I’m going to cheat a little today and pretty much just post you what the NetWorx site says as is does a great job of explaining exactly what the software does.
"NetWorx is a simple and free, yet powerful tool that helps you objectively evaluate your bandwidth situation. You can use it to collect bandwidth usage data and measure the speed of your Internet or any other network connection. NetWorx can help you identify possible sources of network problems, ensure that you do not exceed the bandwidth limits specified by your ISP, or track down suspicious network activity characteristic of Trojan horses and hacker attacks.
"The program allows you to monitor all your network connections or a specific network connection (such as Ethernet or PPP) only. The software also features a system of highly customizable visual and sound alerts. You can set it up to alert you when the network connection is down or when some suspicious activity, such as unusually heavy data flow, occurs. It can also automatically disconnect all dialup connections and shut down the system.
"The incoming and outgoing traffic is represented on a line chart and logged to a file, so that you can always view statistics about your daily, weekly and monthly bandwidth usage and dialup duration. The reports can be exported to a variety of formats, such as HTML, MS Word and Excel, for further analysis."
The only problem is that this doesn’t track across multiple computers, just on single computers. To track multiple computers you’d need to see if your router does that or if that feature can be added to your router.
Today (October 30th) sees a new version of Ubuntu released, version 8.10 (more commonly known as Intrepid Ibex). The release features lots of little improvements and a few bigger ones. A few I am looking forward to:
- The ability to create a bootable USB drive
- A system cleaner
- A new version of Nautilus (the file browser, like Windows Explorer) that brings tabbed windows and eject buttons for media
- A built in encrypted private directory
- Improvements in wireless (maybe I’ll finally be able to get my Vaio online!)
- Better multi-monitor support
- A guest login feature
- A new dark theme (see picture above)
More about these features can be found here and here.
I’m sure I will have more to say about these features once I uprade. It may seem unusual that I’m not downloading the first day- after all, there’s a way to do it via BitTorrent to speed it up, and I love new things. I have learned over past upgrades, though, that’s it’s better to wait a week for the dust to settle. Also, it’s best not to make changes to a perfectly working system in the middle of a big project- in my case, comprehensive exams, which I have this week.
pic by John Griffiths
Staying on the username theme for a second day this week, here’s another way to no only keep track of which services you’ve signed up for but also a great way to let others know which online presence is actually yours. Sign up for a ClaimID account and then enter the URLs of the sites that are actually you. Better yet, if you have a common name you can enter URLs of sites that aren’t you. You can check out my ClaimID page to see an example.
Did you know that Google Book Search now allows you to embed books into your Web site? Also, Google has just announced the settlement of two publisher lawsuits. Check out the implications for libraries when you get a chance.
One key method for establishing your personal online brand is to consistently use the same username in each service you sign up for. Trouble is, what if someone else uses that same username? How can you know? Well, check out UsernameCheck.com. Just enter the username you’re interested in (yours or someone else’s,) and click the CHECK button. Usernamecheck will run that username against nearly 100 online services to see if there’s an account there with that username.
Do you have one of those multi-year-old clip art programs that is popular with your patrons? Have you tried running it on your new Windows Vista computer? There’s a small chance that it just won’t run. If that happens check out the vista4beginners blog which has a good article on getting older software on a Vista computer. It’s not that hard. Just set the compatibility option in the program’s properties. If needed you can even trick your program think it’s running on WIndows95.
The Web developers in the room are probably the only one’s who’d need, or even want to do this, but probably don’t know it’s even possible. The site Internet Explorer Collection, has a complete set of final IE builds that you can install and run simultaneously. Just download the executable and follow the directions. Yes, even you can run and test your Web site in IE 1.0. (Not that anyone did the first time around.)
Another quick software announcement, Adobe has released version 10 of their Flash Player for all platforms. I don’t know of any immediate reasons that you should upgrade but there are reported "performance improvements" that might help on slower systems. Unless you’re one of those folks (like me) who update everything immediately, you may want to just wait for the system to suggest the update to you.
Sometimes viewing a YouTube or blip.tv video online just isn’t very convenient. Whether due to low bandwidth or just wanting to watch it while offline, you probably want to download that video for later viewing. As I can attest, there are many different online services for downloading these videos all with different levels of success. However, I’ve finally found something that’s nearly 100% reliable and totally simple to run: xVideoServiceThief.
This is not an online service, it’s an opensource, downloadable piece of software that just needs the URL of the page containing the video you want in order to not only download it but also to convert it to a different video format of your choice. (I recommend .avi or .mpg for easy viewing in most video playing programs.) The program supports dozens of different online video sites and also has a setting to block downloading from many of the "adult" online video sites.
A quick note:
NLA/NEMA 2008 starts tonight and on Friday afternoon I’m off to Internet Librarian 2008 for a week. So, no more posts from me are planned for the next week. See you after conference.
Just a quick note pointing out the OpenOffice version 3.0 has been released and can now be downloaded. No word on a portable version yet.