Freeware/Open Source for Windows Weekly Summary

by Todd Ogasawara

I'm testing the waters this week to see if there is any interest in weekly blog entry excerpts of freeware and Open Source applications for Microsoft Windows. I post such items to a personal blog as I discover them, note an update, or decide to mention a favorite freeware/Open Source tool for Windows. Here's some of the items from last week's blog entries...

TrueCrypt: Encryption for Windows & Linux
I can't believe I haven't mentioned this Open Source application for Windows and Linux (and maybe Mac OS X someday).

TrueCrypt

TrueCrypt is the most flexible and secure way I know of to encrypt pretty much anything in Linux or Windows. It supports multiple encryption techniques (AES-256, Blowfish (448-bit key), CAST5, Serpent, Triple DES, and Twofish) and can encrypt to hard drives, flash drives, external drives, optical discs and pretty much anything that supports a file system.

Getting Java to Install in Windows Vista
Like many Vista testers, one of the first things I did after installing Vista on a test PC (a mandatory clean install in the early beta days) was to install a bunch of must-have free applications: Macromedia/Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat, Firefox, Thunderbird, and a bunch of other apps. Although Java isn't an app, there are a number of apps that require the Java Runtime to work. Unfortunately, it looked to me like JRE/JDK5 simply wouldn't install. I didn't get it. Fortunately, Chet Haase does and explains the Vista/Java relationship in his blog:

Java on Vista: Yes, it Works

The R Project for Statistical Computing
The R Project for Statistical Computing is an Open Source application with binary installation routines for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. It is much much more than a simple statistical package. R provides an interpreted statistical programming language that looks a lot like S. The resemblance is so strong that I can use my old S language reference books to work with R.

R provides a graphing facility that goes far beyond what you might have used in spreadsheets like Excel.

R version 2.4.0 was just released last month (October 3).

RubyCLR (Ruby for Microsoft .NET Development)
I've spent the last 5 years developing software mostly for Linux systems (PHP, Python, Ruby). But, I'm also a Windows user and with Vista finally nearing release (after 5 years of development itself), I'm considering doing some development for Windows Vista. So, I was very interested to learn about...

RubyCLR

...which lets you develop for Windows using Ruby using the .NET Framework.

The .NET Framework 3.0 was recently released too...

.NET Framework Developer Center

...giving me some incentive to take a closer look at RubyCLR.


2 Comments

Gavin Coles
2006-11-30 06:04:13
Definitely interested in finding more Freeware and Open Source applications for Windows. I have a wide range of software I now pre-install on new computer systems, most of my clients don't need 'Paidware' and are happy with alternative such as OpenOffice, 7-Zip etc. The wider the range of software I can source the happier the customers will be.
Anthony
2006-12-01 16:44:39
Yes, I'd be interested in seeing more FOSS on Windows type posts. I keep my own personal list of such things, but it's always nice to have a good source to get new stuff from :)