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ClifNotesNewsletter070218

Newsletter Archive    Reviews Archive    

Subscribe to this free newsletter?

 

 

Welcome to Clif Notes Newsletter

February 18, 2007

 

 

  

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!

_Online?


 

 

 

 

REVIEWS

 

Snap Preview Anywhere - do you like it?

review from ClifNotes, Feb 2007, permalink _ Site Navigation Tools

 

Hi Folks!

Lately I've been using website preview tools that are browser add-ons. CoolIrisPreview and BrowsterAddon are a couple that have been mentioned lately.

 

There are a few sites on the web I've visited that already have a link preview on the site. It seems to work pretty good and I decided to try it out here at the newsletter page.

 

Hover your mouse over some of the offsite links (like this one) to see it in action.

What do you think?

 

 

Quote from the website

Snap Preview Anywhere provides high quality link previews for site owners to add an informative and sticky experience for their users. And it's free!

 

http://i.snap.com/about/spa1B.php


 

ZuluPad - notepad on crack

review by ClifNotes, Aug 2006, Updated Feb 2007, Permalink _ Info Management

 

Here's another cool desktop wiki editor that's very nice and is so easy to use. ZuluPad is great for taking notes and keeping all kinds of information organized. The program is very small, fast, and easy to use.

 

Zulu has some great features that set it apart from some other desktop wikis.

1. Local and network files can be linked in your documents.

2. You can upload your ZuluPad wiki docs and have access to them anywhere with internet access.

3. ZuluPad is a stand-alone application that can be easily run on a USB flash drive.

 

ZuluPad is missing one feature I'd like to have. Right now you can't display pictures in it, but it's a feature on the author's to-do list.

 

I had some questions for Tom, the ZuluPad author, that I asked him at his forum.


 

Clif:

Are you a professional programmer? If so, what types of programming have you done in the past.

 

Tom:

Yes, I'm a professional programmer / composer / sound designer. I know that's a bit of an odd assortment, but my job actually does involve all of those fields. I have a Bachelor's degree with a double-major in Computer Science and Music Technology, and a Master's degree in Music Tech. ZuluPad is a bit of a nights-and-weekends project for me, which is why development tends to happen a bit slowly and in spurts. Most of the programming that I do professionally is for web-based applications, often game-inspired, and generally using Flash and/or PHP, depending on the project. I'm also starting to do some mobile-phone programming recently. Most of the music and sound design that I do is either for games or interactive, game-based learning scenarios.

 

Clif:

What made you decide to try your hand at bringing the wiki concept to the desktop?

 

Tom:

Well, to be honest, I used a similar product that's only available on the Mac throughout grad school. I do most of my work on Windows, but I was running some OSX-only music software for school, and doing some live electronica that necessitated my purchase of an iBook. I found the desktop wiki to be so incredibly useful for long nights of note-taking, and for organizing my Master's thesis, that I really wanted one for Windows. I wasn't happy with the Windows options that were available, so I decided to write my own. I still use my iBook fairly frequently, which is why I wanted it to be cross-platform. I really should get around to porting it to Linux, as well, but I really don't use Linux as a desktop OS very often (I do use it frequently as a server, though), so it just hasn't been a high priority.

 

Clif:

How did you come up with the name?

 

Tom:

Oh, I don't know. I suppose it's somewhat inspired by the Mac-only program that I mentioned (it rhymes a bit), and I've always kind of liked the word "Zulu"--it's use in the phonetic alphabet used by radio operators, or as the other name for the GMT time zone. It's a word that you hear every so often, and it's sort of a mysterious kind of word. I don't really know too much about the Zulu people, or anything like that, but I like the name. Also, it seemed to fit with the icon that I'd designed somewhat separately from the program.

 

Update: Feb 2007

Clif:

Hi Tom,

 

I'd like to update my old review of ZuluPad (free). Can you tell me what the major changes were since we last spoke?

