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ClifNotesNewsletter060917

Newsletter Archive    Reviews Archive    

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Welcome to Clif Notes Newsletter

September 17, 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!


 

 

 

 

 

REVIEWS

 

What's Running - on your PC

review by ClifNotes, Sept 2006, permalink

 

Last week I reviewed a process viewer program called Dtaskmanager, and this week I've tried another program called "What's Running", that does very similar things. It may even be better than Dtaskmanager for some people. You'll have to be the judge.

 

Quote from the website

What's Running is a product that gives you an inside look into your Windows 2000/XP/2003 system.

Explore processes, services, modules, IP-connections, drivers and much more through a simple to use application. Find out important information such as what modules are involved in a specific process.

Control your system by starting and stopping services and processes. Configure your startup programs easily.

click image for larger view

 

http://www.whatsrunning.net/whatsrunning/main.aspx - (this site was down)

Alternative website: http://www.snapfiles.com/get/whatsrunning.html

 


 

Picture Resizer - don't send full size photos in email

review by ClifNotes, Sept 2006, permalink

 

Many times in the past I've gotten an email from a friend or relative that had several pictures in it. What's wrong with that? It could be a problem for some people.

 

I used to figure about 5 minutes a meg back when I was on dial-up. If you send a 10 pictures at 2 megs each to a friend on a dial-up internet connection, he won't be happy with you at all. Your friend could be swearing at his email for over an hour trying to figure out what's wrong while his PC slowly downloads those cute pictures you sent.

 

This Picture Resizer program was written with this problem in mind. It's really pretty simple to use as well.

 

 

Quote from the website - How to use it?

  • Download PhotoResize400.exe and place it on your desktop.
  • Drag and drop JPG files or folders with JPG files on the application icon.
  • The tool will resize JPG images and save them next to the originals. Names of the new pictures will be based on the original names, with a suffix indicating their size. For example, the resized version of MyPhoto.jpg will be called MyPhoto-400.jpg, where the number 400 indicates the size of the picture.
  • The size of output pictures is controlled by the name of the application. To generate 200 pixels images, simply rename the application to PhotoResize200.exe

 

 

http://www.rw-designer.com/picture-resize

 


 

FastStone Capture - captures glowing reviews

review by Carlo at SpaghettiTech, Mar 2006, updated Sept 2006, permalink

 

A few months ago, I posted the review below from Carlo. I recently tried out FS Capture myself, and I now agree that this program is one of the best free screen capture tools around. I haven't tried a large number of these programs, but the only other contender in my experience, is the very good Screenshot Captor from DonationCoder. If you have to capture screenshots very often, either of these will work wonders for you.

 

I've found that both FS Capture and Screenshot Captor can be installed and then turned into stand-alone programs by copying the program folder to a USB drive.

 

Review from Carlo

A good tool for taking screenshots is one of those programs that will always be on my quick launch bar (and believe me: it's a lot better than the PrtScr key). In my endless search for the "perfect tool", I've tested many programs out there, as you can see in my Free software list.

 

This time, it's FastStone Capture time: this little, light (and free for home users) application, from the authors of the well-known FS Image Viewer, is well worth a try ... read the rest of Carlo's review

 

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Quote from the website

FastStone Capture is a powerful, flexible and intuitive screen-capture utility. It allows you to capture anything on the screen including windows, objects, full screen, rectangle regions, freehand-selected regions and scrolling windows/web pages. It has innovative features such as a floating Capture Panel, hotkeys, resizing, cropping, text annotation, printing, e-mailing, screen magnifier and many more.

 

 

Try FastStone Screen Capture

 


 

Yahoo Mail Beta - a great free web mail product

review by ClifNotes, Sept 2006, permalink

 

I've had a Yahoo email account for nearly as long as they've been around. I've seen a few improvements in it over the years and I've also seen a few other web based email products that I feel are much better. I recently tried the newest spin on Yahoo email, and I'm really impressed.

 

Yahoo Mail Beta has learned a few lessons from some of the other email services like Gmail, and they've now got a real contender. You can drag and drop emails into folders and use keyboard shortcuts. It really is much better, but I still don't care for all the dumb flash advertisements that try to distract you while you are in your email. If they'd allow you to forward your email to other accounts and offer free pop3 access, I'd think about using them as my main email. Overall, the service is safe, good, very reliable, and they offer 1Gb of email space.

