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

  • Finally, you can manage your Google Docs, uploads, and email attachments (plus Dropbox and Slack files) in one convenient place. Claim a free account, and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) can automatically organize your content for you.



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Welcome to Clif Notes Newsletter

August 19, 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!






WinPatrol - puts you back in control of your PC

review by ClifNotes on 6/18/05, updated August 2007 permalink PC Activity Monitoring


WinPatrol has been a standard part of almost every PC I use. It is typically one of the first programs I load on a new PC. Version 12 adds the option to generate a Hijack log (similar to HijackThis log) so that you can post it into help forums like TeMerc's.




Quote from the website - Scotty the Windows Watch Dog sniffs out malicious "mysteryware" , web attacks and parasites that may assault your computer. WinPatrol puts you back in control of your computer so you'll know what programs are and should be running at all times. WinPatrol uses a heuristic approach to detecting attacks and violations of your computing environment. Traditional security programs scan your hard drive searching for previously identified threats. WinPatrol takes snapshot of your critical system resources and alerts you to any changes that may occur without your knowledge. You'll be removing dangerous new programs while others download new reference files.


Website - Download - Freeware



HijackThis - free analysis tool helps identify malware

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


I've been pretty lucky the last couple of years. I really haven't gotten any nasty spyware or adware infections on my computers. In a way, that's a shame. I've always enjoyed analyzing and defeating them. I've heard that I surely wouldn't enjoy fighting them more recently. They are evolving fast and are getting extremely hard to remove now.


One of my old favorites for fighting infections is HijackThis (HJT). The crazy part about HJT now is that there are two versions of it that you can use. I believe the author sold it to Trend Micro (TM). While TM is a very respected computer security supplier, they are definitely in it for the money and lots of folks hated to see this happen. I've only seen some small differences in the versions. Maybe a security expert will comment on those differences for us below.


The old version of HJT is still available from a nearly hidden link at the author's site.

Author's Website - Download


The newer version is at Trend Micro.

HijackThis Overview


I recommend that you only use it to scan your PC and post your HijackThis log at Temerc's forum, or some other trusted security forum. You could accidently create more problems than you fix. I have very nearly crashed a PC or two by not using it correctly. I've been very lucky so far. You might not be so lucky.


Quote from the website

HijackThis™ is a free utility which quickly scans your Windows computer to find settings that may have been changed by spyware, malware or other unwanted programs. HijackThis creates a report, or log file, with the results of the scan.


IMPORTANT: HijackThis does not determine what is good or bad. Do not make any changes to your computer settings unless you are an expert computer user.


Advanced users can use HijackThis to remove unwanted settings or files.





Alcohol 52% - 6 virtual CDs on your PC

review from ClifNotes, Aug 2007, permalink CD Ripping Tools


When it comes to making copies of copy protected CDs, many people first think of the famous Alcohol 120%. It costs about $30 or so. They do have a free version that allows you to create up to 6 virtual CDs on your computer.


What does that mean? If I have a game I want to play and it requires the game CD to be in the computer's CD slot, I can get around that now. I will simply use Alcohol 52% to create a virtual copy of the CD on my hard drive and it will also "mount" the copy so that it looks like it's a real CD on the system. My game will now run without a real CD in the CD slot.


Here's a tip. Alcohol 52% wants to load a couple of auto-run programs, one of which is the service that allows it to mount the virtual CD. I didn't allow those to run because I already had a very nice virtual CD program called VirtualCloneDrive. Once I pointed the Virtual Clone Drive to the copies of CDs I made with Alcohol, it easily recognized them and mounted them as virtual CDs that I could play.


Quote from the website

There are no limitations on this version, other than the ability to create only 6 virtual drives. Our retail version still supports 31 virtual drives.


Remember you can not run Alcohol 52% if you have Alcohol 120% installed on the same drive.


This version of Alcohol 52% is for private, non-commercial, single home computer use only.The license is provided personally to you and for that reason it does not allow you to make any duplicate (copy) to be sold, borrowed, assigned, leased or transferred.


Emulation software allowing users to play CDs DVDs without the need for the physical disc. Notebook users and PC Game players would benifit the most from Alcohol 52% Supports 25 plus languages Can handle up to 6 virtual CD DVD-ROM drives, all at once. The reading speed of a virtual CD-ROM is 200X.


This means you can play a CD from the virtual CD-ROM with 200X reading speed. Supports normal CD DVD and CD RAW sub-channel reading methods: RAW reading method enables to emulate all CDs.


Download it here:




Google Pack adds some real treats

review from ClifNotes, Aug 2007, permalink Office Suite


Google offers a big collection of free software in their Google Pack. Two recent additions have really gotten a lot of attention and for good reasons.


They've added an Office Suite called Star Office, which is the grand-daddy of the OpenOffice suite that I typically use at home. It's great and I'm sure lots of folks will really appreciate another alternative to Microsoft's Office suite.


One last item I'll be downloading soon is the free or "Starter Edition" of Spyware Doctor (SD). SD is a top notch anti-spyware application and the free version is a great addition to your security as an added spyware scanner.


