Software

Networking multiple Windows the easy way

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I've lost count of the number of times that people have asked me to help get their small network of two or three Windows XP computers talking to each other, and I've never spent the time to work out what the magic combination is.  Recently I came across a program called Network Magic that takes all of the effort out of it.  If you're having problems getting your PCs to talk, give it a try.

Wordpress Widgets - Enhanced Search Box

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After installing Wordpress 2.0 and discovering the wonderful Widgets plugin I added a few widgets to this site. While the widgets are great and give a really wonderful level of configuration over the site, I was quite disappointed to discover that the default search box looked pretty, well, aweful:

The old search box

So I did what every self-respecting geek does, I fixed it :-) I present to you, WPWidgets_EnhancedSearchBox v0.1:

The new search box

You can download a small zip file I made of both the new widgets.php file and a diff file off the SVN source code (in case you're into that kinda thing), along with a quick readme.txt file explaing how to install it, which you can download at will:

Project managment software for the rest of us

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A really awesome find this evening. I've always been on the lookout for good project management tool. I've wanted something that was web-based (so that I could access it from anywhere), open-source (so that I had full control over the code if needed), easy to use, and able to cope with both my personal projects along with any consulting work I pick up along the way. There are some definitely great programs available, for example 37Signals' Backpack, BSAG's Tracks, etc, but most of them suffer in one way or another, particularly Backpack which is a hosted application so you can't control its inner workings. In the end I found a program called activeCollab which is very heavily based on Backpack but is open source, so you host and manage it yourself. The current version works well for what I need and the update coming in a few weeks adds many improvements, mainly being able to add comments to anything and a rewritten file system to simplify uploading and managing attachments. Worth trying out.

World's best spam filter available for MS Exchange

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The (IMHO) world's best spam filter, SpamAssassin, is a tricky beast to get running under Windows due to its UNIX-focused application structure. Thankfully a company has put it together with a lovely graphical interface for use on Windows and calls it No Spam Today. To make it really useful you need to add on an extra product called SpamMover which moves all messages marked as spam into a separate folder. Easy-peasy. NoSpamToday is available with a free 10-mailbox non-commercial license or you can try it for free for 30 days to see if it works for you, but unfortunately SpamMover only works with two predetermined test mailboxes before you buy it. In total you're looking at $399 for 50 mailboxes for NoSpamToday and another $100 per server for SpamMover, so $500 for 50 mailboxes, and the best thing is that there are no annual charges for either, you get free minor updates and can buy the major updates if you decide you want them, unlike most "enterprisey" software that require an annual subscription in addition to the software price. Well worth trying.

Kaspersky Security likes being enabled

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If you are testing out Kaspersky Security for Exchange 2003 but decide you want to see how Exchange's built-in IMF works in comparison without first uninstalling Kaspersky Security, do not set the Kaspersky services to disabled, do not pass Go, do not collect $200. If you do this simple step you will bask in an email-free workplace for many relaxing hours until such time that either a) you realize your mistake and re-enable it, b) someone else realizes your mistake and reenables it, c) someone from HR comes by your desk with a cardboard box.
Note: it wasn't me X-)

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