Dirk Bertels

The greatest malfunction of spirit
is to believe things (Louis Pasteur)

Links, Sites and Software

Last updated 02 August 2012


This page has somewhat grown to handle the following chapters:

Links - links to interesting websites
Software - a list of applications I've used over the years (Windows)
System Data Locations - locations for application settings
System Info - includes commands and debugging information
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Festo's Flying bird

Markus Fisher and his team at Festo demonstrate their flying bird on Ted Talks: A Robot that flies like a bird.

Molecular Animations

Drew Berry's talk on Biomedical Animation in Sydney 2011. Features awe-inspiring animations: Main page or download the 54 MB video.


If you're a piano player and you like The Funk, there's no better site than Jonathon Wilson's website GrooveWindow. Start with How to play a funk groove to get a glimpse of this great music. I'm using a lot of Jonathon's stuff in my Piano Groove Tutor. Jonathon also has a facebook site with lots of video clips of some of the best Funk and Jazz performances.


Free web application giving you the capability to explore the world's public dataset using animated statistics: gapminder online. You can also install a desktop version: gapminder standalone version.

An hour long documentary featuring Hans Rosling, the inventor of gapminder: The joy of stats. This is also a good introduction to Statistics, covering distributions and correlations.

Ted Talk on gapminder: Hans Rosling on TedTalk.

Stroke of Insight

Dr Jill Bolte Taylor talking about her experience suffering a stroke in her left hemisphere: Dr Jill Bolte Taylor on Ted Talk

Origin of Language

Great podcast on the origing and impact of Language from the American radio science show 'Radiolab': Words

Merchants of Doubt

The Australian ABC radio's Science Show recently featured a talk given by Naomi Oreskes at the University of New South Wales about her book Merchants of Doubt. It gives a fascinating insight into the history of Climate Change Science and Climate Change Scepticism: Naomi Oreskes talk

The Khan Academy

The Khan Academy is a great site for self-education. Sal Khan, the guy who does these video presentations is widely recognised by the likes of Bill Gates and Google - who just donated 2 million dollars to the good cause. I use it a lot to read up on scientific topics. There's also lots on finances, calculus, history, etc. The presentations are very well done and somehow rememberable and they tend to follow the established education curriculum. Try the biology lecture on viruses for example.

Ted Talks

Famous website that features ... riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world (as its website proclaims): Ted Talks.

Berkeley University

The Berkeley University makes a lot of its units available as webcasts (either video or audio only): Berkeley University Webcasts. The unit Letters and Science: Social Psychology: Self and Society was of particular interest to me.

Another interesting unit is Letters and Science: Descriptive introduction to Physics from the Spring 2010 semester. It features lectures by prof. Richard A. Muller who wrote the book Physics for future presidents. Lectures 19 and 20 in this course are on Global Warming and give a very unbiased view on the subject.

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A sample of various software I've successfully used over these last few years. Wherever possible I use free software.

DVD, CD and Drives

  • MagicIso - ISO creator and extractor. Mount iso files directly onto HD (instead of burning to disc) using 'extract...' icon
  • ImgBurn - Lightweight CD / DVD / HD DVD / Blu-ray burning application
  • InfraRecorder - Burn to disc
  • Express Rip - CD ripper
  • Nero - Commercial disc burning software
  • UltraIso - Create iso images from disc
  • DVDShrink - DVD ripping and backup. Shrinks double sided DVD's to single!
  • Acronis True Image - Ghosting Drives

General Media

  • Format Factory - Free media converter. Video and Audio. I use it to convert wtv files after having converted to dv-rms using Windows 7.


  • VLC - Video player. Powerful server to stream live video. Plays iso files directly.
  • Screenflash - record screen to video
  • Dorgem - Webcam Capture application (video security)
  • UrlSnooper - Records streaming video
  • Replay Media Catcher - Record streaming video
  • Adobe Premiere Suite CS4 - Professional Video Editor (Including HD)
  • VirtualDub - Free video editing software
  • FAVC - All-In-One DVD Converter
  • CCExtractor - Closed Captioning extractor


  • Inkscape - Parametric imaging (graphs etc)
  • Gimp - Raster editing (photos etc)
  • ImageJ - Java image editor
  • Colorpic - Utility that analyses any color you pick on the desktop
  • ExifTool - Reads and writes EXIF, GPS, IPTC, XMP, makernotes and other meta information in image, audio and video files
  • DicomWorks - Free DICOM viewer and utility that allows to read DICOM (medical) images locally and on a network.
  • Pixel Ruler - Handy for determining size relative to screen pixels, works like a ruler. Free.


