April 19, 2011


me: Some good open or free programs and documentation


There was no Nederlog yesterday because in fact I still feel a bit better, and did a bit more, and then had no energy left to spend on the site.

But today some fruits I gathered, as the title explains. And no, I did not gather them all the last days, though that does apply to the first item, which was a real find for me - which shows that I have for a long time not searched deeply or properly for Pascal-related software.

General tips: 1. If you are not somewhat deeply into computing, programming, open source, free software, and related matters, this is probably not for you, though I list some quite useful and nice programs. 2. I will not provide links, but recommend that if interested you use an internet-search and also look in Wikipedia, that is quite useful for several items on the list. 3. I am writing from a Windows32 perspective, not Windows64, and the software mentioned is for MS Windows.

I divide it into three parts, the first for users of MS Windows with techie leanings; the next for the real fans of programming; and the last two bits of documentation I found useful. And I have for the most part only mentioned stuff that has also an entry in Wikipedia, and have provided links to these entries.

Possibly useful for many

Lazarus: Programming Object Pascal as in Delphi - free open source

This seems very fine and I am really glad I found this. It is precisely what I said - Object Pascal - and I know Pascal from Turbo Pascal, that I fondly remember, that was the first decent programming environment with a decent programming language I saw on a PC - and it is all free, completely open source, and with a fine rapid development graphical environment like the early Delphi of Borland, that I have also some experience with, again long ago, but even so. There is a wiki and much clear help, and if you are into programming or want to learn programming this is something to look into. It is also professional quality in which serious software has been developed, and it is GPL, which is a good public open source license. Also, you can use Lazarus to compile for many OSs and there is a Wikipedia entry for it: Lazarus_IDE. I may write more about this.

Comodo: Internet security - free (also commercial)

There is a free version of Comodo, which is an internet security suite - viruschecker, defense, firewall - with very many possibilities. I suppose it is mostly for techies, but if you are one, this may be useful. There is an active forum, and it is also in Wikipedia: Comodo_Internet_Security.

SysInternals: Suit of programs for in depth look into Windows - free

This is a suit of more than ten programs to look into the works of Windows and your computer if you are running Windows. They come in one suite or one can select, and the most popular selection is ProcessExplorer, that shows what is running on your computer, and tracks it while it runs. It can also terminate programs. This may be quite useful and shows interesting information, but is mostly for technies. It is associated somehow with Microsoft and the makers really know their subjects. Wikipedia: SysInternals

Treepad Lite: Tree-hypertext-interliner & texteditor - free (also commercial)

This is a nice and simple idea nicely and simply done: A texteditor that is connected to a tree (as in the Windows Explorer for one's harddisk, that shows the directories) one can make with text joined to each node in the tree. In the Lite edition the text must be txt - ascii (<- Wikipedia) - but does have a neat hypertext facility, with links to whatever one wants. This is all quite handy for various things, and also works as an outliner - which is to say one can move the texts in the nodes with the nodes through the tree, that works as a graphical index for the collection of texts. The free version - the Lite one - is simpler than the commercial one, but then that is to be expected.

This is one better way for editing text, in the sense of ASCII, than Windows Notepad delivers, and here is what Notepad could have been:

Notepad++: Multi-text editor much more powerful than Notepad - free

This is an editor for text-files, and also for editing of html and such and source-code for compilers, that can do very much more than Notepad, with many more facilities, also for many programming languages. Possibly most useful for programmers and such, but I like text and html formats, and rather avoid doc format and editors like MS Word. This is a very good text editor. It is in Wikipedia: Notepad++

FreeCommander: Diskexplorer, with 2 panes, like Norton Commander for DOS - free

I mentioned the Windows Explore for one's harddisk, that comes with a tree for directories and a pane for the contents of directories, and is a pain in the way many Microsoft products are a pain: Unintuitive to use, and limited in capacities. To some extent this may be a matter of taste, but limited in capacities is true, FreeCommander is a graphics Win32 implementation of the classical Norton Commander for DOS. This one is very good, with many capacities and several contributors, and very much more pleasant to use than what comes with MS Windows XP Pro. It is in Wikipedia, briefly: FreeCommander.

ZipGenius: Filearchiver, for many compression formats - free

This is a free compressor of files, often referred to as "zip" because that is one of the most common compression formats, but there are quite a few others, and ZipGenius does many, is well organized and free. Incidentally: A good diskexplorer has a free zip utility: The MS Windows Explorer has one (which seems not widely known) and so has FreeCommander, with more facilities, including passwords.There is a Wikipedia article: ZipGenius.

