Monthly Archives: August 2015

Microsoft Popfly

Microsoft Popfly is based on their Silverlight software (their version of flash).

The alpha release has a drag-and-drop mashup creator that is really amazing. Elements of the mashups are called ‘blocks’, and you can drag blocks onto the desktop and connect them. Information items are selected from drop-down menus – no programming language required. One of the drawbacks at this early stage is that they don’t play nicely with existing flash files, so some of the potential mashups give an error message (example – library book photos do not display). There are currently more than 250 blocks (data sources) to ‘mash’ with, so that’s quite a nice little sandbox for developers.

You Torrent I Torrent

I have been using uTorrent (often stylized and more properly referred to as µTorrent ) since a little after it came out in 2005.

To give some background information about uTorrent, it’s a freeware, closed source BitTorrent client that is written in C++ and claims the µ in its name due to its boasting of the program’s smaller footprint compared to other BitTorrent clients. uTorrent accomplishes this feat by using the UPX executable compressor. uTorrent’s named feature is also why I have chosen to use the program and stuck with it for so long. It is designed and delivers on the feat of using on a minimal amount of computer resources while also offering the same or better functionality as compared to the larger BitTorrent clients, most notably Vuze. Seriously, if you haven’t tried uTorrent out yet, then you should consider it. I have downloaded days worth of music that I will never get back, but they are days that I am glad to have spent listening to my uTorrent downloads. No matter what operating system you are running or how old your hardware is, you will be glad you tried uTorrent thanks to the great performance and stability it offers.

Acronis Disk Director

Acronis Disk Director is a wonderful software application to manage your hard disk without going into the elaborate details of formatting/erasing your data.

It enables you to change the hard disk partition size on the fly. Just a simple install gives you the total control over your hard disk. Apart from partition management you also get the hard disk recovery tool which saves from the dreaded hard disk failure, virus attacks, or hacker destructions.

That’s not all, you also get a nice boot manager which lets you create a multi boot system from any partition on your hard disk. The software supports all types of Windows from XP to the latest Windows 7 and is available for just $49.99 . A demo version is also available.


ASP.NET is a set of web development technologies created by Microsoft. It can be used to create web sites, web applications and XML web services. It is part of Microsoft’s .NET platform and is the next generation of Microsoft old ASP(Active Server Pages) technology. Even though they share similar names, ASP and ASP.NET are vastly different. ASP is mostly written in VBScript, while ASP.NET is mostly based upon Microsoft’s CLR (Common Language Runtime) technology, which is very much similar to Sun Microsystem’s Java Virtual Machine. ASP.NET code can be written in all of the .NET platform languages, such as C#, Visual Basic.NET, and also other open source languages such as Perl and Python.

ASP.NET is different from other web development languages in that it encourages the programmer to develop applications using an event-driven GUI system, rather than in other web-scripting environments like PHP. ASP.NET has a number of advantages over other forms of web development. Its code are compiled, meaning that applications can run faster with more design-time errors trapped at the development stage. It also has significantly better error handling and catching.

Assistive Technology

Until the computer revolution, equipment for people with disabilities was expensive and clunky.

Now, computers are bundled with some options for people who have visual, physical, hearing, and learning disabilities. Off-the-shelf personal computers can use visual signals, read text aloud, and adjust how the mouse works. Additionally, there is a group of people who are creating open source software to address even more needs of those with disabilities. is one such source and it provides software that meets more specific needs than the software bundled with the standard computer. Additionally, Open Source Assistive Technology Software (OATS) encourages users to become creators of software. The technological revolution has not only put almost all the world’s information at our fingertips, it has made communication and learning possible for people who traditionally have been isolated. With online communities such as OATS, even more people will be able to be served.

Just In Time Wireless Access

Have you wondered how to get good wireless coverage in your house/yard/garage/basement/attic with out buying a dozen base stations that all bridge to your Internet access?

Here’s how you can get good coverage with just two base stations (Apple Airports). Having just purchased a new Apple Airport Extreme base station, I was unsure what do with my old “Hershey Kiss” Airport. I used the Apple Airport administration software to configure my old Airport to be a slave to the new Airport — it bridges the connections. Having two Airports in my office seemed a bit odd — so much connectivity in the air! But, what the heck, the old one had the color inkjet printer plugged (USB) into it for the time being. My son returned from the college and complained about his wireless connectivity in the garage attic — just one bar. I suggested that he take the old airport out there to bridge his connection. He loves the results — 4 bars now! So, depending on where he wants good connectivity, he moves that airport around with him. All he needs is a plug, and he lengthens and strengths his wireless tether for the day/night.