Thursday, May 28, 2009

Official Google Blog: Went Walkabout. Brought back Google Wave.

Official Google Blog: Went Walkabout. Brought back Google Wave.

This is an interesting development on collaboration. As I understand, Google Wave is a realtime collaborative (as in online) tool that mixes collaborative document management (ie, creating, editing, sharing and publishing) and communication. It is like (to my limited understanding) having a whole page of your instant messenger where you also display your online documents, videos, images and other digital content.

I am very interested in how this can be applied to education. Expect me to blog about this after I use it. If you are interested, try going to the website at

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Using your mobile phone as a high speed modem - Part 2

Previously, I have blogged about my intent of using the mobile phone as a high speed modem. I indicated there that I will try it so that I can post about it.

Well, I got myself a Samsung SGH-U800 phone, a relatively affordable (ie, cheap) phone which, among other things, is HSDPA-capable. I was afraid that it would not work (considering I gave up my dual-active China mobile phone with television and I paid for the Samsung phone 7+++.++), but I am so thankful when I tried it and it worked.

How fast was it?
I used Azureus Torrent client and it came to a high of 220 kbps (3G speed) at 10 am. It was fast (faster than the connection at UP Manila at peak times), and I was mobile. (I have used only for fifteen minutes because I need to go back to admin work.)

Click here to see what HSDPA promises (Globe website).

System Requirements
Before continuing, let's check the requirements:
  • A 3G/HSDPA mobile phone. How will you know? Check the features list of your mobile phone. If it says it has 3G but has no HSDPA, then it does not have HSDPA. It is fast, but not as fast as HSDPA.
  • Software for your mobile phone (particularly if you have Windows)
  • Computer with USB port (some mobile phones allow Bluetooth)
  • Credit (load) on your mobile service (3G/HSDPA is a paid service.
  • A browser or any Internet software.
How to Connect
So, how did I do it?

For Windows: It consists of three parts: 1) Enable your mobile phone and your SIM for 3G/HSDPA; 2) Install the mobile phone software on your computer; and, 3) Connect to the internet using the mobile phone as modem.

For Ubuntu: It consists of 2 parts: 1) Enable your mobile phone and your SIM for 3G/HSDPA; and, 2) Connect to the internet using your mobile phone as modem.

For the first part, it is best that you contact the customer service representative of your mobile service provider (ie, Globe, Smart, Sun, Red). If you are a Globe postpaid subscriber, as far as I know, your SIM is pre-activated for 3G (together with HSDPA*). If not, send GO to 2951. You will then be sent instructions on how to do it. For Smart and Sun, no idea, contact your CSR.

*Please note that having a 3G phone does not mean you also have HSDPA. HSDPA runs on top of the 3G technology. Check the features of your phone to see if it indeed has HSDPA functionality.

Once that is done (you have confirmed that your phone has 3G/HSDPA enabled), you now install your mobile phone software. If your phone has a CD with it, now is the time to install it (if you have Windows). If you use Ubuntu Linux, skip this part. If you have Mac, check if the CD with your mobile phone also is applicable for your Mac.

After installing the software, connect the phone to your PC (in my case, a laptop). Usually, there is a USB data cable for 3G/HSDPA-capable phones.

If you use Ubuntu 9.04, it practically ends here. A pop-up would appear at the upper-right hand of your screen saying it detected a USB modem. It will show you a list of networks (Globe, Globe WAP, Smart Telecom, etc.). Select your network of course. For me, I selected "Globe Telecom" (without the "WAP").

It will then show a pop-up sign saying that if you want to connect, click there. In my case, I missed it, so I just clicked the network icon (the four vertical bars indicating wireless signal strength), then selected Globe Telecom. It will ask for username and password. Just leave them blank and select "Dial" or "Connect." Once it finishes the handshake, it should say that you are now connected to the Globe Telecom network.

I opened my Firefox and Pidgin, and I got connected!

If you use Windows (XP in my case), open the mobile phone software, connect the mobile phone to the laptop. Wait for the process to finish detecting the phone (In my case, the software indicated it detected the SGH-U800 phone), then click the option for networking.

It may prompt you for username and password. As in Ubuntu, leave them blank. Windows would tell you something about using sending username and password on unencrypted network. Basically, you ignore this since there is no username and password. Click "Dial" or "Connect," wait for the handshake, and the pop-up should appear at the lower righthand side of your screen indicating the speed of your connection. When you receive this, that means you are connected already.