 

Tom:

Well, I overhauled the ZuluSync code. It's now much faster. I also added file:// (with two slashes) to the list of URL's that are autolinked in ZuluPad. file:/// (with three slashes) is used for local files, and file:// is used for network-share files. I also fixed a bug where clicking on an http:// or https:// link was opening two IE windows in some cases. I fixed a case-sensitive linking bug, and at somebody's request, I removed the ZuluPad preferences from the Windows Registry, and put them in an .ini file instead. This allows it to run from many public computers that generally lock down the Windows Registry. Also, somebody else added some code that lets Ctrl-J follow a link, so you don't have to click on the links to follow them. This feature is also in ZuluPad pro, but the code to do it there is my own (that's important because the regular ZuluPad is GPL'd, so I can't use anybody else's code in ZuluPad Pro).

 

 

 

Quote from the website

ZuluPad is a notepad on crack. It's a place to jot down class notes, appointments, to-do lists, favorite websites, pretty much anything you can think of. The great thing about ZuluPad is that it combines the best parts of a notepad with the best parts of a wiki, a concept made popular by Wikipedia. The basic idea has been called a personal wiki or a desktop wiki.

 

 

ZuluPad website: http://www.gersic.com/zulupad/

 


 

RootkitRevealer - shedding light on hidden programs

review from ClifNotes, Feb 2007, permalink _ Security Tools

 

I received an email from JimiPocius the other day. He reminded me that I've never reviewed a program called RootkitRevealer. Many of you may be aware of the dangers of rootkit software which can hide on your PC. If you aren't familiar with this, the website below has a nice little article explaining some of the details.

 

I've used RootkitRevealer many times in the past year. It was developed by Sysinternals, a security firm which was purchased by Microsoft in July of last year. From what I've seen, you can still count on the free software from Sysinternals to be the best around.

 

The idea with RootkitRevealer is to use it to scan your system for hidden files or hidden registry entries. Some systems will have both even though they are not infected with a rootkit. The trick is to figure out if any items it detects are malicious. If you get results you aren't certain about, you can always contact the helpful folks at your favorite security forum. My favorite security forum is at temerc.com. Just register there and post a question when you have a security problem.

 

click to expand picture

Quote from the website

RootkitRevealer is an advanced rootkit detection utility. It runs on Windows NT 4 and higher and its output lists Registry and file system API discrepancies that may indicate the presence of a user-mode or kernel-mode rootkit. RootkitRevealer successfully detects all persistent rootkits published at www.rootkit.com, including AFX, Vanquish and HackerDefender (note: RootkitRevealer is not intended to detect rootkits like Fu that don't attempt to hide their files or registry keys). If you use it to identify the presence of a rootkit please let us know!

 

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysinternals/utilities/RootkitRevealer.mspx

 


 

GNU Solfege - music practice makes perfect

review from Ernesto, Feb 2007, permalink _ Education Music

 

Letter from Ernesto:

Dear Sir:

 

On page http://www.solfege.org/ you may read

"Solfege is free music education software. Use it to train your rhythm, interval, scale and chord skills."

 

This program may interest your readers.

 

Yours truly,

 

Ernesto

 

click to expand picture

Quote from the website

Solfege is free music education software. Use it to train your rhythm, interval, scale and chord skills. Solfege - Smarten your ears!


 

Features

  • Recognise melodic and harmonic intervals
  • Compare interval sizes
  • Sing the intervals the computer asks for
  • Identify chords
  • Sing chords
  • Scales
  • Dictation
  • Remembering rhythmic patterns

 

 

http://www.solfege.org/

 


 

Ad-Aware SE Personal - scans your PC and removes adware and spyware

review from ClifNotes, Feb 2007, permalink _ Adware & Spyware Removal

 

New version now available

Ad-Aware is one of the most recommended adware and spyware scanners in the world. I use it often and so do most security aware folks on the net.

 

Quote from the website

With the ability to scan your RAM, Registry, hard drives, and external storage devices for known data-mining, advertising, and tracking components, Ad-Aware SE easily can clean your system, allowing you to maintain a higher degree of privacy while you surf the Web.

