July 19, 2003

RSS feed for additions to the Microsoft Knowledge Base

kbalertz.com has been around for a while, emailing the newest additions to the Knowledge Base to subscribers to the free service. Well, now it's got RSS feeds, too. Go to this page and select the technology you're interested in (don't click on the Hot link, click on the name of the search). You'll see the orange XML logo next to the title of the technology. Grab that link into your favorite RSS reader and you're off. For instance, the RSS feed for "All Microsoft Search Topics" is here.

Posted by tony at 04:57 PM | Comments (0)

Firewall face-off: Tiny V5 vs Kerio V4

Both are in beta. I've been running Tiny Personal Firewall V5.0 beta for the past few weeks and like it a lot -- it appeals to my geeky side cause I get to configure rules and roles and filters and application capabilities and stuff like that. For example, you can define a set of authorizations as a "group" and you can assign an application to one of the groups, giving that application all of those authorizations. You can move apps between groups, thereby modifying the authorizations of all of those apps in exactly the same way. Authorizations come in several different flavors: IP addresses, port definitions, file/directory access (read, write, create and delete) and registry key access (like file/directory access).

Kerio V4 beta 5, on the other hand, is a lot simpler. There are applications. You can authorize apps to start, start others and modify (don't really know what this is yet ... the help is less than helpful) and access the network in various ways (by port and/or IP or by network group). There is also an intrusion detection module with high- medium- and low-priority intrusions (why? dunno ... yet).

Of course, both can display the active connections. Kerio groups the display by application (with no way to undo the grouping) whereas Tiny has no grouping, just a list ... which you're supposed to be able to sort.

Right now I'm WAAAYYY in favor of Tiny but I just switched. Gotta give Kerio time to grow on me.

Posted by tony at 04:23 PM | Comments (1)

badblue.com : free ASP-capable web server

Who knew that Windows XP Home doesn't come with a web server? -- Windows 98 does. But it doesn't so you can use this free piece of software along with another, free, 3rd party product: ActiveHTML to run an ASP-capable web server. BadBlue makes it easy to share files (with and without passwords) plus it supports searching and will automatically display images as a photo album. All that and it can do PHP and Perl. And did I say this was all FREE? With these features you may want to run it instead of PWS or IIS.

YMMV, proceed with caution because I haven't actually experimented with this software.

Posted by tony at 08:56 AM | Comments (0)

And your last name means ...

Find out at this site. No, my last name isn't listed.

Posted by tony at 08:41 AM | Comments (0)

GoogleAlert.com -- persistent searches

That's what we used to call it at one of my previous companies. You have to register and then you can type in your search phrase(s) and Google will search and send you email with the new hits. It was a good idea 4 years ago when we did it and it looks like it's still a good idea.

Posted by tony at 08:37 AM | Comments (0)

July 18, 2003

Meerkat : O'Reilly's web-based RSS reader

Came across O'Reilly's Meerkat today although it's apparently been in operation for quite a few months. What is it? Here's what O'Reilly says about it:

"While maintaining the original association of a story with a channel, Meerkat's focus is on chronological order -- the latest stories float to the top, regardless of their source. "

It's an interesting site that my writing skills can't really do justrice. It has to be experienced to really be understood but I'll do my best to describe it. There are "profiles" that restrict the stories that are displayed on the main page. Along with or instead of that you can select categories or specific channels to be displayed. And, of course, you can search the stories. If you register with the O'Reilly Network you can create your own profile.

Posted by tony at 07:49 AM | Comments (0)

July 15, 2003

What is RSS and why do (you think) I need it?!?

If you get your online news from more than 2 sources and more frequently than once a week, read on! -- RSS readers can simplify your life.

In a nutshell, RSS is an XML-based standard for publishing information in smallish chunks a lot like stories or news articles (go to this article on about.com -- it's got a good explanation of RSS). Typically, the article will be the same as the original article and will have live hyperlinks to the original story in case you feel you're missing something. In practice, a lot of sites will "publish" an RSS feed that is IDENTICAL to what's on (some of) their pages. For instance, CNet.com publishes their Tech News through this 20-story RSS feed. You can get news stories from that site via your RSS reader and not have to go to CNet's News.com site (here is CNet.com's list of RSS feeds). Computerworld and InfoWorld have RSS feeds, too, (here and here, respectively) as do a lot of other places. Now, imagine that you can get all of this information in ONE place (your RSS reader) as opposed to going to each of those sites. See how it can save time and effort?

How do you find RSS feeds? There are two main sites that publish lists of news-related RSS feeds: NewsIsFree.com and Syndic8.com. Besides that, just about every weblog has an RSS feed and you can find list upon list of those at places like weblogs.com. And if you don't wanna download and install an RSS reader you can use bloglines.com -- it's an online service that provides RSS reading capabilities via your browser.

Posted by tony at 12:59 PM | Comments (0)

About.com reviews RSS readers/aggregators

See http://email.about.com/cs/rssfeedreaders/. It's got an introduction to RSS and why you might like it as well as a review of 10 of the most popular readers.

Personally, I use the bloglines.com online service. For a local client, I'm undecided between FeedDemon (still in beta but it will ultimately be a commercial product) and WildGrape's NewsDesk (free).

Posted by tony at 07:44 AM | Comments (0)

July 14, 2003

SF Bay Fry's ads are online

Actually, it turns out that just about every ad in the San Jose Mercury News is online at http://newpaperads.mercurynews.com. You can browse by category ("Electronics & Appliance Stores") or by advertiser. You can even set up an email alert so you'll be notified when an ad shows up that matches your search criteria. Typically the ad will be displayed in a smaller format which can be zoomed. Today's Fry's ad, for instance is here. There have been 19 Fry's ads in the Murky News in the past 7 days!

Posted by tony at 08:39 PM | Comments (0)

Tech bargains

www.techbargains.com lists deals and rebates on technical merchandise, from both online vendors as well as brick-and-mortar stores.

eCost sells online and has a list of bargains that will expire soon. Sometimes there are good deals (SMC EZ Connect 802.11b Wireless PC Card for $17 due to expire in 38 hours) and sometimes not so hot.

Posted by tony at 08:17 PM | Comments (0)