• 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

July 9, 2006




Hi Everyone.

Thanks for reading my newsletter. Each week, I will have freeware reviews, tips, tricks, news, and lots of cool websites for you 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.

Click here to chat while

visiting this newsletter!




KeePass Password Safe mini-review

by Josh at DonationCoder, Jul 2006


From Clif

If you haven't been to DonationCoder, you are missing a whole mini-universe of cool free programs, people who like to talk about software and people who also create it. This review comes from Josh, who has been very busy creating cool little flash tutorials called screencasts.


From Josh

APP NAME: KeePass Password Safe

APP URL: http://keepass.sourceforge.net

APP Version Reviewed: 1.05




I have, just recently and thanks to dc.com, come across this fine app. This app is an open source password manager that is freely available from the URL above. It has many advantages over other password managers, which will be discussed later on (the advantages), and it appears to have a terrific rating wherever you look. Now, onto the review.



Who is this app designed for:


This app is designed for the user who has lots of passwords, pin numbers, login information, or security codes to manage. If you visit lots of forums, or software repositories (which most require registration to download now), you will benefit greatly from this application.




What does it cost


Freeware, Open Source




The Good


Let me first start by saying that I love the encryption method chosen by default by this application. On a new database, you are given a database which is encrypted using AES with a 256bit cipher. Of course, you can change this to twofish encryption, but this reviewer prefers the AES method.



OK, now onto the main application. With this application, you can create as many categories or subcategories as you desire. So you can be as anal as you want about how detailed you are when organizing your passwords.



You can assign various icons to your categories or passwords so you can remember that "This icon is for credit cards, this for banking, etc".



The program also offers a password generator and password strength rating system so that when typing a new password for a site, you can rate its bit strength. The more green, the better. This author recommends 128bit or higher (and with a program like this, its easier than ever, since you dont have to REMEMBER these passwords and can make them very complex).


Screencast of the password generator screen follows


http://crosscut.whaddu.com/DC/Keepass/PasswordGen.html <-- See here for a sample of the power of the password generator and bit strength indicator. This link contains a screencast of the password generator screen in action.


The program also offers a very powerful auto-type feature which allows you to send keystrokes to any application to automatically fill in username/password combinations to various things such as webpages, login boxes, etc. Just look at the help file of this app to see the power of this app.


See here for the help section of auto-type




The needs improvement section


There are a few things this app does need improvement on. One of those is a proper auto-sort feature. You can auto-sort entries added to a category, but you cannot sort the categories themselves automatically. This is a small annoyance.


You have no ability to use the windows context menu key (WINDOWS APP KEY) to bring up the right click context menu on various entries. I realize this is cross platform, but I think the windows version could use this so that the keyboard oriented user could use the program without a mouse.


There is no way to drag/drop categories that have subcategories in them (I.E., you make a category (Finances) with a subcategory of (Credit Cards) that has entries in it, you cant drag/drop the whole MAIN category to another folder, you have to move the subcategories by themselves AFTER you create the new main category again.


There is no way to assign a DEFAULT ICON for new entries in a specific group. I.E., all credit card passwords have this icon, etc.





This is a very fine application which shows lots of promise. The functionality it has right now is very powerful and makes it very suitable for every day use. The improvements I listed above are not show stoppers, and only are a matter of prefernce for this reviewer. If you are in the market for a password manager, I highly recommend this application for managing your passwords.


This is Josh (The Shamurai), saying "Unix is user friendly, its just very picky who it's friends are".

From Clif

Try KeePass but don't forget to see the original thread for this review at DonationCoder


Wink - easily create your own flash animated tutorials

reviewed by ClifNotes on 20 Feb 2005



In the review above, Josh created a few screencasts to demonstrate some of the features. Wink is a free program that allows you to do that very easily.


This is just one more of those programs that I really have a hard time believing is free. Wink allows me to do something that I've seen done with tutorials but never imagined I could do myself without a lot of hard work. In a few easy steps Wink allows you to make a tutorial with mouse cursors zipping around and opening menus. It lets you pop up comments and advice. It also lets you create branch points based on the user decisions on what they want to see next. Finally Wink creates the html code that lets you publish your flash tutorial for the whole world to see and appreciate.



click to expand



Wink is a Tutorial and Presentation creation software, primarily aimed at creating tutorials on how to use software (like a tutor for MS-Word/Excel etc). Using Wink you can capture screenshots of your software, use images that you already have, type-in explanations for each step, create a navigation sequence complete with buttons, delays, titles etc and create a highly effective tutorial for your users.