 

 

http://www.lavasoft.de/products/ad-aware_se_personal.php

 


 

ImageBot - instant image hosting

From Zia's CyberNirvana, Feb 2007, permalink _ Browser Tools

 

Brillant! Just a search in the Firefox Add-ons pages and here we go!

 

I was looking for a Firefox add-on which would allow me to simply right-click an image on a web page and upload it to an Image host for the purpose of displaying in my blog. I was simply to lazy to go via the conventional browser upload.

 

I came accross this excellent add-on called ImageBot which connects to both Imageshack and Photobucket, both popular image hosts.

 

CyberNirvana

 

Quote from the website

ImageBot allows lets you upload your images to a free image hosting service (ImageShack or Photobucket).

 

ImageBot lets you sort, filter, and make image galleries out of your images in a snap.

 

It is especially good for your eBay auctions by way of the Thumbnail Gallery template included by default.

 

https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/1174/

 


 

ERUNT - The Emergency Recovery Utility NT

review from Bluepwrdup, Feb 2007, permalink _ Backup Tools

 

From Bluepwrdup:

Recently, Windows system restore mysteriously stopped functioning on my computer. After checking the service, it indicated it was running and working properly. Yet it still would not go back to a previous restore point. Searching for the cause and how to repair - come to find out Windows system restore has a reputation for being notoriously unreliable. It works on some folks computers and on others it just stops working altogether for no apparent reason. I found this emergency recovery utility for the NT or XP registry. It backs up the entire windows registry consisting of ten hives (registry files). System Restore never backs up the entire registry, and it was apparently never intended to do so. It has very limited capabilities. If you run into the same problem I experienced, this utility will come to the rescue and it does a much better job.

 

Follow the directions for the installation of ERUNT. If you want to have it run at Windows startup each time you power up your PC, you will have a fresh system backup, including the Erunt executable file with the restore option. Then you can restore the whole registry to an earlier state when everything was working correctly. Note : My personnel preference is not to have ERUNT capture a snapshot every time you start / restart - you will be inundated with backups. Use ERUNT when ever your going to install a new application etc. etc. Also, disable Windows Restore - you won't be needing it's non-service any longer.

 

click to expand picture

Quote from the website

In 2001, as Windows XP began to come pre-installed on many new home user PCs and was likely to become the new Windows standard over the next years, I decided to write a program which offers the ease-of-use of Windows 9x/Me ERU by Microsoft (hence the name ERUNT) to backup the

registry, as well as providing an auto-backup capability, for example at Windows startup.

 

Or, before installing a new program for testing purposes one could save the registry with ERUNT, install and test the program, uninstall it and restore the registry to be 100% sure that no debris is left.

 

Registry Backup and Restore for Windows NT/2000/2003/XP

Freeware

Written by Lars Hederer

File size (772KB)

 

No viruses / Spyware / Malware / Adware / Crapware

 

Latest D/L version here: http://www.larshederer.homepage.t-online.de/erunt

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old Newsletter

 

I like to look back and see what I was thinking about. Here's another letter from the wayback machine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIPS AND FEEDBACK

 

Tips from Tiffany

permalink

 

 

From Clif:

Tiffany writes me occasionally to tell me about her favorite websites and new freebies she tries out. Tiffany's comments are in brown.

 

The EverNote Recipe Book

From Tiffany, Feb 6 2007

Hi Clif,

 

While reading up on EverNote, I came across an interesting way to use it, and it jogged my memory of something I'd seen in your newsletter. I looked at several older ones, but can't remember who wanted some type of recipe organizer? If you remember who/what I'm referring to, or can use this info in any way, great! If you can't, don't worry about it. Here's the "picture worth a thousand words":

 

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

 

********************************************

http://tiffanycartier.stumbleupon.com/

http://hello-kitty.group.stumbleupon.com/ =^..^=

********************************************

 

Thanks Tiffany!

I remember what jogged your memory. It was a question from Joe F that resulted in this article about ReciPc.

