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          February 13, 2005  Freeware, why settle for less, or pay for more?

 Internet AccountLogon - logon to your web accounts with one click
AccountLogon is a good password manager tool for use on Internet Explorer that protects all your passwords from prying eyes. When the PC boots, AccountLogon will ask you for a single password that allows you to forget all the rest of your passwords while you are surfing. I found it to be a stable program and not a big resource hog. It's operation is fairly simple but I found the logon capture not as easy as what I'm used to with AI Roboform. It also doesn't seem to detect when you've arrived at a website that it's been to and offer to log you in. After I used it awhile I decided to go back to using my old freeware copy of AI Roboform (see last week's newsletter). This program works well and if I had to decide between it and the new version of Roboform, I would choose AccountLogon because the new version of Roboform is trialware and can only store 30 logons.

WebsiteFreeware - requires IE5 or IE6

Quote from the website - Have you ever forgotten your online passwords? Are you tired of entering a username and password for EVERY password protected website you visit? Well, now you can have ONE password that lets you safely logon to any of your web accounts with just 1 click! Download this amazing FREE software and you will never have to type another password again!

 Security  Fraud Eliminator - Anti-Phishing Software Protects Consumers from Fraud
Here's a glowing review from TechNewsWorld about a new Internet Explorer toolbar.

A new company in the anti-phishing space is offering a free program that acts much like a firewall for Web sites to protect computer users from online fraud attacks. FraudEliminator, a security software startup, is offering the first product to provide comprehensive protection to home Internet users from online fraud schemes and phishing attacks. Phishing is a tactic criminals use to trick computer users to visit a fraudulent Web site or respond to phony e-mail messages and disclose person identification and financial account passwords ... Company officials said they have designed a security program so safe and easy to use that you can install it on your grandmother's machine.

Website - Freeware (this program has changed to McAfee SiteAdvisor)  

 System FreeRAM XP Pro 1.4 - memory optimizer
Jean in Montana wrote to me: Clif have you ever tried Free Ram XP Pro?  It is a fabulous little program for instant ram freeing.  I first got it when I was on dial-up, even now on DSL I wouldn't go without it.

Jean is a security analyst (ASAP 2004) and assistant manager at Windows XP Central on MSN. She also teaches classes for the local Adult Community Education (ACE) program on "Net Nasties". Thanks for the tip Jean.

Website -- Freeware

Quote from the website - Freeware application to free and optimize your computer's RAM (Random Access Memory), resulting in an increase in system performance and productivity. Automatically configures itself for ease of use and also features advanced options and customizability. FreeRAM XP Pro has been designed to be easy to use yet highly customizable by computer novices and experts alike.

 Grahics Image Desktop - view only the picture
Tutelage wrote to me: A friend of mine wrote this nice little image viewing utility in visual basic. Hi Tutelage, I tried this little program out and my opinion is "two thumbs up". It really can be convenient to have pics on your desktop without Windows borders around them. I'm thinking I'll be able to use it for tutorials. Image Desktop allows you to resize and move pictures all over your desktop and it doesn't mind having several copies of itself running at the same time. I think it's a keeper.

Website - Freeware (author - Peter Macko)

Quote from the website - ImageDesktop is an unique image viewing utility with one feature that clearly distinguishes it from all others - you see only the viewed picture without any unnecessary borders of the main window or even any toolbar buttons. You don't even see the titlebar. You see only the image and nothing more. Well, is it useful for something at all? Quite surprisingly, yes, it is. We often find it useful when we need to describe a picture, and this is what we do so we can type and look at the picture at the same time.:

  1. Open a word processor (e.g. MS Word or StarWriter)
  2. Open ImageDesktop
  3. Use its context menu to open a picture
  4. Adjust size
  5. Move it to a corner of the screen
  6. Turn on "Stay on Top" feature
  7. Start writing