 

If you're curious about the new features of Yahoo Mail, take a look here.

 

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http://mail.yahoo.com

 


 

UK's Kalendar - simple Calendar and reminder program

review by Darrel in New Brunswick Cananda, Sept 2006, permalink

 

Sometimes people pop in to chat here at Freewarewiki. I usually stick around a few hours after I publish the newsletter in case somebody drops in.

 

Last week, Darrel dropped in for awhile. He told me lots of nice things about the area he lives in and he also mentioned a reminder program he likes.

 

Darrel: Have you ever reviewed UK's Kalendar?

Darrel: http://www.8ung.at/ukrebs/

Clif Notes: No, I've never tried that one. Do you like it?

Darrel: Yes, I think it is great for my simple mind

Clif Notes: It gives you audible or visible reminders?

Darrel: Both

Clif Notes: Nice

Darrel: Try using the non-installable version, ok?

Clif Notes: Yes, I see that there is a Greenware version, I like that.

Darrel: I like setting the different colours for the assorted alarms

 

Thanks for the chat Darrel! For the rest of you, here's some more information on this program.

 

larger

 

Quote from the website

Automatic saving

Any changes to the database are automatically and immediately saved to disk. On every program start, a backup copy of your data file is created.

Unlimited Undo and Redo

Most changes can be undone and also repeated.

Minimize to the system tray

"UK's Kalender" minimizes into the system tray (the area next to the system clock).

Network support

"UK's Kalender" supports a shared event file, where every user can enter events that'll show up in each other user's calendar. For using the network functions it is neither required to install special server software nor to keep the computer with the shared event file permanently running. "UK's Kalender" will synchronize the local event file as soon as the shared event file is accessible.

Repeating events

There are lots of possibilities for entering repeating events, e.g. hourly, every three days, monthly, every first tuesday of the month or even every friday the 13th.

Forewarn time and snooze function

Each event can be assigned a user defined forwarn time in the range from one minute to several weeks. In the reminder dialog you can enter a time after that you'll be reminded again. Alternatively you can choose to be reminded again a certain time before the event.

Multi day events

Events can have a duration from one minute to several days (or no duration at all, but just a start date).

Event categories and templates

Events can be organized into categories, e.g. "Doctor", "Meeting", "Party" and so on. Each category is assigned a template of settings, including repetition rate and forewarn time.

Acoustic reminders

You can choose to be reminded of an event with a WAV file of your choice.

Event driven program execution and document opening

Documents or programs can be attached to an event. This is very handy for e.g. regular backup purposes.

Marking and hiding events

Special events may be either color marked or hidden.

Four event views

Events can be displayed in week-, fortnight-, month- or year-view.

Tooltips for events and todos

If you stop the mouse over a calendar date or a todo, extended info is shown for the events and todos.

Alarms can be deativated

Alarms may be deactivated all at once, so your game, film etc. won't be interrupted.

Highly configurable display for events and todos

All views can easily be configured to present the information just the way you want.

Search and filter functions

You can search for and filter out your events using keywords, categories, event states or date ranges. The filter function directly affects all output functions, so you can easily create e. g. a calendar only containing birthdays.

Clipboard support

Events and todos can be copied to the clipboard and may be pasted back to any word processor or "UK's Kalender" itself.

Export to HTML- and CSV-format

Events and todos can be exported to HTML-format in different views. With this you can easily print your dates and todos. Export to CSV-format allows the transfer of your data to a spreadsheet program. All activated filter options are applied to the output.

Holidays

Holidays for one or more countries can be displayed right in the calendar. Various holiday modules are available. If your country is missing, you can simply define a holiday module yourself.

 

Visit UK's Kalendar website

 


 

DSynchronize - keeping folders or portable drives updated

review by Dave at DavesComputerTips, Sept 2006, permalink

 

Dave wrote me with a tip on this fine little program. It allows you to sync files in folders or drives. Here's what Wikipedia says about file syncing.

