Freeware/Open Source for Windows Weekly Summary

by Todd Ogasawara

Here's my weekly summary of Freeware, Open Source, and free web services mentioned in my personal blog last week.

Blender 2.43: 3D Modeling & Animation
The Open Source multiplatform (Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows) 3D modeling and animation software...

Blender 2.43

...got both an upgrade and a new site on Feb. 18. The announcement page only talks about the website :-). But, it looks like you can see what's new in the 2.4 point release on...

this feature list page.

Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 Released
Microsoft released the latest version of their Virtual PC product.

Microsoft Virtual PC 2007

It is a free download that runs under any 32- or 64-bit version of Windows (XP or Vista) except for Windows XP Home Edition. It lets you run other versions of Windows, DOS, Linux, and many other operating systems as a Guest OS at the same time Windows XP or Windows Vista is running. I use it a lot to test Linux and Windows Server projects. Virtual Machines built using Virtual PC can be copied directly to a server running Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2. I've been known to build a test server in a virtual machine on my notebook during long meetings and then pop it onto my server for further testing later on.

PostgreSQL 8.2.3 SQL Database Server
The blog entry I wrote for O'Reilly's Inside Port 25 site this evening commented on the PostgreSQL installation on Windows primer announced on Microsoft's Port 25 site on today (Thursday, Feb. 22). You can read my ramblings about the ease of installing PostgreSQL in Windows Server 2003 R2 on that blog.

If you are looking for a powerful relational SQL database server that runs under Microsoft Windows (FYI: it originated over in the UNIX/Linux world), you should take a look at Chris Travers' primer and then take a look at...

Frets On Fire (game)
Frets On Fire is a game of musical skill and fast fingers. The aim of the game is to play guitar with the keyboard as accurately as possible.

This Open Source game is available for both Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows (as well as Linux and BSD).

You can find a demo video (19.7MB AVI file) available here: Frets On Fire demo video. It is quite entertaining (though slightly not work-safe).