Spyware Blaster

Sometimes free downloads are a gamble, but one worth looking into is Spyware Blaster from Javacool Software.

Now available in version 3.5.1, Spyware Blaster has a comprehensive list of the dialers and adaware that try to insert themselves in your computer, triggered by user internet behavior that seems pedestrian enough. Spyware Blaster has modes for both Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. Most users who use Mozilla still have IE on their hard drive even if they no longer prefer it. A “backdoor” to spyware could very well be that internet browser you only use occasionally and therefore more likely to be unmonitored or outdated. The software monitors itself for updates and asks permission to download them. This software has experienced no conflicts with existing dialers or applications, so most users will find it unintrusive and safe.

Bloatware Removal

Sometimes, software companies don’t know when to stop.

They keep adding complex features, fancy graphics, and megabytes of unnecessary files. These are well respected companies, too – Adobe is a good example. They get away with this because most people don’t know any better. To most people, pdf *is* Adobe Acrobat. Luckily, there are usually free alternatives that are only a fraction of the size, and as a result, are much quicker. In fact, sometimes you don’t need to download software at all!

Bloatware problem #1 – Instant messaging (AIM, MSN, etc.) Alternative – Meebo.com Instant messaging doesn’t need to be complicated, really. AIM’s installation file is 13 megabytes – which doesn’t sound like much – but compare that to Chatzilla, a Firefox-based IRC client that is less than 350 kilobytes. Even then, neither of these can compare to Meebo, which doesn’t require a download of *anything*. In fact, you can log on to Yahoo, AIM, MSN, ICQ, and Jabber, all directly through the website!

Bloatware problem #2 – CD burning software (Nero Burning ROM) Alternative – CDBurnerXP There’s no reason to pay $60 for cd-burning software, especially since most people don’t need to do anything complicated, like burning ISO files or creating custom boot disks. Then again, CDBurnerXP can do that, too. For free.

Bloatware problem #3 – Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader Alternative – CutePDF and Foxit PDF Reader PDFs are probably the most cumbersome format on the internet. They’re a hassle to make, even harder to edit, and Adobe makes things worse by bloating their software. Foxit PDF Reader, luckily, is only 8 megabytes *after* installation. Adobe Reader is four times that size, even before installation. Acrobat Acrobat is hundreds of megabytes, yet CutePDF and its necessary postscript converter are under a 10 megabyte download. As de facto standard software has become more bloated and wasteful, minimalist alternatives are gaining ground. Who said bigger was always better?

LinkFixerPlus

LinkFixerPlus is a simple application that automatically fixes broken embedded file links.

This is useful for IT professionals that are doing data migrations, server consolidations, virtualization, or just a plain old clean up (data reorganization). LinkFixerPlus allows run reports on your files, then you use a different process to tag the links in the files with a unique identifier, then after you have completed your project you run another process that automatically fixes any links that were broken during your project. It works with lots of file types (we used it for Office, Adobe PDFs, and CAD files: AutoCAD and MicroStation specifically) and our company decided to use it to help us with consolidating 4 Window servers to a single NetApp filer. LinkFixerPlus ran through a few hundred gigs of files in a few hours, and with their reports it was simple to find any links that it didn’t fix. Admittedly, there were more than we would have liked, but we understand that it isn’t an “Easy Button”, and in my estimation, LinkFixerPlus saved our company thousands of dollars in man hours.

Software As A Service (SAAS)

Software As A Service or “SAAS” is one of the recently emerging technologies which offers the concept of having various software available as a service.

For example, currently we have to purchase a CD of a software program that we want to use . Then we install it on our computers and then use it. This service (SAAS) eliminates all these hassles, and makes the software available online.

Now if you want to work with the software you can sign in to the website just like an email account and use that software and when finished, exit the site. The advantage of this technology is that often we pay for a software which has a large number of functions, but we only want to use one or two functions. So we can pay for using those functions only. The SAAS is also beneficial for those people who are one time users or use the software occasionally.

The major concern for this technology is that of security. Users who are working would definitely want to have secure and safe data transfer. This aspect is still still under consideration and many companies are looking forward to advancing this technology.

COBOL Today

COBOL, or the Common Business Oriented Language, is one of the oldest programming languages that are still in use.

It certainly is not as flashy as Sun Microsystem’s Java, and the language is not useful for the development of Internet applications. However, the programming language has quite a few uses left. Though it was once criticized for its use of what some programmers saw as an over complicated text, the language actually tries to exhibit an element of humanism in its construction. The text is actually designed to be human readable, even though COBOL is not necessarily an interpreted language. COBOL received a major face lift in 2002, and it is this added object-oriented style that has given the programming language a second chance at life. Support for Bit, Boolean, Floating Point, user defined functions, and portable arithmetic calculations was added into the language. Perhaps, in the future, some applications will once more flock to the 1959 stand by for computer programming.

Broadband Over The Electrical Grid?

Although the broadband network over electrical cable concept and solution has exsisted for years, believe it or not, an official international standard in this field does not exist. This is probably the reason we still connect over Ethernet and telephone cables.

However, this could all be coming to an end. A group working within the IEEE’s finally has given a final draft standard for broadband networking over electric power lines network. Before the standard would be accepted, there is a long process of making it finalized, but it is already known that the basic features offered are: speeds of 100 Mb/s, and that electric companies would very quickly accept it , and join the market as Internet service providers.