Freeware/Open Source for Windows Weekly Summary

by Todd Ogasawara

If it's Thursday, it must be Freeware and Open Source for Windows day. Here's a summary of Freeware/FOSS I mentioned in my personal blog last week...

Firefox/Thunderbird Not Auto-Upgrading in Windows Vista
It looks like the auto-update feature in Mozilla's Firefox browser and Thunderbird email client is not working properly when installed in Microsoft Windows Vista. The download appears to start and complete as expected. However, the upgrade process itself fails. Firefox or Thunderbird will then download another upgrade copy and re-attempt to upgrade with the same failure. I have not seen this problem under Mac OS X or Linux.

The solution is to download a fresh copy of Firefox or Thunderbird and run the installer manually.

Krut Computer Recorder 0.9.2
This Open Source project can record audio and video from your computer and save the data MOV or WAV (WMV?) files.

Krut Computer Recorder

Binary versions are available for Linux and Microsoft Windows. I'll guess (though I have not tried yet) that this Java-based product can also run with Mac OS X. The latest version was released on January 17, 2007.

VMware Converter 3.0
VMware announced the availability of the free...

VMware Converter 3.0

It is a P2V (Physical to Virtual) converter. This means it can migrate a Microsoft Windows (it only works with Windows) installation on a physical computer and migrate it to a virtual machine that can be used by the various VMware virtualization applications. It can also perform a images in the Microsoft Virtual PC/Virtual Server virtual disk format or a Symantec (Norton) Ghost format and migrate it to a VMware virtual image.

Ascii Generator dotNET: ASCII Art Generator
Listen up you young whipper snappers! In the old days before we had high resolution color printers, people used to combine plain ol' black ASCII characters to create amazing photo-like images without using rendered graphics. If you want to relive the fun of those glory days without the tedium and the deafening sound of impact printers printing out one of these things, take a look at this Open Source product for Windows...

Ascii Generator dotNET

putty 0.59 Secure Shell Terminal Emulator
I'm often sitting in front of a Windows based PC when I need to work on a Linux server or Mac OS X workstation. If all you need is a terminal emulator for command line access, you should definitely have a copy of the Open Source...

putty Telnet/SSH Client

...for Microsoft Windows. I recommend using SSH (the first S is for secure) instead of Telnet whenever possible (and that is usually always if port 22 is available) to access remote servers or workstations. Version 0.59 was just released. There is no installation. Just copy the EXE binary file and double click on it to launch it.

Skype 3.0 for Windows
The latest Skype for Windows version was just released today (Jan. 31)...

Skype for Windows

I don't see any new features listed. I suspect we'll see something in the Skype Blog tomorrow.

The requirements section only mentions compatibility with Windows 2000 and XP. Guess I should test it on a Vista PC.

K-3D: 3D Modeling, Animation, and Rendering System
The Open Source...

K-3D: 3D Modeling, Animation, and Rendering System

...has ready-to-run Windows binaries, source code for Linux, and a Mac OS X being worked on.

The latest stable and development versions were just released last month (January).

If you're wondering how it compares to Blender, take a look at the K-3D FAQ on the subject.

OpenXML Translator 1.0 (ODF Add-in for Word)
February 2 saw the 1.0 release of the...

OpenXML Translator (ODF Add-in for Word)

This add-on gives Microsoft Word the ability to write documents in the Open Document Format (ODF). Take note of the requirements listed on the download page before attempting to install this add-on. The .NET Framework 2.0 is required for Word XP, Word 2003, and Word 2007. Word XP and 2003 additionally requires the...

Programmer's Notepad
The Programmer's Notepad is an Open Source text editor that runs on Windows. It is based on the Scintilla editng engine.

It has a similar look and feel to other Scintilla based text editors. One nice feature is a set of predefined text clips for ASP.Net, C, DocBook, HTML/XHTML, and PHP. There appears to be a way to create your own text clips. But, that documentation stub has not been completed in the help file.