Possibly useful for those interested in programming

This is the promised section for people interested in programming, first a golden oldie for those who care for such things:

Turbo C++ 5.5: The classic Borland version - free and legal but only command line

I did program some in Turbo C but not much and saw this was freely and legally available from Borland as was (now Embarcadero). I suppose this was the best in compiling in DOS-days. If you are interested in programming this may be interesting (I expect it depends on what you've done with DOS: I used it daily for 8 years or so). Here is the Wikipedia entry: Turbo C++.

One limitation is that it is only command line i.e. without programming environment, but then there is

SmallId: A graphical interface for programming Turbo C++5.5 - free

This is not very fancy, but then it is some single person's work to make Turbo C++ 5.5 usable, and it helps and it works (what I tried, which is not much).

The above is probably only useful for those interested in programming, and there are much better free implementations of C and of C++-compilers for Windows32. For a list of compilers and their facilities and of integrated development environments see these two Wikipedia entries: Compilers - IDEs. One for C I do like:

Pelles C: An IDE for C - free

This is a good IDE for C, and also for learning C, which is probably what one should start with if one is interested in programming in C++, and does not know C. This is by a Swede, Pelle Orinus, and seems very well done and to be quite complete - its own linker and assembler and more - with extensive and good help. It is in Wikipedia: Pelles C.


One of the problems with computers is that much is not documented well or at all. It is true that with the internet you can find out many things, and will find things and answers if you search with enough persistence, but most things running on computers need better documentation than they have.

Here are two pieces of documentation that I found useful, one about MS Windows itself, and one about programming in assembly, in both cases because they have a lot of information that is laid out well:

TweakGuides: Extensive documentation of Windows - free (also commercial)

I have linked to the author's site, where you will find you can get free pdf versions or buy DeLuxe editions. I only looked into the Windows XP free version, but that certainly is well done and useful, also because it has a lot of information about Windows in one file.

Open your eyes to assembly: website about programming in assembly

There are not many good extensive introductions to assembly language (<-Wikipedia), and this is the best I found, by someone who taught it to himself, from the ground up. As it happens, it is in Spanish - Abre Ojos Ensamblador - but it has been translated in part into English by the writer. It is a lot of material, and it explains a lot about assembly. If you are interested in assembly language at all you should have a look at it: It is likely that it answers many of your questions if you are new to it. I have linked the opening of the site, in Spanish, which has links to the translated parts. The reason to mention it here is that it is useful if you are interested in programming in or learning about assembly.

So... I could have mentioned more, and could have given more links, but the above should be of some use to some, as it was for me, since I have at least some hands on experience with all I mentioned.

Finally, this is in Nederlog because I write in Nederlog about whatever interests or concerns me, if and when thus inclined, and these things do interest me or do or did help me. (I probably put it into the computing section later.) Also, even if you are, like most people, mostly a user of Windows who is not interested in what happens under the hood, some of the above entries, such as about Notepad++, FreeCommander and the TweakGuides may be quite useful. 

P.S. Corrections, if any are necessary, have to be made later.

As to ME/CFS (that I prefer to call ME):

1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS (pdf)

3. Hillary Johnson

The Why

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf)
5. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

6. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
7. Paul Lutus

Is Psychology a Science?

8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)

Short descriptions:

1. Ten reasons why ME/CFS is a real disease by a professor of medicine of Harvard.
2. Long essay by a professor emeritus of medical chemistry about maltreatment of ME.
3. Explanation of what's happening around ME by an investigative journalist.
4. Report to Canadian Government on ME, by many medical experts.
5. Advice to psychiatrist by a psychiatrist who understands ME is an organic disease
6. English mathematical genius on one's responsibilities in the matter of one's beliefs:
   "it is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence".
7. A space- and computer-scientist takes a look at psychology.
8. Malcolm Hooper puts things together status 2010.

    "Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!

No change, no pause, no hope! Yet I endure.
I ask the Earth, have not the mountains felt?
I ask yon Heaven, the all-beholding Sun,
Has it not seen? The Sea, in storm or calm,
Heaven's ever-changing Shadow, spread below,
Have its deaf waves not heard my agony?
Ah me! alas, pain, pain ever, forever!
     - (Shelley, "Prometheus Unbound") 

    "It was from this time that I developed my way of judging the Chinese by dividing them into two kinds: one humane and one not. "
     - (Jung Chang)


See also: ME -Documentation and ME - Resources

Maarten Maartensz (M.A. psy, B.A. phi)

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