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ClifNotesNewsletter041114

Clif Notes Newsletter          November 14, 2004
Reviews

 Security  avast! Home Edition - why pay for virus protection?
Two weeks ago, I mistakenly thought AVG Antivirus was going to end support for their free version. That started me on a hunt for a new free AV client. This week I'm trying out Avast. I've had it running for a few days now and I'm really very happy with it so far. I did a full scan of my system and it picked up the trojans and viruses that I hid there. It also has an "On Access" scanner that checks executable files every time a new one starts up. Now that could be a real system saver. It has email scanning abilities that far exceed any I'll ever need and if you get your email off a website instead of Outlook Express, I would recommend that you do a custom install and do not include the email scanner. All in all I give it a 5 star rating.

Website - Download - Register - Quote from the website

New viruses pop up more and more frequently all the time. Also their spreading could be much faster than it used to be several years ago. The main problem is not to add their detection into the antivirus product but the fact that most of the users do not use any antivirus program at all or they still have some ancient version which they have got together with their computer for free.

ALWIL Software, the producer of avast! has decided that since 1. June 2001 avast! will be free of charge for home users which do not use their computer for profit. The only thing you have to do is to register online.

 Internet Fresh Download - a free download accelerator
Here's a great download manager. It's free and it sure speeds up my downloads, but I didn't appreciate having to register an email address to use it. They send you a newsletter and if you don't want it you can unsubscribe or use a temporary email address to register.
Size: 1.43mb Class: Registerware
Quote from the website
Fresh Download is an easy-to-use and very fast download manager that turbo charges downloading files from the Internet, such as your favorite freeware and shareware, mp3 files, movie files, picture collections, etc. Unlike any other similar utilities, this software is 100% free, no charges, no banners (which steal your bandwidth), no spyware inside it.

Editors iDailyDiary - a fully graphic and web compatible diary
I am really impressed with this program. It works extremely well, and it's very easy to use. Another thing I really liked about it was the ability to export your diary pages to html so you can publish them on the web. This might be a really good application to store emails from your friends  because you can copy and paste right from a webpage into your diary. When you minimize the diary, it goes to the system tray. When you click to bring it back up, it asks for your password. The password feature is a must with any personal diary software, and the encryption is an unexpected bonus.

Website - Download - Quote from the website

iDailyDiary Free Version
 
iDailyDiary provides a simple interface that immediately gets you started taking daily notes, creating a journal, putting your thoughts into writing and much more.
 
The iDailyDiary editor is "richtext" with the ability to insert graphics, URL's, Hypertext links and links to other diary pages. iDailyDiary is fully searchable so you can always track down those important dates and reminders.
 
Key Features
 
 Data files encrypted and password protected
 Richtext Editor
 Fully Searchable
 Insert Pictures, URL's and Hypertext
 Multiple "pages" for each day
 Export to HTML format to create web pages
 Supports Unicode (non-western character sets)
 Mutli-Language GUI, including Chinese, Dutch, French, German and Italian
 

Editors Just Basic 1.0 - windows programming language
If you've ever learned the "BASIC" programming language you'll like this software. It's a free version of the famous Liberty BASIC tools. I learned BASIC back in 1977 but I just don't use it for much of anything anymore. I jumped into this program and felt right at home. This will come in handy when I need to do special things that don't require a whole lot of hard programming.

Website - Download - Quote from the website

Just BASIC is a programming language for the Windows operating system.  It is completely free and it is suitable for creating all kinds of applications for business, industry, education and entertainment.  Just BASIC borrows many features from our popular commercial product Liberty BASIC.
 
Because Just BASIC is based on the classic BASIC language it is easy to learn, and it has been extended with easy to use commands so you can create your own Windows programs without needing to learn all the underlying details of the Windows operating system.

 Grahics Mandelbrot - generate psychedelic images on your pc
I was still a child in the 1960's but I always loved looking at the imagery associated with those years. This program brings back colorful memories using mathematical relationships. You could use these as wallpapers for your PC's desktop.

Website - Quote from the website (screenshot below)

Mandelbrot is a program that allows you to view and zoom in and out of the mandelbrot set. The mandelbrot set is a mathematic representation of a subset of the complex plane. Put simply, the mandelbrot set is a picture generated by a math formula. It was discovered in the 1970s by Benoit Mandelbrot. The mandelbrot set itself is not a fractal, but it's boundary is a fractal.
 
Screen shot

 Security Prevx Home - "zero day" infection protection
Awhile back I reviewed Qwik-Fix Pro which works very similar to this tool. Many people didn't like it (including me) and later uninstalled it. If you tried that one you might like this one better. It only works under Win2k and WinXP so I can't use it, and I can't really say it's all that great. Only time will tell.

Website NO LONGER FREEWARE

Download Prevx Home now to:
 
*Stop ‘Buffer Overflow’ attacks used by Internet worms (such as Sasser) and hackers
*Stop the installation of malicious files
*Stop malicious modification of critical files and directories
*Stop frequently used attacks on Internet Explorer
*Stop unauthorized changes to critical areas of the registry
*Stop covert modification of start-up scripts
 
Home computer users remain vulnerable to each new (‘Zero Day’) cyber-attack during the critical period between the launch of a new attack and a “signature” update becoming available. Spyware tools only detect and clean up installed malware AFTER the infection has happened. Often threats are missed entirely by traditional security tools.
 