WinPatrol - puts you back in control of your PC

Website - Download - Freeware

review by ClifNotes on 6/18/05, updated Jul 2006


WinPatrol has been a standard part of almost every PC I use. It is typically one of the first programs I load on a new PC. The newest version adds a new tab which displays hidden files on your system so that you can be better informed about your PC. When Scotty barks, I listen.




Quote from the website - Scotty the Windows Watch Dog sniffs out malicious "mysteryware" , web attacks and parasites that may assault your computer. WinPatrol puts you back in control of your computer so you'll know what programs are and should be running at all times. WinPatrol uses a heuristic approach to detecting attacks and violations of your computing environment. Traditional security programs scan your hard drive searching for previously identified threats. WinPatrol takes snapshot of your critical system resources and alerts you to any changes that may occur without your knowledge. You'll be removing dangerous new programs while others download new reference files.


All-in-One SECRETMAKER - helps keep your identity a secret

by ClifNotes and Mindblower


Note from Clif

I've known about this program for a long time and I know at least one person at work who uses it on his home computer. I've never had the time or patience to try a full security suite like this one. I've already got my system secured the way I want it. I was surprised to get an email from one of my readers named "Mindblower". Here's what he has to say about SecretMaker.


Quote from Mindblower - You can finally start enjoying safe Internet surfing without over loading yourself with dedicated software. Nicely packaged, easy to use and understand. Excellent for Novice to Expert alike. Fully user configurable with switches and selection boxes. Only words of caution are for those who click prior to reading the instructions. As with all software, especially if you are new to a product, start slowly. Experience each function separately, become comfortable with its usage prior to moving onto the next. And should you require assistance, a support forum is available.


Note: Mindblower is the forum administrator, so if you have problems, let him know.


Update from Mindblower, July 2006

Hi Clif. Just to keep you in the loop, "Download.com" has permanently removed Secretmaker from its site since it does a good job at blocking ads. Go figure (eh?). Up to last week d.c gave SM high reviews. Could it be that lost income from ads was the deciding factor?


Note from Clif

Mindblower is correct. Up until this week, "Download.com" offered SecretMaker and it was rated in the top ten programs by popularity at their site. I suspect he's also correct about the ad-blocking being the reason. The ads at "Download.com" are one reason I rarely go there.




Quote from Secretmaker website


All-in-One SECRETMAKER is designed for everyone who wants to avoid computer crashes, protect their privacy and use the Internet efficiently for private or business use. SECRETMAKER is one of the TOP 20 most downloaded software worldwide, as ranked by download.com.


SecretMaker Features:

Spam Fighter - Multi-level anti-spam solution that fights against junk emails

Security Watchdog - Protects you from computer hijacking attempts

Cookie Eraser - Prevents unwanted profiling through cookies

Intruder Blocker - Blocks out spyware, trackware and other harmful executables

Banner Blocker - Blocks banners, speeds up browsing and reduces online costs

Privacy Protector - Prevents tracking companies from identifying surfing habits

Pop-Up Blocker - Sophisticated and smart, blocks disturbing advertising windows

History Cleaners - Prevents betrayal, deletes history logs, speeds up your computer

Worm Hunter - Protects your computer from spreading email viruses




SideSlide - Desktop on steroids

recommendation from CC, Jul 2006


CC wrote me about a desktop launcher he's trying out ...

He says: "Windows XP on steroids" is a good description.




Quote from the website

SideSlide is an advanced, dockable, highly configurable desktop-launcher - Unlike any other launcher you've seen before.


Desktop extension on steroids! Keep shortcuts to files, folders and URLs you frequently visit; add multiple notes, multiple, sizable, pictures and more...Customize it to emphasize the things you use the most and make more information accessible without occupying precious screen space. By using containers you can shrink and fold, linking containers to actual folders on disk, Launch Groups that allow you to start multiple programs at once, zooming in and out of shortcuts, different colors, different size pictures, picture containers and colored notes; SideSlide is designed to make a great deal of content instantly accessible.





AI Roboform - fills in web forms and website logins

reviewed by ClifNotes, Jan 2005, updated Jul 2006



When I use Internet Explorer, this program saves me tons of time. 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.


At one time, I was able to use Roboform with Firefox web browser. I'm not sure how well this works with the freeware version of Roboform, but at least one of my readers had some luck with it. See Walt's comment below.



Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

click to expand



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.




