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ClifNotesNewsletter051211

 

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Welcome to Clif Notes Newsletter

December 11, 2005

 

 

  Hi everyone.

It's been another busy week, online and at home. I managed to try out a few programs I liked this week and I also answered a few letters. Tomorrow I get to move some furniture around the house. Hmm, I'd rather write another review.

I hope you enjoy this week's letter. Be sure to write me for advice or yell at me for messing up.

 

 

REVIEWS

 

Opera@USB - use browser, emails, addresses, anytime, anywhere

Website - Freeware

comments by Vic Dura and ClifNotes, 6 Dec 2005

comments?

 

Notes from Clif

Yesterday, Vic wrote me to let me know that there was a USB version of Opera available. I was very interested because Opera has always been my favorite browser. You might ask, "Why would you want a USB version of Opera?".

 

Opera is a fast, tabbed internet browser, with a built in email client, RSS feeds manager, download manager, IRC chat client, website password manager, and much more. Since it's now in a USB version, I can take it with me and use it on any PC without leaving any tracks behind. It will allow me to do almost all of my internet work from one application.

 

I asked Vic about moving my personal Opera settings and website passwords (wand) over to the USB copy. Vic shares my enthusiasm for Opera and he was quickly able to answer my questions and give me a few tips on using the USB version. Thank you Vic.

 

Comments from Vic

The wand entries are stored in \opera\profile\wand.dat and the bookmarks are in \opera\profile\opera6.adr so if you copy those two files from the desktop installation to the thumb-drive \opera\profile directory you will have your bookmarks and wand entries.

 

The other settings are in \opera\profile\opera6.ini but I would *not* copy that file to the thumb drive. Opera6.ini in the usb version contains directory entries such as "%operadir%mail" whereas the desktop opera6.ini file would have something like "d:\opera\mail" as the corresponding entry; and that would be wrong for the portable version. Unless you are willing to manually examine and edit the desktop copy of opera.ini, you'll run into problems. It's do-able, but easy to miss something. I find it easier to just start from scratch and reset the options I want from scratch. That gives me a chance to start with a clean slate and decide once again what I want to change.

 

 

Opera@USB logo

 

Quote

You want to use all opera features mobile - no problem !

 

- there are no unwanted effects on IE or other browsers

- existing opera versions are also not affected

- make no entries to the registry

- leave no data on the guestcomputer

 

What do i need for Opera@USB ?

 

- a computer with an internet connection

- a USB-Stick / USB Flashdrive with about 6 MB space left


 

KeyWallet - password filler for website logins

KeyWallet Website - Freeware

comments by Baer and ClifNotes

comments?

 

Notes from Clif

I once tried KeyWallet, nearly a year ago. It's a very nice system for storing and quickly filling in the numerous website logins we all have. I noticed recently that Gizmo at techsupportalert.com had recommended it and I decided to offer it up as a freeware adventure.

 

It turns out that Baer is not afraid of a little adventure. Let's see what he has to say about this password manager.

 

Comments from Baer

I downloaded the KeyWallet software and must say it works pretty well. The installation is pain free and adding new accounts is done in a jiffy.

 

It is very convenient to drag and drop user name and password into required fields. Also, it does not really have to run all the time which makes me feel more secure from data phishers.

 

I can only recommend this program.

 

Screenshot

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

click to expand

 

Quote

• KeyWallet Password Manager is browser independent!

• KeyWallet Password Manager is easy to use!

• KeyWallet Password Manager works with all possible forms (HTML, JAVA...)!

• KeyWallet Password Manager is Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000!

• KeyWallet Password Manager encrypts your data!

• KeyWallet Password Manager supports skins!

• KeyWallet Password Manager is FREE!

• KeyWallet installation contains no spyware or ad-ware.


 

Kirby Alarm and Task Scheduler

Kirby Website - Freeware

reviewed by wawadave

comments?

 

Comments from wawadave

I use this to remind me to eat. I'm diabetic and it's saved my butt on a few occasions. It also reminds me of TV programs, doctors appointments, etc, so I can't forget and keep surfing. You know what its like when the surfs up!