Take a look below at some of the other software included.


Quote from the website

Google Pack is:

• Software specifically selected by Google

• Always free - no trial versions or spyware

• Ready to use in just a few clicks




Secunia Personal Software Inspector

comments from ClifNotes, Aug 2007, permalink Security Tools


Recently I've been told by at least two people that I should try this one out. Thanks to Mindblower and Tiffany for the details about it.


Review from Tiffany:


Hi Clif,


Although your newsletter is by far my favorite, I do read others, and got this tip from Cloudeight Information Avenue. Secunia has introduced a new program called Secunia PSI, for Personal Software Inspector (BETA). After downloading, it will help you access the software you have installed on your computer and check for outdated installations, software that needs to be updated and any bad things that managed to sneak by your security software.


A quote from their website:


The Secunia PSI detects installed software and categorises your software as either Insecure, End-of-Life, or Up-To-Date. Effectively enabling you to focus your attention on software installations where more secure versions are available from the vendors.


Highlights of The Secunia PSI:


• The Secunia PSI will be available free of charge

• Calculates your unique Secunia System Score

• Automatically scans your computer

• Enables you to update Insecure/End-of-Life software

• Provides Direct Download Links to security updates & patches

• Detects and advises on more than 4,200 applications

• Direct correlation between thousands of Secunia Advisories and your specific system and software

• Secure SSL encrypted connection to Secunia


It's still in beta but it worked fine for me and a couple of friends, so I feel safe in recommending it to you. I was more than a little surprised to find just how out of date I was! I hope SecuniaPSI will be of help to you and your readers. Just be aware that the more software you have installed on your computer, the longer it's going to take to get results, so be patient.




Tiffany Cartier



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








Anim8tor free animation studio

Comments from ClifNotes, Aug 2007, permalink Animation Tools


Review from azw88


This is for an application called Anim8or a 3-D graphic and animation program




WHERE IS THE WEBSITE AT? www.anim8or.com




WHAT KIND OF PROGRAM IS IT? It is a 3-D modeling and animation program

WHAT VERSIONS OF WINDOWS ARE REQUIRED? Works with 2000 and XP, not sure about Vista









Was looking for a way to do stop-motion animation/claymation in digital format.



WHAT ARE YOU USING IT FOR? I used it with my Middle School technology Classes.



WHAT PROBLEMS HAS IT CAUSED? It can take a long time to render complicated animation sequences, esp. if older computer is used.


IS THE PROGRAM EASY TO USE? Sort of. It has a good manual online and website has several tutorials to learn the ins and outs of the program.



easy to create 3-D images and text.


Rendering can be a bit of an issue at times.



Quote from the website

Anim8or is a 3D modeling and character animation program that I have written over the past couple of years, not as a commercial endeavor, but because I love 3D graphics, animation, and programming. While it is far from a complete professional level application like 3DStudio MAX or Lightwave, I believe that it has enough capability to be of use to others.


























Old Newsletter


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



















Gtalk has group chat feature?

review from ClifNotes, Aug 2007, permalink Windows Tips


I've always wondered why Google Talk (Gtalk) never had a group chat feature in it. That's just one of the reasons why I either use Meebo.com or Gaim to access my instant messenger services.


Now I find out that it sort of does have this feature but it's actually in a web browser form of the program.


Below is a snip from a blog post that shows you how to use the Google Talk Gadget in the Side Bar in Firefox.


Quote from the blog

First, open the talkgadget client webpage (or load Google Talk in Sidebar) and sign in using your Google Account / GMail credentials. Next, initiate a conversation with any of your Google Talk contacts who's online and then click the "Group Chat" button.


That's it. You just have to invite your other Google Talk friends to this private Google conference room. And there's no limit on the maximum number of participants that can join your Gtalk conference session.




Did you know Opera has widgets?

review from Bob Constans, Jul 2007, permalink Web Browser


Here's a tip from Bob:

Okay, by now you should have SOME idea about what widgets are, or you know them as Gadgets. Anyway, you prolly didn't know that Opera supports them in-browser (you don't need anything else - like Vista or Yahoo Widgets Engine or Google Toolbar or any other toolbar/crutch). However, they didn't start out with a bunch, and it's a smaller developer base, so it taken a while until there was much of a selection or a single destination to browse them - that's THIS link


They've got lotsa cool stuff, useless stuff, useful stuff like security thingies and password generators ... you should check it out yourselves. It's one more reason to Switch To Opera, besides it being better, faster, safer, etc.


It's even got a couple sudoku games and that darned Badger Dance thing.


URL: http://widgets.opera.com/



Quote from the website



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.




The Tale of The Killer Biscuits

Notes from ClifNotes, Jul 2007, permalink Funny


I've seen this email on the net for a long time. Even though I know it's probably fake, I still think it's pretty funny.


How do you know if an email is fake? Check with HoaxSlayer.


Quote from the HoaxSlayer blog:

He asked her if she was okay, and Linda replied that she'd been shot in the back of the head, and had been holding her brains in for over an hour.

