Archives For windows

I recently StumbledUpon BumpTop, a commercial product that greatly changes (dare I say “revolutionizes”?) how you use your computer’s desktop. It runs on both Windows and Mac OS X and is quite reasonably priced. The best way to get a sense of BumpTop is to watch the videos available at their site. It’s just cool.

I StumbledUpon this page that lists 21 Lesser-Known Open-Source Applications for Windows. As a person that prefers to use open-source software and tries to avoid using Windows, I was intrigued by the listing. As the article points out, many people are already using open-source and cross platform software like the Firefox Web browser, Thunderbird email client, GIMP image manipulation software, OpenOffice Microsoft Office alternative, and the VLC video player. (Although, as an aside, while I do use Firefox as my primary browser, and often use VLC, I’ve never really thought that GIMP or OpenOffice were really comparable to the commercial alternatives.) The author does a good job of highlighting a mix of things, from utilities to multimedia to games. I expect I’ll try out ZScreen for my next book, as I always need to take screenshots on Windows (while testing code). If I used Windows regularly, I expect I’d love Launchy, as I love QuickSilver on my Mac. Being able to start applications without moving over to the mouse is such a timesaver. I also do use Filezilla on Windows, and recommend it in my books, as a good, free FTP application.

I don’t talk much about Windows, despite so many of you out there using it, so I thought I would pass this along.

Installing PHP6 on Windows

February 17, 2009

When I went to write the third edition of my PHP 6 and MySQL 5 for Dynamic Web Sites: Visual QuickPro Guide book, I had to decide what version of PHP to support. PHP5 had been out some time and PHP6 was more than 50% ready to go. The primary alteration in PHP6 is support for Unicode, a change that Ruby is also making in version 1.9. This is a big deal, so I thought I’d include support for PHP6 in the book. Now, just over a year later, there’s no news on PHP6 and, from what I gathered, there’s not a pressing drive to get it out anytime soon, either. Such are the potential problems when it comes to writing about open source software: you really never know what you’re going to get or when. Obviously the situation isn’t ideal but only two chapters in the book require PHP6, and some features originally intended for PHP6 have been added to PHP5. Still, some users reading the book (rightfully) want to test or play with the forthcoming, primarily Unicode-related, features I discuss in those two chapters. In order to do so, you’ll need to do what I did in order to write the book: install a beta version of PHP6 on your computer. In this post, I’ll walk you through that process for Windows users (I’ll address non-Windows users separately). Continue Reading…