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Useful websites and tools - 2/12 E-mail
Friday, 12 February 2010 09:59

Web

  • SRWare Iron - a less-intrusive alternative to Google Chrome that's based on the same open-source Chromium.  It even works with Chrome extensions.
 
Dropbox and Live Mesh: A comparsion E-mail
Wednesday, 03 February 2010 14:42

Now that I've been using Dropbox and Live Mesh for a while, I can offer a brief comparison between the two.  They are both great and I've found a good use for them both, but they each have their strengths and their weaknesses.

My overall assessment is that I like Live Mesh for all its features and flexibility in folder structure, and I like Dropbox for its simplicity, speed, and reliability - it just works.

 

Dropbox (free version)

Live Mesh

 It's free!  It's free!
 Quick to synchronize files between local and online version  Slow to synchronize files between local and online version
 2 GB storage free - plenty but less than Live Mesh  5 GB storage free
 Works on Windows, Mac, and Linux  Doesn't work on Linux (yet)
 Doesn't let you specify folders other than "My Dropbox"  Flexible in the folders you can synchronize
 Synchronizes all folders locally on all computers  Lets you choose which folders to synchronize locally, and where
 Lets you connect through a proxy

Uses Internet Explorer's connectivity settings, so if you specify a proxy there Live Mesh will use it

 No option to connect through a proxy

 Free extra storage for referring new users  No referral program for extra storage
 No remote control feature

 Lets you control other connected computers remotely

 No drag-and-drop between online and local storage

 Drag-and-drop between online and local storage (not yet functional)

 
How to browse securely for free using SSH E-mail
Wednesday, 27 January 2010 16:09

I am now the proud owner of a secure browsing environment wherever I go, even over unsecured public Wi-Fi networks, thanks to a simple SSH tunnel that took less than 10 minutes (in my case) to set up.  As usual, I found all the information I needed on other developers' and bloggers' sites, and I thought instead of rewriting what they'e already written, I would link to their pages instead.  Before doing that though, I want to offer a brief explanation of how this works, and what you need.

 

An SSH tunnel exists between your machine (the client) and another machine (the server).  On your machine you run a client like PuTTY, and on the server you run one of several servers like CopSSH or OpenSSHIf you own or manage a hosted domain, you should check whether your hosting provider offers SSH access.  If so, you can avoid having to set up your own SSH server by using theirs, which is already always on.

 

Once your SSH server is up and running, you connect to it from your machine via PuTTY.  You then configure Firefox or whatever browser you want to use to route its traffic through the SSH tunnel, and voila, all the data you transmit will be encrypted as long as you're connected to the SSH server.  You can also use this for other applications that allow you to configure a proxy server, like Mozilla's Thunderbird e-mail program and DropboxRemember to configure your proxy as SOCKS and not HTTP.

 

The connection you make with the SSH server is authenticated via a private/public key pair.  If you're running on a hosted SSH server, you can create these via cPanel.  Otherwise, if you're setting up your own SSH server, you can create them manually using PuTTYgen.

 

Below are websites that will help you get going, from setting up the SSH server to configuring your client-end machine.  (Don't forget the links to the software mentioned above!)

 

Articles

Software

  • MyEnTunnel - this little utility reconnects you automatically when you get booted off your SSH session.  Not sure if it works with Windows 7.
  • Tunnelier - alternative to PuTTY with more features (and a bigger footprint).  It is free for under 5 users, and is available in portable versions.
  • WinSSHD - commercial SSH software that's free for personal use
 
Useful websites and tools - 1/24 E-mail
Sunday, 24 January 2010 21:08
General
  • ManyBooks.net - there are a lot of free e-book sites out there, but this one has one of the better interfaces I've come across
  • BatteryCare - easy way to get information about your laptop's battery.  It even works with Windows 7.

BatteryCare

 
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