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Welcome to Clif Notes Newsletter

October 8, 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!









Image Shack Toolbar - a convenient way to snag net pics

review from ClifNotes, Oct 2006, permalink


Many of the reviews you see here require that I go through several steps to get you a screenshot of the application. I like to see a glimpse and I'm sure you do too.


First, I locate a screenshot or create one myself. If the screenshot is at a website, I have to download it to my PC. Next I have to upload it to another website that will allow me to HotLink the image. I often use this wiki to upload to or I sometimes use PhotoBucket. Finally, I have to grab the URL (internet address) of the image and paste the link into my article.


Now I have a tool that's making all of this much easier. The ImageShack Toolbar is a browser add-on that will allow you to right click on any image in a webpage and upload it to ImageShack's website. This toolbar also will give you access to paste in the URL's of your images hosted at ImageShack. It's in a toolbar so it's always right there. To make the best use of this toolbar, I recommend you sign up for a free account at ImageShack like I have.


Quote from the website

The ImageShack Toolbar integrates with Firefox, Internet Explorer 6.0 and Windows XP and has drag-and-drop, right-click upload, and many other features.



ImageShack® is an intuitive and easy-to-use free image hosting solution. It can be used to share pictures with friends, as well as to post images on message boards and blogs. It can also be used to direct link images on websites and online auctions. You can upload as many images as you want, as long as each one adheres to the Terms of Service.




123 Free Solitaire - free card games are more fun

review by ClifNotes, Oct 2006, permalink


Bored? Ok, just break out a deck of cards and play yourself a game of solitaire to pass the time. No, wait ... better yet. Play solitaire on your PC! Sure, you're a geek, but at least you aren't bored now.


click image to expand

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usQuote from the website

123 Free Solitaire is a 100% free high-quality solitaire games collection. Download and play now for free: Spider solitaire, FreeCell, Klondike and many other exciting solitaire games.


Home page: http://www.123freesolitaire.com/

Caution: There is a shareware version here as well as a free version.

Download the free version here





Old Newsletter - a trip back in time

I haven't done much work on the newsletter this week, so I thought I'd dig into the archives and see what I was writing about 2 years ago. If you find bad links or that the software has changed a great deal, then let me know about it.



 Clif Notes Newsletter    October 10, 2004
 Home Bookeeping Lite - keeps track of household expenses
BushPilot at CHC tipped me off on this one. I downloaded it and registered it. To register you actually have to install first to get a registration number and then you must fill out a page at their website to request the registration key. Without this the program will not run. If it weren't for this procedure, I would strongly recommend this program over MS Money for most people because Money is a hugely bloated program and a real overkill for most users. HBL is very nice and allows you to create as many accounts (Names) as you wish. It's got a very simple interface and I think most users will find it easy to understand.
Website - Download - Quote from the website (the lite version doesn't have all the listed features below)
"Home bookkeeping" has been designed to save your personal expenses. "Home bookkeeping" presents the following features: recording the expenses, incomes, credits and debts, planning the expenses and incomes, producing a detailed and selective report on the expenses and incomes, diagrams constructing, database printing, exporting, clearing and packing. For the security and privacy reasons any name can be protected by a password.

 Desktop GT Ripple - wallpaper water effects
*S*A*M* at Computer Help Club recently told me about a cool Windows desktop wallpaper java program while we were discussing Reflet and the Lakes web page java applet.
Website  - Quote from *S*A*M* at Computer Help Club
It is very much like the Lake Applet cept its for your desktop.  It flows in a mirrored fashion and makes it wavy...... you can control it entirely, how fast, how slow, how large, or small the ripples are to be.  Your Wallpaper turns into a rippling bed of water.

 Security  Spy Chaser - look before you install freebies
The authors of this program are trying to do us a good deed by offering a program that gives you a searchable list of known freebie spyware programs. It looks like this one is fairly new and could use a lot of work yet, but I respect them for trying. Some websites offer a similar service such as Spyware-Guide.com's and Cexx.org's listings and I typically use those. If the authors of Spy Chaser are able to update the program often and keep it up to date it could be a great resource in the fight against spyware.
Website - Quote from the website
Ever downloaded a 'Free' program only to find out it was Spyware?  (Banner Advertiser Supported)  Or even worse, many will hide the Spyware functions and not tell you.  At the time of this release there were 762 known Spyware programs and Spy Chaser lists them and lets you enter a program name to see if it's on this list.

 Desktop Galaxies Screen Saver
First, let me warn you. Going out and getting "free" screen savers is very risky. I don't do it often because most of the time the so called "free" means it is either time limited or crippled or displays nag messages. Sometimes they are just crammed full of spyware. If you want to look around for screen savers just be aware of this and scan the download with your anti-virus program and make sure you run a full spyware scan with Adaware and Spybot after you install them. I'd also recommend you get a good program uninstaller like Total Uninstall to install them with. All that said, this one is safe to use and it's pretty cool.
Website - Quote from the website
A sophisticated, high-tech FREE screen saver that displays 3D galaxies and lets you adjust various properties. Watch as the "camera" tours the universe, visiting the galaxies. Fun to watch!

 Grahics TrueSpace 3 - 3d modeling and animation
Since I'm sort of graphically challenged, I haven't had the nerve to fire this program up. It almost looks too good to be freeware. But some of you out there may decide to give this one a try.
Website- Quote from the website
trueSpace3 is a 3D authoring tool which Computer Graphics Magazine described as: "a remarkable program that stands out for its modeless interface and price-performance accomplishments....there's no question that at a suggested retail price of $795, this program delivers value that is tough to beat." Now you can have this remarkable 3D authoring tool for free!
Quotes from ig_no_its at CHC who had the time and guts to give this one a try
Its to much for the avearage Joe! ... the minium monitor resolution required 1280x1024 and lots of Ram Min 512 ... looking through the tutorial is a waste of time whoever wrote it had very little trainning in techical writing-personal observation.

