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Clif Notes Newsletter     January 30, 2005    Freeware, why settle for less, or pay for more?

 Internet AI Roboform - fills in web forms and website logins
This program saves me tons of time when I surf the web. I use it every day. Most days I must log in and out of at least three or four websites. How can I remember the login names and passwords? I don't have to because AI Roboform does it for me. Roboform is an Internet Explorer toolbar. As soon as I go to a website that requires me to sign in, Roboform will either pop up to give me the login it remembers or offer to save a new one for me. The current version of Roboform is Liteware (or Trialware). After a 30 day trial it will only remember 10 websites logins. However, I've provided you with a link to an older freeware version that is not crippled after 30 days. Just remember never to update it if it offers to do so.

Website - Download old Freeware version - Liteware - Freeware 

Quote from the website -
RoboForm is a free password manager and one-click web form filler with some serious Artificial Intelligence.
   What it does:
* AutoSave passwords in browser.
* AutoFill passwords to login form.
* Click Login button for you.
* Fill personal info into online forms.
* Save offline passwords & notes.
* Generate Secure Random Passwords.
* Encrypt passwords and personal data using 3-DES.
* All personal info is stored on your computer only.
* Take RoboForm with you on USB disk for ultimate portability.
* Sync your passwords and notes to Palm or Pocket PC.
* Backup & Restore, Print your passwords.
* More features: drill down for more.
RoboForm is FREE with some limitations.
* It is well-behaved: NO ADWARE, NO SPYWARE.
* Works under Windows as an add-on to IE-based browsers.
* Works with Netscape, Mozilla, Firefox under Windows.

 Games Eliza - computerized psychotherapist
I found this program back in the 1970's and I programmed it into an old TI99-4a (micro computer). It gave me hours and hours of fun. The program itself is very simple but sometimes you really wonder if the ghost of some psychiatrist has snuck into your PC.
Eliza (Weizenbaum, 1966) was one of the first AI programs and, at the time, it impressed the people who used it.
The name Eliza was chosen as "it" could learn to talk increasingly well as did Eliza of Pygmalion fame.
You asked Eliza questions and she (it?) responded.

Here is a sample script from an Eliza session

Person : Men are all alike.
ELIZA : In what way?
Person : They're always bugging us about something or other.
ELIZA : Can you think of a specific example?
Person : Well, my boyfriend made me come here.
ELIZA : Your boyfriend made you come here?
Person : He says I'm depressed much of the time.
ELIZA : I am sorry to hear that you are depressed.
Person : It's true. I am unhappy.
ELIZA : Do you think coming here will help you not to be unhappy?
Person : I need some help, that much seems certain.
ELIZA : What would it mean to you if you got some help?
Person : Perhaps I could learn to get along with my mother.
ELIZA : Tell me more about your family

Website - Download - Freeware (Here is an online version)

Quote from the website -
Discuss your most intimate problems with the doctor.
Game? Or therapeutic tool?
Classic example of artificial intelligence run amok.
(22k, 27-Apr-99).

 Games MAH JONGG SOLITAIRE - play a 3000 year old game
Loren Blaney used an old programming language that's been recently updated to create a great version of a game that I find highly addictive. This version of Mahjongg doesn't have an installer. Just unzip it and run it. It will download in only a few seconds because the whole zipped program is on 42 kilobytes in size. Check out the other freeware games hosted at this site. I grabbed a few of them. They are all very well done and you can fit all them all on a single floppy disk.

Website DownloadFreeware

Quote from the website -
Venerable Chinese tile game.
3D bamboo-laminated ivory tiles.
286+, 640x480 VGA and mouse required.
If you're wondering about the language used to program Mah Jongg, it's called XPL0. You can probably get the compiler and related tools from the same place that you got this file. Look for XPL0-233.ZIP. XPL0 was created by a computer club called The 6502 Group at the Colorado School of Mines during the mid 70s. Although very few people know and use XPL0, it competes surprising well with popular languages such as C, Pascal, and BASIC.

 Email Internet Obfusticated Email Link Creator - stop the spam bots
Obfusticated Email Link Creator is a great little utility for webmasters who don't want to get any more spam in their email than necessary. It could also be used for posting your email address in a PHP board or other forums where you can create links.
Website - Quote from the website
What OELC will do is munge your email address for use in web pages so spammers will have a harder time grabbing your email.  ...  Usage is simple, enter the email address you want to obscure then enter some text you want the link to say and select a format option, click create it and OELC will create html code for the link and copy it to the clipboard for you to paste in the HTML code of your webpage.

