is an open-source program that fixes two of the biggest problems users perceive with the newly-released Windows 8: it brings back the Start Menu, and it allows users to log-in directly to the Desktop instead of the Start Screen. (8.4 MB WINDOWS DOWNLOAD)
posted by JHarris
on Oct 29, 2012 -
Microsoft’s low-octane swan song was nothing if not symbolic of more than a decade littered with errors, missed opportunities, and the devolution of one of the industry’s innovators into a “me too” purveyor of other companies’ consumer products. ... How did this jaw-dropping role reversal happen? How could a company that stands among the most cash-rich in the world, the onetime icon of cool that broke IBM’s iron grip on the computer industry, have stumbled so badly in a race it was winning? [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen
on Jul 26, 2012 -
Gizmo's Freeware is a non-commercial community website staffed entirely by volunteers. Our primary function is to help you select the best freeware product for your particular needs.
posted by Trurl
on Jan 21, 2012 -
Leisure Suit Larry is a series of adventure games written by Al Lowe and published by Sierra from 1987 to 2009. The main character, whose full name is Larry Laffer, is a balding, dorky, double entendre-speaking, leisure suit-wearing (but still somewhat lovable) "loser" in his 40s. The games follow him as he spends much of his life trying (usually unsuccessfully) to seduce attractive women. [more inside]
posted by Trurl
on Dec 7, 2011 -
is a free Computer Algebra System
(CAS) available from Microsoft. A CAS is a program
that can solve purely symbolic mathematical equations. For example, the program can tell you that the derivative of 6x^2 + 12x is 12x + 12. The program has functions for calculus, statistics, linear algebra, and graphing. One interesting feature of the program is that in some cases it can show and describe the intermediate steps involved in solving an equation. Here’s a 16 page tutorial
(in MS Word docx format) showing how to use the program. The program can be downloaded from the Microsoft download page
. Thirty-two and sixty-four bit versions are available. The program only works on XP/Vista/Windows 7.
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear
on May 23, 2011 -
The OpenOffice.org Project has unveiled a major restructuring that separates itself from Oracle and that takes responsibility for OpenOffice away from a single company. ... Driving home the changes, OpenOffice.org project is now The Document Foundation while the OpenOffice.org suite has been given the temporary name of LibreOffice.
posted by Joe Beese
on Sep 28, 2010 -
finds substitutes to expensive and/or crappy desktop and mobile software. "Tell us what application you want to replace and we give you great alternatives, based on user recommendations."
posted by gman
on May 4, 2010 -
has quickly become the number one Linux distro
for the desktop. Not only is it free, but it has also made Linux easier to use than ever. Now, Wubi
enables Windows users
to install Ubuntu just like any other application, so you no longer have to mess around with partitions, burning CDs, etc. [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis
on Jan 21, 2008 -
The John Markoff of the New York Times [registration required]
reports that Google plans to roll-out a text and file search tool code-named Puffin
for finding information stored on PCs. The move is seen as a defensive one; Microsoft plans to include PC searching in its new operating system, scheduled to be released in 2006 (at the earliest).
posted by tranquileye
on May 19, 2004 -
Whizzkid develops Linux application for Windows
[...]The significance of the development is that Linux and Windows are able to work in parallel on the same computer or server. To[sic] now, the computer world is divided into systems that operate either with Windows or with Linux. [...]
posted by Postroad
on Apr 12, 2004 -
A few years ago a life simulation game called Creatures
was released. I recently discovered that there was also a free version called Docking Station
which is still available in PC and Linux versions and includes an optional on-line component which allows you to chat, send messages and share creatures with other players. And if the goodies and breeds of creatures that come with the free version aren't enough for you, there are oodles of web sites
still offering free downloads
on the game
. Or if you gain some joy from hexidecimal programming, you can even play around with their genetic coding
or learn to create your own goodies
posted by Orb
on Mar 30, 2004 -
MouseCount counts the number of times you click your mouse--information useful to computer usage studies, ergonomics, repetitive stress measurement, and more. This program saves you the trouble of counting all those clicks yourself!
Screw that, I'm just a curious dork. (fyi: link goes to description page only, but the download is a .zip file)
posted by Ufez Jones
on Feb 25, 2004 -
A new MS Internet Explorer vulnerability is discovered.
Most digerati already know about the spammer and lamer trick to publish URLs that look like legitimate hostnames to fool people in to trusting a malicious site. This trick is frequently used by spammers to steal people's PayPal accounts, by tricking them in to "resetting" their password at a site owned by the spammer but disguised as PayPal.com.