From Walt,


Clif, Many thanks for all your help. I was able to get Roboform to work with both Netscape and Firefox. The page you linked me to had separate extension downloads for each browser that did the trick. It also told me how to install extensions, simply open the file using the browser file-open feature. Thanks again for your responses and time.


AI Roboform Website (liteware) - Download last freeware version


Flocking out to get the new browser

review from ClifNotes, Jul 2006


Flock is a browser based on FireFox that is tweaked to let you socialize more easily, and they've released a new beta version. Last week, I got a letter from Flock asking me to try the newest beta version. I tried it out for awhile and now you'll know what I think of it.



After downloading Flock and installing it, I was presented with a wizard that tried to walk me through the setup. Flock uses several free services that allow it to do some unique things. I had a few problems getting through this wizard, mainly because I wasn't signed up for all the services Flock uses. Here are some of the services Flock uses or interfaces with ... Flickr, Photobucket, Del.icio.us, Blogger, MySpace, Live Journal, Ebay, and RSS feeds.



Because Flock is linked in with photo hosting services, bookmarking services, blog services, and RSS feeds, it's really there to keep you connected to your friends and the whole web. Once it's set up, you can drag and drop pictures into your blogs and post them right from Flock. It's very easy when you get used to it. The RSS news feeds are easy to use and add to, so you can keep track of the news or your favorite blogs from your friends.



Yes, this is beta software and I ran into a few bugs. My most serious problem was that Flock would stop working when I was trying to access my Gmail accounts. I won't be using it because of this single issue. That doesn't mean it won't work just dandy for you. Don't let me stop you from trying it. I still think it's very cool.



Here's what they say about the new Flock beta ...

Welcome to Flock, the safe, spyware free web browser that makes it easier to connect with your friends. With Flock it's a snap to upload, comment, and discover new pics. Read all the news you care about, in one place. Blog freely. Get search results as soon as you start typing in the search box, and much more.














How can I install updates to Windows 98 now?

review from ClifNotes, updated Jul 2006


Many of you may be aware that Microsoft is ending active support for Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition and Windows Millennium Edition. "End of Support" is Tuesday, July 11th. Since this is the case, what happens when I want to reinstall Windows 98 on one of my old PCs?


UNOFFICIAL Windows98 Second Edition Service Pack 2.1a (Freeware)


My wife was surfing around and found this cool download. When I set up an old pc with Windows 98, I always end up downloading tons of updates from Microsoft. In fact I put quite a few of them on a CD to save me time. Now all I have to do is put this one update on the CD. Great find dear!


About the author of this package

Alper Coskun is currently a MSc student in Computer Engineering department at Gebze Institute of Technology in Turkey.


Quote from the website

Microsoft has never released a service pack for Windows98 SE. But I made a Service Pack for Windows98 SE users. It contains all Windows98 SE updates from Windows Update site and more.


It is a self-extracting and self-installing pack like Microsoft's update files. Thus, you cannot choose files individually. However, the pack installs only required fixes for your system. Uninstallation is possible from Add-Remove Programs. However, I don't recommend uninstallation of the pack, if you don't have any problem.





Latest Updates from cyberguide




From Zia

Hey, some cool screensavers here...As most PC's these days are equipped with high-end graphics cards, these toys will make maximum use of them...No install required, simply transfer the files to windows/system32. My favourite one is Skyrocket.



"Eventually he never moved at all, but his eyes always stayed open, staring ahead forever all through the darkness of each night, and the next day...and the next day..."


Visit Zia's CyberGuide blog to seem more cool stuff


Quicklaunch your USB workspace

review from LifeHacker, Jul 2006


From Clif

I haven't tried this one yet, but I've got two or three thumb drives. Adam, the author of this review, sure makes it sound nice, but it'll take a little hacking, so put on your thinking cap.


From Adam Pash at LifeHacker

The proliferation of portable applications makes it more and more convenient to carry your life on a thumb drive, especially if you don't do all of your work and play from one computer.


But it could be easier. Rather than plugging in your thumb drive and clicking through your drive's file system to open every program and document, wouldn't it be nice if your workspace launched automatically? Today we'll set up your thumb to Autoplay, so that you can instantly launch your preferred workspace on any computer. All you have to do is plug in.




Hard to find 800 numbers

tip from Charlote P, July 2006


Hi Clif,


Here's a site that I think is really neat. It's called Hard To Find 800 numbers. I read about it on Kim Komando's e-newsletter and almost didn't go check out the site but I'm glad I did and I bookmarked it.


Here's just a little of what Kim said.


