Bracing against the wind  

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Favorite Text Editor

On Windows, I use an old version of Textpad, which is far, far better than the latest version. It has a tiny footprint, no installation is required, great regular expression support, block editing and fills, and simple, functional UI and options screens. I've looked for many, many years for a replacement, since the old one is no longer maintained, but I haven't found a comparable one.

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Monday, October 30, 2006

Best Bittorrent Client

Yet another blog entry about the best way to download TORRENT files. If you're someone who likes to download torrents all day long, has an extensive library of pirated DVD's and MP3's, ignore me. Otherwise, download XBT. It's a fast, lightweight, up-to-date client that won't suck up RAM or handles just to download a file. It's also a clean app, no spyware, like so many are these days. XBT integrates seamlessly with Firefox and IE. I installed it today because I wanted to download OpenOffice. Is it me or does it seem that all the best apps are now free, work great and do everything anyone would ever need to do?


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Monday, April 24, 2006

Open source projects crowded out by ads

SO, I wanted to print to a PDF file on my Windows XP box. I know that there must be someone who built an GNU PDF driver, but finding it was difficult. Major search engines, like Google, just can't seem to realize that what I really want is something like PDFCreator (3rd page of my search), and not the various paid and/or spyware-installing packages, like CutePDF, DocUDesk, Win2PDF, etc.

This is a common practice on the internet now. Download some open source (in this case, ghostscript), make a trivial installer or front-end for it (even if an open source one is readily available), and then either charge for it or put spyware all over the installer. Since the installer is their source code, they aren't violating the GPL.

Why isn't the open source version more prominently listed at Google? Because commercial vendors can afford to flood the internet with advertising. Using free software to provide paid-for services, is one thing. But repackaging free software with spyware is something else.

Hopefully some people needing PDF software will find this article first, before they install.

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