 

File Synchronization in computing is the process of making sure that two or more locations contain the same up-to-date information. If you add, change, or delete a file from one location, the synchronization process will add, change, or delete the same file from the other location. (read more)

 

From Dave at Dave's Computer Tips

I also have a great little program I would like to share with you. It’s named DSynchronize. It is a simple, free, light weight program (only 155k) to sync files and folders. It’s similar to Microsoft SyncToy and SyncBack. It has many more features than SyncToy, and is much cheaper (free) than Syncback. DSynchronize is very powerful, yet easy to setup and use. Some features are: autostart, run as a Windows service, and realtime sync. You should definitely check it out!

 

Thanks for the tip Dave! Last week I reviewed another program from this author called DtaskManager. Here's a screenshot and more info on DSynchronize.

 

 

Quote from the website

DSynchronize is a stand-alone utility that let you periodically synchronize two or more folders on Hard Disk, Floppy Disk, LAN, USB Key, CD-DVD (with packet writing software) and FTP server.

 

It is also possible to specify the time and the day to schedule the synchronization to run, and to create some additional "filters" for other factors.

 

Real-Time sync is also supported.

 

Visit Dimio's tools to see DSynchronize

 


 

FreePOPS - bring all your web mail into an email client

review from ClifNotes, Apr 2005, updated Sept 2006, permalink

 

Do you have free email accounts at HotMail, Yahoo, AIM, or some other domain that makes you go online to see your email? You don't have to go to their web sites to see your mail there if you don't want to. Start FreePOPs up and then open up Outlook Express, ThunderBird, or most other email clients. FreePOPs actually creates a POP3 server on your machine and then it surfs out to your free web mail accounts and sends the mail to your email program. The email accounts have to be set up in a special way for this to work. The tutorials have been updated since I last used it and you should be able to figure it out. If you have any trouble setting it up, just email me and I'll try to help you out. Another good program for bringing in email like this is MrPostman.

 

 

Quote from the website

FreePOPs is an easily extensible program, which allows access to the most varied resources through the POP3 protocol.

 

Mainly, it can be used to download mail from the most famous webmails, but it could also be used as an aggregator for RSS feeds and much more. This way it is possible to get all your messages in your favorite email client.

 

FreePOPs is Free Software!

 

http://www.freepops.org/en/

 


 

 

Under Review

If you are curious to see what I've been looking at lately, here's a list of programs I've been thinking about trying out. UnderReview

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIPS AND FEEDBACK

 

Comments last week

Thanks to everyone who commented on the articles last week. You gave me more ideas and some good advice. If you see comments on an article, you will be missing out if you don't click on them to take a look.

 

Here are the comments from last week.

 

Avant Browser

EasyMessage

vURL

DTaskManager

Cobian Backup

AntiVirus Comparison from CastleCops

How does your Firewall rank?

Gmail's spam filters - how good are they?

Can you set up folders in Gmail?

 

 


 

Thunderbird isn't learning to remove the spam

feedback from Authur, Sept 2006, permalink

 

From Authur

I look forward to your newsletter each week and print it so I can read and keep it. It' very helpful for me.

 

About the subject, Thunderbird Spam Control, I've been using ThunderBird for a long time. Each day I go through my mail and designate those mails which are spam by sending them to the trash. T'Bird designates those it thinks is spam and mostly I confirm by sending it to trash. The same mail from the same sites, over and over, yet T'bird NEVER LEARNS. Could you put this in your letter to collect other experiences on this? It would be a big help to me and I am sure I am not alone in this experience.

Keep on keeping on.

 

Reply from Clif

I'll recommend that you visit SnapFiles and put a mail filtering proxy in place. Several are good but I'd lean towards Spam Assassin (SA Proxy).

 

http://www.snapfiles.com/Freeware/comm/fwspam.html

 

Later I found that Spam Assassin is no longer a supported product. It seems that Yahoo gobbled up this company and I can't find a new copy of it a the Stata Labs website. Somehow, SnapfilesFreeware has a recent copy of the latest version of it. It was updated just a few days ago. Maybe someone at Stata is working in secret?

