Freeware/Open Source for Windows Weekly Summary

by Todd Ogasawara

Here's a summary of Freeware & Free and Open Source Software I mentioned in my personal blog last week...

Alice 3D Authoring System (for Kids) from Carnegie Mellon University
Here's something that the techie-kid in your household with a new computer might find interesting.

Alice v2.0: Learn to Program Interactive 3D Graphics

This 3D authoring system created by the Stage3 Research Group at Carnegie Mellon University is a multi-platform (Linux, Mac OS X, Windows) Java-based Open Source application aimed at students in the middle school to college age range.

Earlier this year Electronic Arts agreed to help fund the development of Alice v3.0 and provide artwork (characters) for use in Alice.

Internet Explorer 6 Application Compatibility Virtual PC Image
OK, caveat first. This is not freeware in the classic sense. It is more like trialware. The...

Internet Explorer 6 Application Compatibility VPC Image

...is a virtual appliance available free from Microsoft. In this case, this virtual appliance consists of a pre-packaged fully patched Windows XP operating system that expires on March 30, 2007 and Internet Explorer 6. The appliance requires either the free Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 (released) or Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 (Beta and also free).

PC Inspector File Recovery
The holiday season is here. And, to those of you who provide technical support for your friends and family, you know what this means: Someone you know will accidentally erase files on their brand new digital camera's memory card or computer hard drive in the next few weeks and frantically call you for help :-)

Fortunately, there is a freeware solution to help you with some of those frantic calls...

PC Inspector File Recovery

It might be able to help you recover some of those lost holiday photos, video clips, and document files with those late holiday newsletters.

FreeMind: Open Source Mind Mapping
I used to use mind mapping techniques quite a bit. Like most people, I started by simply doodling mind maps on paper to try to organize ideas. Then, I tried MindJet's Mind Manager at a former job. $200 seemed kind of pricey for software to doodle with once I left that former job though. Then, I found the multiplatform (Linux, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows) Open Source app...

FreeMind - free mind mapping software

...and was able to satify my idea doodling needs. I don't mind-doodle anymore. But, now that I've reminded my...

Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon (original version) Released as Freeware (Registerware)
I never tried Sid Meier's Railroad Tycoon (though I was addicted Civilization I, II, and III). Fileshack is making the original Railroad Tycoon version available for free (15MB download).

Railroad Tycoon Released For Free

I haven't downloaded and tried this (I am somewhat cautious about registering at free download sites). However, for what it's worth, McAfee's SiteAdvisor gives the FileShack site a green checkmark.

Widgets and Gadgets
A few weeks ago my Dell notebook's hard drive died. Since I had to rebuild the system anyway, I decided to install Microsoft Windows Vista instead of XP Professional. I also decided to put the trusty Apple iBook I've been carrying to meetings away so that I could immerse myself in Vista to learn in a real world setting (vs. a the test PC I used for beta-testing).

The first thing Windows users ask about while looking at my Vista desktop are the Vista Gadgets in both the Vista Sidebar and scattered undocked on the desktop. Deja vu! It is just like what happened when Apple released Tiger (Mac OS X 10.4) and revealed its Dashboard Widgets.

2 Comments

Catharine Hendricks
2006-12-18 13:09:21
Do you happen to know of any Visual Basic based blogging platform? My content contributors would like to start a couple of blogs. But our network manager hasn't installed PHP and isn't likely too. So, while my personal experience is with WordPress, that isn't really an option here at work.


We can run ASP scripts. And I believe I can run stuff developed with VS 2005.


Do you know of any blogging platform that's developed in that environment?

canal boat holidays
2008-01-04 07:50:56
Vista is great from this point of view .. the gadgets are awesome.