Looks like its lights out at quinnware.com, home of QCD and QMP. I’ve still not found a suitable replacement for QMP yet and I probably was still hoping for that one last release despite the months of silence from the developer, but I guess the search is that much more urgent now.

Thanks for the years of aural pleasure.

Update 23-Nov: Looks like its a server hardware failure, whew…

Update 3-Jan: Happy New Year! Looks like quinnware.com is kind of back… at test.quinnware.com, with a new design to boot! Let’s hope we’ll get more news soon.

I’ve mentioned that I’m using Comodo Firewall as my software firewall solution. Version 3 was even better than version 2, with low CPU utilisation (even while engaging in heavy P2P sessions) and secure (ranked consistently near the top in the Matousec firewall tests).

And now version 3.5 (renamed the Comodo Internet Security) has been released and featuring an optional anti-virus component. I cannot speak for the efficacy of the anti-virus component, but the engine feels very light, and the definitions get three or four updates a day. If the quality of the firewall is anything to go by, the anti-virus engine is one to keep an eye on.

Best of all? Its free (as in beer).

The final build is available in the forums, but the public facing sites have not been updated yet.

So Firefox 3 and Norton 360 2.0 and Internet Security 2008 do not get along at all. This was probably a shock to the millions who use and trust Symantec products but I have to say this, Symantec is not nice.

Symantec destroyed the reputation of the brand “Norton”, making the security applications bloated monstrosities. Left my beloved PartitionMagic to stagnate (where’s my new version that groks Windows Server 2003 and Vista partitions?). Killed Sygate Personal Firewall *shakes fist*.

And don’t get me started on Norton Commander…

I have not had a single Symantec product installed on any of my PCs this century and I intend to keep it that way.

Free alternatives I use and recommend:

Antivirus: Avast!

Firewall: Comodo Firewall Pro

PartitionMagic: GParted

Norton Commander: FreeCommander

 It was finally time for my beloved Sygate Personal Firewall to go.

As the pipes I have access to got fatter, Sygate’s CPU utilisation was getting unacceptable, up to 15% sometimes.

It was also getting long in the tooth (Symantec stopped development after taking over. Damn you Symantec!). Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but being a closed source application, the possibility of unpatched vulnerabilities is a concern.

And so, off on my quest. My criteria were simple.

  1. Cheap, free is even better
  2. Simple, as in “stop trying to do everything”
  3. Perhaps most importantly, effective

Unfortunately effectiveness can only be judged by reviews and tests as I have neither the means nor the desire to see for myself.

The popular candidate would be Kerio, but I do not like that it does web filtering, or that it nags you to register when the full version trial is over.

Happily, I decided to give Comodo Personal Firewall another go.

I have tried it before, maybe a year ago. Back then it had the obnoxious “Comodo LaunchPad”, and was bloody “chatty” with the warnings. Glad to see the LaunchPad is gone, and the sensitivity maybe tuned down somewhat.

Very nice, Comodo. Thanks.