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

  • Social distancing? Try a better way to work remotely on your online files. Dokkio, a new product from PBworks, can help your team find, organize, and collaborate on your Drive, Gmail, Dropbox, Box, and Slack files. Sign up for free.



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Welcome to Clif Notes Newsletter

June 17, 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!






Ad-Aware 2007 - new look but no major improvements

review from ClifNotes, Jun 2007, permalink Adware & Spyware Removal


Ad-Aware is still the number one adware removal tool in my opinion. I use it often. If you don't have a copy of Ad-Aware, you should get it now. The new version has a new look to it and they have added a couple of nifty new features. The new features aren't anything most of us don't already have in some other program. I guess it's hard to make substantial improvements to something that was already number one.


When I heard there was a new version, I happily went to LavaSoft and downloaded it. First, I ran ERUNT to get a backup of my registry so that I could truly uninstall it when I want to. Then I installed it normally.


I ran it through a typical update and scan. It works good and I didn't notice any differences in speed while scanning so I'm not impressed yet. I didn't try out the new features but I'll get around to that eventually.


I wanted to see if I could turn it into a stand-alone copy for my USB drive that I use at work. I made a copy of the Program Files folder, uninstalled it, and restored the previous registry backup so that there were no traces of it left in my system.


Then I ran the copy of AW 2007 that I saved and it immediately crashed. It looks like they giveth with one hand and taketh with the other. Maybe somebody will figure out how to make Ad-Aware 2007 into a portable version without screwing it up too badly. I'll be keeping my older copies of Ad-Aware SE Personal until then.



click to expand picture

Quote from the website

Ad-Aware 2007 Free remains the most popular anti-spyware product for computer users around the world, with nearly one million downloads every week. Our free anti-spyware version provides you with advanced protection against spyware that secretly attaches and takes control of your computer, resulting in aggressive advertising pop-ups, sluggish computer activity, even identity theft through stolen bank details, passwords, and credit card account numbers.




Safari 3 beta - Apple's new web browser for Windows

review from ClifNotes, Jun 2007, permalink Web Browser


I see new gadgets on the web and I just have to try them. Safari web browser is no different. The first thing the website tells you is how much faster Safari is. They aren't kidding though. It is pretty darned quick.


I tried it out for awhile and I struggled with it trying to find all of the shortcut keys for doing the things I normally do. I was surprised that I couldn't find any shortcuts for forward and back. What are they thinking? I was ready to uninstall it right after that.


I also struggled with the tabs in Safari. There only seemed to be one spot to set them up and no matter what I did, sometimes new instances of Safari would pop up instead of a new browser tab.


If you decide to try Safari out, I'm sure you'll be impressed with the speed. My wife also noticed that IE's favorites were auto-imported. However, there are more things a web browser should do than just get you where you are going. It's going to take a lot of work from Apple before I give up on Firefox and start using Safari. My wife intends to surf with it since she's everywhere on the 'net. She plans to stick to well known sites until the security tests come in.


Quote from the website

The fastest web browser on any platform, Safari loads pages up to 2 times faster than Internet Explorer 7 and up to 1.6 times faster than Firefox 2.


Safari’s clean, sleek look lets you focus on the web instead of your browser. The browser frame is a mere one pixel wide. You see a scroll bar only when you need one. You see no status bar by default — a blue progress bar fills the address field as the page loads — giving you more room to browse and view the web.





Opera 9.21 USB - excellent portable browser

review from ClifNotes, Jun 2007, permalink Web Browser


Every time I fire up my portable version of Opera, I'm amazed by how fast and light it feels. Yes, I use Firefox 2 every day and it has everything I need. If I could find a few more Opera plugins to help me with my jobs, I swear I'd switch over.


Opera USB has everything the regular installation of Opera has, so I figured, why install it? I'll just keep a copy on my hard drive and make a new copy whenever I need it. Everything stays up to date that way. Email, bookmarks, passwords, notes and all can be taken on the road via my handy USB stick.


The newest version of Opera doesn't add anything earth shaking, but it already has so many functions that it could easily be called bloatware. It just doesn't act and feel bloated.


Here are a few of the new features.

Speed Dial

Now you have a new way to access your favorite Web sites. Just open a new tab to get your Speed Dial. It's easy to populate and addictive to use.


Fraud protection

Opera's advanced fraud protection protects you against web sites that try to steal your personal information.



