After their well-deserved moment of glory which lasted from 1981 to 1995, command line-based operating systems for PC better known as “DOS” (Disk Operating System) should be extinct by now. And yet DOS, and particularly Microsoft’s MS-DOS and the open source projects directly inspired to it, still is a market niche populated by extremely peculiar usage scenarios, old users and enthusiasts that have no intention to quit the command line for good.
Since its official debut on the market, nearly a year ago, Windows 10 has become the main discussion topic of the entire computer business. Many reported Microsoft’s inclination to cause troubles or even real damages to users with the company’s new policy about cloud computing, mandatory updates and free offers you cannot refuse, but for me Windows 10 suffers from a fundamental issue that’s even more difficult to ignore. The entire “Windows as a service” concept is utter nonsense, and if Microsoft has taken this path I don’t think I will be able to follow it.
On the long, long road that leads to its final target, ReactOS continues to grow and evolve thanks to the hard work made by developers contributing to the project. The latest, important changes help the system to actually advance toward the aforementioned final target, ie to reach full compatibility with software and drivers made for Windows operating systems based on the NT architecture.
July has been a noteworthy month for fans of the not so trivial arts of multiboot and hard disk data encryption, which have been able to profit by the release of updated versions for two of the best utility software out there: NeoSmart Technologies released version 2.0(.1) of the EasyBCD advanced bootloader, while the so called TrueCrypt Developers Association brought to 7 the version number of its powerful, open source encryption software.
The month of June started with a bad news for all the Windows systems power users and personalizations fans: X-Setup Pro, a long-history tweaking software with unique features, reached the end of its lifetime. Because of its financial problems, the company behind X-Setup interrupted the program’s development giving away the latest version with a serial code useful for its registration.
Quite often innovation brings changes that imply a drastic cut with the past. This golden rule also applies to web browsers and the new generation of Mozilla Firefox in particular, which next to the many improvements and new features leaves behind bookmarks automatic saving in HTML format at the program shutdown.
CCleaner, one of those tiny, precious must-have tools to keep the PC in good shape and safeguard one’s own privacy by a single click, has been downloaded more than 320 million times. Piriform developer states the numbers on the program homepage, and together with the announcement the company released the new CCleaner version implementing (among the other things) a better Windows 7 support and a user interface tidying up.
VLC media player, one of the most appreciated multimedia software has reached a fundamental point of its history with version 1.0.0, the first main release after more than eight years since the initial version released in the far away February of 2001. The supervened maturity of the player created within the VidenLAN project overlaps with so many novelties for the interface, playback and supported formats, and the amount of users that in the past days has downloaded the release well demonstrates the success and popularity the software has been able to achieve.
It was mentioned earlier and now, one of the best WYSIWYG editors for off-line blogging has finally landed the FOSS and community-driven development world. In the past days Zoundry Raven has officially become an open source software, ready to accept contributions from coders willing to improve a product that already offers remarkable qualities as to code stability, ease of use and compatibility with various publishing platforms and CMS.
One of undoubted benefits of open source software is its incredible adaptability to usage modes pretty different from the ones originally expected by the developers. If, in that regard, it’s ok to the majority of the users to permanently install the Mozilla Firefox browser on the system, the “transportable” version developed for the PortableApps.com suite can be exploited by whom have the need to use a testing environment at no cost for the Windows Registry or to compare the last build of the Mozilla code with the one currently installed on the PC.
Good things need time, and the folks at the VideoLAN project have taken all the time that was needed to finish the works on Grishenko, codename for the just released newer version of VLC media player software. After two years of development, one of the most appreciated and used open source multimedia players appears in a totally renewed shape, provides a good amount of new features and naturally the same usual convenience of having at one’s disposal all the codecs needed to enjoy contents integrated straight into the software.
After several months of development and bug-hunting, the Zoundry programmers have released the first official version of Raven, a client for off-line management of blog contents endowed of several features that make it an interesting option for publishers and micro-publishers as well. First of all, the software usage is free.
Flags halfway down for the old caryatids still relying on an operative system that calling historic isn’t enough: voices from within the Microsoft circle let us know that, with the mourning in its heart, the company will release no more Windows for Workgroups 3.11 licences to customers of the embedded channel starting from the 1st of November.