• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Finally, you can manage your Google Docs, uploads, and email attachments (plus Dropbox and Slack files) in one convenient place. Claim a free account, and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) can automatically organize your content for you.



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Welcome to Clif Notes Newsletter

February 12, 2006



  Hi Everyone.

This week: Gmail is adding a new feature, and I've found another Gmail tip. A new tool for help in classrooms. A friend reviews a free Linux OS. Help for keeping your browser up to date. A new style of browser makes a debut, and lots of cool websites to check out.

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


New offer!

Free Premium Wiki for one year

Free Offer from ClifNotes, Feb 2006



Notes from Clif

This website was given to me free, no money, just a little work helping out here and there. Now I'm going to pass on the favor and let you have a chance at a free wiki website like this one for an entire year.


Why would you want a free website that has the following features?

  • 1 Gb image and file space
  • Unlimited number of pages
  • no need to learn HTML
  • no advertisements on your pages
  • can be kept private or made public
  • is password protected on secure https servers
  • your friends can edit it if you give them a password


Tell me why you want it in a short email. I'll read the emails and decide who gets this $50 dollar value.


I'll announce the winner on Feb 19th.


Why would I want to do this? I'm a nice guy, ask anyone. Seriously though, I want to share this great service with everyone.


Don't forget, a premium wiki at pbwiki is not your only option.


Anyone can sign up for a free pbwiki website with lots of cool features. It only takes a minute or two and you have your own website.


If you want to find out more about pbwiki websites, take the tour.






Diskeeper Lite - free disk defragger

Download - Freeware

reviewed by ClifNotes, June 2004, Feb 2006




You should defrag your PC fairly often to help Windows run faster and make your hard drives last longer. I used to have problems getting Windows defrag to work properly and when it did, it took hours to defrag my drives. I've been using Diskeeper Lite on my older PC's for at least two years now. Diskeeper Lite is much faster and it will run even while you are out surfing or checking email.


I must warn you against using it on Windows XP. The home page says Diskeeper Lite will run on every Windows version except Win95. I've seen several times where running this program on WinXP disabled Windows defrag and Diskeeper Lite both. You actually don't need this program on XP anyway. The WinXP defrag is actually a custom version Diskeeper. Microsoft liked Diskeeper so much they bought the right to use it.



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Quote from Diskeeper

Diskeeper Lite, the freeware download that educated millions on the advantages of eliminating fragmentation and increasing system performance, is back in a new improved version. Diskeeper Lite is still manual operation only but this version includes the same advanced defragmentation technology used in Diskeeper 7.0 and it runs on all Windows operating systems from 98 through XP. Download it now here.


SysTrayPlay - nice and simple mp3 player

Download - Freeware

reviewed by ClifNotes, Feb 2006




Earlier this year I mentioned my search for the smallest MP3 player. 1by1 is still the smallest functional player I've used but STP (SysTrayPlay) is almost as small and has some features I like much better. STP is downloaded as a zip file and you only have to extract it to a folder to use it. STP only takes up 228k unpacked and it scarcely slows down your PC at all while it's playing your favorite MP3's. STP runs from the system tray and all of it's features are accessed by right clicking on the system tray icon. It's small, it's fast, and it's light on resources, so STP is perfect for putting on a floppy disk or usb thumb drive to take it with you on your travels.



< system tray icon


< mini bar


Quote from Snapfiles (author's website is gone)

STP (SysTrayPlay) is a small MP3 player that runs at the system tray. It does not come with fancy graphical effects offers a variety of very useful and convenient features that are quickly accessible from it`s tray icon. You can browse your playlist right from the tray menu and select a track to be played, scan your drive for MP3s, shuffle, repeat etc. as well as the option to define an action to perform once the album has finished playing. Additional features include CDDB support, an equalizer, a simple playlist editor and several advanced option. STP MP3 player takes minimal space and processor time. A very lean and but quiet powerful MP3 player, give it a try!


Pivot - stickfigure cartoon generator

Download - Freeware

reviewed by ClifNotes, May 2005, Feb 2006




Pivot is a neat little program to help you unleash your beginning animation skills. I just couldn't resist trying it out. I fired it up and in about five minutes I had created my first stick figure animation. Here it is on the left below. I'm no artist as you can tell.


