Free Clipboard Manager and Personal Database – Ditto

You probably know how the Windows clipboard works. You copy something, then you can paste it somewhere else. The things you copy could be plain text, formatted text, images, links or files. You may also know what happens each time you use the clipboard. The Windows clipboard only holds the memory of the last clipping. Anything you clipped previous to the last item is gone forever.

This loss can be frustrating, and the frustration has inspired many solutions to this problem. The most common solution is a tool called a clipboard manager. These tools (sometimes called clipboard extenders, enhancements or extensions) can give you access to old clippings.

I won’t use a PC for any length of time without a clipboard manager. Over the years, I’ve tried many clipboard extenders, and Ditto is my favorite. Ditto is a free and open source program. It has built-in help and an active online forum. It also comes in a portable version that you can unzip onto a flash drive and take with you for use on any PC.

Ditto’s search feature is what really sold me on it. When Ditto is activated by it’s hot key, it displays the most recent clips and also defaults to a search mode. As soon as you start typing, Ditto searches all of it’s clippings for the characters you enter and displays the most likely clippings that contain those characters.

When you combine the search feature with Ditto’s ability to permanently store clippings, you have a time saving database right at your finger tips. After I describe the program, I’ll show you my favorite feature to save you time if you decide to use it.

Flash On A iPhone/iPod Touch Through JavaScript

The one thing I miss on my iPod Touch is the ability to watch videos in the app. However, that is not a problem with the Facebook app. It is a very well know fact that users cannot run Flash applications or websites on the and iPod Touch.


To overcome this issue, some developers have come up with a workaround which will allow users to run Flash on a iPhone on the Safari web browser. According to TUAW, the project is a open source project named the Gordon Project, and is hosted on github.

The Gordon project is a JavaScript powered Flash runtime using which users can load SWF files on iPhone’s mobile Safari browser. You can try out some demos by loading on your iPhone/iTouch browser.

In my experience the flash files loaded fine, however it was pretty slow. It can be expected though, since this is a very preliminary build. You can expect it to improve and show better performance in future builds. Developing flash based websites using the Gordon Project is not very easy though, you can find instructions on how to use this JS framework here.

Rest aside, this is pretty exciting as there are not plans from Apple to actually include Flash support on the iPhone and iPod Touch, the Gordon project at-least gives developers an alternative to work with.

California goes Open Source?

Yes, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has passed a budget plan which proposes inclusion of Open Source software in areas like health care, prison and many other to bring down costs by considerable amounts. A policy letter issued last week by CIO Teri Takai says ,

the use of Open Source Software (OSS) in California state government [has now been formally established] as an acceptable practice.

California reportedly faces a budget deficit of $20 billion, which Open Source software can hardly address but we can hope for something good to come out of this.

The human mind is resistant to change. This is what we have to change. Otherwise we will never move with technology. This attempt not only creates a place for Open Source in the government, it also encourages the public to use Linux and other Open Source software. This will do away with common myths about Open Source like lack of support, lack of features etc.


One thing that the governor has seen here is that a bigger part of California already uses Open Source software and this is more of a formal declaration. It has happened at Hungary, the state of Kerela in India has offered Linux loaded laptops to its MLAs and now California. The Open Source penetration into the governments simply keeps getting better.

Achievements of Open-Source Products in 2009

Open Source
Open Source

From the launch of Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala, to the continued improvements in Firefox, open source products achieved a lot in 2009. While established products like OpenOffice continued to flourish, we saw the emergence of new and promising contenders like Chrome OS. Here is a highlight on what open source community, as a whole achieved this year:



The Drupal content management system runs and dozens of other high-profile Web sites. Acquia, a startup in charge of commercializing Drupal, has received more than $18 million in venture capital to date, which is testimony the success of Drupal.



In October, Canonical released Ubuntu 9.10, code-named “Karmic Koala,” which enables companies to build their own cloud computing environments on their own servers and hardware. As it has done with desktop and server Linux, Canonical aims to take a pioneering role in cloud computing, and this release is the first step in that direction.



Git, a distributed version control system created by Linus Torvalds to manage the Linux kernel, has very quickly entered the mainstream since its creation less than 3 years ago. The documentation that comes with Git describes it as “a fast, scalable, distributed revision control system with an unusually rich command set”.

SUSE Studio

SUSE Studio
SUSE Studio

Novell launched Suse Studio in July as part of its Suse Appliance Program. So far, Linux users and developers are impressed with what Suse Studio brings to them, in terms of simplicity and functionality.

Chrome OS

Chrome OS
Chrome OS

Unveiled in July, Chrome OS, an open-source system that initially will be targeted at netbooks, is Google’s bid to offer a fast, lightweight and secure way to find information online. Google released Chrome OS to open source in November and revealed its intention to partner with as-yet-unknown hardware vendors to bring Chrome OS-powered netbooks to market in time for next year’s holiday season.


