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Welcome to Clif Notes Newsletter

February 10, 2008



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!







jZip - a free WinZip alternative

Notes from ClifNotes, Feb 2008, permalink Compression Tools


I tried this one out briefly. It all works just as advertised. I currently use 7-Zip and other than a much nicer looking interface, I don't really see the need to change. So, give it a try and let me know what you think. If you have your own "best" zip manager, write and tell me why you like it.


click to expand picture

Quote from the website

• Create, open and extract Zip, TAR, GZip and 7-Zip.

• Open and extract from RAR and ISO.

• jZip is absolutely FREE for everybody, home and enterprise users

• jZip is an easy to use and fast archiving software

• jZip is based on proven 7-Zip technology by Igor Pavlov




TeraCopy - a better copy and move for Windows

Notes from ClifNotes, Feb 2008, permalink File Management


Bob Constans wrote to me:

Awesome! You know how crappy Windows Copy/Move is? This can replace it and it's not crappy at all. I've been using it to copy and move everything onto my new drive the last few days and I'm SO impressed. Trust me - you want this.


Thanks Bob. I have tried it out. I do think it's big improvement over the built in Windows copy and move features. The only drawback from this free version is that it's only licensed for home use.


click to expand picture

Quote from the website

TeraCopy is a compact program designed to copy and move files at the maximum possible speed, providing the user a lot of features:


• Copy files faster. TeraCopy uses dynamically adjusted buffers to reduce seek times. Asynchronous copy speeds up file transfer between two physical hard drives.

• Pause and resume file transfers. Pause copy process at any time to free up system resources and continue with a single click.

• Error recovery. In case of copy error, TeraCopy will try several times and in the worse case just skips the file, not terminating the entire transfer.

• Interactive file list. TeraCopy shows failed file transfers and lets you fix the problem and recopy only problem files.

• Shell integration. TeraCopy can completely replace Explorer copy and move functions, allowing you work with files as usual.

• Full Unicode support.




AnnotSX - file annotator shell extension

Notes from ClifNotes, Feb 2008, permalink File Management


I've seen a few discussions about the best way to track changes to files or label them so you know what they are. In my opinion, AnnotSX isn't the best way to do this. The biggest downfall is that the annotations don't show up in a listing of files in Windows Explorer and there is no way to see the annotations other than right clicking on a file and looking.


With that said, it's one of the only decent free solutions to adding a great deal of info to files. There is no database or program you have to run. Just download it and unzip the files to a folder. Right click and install the INF file and it's installed. No hassles. Best of all, it just plain works, even on folders.


Sure, the Windows system does have a "comments" feature, but it's more time consuming and isn't available for folders. See this forum thread about file comments.


Let me know if you have your own free methods to annotate or keep track of files.


Quote from the website

Add memory-jogging notes to your files with this utility.


I have hundreds of files with cryptic file names. No surprise that I can't remember the contents of half of them. I use AnnotSX (Annotator Shell Extension), a gem that lets you jot unlimited notes for any file. Just highlight the file, press - to access its Properties, choose the Annotations tab, and start typing your notes.

Download from PC World



SurF - unique Explorer replacement

Notes from ClifNotes, Feb 2008, permalink File Management


SurF offers some unique features along with the standard features that Window Explorer offers. I really enjoyed playing with the tree tabs as shown below in the screenshot. The built in image view is an improvement over the thumbnails view in Explorer, but I think the best feature is the built in file search which is much faster than Windows Search.


SurF is offered with an installer or as a zipped archive. The only downfall I see is that it required the .NET Framework 2.0 or better to run. If the dependence on .NET wasn't there, this would make an excellent portable app.


Quote from the website

SurF is a free Windows file manager featuring:


• Tree organized tabs.

• QuickPath (typing csys32 locates c:\windows\system32 directory).

• Realtime highlighting for just created and modified files.

• NTFS compression, links and alternate data streams support.

• Comfortable keyboard navigation.




VirDir Manager - assign drive letters to folders

Notes from ClifNotes, Feb 2008, permalink File Management


VirDir will let you assign drive letters to any folder on your PC. I've tried it out and it works great. The only drawback I've found is that it sets up as an autorun program. This is probably necessary for it to work properly.