The next time you want to connect with your mobile phone and you use Windows, you just connect your mobile phone to your computer, and then double-click the dial-up connection icon with the symbol of your mobile phone.

  • If you are used to connecting your laptop to the UP Manila network, remember to disable the proxy settings.
  • If you use an Acer laptop with webcam, you would experience the webcam being disabled. I don't know why it happened, but it did. I know it is because of the Samsung software because when I uninstalled the software, the webcam worked again.
Using your mobile phone as a high speed modem is a viable and cost-effective alternative to getting USB devices (eg, Globe Broadband Tattoo and Smart Bro Prepaid) which requires you to get another number. Since you do not use your mobile phone 24 hours a day, you could use it at night, during the day or on the road (with your laptop), to connect to the internet where there is 3G/HSDPA signal.

To know if you have 3G signal at your location, try this site: Globe. Click Item number 16, "LOCAL COVERAGE."

Other considerations
Please note that since you will install another software in your computer, this software which will run will consume memory (or affect speed of your computer). While the speed of your computer may not noticeably change, the presence of another software running means programs may react slower than without that program.

Please note also that service providers have different billing schemes (time-based or KB-based). Make sure to take note which one is enabled in your SIM or you might get surprised with the bill.

Concluding Remark
HSDPA by Globe or any service provider is subject to certain technical limitations. Since I have no use for them I have not tried using Globe HSDPA for SSH, VPN, or other highly technical modes. For basic browsing, chat, email and content downloading and uploading, as far as I know, it works.

If you need assistance, ask me. I appreciate your feedback.

Disclaimer: I am not promoting Globe. I use it as an example because that is the one I have.
Update: I'll see if I can update this to include screenshots from Windows XP and Ubuntu.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Choosing and Protecting Passwords

Cyber Security Tip ST04-002


Passwords are a common form of authentication and are often the only barrier
between a user and your personal information. There are several programs
attackers can use to help guess or "crack" passwords, but by choosing good
passwords and keeping them confidential, you can make it more difficult for
an unauthorized person to access your information.

Why do you need a password?

Think about the number of personal identification numbers (PINs), passwords,
or passphrases you use every day: getting money from the ATM or using your
debit card in a store, logging on to your computer or email, signing in to
an online bank account or shopping cart...the list seems to just keep
getting longer. Keeping track of all of the number, letter, and word
combinations may be frustrating at times, and maybe you've wondered if all
of the fuss is worth it. After all, what attacker cares about your personal
email account, right? Or why would someone bother with your practically
empty bank account when there are others with much more money? Often, an
attack is not specifically about your account but about using the access to
your information to launch a larger attack. And while having someone gain
access to your personal email might not seem like much more than an
inconvenience and threat to your privacy, think of the implications of an
attacker gaining access to your social security number or your medical

One of the best ways to protect information or physical property is to
ensure that only authorized people have access to it. Verifying that someone
is the person they claim to be is the next step, and this authentication
process is even more important, and more difficult, in the cyber world.
Passwords are the most common means of authentication, but if you don't
choose good passwords or keep them confidential, they're almost as
ineffective as not having any password at all. Many systems and services
have been successfully broken into due to the use of insecure and inadequate
passwords, and some viruses and worms have exploited systems by guessing
weak passwords.

How do you choose a good password?

Most people use passwords that are based on personal information and are
easy to remember. However, that also makes it easier for an attacker to
guess or "crack" them. Consider a four-digit PIN number. Is yours a
combination of the month, day, or year of your birthday? Or the last four
digits of your social security number? Or your address or phone number?
Think about how easily it is to find this information out about somebody.
What about your email password—is it a word that can be found in the
dictionary? If so, it may be susceptible to "dictionary" attacks, which
attempt to guess passwords based on words in the dictionary.

Although intentionally misspelling a word ("daytt" instead of "date") may
offer some protection against dictionary attacks, an even better method is
to rely on a series of words and use memory techniques, or mnemonics, to
help you remember how to decode it. For example, instead of the password
"hoops," use "IlTpbb" for "[I] [l]ike [T]o [p]lay [b]asket[b]all." Using
both lowercase and capital letters adds another layer of obscurity. Your
best defense, though, is to use a combination of numbers, special
characters, and both lowercase and capital letters. Change the same example
we used above to "Il!2pBb." and see how much more complicated it has become
just by adding numbers and special characters.

