Category Archives: Software

Zune Windows XP Theme


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The Zune portable media player is shipping very soon and what better way to celebrate with Microsoft releasing a brand spanking new desktop theme for Windows XP!

The new Zune theme is a really nice looking theme. Make sure you go ahead and download it as it won’t be available for long.

Here’s a quick screenshot of the Zune Desktop theme in action:

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The Zune Desktop Theme (for Windows XP) is available for download here.

Firefox 2.0 on the way


Just last week the release of Firefox 2.0 RC3 (Release Candidate 3) gave us a number of new features to play with including new tab functionality and anti-phishing measures just to name a few.

Now, this coming week (Tuesday 24th October) the final build of Firefox 2.0 will be released to the public and available for download off of Mozilla servers for the Windows, MacOSX and Linux platforms.

Some of the new features to grace this latest incarnation of Firefox include:

  • Visual Refresh: Firefox 2’s theme and user interface have been updated to improve usability without altering the familiarity of the browsing experience. For instance, toolbar buttons now glow when you hover over them. We will continue to improve the look and feel throughout the release candidate process.
  • Built-in phishing protection: Phishing Protection warns users when they encounter suspected Web forgeries, and offers to return the user to their home page. Phishing Protection is turned on by default, and works by checking sites against either a local or online list of known phishing sites. This list is automatically downloaded and regularly updated when the Phishing Protection feature is enabled.
  • Enhanced search capabilities: Search term suggestions will now appear as users type in the integrated search box when using the Google, Yahoo! or Answers.com search engines. A new search engine manager makes it easier to add, remove and re-order search engines, and users will be alerted when Firefox encounters a website that offers new search engines that the user may wish to install.
  • Improved tabbed browsing: By default, Firefox will open links in new tabs instead of new windows, and each tab will now have a close tab button. Power users who open more tabs than can fit in a single window will see arrows on the left and right side of the tab strip that let them scroll back and forth between their tabs. The History menu will keep a list of recently closed tabs, and a shortcut lets users quickly re-open an accidentally closed tab.
  • Resuming your browsing session: The Session Restore feature restores windows, tabs, text typed in forms, and in-progress downloads from the last user session. It will be activated automatically when installing an application update or extension, and users will be asked if they want to resume their previous session after a system crash.

Source: Mozilla Firefox 2 Release Notes – What’s New

I’ve been running Firefox 2.0 RC3 since it came out and am quite impressed with the build. I am looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of the final stable build of the web browser I’ve grown to love – Firefox 2.0.

Firefox 2.0 launch parties


With the impending release of the highly anticipated Firefox v2.0 web browser, Mozilla have gone all out on party planning. Its going to be huge, and in only 15 days time!

Mozilla (the company behind the popular firefox browser) are planning to throw as many parties as possible right across the globe and the site Firefox Party is keeping track of all the progress.

“All over the world, we’re celebrating the launch of Firefox 2. Join the fun by hosting or attending a party. We’re targeting the weekend of October 27th for the shared celebration, but if you’re hosting, you make the call.” – firefoxparty.com

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As you can see, there are ALOT of parties happening all over the world, mainly in North America, but most continents across the world are hosting at least 1 party which will be great. I live in Melbourne Australia so I guess I could fly up to Sydney to check out the Firefox party up there, we’ll just have to see what happens. It would be really cool to go though, take lots of photos and share them with you guys here on my blog. That would be cool!

WinRAR to be free this Sunday, July 30


winrar-box.jpg“In order to thank everyone who voted for us and made it possible for us to win this prestigious award, we are offering the WinRAR 3.51 single user license non upgradeable version this Sunday the 30th of July 2006 from 00:00 until 24:00 CET for absolutely FREE.”

I have been a big user (and fan) of WinRAR ever since the mid 90’s. I remember compressing megabytes of information (like 20MB or something like that) back when CD burner’s were practically non-existant (so expensive $$$) and I’d span my compressed files across like 25 floppy disks.

Now that same little compression utility has come of age, and will finally become free this sunday due to popular speculation. For more information, check out the article via the ‘Read More’ link below.

read more | digg story

Top Open Source Software


I have been a big advocate of open source software and creative commons and things like that. I just love the idea that (besides free software) authors of software applications can freely share their source code and distribute their software at no charge. It is becuase of this that most open source applications are ‘community’ driven projects, but there are an increasing number of commercial and non-proprietary organisations jumping onto the ‘open source’ bandwagon.

opensource.jpgThe most notable open source applications that have become fairly mainstream include various ‘flavours’ of linux such as Ubuntu and SuSE Linux Distributions, the Mozilla Firefox web browser and gaining popularity the image editing software GIMP with most of the same capabilities as its more expensive brother Adobe Photoshop.

So, with free open source software becoming increasingly more and more popular amongst mainstream computer users, you don’t have to be running an operating system such as linux to hop on board and benefit. Many OS (open source) applications are written for Windows and MacOSX these days. So, you wanna free yourself of high software costs and replace some of your more expensive programs with alternatives?

I thought you might, so I decided to compile a list of Open Source applications that I use frequently in my daily use of my computer over a variety of areas such as Operating Systems, Internet Tools/Browsers, Instant Messaging, Image Editing, Development Enviroments, Programming Languages, etc. So here we go.

