Free alternative to i2

Discussion in 'Int Corps' started by REMFQuestions, May 3, 2010.

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  1. Does anyone have any experience of either

    ORA Software

    Both are free, creative commons programs that replace Analyst Notebook and I was thinking about taking them on a USB to Herrick with me.

    Apart from that - is there any reason why we pay extortionate license fees for this program that could be achieved for free?

    ORA has several plug-ins which we could really use for Analysis.
  2. Is i2 broken though?.....
  3. No bought I am pretty convinced it is not going to be present at some of the makeshift FOB's where I am going to be sent.

    It's hard enough trying to find a computer with it installed working for back here!
  4. You lot scare me. You're shit at secret.
  5. What's secret?

    The commercially available off the shelf product that is used by almost every intelligence/law enforcement organisation in the world?

    This one here -

    The one that has won awards and been published in the press.

    Uh oh....better not let the Taliban know that we use Windows as well!!! They might send us a nasty macro or something.
  6. Sorry, I can't help with advice on which free software works well - I too would be very interested to hear from anyone who has any experience of any of the alternatives. There's quite a lot of different products out there to chose from:

    For what it's worth, although the i2 software seems expensive - particularly when there are other bits of kit which appear similar which can be had for free, it's a pretty average price for specialist software, I think - and it's awesomely good value when compared to most of the sh*te that the MOD purchases. It actually works, for a start! A few factors that you may wish to consider when looking at alternatives are:

    1. Compatability - can you export your data / charts to colleagues in other locations (the software is of very limited use if you can't ship data onto / of off other i2 charts - Int being one of these things which it's good to share, or so I'm told..)

    2. Support - although I doubt you'll get i2 software support from the FOB, their support is awsome, and available via the web.

    3. Legality / IT Security - I know very little about this side of things, but I've got a sneaking suspicion some fellah in G6 would be deeply unhappy if he knew what you were proposing. (Then again, he's unlikely to visit the FOB, so...)

    I don't know how many i2 Analyst's Notebook licences the Corps holds, but I'd wager that it's more than sufficient, they're just all kept safely locked away somewhere. But that is just idle speculation...

    Good luck with it.

  7. That's for that link, it's very useful.
  8. What's wrong with a card index, a map board and a couple of chinagraphs?

    [exits left to lie down with a stiff drink and mumble about how much better it was in the old days]

    actually in Kosovo we 'lifted' a copy of some very good Swedish analyst software-they were quite protective of it at the time but made the mistake of leaving disc lying round in the shack.
  9. knowing nothing of the software of which you speak (and too lazy to look it up), if you do take it out with you and manage to sneak it onto a works system under the noses of the ICS monkeys, are the products you produce using it going to be readable by anyone else in theatre?
  10. IS Ski Geek

    IS Ski Geek War Hero Moderator

    As one of the suspicious G6 Fellahs that you are on about. I would be extremely dismayed to think that you would be contemplating doing this.

    The software may not be classified but surely the data that you put into it may well become.

    You never know what back-doors have been left in the uncontrolled software that you install either that may open a secure system to vulnerability.

    Just my take on things but you guys off all people should know better
  11. please don't judge an entire corps on the basis of one JNCO... :cry:
  12. Because there are tons of IS Sysops in Helmand FOB's. :roll:

    Some of them only have working telephones and a map! Maybe if combat terminals were pre-loaded with something other than Open Office 1.0 (2002) then people would not have to explore other solutions to data analysis. Doesn't seem to stop Div Major's getting Battle Tanks onto the system though does it? I can see the logic of punishing someone who is trying to use a program other than RISK: Domination. :roll:

    If it comes down to having to use a personal laptop to analyse freely available open source data I am sure it would not be the first time in a conflict. And I am sure it certainly won't be the last.

    Nothing like sticking to a rigid policy that actually hamstrings work. I really couldn't care what a sysop thinks of the Corps but I am sure when an infantry soldier on patrol is handed a schematic saying he has an 89% chance of finding an IED at Location X and only an 11% chance at the alternative route he will care a lot more.

    Again, it's just one those things that everyone knows it goes on but we can't actually talk about it. Now, where is the Brigade Games folder on the LAN again?
  13. I can't believe that you were not promised that all the kit you needed would be issued when you got to theatre.

    On a serious note, a wise old owl once told me that security should enable and not constrain the operation. Of course we need to protect operational data. But it would be even more compelling if that life-saving analysis could be made available first....even better delivered at the point it was needed most, just in time to be of use.

    Back on topic: just wondering if anyone could offer an un-classifed review of this product Sentinel Visualiser

    Pass my BAOR supplements to MAS over will you ?
  14. I would stop right there if I were you. Whilst the source data might be open source and unclassified, as soon as you start to analyse the information it is no longer unclassified.
  15. So if I take a copy of say...The Seeds of Terror by Gretchen Peters. Freely available on and list every narcotics smuggler and Talib that she mentions then analyse the data via an open source program it has magically become Classified?

    Well then I have some questions -

    Does the same thing apply if I do the analysis with pen and paper?
    What level is at protected at?
    Who has ownership of the classification?
    Do I need to contact Gretchen Peters?
    Is it me? Can I disseminate it or do I need to contact a security section?
    Who decides what constitutes analysis? If I realise that Talib A is the brother of Talib B has that document suddenly become classified?

    Now if I do the same thing with (for example) open source reports published on Janes Intelligence Weekly regarding IED strikes what classification does that become? Because I see Janes doing that every week and yet their publication is open source.

    Why is this not classified?

    Analysed information does not immediately take on a classification all of it's own. Is that sentence in JSP? Does this apply to Powerpoint Briefings to the Chain of Command?

    OK. :D


    SubSonic -

    The training videos on that software vendor are actually really good and the program can be downloaded for free for 45 days.