July 31, 2006

Useful Software for free

Over the years I have collected a lot of free software , open source and freeware which I find very useful for work and play . I will let you explore the difference between the two forms of licensing and will get on with my list .




Abiword A lightweight Bi-directional editor , Open source .
Open Office An excellent office suite for general formatting, presentations, spreadsheets etc etc Can read all formats that MS Office creates. Needs a decent machine to run it though - Open source


The Gimp The best graphics editor - Open source
Irfanview Excellent viewer for all image formats

Audio video tools

  • ffdshow (DirectShow decoding filter for decompressing DIVX movies) [GNU GPL]

  • ffvfw (MPEG-4 Video for Windows codec) [GNU GPL]

  • AC3Filter [GNU GPL]

  • XviD [GNU GPL]



System Tools

Office tools

PostScript viewers

Text editors

Web Related -Mail & Internet


July 30, 2006

Cycling , where now ?

The recent mess with Floyd Landis testing positive for high levels of testosterone brings up some interesting questions .

Is cycling so deeply steeped in drugs/performance enhancing tactics as we recently start to feel it is or we are on witch hunt emanating from the animosity between WADA and UCI ?
Can the agencies concerned with the doping can say conclusively that the tests are to be relied on . After all after Tyler Hamilton was dtected with different blood strains there were a lot of possibilities such as Tyler is a chimera , the test used hasn't been tested enough to be 100% reliable . For instance is it not possible that Floyd Landis has an exceptionally high testosterone/epitestosterone ratio ? I would expect anyone to ride for three weeks over gruelling terrain with another 200 motivated super athletes to have a higher level of testosterone . The average testosterone/epitestosterone is taken as one , what with these guys ? Unlikely to believe that a guy pushing paper and them would have the physical traits .
A lot is made about Armstrong's exceptionally large heart , his lactate threshold , his VOX ratio putting him in a physically superior category . Maybe we are missig something here and there are more of these super beings around .

Of course it is equally likely that cycling is full of dirt and needs to flushed completely .

July 23, 2006

Monsanto and the axis of evil

Saw an excellent documentary yesterday called the Future of food which provides an in depth look into genetically modified food and the nexus that big companies , specifically Monsanto in the film , have with the highest political levels.
Genetically modified food and Monsanto go hand in hand as Monsanto developed genetically modified food for the first time. Monsanto started as a chemicals industry with a number of patents to their name including saccharin and agent orange . Their foray into the food industry began with Roundup , a broad spectrum herbicide . Soon after Monsanto got into genetically engineered seeds which were engineered to withstand Roundup . So in principle if you sprayed a field of Monsanto cropp wtih Roundup , everything else but the crop would perish . In principle this sounds great , to a certain extent it works as well and then things start to get dirty . It begins with the patenting of GE (genetically engineered) seeds . Once Monsanto holds a patent on it if John Doe wants their product he has to pay for it . Traditionally farmers stored their own seed , ready for the next planting but the patent Monsanto holds makes them buy the seed everytime they plant .Replanting the seeds would lead to John Doe being sued . Then it gets dirtier . If a few seeds find their way to a field which doesn't plant Monsanto , Monsanto can come and claim that the the framer is using their seed illegally , whcih means fines , penalties etc . And's whats more , since the crop is indistinguishable from traditional strains even the seed for susequent years can be contaminated and hence it is not possible to keep your own seed .
All through this Monsanto is helped along in its goal by dubious judgements in the highest courts of law , the whole issue of testing the crop is circumvented by employing ex employees of Monsanto in the role of the wachdog . John Ashcroft , Donald Rumsfeld are a couple of names among many others that crop as being direct benefecieries of Monsano largesse , either in ways of election funds or being employees of Monsanto at a certain point in history .
Definately a must see .

July 19, 2006

Quote from Velonews

If you ever want to dispell the illusion that cycling is an eco-friendly sport, you should see Rasmussen right now. We have on skinny little dude on a 14-pound bike and he's surrounded by about six cars, seven motorcycles and a helicopter....

I am starting a bike blog at the following address , feel free to have a look at it .
30 calories/km

July 17, 2006

Green Jerusalem

Ok I finally did it , started my webpage from my homeserver . Its called Green Jerusalem and as the name suggests would concern itself to green issues . Environment , sustainability , bike commuting . I would also love to have a section dealing with development and planning issues , the accent of it again would be on the green side . The forum can be accesed from the homepage here and the link to the forum is this .

July 02, 2006

Doping hits cycling again !!!!!

And I had all my hopes on Ulli this years . The cycling world received a big shock when a blood doping scandal was exposed in Spain , even bigger than the 1998 Festina affair . Read about it here . Hamilton in all likelihood will go down for life . In one stroke all the heros have been exposed as mere mortals . I am a bit angry that Armstrong got away !! No way he wasn't doping when all the biggest and cleanest names were all doping . More links

Tyler and Sevilla ..

Quoting from post in cyclingforums

Dear Jan,

What can I say? Words cannot express how I have been feeling these last few days. I feel as if I’ve been dumped with no explanation, no warning that it was coming.

You say you are innocent. I desperately want to believe you as I still can’t quite believe you could do such a thing. If you truly are innocent, why didn’t you act before now to clear your name? I really hope you are, I desperately want you to be, but what I am hearing and reading does not give me much hope. I knew there was a doping problem in cycling but call me na├»ve if you wish, but I thought you were above that. I’ve supported you for a long time, through all your ups and downs and I always stuck by you, even in 2002. When others cheered for Armstrong and called you fat I stuck up for you. I actually believed that you might have been cheated out of several Tour wins. Now I have to accept that you were probably no better. You have broken my heart. Months ago, as usual, I booked a trip to the Tour in the hope of seeing you win. This year, up until Friday morning, I really thought I would see you wear yellow in Paris again. I no longer want to go, I have no interest in this years Tour anymore. Never again will I let myself get so attached to a single cyclist as I have with you. I am completely gutted and there must be thousands more feeling just like me. Shame on you Jan Ullrich for making us feel this way.


A disillusioned fan