You don't need a separate BitTorrent application to download large files. Simply click a torrent link and start the download.


Add your favorite search engines

Right-click on the site's search field and select "Create search" from the menu.


Content blocker

Remove ads or images - it's up to you. Right-click (CTRL-click on the Mac) on the Web page and choose "Block content".


Site preferences

Want to view a site in a different way or deny certain cookies? Want to block pop-ups on certain sites only? Right click and select "Edit site preferences".



Small Web applications (multimedia, newsfeeds, games and more) that make your desktop experience more fun. Use the Widgets menu to discover new widgets and access your favorites. Visit widgets.opera.com to learn more.


Improved rich text editing

Use advanced text editing features for today's most popular Web applications.


Thumbnail preview

It is easy to have many tabs open at once in Opera. But exactly which tab had that video you wanted? Hover your mouse on any tab to see a thumbnail preview.

Efficient surfing



Quote from the website

You want to use all opera features mobile - no problem !


- there are no unwanted effects on IE or other browsers

- existing opera versions are also not affected

- make no entries to the registry

- leave no data on the guestcomputer


What do i need for Opera@USB ?


- a computer with an internet connection

- a USB-Stick / USB Flashdrive with about 8 MB space left



Click to discuss this article!



JkDefrag - a unique and handy defrag tool

review from ClifNotes, Jun 2007, permalink Disk Cleanup


What was the first thing I thought when I ran the screen saver version of JkDefrag?


OH NO! I've screwed up my computer ...


Fortunately I was wrong. JkDefrag's interface is just so different than what I expected. It almost looks like one of the many psychedelic screensavers out there.


How well does it work? I really don't know, but it does seem to work. The cool part is how you can set it up as a screensaver. If your screensaver pops on a few times a day, your hard disk should remain fairly well defragged.


The program comes zipped up and there is no installation needed. After you unpack the zip file into a folder, you'll see a few executable files in it that you can run.



Windows version. This is what most people will use. No installation or configuration necessary, it's ready to run and will automatically process all the mounted, writable, fixed volumes on your computer



Commandline version. Specially designed to be run automatically in the background, or from administrator scripts.


JkDefragScreenSaver.exe + JkDefragScreenSaver.scr

Screen saver version. Move (or copy) these two files to the "system32" folder on your harddisk (usually "c:\Windows\System32\" or "c:\Winnt\System32\"). It will automatically become visible in the list of screensavers as "JkDefrag screensaver" and can be used just like any other screensaver (right-click somewhere on your desktop and select Properties, then select the Screen Saver tab).




Quote from the website

Free (released under the GNU General Public License) disk defragment and optimize utility for Windows 2000/2003/XP/Vista/X64. Completely automatic and very easy to use, fast, low overhead, with several optimization strategies, and can handle floppies and USB disks/sticks. Included are a Windows version, a commandline version (for scheduling by the task scheduler or for use from administrator scripts), a screensaver version, a DLL library (for use from programming languages), and versions for Windows X64.




Click to discuss this article!



MessenPass - getting lost IM passwords from your PC

notes from ClifNotes, Jun 2007, permalink Instant Messaging


Mindblower wrote me the other day with a time saving find. As soon as I saw where he'd gotten this one, it was like seeing a 5 gold star rating. Anything you find at Nirsoft.net is likely to be very well designed, simple to use, light weight, and spyware free.


from Mindblower:

I was searching for this program, visited your archives, found nothing, but lucky for me I discovered this marvelous gem.


Below is an extract from the readme file. I tried to come up some sweet words about this program, but other than it works and it saved me from a ton of useless work, the author says it best, Mindblower!


There are loads of other freeware software at this site. Believe I tried some others and was also very impressed.


Quote from the website

MessenPass v1.12

Copyright (c) 2004 - 2007 Nir Sofer

Web site: http://www.nirsoft.net




MessenPass is a password recovery tool that reveals the passwords of the following instant messenger applications:

  • MSN Messenger
  • Windows Messenger (In Windows XP)
  • Windows Live Messenger (In Windows XP And Vista)
  • Yahoo Messenger (Versions 5.x and 6.x)
  • Google Talk
  • ICQ Lite 4.x/5.x/2003
  • AOL Instant Messenger (only older versions, the password in newer versions of AIM cannot be recovered)
  • AOL Instant Messenger/Netscape 7
  • Trillian
  • Miranda
  • GAIM/Pidgin

MessenPass can only be used to recover the passwords for the current logged-on user on your local computer, and it only works if you chose the remember your password in one of the above programs. You cannot use this utility for grabbing the passwords of other users.




