• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Files spread between Dropbox, Google Drive, Gmail, Slack, and more? Dokkio, a new product from the PBworks team, integrates and organizes them for you. Try it for free today.



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Welcome to Clif Notes Newsletter

March 25, 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.

Email me

Click here to chat while

visiting this newsletter!








Process Scanner - what's running on your PC?

review from ClifNotes, Mar 2007, permalink System Information


I see this question in the help forums constantly, "How do I know what programs or processes are supposed to be running on my PC?". Often times the answer that they get isn't satisfactory.


Over the years, when I've had this question about a specific process, I always went to Google and typed in the following query: "process processname". Usually my query was answered under a link to the processlibrary.com website. Their website is stuffed with information about the programs running on your PC and they've found ways to make money from all of this information.


Thankfully, they don't charge us for everything they know and they've also given us a few free tools to help us deal with those mysterious programs that run in the background.


The Process Scanner utility is a simple and very small download. It doesn't install anything. You only need to double click the EXE file to run it. After you scan your PC, it opens up a web browser and lists all of the running tasks on your computer. When you need info on a specific task, just highlight it in the browser and scroll down to see a section that explains that task in greater detail. The details there include answers to such questions as "Is this program safe or is it spyware?" and "Does this program really need to be running all the time?".


If you like Process Scanner, you may want to try another utility from the folks behind the ProcessLibrary. It's called Quick Access Infobar and it sets up residence inside your Task Manager applet for quick access to all of the same information simply by hitting CTRL-ALT-DEL on your keyboard.


If you use Process Scanner and utilities like WhatsRunning, you'll soon find that you have gained a great deal of control over your operating system.


Quote from the website

Our new Process Scanner brings new interactive functionality to the Process Library. Simply click on the scan button and the Process Scanner deep scans your system online to provide within seconds a complete list of all the processes, .dlls and other items that open on your system on startup, while the system is running, or even those which are programmed to run later.


Note: This program doesn't appear to run on Win9x systems




BPM Notepad - scrolling notepad for musicians and public speakers

review from ClifNotes, Mar 2007, permalink Text Editors


From Clif:

JimiPocius recently sent me a letter about this program that he personally had a hand in creating. He'd heard about the Coding Snacks at DonationCoder forums and he simply asked them to write this program for him. As you can see below ... it's easy to get customized software at DonationCoder. I downloaded and tried this program out. It's a very good rich text editor and the addition of the scrolling makes it even better.


Post from Jimi to Coding Snacks forum:

hey folks, i'm a musician, and like to do everything on my pc, including lyrics and arrangements for the stuff i write.


i have windows xp, and usually just scroll down as i go ...no big deal if i'm singing (other than having to reach down and scroll the page lower) but when i'm playing an instrument, that can be a chore.


i noticed that if i press and hold my mouse wheel, i can set it to slowly scroll the text files i use down, but it's really hard to get it at the right speed to sync with a song.


so i was thinking maybe one of you amazin' developer gurus philanthropists may be able to help me and all the rest of the musos out there ... read the rest


Quote from "Gothic", author of the program:

BPM Notepad is a text editor for musicians, speakers, or anyone else that needs scrolling text to read. As you read, the text scrolls down, you can start with a preset speed and pause/speed up/down while reading.

Key features


  • Scrolls at pre-defined speed.
  • Easy to pause/resume by hitting the space bar.
  • Handy shortcuts to adjust speed while scrolling.
  • Free!
  • Open source
  • Cross-platform


BPM Notepad Homepage



Request a program at Donation Coder



Listen and Download Jimi's free music




TextMorph - powerful text formatter

review from Tiffany, Mar 2007, permalink Text Editor


Hi Clif,


Every time I use this handy little program, I intend to check your freeware archives before sending it to you, then I get sidetracked with something else. Today I finally put my good intentions to work. Although I use Text Morph mainly for cleaning up emails and either adding or removing double spaces between lines, it does so much more. You can customize the tools in many different ways, and the more you use it, the more you'll find yourself depending on it. Like so many of my favorite programs, Text Morph is something I use daily and hope others will find it as useful as I do.