Operating Systems:

My Favourite: Ubuntu 6.06 Dapper Drake
SuSE Linux 10.1

Internet Tools/Web Browsers/Instant Messaging:

My Favourite: Web Browsers – Mozilla Firefox 1.5
Instant Messaging – GAIM Instant Messenger
Email Clients – Mozilla Thunderbird 1.5

Desktop Applications/Databases:

My Favourite: Office Suites – OpenOffice
Database Systems – MySQL Server
CVS Replacements – Subversion

Programming Languages/Development Environments:

My Favourite: JAVA – Eclipse Development Environment
Language: PHP
Language/IDE: Pearl – Movable Type
Language: Ruby on Rails

I was thinking about doing a more complete and full list in the comming weeks which will be in MS Word Document format including all links to each application mentioned. Be sure to check back soon for that document which I will post up here on my blog.

I hope you enjoy this list of free open source applications/languages I use most and if you wanted to learn more about the open source community of free software in general, just google a few terms I know you’ll find a ton of useful information on the topic. In my opinion the Internet was born for open source giving a way for independant developers to freely distribute their products with no corporate restrictions or hassles.

So, next time you’re software shopping, just remember to check out the open source community to see if somebody has written a program similar to what you are looking for. You could save yourself a ton without sacrificing any functionality ofr features. Enjoy!

iTunes music sharing, how exactly is it done?


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Millions of people worldwide listen to their music on their iPods, play their music at home via iTunes, but do you have a home network and ever wonder, “How can I play my music on my other computers?”. Many friends have asked me this same question before, and yes, there is a way. Quick and simple!

iTunes has music sharing functionality that some people are aware of, some aren’t. It isn’t really obvious in the main iTunes interface, rather burried in the preferences panel.

go to: edit –> preferences –> sharing tab

Which is where you’ll find the music sharing controls.

At PC with music to share (server):

Click the ‘Share My Music’ checkbox which will share your music collection amongst other PC’s on your network.

At PC to look for shared music (client):

Click the ‘Look for Shared Music’ checkbox which will look for your music which is being shared on your ‘server’ machine.

You also have the ability to password protect your shared music from prying eyes on the network if you have many computers owned by different people on the network.

It is fairly easy to set up, and once it is you’ll never have to worry about manually moving songs to/from your other computers. iTunes will automatically sync your lists with all shared PC’s. How cool is that! Very convenient and a time saver.

Messenger Plus! Live released


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The ever popular (unofficial) msn plus! package is now out and avaliable for download. It is also under a new name. Introducing…Messenger Plus! Live.

Messenger Plus! Live is the Windows Live Messenger extention which adds a slew of new functionality, new ways of interacting with your chat buddy and other cool features such as chat window transparency and scripting. Anyone who has used msn messenger and seen your buddy send you interesting new emoticons you couldn’t open, you can bet they were using messenger plus and you weren’t. With this latest version to hit the net, Messenger Plus! Live is bigger and better than ever and any ‘MSN bunny’ who spends every waking moment on MSN should definately download and install it.

Messenger Plus Live is freeware, absolutely free of charge so you can download it, try it out and if you really don’t like it (how could you not) you can just remove it at no cost to you. Messenger Plus! Live is not written or created by Microsoft in any way, its more of a third-party extention for MSN.

In case you’re not exactly sure what benefits Messenger Plus can give you, check out the features below:

  • Tabbed Chat Windows – Have one MSN window open, and be talking to multiple friends at once.
  • Quick Texts – Quick texts and text replacements allow you to send words or sentences with a shortcut, or replace words with other cool fonts or pics (im sure you’ve seen your friends use this before right?)
  • Custom Sounds – Send/use your own custom sounds during your conversation with your friends.
  • Personalized Status – Instead of “Away”, “Busy”, “Out to Lunch”, tell your friends “I’ll be back in a sec” instead.
  • Contact List Clean-Up – Great if you have your contacts all over the place, neaten up your MSN contacts list to find your friends quicker and easier.

Download:

Messenger Plus! Live 4.00.235 (4.25mb download)

This is only a few of the myriad of features avaliable. When I spend any amount of time on my computer, no doubt I’ll have MSN Messenger connected, ready to chat away at any time and MSN plus (although free) liven’s up the party and makes a good thing, that much sweeter.

Windows Live Messenger Released!


Windows Live Messenger (formerly known as MSN 8.0 beta) has been released and is now avaliable for public download.

Beta users of MSN 8 have had this software to play with for quite some time (3-4 months) and in that time, I have seen the latest version of messenger evolve into what it currently is now. Here's a quick idea of some of the biggest new features in the latest release of MSN Messenger:

 

  • See them on the screen

    Show and tell: Grab a webcam and start a video conversation within minutes.

  • Share stuff

    Set up a Sharing Folder with a friend. Drop in photos and other stuff, as many as your computer can handle. See it even when one of you is offline.

  • A network of millions

    Tap into the world's largest IM network, with hundreds of millions of customers worldwide.

  • Soon: talk to your Yahoo! friends, too

    Soon you'll be able to use Windows Live Messenger to talk to your friends who use Yahoo! Messenger with Voice. The world's largest IM network is getting even bigger.

Source: Microsoft Windows Live Messenger Official Site

If you are an avid user of MSN messenger, well Windows Live Messenger as it's now known, be sure to check out this latest version. Alot of the problems which plagued the previous version of msn such as connection drop-outs and slow transfer rates when sending/recieving files have now been fixed (thank god!).

I wouldn't call myself a microsoft fanboy, but this latest version of messenger is definately a step in the right direction, be sure to check it out.