Read more at the blog









What free software do you need?

Notes from ClifNotes, Jul 2007, permalink Windows Tips



So what do you need? Write it down below and I'll see if I can find it. If you know the answer to someone else's question, add your answer there.



Previous "What Do You Need" comments









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?

Weekend Windups are now available online




Mondays News Letter Tips.

1. Can I safely remove these files with Norton System Works? If so, would I have to update the system registry?




2. I don't want these updates and I don't want these messages. And I think that these updates (to be installed) are slowing down my computer. How can I get rid of them, without installing?




3. I have just had XP Home installed. I want to add Word to the send to options.




4. I am uninstalling in the add remove programs the way you said it seems to work FOR NOW I would be grateful if you could tell me any other way if all else fails or for the really awkward programs.




5. I am receiving the following error message when i try to run the disk defragmenter. "Disk defragmenter has detected that Chksdk is scheduled to run the volume: R...(C:). Please run Chkdsk /f." There is no disk F which was a removable flash drive. What can I do?




6. Every picture I click on from now on - is opened using Microsoft Office Picture Manager. I want things back the way they were. Can you assist?




7. I would like to remove some programs from my computer, but when I go to the Add/Remove Programs section of the Control Panel, the Change/Remove button that's normally there is missing.




8. I am considering the use of a registry cleaner. Nothing tragically wrong with my PC, except it is just a little slower than it used to be.




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.




Tips With Full Graphics. ALL ONE LOCATION!




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. I'm using Windows XP and sometimes when I turn off my computer, I get this message as it's shutting down: "This application failed to initialize, because the window station is shutting down." What does that mean and how can I make it stop?




2. Can a USB drive be reformatted? If so, how?




3. What does the star in Gmail mean and how can I use this function in my own e-mail?




4. My spell checker in "word" does not default to the English language in spite of having selected English ,as the default dictionary.




5. I have XP Home installed on my HP Notebook. As with most Windows users I get automatic Windows updates from Microsoft. After the updates are downloaded and installed a folder is created in my C:Windows directory with "uninstall" data. (e.g. C:WINDOWS$NtUninstallKB8733.....etc.) It has gotten to the point where the number of these folders has grown to well over 100 and I'm wondering, if my system is working well after the update was installed, Can I safely delete all the folders manually without creating any havoc on my system? And if I can manually delete the folders, would I have to make any Registry changes also?




6. I use to have the option "On resume, display welcome screen" in the display properties, but now it changed to "on resume, password protect". How do i get that option back? I like displaying the welcome screen better.




7. Hope you can help! I booted the computer into Safe Mode to defrag the Hard Drive and when it was done I rebooted like I normally do and it keeps going back into Safe Mode?




8. How can I make sure I get the most out of my CD burner? Please give me some tips.




Hardware And Software Vendor Phone List, A-K




Hardware And Software Vendor Phone List, L-P




Hardware And Software Vendor Phone List, Q-Z





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.




IF01116 The Text In Web Pages Appears Too Blurry In Internet Explorer 7. Is There A Setting To Fix This?




IF01117 How do I fix the "Details" view in Explorer?




IF01318 Resolving Most Hardware Conflicts.




IF01319 How can I remove Windows XP Service Pack 2 from My Computer.




IF01320 How can I change the Screen Resolution in Windows XP?




IF01321 I Need a Step By Step on how to do a Clean Install of XP?




IF01122 Any attempt to access files on the old HD shows a message that the HD is not formatted. Other utility programs (Norton) show the HD has no partition. What happened and what can I do to retrieve my files, favorites, and Thunderbird E-mails??















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.



Vilma Registry Explorer - faster than regedit •

CinemaForgeLite - video conversion if you can get it to work •

Plato DVD to iPod Converter

FlashGot - assists your favorite download manager •



SpeedTest.net - how fast is your connection •

TV-Links - old and new TV shows •

Favicon Generator - and other icons as well •


















Scam Warners website

TipsFromTiffany, Aug 2007, permalink Cool Website


A tip from Tiffany:


Hi Clif,


Have you seen this site yet? http://www.scamwarners.com/ I know most of your readers are too smart to fall for a scam, but since scammers are getting smarter and trickier every day, you can never be too cautious. Here is an interesting and informative site, bound to teach even the savviest computer user a thing or two about a thing or two!



A quote from the website:

We are here to protect, inform and assist victims and potential victims of internet fraud.


Our aims are to


• Identify individuals or groups who may be vulnerable to scams

• Provide accurate and reliable information to victims and potential victims

• Advise and support those who have been scammed

• Warn people about fraud on the internet

• Help people protect themselves against scammers


Have a great weekend!




Tiffany Cartier



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









Perpetual Motion Found - an endless energy source?

funny from ClifNotes, Aug 2007, permalink Funny


This week Dave's Computer Tips newsletter celebrated it's 1st anniversary letter. Congratulations Dave!


At the bottom of the newsletter, Dave offers some funny videos. Here's one he picked this week. I can't wait to try this out at home.










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.


August 17 2007 COOLSITES Newsletter # 126 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 800 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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