Geek Software of the Week: DBAN

Have you ever sold or donated a PC to someone else? Have you considered that even if you “delete” your private data, it is still recoverable? So, your data COULD be retrieved and used to get into your bank account, etc.! You need a way to totally ZAP your data! Well, here you go!

Darik’s Boot and Nuke

“Darik’s Boot and Nuke (‘DBAN’) is a self-contained boot floppy that securely wipes the hard disks of most computers. DBAN will automatically and completely delete the contents of any hard disk that it can detect, which makes it an appropriate utility for bulk or emergency data destruction.”

DBAN comes in a floppy and CD-ROM version. And, of course, it is totally FREE!

PLEASE NOTE: As Darkmoon points out in a comment to this post, there is NO “CONFIRM” option, once you choose to wipe your drive with DBAN, it will just WIPE IT! And, there is no return from this! Your data will be GONE! You have been warned! Don’t come crying to the Doctor! [Grin!]

By the way, if you are looking for a utility to simply delete files securely, WITHOUT wiping the hard drive, check out simple File Shredder available here:


Geek Software of the Week: Naomi

The recent post about the Bush Administration wanting Google search info to fight porn on the Internet, prompts this find for our Geek Software of the Week. For all you parents that want to block bad sites on the Internet… it can be EXPENSIVE! But, never fear! There is a FREE software package that is actually pretty neat! It is small, doesn’t drag down system performance, and effectively blocks sites by shutting down the browser (or other application) that accesses certain contect:

Naomi Internet Filter

“Naomi is able to constantly monitor all internet connections, protecting children from inappropriate online material – such as obscene or violent contents; pornography, pedophilia and erotism in the form of images or texts; sites that popularize drugs; gambling games; terrorism; hate propaganda; occultism; sects; blasphemy, etc.

Naomi does not rely on a simple list of banned sites; instead, it examines in real-time all the data being transmitted and received through any internet application – such as web browers, chat programs, news readers, etc.

The filtering technology employed in Naomi features:

  • Heuristic analysis capable of recognizing new material automatically.
  • Semantic analysis of web pages contents and analysis of their addresses and links.
  • Recognizes all the major languages (10+).
  • Recognizes ICRA labelling system.
  • Monitoring is not limited to web sites, but covers the whole local internet traffic.
  • Works with all service providers and software applications, and does not alter settings.
  • Allows blocking of file-sharing applications.
  • Password-protected (the password is chosen during the installation).
  • Easy to use: does not require configuration.
  • Can be used on slow connections (it does not perform any download in background).”
  • Geek Software of the Week: PORTABLE OpenOffice

    This week’s Geek Software of the Week is Portable OpenOffice. That is, the full OpenOffice Suite, designed to be run entirely off of a thumbdrive! That’s programs and data! Wow! This way, you can take your favorite office suite, and your data, with you, no matter what computer you use!

    Portable Openoffice!

    I like it, because if I have to sit down at someone else’s system, I can have “my” environment to work in, without having to open their software (and use the Evil Empire’s package!) Very cool! And, while you are at it, check out the other applications that are listed that can be run entirely from a thumbdrive!

    “ is a community site devoted to the development, promotion and use of portable applications. The site was created by John T. Haller, the developer behind numerous portable applications (like Portable Firefox and Portable as a way to centralize the knowledge and development efforts of multiple portable application efforts.” Neat idea!

    Geek Software of the Week – PopTray

    OK, so I like web based e-mail because, unlike Microsoft Outlook, web based e-mail isn’t as prone to open virus attachments, and have security issues in general. I use Squirrelmail on my own Linux servers, which is a great Open Source IMAP package using PHP. I also like Gmail, which is very handy free e-mail service and offers large storage and searchable e-mail. However, one thing that is nice about Outlook, or even Mozilla Thunderbird, is that when you get an e-mail, you get instant notification… if you are logged in to your PC. You don’t have to remember to check your e-mail via a web site. Well, as usual, some kind individual has created a free, Open Source utility that does just what I need! It is called PopTray. It sits in your Windows tray, and checks your e-mail on any server, and then pops up and notifies you of incoming e-mail. (Thus the name, “PopTray”, get it?)

    PopTray Open Source E-mail Notifier

    Download it and configure it as you like.


  • Unlimited number of Accounts
  • Show number of messages directly on the TrayIcon (rotating by account)
  • Quickly preview a message
  • Delete messages from the server without downloading them
  • Rules that identify a message according to your criteria, then does one of these actions:

  • Play different notification sound
  • Delete from the server
  • Run any EXE file
  • Mark as Spam, etc.
  • Configurable Hot-keys/Mouse-Buttons/Command-Line options for most functions
  • Plug-in Support:

  • Protocol plug-ins (e.g. IMAP4, Hotmail, Gmail, etc.)
  • Notify plug-ins (e.g. Flashing scroll-lock light, ScreenSaver)
  • Spam management using rules and white/black lists
  • Mulitple notfications (play sound, pop-up, etc)
  • Translated into 30+ languages
  • Complete Install / Uninstall
  • Hamachi – Free Peer-to-Peer VPN Connections!