Open Office
Open Office

In October, proudly declared that more than 100 million visitors had clicked on the Web site’s ‘Download’ button since version 3.0 of the software was released in October 2008. OpenOffice is being adopted by more and more users because of its increased interoperability with Microsoft Office.



Mozilla’s Firefox Web browser passed the one billion download. No need to talk about its speed and performance, which always continues to be better.

XMBC media center updates to 9.11 Camelot

XMBC is a cross-platform, open source media center for Windows, Mac, Linux, Apple TV and related platforms. The developer team of this application has released XMBC 9.11, introducing a whole new look and feel.

Noteworthy changes include a revamped user interface via the new default skin Confluence, DirectX support by default for the Windows platform, a complete reorganization of the settings menus, automatic video information extraction, and smoother video playback and codecs have been updated for more reliable playback.

XMBC Camelot
XMBC Camelot
XMBC interface
XMBC interface

You can read the complete changelog on their blog, but some of the highlights include:

  • Better support for multi-monitor setups.
  • High Definition, Surround Sound, and Subtitle Flagging and Filtering in Video Library
  • Performance improvements to SQLite (database) queries
  • Ability to scrape and scan TV Shows into the video library by air-date via

If you are an XMBC user, this update is a must have. You can also browse and download many more themes for XMBC, from here .

You can download XMBC media center from here.

Google Open Source Projects You Didn’t Know About

Google is not all about just the search engine and email, they have tons of other projects which are widely used. I just came across some Open source projects by Google, which were really unknown to me.

Some of the FOSS projects by Google include:

There are several more useful and interesting tools which you can find through the above link. Did you know about these Google projects?

Google Wave Desktop Notifier


might not be the best product of the year as it was made out to be. However, there are still many users who use it. Google Wave Desktop notifier is a and Open source software which will notify you about new waves in your Google Wave account in the system tray on your desktop.

Google Wave notifier can come in pretty handy if you do not want to keep up with new waves without having to open the website every time.

Download Google Wave notifier

The Matrix as Your Desktop and Screensaver

© 1999 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

The cool green characters dripping down the monitors were a very cool effect in the Matrix movies, and you’ve probably seen any number of screensavers that give you the same effect.

However, have you ever seen this on your active Windows desktop? Now you can have it there easily. Won’t that impress all your geek friends? Okay, maybe not.

While cruising through SourceForge today, I ran across this Windows enhancement named ZMatrix. It’s free and open source software (FOSS), so you won’t have to worry about 3rd party advertising in this one.

Download the 2mb file and install it. There are no surprises and the initial setup is a breeze.

Here’s what it looks like on my desktop now.


It’s fully active, almost like having a movie as a desktop wallpaper. The two or three main settings I played with allowed me to either make the background black (as above) or show the characters streaming above my normal wallpaper, or even have the characters take on the color of the wallpaper behind them (as shown below).

zmatrix-opaque zmatrix-transparent

There are tons more tweaks (shown below) that I haven’t even played with.


Wait, that’s not all. I almost forgot to mention that it includes a screensaver. The screensaver has all the same options, which makes it possibly the best Matrix screensaver I’ve seen.

Download / Home page for ZMatrix

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I love playing with this enhancement, and I’m guessing other old Matrix fans out there will also enjoy it. I couldn’t find anything wrong to criticize, but I’ll stop short of recommending it as a must haveapplication. It’s really only eye-candy.

Techie Buzz Rating: 4/5 (excellent)

Review of Radian Application Launcher

There are plenty of free application launchers out there. Most of them will work fine in a pinch, and I’ve tried so many that I rarely get excited about seeing a new one. The only reason that I tried Radian, was because it had such a unique looking interface. (see the other app launchers we’ve mentioned)


As you can see from the screenshot, once it’s up, it looks entirely different from most launchers. The Radian launcher is triggered by a continuous right click anywhere on the screen. No matter what application is up on the screen, you’ll still be able to access your favorite applications.

Radian is currently at version and is available for download as a 630k executable setup file. The installation is simple, and there are no surprises or unwanted companion programs. Since Radian is a free and open source software (FOSS) project at, I wasn’t expecting anything other than honestly free software.

As soon as the installation finishes, you are tossed into the design mode. This is the part that I found tricky. You’re left to try to figure out how to add, remove and organize the application links in the interface. After a bit of trial and error, I did finally get things the way I wanted them by dragging links around on the launcher and dragging new shortcuts from my Start menu onto the launcher. Once you get the hang of it, it really does make sense.

Later,   you can re-open design mode by right clicking the Radian icon in the system tray.

Here is a video, from one of authors, showing some of the main features. Admittedly, this video has no sound, and it’s way too long, but it may save you time figuring out how to use Radian.

Radian Home Page and Download

Techie Buzz Verdict:

I like the unique interface and it’s ability to be called up no matter what’s showing on your screen. I gave this launcher points for being free and open source. I had to take away points for it’s seeming lack of a help file and good documentation and I’d rate it’s ease of usea little below average. However, if you like impressive graphics and need a good launcher, you should give Radian a try.

Techie Buzz Rating: 3/5 (Good)