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...

Freeciv (Clone of Sid Meier's Civilization for multiple OSes)
I mentioned in an earlier post that I was once addicted to games like Sid Meier's Civilization.

Open Source supporters may find it interesting to know that there is a clone of it that runs on Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows.

Freeciv 2.0.8 (released March 6, 2006)

GIMP and Gimpshop
The GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is a powerful bitmap image manipulation application that is available for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows through the magic of the Open Source community.

GIMP - The GNU Image Manipulation Program

But, despite its power, what if its multiple disconnected windows interface throws you for GUI loop? It does take a while to get comfortable with that interface and you might now want to have the time. No problem. Head over to take a look at...

Plastic Bugs Gimpshop

Java SE 6 Released
I mentioned in an earlier blog item that the easiest way to install Java in Windows Vista was to use the beta release of Java SE6. Well, the wait is over, SE6 was released today. You can find it at...

Java Platform, Standard Edition 6 Release

I've categorized as freeware here because I think that SE7 will be the first Open Source-d version. Correct me if I am wrong on this point.

Eraser
If you are giving away an old PC (or just its hard drive) or replacing a small hard drive with a larger one, it might be a good idea to consider erasing the bits on the old hard drive first. The...

Eraser: Secure Data Eraser

...is a free and Open Source utility for Microsoft Windows that may meet your needs. Read its FAQ first before using it.

Microsoft Robotics Studio 1.0
Microsoft released...

Microsoft Robotics Studio 1.0

...as freeware for personal or research use. The commercial license for the software is US$399. This release is a software development kit (SDK) for developing robotics software for a variety of hardware. The one most of us are probably most familiar with is the LEGO Mindstorms NXT kit which itself was just released this past summer.

The press release notes that this SDK can be used with the free Visual Studio Express languages (C# and Visual Basic) as well as the Open Source IronPython scripting language for .Net. This means that assuming you have a PC with Windows XP on it, the software needed to start tinkering with your robot is all free.