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ClifNotesNewsletter041121

Clif Notes Newsletter          November 21, 2004
Reviews

 Games 123 Free Solitaire 2004 - 12 card games to pass the time.
Here's an excellent set of solitaire games if you've got some time to burn.

Use the Download link below for the freeware version.
The version at the website is trialware.
Website - - Size: 2.1MB - Class: Crippleware (some features disabled)
Quote from the website:
123 Free Solitaire 2004 card games collection includes 12 solitaire card games: Spider Solitaire One Suit, Spider Solitaire Two Suits, FreeCell, Klondike, Carpet, Eighteens, Travelers, Grandfather's Clock, La Belle Lucie, Pyramid, Spider and Royal Rendezvous. 123 Free Solitaire 2004 features a winning layout, fast game play, rich sounds, extensive options, and quality help. Each solitaire has more than 9 trillion possible games to play, so the game remains fresh no matter how many times you play. Under Windows XP, 123 Free Solitaire 2004 is fully skinnable with XP themes and visual styles.

 Internet Avant Browser - easy surfer
Avant was the first IE (Internet Explorer) based browser I ever tried that allowed me to use a tabbed browsing interface. I fell in love with that feature the first time I tried Opera. Avant used to crash on me occasionally but it's been continually improving and it seems to work very nicely now. I enjoy the built in pop up blocking and other features it has. It's really got plain old IE beat all to heck and back. If you are trying tabbed browsing for the first time, you'll never want to go back.
Website - Quote from the website
Avant Browser is a multiwindow browser that allows users to browse multiple Web sites simultaneously and block all unwanted pop-up pages and Flash ads automatically. The integrated cleaner helps users clear all traces and maintain privacy. The built-in Yahoo/Google search engines enable users to search for Web pages, images, groups, directories, lyrics, software, and news on the Internet. Avant Browser provides options for blocking the download of Flash media, pictures, video, sounds, and ActiveX components, so users can efficiently use their bandwidth and speed up page loading. All opened pages can be easily stopped, refreshed, closed, or arranged with just one click.

 Security Bazooka Adware and Spyware Scanner - fast scanning for problems
I keep this one handy and use it almost every day. It scans fast so I can get my work done. I found the best use of it is to put a copy of the Bazooka shortcut in my Start > Programs > Startup folder so that it starts up whenever I turn my computer on. Bazooka can't replace Spybot or Adaware and I use those on a weekly basis.
Website - Quote from the website
Bazooka Adware and Spyware Scanner detects a multitude of spyware, adware, trojan, keylogger, foistware and trackware components; sources of irritation that antivirus software does not deal with. The scanning process will only take about two seconds and tell you how to uninstall the potentially unwanted applications using simple step-by-step instructions or put you in contact with the vendor for the most up-to-date and safe uninstall instructions.

 Security Ewido Security Suite - scan for trojans your anti-virus didn't see
Here's what Gizmo at http://www.techsupportalert.com/ says about this new free trojan scanner.
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Ewido is the best of a new crop of anti-Trojan programs. On my recent tests over at www.anti-trojan-software-reviews.com, it emerged as one of the few products that could reliably detect polymorphic and process injecting Trojans that were totally missed by anti-virus products like Norton and AVG.  No, it's not as good as TDS-3 or Trojan Hunter but you get what you pay for. You see, the free version of Ewido doesn't have a memory monitor
but the on-demand scanner is so good that you'll have no complaints.
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That's sounds good enough for me, but I can't use it. I'm using WindowsME. If you're in the same boat as me with Windows 95, 98, or ME, then I'd recommend another good trojan scanner called A² Free.

Website - For Win2k and WinXP only - Quote from the website.

We offer you realtime protection against over 66.000 threats of the newest generation:

*Hijackers and Spyware
Secure surfing in the Internet without fear of annoying changes of the start page of your browser, Tracking Cookies and advertising bars.

*Worms
Nobody should receive e-mails in your name with malicious files in the appendix anymore.

*Dialers
Security against all kinds of dialers. No fear when receiving the next phone bill.

*Trojans and Keyloggers
No chance for thieves to steal your bank data and personal sensitive information by tapped Internet connections, remote controlled Webcams or secret keyboard recordings.

 Grahics HandySnap - screen capture tool
Yet another screen capture tool. This one looks pretty "Handy". I saw this tool at the Computer Help Club. It was recommended by one of the members and some of us tried it out. The general feeling was "thumbs up".
Website - Quote from the website
HandySnap was designed as a work-horse screen capture utility for creative professionals as well as for home users, web page developers or multimedia authors. The user interface of this program is based on the “nothing unnecessary” principle. It means that you will get exactly what you need - a tool for screen capture and for doing annotations on the screenshots (for editing screenshot will be opened in a separate window.) So anyone, even those who have never used such software before, can start working right after the installation.

 Internet HoverIP - internet information tools 
Now and then I have to do a traceroute or nslookup and I usually forget where good places to do this are. This utility brings a whole load of the most common needs right to my desktop. The user interface is very easy to understand.

Website - Quote from the website

HoverIP is a  powerful set of IP utilities, all inside a single box !
With HoverIP you can display your IP configuration (on all network cards), perform different tasks like NSLOOKUP, PING, TRACEROUTE,  SCAN PORTS or network, and manage your ROUTES  in a very convenient way !