 

To me, it's a must have free program! It's not intuitive to use but once you muddle through it, it's easy to use. I see you need to apply for free registration, but it's well worth it. It has no spyware, I guarantee it.

 

Screenshot

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

click to expand

 

Quote

Kirby Alarm is a completely free alarm and task scheduler that will pop up a note, or run a program, or play a sound, or send an email at user defined intervals.


 

FreewareArena pick of the week - Audacity

Freeware Arena Page - Freeware

reviewed by Scott at FreewareArena, 19 Nov 2005

comments?

 

From Scott

Category: MultiMedia

Author's Name: Audacity

Homepage: http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

Version: 1.2.4b

Compatibility: Windows 9x/Me/NT/2000/XP

File Size: 2.2 MB

Published: Mon Aug 22, 2005 12:45 pm

Last Updated: Sun Dec 04, 2005 3:49 pm

 

Description

 

Very good audio editor.

 

You can record sounds, play sounds, import and export WAV, AIFF, and MP3 files, and more. Use it to edit your sounds using Cut, Copy and Paste (with unlimited Undo), mix tracks together, or apply effects to your recordings. It also has a built-in amplitude envelope editor, a customizable spectrogram mode and a frequency analysis window for audio analysis applications. Built-in effects include Bass Boost, Wahwah, and Noise Removal, and it also supports VST plug-in effects.

 

Editor's Notes

 

The download for Audacity is via the SourceForge downloads.

 

Note from Clif

See also, George's review of Audacity

 

Screenshot

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

 

Quote

Audacity is a free, easy-to-use audio editor and recorder for Windows, Mac OS X, GNU/Linux, and other operating systems. You can use Audacity to:

• Record live audio.

• Convert tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs.

• Edit Ogg Vorbis, MP3, and WAV sound files.

• Cut, copy, splice, and mix sounds together.

• Change the speed or pitch of a recording.

• And more! See the complete list of features.


 

What's This File - identify running system processes

WTF page - Freeware

reviewed by ClifNotes, recommended by Chris, Dec 2005

comments?

 

Notes

Chris wrote me a week ago and told me he likes this little utility. The WTF program, short for "What's this file?", is a small freeware program that lists the current running processes on your PC and allows you to do a few cool things with them. The nicest feature is the "What is this?" feature. When you choose it, you are sent off to a google search for the process name. It usually brings up a good description of the process on the first page of the google search.

 

Screenshot

 

Quote

WTF (What's This File) is a simple method of checking what's running on your machine researching any Task found, and then ending the Task if required.

 

Best of all, unlike many tools in it's class, you don't need to study a large manual to use it.


 

Getleft - web site downloader

Getleft Website - Download - Freeware

reviewed by ClifNotes, Dec 2005

comments?

 

Notes

Getleft is a website downloading tool that lets you download entire websites, pictures, text and all. Once the website is downloaded, you can view it with your favorite internet browser even when you aren't connected to the internet. I ran into Getleft after a search for tools to back up FreewareWiki completely. A friend in the wiki forums was trying another website downloader tool and he wasn't having much luck. Lucky me, this one was my first pick and it works like a charm.

 

Screenshot

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

click to expand

 

Quote

Getleft is a web site downloader, that downloads complete web sites according to the settings provided by the user. It automatically changes all the absolute links to relative ones, so you can surf the downloaded pages (web sites) on your local computer without the need to connect to the internet. so that you can surf the site in your hard disk. Getleft supports several filters, allowing you to limit the download to certain files, as well as resuming , following of external links, sitemap and more. Getleft supports proxy connections and can be scheduled to update downloaded pages automatically.


 

AB Extension Pack - right click extensions for Avant Browser

Website - Freeware

reviewed by StevenBurn, comments from ClifNotes, Dec 2005

comments?

 

Notes from Clif

I have used Avant Browser before and it's a great way to get the most out of your web surfing. Steven has developed a set of right click (context menu) extensions that add another dimension to surfing with Avant. If you need a powerful, IE based tabbed browser, be sure to try Avant and Steven's extensions. Just keep in mind that whenever you surf with IE (Intenet Explorer) or an IE based browser, you should follow these security recommendations from TeMerc.