The website describes it in detail:


TextMorph v2.1


TextMorph is a FREE powerful ASCII text formatter. It is also a text editor, similar to Notepad. There are lots of text editing programs around, but TextMorph has a number of things that set it apart. TextMorph has a number of "tools" that you can apply to the text, such as converting from text to HTML and vice versa, cleaning up emails (removing all those ">" signs and so forth), search and replace by words OR multiple paragraphs, changing upper/lower case, etc. - all with the click of a mouse! You can also create your own custom tools that utilize the pre-set tools. Plus, with the Multiple File Morph wizard, you can apply tools to a large group of files at one time, without having to open and edit each file. This makes TextMorph an ideal program for people who work with large numbers of text files or archives of HTML or text content, as it can quickly and easily apply formatting to all files.


But most people can benefit from TextMorph if for no other reason than using it to quickly "clean up" forwarded emails. TextMorph is a fairly simple program to use, but it is also very powerful and provides many advanced options including command line processing of files and the ability to actually make your own tools and interface them with TextMorph, which can be very useful to programmers.


TextMorph runs on all 32-bit Windows platforms from Windows 95B on, and is easy to install and uninstall. It has been thoroughly tested on Windows 95B and Windows XP. Complete program information and examples are given in the help file that comes with the program.


Win2000/XP/2003: Download TextMorph v2.1 (About 1 MB)

Win95/98/NT/ME: Download TextMorph v2.1 (About 2 MB)





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




Pixie - an on screen colour picker

review from Chris Wells, Mar 2007, permalink Color-Pickers


From Clif:

Thanks Chris, I like this program too. I used to use it all of the time. Now I'm partial to a little utility called Zzoom. Pixie is better for picking out new colors though.


Chris Wells wrote the following:

Pixie - an On screen colour picker



WHERE IS THE WEBSITE AT? http://www.nattyware.com/pixie.html











WHERE DID YOU FIND IT? Recommended by a friend

WERE YOU LOOKING FOR SOMETHING LIKE THIS? No - but can't live without it now!


WHAT ARE YOU USING IT FOR? Graphic and web design; colour matching exact colours when redo-ing logos, or designing something to match a logo

WHAT WERE YOU USING BEFORE YOU FOUND THIS? Print screen command and Photoshop





DOES IT COME WITH HELP FILES? Yes, built into the program itself

WHAT FEATURES DO YOU LIKE OR NOT LIKE? hotkey commands interfere with Photoshop key commands (Ctrl + Alt + Z), but you can change them



Zzoom - screen magnifier, color picker, screen capture

review from ClifNotes, Mar 2007, permalink Color-Pickers


Excellent freeware in a very small package. Does it all in 14kb. Download it. Unzip it. No install needed. Just run it and start capturing screen areas or zooming in to see details or copying colors. Click the ? to see the command keys.


Quote from the website

A screen magnifier, color picker and image grabber, all in one!

  • 1x - 15x zoom
  • Crosshair toggle
  • Zoom level accessible via menu
  • Mousewheel is now used to zoom in-out
  • Smart refresh option
  • Resizable window
  • Lower CPU usage when not active
  • Copy color to clipboard
  • Copy image to clipboard
  • Grid
  • Precision cursor movements




Google Talk - best integration between chat and email

review from ClifNotes, Mar 2007, permalink Instant Messaging


Back in 2005, I posted a little review from BrettsReviews about Google Talk, the free instant messenger program from Google. Since that time, I've come to use it occasionally and it's the only single service chat client I have. I do use a few multiple chat clients like EasyMessage and PortableGaim. I definitely do not have Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger or AOL Messenger.


I like Gtalk because it keeps me up to date on my Gmail accounts and all of the chat sessions are also logged in my Gmail for easy searching later on.


