with a really simple one-click way to save links. Where the system falls apart is the lack of tools for organization, and a complete lack of a back-up tool to save your short (or long) list of favorite sites. Of course, a bookmarks plug-in like Delicious would help sort this out, which brings us to the next yearning…

3. Plug-ins. Google has acknowledged that plug-ins are on the road map, which is a good thing. Here’s how the search giant can totally one-up Mozilla, though: let me install and make changes to extensions without having to restart the browser. Nothing is worse than having 30 tabs open and having to restart, even if it remembers what I had open before. This reminds me…

4. Saved sessions/Warning messages when closing multiple tabs. Firefox’s little warning for when you’re closing a group of tabs was a huge lifesaver in version two. Firefox 3 brought with it a way to save that grouping of open tabs for later. Chrome has neither of these features. Accidentally closing your browser with a slew of tabs open means they’re gone for good–that is unless you set it from the default option of clearing what you were looking at. Chrome is also nice enough to tell you some of the most recently closed tabs back on its special start page, but that’s it.

5. A full-screen mode. I love the minimalism of Chrome, but sometimes I just want those extra 60-90 vertical pixels back. Give me a keyboard shortcut for this too, and I’ll be in screen hog heaven.

6. A more customizable interface. The blue is neat, but getting that great deep purple found in incognito mode is enough of a tease to make me want to change the way it looks based on how I’m feeling. Plus, you’ve taken away the nice special Windows-theme coloring I had when you got rid of the top of the application, so let me choose how I want it to look. Bonus points for a tie-dye mode or something that changes depending on what time of day it is–like your personalized homepage service iGoogle.

7. A way to drag ‘applications’ back into the main browser. The option to turn a certain site into a self-contained browser window with a stripped-down interface is great. However, the inability to drag it back into an open Chrome browser window is maddening when you’re trying to re-open some real estate on the task bar. You can do this with existing tabs and windows, and it works great.

8. A Mac/Linux version. The lack of a Mac client has left the growing percentage of Mac users in a bit of a tizzy. Worse yet, based on Google’s track record with some of its other cross-platform software offerings like Google Earth and Google Desktop search, the Mac has fared a little worse with slower release schedules and less features than its PC siblings. Hopefully new features will be rolled out to all the platforms at about the same time.

9. A pop-up blocker that blocks. Clearly Google is trying to shake things up with a pop-up blocker that really should be called a ‘pop-up relocator,’ since it not only lets them open but also load. Frankly, this drives me nuts since I have to close them down to get them off the screen. Also if it’s really important and something I meant to click, I have to go drag it off from the bottom of the screen.

10. A regular old search box. Yes progress is good and the ‘omnibar’ does a pretty slam-dunk job of getting new searches going, but let’s get some of the ambiguity away from that thing and have an option to leave it for URLs only. Also, a separate search box would let me pick from the other multitude of search providers in addition to Google without compromising my screen real estate.”

I would just add, better support for all plugins… they already do Flash… let’s see Silverlight!

Red Hat Invests Further in Virtualization

So, Red Hat wants to compete with VMware (ESXserver), Citrix (XenServer), and Microsoft (Hyper-V).

Red Hat buys virtualization specialist Qumranet

“The Linux vendor will now add KVM to its existing hypervisor-based approach to virtualization, an advantage the company envisions as providing as complete a portfolio as VMware, Microsoft, and Xen. In a move that gives Red Hat new ways of managing Windows and Linux desktops, the Linux vendor on Thursday acquired virtualization player Qumranet. With the buyout, Red Hat obtains Qumranet’s KVM (Kernel Virtual Machine) platform along with SolidICE, designed to enable a user’s Windows or Linux desktop to operate in a virtual machine hosted on a central server, officials said during a press conference. Now joining Red Hat are the Santa Clara, California-based start-up’s team of engineers, including the leaders of the Qumranet-sponsored open source KVM Project. That team was founded in 2006 to do development work around a new, Linux-based mechanism for splitting a single physical computer into multiple VMs. KVM got started with a patch to Linux designed to let higher-level software take advantage of hardware virtualization features built into the latest Intel and AMD processors. Competing technologies to KVM use low-level software-based hypervisors, not built into the Linux kernel. Red Hat’s operating system, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, already includes an embedded hypervisor. ‘Red Hat will be one of only two companies in the world with a comprehensive virtualization portfolio,’ contended Paul Cormier, Red Hat’s VP of tools and technologies, speaking during the press conference.”

First Gates/Seinfeld Commercial a Bust!

Whoa! You thought the Mac/PC ads were cool! When it was announced that Jerry Seinfeld would be doing Vista ads… you can imagine Apple quaking in their boots… NOT! Seinfeld’s show was famously a “show about nothing.” Well, so are these commercials! Keep in mind M$ spent $300,000,000.00 on them. Ouch.

The First Bill Gates + Jerry Seinfeld Microsoft Ad Makes No Sense

“Besides the slick and probably expensive editing designed to make Jerry Seinfeld look like the more awkward of the pair, there’s not a whole lot of special effects in this clip. In fact, there’s not really a whole lot of anything, including laughs, information or pimping of Vista. It’s kinda like Seinfeld’s really long, really rambling Superman ad for Amex he did a few years back. We hope the rest of the campaign is better. They did get Bill Gates to use his mug shot somewhere in the spot (not spoiling it by saying where), but other than that we’re underwhelmed.”

Watch it… and then ask yourself… does this make me want to run out and buy Vista? Ahhh…no!

The “GNU Project” Turns 25 this Month!

A quarter of a century of open source, completely free software. Wow! And, I remember it when it happened. Pretty wild!

GNU turns 25

“No longer will the Free Software Foundation be the target of advertisements for novelty condoms, Ibiza package holidays and extreme sports gear. It’s leaving the 16-24 yoof demographic behind. Today the GNU project celebrates its quarter-century. It was on 27 September 1983 that MIT slacker Richard M Stallman made his announcement that he intended to create a complete Unix-like system that would be completely open and hackable, giving anyone the right to modify and distribute the work. The Free Software Foundation is getting its celebration in early. The innovation of the GPL software licence only followed some years later, but it was driven by GNU’s needs, and it was to have profound consequences for the computer industry. 25 years ago, Stallman saw the project as a way of continuing the community ethic of shared code, something he felt was in danger of being eclipsed by the arrival of new, commercial software companies, seeking to capitalize on work in the labs. It’s not so strange if you look at it through Stallman’s eyes: software was a tool that had always been open, hackable and redistributable, and now mediocre people in ill-fitting suits were trying to steal that freedom… by making a quick buck with dodgy products, and putting very little back. One of these was Bill Gates – others were a host of start-ups seeking to take the code and make commercially useful products with the lab work. Ambitious and insecure, these start-ups all needed to explain their USP to venture investors as a kind of “secret source”. So Stallman set about creating a free alternative. Over the next few years, he created a toolchain that allowed other developers to create working, open computer systems on entirely new and alien hardware. He wrote the gcc compiler, with Richard Mlynarik the gdb debugger. With a few other tools, this was enough for a ‘bootstrapping’ system: both the gcc and gdb were of such high quality that the fame spread, particularly amongst the embedded community. Phones, switches, A to D converters… boxes of all kinds ran on, and trusted, GNU.”

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