 

Description from author Steven Burn

The AB Extension Pack is a collection of extensions written for Avant Browser that provide added functionality to an already wonderful browser shell. The extensions available can all be used from the browsers right click context menu and where applicable, are also available from the favourites.

 

Extensions currently include webpage and text translation, search/meta search engine lookup, dictionary/encyclopedia lookup, domain verification, referer verification along with our sURL, vURL, Multi-Search services and much more, with new extensions being added on an on-going basis.

 

For an upto date list of included extensions, please see the AB Extension Pack FAQ

 

Screenshot

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

click to expand

 

About Avant Browser from Steven Burn of Ur I.T. Mate

Listening to Iron Maiden this afternoon, I heard "Journeyman" and a phrase within the song jumped out at me - "I know what I want, I'll say what I want and no-one can take it away". This very phrase sums up my feeling towards Avant Browser, having tried almost all of the "IE" and Gecko shells available, I have found I know what I want, and have only found what I want in a browser shell, in Avant Browser.

see Steven's full review of Avant Browser


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIPS

 

Free Firewall Roundup

Article - Freeware

reviewed by C:\, 5 Dec 2005

comments?

 

From SpaghettiTech

Being a Kerio 2.1.x enthusiast, the news that Sunbelt (house of CounterSpy) is going to save my favorite personal firewall made me exult; however, the question is: will Sunbelt develop its product starting from the good-old 2.1.x or the very different (and-not-so-good-imho) 4.x?

 

Waiting for some more news, here's a small list of free applications you might try (unfortunately, the good Sygate has been recently discontinued by Symantec):

 

 

Kerio 2.1.5: discontinued a long time ago, but a solid community of enthusiasts at broadbandreports.com still provides support for this excellent tool; some weaknesses, but with CHX-I (packet filter) makes a great couple;

 

Netveda Safety.net Pro: really light on resources, provides some extra-features as parental control, privacy control, pictures ratings based content blocking and more;

 

Jetico Personal Firewall: light rule-based firewall;

 

Filseclab Personal Firewall: rule-based firewall;

 

Zone Alarm Free: effective, easy to use and ready to work out of the box;

 

Ghostwall: Win XP, XP-64, 2000, 2003 only; no application control;

 

CHX-I: w2k/win2003/XP, packet filter; no app control;

 

Outpost Free: no application control;

 

Useful resources:

Broadbandreports Security Forum;

Wilderssecurity;

 

See the original article and much more at SpaghettiTech.


 

Google Calculator

Original article - free webservice

reviewed by Brett, 20 Oct 2005

comments?

 

Article by Brett at Nibbles and Bytes

Google has quite a few extra web search features that can make your browsing experience just a little more efficient. One of these is the Calculator feature. You can perform conversions and calculations on the fly right in your browser. Just input your calculation into the Google search field, press the “Enter” key, and a page with your result will be displayed.

 

For example, lets say you come across a page that states a distance between two destinations as being 357 miles, but you are more comfortable with kilometres. Just enter “357 miles in kilometres” (without quotes) into Google and you’ll instantly get the result “357 miles = 574.535808 kilometres”

 

You can also perform other conversions, such as pounds to kilograms, Celsius to Fahrenheit, modern numbers to Roman Numerals and many more. The calculator supports a raft of mathematical functions including addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, square root, logarithm and others.

 

Combine the Google Calculator with a tabbed browser that has built in Google Search such as Mozilla Firefox and you can quickly perform calculations without surfing away from the web page your are examining.

 

 

Find out more about using the Google calculator

 

Notes from Clif

Be sure to check out Nibbles and Bytes. There's a lot more there just like this and better.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COOL WEB SITES

 

A tour through pbWiki, your free wiki

Website - Cool Website

reviewed by ClifNotes, Dec 2005

comments?

 

Notes

The other day, I received a notice that the pbWiki team had just finished a tour package for this great free wiki hosting service. I am impressed by the nice job they did, and if this is the first time you've seen pbWiki, you will be impressed as well.

 

The services here at pbWiki keep expanding and getting better. I can't imagine what this place will be like in another year.

