Monthly Archives: April 2005

Research and Downloading

Two more intersting sites were brought to my attention today. First, the NETI@home project from GeorgiaTech seeks to collect network performance indicators directly from end users. They’ve already completed one data analysis and are preparing to launch a second round and new version of the software in the coming weeks.

Secondly, BlogTorrent is designed to be an easy way to allow web site administrators to share large files with those on their site using the BitTorrent system but with much less fuss than the usual BitTorrent system.

Hard Drive Wiping

A few months ago I needed to wipe some hard drives at work before the machines got sold. For a couple of years I had been using the free version of Killdisk but it only does a single pass and isn’t open source so I though I’d look to see what was availible.

Auburn University has a great page detailing many of the DoD-Compliant Disk Sanitation Software programs currently availible. After evaluating several of them I’ve decided my favorite is DBAN which happens to be GNU Public Licensed which is even better. Since then I haven’t had any problems with the software at all and have found it to be both highly configuarable and easy to use.


TypeNow has tons of free fonts, but some of my favorites can be found in the themed fonts category.

Learn to write templates for WordPress

One of the major complaints with the two b2/cafelog derived blogging packages (b2evolution and WordPress) is that the template system is much harder to use than the MovableType template system. While there are some inaccuracies with the article which don’t hinder it’s effectiveness as a tutorial, Matt has posted a template tutorial for WordPress users which explains some of the basics of WordPress template creation.

A few other links often overlooked for help with creating b2evolution and WordPress templates:
WordPress template documentation
Creating Themes for WordPress
Template Tags for WordPress
Templates and Skins in b2evolution
b2evolution Template Functions
Templates in b2evolution
Introducing evoSkins for b2evolution

Two sites for tonight

If you’re looking for free Windows software why not take a look at the OSSwin project which has a categorized listing of many open source programs for Windows.

On the other hand, if you want to foster an online community take a look at Drupal. This open source software that bills itself as “community plumbing” is a fantastic competitor to the traditional phpNuke and postNuke CMS software. phpNuke and postNuke have long been the kings of open source CMS and if I do say so they have some really nasty code that is known for having security problems. Drupal, on the other hand, seems to be well respected in the CMS arena and is already powering soem big sites including Ourmedia. I’m already planning to test it out for a few of my projects.


I found an opensource Dreamweaver type HTML editor for both Windows and Linux the other day and thought I’d pass along the link. I haven’t had a chance to evaluate it and it’s in the 1.0 beta stage right now. It’s called Nvu (pronounced n-view) and is sponsered by Linspire, if that’s a good thing or not remains to be seen.

Asterisk GUIs

I’m a big fan of the open source Asterisk PBX software and would love to work for a company implementing it. Voxilla has a story with some links to companies developing GUIs to make it a little easier for the average person to administrate. Hopefully this encourages people to look seriously at rolling out Asterisk based VoIP which I think is ideal for almost any business with multiple locations or telecommuters. The only trick so far is to find someone who can implement and maintain the system for you. Maybe this will make it easier.

Duck…and Cover!

I know I’ve talked about my love for the Internet Archive before, and I think I’ve also discussed my interest in the ephemeral films hosted there and elsewhere. For a bit of background… One of the major collectors of ephemeral films, Rick Prelinger, made many of them availible for free on the archive. I’ve been offering a service to a local history teacher who first introduced me to these films several years ago where I download the films and record them in DVD video format for him to show to his classes. Sometime last year another collector, Skip Elsheimer, made some of his collection availible on the Archive as well. As I was working on a conversion project today I ran into the CONELRAD: All Things Atomic site which also has some great resources including a list of Civil Defense shorts and the CONELRAD 100 list of great atomic films.

New Category

I’ve added the “Web Wanderings” channel as a place for me to plug some of the interesting sites I run across. Unlike many people I don’t use browser bookmarks, instead relying on my memory to return me to favorite sites and a folder on my desktop with links to some less often traversed or special project sites. I’ve decided to try and put some of the more interesting material here in hopes that other people searching for similar things will end up with a list of useful sites.

Inexpensive DMX Control

While searching on the internet for something totally unrelated I found what appears to be a great way to do DMX lighting control inexpensively. The DMX4Linux site has a driver for DMX control in Linux and a page with a list of interfaces supported by the driver. One in particular caught my eye. The EntTec Open USB DMX Interface can be had for a mere $45 if you forgo the case, $60 with a case. Now that you have an interface you’ll want some graphical way of controlling it. I found the FreeStyler DMX software for Windows, but the one I’m really excited about is the Q Light Controller for Linux. I haven’t had a chance to play with this setup yet but it looks very interesting. Open source on open source running on open source hardware. It doesn’t get much better than that!