Geek Software of the Week – NetBootDisk!

OK, so this week’s Geek Software of the Week may be for hard core geeks and techies… but it is cool. If you have to update a lot of different kinds of systems and need network connectivity to do so, here’s a tool for your “tech tool belt!” Imagine a regular floppy that you can insert in nearly any halfway decent PC and boot, have it detect your network card, and allow you to access network shares via a TCP/IP connection (like say, to get to Ghost, if you need to “Ghost” images over a network!) OK, now imagine it is FREE!

NetBootDisk is FREE!

Download and enjoy! And, if you have a tool like Nero, you can even transfer it to a CD-ROM and have a universally bootable CD-ROM with TCP/IP network connectivity. Very handy!

OpenOffice 2.0 is HERE!

It is finally official! OpenOffice 2.0 is out, and it rocks! In case you have been living under a rock somewhere, OpenOffice is a really great, and totally FREE Open Source Office Suite that runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux! This release has many things to recommend it, especially the addition of it’s own database (similar to Access.) As before, it will read and write all Microsoft Office formats. You owe it to yourself to download and use this new editon! Here is the link:

OpenOffice 2.0

This will also be our official Geek Software of the Week recommendation!

Geek Software of the Week: Better than Photoshop? Well…

This week’s Geek Software is “Paint.NET.” It is a class project from MIT that has continued since being developed in a .NET programming class. It is written in C#. The idea was to make a “better” Microsoft Paint. They added in layers, and it has grown to nearly (but not quite) Photoshop proportions! The nice thing is… unlike Photoshop, it is FREE!

Paint.NET

You won’t regret checking it out!

Geek Software of the Week: Azureus – Java BitTorrent Client

Wikipedia says of BitTorrent: “BitTorrent is the protocol and the name of the peer-to-peer (P2P) file distribution tool written by programmer Bram Cohen and debuted at CodeCon 2002. The reference implementation is written in Python and is released under the BitTorrent Open Source License (a modified version of the Jabber Open Source License), as of version 4.0. The name ‘BitTorrent’ refers to the distribution protocol, the original client application, and the .torrent file type.

With BitTorrent, files are broken into smaller fragments, typically a quarter of a megabyte each. As the fragments are distributed to the peers in a random order, they can be reassembled on a requesting machine. Each peer takes advantage of the best connections to the missing pieces while providing an upload connection to the pieces it already has. This scheme has proven particularly adept in trading large files such as videos and software source code. In conventional downloading, high demand leads to bottlenecks as demand surges for bandwidth from the host server. With BitTorrent, high demand can actually increase throughput as more bandwidth and additional ‘seeds’ of the completed file become available to the group. Cohen claims that for very popular files, BitTorrent can support about a thousand times as many downloads as HTTP.”

Azureus – Java BitTorrent Client

This is an excellent Java client for BitTorrent with lot’s of great features. Try it! You’ll like it!

Geek Software of the Week: PHP

PHP is an amazing server-side scripting language! It is part of the group of tools that much of the Internet is built on… LAMP… which stands for “Linux,” “Apache,” “MySQL,” and “PHP.” This blog, for instance, is being hosted by one of our Linux servers (CentOS Linux, to be specific), using Apache as our web hosting software, and is written in PHP, with data saved in a MySQL database. It is everywhere! If you would like a great introduction to PHP… here’s a FREE On-Line Book! Yep! FREE!

Practical PHP Programming

PHP is our Geek Software of the Week! Learn it, use it! It is Open Source, and it rocks!

Geek Software of the Week: Ewido Security Suite!

Anti-Virus and Spyware are no longer the ONLY things that we have to fight on the Internet! Now there are hijacking programs, Trojans, Worms, dialing programs that “take over� your system, and keylogging programs that record your keystrokes and allow people to steal your personal info. Here’s another tool in your arsenal to keep your system safe! It will detect these programs and does not interfere with the operation of your current antivirus or Spyware removal program! And, it is FREE!

Ewido Security Suite

Get it, scan your system, and don’t be surprised that it may find things that your current software didn’t find!

Geek Software of the Week: AutoIt

Have you ever needed to automate something in the Windows GUI? (Graphical User Environment) You need to be able to simulate a “click this, enter that, run this” when you aren’t even there at your PC and you want it to run in “the background?” Well, here’s the answer! AutoIt is a “BASIC-like” point and click environment that allows you to automate Windows operations!

AutoIt Scripting Language

Very cool, very flexible… you will like it!

Geek Software of the Week: LogMeIn.com

OK, what if you need to get to a computer remotely, and you have no way to get a special port opened in the firewall (like you would for, say, TightVNC?) You just want a way to connect to a computer and “take over” the session and use it from “a far”… across the Internet, or do a quick file transfer.

LogMeIn.com

This is a FREE service for the “normal” version… and only $99.00 per year for the Pro version. The free version gives me all I need, at least in my tests. This is pretty cool technology! It installs a Java applet on your computer, and then you connect to it over the Web. Worth a try if you need a secure way to connect to a machine behind a firewall!

Geek Software of the Week: Prevx

Being safe on the Internet can be a chore, and it shouldn’t be… however, real life is what it is! So, what we need are tools to help keep our systems safe! This week’s Geek Software is one of those tools. Unlike most of my recommendations, it isn’t free, but it is fairly cheap. There is a 15 day free trial, then you have to license it for $19.95. Check it out:

Prevx – Host Intrusion Prevention Systems

The idea is if ANY software tries to do something that you don’t know about, it will stop it and ask you if you REALLY want to do whatever it is trying to do… so, if you hit a site that tries to install junk on your system in the background… boom! You get a notice and can stop it. Sounds like it is worth the $19.95! And, if you want my recommendations on how to be safe on the web, check out this article:

How to be Safe on the Web

Geek Software of the Week: CCleaner

OK, some history first. I used and loved a tool called “RegCleaner” that was released some years ago by a gentlemen named Jouni Vuorio. He went on to create other tools that incorporated a lot of RegCleaner’s functionality into a tool that he then charged for… OK, good for him. But, it wasn’t as simple as the old tool… and it wasn’t free either!

Now, enter CCleaner! (Which, pardon my “French,” stands for “Crap-Cleaner”) It not only cleans the registry, it also cleans up after your browser, providing better privacy, and it does the following cleaning as well:

Internet Explorer
Temporary files, URL history, cookies, Autocomplete form history, index.dat.

Firefox
Temporary files, URL history, cookies, download history.

Windows
Recycle Bin, Recent Documents, Temporary files and Log files.

Registry cleaner
Advanced features to remove unused and old entries, including File Extensions, ActiveX Controls, ClassIDs, ProgIDs, Uninstallers, Shared DLLs, Fonts, Help Files, Application Paths, Icons, Invalid Shortcuts and more… also comes with a comprehensive backup feature.

Third-party applications
Removes temp files and recent file lists (MRUs) from many apps including Opera, Media Player, eMule, Kazaa, Google Toolbar, Netscape, MS Office, Nero, Adobe Acrobat, WinRAR, WinAce, WinZip and many more…

100% Spyware FREE
This software does NOT contain any Spyware, Adware or Viruses.

Nice… nice… nice! Check it out! Here’s the link:

CCleaner

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