Friday, March 30, 2007

New Google Notebook

I've been using Google's Notebook clipping service for some time. While it's not as feature-rich as my old favorite, Onfolio, it is web-based and thus more handy. The new version just released has a few small improvements. Not a lot but enough to keep me from looking elsewhere.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Intel's Anser to One Laptop Per Child

Intel and Microsoft have not been very happy about the One Laptop Per Child program. It's not that they don't like the general idea of using technology to help children around the world; rather, it is that they believe it should be done another way. Microsoft wants to see Windows -- OLPC uses Linux -- and Intel wants to use the millions of units being distributed with Intel chips -- not OLPC's AMD chips.

Here is a review of Intel's inexpensive laptop. And, yes, it does run Windows if one adds more memory -- not an uncommon requirement for Windows. ;-). Personally, I don't like it as much. The traditional screen technology eats up lots more energy -- and where's the crank? This unit might work in the US and other places looking for a rugged laptop for k-12 students, but I don't see it being as good as the OLPC unit for the rest of the world.


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Wireless Security Myths

George Ou at ZDnet has written a good article on some of the myths related to wireless security. Given that I hear these frequently mentioned. Read what he has to say.


Friday, March 23, 2007


ConceptShare is an online design sharing system. While there are a number of online collaboration systems, this one excels at collaborating on images. If your school has a newspaper or year book, this might be a useful tool. It could also be a fun tool for students who need to work in teams on projects with a significant amount of graphic work -- such as an art class. The system is not free, but it's not nearly as expensive as other systems I've reviewed.


Thursday, March 22, 2007

New Version of TrueCrypt

TrueCrypt has just announced a new version of their encryption software. Everyone is going in their direction, but they are still ahead of most of the new solutions in terms of being cross-platform and feature-rich. The new version works on Vista and adds a number of useful features. It's free and easy to play with.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Adding Calendars to Your Site

Adding calendars to a web site is not easy if you don't have a CMS system, such as Joomla! or Drupal. Here is an article that reviews three easy ways to add calendars.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Minix Operating System

If you're like me, I've not heard of the Minix system before. Here is an interesting journal article on done by the FreeSoftware Magazine. It is something like Linux in that it took lessons from UNIX with the intention of running on lower-end hardware. Minix became a learning tool for students wanting to learn about operating system kernels. The kernel is the heart of the operating system. Minix's kernel is very small and thus fairly easy to study. No the people behind Minix have come out with a new version that does many of the things Linux does but on lower-end hardware. It's worth taking a look if you teach computer science or want a possible solution for what to do with old 386 and 486 computers.


Monday, March 19, 2007

Another PDF Creator

I love PDF as a format but I don't like the price of the Acrobat creator program. Here is one firm, Foxit, that produces a PDF creator at a much cheaper price. There are some free programs, but they don't always have advanced features.


Friday, March 16, 2007

Keep Track of your Network

FreeMeter is an open source tool that gives you the ability to see what's going on with your network connection. It has tools that display the volume of traffic and tools that allow you to test connections. If you find that you are often wondering if something is wrong with your computer or with your network connection, this tool may help you to decide.


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Getting Online Help with Signing

Mobilsign has a great service that allows you to put in a word and then see a video showing how it is signed. It's too slow for any sort of conversation, but it can help you remember something you may have forgotten.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Need a silent computer?

There are situations where a noisy computer is simply not acceptable. There are a few computers that make any sound. Here is a Linux-based computer that does not have a hard drive or a fan.


Monday, March 12, 2007

Understanding Wikipedia

Here is an article which provides answers to some of the many questions you probably receive regarding Wikipedia.


Thursday, March 08, 2007

Asterisk made easy

Asterisk is a very good open source telephone system. The people I know who have one love the system after the pain and suffering of installation. Trixbox removes the installation pain out of the equation. So, if you have a small telephone system, you should check out trixbox.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Wake up and smell the coffee -- DST is coming

Daylight Savings Time is different this year for people in the US. It starts March 11th. What this means can be a simple as your computers being an hour off to being out of compliance with laws that could get you and your organization into big trouble.

If you have XP, you should be okay. There are certain areas of the world, that require an additional download, but you should be doing checks for downloads on a regular basis. Windows 2000 computers do require updating and older versions of Linux also require help. Here is a good article on what to do with Linux server.


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Automate the security of your Linux servers

A firm called ConfigServer Services is offering a free script that will run a security assessment on many Linux versions. The script goes through the myriad of configuration settings to make sure that the most secure options have been selected. An operating system is no more secure than its settings. A poor job of configuration can make any operating system open to attack.

There are a number of similar services, such as Bastille, that should also be considered. Bastille also works on OS X.


Friday, March 02, 2007

Free Whiteboard - skrbl

skrbl -- yes, that's how it's spelled -- is a new online whiteboard application. It's still in beta testing, but it looks interesting. There are other systems that do this type of work, but there are not many that are free.


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Open Source Science Application

Scilab is an open source software program which handles a wide variety of mathematical calculations. This program appears well-suited to the university and advanced high school student. It runs on a variety of operating systems, so this could be a good solution for a heterogeneous computer environment.