Longer passwords are more secure than shorter ones because there are more
characters to guess, so consider using passphrases when you can. For
example, "This passwd is 4 my email!" would be a strong password because it
has many characters and includes lowercase and capital letters, numbers, and
special characters. You may need to try different variations of a
passphrase—many applications limit the length of passwords, and some do not
accept spaces. Avoid common phrases, famous quotations, and song lyrics.

Don't assume that now that you've developed a strong password you should use
it for every system or program you log into. If an attacker does guess it,
he would have access to all of your accounts. You should use these
techniques to develop unique passwords for each of your accounts.

Here is a review of tactics to use when choosing a password:
* Don't use passwords that are based on personal information that can be
easily accessed or guessed.
* Don't use words that can be found in any dictionary of any language.
* Develop a mnemonic for remembering complex passwords.
* Use both lowercase and capital letters.
* Use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters.
* Use passphrases when you can.
* Use different passwords on different systems.

How can you protect your password?

Now that you've chosen a password that's difficult to guess, you have to
make sure not to leave it someplace for people to find. Writing it down and
leaving it in your desk, next to your computer, or, worse, taped to your
computer, is just making it easy for someone who has physical access to your
office. Don't tell anyone your passwords, and watch for attackers trying to
trick you through phone calls or email messages requesting that you reveal
your passwords (see Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks for
more information).

If your internet service provider (ISP) offers choices of authentication
systems, look for ones that use Kerberos, challenge/response, or public key
encryption rather than simple passwords (see Understanding ISPs and
Supplementing Passwords for more information). Consider challenging service
providers that only use passwords to adopt more secure methods.

Also, many programs offer the option of "remembering" your password, but
these programs have varying degrees of security protecting that information.
Some programs, such as email clients, store the information in clear text in
a file on your computer. This means that anyone with access to your computer
can discover all of your passwords and can gain access to your information.
For this reason, always remember to log out when you are using a public
computer (at the library, an internet cafe, or even a shared computer at
your office). Other programs, such as Apple's Keychain and Palm's Secure
Desktop, use strong encryption to protect the information. These types of
programs may be viable options for managing your passwords if you find you
have too many to remember.

There's no guarantee that these techniques will prevent an attacker from
learning your password, but they will make it more difficult.

Authors: Mindi McDowell, Jason Rafail, Shawn Hernan

Produced 2004 by US-CERT, a government organization.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Official Gmail Blog: Tasks, now in Calendar too

Official Gmail Blog: Tasks, now in Calendar too

This new feature in Google Calendar makes listing tasks related to events easier to manage. This is particularly useful to managing numerous tasks related to an event, instead of listing the tasks as numerous events in your Google Calendar.

If you read my previous post about "Free SMS Pre-Event Reminder?" you would already be familiar with the creative and useful feature of Google Calendar and in using it as a reminder. With this additional feature of Tasks, it will help event managers (be it a big event such as a conference or small event as in committee meeting) in preparing by having the option to identify specific tasks with identifiable outcomes or outputs.

Go to the readable blog post here.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Online Journal Options

The Office of the Dean is currently looking into the feasibility of setting of up an online journal. It might be an online version of the UP Manila Journal or a college-based peer-reviewed journal.

An online journal is not that difficult to implement--thanks to open source systems. And the idea is not that too alien, either. UP Diliman and UP Los Banos both have online journals using the system provided by the Public Knowledge Project.

There are two ways to implementing the Open Journal System (OJS):
  • You can set up the journal which INASP will host (easier to maintain--if at all--but may be a bit long to initiate due to legal requirements, but not so much).
  • Download the OJS code to the organization's server and implement it from their end (might need a bit of technical know-how, but is faster as the code is available at the site).
Either way, the system allows the journal organization to publish articles and share knowledge to a wider audience (talk about the world) without investing a lot. Further, if the journal is added to the online directory of online journals (eg Open Science Directory and Directory of Open Access Journals), the journal is connected to a global network of knowledge seekers. This helps the journal (and the supporting or host organization) highlight (if not promote) the expertise of its members or researchers, and--more importantly--the knowledge is shared with those who need it. Hopefully, this knowledge-sharing attitude will result in more effective and efficient ways of resolving concerns the journal organization seeks to address.

The online journal promises many benefits that the printed version cannot give. It even reduces the required library space for journals, and the journal is accessible anytime (no need to have the library open 24 hours). Of course, I like reading from a piece of paper or book, but you can always print the online journal (reducing the cost of printing for the organization).