  • CDXtract - Converts sampler libraries to many sampler formats
  • Cubase - Sequencer and Recorder
  • Waves - Audio Processor Plugins for Cubase
  • WaveLab - Digital Audio editor for Mastering
  • Kontakt - Software sampler
  • EZDrummer - Virtual drums player using real samples
  • GrooveMonkee - Library of grooves. Integrates with EZDrummer
  • PianoTeq - Virtual piano. Physically modelled
  • B4II - Virtual Hammond organ
  • V-Stack - VST instrument manager for stage work etc
  • Elektrik Piano - Virtual electric piano
  • SonicStage - For Sony Minidisc
  • Audacity - Free audio editor. Has many tools
  • Format Factory - Versatile file format converter for Audio and Video files
  • TablEdit - Low cost Tablature editor (60 USD) - widely used TEF format - Reader is free


  • Zonealarm - Firewall
  • AVGFree - Virus checker
  • Spysweeper - Anti spyware and virus checker


  • Firefox - web browser
  • Thunderbird - email client application
  • Putty - Free Telnet / SSH client
  • TeraTerm - Terminal emulator
  • Hamachi - VPN
  • UltraVnc - VNC
  • Skype - Internet Calling system
  • DropBox - Share files over the internet
  • LogMeIn - Remote access to computers
  • Wireshark - Networking diagnostics tool
  • Filezilla - FTP transfer (for uploading pages to web server)
  • FreeYoutubeDownload - Youtube downloader


  • Eclipse - Platform independent IDE for most languages. I use it now for Java, Android, PHP with Javascript and C/C++ (Eclipse CDT)
  • Visual Paradigm - UML diagram software. Get standalone (not server) version. Great for sequence diagrams. Around AUD150
  • Visual Studio Express - Managed and unmanaged applications IDE for Windows
  • Depends - Visual Studio dependency viewer
  • WELT - Windows Error Lookup tool
  • OllyDbg - Read and Debug binary files
  • VmWare Player - Virtual machines application
  • PostgreSql - Server database management system
  • WinHex - Universal Hex Editor. Particularly useful for computer forensics, data recovery and low-level data editing.
  • HexPlorer - Free hex editor for Windows
  • Cygwin - Linux-like environment for Windows
  • Visual Leak detector - A memory leak detector library for Visual C++
  • Visual Assist - Independent Intellisense (works on Visual Studio C++/CLI 2010, not Express)
  • NSIS - Professional open source system to create Windows installers.
  • NCover - .NET Code coverage tool. Shows what code is being used when program is executed
  • windbg - Analyze errors. See Debugging errors in System Info chapter on this page.
  • equation maker - equation maker - HomeSchoolMath - enables you to make images of your equations to use them in webpages, etc - many others are available.
  • Far Htm - Free Help file creator. Best SW for the task.


  • Open Office - Microsoft Office substitute
  • Foxit - pdf reader and editor
  • CutePdf - Convert documents to PDF, installs as printer driver
  • Notepad++ - Advanced Notepad-style text editor especially good for programmers
  • OpenProj - Open source project management solution (Gantt charts)

General System

  • Areca - Backup Data
  • SIW - Tool: System Info for Windows
  • UsbView - Displays USB information dynamically
  • 7Zip - Zip and archiving tool
  • CCleaner - Cleans PC history data
  • FileShredder - Windows File Shredder
  • WinMerge - Open source differencing and merging tool for Windows
  • SyncToy - Synchronizes files and folders between locations
  • Windows Power Shell - Windows task automation framework, consisting of a command-line shell and associated scripting language
  • Tortoise CVS - Windows Explorer CVS system
  • WinDirStat - Visualize your hard drive and how much space certain folders and files take up. Colour coded according to file type. Another similar application is TreeSize.
  • MDMA - Mobile Data Monitoring Application. To get expert information from your mobile broadband modem. Handy for antenna signal measuring.