My first Pivot gif and a screenshot of Pivot

click here to see the animated elephant


Quote from Pivot home page

Pivot makes it easy to create stick-figure animations. You can build your own stick figures and load your own backgrounds. The animations can be saved as animated gifs to be used on web pages. An example animation is included.


An msn group for Pivot can be found here.


Clipboard Help+Spell

Download - Free software (after free registration)




An essential from Furman

I started developing my own clipboard monitoring program a few years ago. As I started listing all of the requirements, I realized how much work was going to be involved. Being a lazy developer, I scoured the Internet for programs that already did what I wanted, but I never found one that did everything that I needed. A friend told me about DonationCoder.com and that they had a lot of great software, so I checked it out.


The first thing that caught my eye was Clipboard Help+Spell -- I immediately downloaded it and tried it ...

(read the full article)



larger picture - - - more great software from DonationCoder


CourseForum - a classroom website for free

Download - Liteware (free, but some features not available)

reviewed by ClifNotes, Feb 2006



Notes from Clif

Now, almost anyone can create an interactive website on a local network. This small and fast web application is a great solution for the home, a small business, or the classroom. I had a personal website on my lan within minutes after I downloaded the small 1.7mb installer and installed it. I was able to access my website and make changes from any PC on my LAN. I am just thrilled that something this easy to use is free, and it's available for Windows, Mac, Linux, and FreeBSB.



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Quote from CourseForum

An Easy to Use Web Application

CourseForum is an easy to run web application, used through standard webrowsers, that lets you and your students host discussions and share knowledge, adding interaction to your courses. Because it is web based, there is no need for students to install any software; they use the web browser already running on their home computer or school computer lab. It doesn’t matter what web browser (Internet Explorer, Netscape, Safari, Firefox, etc.) they have, or if they are running Windows or Mac. CourseForum looks and feels just like any other web application.


CourseForum is centered around simple free-form text, making it easy to understand, and easy to work with — creating or modifying content within the course is as easy as writing an email message. There's no complex interface, set procedures for working, or complex web forms to navigate.


Xandros Desktop OS 3 - free operating system

Website - Freeware

article by Brett at NibblesAndBytes, Oct 2005



A nibble from Nibbles and Bytes

A few months back I installed a copy of Xandros Desktop OS 3 Open Circulation Edition on one of my computers. The computer is an older, fairly low-end machine that was originally running Windows 98. Now that I have installed Xandros on this machine, I can choose at start-up to load either the Linux OS or Windows 98.


I was quite surprised at the simplicity of this installation. The install went very smoothly and I had Xandros up and running on the system in around an hour. The Express install feature can automatically set up a partition on your hard drive and install Xandros on it with a minimum of fuss.

read the rest at Nibbles and Bytes



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Quote from Xandros

The Open Circulation Edition is a limited version of Xandros Desktop OS that can be downloaded at no charge and freely distributed to others. It is strictly for non-commercial use, and no e-mail installation support is included.


It includes all the easy-to-use features of the Xandros Desktop OS Standard, Deluxe and Business editions, including four-click install with automatic disk partitioning, industry-leading hardware detection and configuration, seamless file and print sharing on Windows networks, and drag-and-drop CD burning in Xandros File Manager.


RSS Builder - create RSS feeds for your website

Freeware Arena review - Freeware

reviewed by Scott at FreewareArena, Feb 2006



Editor's Pick from FreewareArena

Category: Webmaster Tools › RSS feed building

Submitted by: 857 others

Author's Name: W. Bokkers

Homepage: home.hetnet.nl/mr_2/43...ssbuilder/

Version: 1.6.0

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

Published: Mon Aug 22, 2005 5:45 pm

Last Updated: Sun Sep 04, 2005 2:24 am


Description: Outstanding RSS building tool!