 Security InstallSpy v2.0 - track changes to your pc
This is a really nice utility for reporting changes to your Windows OS that are made during a program installation. It tracks file changes and registry entries and a whole lot more. I especially like the html reports it generates (see View a sample report below). I only wish the author had included a quick way to have this program reverse any changes it records. That's exactly what Total Uninstall does and why I just can't live without it. I like InstallSpy but I could live without it.
Website - View a sample report - Quote from the website
This is not spyware, but a program to help you discover spyware! Track any and all changes to the registry and file system, and also record all shell notification events (e.g. media inserted), when a program is installed, uninstalled, or run. This can warn you of programs trying to install new services, programs that are set to run on reboot, changes to your home page, etc. It's a highly configurable program that allows you to catch any change to your system. Filtering lets you zoom down to the details that are most important to you.
Tips

  Website Help Ask-Leo.com - pc help for all
I first saw posts from Leo at Lockergnome.com and I saw that he has his own free help site. He has tons of good advice and answers questions almost every day. Got a question? Ask Leo.

Website - Quote from the website

Yes, this was a real question. So just who is Leo?
 
"Leo" is Leo A. Notenboom. That's me. And since you ask, let me tell you a little about myself.

I'm Leo A. Notenboom, the owner of Puget Sound Software, LLC and the Leo in Ask Leo!.
 
I've been in the personal computer and software industry for over 25 years, as a software engineer and a manager of software engineers since 1979.
 
In 1983 I joined Microsoft and spent the next 18 years in a wide variety of groups working on a wide variety of software. I've shipped a lot of software and managed a lot of engineers. If you're running Microsoft Windows or if you've used a Microsoft development tool or Microsoft Money, or if you've ever purchased a ticket through Expedia, there's a good chance a good chance you've been touched by some of my work.
 
I'm one of those wierd people that plays with computers because I really, really enjoy it. It's my career and my hobby. So even after leaving Microsoft I've kept it up. Lately I've been doing a lot of work implementing and maintaining websites on both Windows and Linux, writing some very interesting server-side applications in perl and PHP frequently using database technologies such as mySql, and writing all sorts of other odds and ends.
 
And of course answering questions here on Ask Leo!.

 Help Website Rogue Anti-Spyware - programs and websites that hurt instead of help
I found this site to extremely helpful to me as a software reviewer. When I run into a new freeware program that promises to help me keep my system clean. I go to this site to make sure I'm not making a big goof. I wish I had done this when I tried out a program called MalWhere. It took me a couple hours of cleanup after I installed that one.

Website - Quote from the website

"Rogue/Suspect" means that these products are of unknown, questionable, or dubious value as anti-spyware protection. 
Some of the products listed on this page simply do not provide proven, reliable anti-spyware protection. Others may use unfair, deceptive, high pressure sales tactics and false positives to scare up sales from gullible, confused users. A very few of these products are either associated with known distributors of spyware/adware or have been known to install spyware/adware themselves. Users are advised to rely on anti-spyware applications with deserved reputations for trustworthy performance.

 Help The many colors of Outlook Express - get more than 16 colors in your text
I get the "Computer Tips" newsletter from WorldStart.com. They sometimes come up with some really great tips. Here's one I liked.
Website - Quote from the website
If you are using Outlook Express in "Rich Text (HTML)" mode, then you can change the font color by clicking the "A" in the message toolbar and choosing one of the sixteen colors listed, BUT... you can easily expand your palette with this little trick.

Highlight the text you want to color, right-click and choose "Font". In the drop-down Color menu, select "Custom", then click the "A" to bring up more options.

Cool Websites

 Website Crazythoughts.com - Can you get cornered in a round room?
Lots of questions, life's eternal mysteries, and other stuff. But no answers here!
Website - Quote from the website
Do bald people get dandruff?
Why doesn't baking soda freeze?
What if you were to ask a genie to grant you more than three wishes for one of you wishes?
If you made biscuits with chocolate milk instead of regular milk, would they taste chocolaty?
If you rented a movie and were late returning it and then you died would someone you knew or a family member have to pay the late fee?
Can a person with no ears wear glasses?

 Website PaperAirplanes.org - make some paper fly
I used to have a lot of fun with paper airplanes when I was young. Making paper airplanes has turned into more than a hobby for some. It's become a science. If you let some kids try some of the easier ones here, watch the science turn back into fun.
Website - Quote from the website
I'm Ken Blackburn, and this web site is here to share what I know about paper airplanes.  I held the Guinness record for time aloft for paper airplanes from 1983 to 1996 and have just  regained the Guinness record with a flight of 27.6 seconds during an attempt on 10/8/98 in the Georgia Dome.

 Help Website Renovators.com - spruce up the old house
This is a good link for everyone who likes to watch "This Old House" and other home renovation programs.
Website - Quote from the website
Renovators.com is the nations premier online resource and community for antique home owners and old house enthusiasts. Bursting with great ideas, information, and advice, Renovators.com helps you uncover the full potential of your old house.
 A comprehensive directory serving the old-house community
See all my newsletters here - at FreewareWiki

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