    OK, I have long given you “Geek Software of the Week” recommendations… this may be Geek Software of the YEAR! VPN (or “Virtual Private Networks”) can be hard to configure, use and manage. Also some VPN configurations can be less secure than others. Now, we have a SIMPLE, FREE and VERY SECURE VPN for users to connect two (or more) computers (and therefore LANs) to one another even behind firewalls and NAT addressing schemes. It is multi-platform (Windows and Linux now, shortly for the Mac), and can be useful for “Road Warriors” in hotels that need to connect to a system behind a firewall safely. DEWD! This is SO cool!

    Hamachi FREE VPN

    Sign up for free now, and enjoy secure VPN computing! This totally rocks! Also, use Steve Gibson’s Super Secure Private Password creator to further secure this connection. That link is available here:

    Gibson Research Private Password Generator

    Geek Software of the Week – A Free Zip/UnZip Utility

    I like WinZip. And, I own a licensed copy. However, you would be AMAZED (OK, maybe you wouldn’t) how many folks are using WinZip, which is shareware, beyond the “test period.” You see, WinZip allows you to download and install thier software and use it to see if you then want to buy it. But many people never get around to paying for it. Shocking, but true! So, what if you need a LEGAL and FREE Open Source Zip/unZip utility? Well, here it is:

    7-Zip Utility

    This week’s Geek Software os the Week will do this:

    Packing / unpacking: 7z, ZIP, GZIP, BZIP2 and TAR
    Unpacking only: RAR, CAB, ARJ, LZH, CHM, Z, CPIO, RPM and DEB

    I like the fact that it handles the newer “RAR” format. Very cool. Download – Enjoy – Be legal!

    Geek Software of the Week – A Double Header!

    Two for the price of one (which is, of course, FREE!) Two Open Source programs that work together to protect your system. The first is ClamWin, a free, Open Source anti-virus. Clam Anti-virus has been around a while, but it has the limitation that it does not scan in “real time,” you would have to initiate a scan to find a virus… however, by combining it with the second, free, Open Source program, WinPooch (weird name, I know!), then you have a setup that will scan in real time for virii, changes to your system, spyware, ad-ware, or trojans! Very cool! However, you must do the following in this order!

    Download ClamWin from:

    Install ClamWin FIRST!

    Then, download WinPooch from:

    and install WinPooch! Then, you will get WinPooch notices when it detects modifications in your system, so as to detect a trojan or a spyware installation. You can also set your own security level for anti-spyware, anti-trojan, firewall, antivirus (ONLY if you have ClamWin installed.)

    Cool! And, you now also have a weird, cute little dog with squinty roving eyes in your taskbar tray… how cool is that?!??!

    Geek Software of Week: MP3myMP3

    So, you like Internet Radio, Streaming Podcasts, Internet Music, etc., etc. You REALLY wish you could record it. Well, now you can! If you can hear it on your system, you can now record it as an MP3 file! Very cool! And, of course, very FREE!

    MP3myMP3 Recorder

    Download, install, and enjoy the freedom of recording the audio on your computer! Oh, you can also use it to search for, and find, any audio file on your computer. Very nice!

    Geek Software of the Week: TVTad

    This week’s Geek Software of the Week requires a few caveats! First, you should only use it to download TV programs that you legally have rights to, second, you have to have a BitTorrent client like Azureus installed prior to installing this software. TVTad allows you to select a TV program and then download it every week! So, imagine setting it to receive Stargate SG-1 and every week, you will get the episode on your computer! Cool! This is the beginning of IPTV, one of my favorite “cool ideas” that folks are talking about today!


    Check it out! This is very cool… let’s just hope the RIAA and the networks don’t kill it!

    Geek Software of the Week – TrueCrypt

    Security is on everyone’s mind these days, and rightly so… there is a lot going on in computing. Plus, more and more, we are putting our “lives” on our computer systems. We have information on our computers, and especially our notebook or laptop computers, that is VERY private! So, if YOUR laptop was, horrors, stolen… what would be compromised? YIKES!

    TrueCrypt Open Source Software

    Check out the link above. You will find free, Open Source software that just might give you some peace of mind if the worse were to happen! It can create a virtual encrypted disk within a file and mount it as a real disk. It can encrypt an entire hard disk partition or a device, such as USB memory stick, floppy disk, etc. Very cool! Check it out!

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