Prevx Home STOPS ‘Zero Day’, Spyware and hack attacks and STOPS malicious software from installing on your PC.

 System XPlite - trim the fat out of XP
Microsoft Windows is well known for being an operating system that tries to be everything for everyone. That means there are lots of extra's that most of us will never need. Over the years some people have learned how to trim Windows down to make it more stable and more secure. There are also Lite versions for Windows 98 here. The trial versions are free and do not expire.
Website - Quote from the website
This TRIAL version of XPlite Professional and 2000lite Professional is a single program that works on BOTH Windows XP and Windows 2000! That's right - one program for BOTH operating systems. Even better, the trial program is entirely self-contained. There is no bulky installation program and no un-installation program. They are not needed. Just place the program where YOU want it. An uninstall button on the about tab will remove the program entirely from your system.

The LitePC free TRIAL is yours to keep!

  1. Copy the TRIAL to your Windows XP or Windows 2000 desktop
  2. Double click on the program icon to start
  3. Accept the License
  4. Add and Remove Windows Components

Yes it really is that easy!

Tips

 Security New Email Phishing attack - article at MSN.com
I read a bit about this new security threat. The attack is performed using an email or a website. All that's needed is for the victim to view the email or webpage. Be careful out there, don't use a preview pane in Outlook Express and learn more about your Windows hosts file. It can help you instead of being a tool for hackers.
Website - Quote from the website
Essentially, the tactic redirects a victim's computer to a Web site controlled by a criminal every time the victim types in the Web address of his or her online bank. Even if the victim follows a shortcut or Web browser favorite link, the computer is seamlessly directed to the criminal's site instead. Once there, it's easy to trick a confused consumer into typing in banking account numbers and logins, because he or she is easily convinced that the destination is the correct banking site.
 
The new technique involves changing a little-known piece of software on most Web-ready computers called a "host file." 

 Help Website ProcessLibrary.com - what's in your task manager? 
On most pc's when you press CTRL + ALT + DEL you will see the task manager which will show you a list of currently running tasks (processes). I'm sure you'll see some there that you have no clue why they are there or what they are doing. This website takes some of the guess work out of finding out what's running.
Website - Quote from the website
In the recesses of your computer, 20-30 invisible processes run silently in the background. Some hog system resources, turning your PC into a sluggish computer. Worse yet, other useless processes harbour spyware and Trojans - violating your privacy and giving hackers free reign on your computer. ProcessLibrary.com is an invaluable resource for anyone who wants to know the exact purpose of every single process.

 Email Spam.la - Don't give spammers your email address
This is a simple concept, but even I was confused for a minute. Let's say you want to register for some cool software or something and you are pretty sure if you give them an email address you'll start getting spam. The solution is here at this website. Just make up a name, any will do ("your_fake_address" for example), and throw some numbers in with it if you want. Now write it down somewhere. Now sign up for whatever you want and use your_fake_address@spam.la as the email address. Any email the ends with spam.la will go to the spam.la website where you can view it easily using their filter. Just remember this, you can't keep anyone else from seeing the email that is going there. So make sure you don't give out any personal information that might appear in an email to spam.la. Also be aware you'll see lots of really nasty email at spam.la, that's why they made the website. It eats spam, that's what it is for. Make it work for you.
Website - Quote from the website
Use spam.la email addresses for throw-away site registrations.
All email sent to any_address@spam.la is publicly readable right here.
Cool Websites

 Website ImageStation.com - Sony's free photo hosting service
I saw this a couple weeks ago and signed up. Sony's Imagestation has a few tricks up it's sleeve that can really help some of us with our digital photo habit. ImageStation is a commercial site, but they allow you to store an unlimited number of digital photos at their site. They will allow outside access to the photo's for your friends and family using a custom web page for your albums. They also allow you to send personalized e-cards to your friends and family for free. Naturally they try to sell you all kinds of other frills, but if you are a cheapskate like me, you won't be tempted.
Website 

 Website Pizza with double meat
Here is a funny joke that would be even funnier except for the fact that we could let it become reality if we don't guard our rights to privacy.
Website

 Desktop Webshots - see the fall colors on your desktop
I've been using Webshots for over a year now. Many people who drop by my house and happen to see my Webshots screen saver running ask me "Where did you get those awesome pictures? I'm never slow to tell them that they can have the same pictures for free. Webshots Desktop application does like to run when the PC starts up, but I've got mine fixed so it doesn't. All you have to do is disable it using MSConfig.

Website - Download - Quote from the website

The Webshots Desktop is the most advanced photo management application ever created! It displays stunning professional photos as your screensaver and wallpaper, and provides innovative tools for sharing your personal photos on the web. It's easy to upload, store and share photos on your personal Webshots homepage, and you can then add your personal photos, plus millions more from the Webshots website, to your screensaver and wallpaper.
 
The Webshots Desktop software does not contain spyware or adware of any kind.
 
It does not install any tracking software on your system, or collect personal information about you and your browsing habits. Webshots software does not "spy" on other programs you run or web sites you visit. We also don't serve monitor usage or serve ads from the client software. The Webshots software does not come bundled with any third party software. 
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