Freeware/Open Source for Windows Weekly Summary

by Todd Ogasawara

Here's a summary of Freeware/FOSS (Free & Open Source Software) for Windows I mentioned in my personal blog last week...

Use Microsoft Office 2007 Files with Older Office Versions
Microsoft Office 2007 is available now! Be prepared to say goodbye to the good ol' three letter filename extensions : DOC, XLS, PPT. And, welcome in the new four letter file name extensions: DOCX, XLSX, and PPTX (among other extensions).

So, what happens if you aren't upgrading your Office version and receive one of these new file types? If you are using Office 2000, XP (2002), or 2003, you may want to take a look at the free...

Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 File Formats

Gliffy: Web Diagramming Tool
I mentioned the Dia (Open Source) diagramming tool for Linux and Windows a few days ago. But, if you use a Mac or don't want to install anything, take a look at...


It is a free web diagram creation service that also allows you to share the diagrams you create. It can also save the diagrams in the SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) file format. You can import this file into numerous client-side diagramming tools.

allSnap: Align Top Level Windows Automatically
I haven't tried this myself. But, I heard Steve Gibson rave about this on the Security Now! podcast. So, I thought I'd mention this utility here...


Its author describes it as a small system tray app that makes all top level windows automatically align like they do in programs such as Winamp or Photoshop.

I suspect it is something that either immediately strikes you as a must-have or a uninstall-this kind of thing. Let me know how you like it.

Microsoft PowerShell: Bye Bye DOS Box
Bit of cross-pollination here... I was planning to blog a bit here about Microosft's PowerShell in the near future. But, when I saw Microsoft Open Source Labs' Bill Hilf discuss, I decided to give my own opinions on the topic over at O'Reilly Media's Inside Port 25 site. You can find my commentary there linked below...

Microsoft PowerShell

As an old C-Shell and, now, Bash Shell user as well as one who often writes quick utilities in Ruby (used to use Python a lot before switching to Ruby), I've been watching what was called Monad develop into PowerShell. It combines the power of the UNIX/Linux shells many of us grew up on with the scripting power we found in dynamic languages like Perl, Python, and Ruby.

Zoho Office Suite
Hey, has anyone tried this?

Zoho Office Suite

It is a free web-based office suite that includes the following web-based applications: word processor, spreadsheet, slide presenter, wiki, collaborative groupware (calendar, etc.).

The Zoho API exposes its features to those who want to work with Zoho data in their own apps.


Ming Chow
2007-02-01 10:12:58
I love these summaries. One software (game) that I recommend for a future spotlight: Candy Crisis ( This game is a classic. Formerly a shareware game, but now completely open source. For any old Mac gamers out there, this game used to be known as Skittles, but was changed due to obvious trademark issues. See NOTE: I am not affiliated with the game.