Poppin’ Penguin Products

A monkey, a penguin, and a wiki walk into a bar...

One Suite Monkey

Everyone loves sea monkeys. And now you can have a sea monkey on your computer. No, it’s not another simulated aquarium — Sea Monkey 1.0 (http://www.mozilla.org/projects/seamonkey/) is a brand-new Internet application suite that bundles everything you need to maintain your online alter ego. Sea Monkey includes a web browser, an email client, a newsgroup reader, an IRC tool, and a What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) web editor. What? No gopher client? Just kidding!

The aim of the Sea Monkey project is to provide a robust, secure, and stable set of programs for all aspects of Internet use. Sea Monkey is available for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. Try it at home, try it at work. Sea Monkey provides hours of entertainment.

Open Source Routing

Over the past few years, open source has tackled virtually all areas of computing: the operating system, the office suite, the Internet, security, telephony, and more. One of the final frontiers? Networking. Anyone in charge of even a medium sized network, knows how expensive routing equipment and support can be.

XORP, short for eXtensible Open Router Platform (http://www.xorp.org/) is a software engine for routers. It was initially designed for research, but now implements several routing protocols, a programming interface, and configuration tools, and is stable enough for production use. And now there’s a support option: Vyatta (http://vyatta.com/), a company started by several networking specialists, have enhanced the XORP platform. The result is a combination of XORP and Linux that runs on commodity hardware, all as open source, of course.

Vyatta is hoping to provide hardware and software support to the small- and medium-sized business market at a fraction of typical commercial costs. Routing: the final frontier. Cisco has been warned.

Gettin’ Twiki with it

Loyal readers, I have a confession to make: I’m a wikiholic. If you took away one of the four (yes, four) wikis that I use daily, my life would grind to a halt. Wikis abound in my world. Big wikis, little wikis, project wikis, Wikipedia (http://www.wikipedia.org/), wikis I’m coding.

But one of the granddaddies of wiki is Twiki (http://twiki.org/). Dubbed the” enterprise wiki” by fans, the Twiki team has just released version 4.0, or Dakar. Twiki 4.0 adds some powerful new features, including WYSIWYG editing, easier installation, email registration, internationalization, change control, and enhanced security.

It’s no wonder that Twiki is used inside Google, Yahoo, and Novell. It certainly makes the cut of this wiki freak.

It’s Full of Stars

Is there a Penguin constellation? If there was, Stellarium (http://stellarium.sourceforge.net/) would tell you.

Stellarium is an amazing open source” planetarium” with information on more than 120,000 stars. The software also tracks planets and satellites in realtime, has loads of cool imagery, and renders the night sky in several different views using OpenGL.

Stellarium runs on Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. To learn more about the software and additional add-ons, check out the Stellarium wiki online at http://www.stellarium.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page.

Organizing with Open Source

Calling all project managers: If you’re neat, orderly, and love visualizing the future as a series of colored bars, check out Gantt Project (http://ganttproject.sourceforge.net/). It’s a Java application that provides a nice alternative to commercial counterparts, such as Microsoft Project.

Personally, I’m a “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of guy, but the tool is great, nonetheless. Manage people, allocate resources, map milestones and most importantly, generate colored graphs sure to impress your pointy-haired boss.

Want to share a cool product or project that you’ve found? Contact Matt at class="emailaddress">tanase@qaddisin.com.

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