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Welcome to Clif Notes Newsletter

March 12, 2006



  Hi Everyone.

This week: Last chance at a free upgrade to a Photobucket account. Find your files faster and make your mouse fly. A safe browser for kids. Two new tools for Firefox 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.


Photobucket Give-away

a freebie from ClifNotes, Feb 2006


You only have one more week to try to win a free $25US Premium upgrade to your free Photobucket account. Just email me a short letter telling me why you want one.


Anyone can sign up for a standard free Photobucket that allows you to store hundreds of photos. Go to Photobucket now for a free account or to learn more about this great free service.



AllSnap Review

Source: Mini-reviews by members at DonationCoder


From jgpaiva

All Snap is a program that runs on the system tray, using about 1.5mb of ram, and 2.4mb of virtual memory.

This program allows every window to have the "snap" feature. This means that when a window gets in some (customizable) distance from another, their borders get attached.


This feature is, in my opinion, very required by those users that tend to not maximize any window, and get the desktop quite cluttered with windows.

Although I'm not one of those users, I like to maximize almost everything, I use allSnap to snap the IM's windows to each other, so as I can see several of them at the same time, without having much work organizing them.


allSnap is configurable from the right-click menu on the system tray icon:



In this menu, you have access to the about box, the help, the settings dialog and the option to turn window snapping off (which has the same effect as closing allsnap)

By clicking the settings option, you get the following menu:




Under "general", the first two options determine the distance that windows attract each other, and the toggle key is the key that, when pressed, disables the snapping, in case you just want to move a window without completely disabling the snapping in the tray icon's menu.

The "Snap To" section is quite self- explanatory, and the Enable Snapping checkbox does the same that that option on the tray menu does.


On the "sounds" tab, you get:




Here, you can select the sounds to be played when the snapping is done. The default sound are very good, very discrete, and allow you to know when the snapping is being done. Sometimes, you might not be able to put a window at a certain distance of another because of the snapping, it's good to know it's because of that, before you go crazy trying to do it, that's why i keep the sounds enabled.


Under the "advanced" tab, these are the options you get:




These are some options that are mostly for compatibility with some themes, strange windows or OSs other than windows xp (there's another option that only appears in systems other than xp, which allows icons on the desktop to be arranged in grid, like xp does).


As for links, here is the home site of allSnap, and here's the link for the fileforum downloads. The fileforum link is for the beta version, and at the home site of allSnap there is a stable version.

Hope you like it!


see lots of other reviews and recommendations at DonationCoder


Super Finder - File Search Tool

by George at George's Freeware Review Page, Mar 2006


Super Finder is a really good replacement for the Windows built-in search tool. It allows you to search by file name, folder name or certain text in a file. There is an option where you can exclude files from your results list by file extensions or by the full or partial name. The results list after you do a search has a right-click contextual menu that is the same as right clicking on a file in your file manager ...


Read the rest of George's in depth review. He includes a tip on how you can integrate Super Finder with Xplorer2.


Kids Playground Web Browser

a lucky find by Pierre at les.trouvailles.de.pierre

translated from French by Clif and Google Translate


Kids Playground Web browser is a safe browser that children can use in order to visit links which you have chosen. In the file readme.txt, you will find the password which will give you access to the link data. You will be able to change the password thereafter. I made a small French and English web site that may interest young people. You can add it in Kids Playground Web browser.



drop on by Pierres Lucky Finds or read the English translation




Quote from Kids Playground Web Browser

Do you have time to sit with your children and watch them online? What are they doing while you are at work? You will feel better if you know they are using a safe web browser like the Kids Playground Web Browser.


Hyperwords - interact with any words on a webpage

by ClifNotes, Mar 2006


You can do an amazing variety of things in Firefox when you add extensions to it. This week, I ran into an extension called Hyperwords. Once the the Hyperword extension is loaded, just highlight any word or group of words on a webpage and suddenly you will see a menu allowing you to access all kinds of internet resources.


Take a look at the quote below for an idea of the things it can do. So far, my favorites are copying text with the url of page included, quick searches, definitions, and translations.


On the down side, sometimes the menu pops in when I really don't want it and I've sometimes clicked it by accident.


If you are often lost in words, as I am, this is a wonderful tool.




Quote from HyperWords.net

It's all very easy: With the Hyperwords™ Firefox Extension installed, just select any text and a menu appears: searches, references, blogging, emailing, copying, translation, & more in a single click.