If you don't have Gmail, don't bother downloading the Gtalk program, you need the one to use the other. Gmail is free though, and it gives you access to a 2.8Gb webmail account that you can use with any email client such as Outlook Express or Mozilla's ThunderBird. Just go to Gmail.com to sign up.


Lately, I've been using Meebo.com to access all of my chat accounts online. They even support my Gtalk account. There I can chat with all of my buddies in Yahoo, MSN, AOL, ICQ, and Gtalk all on the same web page.


Quote from the website

Google Talk is Google's instant communications service. Like Gmail, Google's free webmail service, Google Talk uses Google's innovative technologies to help people communicate more effectively and efficiently. This means Google Talk is fast, intuitive and fun to use.


It also means you can start thinking about instant communications in a new way. Google Talk offers you different ways to integrate real time communications into your online experience. The Google Talk Gadget lets you see who's online and send instant messages from your Google Personalized Homepage, without installing any software. You can also add the same instant messaging capabilities to your own webpage or blog by cutting and pasting a single line of code. And by downloading the Google Talk Client, you can make voice calls and transfer files to your friends.


And if you use Gmail, Google Talk offers you even more. You'll find all of your Gmail contacts organized in your Talk contacts list. Gmail also archives all of your Google Talk chats and makes them searchable. And since Google Talk is integrated into Gmail, you'll be able to chat with all your Talk contacts there, too.



















Old Newsletter


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



















Is freeware doomed when we switch to Vista?

news from BillAllin, Mar 2007, permalink


From Clif:

Bill Allin sent me this update from the mysterious MS Mole. At one point, they mention that lots of good freeware won't run in Windows Vista. I'm hoping it's just a matter of time until people get adjusted to Vista. I've heard that most of the stand-alone programs that don't write to the registry still work ok. Getting Windows Vista Certification is nice, but it's not required as I understand it. Feel free to comment below if I need corrected.


Side note: Does anyone want to create a good logo for MS Mole? I see lots of images online but I'm sure most of them are legally protected from scavengers. Just comment below and leave your email addy. It won't show up on the comment page.


From Bill:

Hi Clif,


MS Mole reports that the gloves are off and the down and dirty fighting has begun between Microsoft and several large software manufacturers who refuse to submit to the $10,000 fee MS wants to certify each piece of software for its Vista operating system. Big names in play are Symantec, McAfee and Sage (top level owner of most well known accounting programs and packages).

Some software makers of big programs have said that they won't support any use of their programs on Vista systems. This has prompted more threats of litigation from their customers.


Small software makers and freeware programmers haven't a hope of meeting those costs, so unless something changes lots of good freeware will not run in Vista. No workaround is in sight at this time.


Microsoft has withdrawn all advertising it planned to issue promoting Vista for the next two weeks. Considering the Vista budget, that's a lot of cash that won't be flowing for a while.


Many users of Internet Explorer 7 may be happy with their conversion, but it's causing headaches for others. The problems with the security of IE7 are apparently so bad that a few insiders are whispering that it may not even be possible to fully fix the browser.


With Microsoft under attack from many sides, one good piece of news is that it is negotiating with one anti-virus maker (I can't mention names, but it's big in Europe and not so well known in North America) to use its method for checking for installed components before recommending updates. Over the past year MS has loaded hoards of useless code into unsuspecting users' computers because the MS update software can't seem to tell accurately what a computer needs and what it already has installed.


In general, the reaction of Microsoft to its extremely stressful situations is to raise its fees for all kinds of things. It also has begun to engage several software makers in joint agreements (ostensibly for the use of their software) whose main purpose is to prevent them from suing MS because of a mutual protection clause it puts into all such agreements.


Despite its obvious good works (including fighting AIDS and illiteracy), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation serves to garner the Microsoft boss and his company lots of good publicity to help counteract the negative press that is about to explode in the near future.



Bill Allin

'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems,' a book about real and inexpensive solutions to community problems most people think are inevitable evils of modern society. They aren't. We just have to look in the right place.