 Security SecureWorld Beta - competition for Adaware?
I get a shiver of dread every time I hear of a new antispyware application by some author I've never heard of. Most of the time if you've never heard of the program, it's because it's a rogue version that will cause more problems than it fixes. So far this one seems to be different. I tried it out and the install went perfectly. My only complaint is that they make you reboot the PC. After the program is launched you are offered the chance to register it. I was not looking forward to it, but they make it easy and all they ask for is your name. Type in your name and click a button. Next I updated it. That only took a few seconds. Finally I scanned with it. SecureWorld doesn't seem to have any settings to change, you just click the smart scan and in a minute or so it's done. I was surprised how fast it scanned. The speed reminds me of Bazooka Spyware scanner. In the end it gave me a surprising result. I was clean! Amazing! It told me what I know to be true. This program may or may not be good at detecting spyware, but at least it didn't give me a ton of false positives to track down. Finally I uninstalled the program. It left a lot of registry entries behind and also left the Program Files folder. My hope is that the author will continue to develop this tool. I don't think it's ready to go up against Adaware or Spybot, but at least it's headed in the right direction. For now I won't recommend SecureWorld until it's got more time and trials behind it.
Website - Freeware
Quote from the website -  Great program that will detect and clean all the spyware and adware parasites on your computer. Scans extremely quickly and shows a list of infections. You can choose which ones to remove. There is also a LiveUpdate function that will download and install the latest definitions. SecureWorld is completely free for personal users and costs $10/year for corporate users. To be able to update the program, you will have to register (using the program's interface).

  Winret - Backup and restore for Windows, Outlook, and IE.
I had used a couple of other utilities to back up my email and IE favorites. I think they'll end up in the trash can. This one application does all that plus offers some Windows tweaks I've never seen before. For example, how would you like to turn Internet Explorer into a WYSIWYG webpage editor? You've just got to check this program out.
Quote from the website of WinRet - Liteware
WinRet is a program for tuning Windows and Internet Explorer, also this program backs up and restores system Registry, program Settings and Preferences, Shortcuts, Favorites, Drivers, Internet Explorer Settings, History, Cookies and typed Urls and much more. For your convenience the program supports automatic backup/restore mode.

 Grahics Zzoom - screen magnifier, color picker, screen capture
Excellent freeware in a very small package. Does it all in 14kb. Download it. Unzip it. No install needed. Just run it and start capturing screen areas or zooming in to see details or copying colors. Click the ? to see the command keys to do it all.
Quote from the Zzoom Website - Freeware
A screen magnifier, color picker and image grabber, all in one! Features: Resizable window Lower CPU usage when not active Copy color to clipboard Copy image to clipboard 1x - 10x zoom Grid Precision cursor movements

 Help Free Web Hosting - Search for free website providers
Here's a place I recommend when someone is looking for a place to put up their personal website.
Free Webhosts Search - Search Tip
Quote from the website - find free web hosting, compare free webspace, and search free webhosting service providers to get a free website

 Help Freeware Book - e-book listing many freeware websites
Scott and others at FreewareArena have put together this great book. Check it out.
Website - Freeware Tip
Quote from the website - The sole purpose of The FREEWARE BOOK is to present information that will enable visibility to freeware sites of all levels to achieve recognition. It is to (hopefully) foster a community atmosphere for freeware sites, so that the clique system can be undone (the one in which there is an upper echelon of sites and all the rest. Or worse yet a class distinction in which high traffic sites can hold sway over search engine listings as well as having a stranglehold on traffic. Some 'big' sites can make in my opinion, demands about linking).

 Help What's new for IE under Windows XP SP2?
Seems to me I'm seeing more and more little problems reported by people using Internet Explorer after they've updated Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (SP2). Here's a list of things that change with SP2. This is directly from the horse's mouth (or Bill Gates). I've also included a review by TechRepublic and also a link to a site that may provide help in fixing some of the problems these changes may cause.

Quote from Microsoft -
The security features and innovations in Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) with Advanced Security Technologies are all about helping users like you take a proactive approach to improving the protection of your computer, your information, and your privacy. These security improvements extend to Internet Explorer and Outlook Express, and give you new, easier ways to better protect your computer while you browse or use e-mail.

 Website Download.com Spyware Center - helpful advice and programs for spyware problems
Download.com is famous for their lists and reviews of software downloads. Now they have a section devoted to helping users with spyware problems. That's nice to know. In the past, some of the programs you could get at Download.com had spyware in them. I think they've eliminated most of those but it never hurts to check the user reviews at each program's page. Remember, just because you can download a program for free, that doesn't make it freeware. I can nearly always find a freeware program that will do the same job as a paid for program. Let me know if you need help finding something you need.

Spyware Center - Cool Website

Quote from the website -
* Find out which popular antispyware programs beat our Spyware Obstacle Course. 
* Get rid of spyware, no matter what level of computer skills you have. 
* Scrub out persistent infections with HijackThis. 
* Repel invaders by setting up ZoneAlarm properly. 
* Know your enemy--consult our spyware glossary.

 Website Fort Freeware @ Quantam Illusions - lots of freeware links
Here's a great site for finding freeware. They are also a fellow member of the Freeware Revolution.
Fort Freeware - Cool Website
Quote from the website - FORT Freeware is run and owned by
Quantum Illusions FORT Freeware is non-profit.

 Website Snapfiles.com Freeware - a safe place to find freeware
Here's where I go to look for well reviewed freeware programs that solve most of my software problems.

SnapFiles Freeware - Cool Website

Quote from the website -
Quality software downloads since 1997
What is SnapFiles (WebAttack?)
Downloading quality software files from the Internet is a snap, with SnapFiles!

We are a download site that provides access to thousands of Windows software titles, that are either free to keep (freeware) or can be downloaded as a free trial (shareware). We do not make any of the software! Each product is submitted by a software company or developer - a link to the developer's web site is included with every description. What we do is review and rate the software, categorize it and make it available to you.