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ClifNotesNewsletter041212

Clif Notes Newsletter          December 12, 2004
Reviews

 Desktop PrintKey2000 - the easiest to use screen capture tool yet
Imm, a friend in the Computer Help Club recommended this screen capture tool. She was right about how easy it is to use. After you install it all you ever have to do is hit your Print Scr key to bring it up.
Website - Quote from the website
The Print Screen key isn't all it's cracked up to be. Typically, you press it and it doesn't do anything -- leaving you with time consuming process of capturing a screenshot, importing it into a graphics editor, and printing it. This free program, on the other hand, does just what its name suggests. It may not win any awards, but it certainly does the job.

  Quicktime Alternative - Get rid of the bloated Apple QuickTime application
 Some applications really get on my bad side. Apple's QuickTime does this in several ways. First of all it wants to grab all the file associations for audio and video that it possibly can. Secondly it always wants to connect to the internet. It wants updates or it wants to show you a website or it wants to get more information about media. It wants to drive me nuts. Last of all it tries to put itself in the autorun so it will launch faster. It doesn't take no for an answer. If you try to remove it's entry in the registry, it puts another right back in next time it runs. Shame on you Apple! 
 I found a way to avoid Apple's headacheware by using QuickTime Alternative. I've gotten no complaints from my OS yet. In fact, I think it breathed a sigh of relief.

Website - Quote from the website

QuickTime Alternative will allow you to play QuickTime files (.mov, .qt and other extensions) without having to install the official QuickTime Player. It also supports QuickTime content that is embedded in webpages.

  Real Alternative - Goodbye forever to Real Player / Real One / Real Headaches
I could give you a real rant about Real Player but this guy does it better. Get rid of a real bloated pain in the butt and try out Real Alternative.
Website - Quote from the website
 ... need a player that is capable of playing RealMedia. The included Media Player Classic supports it and works very well. Supported: RealAudio (.ra .rpm), RealMedia (.rm .ram .rmvb .rpx .smi .smil), RealText (.rt), ReadPix (.rp), RealMedia embedded in webpages. .smi and .smil files sometimes only play the first part of a clip. This is a limitation of the current Media Player Classic. The RealMedia Browser plugin supports Internet Explorer, Opera, Netscape and Mozilla.

 Disks Splitter light 4.0 - the very small file splitting utility
This is a utility that you really need to have around but rarely use. I've used a lot of different file splitters over the years and this one is one of the best. A couple weeks ago I had to take a large file to my dad's house. The file wasn't big enough to burn to a CD and too big for a single floppy. That's when it's time for Splitter. It's simple to use and it's so small you can just add it to one of the floppies to help join the files. I always put a file splitter in my Windows folder and add a shortcut to it into the Sendto menu. That way I can call it from the DOS command line and Run menu or right click on a file and send it to the splitter.
Website - Quote from the website
You want to save your data to floppy disks, but the file is too large ? With Splitter you can split the data in parts of 1.44 MB or other sizes. Because Splitter is extremely small (only 55KB), you can deliver it easily with the first disk for joining.
Splitter splits files or whole directories (including subdirectories).
You can select any size of parts you like.
Splitter is able to handle very large parts (only limited by the operating system).
No installation necessary, Splitter can run from a floppy disk.
The date of the original files will be restored.
Drag & drop from the windows explorer.
Splitter optionally creates batch files for rejoining.
Full commandline support.

 Multimedia  SubhashVCD Player - Multimedia Player on Steroids
I've been using this one for quite awhile. This is a really a great player. It's small, fast, and very stable. I'd put it up against Winamp for the number of things you can do with it. Way to go Subhash, keep up the good work.
Website - Quote from the website
Hyped up, you can call it Windows Media Player On Steroids. It is a full-fledged media player that can play all your audio and video files such as ASF, AVI, MID, MIDI, MOV, MP3, MPEG, MPG, RMI, VOB, WAV, WMA, WMV, AIF, AIFC, AIFF, AU, IVF, M1V, M3U, MP2, MPA, MPE, MP2V, MPV2, SND, etc.

 System Transparent Window Manager - manage your window settings
Since I use WinME I can't try out everything I see. Fortunately I've found others who are foolish enough (like me) to try new programs.

Quote from Ig_no_its @ Computer Help Club 
Transparent window manager at www.oreware.com The best app that Ive found in a month.

