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Category Archives: Open Source

In response to another blog’s post I have decided to create a list of free, open source alternatives to the products listed there. Here are some open source web developer tools that anyone can afford at the price of $0.00 each! I’m not sure if everything on this list is open source and I’ve all tested of the programs, but they are all free. Hope you enjoy!


A Photoshop like image software that brings together everything from photo manipulation to developing elements for your web-page. Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.


2. Aptana

Similar to Dreamweaver Aptana is an HTML / JavaScript editor unlike Dreamweaver though, it does not sport a WYSIWYG feature. Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.


3. Firefox

One of the best web browsers out there its fast, secure, and is extremely expandable. You will need this browser for some of the items on this list. Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.


4. Color Cop

A windows only (Ughh) tool that can be used to capture screen colors quickly, and easily. For those on the Mac there is a utility called DigitalColor Meter available under Applications >> Utilities that will do the exact same thing. Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.


5. Firebug

Web debugging made easy, this little beauty integrates right into Firefox. Firebug puts a gamut of development tools at your fingertips. Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.


6. HTML Validator

Availible as a Firefox extension HTML Validator does what it’s supposed to do, validate HTML. The number of errors of a HTML page is seen on the form of an icon in the status bar when browsing. Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.


7. JsUnit

JsUnit is a Unit Testing framework for client-side JavaScript. Basically you load the program into your browser and then load a file into the program to.. Ughh its easier to let you find out yourself. Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.


8. Link Evaluator

Link Evaluator is a Firefox extension designed to help users evaluate the availability of online resources linked to from a given Web page. When started, it automatically follows all links on the current page, and assesses the responses of each. Available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.


9. Feng GUI

Find out how people view your website and which areas of your site are getting most of the attention. All done with artificial intelligence. This is a awesome tool! Available online.


10. makes screenshots of your web design in different browsers. All you have to do is submit you web page and wait. You can choose what browsers and operating systems you want to see your web page in. Available online.



Ubuntu Logo with Tagline

After trying out many different distro’s of Linux including Debian, Slackware, and KNOPPIX to name a few. I found Ubuntu Linux sometime around early 2006. I loved Ubuntu Linux because I was pretty much a newbie back then. Ubuntu’s ease of use drew me to it immediately but it is not just for newbies. Ubuntu is full fledged Linux, it can grow with you as you become more comfortable and experienced with Linux environments. So if your a newbie or experienced Linux user looking for a great distribution go ahead and download Ubuntu Linux. Anyways it can’t be bad for Ubuntu creating a name for the Linux community and stirring attention away from the big monster living in Redmond, Washington. Can it?

Have you ever wanted to spy see on what is going on in your home while you are away? is a piece of open source software that acts as a motion detector. It enables you to set-up a webcam server that you can have all your cameras connected too, so you can view them remotely and also upload them to a remote server. Motion should run on most linux distributions but for this exercise I’m using the desktop version of linux.


  • Extra computer that we’ll use as the server.
  • Distro of linux installed on the server. (Recommended, )
  • USB webcam with a linux driver
  • Static IP set for the server
  • General knowledge of Linux like OS’s.
  • A bit of free time

Step One

Okay lets start off by downloading the linux driver for your webcam. This great man wrote a single driver that is compatible with 244 different webcams! You can download it here onto the desktop of your server. If this does network for your camera please search for the right driver for yours.

Step Two

Once you’ve downloaded the driver we can start compiling it, but first make sure you have the package build-essential installed you can do so by typing in sudo apt-get install build-essential into the terminal, information on this package can be located here.


We are ready to start compiling the source code for the driver. Once we extract the .tar.gz file by right-clicking on it, then select Extract Here. This should take a few seconds to complete, then open up terminal again and type in cd ~/Desktop/gspcav1-20070508/ push enter on your keyboard and then type ./configure push enter this should take a minute or two (don’t worry if this does not work just precede to compiling). After that start compiling it by typing in make. After it’s been compiled you can install it by typing in sudo make install this will install the package and you should have a webcam that is recognized by linux now!

cd unix

Step Three

Installing , the software your are going to use to monitor your webcam for motion. Type in sudo apt-get install motion into terminal, then press enter.

sudo apt-get install motion

Step Four

It’s now time to setup Motion’s configuration files. You can download my config files that I’ve already filled in; here (read through the entire motion.conf file and change the settings to fit your needs). Put the files in the Motion file in your /etc/motion/ folder on your server by first extracting the files onto the desktop, then typing sudo mv ~/Desktop/Motion Config.zip_FILES /etc/motion/ into the terminal.

sudo mv motion config

Please note this if you only have more than a single webcam you will need one more thread.conf for each extra cam (example; thread0.conf, thread1.conf, thread2.conf) You will also need to add the links to these files at end of the motion.conf file.

Step Five (optional)

Install wput a command line FTP client that you can use to upload the photos, to an remote FTP server, that have been taken by Motion. Install this by typing sudo apt-get install wput into the terminal. You can configure Motion to use wput to upload photos that have been taken by adding

# Command to be executed when a picture (.ppm|.jpg) is saved (default: none)# The filename of the picture is appended as an argument for the command.on_picture_save wput ftp://USERNAME:PASSWORD@REMOTE SERVER %f

to you motion.conf file (if your using the motion.conf I provided this is already in there, just replace the server info in the ftp:// section)Step SixTo add Motion to startup automatically start with the server, just open “System” from the menu bar on the top of the screen, then “Preferences,” then “Sessions.” Create a new startup program type in a name for it and then type motion in the command section. Click“OK.” Then restart the server.

Motion Autostart

Step Seven

You should now be able to open a web interface for Motion now by typing in localhost:8000 from the server itself or XXX.XXX.X.XXX:8000 from another computers web browser. To view a live stream of your webcam type localhost:8001 from the server itself or XXX.XXX.X.XXX:8001 from another computers web browser. You can change settings from this interface here too, you can even make Motion generate it’s own config files to fit your setup exactly!


Enjoy the web interface for viewing you webcam as-well as you new home-brew security system! All thanks to , , , and all the other great open source developers. Keep up the great work! If you need more information about getting Motion running visit; here. There is also a ton of configuration options. From taking movies instead of photos, to launching a script when motion is detected; here.

Edit: You can have as many webcams hooked up to the server as it can handle, USB 1 inputs will only handle one camera per. USB 2 inputs will allow many more than that. For more information on setting up multiple cameras with Motion visit; here and also read step 4 again.