Bring down Wikipedia to your hard drive for offline viewing with Xowa

Bring down Wikipedia to your hard drive for offline viewing with this awesome app.

When I was growing up (I graduated from high school in 1984), my parents had a set of Britannica Encyclopedias THEY used when they were in school circa 1950-blah, blah, blah. Its what I had at home to help me with homework – a 25-30 year old, out dated set of reference books…and it was far better than most anyone else had at home. Google didn’t exist yet. In 1984 when I graduated from high school, Sergey Brin was in the 4th grade. That, my friends… is TOTALLY depressing.

Today, with the advent of Google and other search engines, the world is your oyster. Students today have access to information that I could only dream about back in the day…that is, as long as they’re online. Well, until now. XOWA is a cool Windows app that downloads any Wikimedia wiki to your hard drive for offline use; and unlike my stale set of smelly encyclopedias, can be updated at will.

XOWA is a free application that lets you download Wikipedia and Wikimedia compatible wiki’s to your computer. With it, you can access all of Wikipedia offline, meaning without an internet connection. You effectively rip it to your hard drive and then access Wikipedia via the app.

It works with any Wikimedia wiki, including Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikisource, Wikiquote, and Wikivoyage. It also works with other specialized wikis such as Wikidata, Wikimedia Commons, Wikispecies, or any other MediaWiki generated dump. Also works with any non-English language wiki (French, German, Dutch, etc.) compatible wiki.

When you search or find what you’re looking for, you can search for any page by title using a Wikipedia-like search box, browse pages by alphabetical order using special:allpages, or find a word on a page. You can also access a history of viewed pages and bookmark your favorite pages.

This application is really cool. Its something that every high school and especially college student should have, especially if you have a laptop, have to do some kind of a research paper and know you’re going to be some place that doesn’t have Wi-Fi (and you don’t have mobile broadband to burn – which is a very common state, especially among students here in the States).

With XOWA, you surf, download, storage and go. The app will even store data on a storage card or thumb drive, so you don’t have to eat up precious hard drive space. The app is also VERY difficult for first time users to get set up. You have to do a LOT of reading of instructions in order to actually get the app to rip something to your hard drive. Don’t expect to be able to flip a switch and start using it out of the box. Its going to take a bit of work to get going.

XOWA-01

 

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Is the Internet REALLY Required?

internet-marketing-strategy-traffic1Its been an interesting weekend…without internet service. It really makes me wonder…is the Internet really required?

Its been an interesting weekend. Aside from being Independence Day weekend here in The States, its also my wife’s birthday. Our boys, wanted to buy mom a tree for the yard, and after we brought it home, it was my job to plant it.

Unfortunatey for me, my wife picked a location that was directly in between the cable CO and the connection with our house, and so… yeah. The buried cable got cut as I was digging the hole for the new tree. Comcast, my cable internet provider told me that they wouldn’t be able to come out to the house to repair the cut cable until Sunday.

During this time, however, we’ve had no connectivity outside of the internal network in the house. I can access my resources – my multiple NAS drives and game consoles – but nothing outside, like the internet or any other outside network.

Back in the late 1980’s and throughout the 1990’s, the internet wasn’t required to be part of your computing experience. Today, I’ve got Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive, Backblaze (an online backup program), Google Apps, as well as any other number of online services that I connect to and use every time I turn on my computer. Without them, computing seems really silly.

computer-internet-100128-02

Its amazing how much you depend on the online world to make your computing experience whole. Thankfully, my access is restored. Comcast came out and reran a cable from the CO to my house; and while I could have used my iPhone or Freedom Pop to provide a connection to the internet, there, you have to worry about how much you’ve used and how much you have left. With my cable connection, bandwidth is pretty much unlimited.

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Keep your web surfing habits private with Ultrasurf

UltrasurfProtecting your privacy while surfing on line is a big problem, and something that we take seriously here at Soft32. This is the biggest reason why we like applications like Ultrasurf. It’s a privacy application for windows that helps keep your surfing habits secret.

Ultrasurf provides strong privacy protection with none of the confusing setups of other proxy tools. You’ll be ready to privately and securely surf the internet with Ultrasurf’s fast, private proxies moments after installation finishes. Ultrasurf is very easy to configure.

When you launch this program for the first time, Ultrasurf loads Internet Explorer automatically. Thankfully, it also supports other browsers. Ultrasurf has a very simple interface with Home, Retry, Option, Help, and Exit buttons. However, its golden lock icon, which showed up on our Windows Taskbar after we started the program, is a bit awkward. However, we were able to hide it.

Ultrasurf

If you like to protect your privacy or can’t access certain Web sites due to censorship, Ultrasurf will be the easiest gateway for you. It doesn’t have a lot of options, but it does what it’s designed to do.

Overall, Ultrasurf is very easy to use and page-loading time while browsing is fast. Its ideal for people who don’t know much about how proxies work. You don’t have to assign any port numbers or play with the features in order to hide your IP address. Those who are familiar with proxy servers can also change their settings manually if they wish.

