Friday, March 24, 2006

ISO's Agogo!

Windows XP CD Image Power Toy

This power toy is a Windows 2000/2003/XP compatible ISO recorder and burner. For those of us who don't know what that is, you can probably safely ignore this post. But for the rest of you, this tool does the work of what is sometimes fairly pricey software. It adds several options to the Windows context menu for managing disc images - either creating ISO's from the selecting folders or files, or, if one has right-clicked on an ISO, will provide the ability to burn it to a CD. For Vista users (I guess you're the earliest adopters at the time of this writing, as I've never laid eyes on it), the developer has thoughtfully included DVD burning abilities.

Free Hardware Firewall!

Well, actually, it requires its own PC with at least 2 network adapters (preferably popular name brand units as the choice of drivers is large, but finite), but that PC can be 10 years old! No, really, this is an excellent use for that old desktop computer you've been thinking of giving to Dear Aunt Sophie, she's so smart and persistent, I'm sure she'd love to get on the Internet! But really, you'd love having an IPCop more as it has a built-in firewall, proxy server, and Intrusion Detection System (IDS). It comes as an ISO, so download the afore-mentioned power toy if you're a Windows Weenie (you know who you are). If you're a Mac user, you have to use the Disk Utility app to burn it (don't worry, its easy!). If you're a Linux user, you'll likely know just what to do.

From the beginning, I loved the access to cool statistics about my web usage, the IDS logs tickled me pink, and lastly, there's a zillion add-on modules that can do everything from content filtering to time-based access control. Heck, the content filters even have the ability to update from an open-source blacklist project. Bluecoat systems typically gets $60.00/year for 5 users for that!

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