 Security Spyware Doctor - free spyware scanner
I was interested in Spyware Doctor because it's rated highly at Download.com. I decided to give it a try even though I think my system is fairly clean. It will scan your PC and remove spyware. The version you download is "crippled" and they want you to pay $30 US to be able to use all the really nice features.   I downloaded and installed SD and the installation was very easy. No questions or registrations. WinPatrol noticed that SD set itself up to start with Windows, and also registered two dll's as Internet Explorer browser helper objects (BHO's). If this hadn't been antispyware software with good credentials, I would have been scrambling to kill it off as quickly as I could.   When I ran SD it first asked me if it could run a full system scan and I allowed it to do that. About 67% of the way through the scan it really started slowing down and after 2 hours it had only gotten to 72% so I stopped the scan. SD had detected 42 objects on a system that I had just previously scanned with Adaware and reported clean. I examined some of the flagged objects and they appeared to be legitimate entries as far as I could tell. Before I removed the objects, I scanned my system with HiJackThis for a "before" logfile. I removed the flagged objects with SD and then took an "after" logfile with HiJackThis. I compared the two logfiles and there was no difference. Apparently SD had flagged 42 objects that really weren't important enough for HiJackThis to notice them.   Conclusion: I believe Spyware Doctor is easy to use and good at detecting spyware but it's not going to replace any of my current detection tools. I had problems with it's scanning and I don't like seeing disabled features in a free program. I would recommend it for an occasional scan after your normal scans with Adaware and Spybot S&D, but I wouldn't buy it for the extra features. Those features are available in other security tools for free.   Here are the features that are disabled in this free version: * OnGuard runs in the background to monitor and protect your PC from browser infections and tracking cookies
* Immunize your system against more than a thousand known web-browser hijackers (BHO) and ActiveX threats

Website - CrippleWare

Quote from the website - Spyware Doctor is a multi-award winning spyware removal utility that detects, removes and protects your PC from thousands of potential spyware, adware, trojans, keyloggers, spybots and tracking threats.

Grahics Windows Media Encoder 9 Series - record your every move
I found a great tip from Fun_in_Chicago, the assistant manager at Free Computer Support. Gary is a Computer Systems Engineer and says his favorite playtime toys are a John Deere 425 all wheel drive tractor, 4x4 offroad truck, and 1973 Norton Commando 750 motorcycle. I'm jealous because it sounds like he's having way too much "fun in Chicago".

Website - Freeware

Quote from PC Magazine - At one time or another, you've probably wanted to show friends or family how to e-mail photos, format a resume, or do other tasks on the computer. But unless they live nearby, it's not easy. There are a few good applications out there for creating easy-to-follow video tutorials to walk them through, such as Macromedia Captivate, Qarbon's ViewletBuilder and ViewletCam, and TechSmith's Camtasia Studio. But these cost $149 to $499, which is more than most people want to spend for this purpose. Fortunately Microsoft offers a free, functional alternative—Windows Media Encoder. Windows Media Encoder can capture the screen as you perform a task such as editing a photo; in fact, almost anything you can do on the screen can be recorded as a video. You can even narrate the demo as you record the steps you're performing. It's surprisingly easy to achieve good results in minutes. Probably the only reason the program isn't more widely used is that few people know it exists.

 Disks ZipALot - unzip multiple zip files all at once 
This small program works very nicely. I sometimes have 10 or 15 zip files on my desktop at the same time. ZipALot will unpack all of them into individual folders for me in a couple quick moves. Tip: To make sure it unzips files into folders with the same name, open the Filter Settings and open the Expert tab then put a check next to "Directory for every file"

Website - Freeware

Quote from the website - Most of the unpack programs only can handle one archive at once. With ZipALot you can extract (unace, unrar and unzip) multiple files at once!

ZipALot takes all the archives from one directory and extracts them to another one.

ZipALot can currently handle ZIP, RAR and ACE (V.2) archives.

Filter options allow you to control the extraction process.
Tell which archives you want to extract, what files you want to have extracted from
the archives and which not.
With a simple click you extract i.e. all your images from dozens of archives!


 Website eMessenger.net - check all your IM's online
Are you at the library, work, friends house and you can't wait to get home to chat on you instant messengers? No problemo, just go to eMessenger.net and you can log into MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, and AOL Instant Messenger. No applications to load, just login at the website and you can chat until you turn blue. I have read their privacy policy and I'm a ok with it as long as they are being honest.

