About five years ago I installed the family version of Symantec's Norton Internet Security software on one of my PCs, rendering the machine unusable. Not only couldn't I get any access to the Internet, it was impossible to uninstall the program. I ended up having to reinstall the operating system and all my applications--except Norton Internet Security. At the time I said I would never again install a Symantec security program on any PC, but about a year ago I bought a PC that came with 90 days of Norton 360, and the program won me over. When … Read more
Notepad Plus Plus is a Notepad replacement with an eye toward programmers, although it should also appeal to the casual user who wants a cross between Notepad and WordPad. Notepad Plus Plus has some noticeable differences from WordPad. Support for tabs is key, letting users manage different documents simultaneously. Line-numbering is important, too, a feature that nobody mucking about in C should be without.
The interface is much simpler compared with some of its competitors. A familiar row of icons with their mouse-over labels sits at the top, and one row of tabs is just below that. The rest of … Read more
Ript is a new, free software application in beta development that lets you collect images and text from the Web, then compile and arrange them into pages you can print or share with friends and family. It's a simple freeware idea that makes sense...and it's from Oprah? Well, sort of. The publisher is the Oprah Winfrey-founded Oxygen Media, recently acquired by Universal.
Ript works via an overlay "Pile"--representing by a stack of documents--that sits on a layer on top of all your applications. You can work with your programs as you normally would, and … Read more
Hosted business application provider Workday said Wednesday that it has acquired Cape Clear to create an integration on-demand offering.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
Launched in 2006 by PeopleSoft founder Dave Duffield, Workday sells online versions of traditional ERP business applications, such as human resources management and accounting.
Cape Clear's standards-based integration software, called an enterprise service bus (ESB), will form the basis for an integration on-demand offering the company plans to add to its products. The integration service will allow people to exchange information between Workday applications and those from other providers, including Microsoft Office programs.
Workday said … Read more
Microsoft is working on a new development language, called 'D,' which will make it easier to model applications, Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet reports.
Her post describes D as a "declarative language aimed at non-developers."
Modeling and end-user programming are big themes in Microsoft's development tools work.
By creating models of applications, developers can speed up their development time and make it easier to deploy and operate those applications once they are live.
End-user programming, a long-held idea, is getting more realistic in the days of mashups where people combine data from different Web feeds onto a … Read more
The first few times I worked on Word files in the OpenOffice.org Writer program, I was satisfied if the documents opened at all. That's a long way from being able to trust the open-source app with a Word file from your boss that you need to work on and return with all functions and formatting intact. These steps won't guarantee trouble-free file transfers between Word and OOo Writer, but they'll help you prevent some of the most common conversion glitches.
Keep it simple: Word files with complex graphics, nested tables, fancy fonts and formatting, and OLE … Read more
My Cheapskate-in-law Charles reports that Dollar Tree has H&R Block TaxCut Basic 2007 for... drum roll... a dollar! You'll have to visit an actual brick-and-mortar to get this deal (click here for Dollar Tree's store locator), but it's worth the drive if you've got a store nearby: The download version costs $14.95.
This version of TaxCut is best for folks with, well, basic tax-prep needs. Note that the program covers only your Federal return; the State edition will run you another $29.95.
Who says there are no second chances? (Maybe Patriots fans, I dunno.) If you missed out when Fry's offered Norton AntiVirus 2008 free after a pair of mail-in rebates, the deal has returned at Buy.com.
Once again, it's the three-user edition, meaning you can install it on up to three PCs. The software protects against viruses, spyware, rootkits, and the like. CNET liked it, though readers definitely did not. As I said last time, if you're unhappy with the software yourself, you're only out a couple stamps.
Speaking of the rebates, this deal requires a … Read more
Gartner has made 10 technology predictions for the next few years, and in the analyst firm's view, life has never been better for open source.
Among the predictions: Apple will double its market share by 2011 and software-as-service will account for at least one-third of all business software spending by 2012.
But it was open source's gain that I found most interesting. Gartner doesn't speculate on how much open-source vendors will make or anything like that. Rather, Gartner talks about how much open-source code will make it into those bastions of proprietary, so-called "commercial software":
By 2012, 80 percent of all commercial software will include elements of open-source technology. Many open-source technologies are mature, stable and well supported. They provide significant opportunities for vendors and users to lower their total cost of ownership and increase returns on investment.
Ignoring this will put companies at a serious competitive disadvantage. Embedded open source strategies will become the minimal level of investment that most large software vendors will find necessary to maintain competitive advantages during the next five years.… Read more
The obvious answer to my question above is, "No." But sometimes the obvious is, well, not so obvious.
This is already happening. Ask VCs what they're investing in and you'll find few traditional, proprietary software companies. The only companies who seem to continue to make a living in this fashion are the behemoths who leave customers little choice but to buy from them.
For now.… Read more