Public Knowledge Project
International Network for the Availability of Scientific Publications or INASP
Open Science Directory
Directory of Open Access Journals
UP Diliman Journals Online
UPLB Journals Online

Acquiring and Managing Electronic Journals. ERIC Digest.
"Electronic Journal Frequently Asked Questions" Prifysgol Aberystwyth University.

All links accessed May 16, 2009.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Using your mobile phone as highspeed modem

Globe, Sun and Smart probably would be hunting me when they read this post. With the idea that has been in existence (but not promoted extensively) since GPRS was born, using the existing device (your mobile phone) to connect to the Internet instead of buying the USB adapter which costs average of PhP 1,800 is a great idea and more cost-effective.

What am I talking about?
If you have a mobile phone which has 3G or HSDPA feature, then you can use that to connect to the internet, having the same speed as that of SmartBro, Globe Tattoo or Sun Broadband.

(Actually, instead of looking at it that way, think of it the other way: SmartBro, Globe Tattoo and Sun Broadband use the same technology as using your cellular phone as modem. The USB adapters you use actually have mobile phone accounts, which is why you have to load them with credits, at any loading station!)

How exactly do you do that?
Google this topic " SPACE Philippines SPACE Using cellphone as modem HSDPA."

Try it.

I will try it as soon as I get my mobile phone with 3G. I use Globe. I'll post the results here.

(Although I may not have the experience of configuring it, I saw my professor in Management Information Systems (Master of Management) do it for our class at CAS - UP Manila. It works!)

Any limitation that the 3G/HSDPA USB adapters would have. That means, if you cannot connect to WAP using your mobile phone, definitely, you cannot use it to connect to the Internet as a modem. They use the same signal/channel.

I am not sure, but I think if you are online, and someone calls your mobile phone, it might get disconnected. But I am not sure. I'm inclined to compare it to DSL (you are online even if someone is using the phone) than to dial-up internet connection (disconnects when you get a call). Any ideas on this will be welcome.

Additional Resources
For Globe Users, try this link.
If you're using Sony Ericsson with 3G/HSDPA, click here.
For Sun users, try reading here.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Recovering deleted files easily (even if you have deleted them in your Recycle Bin)

I have deleted some files in the past month or so, and today realized that I needed them. So I had to try to find a way to delete files which I also deleted in the "Trash" folder of my Ubuntu. I thought I had to download the big video files again, but I learned better.

Using PhotoRec, I was able to recover those files. And it was easy.

It uses a somehow scary command line interface, but the how-to provided made it so easy--whatever operating system your computer may have.

PhotoRec works with Linux, Mac and Windows. So if you ever deleted something (whether using the graphical interface or command line), there is still hope.

If you need help on how to use this, you know where to find me.

Source:, accessed May 10, 2009.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Why is Cyber Security a Problem?

Re-published from US-CERT Cyber Security Tip ST04-001

You've heard the news stories about credit card numbers being stolen
and email viruses spreading. Maybe you've even been a victim yourself.
One of the best defenses is understanding the risks, what some of the
basic terms mean, and what you can do to protect yourself against

What is cyber security?

It seems that everything relies on computers and the Internet now --
communication (email, cellphones), entertainment (digital cable,
mp3s), transportation (car engine systems, airplane navigation),
shopping (online stores, credit cards), medicine (equipment, medical
records), and the list goes on. How much of your daily life relies on
computers? How much of your personal information is stored either on
your own computer or on someone else's system?

Cyber security involves protecting that information by preventing,
detecting, and responding to attacks.

What are the risks?

There are many risks, some more serious than others. Among these
dangers are viruses erasing your entire system, someone breaking into
your system and altering files, someone using your computer to attack
others, or someone stealing your credit card information and making
unauthorized purchases. Unfortunately, there's no 100% guarantee that
even with the best precautions some of these things won't happen to
you, but there are steps you can take to minimize the chances.

What can you do?

The first step in protecting yourself is to recognize the risks and
become familiar with some of the terminology associated with them.
Hacker, attacker, or intruder - These terms are applied to the people
who seek to exploit weaknesses in software and computer systems
for their own gain. Although their intentions are sometimes fairly
benign and motivated solely by curiosity, their actions are
typically in violation of the intended use of the systems they are
exploiting. The results can range from mere mischief (creating a
virus with no intentionally negative impact) to malicious activity
(stealing or altering information).
Malicious code - This category includes code such as viruses,
worms, and Trojan horses. Although some people use these terms
interchangeably, they have unique characteristics.

