Saturday, June 16, 2007

Open Source software and how to find it...

I'm currently reinstalling my own PC at home. One of the tools I use which isn't open source is (or was) Nero Burning Rom. I wondered if there was any good open source software out there and stumbled upon

They pointed me to InfraRecorder which works just fine for me.

Bye bye Nero!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

More cool software

In a previous post I talked about some of the software I use regularly. As you may have noticed I am a firm believer in open source software, especially when it needs to be secure.

A good example is some of the software included with USB sticks for encryption (Article in dutch) (*) Which was fairly easy to crack. With a well known open source tool like TrueCrypt there is a smaller chance this will happen as there are many people who have looked at the source code.

Anyway, to the tools:

I use Putty and Cygwin SSHD to set up a secure connection to my computer at home. With tunneling I am able to use RDP to connect to the Windows desktop.

For FTP and SCP I like to use WinSCP.

To surf on public networks I sometimes use Tor which guarantees your anonymity on the internet. (Never use the tool to open anything that uses cleartext passwords!)

KeePass is a small tool I use to store my passwords. The tool runs on Windows, Linux, Palm and Pocket PC which is great!

As I said I use TrueCrypt to store privacy sensitive files on my laptop and USB sticks.

When there's some software I want to test I like to use Virtual PC or VMWare to make sure my system is not screwed up. You might want to try Sandboxie when virtualisation is not your thing.

(*) I just found the same article in english, here and here.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

80 bucks for LTO barcodes? WTF?

I got a brand new HP Autoloader with bar code reader. Very cool since I would no longer need to label the tape and label the tape in the backup program. You can probably imagine my astonishment when no labels were included. No problem... I'll just order a pack HP Q2008A... WTF? 75 euro's?

No way am I gonna pay that amount of money for a piece of paper. There has to be a way I can create my own. I checked the Quantum specs and this shouldn't be a problem. The labels use code 39 barcode encoding. They also specify the allowed characters (8 alphanumeric ending with L1 for LTO1, L2 or L3 for LTO3) for instance 000001L3 or WED001L3.

Ok, that is a start. So how am I going to generate the barcodes? Google is my friend and found me this site.

After some trial and error I discovered these settings work best:

Now all you need to do is create some barcodes and print them on label paper. Make sure you align the labels in the center of the space for labels like this:

In the picture above you can see where you can place the text label.