Free WMA to MP3 Converter - as simple as it sounds

review from ClifNotes, Jun 2007, permalink Audio Encoders and Converters


A few weeks ago someone wrote in and recommended this program. I'm sorry, I don't recall who it was. In any case, I tried it out this week when I ripped some songs off a CD. The ripper I was using didn't recognize the mp3 encoder I'm using so I selected them to be ripped in WMA format.


Converting WMAs to MP3s is a breeze with this little tool. Be sure to check out the rest of the free tools at this website as well.


click to expand picture

Quote from the website

Free WMA to MP3 Converter can convert Windows Media files to MP3 files which can be played in MP3 Players. All Windows Media formats (*.wma, *.wmv, *.asf) are supported. The program is a freeware and does not contain any form of malware, including but not limited to: spyware, viruses, trojans and backdoors.



Click to discuss this article!



Word Processor Review from Zaine at Donation Coder

comments from ClifNotes, Jun 2007, permalink Word Processing


Zaine Riddling at DonationCoder isn't afraid of a big review. He's taken on the task of trying out most of the best word processing programs available and telling us what he thinks about them.





Quote from the website


Microsoft Word 2007

WordPerfect X3





Papyrus WORD


Ability Write



602 Text



Google Docs

ThinkFree Office Write

Zoho Writer


  • Summary: Final Thoughts and Recommendations




Click to discuss this article!






























Old Newsletter


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



















The Quintessential Guide to Creating High Quality MP3s

tip from ClifNotes, Jun 2007, permalink Windows Tips


When I was playing with a WMA to MP3 converter, I decided to find out more about ripping MP3 files from CDs. Apparently I had a lot to learn, but I did find a website that makes it sound simple. Afterdawn is a website and forum of audiophyles who love to help others get the best sounds from their equipment.


Here is an article I found useful.


Quote from the website

My name is Chris Myden and for the past 5 years or so I have operated a website called Elite DAE which is a community dedicated to helping people create high quality audio extractions. Our experience with extracting audio from CDs and audio compression techniques led us to creating a high quality MP3 guide. We wanted the guide to be easy to understand, even for newbies, so we could help rid the world of low quality MP3s.


read the rest of the article



Click to discuss this article!



Why DRM Doesn't Work

tip from ClifNotes and DavesComputerTips, Jun 2007, permalink Windows Tips


From Clif:

Dave's newsletter had a good article in it this week. I'd like to share it with you.


From Dave's Computer Tips Newsletter:

What is DRM?


DRM is an acronym you may get to know very well, if you haven't already! Digital Rights Management is a broad term used to describe the ability to control media. Content providers and wonderful organizations (sarcasm intended) such as the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) want the ability to control what you do with music and video content you buy. DRM is the cornerstone of their way on copyright infringement. It is meant to restrict the copying and playing of digital files based on what the provider of that files want's to limit your actions to.


Read the rest!

DRM doesn't work and won't ever!


Click to discuss this article!



Dad at the Comedy Barn

notes from ClifNotes, Jun 2007, permalink Funny


Dave clued me in on this funny video in his most recent DavesComputerTips newsletter. I was laughing so hard it made me cry.




Click to discuss this article!











Internet Fixes Weekend Windup

tips from Gary at InternetFixes, Windows Tips


From Clif:

Gary at Internet Fixes continues to amaze me with hundreds and thousands of tips for your PC. Whatever your operating system, or how you use it, a visit to Gary's site will soon have you saying "So that's how you do this!".


Sign up for Gary's newsletter?



Mondays News Letter Tips.


1. Nothing Happens When You Click The "Read Mail" Button In Internet Explorer 7.




2. "You've Opened A New Tab" Message Appears Whenever A New Tab Is Opened In IE 7.




3. Convert Your FAT32 File System To NTFS.




4. Internet Explorer 6.0 Opens As A Small Window.




5. Your Task Manager "Users" Tab Is Empty.




6. Print Out A Copy Of Your Hardware Specs In Windows XP.




7. Get Rid Of A Jammed Print Job In Windows XP.




8. Speed Up Your Browsing By Removing Images From Web pages In XP.




Click The Link Below To Join My News Letter.