Website - Use caution, this site may not be trustworthy - Quote from the website UPDATE !!! This is no longer offered as freeware. Thanks to info from Iron_Point.

This program helps you to manage your windows settings. You may set transparency of any window required. You may place any window to the top of others. Moreover you may disable input for any window. In additional, you may place any program you required to windows system tray. This feature very useful for power users, which have many programs running. And this is NOT all features!

 Security X-RayPc Spyware Remover - a smart replacement for HiJackThis?
I think XBlock (the author) has a really good idea. I tried X-RayPc out and I think it does everything they've advertised. Try convincing the thousands of dedicated HiJackThis users though. Good luck.

Website - Quote from the website

As the spyware versus anti-spyware battle rages on, we were looking for good tools that allow a user to examine the contents of his machine and to take corrective actions against those. An excellent candidate for this is "HijackThis" by Merijn, which is already in use by plenty of "anti spyware experts". We felt that it HJT could be improved upon in some ways and thus the idea for X-RayPc Spyware Remover was born. We took the best parts of the HJT concept and linked it up to the SpywareGuide database. The result is something like a systems management tool with build-in expert system. :)
Features
Lists active processes
List autostarting programs
Lists BHOs, Download Program Files, IE Extention plugins, etc...
Shows file size and MD5 of all files instantly
One-Click "Triage" : shows which items are "good", "bad" or "unknown"
Integrated file-uploader
Integrated deactivation and removal of an item or file
Can kill running processes (within the limits of the OS security model)
Can delete in-use files (after reboot)
Can export the log file in text form, Excel format and in HJT-compatible format
Detects hundreds of "bad" programs
Fully compiled Win32 executable
Single file download: No external runtimes, DLL's, libraries,...
No install needed. No installer to mess with. Grab the executable and run it. Delete it when done.
Fast! Complete analysis of the system is done in a few seconds
Tips

 Help Is your copy of Windows genuine and are you afraid to find out?
Did you get your PC from a small business? Was WindowsXP already installed? Did they give you a certified system disk? Here is how you can find out. If you didn't get a certified copy, you may be able to twist their arms, because that practice may be just a bit illegal.
 
This is a link to Microsoft. It will tell you if you have a "real" copy of XP or something that fell off a truck. They promise not to collect any information that could identify you. You'll also find some links to some free stuff (software).

Website - no longer recommended - - Quote from the website

One of the many benefits of owning genuine Microsoft software is gaining access to Microsoft Support Services. Below are two ways to help you determine whether your version of Windows is genuine.

 Email Langa List - I loaded the code
I loaded the code. In other words, my website was mentioned in the world famous newsletter, the LangaList, which puts out a twice weekly email with lots of PC help in it. The last time that happened I received 12,000 visitors at my website in two weeks. If you haven't signed up for the LangaList, I can highly recommend it. How else do you think I learned so much about PC's?
LangaList Home - Here is the link to me at LangaList - Quote from the website
Make the most of your hardware, software, and time online with the LangaList--- a free and lively, award winning, twice-a-week e-newsletter from noted computer author and editor Fred Langa. Each issue is packed with tips, tricks, and other useful and interesting information!

 Website Martha's Web - are you a responsible computer user?
I've been aware of Martha's website for a few months now and I even have her listed in my "affiliate" section. She's got a link to my site and I've got a link to hers. Martha has a great website devoted to giving people help on the following PC Maintenance, Email, Outlook Express, Windows, Security, Photos, Fun Stuff and much more. I confess I haven't been to Martha's Web in a while and I was quite surprised to see an article from her in MikesWhatsNews, one of the newsletters I receive regularly. So I decided I'd better give her a plug as well.
Website - Read Martha's article on Browser Wars

Quote from the website:
Are You a Responsible Computer User?
If you answered 'Yes' to this question, how did you determine your answer?
Did you say 'Yes' because:

1. You have a virus scanner.
2. You don't open attachments.
3. You don't go to porn sites.
4. What you do on your computer is no one else's concern.

OK, now answer these questions ...

 Security New Microsoft Security Warning Affects Large Number of Windows
Here's a bulletin from Aunty Spams Net Patrol. Looks pretty bad, but don't most announcements from Microsoft now days? I'll be darned, I may have missed out on this vulnerability. I use IE 5.5 (everyone keeps telling me to update it, but IE.6 on my WinME has too many memory leaks).