Learn more at http://billallin.com

Contact author Bill Allin at turningitaround@sympatico.ca




How to create your own Strange Windows Wallpapers

tip from Edvard at DonationCoder, Mar 2006, permalink Desktop Tools


From Clif:

Edvard at DonationCoder forums showed us a cool trick that can be done with MS Paint and your own desktop. Take a look at the wallpaper on my desktop and then pop on over to DC forums for info on how it's done.




click to expand picture


David Letterman's tribute to Bill Gates

tip from Zia Rezvi (CyberNirvana), Mar 2007, permalink Funny



From Clif:

Thanks for the tip Zia!





SundaySaver - no more lost coupons

From Tiffany - TipsFromTiffany, Mar 23 2007

Attention Shoppers and Bargain Hunters:


Didn't get the Sunday paper? Someone threw out the ad you wanted to look at? SundaySaver shows Sunday Newspaper ads and weekly sales circulars from every store in America, and you won't get newsprint on your fingers. SundaySaver has saved me time and frustration, and is especially helpful around the holidays when traffic is long, tempers short, and patience non-existent! Just enter your zipcode and let your mouse do the walking!







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




















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.

Windows Communicator - chatting at home on your LAN •

IcoFX Icon Editor Reviewed •

KMPlayer - CD, DVD, MP3, Playing Streaming and Ripping •

Network Traffic Monitor

Songbird - music to the ears of Mozilla fans •

Remote Selector - play DVD's with no worries about region codes •



TweakGuides.com - for the geek in us all •

Freecycle.org - another man's junk can be your treasure •

Screen Cleaner from Microsoft? •



Chow.com - recipes, photos, cooking tips, yum yum •



















CoolSites Newsletter this week


Here are a few links from Mark's CoolSites Newsletter. Be sure to visit his site and see the rest of his links this week.


March 23 2007 COOLSITES by Mark Donaldson Issue 105

PC Tools Firewall Plus Free Edition 2.0 - Free Software Downloads and Software Reviews - Download. com: http://www.download.com/PC-Tools-Firewall-Plus-Free-Edition/3000-10435_4-10625321.html?tag=nl.e415


New. Advanced Security Tool 1.1.0 by PatilanSoft: http://www.patilan.com/


25 Hottest Urban Legends: http://www.snopes.com/info/top25uls.asp


Clipart Public Domain optimized for word processors: http://www.wpclipart.com/


France opens up its UFO files - space - 22 March 2007 - New Scientist Space: http://space.newscientist.com/article/dn11443-france-opens-up-its-ufo-files.html


Free Software, Free Society - Support the FSF: https://www.fsf.org/associate/support_freedom


Great Firewall of China. Test any website and see in real-time if it's censored in China: http://greatfirewallofchina.org/test/


Quote from the website

COOLSITES is a list of safe, fun, useful, informative and just plain cool websites and programs that are FREE, FREE and FREE. All of the programs and websites I list are free. If I list anything that is so good but isn't free I will list the price with it.




Links from Lesley

Mar 2007, permalink Links


From Clif:

Lesley wrote me with a list of a few places she thinks are cool sites. Maybe she should send a few to Mark at CoolSitesNewsletter? Thanks Lesley!


From Lesley:

Hiya Clif,


Here are some great sites and software I've found on the Net

I hope you and your newpaper members enjoy them.



Take stock of your home



List files in a Windows folder



Family tree software



Beautiful newsletters in a snap



Video, fax, and phone



Highway pursuit driving sim



Add professional touches to digital photos











Websites I've visited recently


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









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




A veiw from CyberNirvana


CyberNirvana: Zia's blog about the web and web technology.




























Get Gmail! and Get Firefox!


You need a free 2.8 GB Gmail account to access many of the cool features at Google. After more than two years in beta testing Gmail is open to the public. Just go to http://gmail.com and sign up for an account.



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 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.



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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