Download Ultrasurf

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Turn your laptop into a WiFi hotspot with mHotspot

Getting access to the internet is increasingly important in today’s always on, connected world. This is one of the big reasons why I like apps like mHotspot. It turns any Windows 7 /8 laptop into a Wi-Fi hotspot; and it’s free.

mHotspot converts your Windows 7/8 laptop into a virtual Wi-Fi router and creates a secure Wi-Fi hotspot without installation of additional networking components. With it, you can share your single internet connection with multiple devices. You can share your existing LAN, Ethernet, Data-Card, 3G/4G, or Wi-Fi connection with devices like laptops, smartphones, PDAs, tablets etc. No additional router or external hardware is required.

mHotspot

If you’re out and about and have a mobile broadband capable laptop, this application is a must have. It quickly and easily creates a mobile hotspot that you can share with all of your internet capable devices. This can be very important to those that need to give access to friends using other devices. The only issue that may be encountered with this is that it uses bandwidth from your existing mobile data plan.

While this can also be great for those times when you need to access the company network from your personal laptop while at work, it does require an existing internet connection in order for it to work. The interface is simple and easy to use, and its free price tag makes it a must have for nearly everyone.

Download mHotspot

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Secure your home or businesses internet connection with Wifi Protector

Whilst a wireless connection is an easier and more convenient way to get on the internet, using one puts your personal information at risk of being seen by others.

Most security software just protects your device from viruses. The WiFi Protector protects your connection from hackers at all times. It uses 256 bit encryption technology, enough to protect you from identity theft and other internet crimes.

The software also hides your unique IP address, giving you anonymity and the freedom to surf the internet reassured of your privacy. With your IP address hidden you can access restricted websites censored to you in your area.

The main menu displays all the information you need to check your connection is protected. You can monitor what devices are connected to the same network as you, making sure only devices you trust are on the same WiFi connection as you. The software runs in the background of your computer, notifying you whenever a new device connects to your network.

Whilst wireless internet makes it easier for you to surf the web, it also makes it easier for hackers to access your personal information. It is vital to encrypt your information to keep it protected from others. The WiFi Protector is an easy way to protect your network at all times.

Download Wifi Protector

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Protect your home network, personal identity, and online activities with Trend Micro Internet Security

Over the years, the world of internet security has expanded beyond that of the major players whose names have come to the fore via long-established relationships that has seen their platforms bundled alongside operating systems – it can be hard to compete when the name of certain internet security platforms comes up the moment someone switches on their new computer.

This is not to say, though, that alternative forms of internet security are inferior, and there is no better an example of the great products available than Trend Micro Internet Security. Trend is a great new free-to-try internet security product that protects PCs against all the usual suspects including: Viruses, Spyware and Identity theft.

Trend Micro Internet Security gives you the peace of mind to be able to go about your usual computer-based activities without having to worry about the threats that can make you and your computer vulnerable.

As far as internet security software goes, Trend Micro Internet Security has the capability to offer more than adequate protection to the average home user of a PC, and is especially good when it comes to considering the family, with well thought out options for protecting kids against the many dangers of the web.

Download Trend Micro Internet Security

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Make Internet apps run even through your office network

Don’t you hate it when your employer blocks certain kinds of applications simply based on file or traffic types? I know I do. I find it very frustrating when I am used to working a specific way and then have to change how I do what I do simply because an application I need has been blocked. If you find yourself in a situation like this, then you might want to take a quick look at Proxifier. It’s a multiplatform network utility.

Proxifier allows network applications that do not support working through proxy servers to operate through a SOCKS or HTTPS proxy and chains. With it, you can work with any Internet client through a proxy. You can improve network performance and ensure privacy. The app uses a flexible rule system, and has an easy to use yet powerful UI with live data.

Proxifier is a cool program that can help you route internet traffic through a single or chain of proxy servers to protect your privacy or to help you get key apps running when they might be blocked on specific networks. The biggest issue that I initially saw with the software was that it cannot be installed or used on a network that is already using proxies to govern network traffic. Those proxy settings have to be disabled before Proxifier can be installed and configured. Caution should therefore be used if you’re going to use this application at the office, as you could find yourself without any network or internet access if Proxifier conflicts with configuration scripts used in your enterprise.

Read full Review | Download Proxifier

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Monitor network devices and services with NetGong

Nearly everyone with internet access today has their own network.  If you’ve got more than one computer hooked into a cable/DSL router at your house, you’ve got a home network. Many with a home network often share printers, share drive space and other devices. This is why I like NetGong. It’s a networking tool for Windows.

NetGong is a powerful, personal network monitoring tool. It allows users to tailor it to their particular area of responsibility, from a single server to a small-office LAN to hundreds of devices within a large corporate network. Corporate network managers can use NetGong to distribute responsibility among IS staffers and complement existing network management systems. Small businesses can employ NetGong for monitoring critical e-mail and Web servers.

Keeping your network resources up and running isn’t always easy. Having the right kind of monitoring tool is important to keeping running at peak efficiency. If things do go wrong, you’ll get the appropriate notifications.  This way, you’ll be able to get the right repair action done as quickly as possible.

In a home network environment, knowing if a shared printer or NAS is going bad is important.  Getting notification of the failure allows you to plan out the replacement cost so it doesn’t negatively impact your home budget.

download NetGong

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