  • Turbocad Professional v15 - professional 3D solids CAD
  • Turbocad CAM - 2.5d CAM software, integrates with Turbocad
  • Mach3 - CNC SW for CNC Mill
  • Cut3D - 3d CAM software
  • CNCSimulator - Free CNC code simulator


  • 3DMax - Modeling, animation, rendering software
  • Blender - Free open source 3D content creation suite for all major operating systems


  • Cinderella - Interactive geometry Software. Includes Physics engine and animation.
  • Mathematica - top mathematics software
  • Matlab - MATLAB (matrix laboratory) is a numerical computing environment and fourth-generation programming language. Developed by MathWorks, MATLAB allows matrix manipulations, plotting of functions and data, implementation of algorithms, creation of user interfaces, and interfacing with programs written in other languages, including C, C++, Java, and Fortran.
  • JMol - molecular viewer
  • Orbital Viewer - atomic orbital (electron shells) viewer
  • Atom Orbitals - atomic orbital (electron shells) viewer
  • Protel 99 SE - SP 6 - (now Altium) Electronics Schematic and PCB Design software

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System data locations

Thunderbird Default Profile Locations

  • Vista/Windows 7 - C:\Users\[userName]\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird)
  • 2000/XP/2003 - C:\Documents and Settings\[userName]\Application Data\Thunderbird
  • Windows NT - C:\WINNT\Profiles\[userName]\Application Data\Thunderbird
  • Windows 98/98SE/ME - C:\Windows\Application Data\Thunderbird
  • Mac OS X - ~/Library/Thunderbird
  • Linux/UNIX - ~/.thunderbird


Areca configuration file in Windows 7: Users\User\.Areca\workspace\<yourName>.xml
When new target created, add in batch file at Users\User\Documents\Areca\
Help: see Areca documentation

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System Info


Window disappears or is unreachable:
Press Alt + Space, select Move and use arrows until window appears.

View the Resource Monitor: type resmon in Start (or type it in the command line). Resource Monitor lets you keep an eye on CPU, Memory, Network status and Disks status of your system.


  • Search: Windows key + F
  • Start: Ctrl + Esc
  • My Computer: Windows key + E
  • Clear Desktop: Windows Key + M
  • Start Run: Windows key + r

Windows Commands (use in command line)

Here's a little tip on how to open the command line in any directory. This relieves you of the arduous task of including lengthy path names in situations where the command needs to access particular files:
Create a text file that contains the single word cmd and rename it with a bat extension (like work.bat). Place the batch file with the files you are working with. When you double click on this batch file, the command line will open in the work area's directory.
Following commands are widely used:

  • msinfo: system information (select Hardware resources → IRQs to view your system's IRQs)
  • help: get list of options
  • cls: clear the screen
  • msconfig: autostart etc
  • ncpa.cpl: network connections
  • ctrl + c: Exit command
  • arp -a: arp entries on the network
  • ipconfig /all: Display network settings
  • netstat -nab: Lists every port and the program that opened it
  • netstat -r: Display routing table
  • ping <ip address>: Quick check if address is accessible
  • tracert <ip address>: Informs route to a remote host
  • nslookup: To check your DNS servers
  • perfmon.msc: Performance Monitor
  • resmon: Displays the Resource Monitor
  • verifier: Verifies drivers

Debugging Errors

When an application or the OS throws an error (including a blue screen of death), the system will create a report which can be viewed in the event logger. On windows 7, this can be accessed at
Control Panel → Administrative tools → Event Viewer → windows logs → Application
You need to double click on the event. For a more detailed analysis you will need windbg.exe. This is part of larger platforms such as Windows Driver Kit or Windows SDK. Check if you have it available by typing windbg in the start window.

To use windbg, open (ctrl + D) the dmp file which is located in C:/Windows/minidump. To start with, type
!analyze -v.

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