Archive for the ‘Linux Communications’ Category

RSSOwl is a wise old bird

Tuesday, September 25th, 2007

screenshot of RSSOwl

RSS has made everybody's life easier. Rather than having to run around the Web to see what's going on out there in the world, you can let the world come to you. Whether it's news and politics, social networking, or the musings in the blogosphere, the world literally beats a path to your door through RSS syndication of content.

RSSOwl is a free newsreader that lets you read news the way you want to. Along with the expected subscribe and read functionality, there are extras that deserve a good look. Enhanced search capability allows you to find just the posts you are interested in.

You can also search for newsfeeds you haven't discovered yet, helping you to cover your interests even better. Once you find a site you like, RSSOwl will scour the site, looking for every feed that they feature.

There's an internal browser, so HTML content will be rendered correctly for your viewing pleasure.

You can minimize the app to the System Tray, keeping it out of the way until it detects new unread items. It lets you new when you have new stories to look at, keeping you right on top of things.

A new Version 2 is currently under development. It promises to add Usenet capability, allowing you to go old school and keep track of Newsgroups as well.

RSSOwl is a Java application, and is available for Linux, Macintosh, and Windows systems.

Download RSSOwl

Free calls and more with Gizmo

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

screenshot of Gizmo

VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) is one of the bigger deals out there for taking advantage of the Internet. Instead of using the phone company and its network of wires and switches, you use the Internet as the conduit for your phone calls to travel from here to there. Commercial services like Vonage allow you to make calls this way, although you still get to pay for the privilege. Free providers like Skype are out there, allowing you to call other members for free, while paying to call numbers that aren't part of the network.

The Gizmo Project is another free VoIP service. Like Skype, you can call other members for free, or for an additional fee you can call and receive calls from phones that aren't part of their network. There are differences, however, between Gizmo and Skype.

Based on the open SIP standard, Gizmo allows you to also talk with Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk, and Windows Live users, as well as IM your AIM and MSN buddies. file sharing is available through the IM window. Free voicemail and conference calling further enhance your options.

If it's time to tell the telco to take a hike, you may want to hike over to Gizmo and take it for a spin.

Gizmo is available for Linux, OS X, and Windows, so just about everybody can use it.

Download Gizmo

Free Printable Valentines

Thursday, February 1st, 2007


Valentine's Day is coming soon. Remember gradeschool, when you got to make Valentine's cards for everyone in your class (and even had to give one to the kid that you really didn't like?) Giving Valentine's cards isn't just for kids — just about everyone appreciates getting a silly, cute, fun card on Valentine's Day. makes giving Valentines easy. The site offers 50 Valentine's Day card designs in PDF format, which you can download and print for free. The site includes cards for sweethearts, friends, children, and even (who knew there was a need for this?) Valentines for robots.

So you can print out 40 copies of your favorite card and give one to everyone in your workplace. Even the folks that you don't like that much.

Get Free Printable Valentines

Free Printable Stationery

Saturday, September 10th, 2005

Deer Stationery

The paper that comes out of your printer is one relentless white sheet after another, which makes your correspondence oh-so-boring. A new site called Free Printable Stationery offers more than 150 stationery designs that you can download, personalize, and print. The selections include business letterhead, informal personal stationery, plus party invitations, animal-themed pages, and more. You can download lined or unlined versions, then use Microsoft Word (or your favorite free word processor that uses the .DOC format) to customize and print the stationery. And in case you forgot the spelling rule like we did: stationary means standing still; stationery is paper you write on. As far as we know, the stationery is stationary.

Get Free Printable Stationery

Opera Web Browser: free reg code today only

Tuesday, August 30th, 2005


Today only, Opera Software is celebrating its 10th anniversary by giving away registration codes for its Opera web browser. (This deal has expired.) (It's normally $39.) Opera's a fantabulous web browser: features include a pop-up blocker, RSS newsreader, e-mail client with spam filter, a notes feature, and much more.

Have patience when you go to the site: understandably, the Opera site is heavily loaded — and therefore slow — today. The offer is valid until 12 a.m. Wednesday, August 31 2005 (PDT).

First, get your free registration code
Then, download Opera

Free Fax Cover Sheets

Wednesday, August 17th, 2005


Spice up your office communications with a great-looking fax cover page. Today's featured download isn't a single program, but an entire site where you can download and print more than 100 fax cover pages. All of the cover sheets are available in .doc format (for Microsoft Word and compatible word processors): you can customize these before printing them, if desired. In addition, dozens of cover pages are ready-to-go: just download and print the PDF version for instant gratification. Cover sheets are available in 10 categories, including nature, job-related, funny, and color.

Go to Free Fax Cover

An Instant WiFi Network

Thursday, August 11th, 2005


If you're looking for an easy way to set up a WiFi network, perhaps for your business, check out this open-source application. WiFi networks are the hottest thing around, and you may be wondering how to set up your own. The PublicIP ZoneCD takes the guesswork out of setting up a network. You provide the necessary equipment: WiFi router, old PC, and broadband Internet connection — and the software takes care of the rest. All you have to do is put a CD in the CD-ROM drive. The software turns that PC into a WiFi gateway for home or business use. Best of all, the software, which runs from the CD, doesn’t use up any hard drive space. PublicIP is built on Linux, so it's stable and secure.

Get PublicIP

GAIM: Multi-Platform IM Client

Wednesday, July 6th, 2005


If you're tired of using several chat programs, consolidate them using Gaim. Gaim is a multi-platform IM client that allows users to chat on multiple services with one easy-to-use communication client. The application supports AIM, ICQ, MSN Messenger, Yahoo, IRC, Jabber, Gadu-Gadu, SILC, GroupWise Messenger, and Zephyr networks. So, you can participate in an AIM conversation and an IRC chat, for example, with just one program. Users can create their own smileys and skins to further customize their chat experience. With an easy to use interface and theme add-ons, the possibilities are endless.

Get Gaim

Broadcast video on the web

Monday, June 13th, 2005


If you’ve ever wanted to publish your videos to the web but weren't sure how to get started, Broadcast Machine is the program for you. The application is free, open source and simple to use. Broadcast Machine combines BitTorrent with RSS, including everything you need to start publishing fullscreen video online. The application helps with server seeding, setting up a channel, and tagging your videos. The secret to this program is channels: you can create you very own channel or station that users can subscribe to — similar to a DVR. The program is free for viewers and developers so you can publish your content for the entire world to see. Now all you have to do is come up with something good to say.

Get Broadcast Machine


Saturday, May 21st, 2005


Even the best telephone service providers don't offer all the features that Skype does: reliability, excellent sound quality and a $0-per-minute phone bill. This program works effectively on multiple platforms, including Microsoft Windows, MacOS X, Linux and Pocket PC. You don't need complex installation manuals and resources to get started with Skype. Just download, register a unique ID and set up an audio headset, and you're ready to call your friends anywhere in the world. Unlike some of the other free Internet telephony services, there's no compromise on the sound quality or security of your calls. Skype provides end-to-end encryption along with instant and easy decryption on the receiving end. This extraordinary application also lets you transfer files, chat and make conference calls. Finally, if you want to place calls to actual telephones, Skype lets you do that, too — there's a fee for this service, but it's generally still less than what long distance services charge.

Get Skype