Interesting Nonstandard Software
Here are several pieces of nonstandard software that have been found
to be very useful.
Interesting though not yet used software:
- VNC: Useful as a
general purpose tool for sharing applications between machines. A
partial solution to the conference
problem, great for sharing application state between home and work
machines, useful as a collaborative environment, and part of a
solution to the reboot problem.
Great for syncing up filesystems across weakly connected
machines i.e. home and office. Young.
Never send your password in the clear in the CMU environment. There
are also several more arcane fun tricks that can be done with ssh
- vmware: Another solution to
the reboot problem. Young and
- Nmap and Nessus: Network scanners. Useful
tools for security checking and diagnostics. Misusing them will get
you shot. Mature and Young.
- Ocaml: A higher
level programming language. The compiler is reasonable: cross platform
and about 1/2 (varies significantly depending on use) the speed of
optimized C. The language is concise and the syntax avoids using
parentheses as a keyword overly much. Whole classes of bugs in C/C++
are just plain impossible in Ocaml. Mature.
- Gale: Instant messaging with
pervasive public key encryption, authentication, and a global
- Lyx: Greatly softens the latex
learning curve. Gurus don't like it, but new latex users almost
certainly will. Mature.
- Squid: Collaborative
caching web proxy. Hides latency and enhances availability of web
sites while almost never giving you a stale web page. Mature.
- Junkbuster: Ad
filtering and privacy enhancing web proxy. Several competitors exist.
Some prefer intermute. Young.
- zarchive (cmu only): The collected
public discussions of CMU-CS grad students and others on a great many
topics. If you have a software configuration problem or need
programming tricks, look here for an answer.
- Mosix: Turn a
cluster of machines into one virtual SMP machine.
- Coda: AFS done right so
that it supports weakly connected clients and isn't proprietary.
Lacks good encryption support but that will hopefully change soon.
- freenet: distributed
anonymous authoring and viewing of any particular set of bits.