 

How about the rest of you out there? Has anyone else had good luck with a spam filter for their email client? Do you know of any better ways to train Thunderbird?

 


 

IE Tab - Firefox can pretend to be Internet Explorer

tip from Dan, Sept 2006, permalink

 

Last week I posted a review on AvantBrowser. Shortly after that, Dan wrote me to let me know that he doesn't see any reason to keep a browser that uses Internet Explorer. He uses a Firefox add-on when he needs to view a page that is only supported by IE.

 

From Dan

If you need occasional IE rendering, grab the IETab add-on, which works for both 1.5 & 2.0b2. With it, I easily run MS Update and Office Update in Firefox. You can dynamically switch the current page to IE rendering and predefine URLs for such as the MS updates to automatically open in IETab.

 

Cheers ... - Dan

 

Thanks Dan. Here's more info on this browser add-on for Firefox.

 

 

Quote from Mozilla.org

IE Tab - an extension from Taiwan, features: Embedding Internet Explorer in tabs of Mozilla/Firefox.

 

This is a great tool for web developers, since you can easily see how your webpage displayed in IE with just one click and then switch back to Firefox.

 

IE Tab: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/1419/

 


 

Stay away from Ashampoo's free programs?

feedback from Ron, Sept 2006, permalink

 

From Ron

I've downloaded a few free Ashampoo products; WinOptimizer, Mp3 Studio, Startup Tuner. Even bought an upgrade for Mp3 Studio to Pro. It's all competent software, but your required download registration entitles you to endless offers for payware at discount. It's tiresome, but not all that unusual. I just didn't expect it from Ashampoo.

 

My advice? Most of the free programs can be duplicated by less predatory software writers. Unless you really need the payware (in reflection, I didn't, it was just a lazy decision), don't bother.

 

My 2 cents,

Ron

 

Thanks Ron! Sometimes free isn't really free. I have written about free programs that require a registration. Hopefully, I don't recommend the ones that bug you with stupid emails all the time. Nobody needs that.

 


 

Mail2web.com - getting your pop3 and imap email away from home

tip from etalk, Sept 2006, permalink

 

From etalk

Saved my life a few times with Mail2Web. The address is http://mail2web.com/ Just remember to take your passwords with you.

 

Thanks etalk. I've never had to use this service before since I view all my mail at Gmail.com. If someone uses an email client like Outlook or Thunderbird, then they might find that this site is a "Life Saver" as etalk mentioned. They also have a few other free services that look just fabulous.

 

 

Quote from the website

EMAIL RETRIEVAL

A free, secure and anonymous web-based email retrieval application. Pick up your email from almost any POP3 or IMAP4 email server. No registration is required to access or use the application.

MAIL2WEB LIVE

mail2web LIVE, our free Exchange Email solution goes beyond webmail to provide calendars, task management, contact lists, advanced rules for sorting messages, and even ActiveSync capability.

PERSONAL HOMEPAGE

Get a mail2web.com Personal Homepage. mail2web.com makes it possible for you to save multiple email configurations, making it even easier to pick up all your email from one central place.

 

CHAT SERVICE

Chatmail2web.com chat service is an Instant Messaging system which simplifies your life by making it easy to access all of your different instant messaging accounts under a single system. Chat with MSN®, AOL®, YAHOO® and ICQ® Instant Messaging users.

USENET READER

Usenet ReaderA web-based inteface to access newsgroups. Whether you are sitting behind a firewall, or traveling, you can use usenet.mail2web.com to access Usenet Newsgroups.

DOWNLOADS

Download free wallpapers and screensavers

 

http://mail2web.com

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COOL WEBSITES

 

Dave's Computer Tips - advice with a sense of humor

review by ClifNotes, Sept 2006, permalink

 

Dave emailed me recently:

 

I've enjoyed your newsletter for quite some time ... I've started my own computer related site (www.davescomputertips.com) and was wondering if you might be gracious enough to exchange links with me.

 

From Clif:

Better yet? How about a whole page at Freewarewiki? Thanks for asking Dave. I took a look at your website and I read both of your newsletters. You've done a great job and I found your tips and advice are very good. I immediately subscribed to your twice monthly newsletter. Now all you need are a few people to ask you questions.