Clif

 


 

Tips from CC

permalink

 

From Clif:

CC writes in so often, he deserves an entire website for all of his tips. Here is a small portion of the programs he has tried. CC's comments are in the brown font.

 

 

Text Block Writer - great writer's helper

Tip from CC, Feb 4 2007

 

Applications like this are rarely free so get it while you can

http://softwarebybrian.com/cms/content/view/20/2/

 

NOTE: This program requires version 2.0 of the .NET framework.

 

 

 


 

 

Netvibes - great homepage, tons of news feeds

Tip from CC, Feb 14 2007

 

Msn tried this, it still exists but not popular because of poor content. This new one http://www.netvibes.com/ has a lot more to offer give it a try ...


 


 

Fast Explorer 2006 - manage your right click context menu

Tip from CC, Feb 14 2007

 

http://thesoftpro.tripod.com/downloads/fe/

 

 


 

SIW - System Information for Windows

Tip from CC, Feb 14 2007

 

http://www.gtopala.com/

 

 

SIW (System Information for Windows) performs computer configuration analysis and diagnostics. It gives detailed information about your computer properties and settings, detailed specs for:

• Software: Operating System, Installed Software and Hotfixes, Processes, Services, Users, Open Files, System Uptime, Installed Codecs, Licenses.

• Hardware: Motherboard, Sensors, BIOS, CPU, chipset, PCI/AGP, USB and ISA/PnP Devices, Memory, Video Card, Monitor, Disk Drives, CD/DVD Devices, SCSI Devices, S.M.A.R.T., Ports, Printers.

• Network: Network Cards, Network Shares, currently active Network Connections, Open Ports.

• Tools: Password Recovery, Reveal passwords hidden behind asterisks, Product Keys and Serial Numbers (CD Key), MAC Address Changer, Shutdown / Restart.

• Real-time monitors: CPU, Memory, Page File usage and Network Traffic.

SIW can create a report file (CSV, HTML, TXT or XML), and is able to run in batch mode (for PC Auditing and Inventory).

SIW is a standalone utility that does not require installation - one less installed program on your PC as well the fact that you can run the program directly from a USB flash drive (Portable Freeware).

 


 

 

 

Nargus DeskNote

Tip from CC, Feb 17 2007

 

 

http://www.software.dragonsempire.com/

 


 

John Hood asks what you want to pay for software

tip from JohnHood, Feb 2007, permalink _ Windows Tips

 

John would like to hear from you. What do you want to pay for your software? Comment below.

 

From John Hood:

 

Clif - I don't know if you can use this for the newsletter, but I just did a cost analysis for a home-user basic rig with the "necessary software."

 

Software costs for outfitting a new computer with Windows XP home, purchased off the shelf at any BestBuy in Wisconsin (at 5% sales tax).

 

 

Microsoft Office 2003 - Student / Teacher Edition ... $112.49

Quicken 2007 - $59.95

CyberPatrol $39.95

Trend Micro Internet Security 2007 Edition $49.95

2 year Subscription $89.95

Tivoli Backup $39.95

Ad-Aware SE -$29.95

 

SubTotal = $412.19

With Tax $20.61

Total = $432.80

 

 

Cheaper -

 

Microsoft Works Suite 2006 $99.95 (But it doesn't do MS Office formats)

MS Money - $49.95

Norton Anti-virus 2007 - $39.95

 

You save - $189.85

SubTotal = $212 .34

Tax = $10.63

Total = $223.27

 

 

Cheapest

 

OpenOffice 2.0 Premium $0.00

Mozilla Thunderbird with calendar/tasks add-in - $0.00

Alwil Software Avast Antivirus - $0.00

one year subscription - $0.00

ZoneAlarm Personal Firewall - $0.00

Pl-Cash Personal Checking - $0.00

Computer maintanance - ToniArt Easycleaner - $0.00

Anti Spyware - Spybot Search and Destroy free -$0.00

Upgrades - $0.00

Backup: Cobian Backup - $0.00

 

And:

 

DVD playback - FreeDVD codec - - $0.00

Advanced image manipulation - Gnu Image Manipulation Program - $0.00

DVD burner - DVD Creator Pro - $0.00

Create PDF's - PDF Creator - $0.00

Movie editor - VDub - $0.00

Games - your choice from 3519 titles at http://www.caimen.us/ - $0.00

 

SubTotal = $0 .00

Tax = $0.00

Total = $0.00

 

 

John H.

