Free Oracle Database 10g Express

Back before Christmas ,Oracle (a company not known for it’s largesse to mere users) was giving away a “free” copy of it’s latest database. You can find all the info here. Oracle Database 10g Express Edition Downloads . Sure it’s only the Beta release, but what isn’t these days. And what’s more there is a version for Linux as well as Windows. ( Now at about 150M to download, you really really going to have to want this puppy)

As an aside, Oracle recently tried to acquire open-source database maker MySQL, the database that powers the blog you are reading right now and probably half the internet sites out there, MySQL said NO THANKS (and it wasn’t pocket change they were offered either).

The database market is in the midst of serious changes. IBM now offers a lower-end version of its DB2 product for free, following similar moves by Microsoft and Oracle. At the same time, companies such as Ingres and EnterpriseDB are trying to build high-end open-source database packages.

Oracle already has bought two small open-source database companies–Sleepycat and InnoDB in 2005. But its open-source ambitions clearly are larger; for example, Oracle is expected to acquire open-source application server maker JBoss (an awesome open source program)..

Pretty soon we are going to need a database to keep track of what Oracle owns, is trying to own or doesn’t yet own. It might make a nice little project for that freebie.


Monday Morning “Impediment to Productivity” – 20060227

Here we go again.

Lets begin this week once again with Blame
This weeks “Don’t Blame Me, It’s {insert poor unsuspecting victims name here} Fault” is Rob B.
and I quote
“something to sharpen reflexes for next monday morn
this might be a bit humble, ntw

Just thought I’d let u know I was still watchin

Regards Rob B”

See it’s wise not to put your head up.

Now lets have a look at some architecture…
Why? because it made me smile.
I wish they had some bigger photo’s on this next site. I love the robot building, I keep expecting Godzilla to come along and try and kick it to death.
and a helicopter pilot in over Mexico City has put up some amazing aerial shots

Disable Error Reporting in XP

How often have you been sitting there using your PC for “productivity related” issues (ie NOT Solitaire) and the software crashes and that cute little reminder that we are all Microsoft’s unpaid BETA testers pops up with the annoyingly familiar message

“{insert your program name here} program ended unexpectedly.
Do you want to send an error report to Microsoft?”

I mentally add another notch to the “Reasons to move to Linux” stick and press “Don’t Send.”

But the good news is that there is a simple way to permanently turn it off and Daniel at has written a very simple step by step. You can find it at
Disable Error Reporting in Windows XP/2003

OK This is the pay attention bit.
To turn off the Error Reporting feature in Windows XP/2003 do the following:

      Go to Control Panel.

      Click System.

      Go to the Advanced tab.

      Click Error Reporting.

      Click the “Disable Error Reporting” radio box, but select the “But notify me when Critical Errors Occur”.

Cool Huh? Thanks Daniel.

OH The bad news… there is no way to stop the crashes… it’s Windows.

TaskFreak! It’s written in PHP

TaskFreak! , a simple but efficient web based task manager / todo list written in PHP

Some of it’s advantages & features:

It’s easy setup with MySQL or SQLite (PHP4 and PHP5 compatible)
It’s simple and easy to use (wickedly user friendly)
You can order tasks by priority and deadline or organise by project and context
It’s absolutely free (although you can sling them a few bucks via PayPal) & open source (Yaaay)

You can find a demo here and Ajax is on the way.

Oh yeah, it’s “GTD compliant,” though I’m not entirely sure that means much to most people out there.


TimeSnapper- timesheet movie

OK, it’s Friday and you are sitting there wondering
“So. What DID I do this week?”

The answer to that question (well at least for next week) is TimeSnapper – make time sheets a snap

Windows only (bad) Free software (good) TimeSnapper takes screenshots of your desktop every few seconds to give you an accurate picture of what exactly you’ve been doing with your time. TimeSnapper will let you play back your week just like a movie. You can play it at any speed you like, and jump in at any time you like.

So when it’s time to fill out that dreaded timesheet, TimeSnapper is your savior. No need to tear your hair out trying to remember where all the time went (although it might help explain some of those outrageously high Solitaire scores).

TimeSnapper could be an excellent time tracking device for those of us who would rather do the gig now and document later. Much Later. Much Much Later.

Weird but useful.

TomsHardware does IPCOP Setup

OK this is serious geek stuff. TomsNetworking reviews IPCOP

Got an old Pentium kicking around somewhere and feel you would like to learn more about an Internet router than just plugging it in?

Building your own router using that old PC is a nifty way to do just that and learn a bit about Linux as well.
Win-Win as they say. :: The bad packets stop here! is a
Linux firewall with Web GUI and built-in traffic shaping and IPsec VPN. It can support up to four network interfaces and best of all it’s Free. On the downside the documentation is a tad incomplete on more advanced features

But to get you started all the bits you need are available.

Installation Manual (online) (html 197K bytes) (pdf 816K bytes)
Administration Manual (online) (html 559K bytes) (pdf 1,411K bytes)
IPCop Quick Start guide (online) (html 6.5K bytes) (pdf 20K bytes)
Hardware Compatibility List (online)

But to get started do have a look at the Tom’s Networking article.