HFS – Http File Server

Geek Alert: Technical post ahead.

Talk about dichotomies, HFS is either a nifty little tool or a a potential nightmare. Allow me to illustrate.

Imagine this you are at a site and the “network nazis” have it all locked up, no cd burner, so that without a password you can’t access the shared files on a clients PC, you may need them for backup purposes or to transfer to an accountant, whatever. Load up HFS and the PC is now a webserver. One file no messing around, instant webserver.

The upside is that you can now transfer the files, the bad news is you just punched a hole in the network security.

So allow me to Introduce the fabulously handy HFS – Http File Server. As I said, what makes it brilliant is that it is ONE file, you bung it on a PC drop the files you want to share into it and then everyone on the network can download (or upload) to it. Oh it also serves flat html pages if you need to read technical docs.

I have put a copy of this into my Portable Office setup, and I used it yesterday to get around a similar situation described above. It worked brilliantly.

More Firefox Bits

A little firefox zealotry.


You select text and it is automatically copied to the clipboard. No tiresome Ctrl-C, no right click, very simple and very elegant. It basically bypasses the Ctrl-C involved copying snippets of text to the clipboard. It also has another trick “Paste on middle click” which makes Ctrl-V unnecessary. If like me you are always copying huge slabs of script and stuff from the web it’s a great little timesaver.

You can get Auto Copy from the Mozilla extensions site.

Firefox Help: Mouse Shortcuts
This is a list of the most common mouse shortcuts in Firefox, and the equivalents in Internet Explorer and Opera. The shortcuts are for Windows, but most of the Firefox shortcuts should work in Linux too.

Dapper Drake Arrives (Ubuntu 6.06 LTS)

The much-anticipated (by my laptop at the very least) Ubuntu 6.06 LTS has officially been released. Ready for enterprise deployment, the 6.06 release is the first to feature the availability of long-term support on both servers and desktop computers. Ubuntu is a multi award winning Linux distribution with it’s main emphasis on being usable. It’s populated with stable versions of the usual suspects (OpenOffice.org 2.0.2 etc) and a wide variety of cutting edge Linux software.

Ubuntu installation disk images are available for download for x86, AMD64, and PPC.

This release has a number of spiffy improvements, including a faster startup and login, a new Live CD with an integrated graphical installer (think Simply Mepis), integration of the GNOME Power Manager, and optional support for NetworkManager. It also has support for installing Ubuntu on a USB drive (including flash drives), and comes with a new upgrade tool that simplifies the process of migrating from one major release to another.

There is a server edition also available for download, with complete support for Ubuntu’s certified LAMP stack, which can be installed with a single command (woo hoo). Click on the download link and grab a copy. Oh yeah you need at least 192M of ram for this one.

Well I know what I am doing this weekend, my laptop gets a new OS.

Bookmark Duplicate Detector

More Firefox Add in Goodness.

OK. Hands up everyone who has said the magic words ” I wonder if I already bookmarked this?”

Just about everyone. (I know Ihave over 500 of the damn things and find that I only really use about 30 or so regularly)

Well there is a really neat Firefox extension Bookmark Duplicate Detector that keeps an eye on your bookmarks and lets you know which bookmarks you’ve duplicated, along with warning you if you’re about to add a duplicated bookmark.

I’ll be honest here and say that I tend to use Scrapbook more often than bookmarks these days but if you manage a lot of bookmarks in your browser then this is for you.

Did I really have 3 links to techgeeks?


I am not sure about this one but dragdropupload will be popular I think.

Drop files into attachment boxes instead of browsing through all your folders for them or typing in the horrendously long file-name. It will accept multiple files and fill all the entries.
Works in Gmail as well so you can drop the files directly over the “Attach a file” link.

Kinda cool.

A Sidebar allows to drop files from a listing

Bridging Office and OpenOffice

A friend of mine has decided to start writing again after a long hiatus. So in preparation for being a “starving” writer I decided to wean him off the Micro$oft habit (he can no longer afford it) and start him off down the road towards “Free Software” and choice.

My idea (as an opening bid) is to setup a laptop for hime, I will be running Ubuntu (we have talked about this before) and Open Office 2. OpenOffice 2.0 is arguably the premier free, open source office suite (no I am not getting into a debate on this one, alternate views can live in the comments).

It has a lot of similarity to M$ Office. But it isn’t identical and nor would we want it to be. M$Office has some real idiosyncrasies that I can live without in an ideal world. (I know because I setup my laptop to run with Ubuntu and Open Office as well).

So, knowing how to find and use some of these features which may not be where you expect to find them. Solveig Haugland (who runs a great resource called openofficeblogs) comes to our rescue with a post called Bridging the gap between Office and OpenOffice and explains how to use such OpenOffice features as the Draw tool, tabbed headers and footers (this is so much better than the Micr$oft Word way… well I think so). We also get how to custom create of colors (yes Bill there are more than 16 colours), how to share files and how M$ Office documents are compatible with OpenOffice.

I will let you know how he goes. So far he likes the Ubuntu Live CD and is finding Open Office more than meeting the challenge. Yes it can open his old Word docs and yes it can save them again. I would say he is about to away.

More news as it comes to hand.

Dont forget to have a look at http://www.openoffice.blogs.com/ as well

Update: My laptop is moving over to Fedora 5 for a while.

I want a Freeware Utility that will do

Over at eConsultant there is an awesome list of freeware utilities categorised by their function. You can find it at the appropriatly titled I want a Freeware Utility to …

There are hundreds of suggestions here in a plain easy to read layout. No ratings, no comments just a suprise everytime.

And when you have exhausted the Freeware there is the OpenSource section. Just keeps getting better doesn’t it?

Have fun.