 

How about it folks? Do you have any questions you want to ask Dave?

 

 

http://www.davescomputertips.com/

 


 

FileWatcher File Search

review by ClifNotes, Sept 2006, permalink

 

Sometimes you can really have a hard time finding an old program or image. This website scours the free FTP sites on the internet and catalogs everything it finds out there. The sheer volume and different kinds of files that people squirrel away on these servers is amazing. So, if you can't find it in Google, try FileWatcher.

 

 

Quote from the website

What Is FileWatcher?

 

FileWatcher is a ftp search engine which monitors more than 450 million files on more than 5,000 ftp servers. It allows you to search for files by specifying parts of the filename or other criteria.

How Does It Work?

 

A ftp spider is constantly scanning all ftp sites which are in FileWatcher's database. Once per day new or updated files found by the spider are included into the search index.

 

FileWatcher started in 1997 as a personal project of Oliver Maruhn in shape of a Linux community site. At that time it was known as "Linux FTP Watcher". With the help of partners and sponsors like Robert E. Blue, Jim Pick, and Penguin Computing the site kept on growing. Volunteers like Erwin Lemmers joined the team and helped maintaining the Linux Software Directory.

 

In 2002 the site had to go down because of technical reasons. It was relaunched in the beginning of 2003. In the meantime the search engine core has been partially rewritten and highly optimized. Today more than 450 million files are indexed.

 

http://www.filewatcher.com/

 


 

Telepixie - give me a ring to wake me up

review by ClifNotes, Sept 2006, permalink

 

Here's a great free service I ran across recently. You can now have someone call you on your telephone to remind you of important events or just to wake you up. This service is ad-supported at their website, and it really is free so far. I tried it and they are sometimes a few minutes late, but it works.

 

It's only offered in the US and Canada right now.

 

 

 

 

Quote from the website

Our patent pending technology allows us to offer ALL of the following FREE services paid for by our advertisers. You pay nothing!

 

  • Wake Up Calls
  • Reminder Calls
  • Weather Alert Calls
  • Weather Forecasts
  • Temperature Alerts
  • Stock Alerts
  • Jokes
  • News Alerts (beta)
  • And More!

 

 

http://telepixie.com

 


 

pb wiki - an easy to use personal website

http://pbwiki.com/

reviewed by ClifNotes, Nov 2005, Sept 20006, permalink

 

 

 

I've been aware of the wiki websites for a long time now. The idea is simple yet there are dozens of varieties of this type of site. They all share a central theme, which is told here in this quote from the pbWiki site.

Wikis are fantastic tools to allow for collaborative writing. Every visitor to a wiki can edit any page on the wiki. Editing is done in a very simple text language that is much easier to learn and read than HTML.

They didn't mention that only members of my wiki can edit it. I could even hide my wiki from the world so only I could use it. But they were so right about it being easy to learn and use. I could teach an average computer user the basics of using a wiki in about 15 minutes or less.

 

Once upon a time, I wasn't happy about how much time it took me to create my reviews and upload them to the websites I used. I'd been looking for an easier way to do it. I had thought about adding a wiki server to my website but I hate getting into technical details too much so I shopped around for free wiki services. PbWiki is a fairly new service but I like the online editing tools and the layout. I also like the price. You can create your own wiki site for free here. There are no signup forms and I was writing pages within a few minutes of signing up.

 

Take a look around my wiki and if you've ever considered getting your own website or blog then give pbWiki a try. It won't cost a dime and I'll be happy to give you advice if you ask for it.

 

Thank you all for reading my Clif Notes, and have a great day.

 

To sign up for your free wiki go to http://pbwiki.com

 


 

 

Websites I've visited recently


 

 

 

 

 

NEW NEWS

 

 

 

News from Sarah in Tampa


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OTHER STUFF

 

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

permalink

 

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

 

Sept 3rd

Thanks to El Tel in the UK for stopping by for a chat.

 

 

Find out more about Gabbly.com


 

 

 

 

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.

 

Clif

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

Devoted to promoting Freeware and Free Information

Want a free 2.7Gb Gmail account?

Email me here.

 

 

 

 


 

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