From the program's author, "RSS Builder is an easy to use program to create RSS feeds for your web site. It provides a simple interface that lets you add topics, links and content, and then publish the RSS (v2.0) feed to your web server, using the built-in FTP client."



larger picture

















(courtesy of Strip Generator)


Scanit Browser Security Test - you have holes in your browser

Scanit - Free Security Analaysis

reviewed by ClifNotes, Sep 2004, Feb 2006


Notes from Clif

I'm guessing 25% of you can be hacked right now because your internet browser is full of holes. That's right, and I'm being generous because most of you that follow my articles are smarter than the average surfer. Go to Scanit Browser Security Test and prove me wrong. Scanit's tests will take a few minutes, but they could save you hours of headaches, from spyware, adware, or malicious hackers.


In late 2004, when I first wrote about this, Scanit checked for just over a dozen vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer. Now there are over twenty. According to the statistics at Scanit, almost one half of the people that drop in for a scan will find that they've been surfing with a browser that has more holes than Swiss cheese.


larger image



Quote from the website

Can someone hack into your computer via your browser? How vulnerable you are? Scanit's Browser Security Test automatically checks your browser for various security problems. When the test is finished you get a complete report explaining the discovered vulnerabilities, their impact and how to eliminate them.


Review from Sep 2004

Excellent browser tests. It flagged several things in Internet Explorer I wasn't up to date on. There is a real security difference between browsers. IE has over a dozen vulnerabilities that are tested and I failed several of them. I use Opera as my default browser and checked it. It only had 6 tests. Opera passed all the tests and the version I have isn't even up to date. I still have to use IE for surfing some sites, but now I can say I've seen a real difference. Another good browser test site is QualysBrowserCheckup. (Score at Qualys: IE failed one, Opera passed all)


GmailThis! - email web snippits fast

GmailThis - Gmail Tip

article by Carlo at SpaghettiTech, Sep 2005



Another hot dish from SpaghettiTech

GmailThis! is a quick way to send Gmail messages: just click a bookmarklet on your browser toolbar, and an email containing a link to the page you're visiting and the highlighted text will be ready to be sent.


For you Blogger crowd, it's quite like the "BlogThis!" feature you're familiar with.

read more great articles at SpaghettiTech


Notes from Clif

Thank you Carlo! The link in your article was dead so I found a new one. To all of you out there who aren't familiar with javascript bookmarklets, you can install a bookmarklet easily by dragging the link and dropping it on your Bookmarks toolbar (Links bar). I wasn't able to get these to work properly in Internet Explorer, but you can find out all about using this cool feature at LifeHacker. I'm sure it works just fine in IE and I'm just not patient enough to figure it out.


I want Gmail


You can get a free Gmail account from me, just click here to email me.



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The Mystic Pig

Thanks to Abernaith for this cool website tip.

The Mystic Pig

I asked the mystic pig: What is the purpose of life?

and the mystic pig said: You already know the answer to that one.

Ask the Mystic Pig another question

created by ixwin


Websites I have visited recently

Hover over the links to see my comments.












Gmail Chats

Gmail FAQ - Freeware

article by SarahInTampa



News from Sarah in Tampa

Did you notice a new link in your Gmail today? Gmail Chats is a new feature that has just been added to the Gmail web email service. You don't need to download any software in order for this to work. You will soon see a new list of contacts, called "Quick Contacts" (anyone seeing this already?), and clicking on these contacts will start an IM session. The IM sessions will then open up in the browser, and both IE and Firefox are supported, with other browser support coming soon. For voice chats, you will still need to use the Google Talk application. This is EXTREMELY cool.


By the way, if you still don't have a Gmail account, comment here and I will give you one!


Read lots of other cool articles at Sarah's blog.



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Songbird - A Musical Web Browser/Media Player

Download - Freeware

article by SarahInTampa



News from Sarah in Tampa

Songbird Yes, another web browser, but this one looks pretty cool. Built on the Firefox engine, Songbird's tagline is "Songbird plays the Web," and here's why ...

read the rest of the story at Sarahs blog


























Frapper - you people live all over the world!

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.


Here's a small look at the frapper map. Click and drag to see the rest of the world.



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.






Have fun and surf safely.



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

Devoted to promoting Freeware and Free Information

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


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