Heaps of software updates!

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  1. Author: robvdl
    User type: Administrator
    Posts: 130
    Date: Dec. 16, 2006, 3:30 p.m.

    I haven't written any announcements on the forums lately, and since then, a lot of new versions of free software have been released. I thought I'd write a quick post:

    Firefox 2.0

    Firefox 2.0 was released round about a month ago, it's even more secure than v1.5, includes tonnes of bugfixes, and heaps of useful new features, such as built in phishing protection against internet scams, enhanced search capability, improved tabbed browsing, browser session resuming, web feeds (RSS) can now be previewed directly in your browser, spell checking, improved add-on manager, and a whole lot more...

    Get it from: www.mozilla.com

    Note: If you've already got Firefox 1.5 installed, you should probably uninstall this first, then install Firefox 2.0.

    OpenOffice 2.1

    OpenOffice 2.1 was released last week, with the usual bugfixes, and the following new features:

    • Multiple monitor support for Impress
    • Improved Calc HTML export
    • Enhanced Access support for Base
    • Even more languages
    • Automatic notification of updates

    Get it from: www.openoffice.org

    AVG Antivirus Free Edition 7.5

    AVG Antivirus Free Edition 7.5 is out, users of AVG Free Edition 7.1 may have experienced notices that AVG 7.1 will be discontinued as of January 17... not to worry, as AVG Free Edition 7.5 has been released.

    Get it from: free.grisoft.com

    Skype 3.0

    I also noticed today that Skype 3.0 has been released for Windows. Still downloading it now, so still to see what is new.

    Get it from: www.skype.com

    Internet Explorer 7.0 and Windows Media Player 11

    These have been out for a while now, but I'd thought I would still mention them. I'm not a Media Player user myself, but Media Player 11 does look very nice compared to Media Player 10, definitely worth checking out.

    Internet Explorer 7.0 has a completely revamped user interface (although I am not too keen on it myself unfortunately). Internet Explorer 7.0 brings you tabbed browsing, similar to Firefox and a phishing filter to protect against web scams. CSS and web standards support have been greatly improved over Internet Explorer 6.0, but there are still problems when it comes to web standards from a technical point of view, and it does not quite compare with the web standards support of other browsers such as Firefox and Opera.

    Although I personally still recommend Firefox over Internet Explorer, as Firefox is far more secure against Spyware and other online threats, and has better standards support, Internet Explorer 7.0 is still a great improvement over Internet Explorer 6.0. Even if you are using Firefox as your main browser, it is still recommended to upgrade your copy of Internet Explorer to version 7.0, as it's a system component, which many other Windows programs rely on and use internally, so doing so will still improve the overall security of your system, even if you use Firefox as your main browser.

    Google Earth and Picasa

    Google Earth and Picasa have had minor upgrades too, with Picasa you can use the built in update process, and for Google Earth just visit earth.google.com

    Adobe Reader 8.0

    Adobe Reader 8.0 has just been released, it's much faster than the previous Adobe Reader 7.0, and if you're the proud owner of an NVidia GeForce 6 or higher based graphics card, you can enable 2D acceleration using your GPU in the options, which greatly enhances the speed PDF files render!

    Get it from: www.adobe.com

    Ubuntu Linux

    Ubuntu Linux 6.10 (Edgy Eft) was released just over a month ago, we have been running the new version for a while now, and absolutely love it. For those of you, that we have previously setup with Ubuntu 6.06 (Dapper Drake), feel free to talk to us, if you are keen on upgrading to the newer version. More information can be found on www.ubuntu.com

    Some of the highlights in Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Eft): Firefox 2.0, OpenOffice 2.04, Gnome 2.16, F-Spot photo manager, Tomboy notes, Upstart (much faster and cleaner looking startup), Evolution 2.8 email client, and much more!

    The next release will be in April 2007 and will be called Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn), which so far is shaping up to be an excellent release, I can't wait for this myself :)

    Preview Software:


    We've mentioned Paint.NET a few times before, it's a great free alternative to products such as Adobe Photoshop, and also much easier to learn to use. The current version of Paint.NET is v2.72, but Paint.NET v3.0 is currently in BETA, you can download the BETA version of Paint.NET v3.0 for testing now, or just wait for it to be released... shouldn't be long now.

    Get it from: www.getpaint.net

    Trillian Astra

    Trillian has always been a great multi-platform chat program, if you have a Yahoo, ICQ, and MSN account, it can certainly be a pain to have 3 chat programs open constantly, imagine if you also had an AIM and Google Talk account too... that would be 5 chat programs. There are just too many chat programs out there today, and this is where Trillian comes in. Trillian is a universal messenger, that allows you to talk over MSN, ICQ, Yahoo, AIM, and more..

    However, lately many new versions of popular instant messengers have been released... Windows Live Messenger, for example... and we haven't seen any updates to Trillian for a while, to keep up with these new programs.

    Luckily, I noticed a sneak preview of Trillian Astra today! They have a flash intro, and after you've watched that, there's a list of new stuff what's to come. Trillian Astra is not out yet, but definitely worth checking out what's to come.

    Watch the preview: http://www.ceruleanstudios.com/ap/