Website - Quote from the website

A new security warning issued by Microsoft this week affects a large number of Windows users. In fact, according to the Microsoft site, people who should read the warning include "Customers who use Microsoft Windows". That’s a pretty broad field.
 
The versions of Windows which are affected by this security hole, and for which this update is recommended, include:
 
Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 1
Microsoft Windows XP 64-Bit Edition Service Pack 1
Microsoft Windows 98 and Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition (SE)
Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me)
Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 and Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 4
Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Service Pack 6a
Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Terminal Server Edition Service Pack 6
 
The affected components are various flavours of Internet Explorer 6.X. Earlier versions do not appear to be affected.
 
You can read more about this, and get the security update, at the Microsoft site.
http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/Bulletin/MS04-040.mspx

 Help  WindowsXP.mvps.org - Registry Fixes, Utilities, Illustrations and Tweaks
Ramesh Srinivasan was kind enough to reference my website as a link in his "Resources" page. I've been to his website many times and have usually been led there on the search for a fix for some XP problem. I think you will find his website to be a valuable tool to help you keep your Windows XP and Internet Explorer under control.
Website - Quote from the website
Windows XP Shell and User Interface Tips, Troubleshooting docs, registry edits to solve the common problems seen in Windows XP. Plus a section on Internet Explorer issues.
Cool Websites

 Website History of Nations - where in the world are you from?
I recently met a young man from Mongolia. He was very nice, although he wanted me to convert to the Church of the Latter Day Saints (Mormon). I had asked him if his country was controlled by China. He told me it has been independent for a very long time. I later looked up some info about Mongolia at this website. Short, well written histories with plenty of information.
Website - Quote from the website
Welcome to History of Nations!  This site has a history of every nation in the world.  Each country is covered by a brief essay which gives the highlights of each nation's history. All information is based on content from the US State Department with new material added.

 Website PhotoSite.com and PhotoSite AlbumBuilder
If you need a place to host your electronic photos I think you might want to try this one out. It sounds great, and it's free!
They offer a freeware tool called AlbumBuilder to help you build and upload your personal album. I haven't had time to really try this out yet, but I'm just waiting for a break in the action to give it a go.

Website - Quote from the website

1. Personal Web address
   Make it easy for visitors to return to your site with your own, custom URL.
2. Flexible organization
   Create unlimited albums and photoblogs and show them off using one of 24 styles.
3. Privacy controls
   Control access by password-protecting or hiding private albums.
4. Camera phone-enabled
   NEW! View albums and publish photos right from your camera phone.

 Website Shake the Snow Globe - and listen to them scream
Thanks PilgrimDude. I had lost the link to this funny flash website. I ran into it a year or two ago and had a blast playing with it. Load the Globe and be thankful your house isn't in there.
Website - Quote from the website
The Objective
e-tractions thought they had a great idea back in the 2000 holiday season. The Snowglobe was an edgy, engaging, and, hopefully, viral way to show off the company's skill at Internet marketing but it didn't work out quite the way they expected.

The Solution
Snowglobe combines an eerie soundtrack, a Norman Rockwell meets Stephan King storyline, and fun copy to present an irreverent holiday scene. Even with all of this going for it, the campaign did not take off when it was launched in 2000 to a series of email lists and personal contacts. It was soon collecting dust in the archives.

The Results
Then one foggy December eve in 2002, someone came across the site and sent it to a few friends. 4 weeks and 200,000 visits later, e-tractions had grown its fan base on three continents. An article in Marketing Sherpa details the entire campaign.

  STAR WARS: DUALITY AND BEYOND - can't get enough of Star Wars
You've got me CyberGuide, I've never heard of Duality. I thought this movie was awesome. I just can't get enough.
Quote from CyberGuide
Latest Updates from cyberguide
 
You ain't a Star Wars fan if you have not have heard of Duality...And God knows I have met an astounding number who have not.
 
Duality is the essence of how Star Wars fandom expresses itself, crossing the boundaries of images, sound with a touch of sheer dedication. Ever since the amazing Troops, there has been countless of fan-made animated features. Just check out the Force.net section to gauge the importance of this phenomena...
 
Visit the the Duality site and download the movie and see it for yourself.