Thursday, June 26, 2008

Portable and Free eXpress CheckSum Calculator

I've been recently downloading Linux distros, through bittorrent and direct iso downloads, and one of the tools that I found very helpful in checking the validity of the files that I download is the eXpress CheckSum Calculator. You can match the values calculated by XCSC against the given and previously generated checksum values for files that you download online. The tool supports CRC32, MD5 and SHA-1. If you need to find the checksum for a group of files, you can also use another program from the same developer, the eXpress CheckSum Verifier (which is also portable and free).

Details :

Developer : Irnis Haliullin Cost : Free Supported OS : Windows 95/98/ME/NT4/2000/XP/Vista Supported algorithms : CRC32 (Cyclic Redundancy Code), MD5 (Message Digest number 5) and SHA-1 (Secure Hash Algorithm). Download Size : 263Kb ( Self-extracted EXE file )

Resources and Links

  1. Download eXpress CheckSum Calculator (XCSC) here
  2. Download eXpress CheckSum Verifier (XCSV) here
  3. CRC
  4. MD5
  5. SHA hash functions

Friday, June 20, 2008

Firefox 3 hits 8 million downloads in 24 hrs.

Firefox Download Day 2008

Congratulations to Mozilla and the Firefox team for the very successful Firefox Download Day and being just a step away (awaiting confirmation) from a Guinness World Record for the most software downloaded in 24 hours. The total downloads after 24 hours totaled around 8 million, with almost the whole civilized world joining the download spree, and the United States topping the list of countries with completed downloads. As a side note, Opera also released the version 9.5 of their desktop browser last June 12, which also had great reviews and buzz going around, getting downloaded 4.7 million times for the first five days after it was launched. The great numbers of downloads for both browsers in such a short span of time will definitely affect the current Usage Share of web browsers ( Firefox has 17.76% usage share, while Opera has 0.69%, as opposed to the 74.83% of Internet Explorer - As of April 2008 ) cutting more into the considerable piece of the pie commanded by Internet Explorer.

I've been using Firefox 3 ever since downloading and installing it on my main system, and I must say it runs much faster, with I believe the memory leak issues in the past being resolved in the current version. I still see spikes in memory usage, but it is much lower than Firefox 2, which really became a memory hog with like email, some web apps, and a few more tabs open. I've read mixed reactions to the Smart Location Bar ( also known as the "Awesome Bar" - this feature is an autocomplete function that uses your browsing history and bookmarks ), but overall I really like it and it has given reliable results that matches what sites I want to go to. Another feature that I like is the Anti-Virus integration when downloading files - Firefox 3 ( on Windows of course ) integrates with the installed and running AV software and scans the file being downloaded automatically. I personally scan everything I download, and this feature actually does save me time, and for some who are not so security-minded, it may save their PC from malicious software and files. The new "One-Click Bookmarking" also sounds great, but have not played around the Bookmarks Organizer on my Firefox much, as I've migrated my growing list to Google Bookmarks.

Resources and Links:

  1. Download Firefox
  2. View the Total Firefox downloads worldwide
  3. Speed Testing the Latest Web Browsers
  4. Comparison of web browsers

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Firefox 3 Released Today

The latest version of the Firefox web browser was just released today.

Firefox 3 is a leap into maturity, as the beloved Mozilla product moves forward with great features that make it easier for its users to experience the "new and dynamic" Web. Some of the key features are Improved Memory Management, Instant Web ID ( anti-phishing ), Smart Location Bar and Improved Bookmarking process. If you want to know more about what Firefox 3 brings to the table, Lifehacker has a great rundown of the Top 10 Firefox 3 Features, or you can read in full the Firefox Features page.

Download it here.

Useful Links :

  1. Top 10 Firefox 3 Features
  2. Firefox Features
  3. Field Guide to Firefox 3