Try out the Hyperwords extension

Get the Firefox web browser for a great day on the net


Pluck RSS Reader - Firefox plugin for keeping up with RSS feeds

notes from ClifNotes, Mar 2006


What are RSS feeds? RSS feeds allow you to bring all the updated websites you would normally visit, into one place for easy viewing. I've tried two other Firefox extensions for reading my RSS feeds, but Pluck takes the prize. I really like the interface and so far it's doing a good job on most feeds. The only problem I've had is getting it to recognize Feedburner feeds.


There are dozens of tools out there for viewing RSS feeds and many of the webportals like MyYahoo and MyMSN now support adding your feeds to your pages. I prefer to have one that integrates into the browser.


The other Firefox extensions I've tried are Sage and Wizz.


Quote from Pluck

RSS offers an easy way for you to be alerted when new content appears on your favorite websites and blogs. Just check your Pluck RSS Reader and see all the latest content, all in one place. Choose from our free software downloads for Internet Explorer or Firefox, or sign up for Pluck Web Edition. Pluck is adware-free, spyware-free, and just plain free.


Try out the Pluck RSS Reader

Get the Firefox web browser for a great day on the net


LockNote - secure your personal notes

Download - Freeware

reviewed by ClifNotes, Mar 2006



Notes from Clif

Cindy wrote me this very nice letter:


Hi, Just have to say... I love your newsletter!! Always full of very helpful info and a wealth of wonderful useful freeware. I am a longtime Stumbleupon member and happen to stumble across a great free program called Steganos LockNote. Don't think I have seen it in your newsletter before so I thought you maybe interested in taking a look at it.


Have a great week....Thank you for all the work you do and sharing it with us computer addicts out there! :)





Thanks Cindy! I tried it out on my old WindowsME machine and it never worked. I was surprised to say the least. I wrote the webmaster at the site there and I never got an answer back. Finally, I tried it in WindowsXP and wouldn't you know it, it works like a charm. I later cruised over to the Sourceforge page for LockNote and found this: Operating System: 32-bit MS Windows (NT/2000/XP)


LockNote is the fastest and easiest document encryption tool I've seen yet. Take a look at the author's description below for more details.


Here's a tip I figured out that makes using LockNote even easier. Create a shortcut to LockNote, then put the shortcut in your SendTo folder. Now when you want to encrypt a text file, just right click on it and send it to LockNote.


On another note, Steve Gibson and Leo Laporte recently posted their podcast about the importance of encryption at SecurityNow. Be sure to download one of their mp3's from the top two links to listen to the broadcast. I always try to listen to them when a new one comes out.





Quote from Steganos.com

Why use Steganos LockNote?


  • Store your most valuable notes as a LockNote

Hide your serial numbers, passwords, phone numbers and everyday notes in a safe place. Your informations will be encrypted using a password and most modern AES 256bit encryption technology.


  • Secure, yet simple

Just double-click a LockNote and enter your password to access your text files as usual.


  • No installation required

Move LockNotes wherever you want, as often as you want. A LockNote document does not require much more hard drive space than an unencrypted document.


  • Encrypt existing text files in no time at all

Simply drag and drop existing text files on a LockNote window: they will be encrypted automatically.


  • Open and free

LockNote is open source and is based upon open source technologies, e.g. the gcertified CryptoPP program library for strong encryption.


StrokeIt - getting the most from your mouse

review at Furman87s Essential Software, Dec 2005


StrokeIt is a piece of software that I'm surprised that no one thought of sooner.


I found StrokeIt after using Opera's mouse gestures -- I got really used to them and wondered why mouse gestures weren't part Windows (that's part of a Microsoft "innovation" rant, so I won't go there right now), so I Googled "gestures windows" and StrokeIt was the first result. I downloaded and installed it, and was immediately impressed ...


read the full article at Furman's blog


Deskwin - Multiple Desktops at Once

a review from John Hood's The Best of Free Software


Review Date: Oct-2004 License: Freeware Special Note: Greenware (No installation required)

Interface = 8.0

Features = 8.0

Stability = 8.0

Help/Support 6.0

Versatility = 10.0

Average Rating = 8.0 (Of The 5 Programs I Reviewed)


Gives you 4 desktops where you had just one. Microsoft has multi-desk freeware but without the features and stability. Cool concept, well executed. Great for people who "multi-task."

Deskwin website


Plusses - No installation required. Run the file to turn it on, exit to turn it off. You can move open windows between them by dragging and dropping.


Minuses - The default colors are ugly, but that's it.


Be sure to check out the other desktop utilities that John has reviewed.


















Firefox and MIDI Music Files

a tip from Terry at TerrysComputerTips


(from reader Sam Boggs)


Here's a computer question:


Almost every time somebody sends me an e-mail which is supposed to have music, I get the banner in Firefox "Additional plugins are required to display all the media on this page", and there is a button "Install missing plugins" It invariably brings up Apple QuickTime, which I've installed many times. But it never seems to "catch" even though QuickTime is successfully downloaded each time I do this.


