Friday, October 22, 2004

Open Source - What a concept!!

FREE - Open Source - Software.[remember - open source does not mean it has to be FREE - depends on licensing]

Office Productivity
Replacement - - replaces MS Office suit of applications with very small foot print. - test it and you shall know. It has word, excel and powerpoint replacements. File format can be any ms office version or openoffice's own xml compressed form. 1 mb file typically saves to 80 kb in my experience.

Drawing module is very extensive - MS should be doing catch up for many years to come. Please note - MS offering is very good but Openoffice is better. Small size - 60 mb, under 200 mb full install. Best of all it is FREE. and available for nearly all operating systems. It also has a built in flash generator for presentations and pdf generator for all applications.

Free PDF Generator
You need 2 applications for this operation. Ghostscript and FreePDFXP.  I have given same link as you get the downlink for both from the freepdfxp site. this also allows you to encrypt your pdf files.

Ogg Vorbis.
Yes - that is the name - Ogg Vorbis is a completely open, patent-free, professional audio encoding and streaming technology with all the benefits of Open Source.

If you think this is bad - a FREE player "Oggplay" is also available for Symbian OS - used in mobile phones. So if you use Nokia 6600, Siemens SX-1 or any similar product - you can download it free and play fantastic Ogg files [about 1/3rd the size of a good MP3 compress + it is free]. To put it in perspective a 3 hour recording gives a digital quality compress of only 60 mb. A similar compress on MP3 would be about 180 mb, in WMA windows media about 80 to 90 mb. So a 512 mb MMC [a flash memory card used in smart phones and cameras etc] would give you 24 hours play time - though at lower bit rates you can stretch that.

XviD. Does DivX ring a bell? XviD is a continuation of Project Mayo and aims to develop a high quality open-source MPEG-4 codec. As you may already know, XviD comes from the same open-source project that was the basis for DivX 4.x/5.x, but instead of going all commercial, XviD remains open-source. The quality of the codec is extremely good, and encoding speed is very fast as well, a full size hindi movie DVD encodes to about 350 mb - fantastic image display.

What ever is listed by me has actually been tested by me and used regularly.


Sunday, October 10, 2004

Yahoo and Hotmail/Msn using Thunderbird

Many of us wonder how to get rid of the agony of actually going to the yahoo or hotmail website and check mail.

Yes you can use outlook express or outlook to log into hotmail/msn accounts - but what if you want to use a better and much more advanced email client such as Mozilla Thunderbird, which does not support the interface required for accessing hotmail/msn via email software.

There is a FREE solution for both these accounts. Though I do not recommend hotmail/msn - simply because they offer only 2mb storage space and you need to access it at least once in 30 days or you loose all info stored in the account. Yahoo - on the other hand gives 100mb plus 6 months storage - i think - check it out.

For yahoo the program is Yahoopops.  Even though the latest version is 0.6 - I recommend version 0.5 as the newer version is unable to delete mail in your account after downloading it.

For Hotmail/msn the program is Hotmail Popper. Apparently Microsoft will soon be stopping access to outside programs such as this one from accessing msn/hotmail accounts - unless you have hotmail plus paid account. I guess it is time to trash this account anyway. No offense to the service itself - it is one of the best free email services but the small size, time bound access is not so attractive - at least not for me.

For controlling SPAM - there is also a free solution - Spampal. This does a very good job and much better than most paid solutions.your Thunderbird email client also has junk mail filters - which when activated - do a fantastic job and you most probably will not require anti spam software.


Friday, October 08, 2004

All about RSS

The past week

It has quite a week - earlier in the week - had all sorts of problems with the computers and the Internet and the updates.

RSS - what does it mean for the common person

OK - I am not going to reinvent the wheel - so to speak - there is a lot of information about it on the web,
Basically RSS is "Really Simple Syndication" - what is "syndication" - well,  Syndication is the process by which a site is able to share information with other sites. In this case it is broken down using xml into small data chunks - which can be picked up by a RSS reader such as Mozilla Firefox . A good link for this info is here. It also gives you a rundown on what XML really is - as that is what RSS is based on.

So if you are using Firefox and you go to yahoo news site  and then go to one of the new pages - say top stories. At the right hand side of the status bar you will see red RSS. left click on it and it gives you a "Subscribe to RSS" link and asks you to save as a bookmark [favourite as in Internet explorer]. Here it is referred to as a Live Bookmark - as it updates as and when you ask or when you start the browser.

So finally you do not have to go to the actual web site to get the headlines. Just check the bookmark and it will update and show a list of latest headline.

This is also being used here at Blogger and many other sites. Even weather sites are using RSS to give out information. If you want to get weather info on your desk top visit Rainlender site. You get tons of information about your system plus other information.

Later I shall also be writing about improving your windows for free, changing your shell, look and feel of windows. How does Linux face up, and also about browsers and email/news readers.

Thats about it for now

buenas noches

Saturday, October 02, 2004

So finally my GMX does go thru

This is going to be long story now - detailing my voyage from one ISP to another and the troubles encountered including over dose of mango peal - ha and a cold of course.

System must have a software firewall, antivirus, Mozilla Firefox browser.
The internet account in use ADSL aka DSL. Not to forget Freeproxy - all urls also coming below.

Connected the new DSL via the USB and fired up the system. To share it implemented ICS [internet connection sharing] on the DSL modem- you can do this by going to the connection properties in the network panel in the control panel.

3 systems in all including the one connected to the internet.

This same arrangement was ealier set with lan connection for internet at 64 kbps and all systems worked fine including yahoo and gmx.

With DSL - situation changed. Yahoo sites would open including the groups page but no access to the Yahoo mail - same status with msn. To access mail at yahoo I use Yahoopops and for msn I use Hotmail Popper - both free solutions. Neither of them were able to access their respective sites either.

Solution - use a proxy - but where to get one - Googled for free proxies - read about them but had used one 3 years back and found that present avatar is very good. Freeproxy. Since the OS used is Windows 2000 - have installed the freeproxy as a service - in other words - the program starts and is run behind the scenes and works even when no one is logged in.

So - the browser set to use the proxy and have still kept the ICS running - mail only yahoo and msn via the HTTP proxy.

The GMX - had to set up SMTP proxy on the freeproxy server. I am no guru - just did the RTFM [read the fu#$*&g manual] thingy - it is all there in the help.

Re - RSS and fire fox and thunderbird goodies - next post hee he he he


Blog what blog

Well I have been off the net for the past afew days.


Well not really - have actually switched my ISP. Earlier my cable guy was offering me 64 kbps up and down for 1100/ bucks and now have switched to Airtel and have a ADSL line 128 kbps for 900 - duh. It is just great.

Then also have shifted the main internet connection from my pc to the other PC so that PC acts as the web feeder for the house.

ICS on windows

BUT running Internet Connection sharing from the lan connection and from ADSL USB dial up connection - are 2 different things.

Windows uses a sort of NAT [network address translation] which is OK as long as your internet uses your network card - a USB connection changes the dream.

Once I had USB - I could not access Yahoo and MSN neither could I use remote mail readers like Hotpop and Yahoopops.

So in comes Freeproxy. This is a free proxy server - very usefull and also installs itself as a service on win2k. So have routed all connections via this proxy. Only my mail is still going direct using using the ICS [intenet connection sharing - on the dial up connection] but the pop yahoo and msn go via the proxy - i will need to use proxy for GMX as well - i think. all my gmx mail gets bounced.

Eating half kg of delicious aampapar in half hour flat is not good for your stomach.

more later on rss feed and fire fox and my cold....