Today's new IE vulnerability is significantly worse. By including an 0x01 character after the @ symbol in the fake URL, IE can be tricked in to not displaying the rest of the URL at all. Don't expect a patch right way, the guy who found the hole released it to BugTraq on the same day
he notified Microsoft. (via Simon Willison)
posted by dejah420
on Dec 9, 2003 -
Windows Vulnerabilities XPlained
I've always used Gibson Research's website to test my Windows system for vulnerabilities
. With the latest BLAST
aimed at MS, I thought to share his site with the class. While Mr. Gibson obviously has some axes to grind and bones to pick with Microsoft
and with various software firewall
makers, his explanations of how Windows can be XPloited in terms that are fairly easy to understand is most appreciated. Be sure to check out the numerous free utiltites
! I mean, really
small!) that will help you plug nearly every hole in your Windows.
Didn't know MS had shut down www.windowsupdate.com til just now, either
posted by WolfDaddy
on Aug 18, 2003 -
uses a 'Dukes of Hazzard' metaphor to explain that big ol' SCO vs. Linux kerfuffle.
posted by GriffX
on Jun 2, 2003 -
The Self-Healing Minefield
From the current Village Voice: "Utilizing commercial off-the-shelf computer chips and 'healing' software, the networked minefield detects rude attempts to clear it, deduces which parts of itself have been removed, and signals its remaining munitions to close the hole using best-fit mathematics."
Bonus ubertasteless Flash animation courtesy of DARPA here
. Color me fascinated and repulsed in equal measure.
posted by Armitage Shanks
on Nov 27, 2002 -
Your screensaver is boring.
(Linux, OSX) produces animated flame fractals rendered via distributed computation. n 0 time
(Win) draws its data from things such as a custom word list, cached web site text, your favorites, or your cookies. The Bank of Time
(Win2k-, OS9-) grows plants based on your idle time connected to the net. Dirty Fingerprints
(Win) leaves fingerprints all over your screen, generated by user clicks on contributing sites. Or, if you really want, you can join in the effort to crack various encryption methods
(most systems) at Distributed.net. Deskswap
) has unfortunately been offline for months, due to bandwidth issues.
posted by Su
on Sep 22, 2002 -
Help yourself to an exploit.
No biting social commentary here, just spreading the word on an ooky Win XP exploit in the form of a malicious Help Center request. The patch has been silently rolled into SP1, and is otherwise unavailable. Of course, if you want to install SP1, you'll have to agree to that nasty Trojan EULA.
posted by badstone
on Sep 11, 2002 -
The Read_Me Festival 1.2
shortlist has been posted, and includes such projects as Carnivore
(not the government one, though that was part of the concept), and the DeskSwap
screensaver. While this is a "software art" exhibition, it's of particular note that patches or even just instructions
for making existing software do things not originally intended are allowable entries. I haven't been through all of them to see if any patches were entered, but it'd be interesting what the publishers might think of these, since it would basically constitute hacking and/or reverse engineering.
posted by Su
on Mar 30, 2002 -
CBT Cafe, for those who learn visually.
I was scouting around looking for Flash tutorials and stumbled on this site. The gimmick: they don't just teach you the code/effect/design, they actually walk you through it with a narrated Quicktime movie.
Currently serving Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash, Photoshop, Cleaner, Quicktime, EBay, and the MacOS.
posted by jragon
on Mar 17, 2002 -
The dangerous app with the unlikely name allows users to snatch data being passed over wireless networks, eventually capturing passwords to the network.
posted by o2b
on Nov 29, 2001 -
is a great, free alternative to microsoft office for people who can't afford the suite or for those that would rather not use microsoft products. Staroffice has completely integrated XML support and full featured word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, and drawing applications.
posted by mcsweetie
on Oct 8, 2001 -
Striking back at hackers
"LaBrea" is a free, open-source tool that deters worms and other hack attacks by transforming unused network resources into decoy-computers that appear and act just like normal machines on a network. But when malicious hackers or mindless worms such as Nimda or Code Red attempt to connect with a LaBrea-equipped system, they get sucked into a virtual tarpit that grabs their computer's connection -- and doesn't release it.
Is this an ethical use of network resources, or just vigilante justice? What other methods have you used to strike back at hostile software?
posted by TheChump
on Sep 20, 2001 -