What do I need to do to make it work?


read the answer at TerrysComputerTips.com






Online Antivirus/Malware Scanner

Posted by Matt at the Freewareblog, Mar 2006


This online antivirus and malware scanner is a very popular free online scanner.


This scanner is powered by several top antivirus vendors like

  • AntiVir
  • Arcabit
  • Avast
  • AVG Anti-Virus
  • BitDefender
  • Kaspersky
  • NOD32


But there are pros and cons about this free scanner,



  • 100% FREE.
  • Virus definitions are updated every hour.
  • Show statistics of last scanned file.


Scanner statistics




  • Not a system scanner, it's a file scanner.
  • 15Mb limit per file.


Link: http://virusscan.jotti.org/

drop by and take a look at the freeware and tips at the Freewareblog





How to add stuff to the SendTo menu

by ClifNotes, Mar 2006


I save myself tons of time by adding shortcuts to my SendTo menu. I can right click on any file and send it to any file or folder I have included in my SendTo menu.


It's easy to add stuff to it. Take a look and just follow these easy steps.

  1. Create a shortcut to the file or folder you want in the SendTo menu
  2. Click your Start button and choose "Run"
  3. Type in the word sendto and press enter
  4. Drag your shortcut and drop it into the SendTo folder



Done! Now you'll see your new link when you choose "SendTo" from the right click menu.















Dictionary.hm - your instant dictionary

comments by ClifNotes, Mar 2006


This is an awesome use of Ajax scripting. A picture is worth a thousand words, so give it a try below. If you don't know what "ajax" is then type it into the box.


Here's a link to the Dictionary.hm page. Be sure to bookmark this one.




The Freeware Blog - Hunting for freeware

comments from ClifNotes, Mar 2006


I was cruising around ACF one day and I saw The Freeware Blog recommended by a person there that I trust. I was very happy when I saw it. Matt, the author, has a wide range of tastes and he loves to share free things he finds on the net. I'll be sure to post some of his reviews here so that you can see what he's up to.


Visit Matt's blog and find out how to get a free USB thumb drive from Microsoft. This offer is probably time limited, so do it now!



Websites I have visited recently

Hover over the links to see my comments.











Drive-Thru Maps

news from Sarah in Tampa, Mar 2006


This Windows Live Local technology preview has me rather excited: drive-thru maps! Once this thing is up-and-running, I can definitely see myself using this service. As it is now, I tend to pull up Google Earth and zoom way in to get a feel for the area, but it's not a 3-D view (at least where I've been looking). However, using these drive-thru maps is exactly like driving down the road -- you can really see your surroundings. For someone like me who hates to get lost, this could really be a useful new technology.


read more cool news at sarahintampa.com




Quote from Windows Live Local

Now, we want you to be there, right in front of the pizza shop you are searching for, in the street-side views offered by Windows Live Local. Even though you haven’t left the comfort of your computer chair, you’ll feel like you’re actually there.


The 5 Versions of Vista

news from Sarah in Tampa, Mar 2006


There will be 5 widely available versions of Vista (the next version of Windows) to choose from according to my latest Microsoft newsletter. Although the average users of the world still haven't quite grasped the difference between Home and Pro versions of XP, Microsoft now wants them to figure out if they need Basic, Premium, Ultimate, or Business versions of Vista. Knowledgeable computer sales staff are going to be ...


read the rest of this article at sarahintampa.com


Linux is in the news again

comments from Clif, Mar 2006


I was browsing news at The Gazette and I saw that Novel claims their latest Linux version, Novell SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop 10, is so good that companies may start jumping off the Windows bandwagon and use it in the office within two or three years. I have to admit it sure does look cool, and there is an Open Source version freely available for download.




Recently, I've been trying out some of the "Live" Linux CD's. As many of you may know, Linux is a free operating system that can be used instead of Windows or in addition to Windows. A Live CD will let you try out the Linux system without installing it. So far, I've liked them but I'd never consider using them instead of Windows at this time.


Here are the Linux Live CD's I've tried in the last few weeks.

DSL Puppy Ubuntu


They worked on my PC pretty well. You just download an ISO file, create a boot CD, and pop it into your PC, then reboot. Typically they will load fairly quickly and most of them will even detect your internet connection if you are using a LAN in your house.


If my Windows or Hard Drives crash, I can always slap in one of these and still surf the web looking for help or replacement parts. Other than that, these are still just another cool toy to me.























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.



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.



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