* Viruses - This type of malicious code requires you to actually do
something before it infects your computer. This action could be
opening an email attachment or going to a particular web page.
* Worms - Worms propagate without user intervention. They typically
start by exploiting a software vulnerability (a flaw that allows
the software's intended security policy to be violated), then once
the victim computer has been infected the worm will attempt to
find and infect other computers. Similar to viruses, worms can
propagate via email, web sites, or network-based software. The
automated self-propagation of worms distinguishes them from
* Trojan horses - A Trojan horse program is software that claims to
be one thing while in fact doing something different behind the
scenes. For example, a program that claims it will speed up your
computer may actually be sending confidential information to a
remote intruder.

This series of information security tips will give you more
information about how to recognize and protect yourself from attacks.

Authors: Mindi McDowell, Allen Householder
Produced 2004 by US-CERT, a government organization.

Terms of use


This document can also be found at


Monday, May 4, 2009

Home security myths

This is a post from PC Doctor, a blog which I follow. I hope you find it informative and useful.


I keep coming across loads of home security myths on forums an din blog posts on the web. Most of these myths start out as good intentions but spread widely to become damaging urban myths.

Here are a few for you:

  • Hiding the SSID on your WiFi router makes you safer - it doesn't, and the same goes for MAC ID filtering and switching off DHCP
  • Writing down a password is bad - depends who you are trying to keep out!
  • A really long password is better than one that is 8 to 10 characters long - not usually.
  • You should run more than one antivirus/firewall software - that'll cause more problems than it solves.
  • Trust your security software - no piece of software can replace common sense!
  • Most PC problems are the result of malware/hacker - no, most problems are down to the user!
  • Most data loss is down to hacker/malware - again, no
  • If you see HTTPS in the address bar of a browser, you are safe - there's a lot more to it than that.

Why you should subscribe to blogs

Why should you subscribe to blogs? For that matter, why should you click that orange icon in this blog?

Before I answer that question, I would have to introduce the idea of readers. A readers is a software (which maybe an online or computer-based application) pulls new information from an online source to your computer. Readers are related to RSS. RSS is a topic of its own, but in the interest of blogging, let’s define RSS as a system (a feed) that allows a blogger to easily announce to the subscribers that there is new content to the website.

If you have a Yahoo! Mail account, you might have come across the My Yahoo! Homepage, which is essentially a start page. There, you could add a certain blog or any RSS feed, and your page would just display if there is new content (or post). There is a similar feature in iGoogle (Google’s user-based homepage). Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird also have readers. The software (or the Start Page) will just display the headline, and you have the option to download the content of that headline if you find it interesting.

Unlike subscribing to newsletters, subscribing to blogs does not require you to reveal personal information (such as email addresses). Also, you only receive information from that source that you need or are interested in, so you will not waste time downloading data that you might then learn you do not need. You will not receive spam from other receivers of that e-group or marketing communication from the e-group administrator.

The summary of this short post answers the question above. When you subscribe to a blog (by clicking the orange icon and then selecting your reader), you (the readers) get update about new content (information) that you may be interested in without revealing your email address and you can select the content that you want to download or read, thus saving you time from downloading the content.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Blogging for learning

You might already be familiar with weblog, or blog (Otherwise, you are NOW reading one.). Blogs, in my observation of faculty members whom I know, are often used to do one or some of the following:

  1. Provide an easy-to-go-to website which contains links to other websites
  2. Announce short messages
  3. Re-publish articles from other websites.

While these are certainly useful support functions to traditional classroom teaching, blogs can be better used as an interactive mode of communication—not just student and teacher, but also student-student and student-other readers.

Blogging, as a communication channel, allows one to communicate with multiple people considering geographically dispersed locations and asynchronous (different times of sending/receiving messages) setup—again, not just between the blogger and the audience, but also between the audience themselves.

Also, blogging allows the blogger to communicate to multiple readers on the Net without the need to ask the audience their email addresses (which is what you would have to do if you were to set up an electronic group).

Considering this potential, blogging should be done with proper and some basic considerations.

Blogging Considerations
Topic – I would suggest that you choose a topic which is specific. When I say specific, I mean not like “marketing” as related to “business,” but rather like “informing and communicating in a public educational institution.” The reason for this is that your blog, as a niche in the Internet world market (with readership as buying), must have a clear offering—how it will benefit your readers. Also, having this specific of a topic allows you to draw from multiple fields of study (that is, cross- and trans-disciplinal) on what to post, which you will integrate. This will allow your post to be practical, not just opinions or theoretical discussion which readers can find elsewhere.

