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

 

Related Posts:

UPDATED – Apple Developer Website Hacked – #3

apppleApple Developers got a delightful update in the past couple of days. More of the site is back…

The Apple Developer Network status page has seen quite a bit of updates lately. In fact, Apple developers got a nice surprise over the weekend – much of the site’s resources are back, including software downloads.

That didn’t take too long, and I’m really pleased with the level of progress that Apple has made since putting the status page up.

While the Member Center is still offline, each of their three dev centers – Mac, iOS, and Safari – are back up and running. The latest released build of each related developer preview for OS X Mavericks, iOS 7 and Safari are available from each page. However, please note Mavericks, Developer Preview 4, released on 2013-07-22, still isn’t showing as available via the OS X Development Center. Currently, the most current release is Developer Preview 3, released on 2013-07-08. If you want Developer Preview 4, you’ll still need to download it via the Mac App Store after installing Developer Preview 3.

AAPL Status

A lot has happened with this story, and I’m going to move on to other items at this point, unless and until we hear about what actions, if any, will be taken against the security engineer that caused the whole bally-hoo in the first place. At that point, we’ll want to revisit the story, as I’m certain there will be consequences, and quite likely, serious consequences.

Related Posts:

UPDATED – Apple Developer Website Hacked – #2

The saga continues and the site is still down

apppleIf you remember, I reported that the Apple Developer Website was hacked on 2013-07-22. Since then, the site has been down. I recently reported recently one update. Apple has recently published a second:

Apple Developer System Status Update
We apologize for the significant inconvenience caused by our developer website downtime. We’ve been working around the clock to overhaul our developer systems, update our server software, and rebuild our entire database. While we complete the work to bring our systems back online, we want to share the latest with you.

We plan to roll out our updated systems, starting with Certificates, Identifiers & Profiles, Apple Developer Forums, Bug Reporter, pre-release developer libraries, and videos first. Next, we will restore software downloads, so that the latest betas of iOS 7, Xcode 5, and OS X Mavericks will once again be available to program members. We’ll then bring the remaining systems online. To keep you up to date on our progress, we’ve created a status page to display the availability of our systems.

If your program membership is set to expire during this period, it will be extended and your app will remain on the App Store. If you have any other concerns about your account, please contact us.

Thank you for your continued patience.

apple_hack-610

The status page is pretty cool. It shows you via green or grey light, what systems are up. Currently, iTunes Connect and Bug Reporter are operational. Everything else is still dark; and it seems that Software Downloads will be one of the last things that are brought back online.

As both OS X and iOS are both in Beta right now, this is extremely and urgently problematic. On Monday 2013-07-22, Apple released OS X Mavericks Developer Preview 4. Yesterday, it released OS X 10.8.5 Build 12F26.

Currently, the only way to get the new builds is if you already have the previous build installed. In that case, the software may be updated via the Mac App Store. There’s currently no other way to get the software until Apple brings everything else back online.

iOS 7 hasn’t seen an update to Beta 3since is last release on 2013-07-08. Had Apple followed the currently trending schedule, we also would have seen it released on 2013-07-22. My gut tells me we won’t see Beta 4 until after the Developer Site is fully restored.

Related Posts:

Apple Developer Website Hacked

For those of you with developer accounts, the site was hacked…

1202275-apple-hack-hacking-pirateI’ve had an Apple Developer account for about 3 years. Like all development account members, I use it to get access to Apple’s prerelease software to help with my development and testing efforts. I’m a hobby developer. I don’t develop things for sale.

The big problem with all of that is that I have a single email address or single Apple ID. Apple ties your Developer account to your Apple ID, and you log into the site with it. I knew the site was down and had been down for a few days, more than expected. Today, I was greeted with the following note from Apple

 

Apple Developer Website Update:

Last Thursday, an intruder attempted to secure personal information of our registered developers from our developer website. Sensitive personal information was encrypted and cannot be accessed, however, we have not been able to rule out the possibility that some developers’ names, mailing addresses, and/or email addresses may have been accessed. In the spirit of transparency, we want to inform you of the issue. We took the site down immediately on Thursday and have been working around the clock since then.

In order to prevent a security threat like this from happening again, we’re completely overhauling our developer systems, updating our server software, and rebuilding our entire database. We apologize for the significant inconvenience that our downtime has caused you and we expect to have the developer website up again soon.

Awesome.

The site got hacked, and they can’t guarantee that my Apple ID and password, as well as my other personal information, weren’t compromised. That’s just terrific.

Well, this certainly isn’t the end of this one. You can bet that there will be additional fallout on the Apple side of the world for this. While I think it’s a good idea to completely change the system, part of the changes would be to NOT tie everything to my Apple ID, but to another user ID and password.

There will be more from me on this as the story develops. Please watch the Soft32 blog for additional updates.

Related Posts:

Stay in touch with Soft32

Soft32.com is a software free download website that provides:

121.218 programs and games that were downloaded 237.780.356 times by 402.775 members in our Soft32.com Community!

Get the latest software updates directly to your inbox

Find us on Facebook