 

So, if you'd like some free space online to play and work, give pbWiki a chance. Setting it up and putting stuff on it is as easy as making a peanut butter sandwich.

 

pbWiki

 

Quote from the tour

Wikis are easy-to-use Web pages that let you collaborate online and share information

 

Run a project at work

 

Plan a trip with your friends

 

Or even save your recipes and let other people add theirs

 

You can edit your wiki very easily (even easier than HTML!)


 

EverythingFree - a student's freeware website

Website - Cool Website

reviewed by ClifNotes, Dec 2005

comments?

 

Notes

It's been awhile since I had talked with Irfan. Irfan is a student of electrical engineering and he's been running a website for awhile. He just wrote me to let me know he'd moved his website. Guess what the topic at the website is? You got it. It's freeware. Stop by and visit Irfan's new website. It's called EverythingFree, because everything there is free.

 

Oh! Thanks for the free book on Meditation, Irfan.

 

Quote from EverythingFree

I welcome you all to my site. This site is a little effort to share free software, interesting and informative sites, Quotations, funny and decent sms messages, free e-books and more. Enjoy your stay!

This site consists of some sections which can be browsed from the menu on the left.

 

• Best of the Web: Collection of my favorite sites which I found through the years of surfing

• Quotations: Some good lines to inspire you

• SMS Collection: The most funny sms collection for you to send to your loved ones.

• Free e-Books: Its time for giveaway. Hurry Up! Collect your copy now.

• Free Software: Some good freeware links on the web

• Link Exchange: Want to increase your website traffic, then exchange links with me

• Bookmark: Don't forget to click here.


 

Bill's Links and More - lots of great links to stuff you like

Website - Cool Website

reviewed by ClifNotes, Dec 10

comments?

 

Notes

I ran into Bill's site while reading the Langa List newsletter. Bill has done a great job of collecting links to all kinds of useful stuff, as you can see below. Drop by and visit Bill when you get time. Be sure to tell him Clif sent you.

 

At Bill' site:

Computer seller links

Coupon links

E-card greeting links

Hurricane Relief links

Job search links

Links to links and more

Medical info. help links

Microsoft help links

Misc. software links

Shopping & Travel links

Song search links

Spyware help links

Tax help and info. links

Various search links

Web design help links

Windows help links

Search

 

Quote from Bill

I decided to share some of the most helpful links I've ever had the fortune to come across when I was searching frantically for information on how to remove a home page hijacker from hell or that I came upon while researching something. I've been collecting information and useful links for years and I enjoy helping people with their computer problems in my spare time.


 

 

 

 

Websites I have visited recently

Hover over the links to see my comments.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW NEWS

 

Free Linux CD's at Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a free version of Linux, the open source operating system that's been giving Bill Gates bad dreams. I tried it out the other day and it's good stuff. Best of all, they'll send you free installation CD's with no shipping charges.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FREEWARE ADVENTURE

 

Last week I challenged you all to try out the freeware program called KeyWallet. One of your fellow readers was feeling adventurous and he sent me an email that turned into the KeyWallet review above. Thanks Baer.

 

Here's another cool program I've never had a chance to try out. Maybe one of you feels like an adventure? Give it a try and tell us about it.

 

MMM Free - context menu editor

 

Quote from MMM Free

Make your menus go Mmm...

 

Every program these days seem to put an extra item or 2 in your context-menu. It is all under the guise of being helpful, but often it is to get the company name (or product name) in the menu. They see it as a place to advertise. And of course it is difficult or impossible to remove these items in an easy way.

 

The context-menu quickly becomes a mess!

 

Most of these functions you never use. Some you use sometimes. And some you use all the time. Mmm lets you get rid of the items you never use. Lets you move those items you rarely use out on a submenu. Keeping only the functions you often use in a tidy and small base menu.

 

Mmm... this utility should be on all XP systems!


 

Write your own review

 

I get many of the reviews in the newsletter from the readers. You don't have to be a genius or computer guru. Just answer a few questions and send me a review. I'll probably put you in the newsletter.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FEEDBACK AND OTHER STUFF

 

Frapper - you people live all over the world!