 Email Clif's Email Rant
Come on people! Stop forwarding junk email to your friends and co-workers. I still get lots of email that has been forwarded two thousand times and has the email addresses of half the world in it. Stop it right now! I know a lot of you out there are not newbies anymore. If you get an email joke, funny story or a thought provoking tale that you just have to pass on to all your friends, do not forward it. I repeat, don't do it. Just copy the story and paste it into a brand new email and use the BCC address line to send it out to your many friends. BCC will make sure you aren't giving their email addresses out to all the big spammers out there. The new email will be easier to read and it won't contain all the email addresses that were in it when the last goober sent it to you. One more thing, the next time you want to send me an email that says Bill Gates is giving money away to you for forwarding an email, get some brains, or check to see if the story is true at Snopes.com before you send it. If you ignore this message you will be cursed with seven years of bad spam and your pc will get infected with a horrible virus that will delete all your files, so please pass it on to all your friends.

Recently published email resources and articles from Clif Notes and others. For a good laugh read this email.

Anti-Spam help site: CAUCE The Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email
Use a "spam eating" email address to fake out the spammers: SpamhOle and SpamGourmet 
Good email practices:  Email Netiquette
Using BCC send: The Sins of the Internet: Not Using BCC (hit ALT+B in Outlook Express) 
Use StripMail to remove forwarding marks: Stripmail
Sending very large email attachments: YouSendIt.com 
Sending an anonymous email: W3 Anonymous Remailer
Backing up email:   WheresJames OE Archiver and Winret 
Make sure you spelled it right: Spell Checker for Outlook Express
Alternative to Outlook Express: Foxmail
Checking for fake mail stories: Snopes.com <--- important and funny (lmao reading some of these)
Examples of Scams or Virus emails: Examples of Bad Email Messages (don't get caught with a phishing scam)

 Help Tutorials from bleepingcomputer.com
Need help with your PC? Want to learn how to do-it-yourself?
Website - Quote from the website
Bleeping Computer is a community devoted to providing free original content, consisting of computer help and tutorials, in such a way that the beginning computer user can understand.

Cool Web Site Links
 Website Cat Litter Cake - popular snack for Holloween parties
I just had to laugh when I saw the picture and thought I'd share this with you all.
Website - Quote from the website
So it's Halloween 2001, and I decide to freak out everybody at the office. Titan the cat (Acting as head muse) and I set to work creating what is probably one of the most visually disgusting Halloween treats imaginable....

 Website Urban Legends at About.com - do you really believe your email?
I really can't understand why people actually believe some of these emails. You just have to take a look at these and after reading a few you will get a much deserved immunization shot so you aren't fooled the next time you get one of these in your mail. Oh, and you will also get a good laugh.
Website - Newsletter - Quote from the website
Don't Eat the Ketchup!
If you believe everything you read in your email — and I don't recommend that — you might be seized with a sudden aversion to the ketchup dispensed in fast food outlets for awhile. It seems someone was caught adulterating the ketchup in an unnamed restaurant with his own HIV-positive blood a few weeks back. We don't know who, where or why, of course, but according to the anonymous author of this forwarded email you'll be much safer limiting your consumption from now on to packaged ketchup which, as we all know, couldn't possibly be bad for you in any way.

Clif Notes Newsletter - http://www.xanga.com/clifnotes_newsletter






















How to Rip and Save Pandoras Music to MP3 Files for Free

tip from Rodney, Oct 2006, permalink


Last week I reviewed Pandora's Box, which is a great way to listen to music. Rodney wrote in to tell us that he's found a LifeHacker article with more great tips for using the Pandora music service.


Hi Clif,


I love to use Pandora, and I found an article from lifehackers .com that give 15 ways to get more out of Pandoa at http://snipurl.com/ygg1


Keep up the good work.



Rodney's Homepage


The tip that I liked the most there was a tip telling you how to rip Pandora's music to MP3 files, as seen here.


Thanks Rodney!




How can I backup my hard drive?

question, Oct 2006, permalink


From Phil B

I am going to reformat my hard drive (120GB). I have an external Hard Drive (250 GB) and what I want to do is do a real good backup of all of the stuff on my "C" drive. I do have some CD type of backups of the real important stuff but not one of everything.


Can you recommend some Freeware backup software that I can check out to use for this. Once I reformat I will also want to start a good backup program.


Thanks Clif,

phil b


I asked Phil if I could post this here. There must be hundreds of ways to do this and most people end up doing it the way that fits their situation best.


So, how do you back up your hard drive? Tell Phil and the rest of us by commenting below.





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.


If you commented last week, check to see who commented on your comment!


Here are the comments from last week.


  1. Insert ToggleKey - making the insert key behave •
  2. Free Download Manager - a great addition to my browser •
  3. Pandora's Box - listening to your own web music channel •
  4. Scandoo search engine plugin - surfing for dummies? •
  5. Google Pack Screensaver - Google fails to top existing screensavers •
  6. Qliner Hotkeys - drag and drop hotkey shortcuts •
  7. Iconoid - hides desktop icons when you don't need them •


























Websites I've visited recently


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Lockergnome articles



News from Sarah in Tampa





























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 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.



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

Devoted to promoting Freeware and Free Information

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Email me here.






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