Website - Tip (and Cool Website)

Quote from the website - EMESSENGER PRIVACY POLICY
At the eMessenger login you have to enter your username and password to use our service. WE WILL NOT STORE YOUR PASSWORD IN ANY WAY ON OUR SERVER. Information we do collect is used for internal reporting tools and to notify users about features and updates of our service. Your email address will not be shared with other third party organizations for commercial purposes. If you want to unsubscribe from receiving any updates please send an email to unsubscribe @ e-messenger.net. If you feel that this site is not following its stated policy, you may contact us at info @ e-messenger.net

 Security Security Issues for Windows and IE - tips from mvps.org
If you follow the advice in this article from MVPS, you'll have a much safer and easier time while you are online.

Website - Tip

Quote from the website - Practice Safe Hex! - Browsing the Internet without protection is just plain foolish! It can't be stressed enough on how important it is to keep your system up-to-date.  Improving the security of your computer (Microsoft - must read!)

 Website Web Site Basics - Help.com teaches you how to make a web site
Have you ever wondered how hard it is to make a web site? This free course from Help.com promises to take it easy on you. If you ever need advice on how to create a free website, you can always email me and I'll do my best to help.

This course no longer exists - Tip

Quote from the website - These days it seems like everyone has a Web site: companies, clubs, newborns, pets, and grandparents just to name a few. Do you want to make your mark on cyberspace? It's much easier than you think. This course will walk you through the process from soup to nuts, and in no time flat you'll have a Web site to call your own. Web Site Basics is less about learning HTML code than it is about how Web pages come together to make a good site, and how to find the right tools and hosting plan for your site. Class starts on Monday, February 14.


 Website Google Maps beta - endless oceans?
Google has a really cool beta map search site up now. It still needs a lot of work though. It shows only endless oceans all around the US at this point. It has a great click and drag interface. If you want to move any direction on the map you just drag it that direction and the map updates pretty quickly as you drag it along. To center on an area, you just double click on it. Zooming in and out is done on a side sliding bar. I included a link to the area I live in if you are curious. I love to cruise around Grand Lake in the summer. I don't have my own boat right now, so if anyone wants to donate one to me, just email me.

Website - I live here  - Review of Map Search Sites Cool Website

Quote from the website - Google Maps is an online service that allows users in the U.S. to find location information, navigate through maps, and get directions quickly and easily. Google Maps has several unique features: * Draggable maps – you can click and drag Google maps to view adjacent sections; no more long waits while new areas download.
* Integrated Local search results – Google Maps integrates local search results from Google Local. So to find a pizza place, simply type in "pizza in San Jose", and pizza places appear at various locations on your map, with phone numbers for each location on the right side of the page.
* Turn-by-turn directions – Type in an address and Google Maps plots the route for you, displaying it visually on the map itself, together with step-by-step directions for getting there (or back from there). When you click on one of these steps (say, "turn left"), you see a floating bubble with a magnified view of the area mentioned in the directions.
* Keyboard shortcuts – You can use arrow keys to pan left, right, up and down. The Page Up, Page Down, Home and End keys let you pan out even wider. And you can zoom in with the plus (+) key and zoom out with the minus (-) key.

 Website IceRocket.com - cool search engine
Here's a tip from guest reviewer CyberGuide.

Latest Updates from cyberguide SEARCH ENGINE: ICEROCKET.COM   It will be a long while before Uncle Google is dethroned from its kingdom. However, this interesting search engine has some nice features such as search results shown in thumbnails, blogs search, the weird phone pics (???) and multi-media search. Have a go, you never know,...

Website - Cool Website


 Website tutorialfind.com - a website that helps you find help
Thanks to a resource link at the WebDesign group, I've found this cool website and I want to share it with you. TutorialFind has an index of very good tutorials for almost any computer task you can think of. The site is easy to navigate and it looks like they are currently working to improve it.

Website (appears to be a broken site)- Cool Website

Quote from the website - During the past five years the traffic hitting tutorialfind has grown to levels far greater than expected. Lately we have been charged enormous excess bandwidth fees, and have had to move the site to a more bandwidth friendly host. We have also taken this opportunity to redevelop the site as an ASP.NET application, to provide a better platform for future development.