The Form At The Link Below Covers Both Monday and Wednesdays News Letter.




PC Problems? Use My New Detailed Help Form.




Clean Install Procedure For XP Pro With Full Graphics!




Have a Friend Or Colleague That One Of My Tips May Benefit? Forward This News Letter To Them!


Backup Your Registry.




Wednesdays News Letter Tips.


1. Quickly Connect To Network Shortcuts In Windows XP.




2. Expand Your View With The Full Screen Feature In Windows XP.




3. Avoid Web Traps.




4. Customize Windows XP Color Schemes.




5. Enhance Your Interface By Applying Themes In Windows XP.




6. Clean Up Your Temporary Internet Files Folder.




7. Constantly Getting Runtime Errors In Internet Explorer 6.




8. Tweaks You Can Make To Internet Explorer That Will Make It More FTP-friendly.




IF01101 How Can I Stop Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) from opening documents in the IE.




IF01102 I am unable to see full amount of a new hard drive I bought and installed.




IF01103 Is Your Computer Running Slowly?




IF01104 My Web Browser Has Been Hijacked.




IF01105 How Do I Enable / Disable Or Delete Internet Cookies?




IF01106 How Do I Prevent Windows Messenger Pop-ups?




IF01107 How Do I Stop Pop-up Or Pop-under Internet Ads?




IF01108 How Do I Enable And Or Disable The Microsoft Windows XP Firewall?




IF01109 You Can’t Find A Lost Windows Product Key?




IF01110 Hyperlinks Not Working In Internet Explorer 6.0.




IF01111 Your Windows Installer Could Not Be Accessed Error (Windows XP).




IF01112 How Do I Create A New User Account Profile In XP.




IF01113 Hyperlinks in Outlook Express Messages Stop Working.




IF01114 Correct An NTLDR Or NTDETECT.COM Not Found Error.




IF01115 Rectify A Missing Or Corrupt NTFS.SYS Error In XP.















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.



Living Screensavers - pretty, simple and free •

ScribeFire - a better blog tool for Firefox •

Accenter - for help with accented text •

Better Gmail - shortcuts, skins and more •

Meebo Rooms - Meebo adds chat rooms •

Securemaker - the death of All-in-One Secretmaker •




Easy Money in your Mail - NOT!

McAfee reports on Web security




Txt2HTML - free help publishing text online •



















Vista-Themes.net - free themes, icons and wallpapers

review from ClifNotes, Jun 2007, permalink Web Service


My friend Coathanger, admin at FreewareForum and webmaster of Decent Downloads, wrote me this week. He wanted to show off his newest website called Vista-Themes. He has a super nice collection of XP and Vista themes, icons and wallpapers. Natually, they are all FREE!


Be sure to drop by, click around, and say HI to him there.


Quote from the website

The purpose of the site is to find the most visually appealing wallpapers, screensavers, icons and visual styles for Windows XP/Vista. Too often screensavers and visual styles come packaged with malware. We are committed to listing only clean free Windows customization resources.




Click to discuss this article!



WebRide - discuss the web

review from ClifNotes, Jun 2007, permalink Web Service


I've decide to try out a new comment service here. HaloScan is great, but maybe this one will be "greater".

Please tell me what you think.


Quote from the website

Webride - Discuss The Web!


  • Comment everywhere

Webride automatically attaches discussion forums to each and every web page on the Internet.

Use the input field on the homepage or our browser tool (bookmarklet) to start discussions on web pages you are interested in. With Webride, you are not restricted to only blogs!


  • Join existing discussions

Participate in interesting discussions on Webride.org. All you need is your browser.


  • Tag discussions and stay organized

Tag and recover discussions you participate in. All your comments get aggregated on your personal profile page.


  • Get to know interesting people

Meet intelligent and good-looking people at Webride. Make friends with like-minded people and share your thoughts.


  • "Web 2.0"-enable your web site

Embed a feature-rich community seemlessly into the layout of your static website, using some simple HTML







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.


June 15 COOLSITES Newsletter Issue 117 by Mark Donaldson


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.




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

Source - http://sarahintampa.com




Security news from Malware Advisor

blog by TeMerc Internet Countermeasures, source

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




A view 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 700 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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