Interactive – Allow in the home page and in every post an opportunity to discuss and react—whether you like the reaction or not. Every reaction is a new content that increases the presence of your site. Also, usually, reactions automatically subscribes the reactor to your blog. That increases your blog readership. Soliciting feedback also gives you other ideas that you might blog about. This makes your blog driven by your readers' interests, which drives their interest and will make them read your blog more often.

Contact the Author – Make sure there are ways of communicating you besides the comment. Some readers might want to contact you for a private message. You do not want to publish your email address, however, as this invites spam. Just consider a “Contact me” page where readers can include their comment/question and their contact email so that you can contact them. Of course, make sure to contact them within a reasonable amount of time, which should be clearly identified in the blog.

Design – Most blogging sites have default designs and layouts. Consider how you can customize it to what is complementary to your topic but is still pleasing to the eyes of your reader. You might also want to consider how it might display in mobile devices as mobile internet is becoming more common.

There are other things that you may consider, but these are basic considerations in using blogging as a learning tool. Like any learning tool, however, consider your learner on how to deliver better the content.

Project Management Software

(Disclaimer: I am not PM-certified.)

If you are familiar with the concept of project management or PM, you might have come across the term project management software. In essence, it is a software that allows the user (usually a project manager or coordinator) to manage events and resources of a project to achieve the project’s objectives or goals.

The most popular PM software is Microsoft Project, which is not included in Microsoft Office suite. MS Project allows the user to break down the project’s tasks, schedules, human resource, and see the status of various activities. I have not used Microsoft Project myself, so I am not in any authority to evaluate its capabilities nor its weaknesses (In fact, I am not speaking in any authority at all! I am just sharing my points of view and experience in using certain systems as a user.).

In any case, what I want to share with you is an opportunity to manage resources, activities and events of a project using free and open source software. You could Google the term “open source project management software” and you would come across probably Wikipedia’s list of project mangement software (here). PMS can be classified based on license or on platform base. According to license, of course, there are open-source and proprietary; according to platform base, there are desktop-based and there are web-based.

From a teacher’s or a faculty administrator’s point of view, a project management software can help one minimize uncertainty and ensure accomplishment of objectives by accomplishment of broken-down activities with specifically identified objectives, schedules and resources.

Take for example, a faculty conference. Any academic activity (particularly in CAS) has a strong academic principle and rationale behind it. Everything is done or happens for a reason. So a certain committee might think of doing something, with the given reasons or assumptions.

The committee may work as the project team (unit, committee, management office, whatever), with one person taking the lead. The project manager is the primary person for the implementation and achievement of the goals identified in the creation of the project (This is where the project charter comes in.).

The PM or his/her executive assistant or the committee’s secretariat will need a strong sense of project management if the conference is to succeed—that is, achieve its objectives both as an academic exercise and as an event to be managed.

This situation presents a need to have a software that helps the person to do just that. Considering the cost of MS Project (which I did not bother researching the price of), I tried searching for open source PM software instead.

Project management software like OpenProj allows you to identify your general objectives, project milestones, human and other resources, identify task predecessors, look at status of different activities, and make necessary adjustments.

A web-based project management software like Collabtive, Zoho Project and dotProject even works better. As it is web-based, the user can assign projects to other users, who can then enter the status of their own part/tasks. As such, status of different tasks is based on input of other people. This also makes management of projects which are geographically dispersed (like research projects in different communities).

What is the cost of open source PMS? Well, if you are not familiar with PMS but you are interested with its potential, the cost is absolutely zero! Why zero? Because you would exert the same (perhaps even less) effort to learn a new software as you would if you were to start learning a proprietary (and expensive) PMS.

Further, using open source PMS allows you to have software without paying for unnecessary features, like server-stuff and email (which I didn’t bother reading about).

Of course, using PMS is not guarantee of success, as PMS only allows one to have better understanding of project and information related to it. It still depends on the project manager on how to respond to contingencies, for example.

In a nutshell, a project management software allows you to manage a project which consists of multiple different types of objectives, resources, activities through easy-to-understand and summary information in one program. And an open source option allows you to do accomplish the objectives with significantly less the cost.

If you have more questions about PM, PMS or related info, just ask!

Sources: (All accessed 1 May 2009)