PRTG Network Monitor (freeware ed. available)

"PRTG Network Monitor is the powerful network monitoring solution from Paessler AG. It ensures the availability of network components while also measuring traffic and usage. It saves costs by avoiding outages, optimizing connections, saving time and controlling service level agreements (SLAs)."

I was looking for a free solution to monitor the uptime of an internet connection (using a Windows PC) and stumbled on this one. I admit it's a bit more than I was looking for, but there're not that many free utilities for network monitoring so grab it while you can. Smile The freeware edition handles at most 10 "sensors" (ie. you can setup monitoring of 10 network resources). For monitoring the uptime of your network connection you need only one, so it's more than enough.

Windows Update through a SOCKS proxy

Windows Update is a tricky thing. Smile It can use a proxy server (see one of my previous posts on this), but it won't use the same proxy as you've set in "Control Panel" / "Internet Options" (aka. IE's proxy settings). Windows XP has a "hidden" HTTP service (it's actually a driver visible in "Device Manager" under "Non-Plug and Play Drivers") and Windows Update uses this service to access Microsoft's servers. To set a proxy for this service, you've to use the proxycfg command line program. However setting a SOCKS proxy won't take any effect (at least it did not for me, neither for airwin). But there're ways to get around this. Smile

WebScarab - another debugging proxy in Java

WebScarab is a framework for analysing applications that communicate using the HTTP and HTTPS protocols. It is written in Java, and is thus portable to many platforms. WebScarab has several modes of operation, implemented by a number of plugins. In its most common usage, WebScarab operates as an intercepting proxy, allowing the operator to review and modify requests created by the browser before they are sent to the server, and to review and modify responses returned from the server before they are received by the browser. WebScarab is able to intercept both HTTP and HTTPS communication. The operator can also review the conversations (requests and responses) that have passed through WebScarab.

Paros Proxy - a Fiddler-like debugging proxy in Java

I have been looking for a cross-platform replacement for Fiddler for some time now. Today I stumbled upon Paros, which was written in Java and therefore should run on most Java-capable platforms without modification. Paros is not on par with Fiddler's feature set (and its development has been stalled for the last two years), but it's good enough for capturing/monitoring HTTP traffic on both Linux and Mac OS X.

Running Apache Tomcat as an NT service with JRockit JRE/JVM

I've found a thread about the problem, but no solution there. With a little help from Sysinternal's Process Monitor I could find out that the Tomcat installer misses the client subdirectory in the JRE\bin dir and the jvm.dll file inside that dir. In case of Sun's JRE the bin dir indeed contains a client\jvm.dll, but in case of JRockit that dir is called jrockit. Thus you can work around the issue by renaming the jrockit directory inside JRE/bin, do the install, then rename it back. However if you intend to keep the original name, then after the installation you've to alter the JVM path in the Tomcat configuration (the little app. sitting in the system tray) too to match the real JVM path.

FileZilla and passwords

I've been using FileZilla for ages now, but in the recent 3.x versions I had problems with password handling. The bookmarks feature is called "Site Manager" here. Each bookmark in Site Manager has a "logontype" parameter which can have a value of "Anonymous", "Normal", "Ask for password", "Interactive" and "Account". Without documentation (since FileZilla does not have any) it's not trivial to find out what each of these does.

Firefox Throttle

Firefox Throttle is a Windows-only FF extension allowing you to simulate network connections with various bandwidths. A nice tool for a web developer if she/he wants to see how long it takes for an average dialup modem or a broadband ADSL user to get the website content. Here's the page of the extension in case you prefer to get your extensions from there. I wonder why it's Win only? Sad

"Mac, PC and Linux machine" ... what's a PC? :-)

It seems some people really think that a PC is equal to a PC running Microsoft Windows. Smile Eg. in this article they wrote:
If you're interested in connecting the N95 to other devices, the developer has you covered with instructions on how to pair up with a Mac, PC or Linux machine.
Imho "Mac" and "Linux" are operating system families/flavours (each covering a number of operating systems), while a "PC" is a piece of hardware that might run a variety of OSes.

CubeDesktop: a Compiz Fusion clone for the Windows

Compiz Fusion is "the" desktop manager of today. Smile The 3D cube is just one feature/effect in it's repertoire. However if you're stick with Windows, CubeDesktop might be a viable alternative for you.

Charles: another debugging proxy

Charles was my choice of debugging proxy before Fiddler got worked out properly. The initial versions of Charles offered a lot more options, than the initial version of Fiddler. Today both are very feature rich and I'd suggest both to anyone. There're small details that might make you go with one or the other, but basically both are worked out quite well. Charles seemed to be abandoned for a long time (at least I remember that there was not much development at the time I discovered it many years ago), but since v2.x came out development is rolling again. Smile Probably Charles has more features than Fiddler (at least this used to be the case with MS products and their competition ... and with time MS buys out the competition or just bankrupts them via marketing war or other means).

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