Over 150 readers have put their location down in my Frapper map. If you haven't seen this, take a look.

 

This week, we got out first pin in Africa. Thank you.

 

I invite all of you to record your locations on this map. You can include as little or as much information as you wish. I think you'll enjoy seeing yourself there.

 

Clif's map as of December 4th, 2005


Kevin asks for Freeware Games

From Kevin:

Just an idea to throw out to your readers. I would be interested in their picks for best freeware games. hope all is well. happy holidays!

 

That's a good idea. Tell me about your favorite freeware games.


Eddie asks about XP compatibility

From Eddie:

I need your expert advice again, I have a friend who is about to buy a new computer which will probably have Win XP. He is an architect and uses the following programs and is concerned as to whether he can run them under XP. As you can imagine he has lots of files which he would like to access on the new computer.

 

These are the programs he is concerned about.

 

 

1. Corel WordPerfect 7 - [C:\Corel\Office7\WPWin7\WPWIN.EXE]

2. AutoCad 2000 -["C:\Program Files\ACAD2000\acad.exe"]

3. Lotus Organiser - [C:\lotus\organize\Jk.OR6]

4. Kyocera lazer printer for the ECOSYS series printers - version 2.6 1996 -1999

 

Hi Eddie,

 

I don't know how much help I can be on this one.

But if nothing else, I can show you the power of GOOGLE.

Learn how to use it and you can do anything ...

 

I went to Google on the first one and typed in

"Corel WordPerfect 7 compatible with XP"

Here's a site that can tell you a bit about WP7

http://www.columbia.edu/~em36/wpdos/oldwpwin.html

 

I ran the same search using "AutoCad2000 compatible with XP"

see these links

http://www.techspot.com/vb/all/windows/t-16125-AutoCad-2000-and-Windows-XP-Pro.html

http://www.autodesk.com/us/xp_compatibility.htm

 

Now for "Lotus Organiser compatible with XP"

http://www-1.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?rs=0&uid=swg21140598

 

Finally, I googled "site:http://www.kyoceramita.com/ drivers" so I could find any drivers for the printer.

On this one, go to the first link at Google and have him select his printer to find if it has drivers for XP.


Startup Inspector "false positive"

From Admiral:

I tried Startup Inspector and got a error on the file C:\Program Files\Microsoft AntiSpyware\gcasServ.exe

 

Which is the main file for MS antivirus software. I smell a rat. But I have found out yet if Startup inspector is malware.

(recomendation to remove antispyware just seem weird)

 

The file has an MD5 checksum of

263740ede788a60a6c0a47249fc410bf

Several site agree with this number.

However Startup inspector says its a RBOT WORM.

 

Some sites say it is a false positive by startup inspector but there is no confirmation.

 

Hi Admiral,

 

It's not a false positive. There is nothing wrong with Startup Inspector.

If you read the comments on the hit it tells you:

"Comments Added by a variant of the RBOT WORM! Do not confuse with the Microsoft AntiSpyware executable of the same name"

 

Basically, it's telling you that you should be aware that the RBOT WORM adds the same file name to your system. If you have MS AntiSpyware, you really don't have to worry about this worm.

 

Startup Inspector is not able to check the files themselves to see if it's a bad program. It only checks the file names against a database. It has never claimed to do more than this. It might be nice if it did, but that's the job of your other scanning programs like Adaware, Spybot, and MS Antispy.

 

reference: http://www.windowsstartup.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=81&


Uploading EXE files to Gmail

From Danny:

I used your trick about "SAVING AS DRAFT" and that seems to allow even EXE files to be saved at GMAIL, so thanks!

 

Thanks for letting us know about that Danny. I didn't know that I could save .exe's, since Gmail will not send them.


 

 

To everyone

I like getting messages from you. Don't hesitate to send me your comments.


 

 

 

 

 

Have fun and surf safely.

 

Clif

http://clifnotes.net & http://freewarewiki.pbwiki.com

Devoted to promoting Freeware and Free Information

Want a free 2.5Gb Gmail account?

Email me at the address above and be sure to type "I WANT GMAIL" in the subject line.

 


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