Software, reviews, and tutorials.

Free utilites to help you remove spyware and malware.

Almost daily I am asked how to remove spyware or malware from an infected windows system so, I thought I would compile a list of the free utilities I use to perform that task. That way I could point those poor souls here instead of spending thirty minutes explaining all the options.

These programs can help you remove malicious software by helping you to detect, remove, and prevent your system from getting infected in the first place. No Windows system should be without these programs.


How to crack / recover an Adobe PDF password using pdfcrack for Linux.

From time to time I am asked to break a password on an Adobe PDF file. This mostly comes up when the user who created the pdf can’t remember what their own password is. As annoying as that is, actually recovering the password is simple using pdfcrack.

PDFCrack is a GNU/Linux application (or any other POSIX-compatible system) tool for recovering passwords and content from PDF-files. It is small, command line driven, and without external dependencies. PDFCrack is released under GPL.


WordPress 2.5 has finally been released!

I’m sure this is being covered to death but, if you haven’t heard, WordPress 2.5 is out. Some of the improvements include:

multi-file uploading
one-click plugin upgrades
built-in galleries
customizable dashboard
salted passwords and cookie encryption
media library
a WYSIWYG that doesn’t mess with your code
concurrent post editing protection
full-screen writing
search that covers posts and pages

The most significant changes are to […]

Linux backup software. The old standby and the scrappy new kid.

Amanda vs Bacula Open Source / Free Backup Software
One of the most popular questions I get concerning using Linux in a production environment is how to back the system up without having to resort to non-open source solutions.

Backing up Linux isn’t any different then backing up any of it closed source counterparts. The options range from simply writing a script to copy your most critical files to a CD to making a complete copy of the system with an imaging program such as ghost. These options are great if you are backing up an end user system, such as your laptop but, don’t really meet the requirements of a sound backup strategy when a production server is the concern.

To answer that question I thought I’d compare and contrast the two open source Linux backup software options I use day to day. Amanda and Bacula.


What’s on your computer’s hard drive? Analyze this…

Here is another great free utility/program so you can calm the OCD voices in your head. Xinorbis is a simple but powerful hard drive analyzer. It gives the user an overview of the contents of your hard disk or directory, complete with graphs, tables and tree displays. It works for (Windows […]

Windows explorer folder size utility for XP and 2000

This little handy and free utility lets you see how big your folders are in Windows explorer. This way you can find out which folders are taking up all your space on your hard drive instead of just randomly guessing. Now you will have time to do your chores around the house… lucky […]

Windows explorer with tabs just like good ole Firefox.

How much do you love the tabs in the Firefox web browser? If I could have tabs on everything, including life, I would. Seeing that it makes life so much easier, I often wondered why Microsoft didn’t incorporate tabs into their operating systems. Well, now I don’t care cause I found a program that does just that. Hello QTTabBar!!

It only works for Windows XP or Windows Vista, but now you can add tabs to all your windows explorer windows. (that was a mouthful… yuck) Best of all it is free!! Windows XP users need to install the .NET 2.0 framework from Microsoft if you don’t already have it.



How to listen to Sirius online radio with Linux or OSX.

I never thought I would actually pay for radio until a co-worker of mine signed up for Sirius satellite radio when Howard Stern made the switch to Sirius. Now, Howard Stern I could care less about but, this gave me my first extended exposer to the music channels. Every afternoon, for weeks, I would hear a great song off an album I had long forgotten, on the Alt Nation channel, wafting over the cube wall. I was just about sold.

The only problem remaining was reception. My co-worker sat next to a window and was having reception problems despite Sirius having a land based repeater in our market. I’m located closer to the center of the building so using a satellite radio probably wasn’t going to work. So I waited. Sirius offered online streaming but it was only a 32k stream. Not going to work for me.

Finally, Sirius started offering near CD quality streams but, only offered a Windows based player in a browser. I love my tunes but, not enough to switch back to Windows. So the hunt was on to find a way to stream Sirius online to Linux or OSX. If you want to try Sirus for three day for free sign up here.


How to install WordPress on OSX using MAMP to make life easier.

A lot of the people asking me how to install WordPress on OSX have new babies. I’d like to apologize up front to the rest of the internet for bringing more new baby sites to the internet and thus hindering the speed at which we all can download music. Sorry.
How to install WordPress on OSX using MAMP

Since starting this web site I’ve gotten a lot of questions about how easy it is to use WordPress. The answer is it couldn’t be easier but, I would recommend that you setup a development environment first so you can test everything. That led to a second set of questions from all my friends that use OSX. How do I setup a test environment on my Mac? I know that the Apache web server is included in OSX but I can’t figure out MySQL or PHP. It’s true that OSX comes with Apache, and you could use it, but there is a much simpler way. Use MAMP.

MAMP stands for Mac, Apache, MySQL, and PHP. You have probably heard of LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) which is the standard web development platform on the internet. There is also WAMP; Windows, Apache, so on and so forth. One more acronym, WIMP; Windows, IIS (Internet Information Server. The default Windows web server), MySQL, and PHP. I’m so clever. You also might be thinking that I’m not very clever because I felt the need to explain what IIS was. In either case, I don’t care and you are probably correct.

All these acronyms provide all the necessary components to run WordPress locally on your given platform. In this case, the wonderful OSX.

Anyway, read on to learn how to install WordPress on OSX using MAMP.


Skype 2.0 and Linux share a nanobyte frapachino together

With Skype 2.0, video conferencing for Linux is a go. The Windows and OS X versions with video are already out. Now you can see your mistress as she talks about her lingerie and how they barely cover her unmentionables. mmm unmentionables. Skype has also fixed some bugs and made the […]