"I don't understand why some companies make their telephone number difficult to find. I suppose it is cheaper to rely on the Internet or e-mail for communication. But I think that's bad customer service.


That's why today's Cool Site, Hard to Find 800 Numbers, is so great. It lists the "secret" 800 numbers for companies, along with notes on each one."


It was the phrase "along with notes on each one" that made me take the time to go check it out.



All the best,







































Websites I've visited recently










New Gmail Features Coming Soon?

article from Sarah's blog at http://sarahintampa.com, Jul 2006


Sarah says ...

According to this article at ZDNet, Gmail users will be getting a couple new features in the near future. The first one will be a link in your spam folder that allows you, with one click, to delete all your spam messages at once. I will certainly enjoy that feature! Although I know that my spam emails are automatically deleted once they are 30 days old, there is this email "neat freak" in me that wants everything organized and emptied. The second new feature is ...



read the rest at Sarah's blog



There's lots more there this week, and here are a few headlines.

The First WebOS

The Photobucket Version of Flock

Who Should Run the Internet?

Ebay Bans Google Checkout

Free AOL?

Call For Free in Windows Live Local



Thank you again Sarah.




Get Gmail! and Get Firefox!


You need a free 2.7 GB Gmail account to access many of the cool features at Google. I'll send you an invitation right away if you write me and say I WANT GMAIL.



I think Gmail works best in the awesome Firefox browser. It's free, easy to use, and it's way more secure than Internet Explorer. My favorite thing to do is to customize Firefox so that it does much more than IE ever could. You can select new button controls for your toolbars, install extensions to add new features, or change the look of your browser with themes - the way Firefox looks and works is under your control.


Get Firefox!































Chatting at FreewareWiki



Now you can chat with anyone visiting a website by using Gabbly. To see who's gabbing at this website, click here.


Find out more about it at Gabbly.com


Last week I had a nice little chat with "littledino" from Israel. She talked about events there and how she misses living in Chicago. One of her favorite programs recently is Awasu RSS feed reader. http://awasu.com


Thank you littledino!


If anyone wants to chat while reading the newsletter, then click here.



Combining Bookmarks from various browsers


On 7/8/06, Rick C wrote:


Hey Clif, I have a couple of questions for you i was hoping you could help me with.

As you know ZoneAlarm is no longer supporting the older windows versions.


I had to reformat one of my computers hard drive ( i have 3 computers all with 98SE and the Unofficial 98SE Service pack.) Now instead of being reminded every 60 days to update which they will not let me do, what would be YOUR recommened next free firewall suggestion. ie: Outpost, Sygate, Kerio ?? I value your opinion in this matter, as i feel you are very knowledgeable, ( Go ahead and take a bow).


The next question may be harder but now between IE, Firefox and Opera i have acquired in excess of over 3500+ favorites on my favorite list between all my computers and browsers, i would like to combine them all together and be able to access ALL of them from any computer perhaps via e-mail would be the best, alphabeticallized would be great. Do you know of any such program? Free would only sweeten the deal and then perhaps i could also talk you out of a free g-mail account to send them all to. Any idea's ?? Keep up the great work on your newsletters and my best to the family.






Hi Rick,


Thank you for writing in.




Try an older version at http://www.oldversion.com/ in the Security section. I've heard version 2.6 is one of the best older versions of ZA. There are other freeware firewalls and securityware available there as well.




I know I've seen something out there but the closest thing I'm familiar with is AmDeadlink which works with various browsers. Maybe someone out there reading this knows how to combine all those bookmarks? If so, drop me a line.




I'll send you an invitation.


Have fun!




Searching for Collage freeware



On 7/5/06, slbender wrote:


I love your site even though I am somewhat a novice at "computering". I recently received a free collage software downloaded online from Cosmi when i purchased another software in the store from them. my computer locked and had to be reformatted and such and i couldnt get the program saved. i looked everywhere on line for free collage software comparable. it was great i did one of my granddaugher and her children but cant do another for the other kids. any ideas as to where to go? looked at some mentioned as freeware on your site and asked cosmi to no avail. thanx keep up the nice site.


Hi SL,


The closest thing I've got handy is here ...



Whatever you do, don't use a regular search engine like Google to look for collage software. I just checked and according to SiteAdvisor half the links are very suspicious and some may be hazardous.


Try searching from my freeware search engine



Have fun!






Frapper - you people live all over the world!

Wow! Over 300 people and still growing! 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 my 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.


What do you have to say?


Just tell me what article you are talking about and leave me your comment.



Have fun and surf safely.



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