 

 

John Hood's

The Best of Free Software

for Business and Productivity

http://www.jhoodsoft.org/

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Windiz Update - the Firefox alternative to Windows Update •

Jarte - a compact free WordPad replacement •

RipIt4Me - backup your DVDs •

CallingID Toolbar - protection from getting caught by a Phish •

Jott - just dial 877jotitdown •

BrainCast - record your voice memos by phone •

FrontPage Express - old freeware web page editor •

 

A Search for an easy HTML editor

Configuring OpenOffice for a Microsoft Office world

 

PhET Simulation software - online learning simulation tools •

The Audio Freeware House at DontCrack.com


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COOL WEBSITES

 

CyberGuide is replaced by CyberNirvana

review from ClifNotes, Feb 2007, permalink _ Cool Website

 

I hope you are are familiar with Zia's blog called CyberGuide. Zia has decided to move his blog to a better platform. I like it better and I hope you do too. Be sure to visit.

 

http://www.ziarezvi.com

 

 

 

CyberNirvana

 


 

Freebie Wiki - doing more than I can

review from ClifNotes, Feb 2007, permalink _ Cool Website

 

This group website plans on providing reviews for all free software. Not only Windows, but Linux and Mac as well. That's more than I can do.

 

Quote from the website

This wiki is dedicated to everything that is 100% free. You can find free games, applications, movies etc. What you won't find is shareware, trials or demos.

 

We really hope you enjoy our wiki and that you find what you need. So far there are 350+ entries in our database, and we are constantly working to expand it. You are very welcome to edit the existing articles, add information or start new pages. Developers are welcome to ad their own software, as long as it is free to use (please no "free" demos or trials, though). YOUR help is needed to make this a comprehensive database that can help anyone to find a free alternative for commercial products.

 

http://wiki.freebiewiki.org/

 


 

Making Music: A big list of FREE music making software!

tip from JimiPocius, Feb 2007, permalink _ Audio Editing Tools

 

Jimi sent me this link to a must have resource for those of you who are music geeks.

 

Quote from the website

Here you have a list with the 30 latest FREE Music Making software I've blogged about on Making Music. Free VST's, Plugins, Instruments, Filters, Effects, Trackers, Sequencers & more.


 

http://making-music.blogspot.com/2006/01/big-list-of-free-music-making-software.html

 


 

Midieval Tech Support - have you had trouble opening your text?

review from ClifNotes, Feb 2007, permalink _ Cool Website

 

BillWebb sent me this link. He has a good sense of humor and this video reflects that.

 

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRjVeRbhtRU

 


 

LearnHowTo.tv - videos that make sense

tip from Lesley, Feb 2007, permalink _ Educational Website

 

A letter from Lesley:

Hi Clif,

 

I came across an interesting website.

http://learnhowto.tv/

 

Videos on how to do everything ... from home repair to kissing. LOL, hope you like it.

 

Lesley

 

Quote from the website

The Best Collection of How-To Videos on the Internet!


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Websites I've visited recently

 

Have you seen any cool websites you want to share with us?

 


 

 

 

 

 

NEW NEWS

 

SnapFiles.com - new and updated freeware

Source - http://snapfiles.com/freeware

 

 


 

 

News from Sarah in Tampa

 


 

Security news from Malware Advisor

blog by TeMerc Internet Countermeasures, source

Infected? Go to http://temerc.com for help

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Find out more about Gabbly.com


 

 

 

 

Frapper - you people live all over the world!

Wow! Over 400 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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