Quote from the website

VirDir Manager helps you manage your system's files and folders more effectively. VirDir maps your favorite directory paths to drive letters, letting you access them quickly and easily. With VirDir you can easily eliminate having to deal with long directory paths.


Ever find yourself typing in the same long path over and over again, or constantly clicking through directory dialog boxes? VirDir eliminates that problem by letting you associate unused drive letters with directory paths.




Waluigi World - Mario is missing?

Notes from ClifNotes, Feb 2008, permalink Games


Here's a cute little Mario Bros look-alike platformer game. I kinda collect these when I run into them. Ok, maybe it's a bit dated. If you write me with reviews for newer and more fantastic free games, you can bet I'll post them here.


Quote from the website

A nice Mario platformer with puzzle elements!


Even though the graphics make us think of the typical Super Mario game, the gameplay is rather unique. You don't jump on the enemies heads but avoid them (or destroy them once you have a weapon). The game contains many puzzle elements which make this game even more fun.









Old Newsletter


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



















Frapper - you people live all over the world!

Wow! Over 900 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.



What free software do you need?

Notes from ClifNotes, 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


Search all the comments


VHS to DVD in Six Steps - online course for you

Notes from ClifNotes, Feb 2008, permalink Web Service


There are lots of cool places to learn things on the net. I sometimes sign up for a course at CNET. They provide great material and a great line of communication with the instructors.


If you have your own methods of saving your VHS tapes to DVD using free tools, be sure to comment below and give us the details. Maybe CNET will hire you as an instructor.


Quote from the website

Take your stacks of old VHS tapes and save them to convenient DVDs. In this course, you’ll learn how to convert your analog VHS videotapes to digital so that you can then burn movies onto a DVD.


In this course, you’ll learn how to :


• Connect your VCR to an analog-to-digital converter.

• Connect your analog-to-digital converter to your PC.

• Configure your video-editing software.

• Capture the video.

• Edit the video you have captured.

• Edit the audio in your video.

• Burn your edited video to DVD




Your MySpace Web Browser is Coming

Notes from ClifNotes, Feb 2008, permalink Web Browser


Sarah in Tampa continues to keep me up to date on many IT web happenings, but this week she's sharing her discovery of an addition to the Flock web browser that will probably gather millions of MySpace fans.


Quote from the website

the MySpace People integration, as it's being called, is expected to function in a manner very similar to the Facebook integration that is already in use in Flock. This integration will expose all of the relevant actions made available by MySpace and will build them into the People Sidebar of the Flock browser ...

read the rest of Sarah's article



The Best, Free Alternatives to Nero CD/DVD Burner

Notes from ClifNotes, Feb 2008, permalink CD-DVD Burning Tools


Here's a nice review and comparison of several free options when you need to create a CD or DVD.


Quote from the website

Nero is one of the best piece of softwares available in the market for CD/DVD Burning Purposes, but it’s quite expensive. It’s bulky and comes with a lot of programs that you’ll never really use. Why not try some freeware CD DVD Burning Apps applications that can serve as an alternative to Nero Burning ROM for your Windows PC?












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




Last Mondays News Letter Tips.


1. Add Safe Mode To Your Boot Options In Windows XP.




2. Navigate Your Computer Without A Mouse In Windows XP.




3. You Can Speed Up Your Search Function in Windows XP.




4. How to disable script and runtime errors in Internet Explorer.




5. Prevent Changes to your Wallpaper in Windows XP.




6. Fix a Messed Up Windows Media Player Library.




7. Open Programs Fast by Assigning A Shortcut Key in Windows XP.




8. Recreate the Show Desktop Shortcut in Windows XP.




9. Require Control+Alt+Delete For More Security in Windows XP.




10. Fix An Unbootable XP with Last Known Good Configuration.








Click The Link Below To Join My News Letter.


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




Download 1000 Of My Tips On Ebay!

Over 600 Windows XP Tips!

11/11/2007 Added 100 Vista Tips To The Download!




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Last Wednesdays News Letter Tips.


1. My Web page won't print properly. What can I do if anything?




2. How do I print only certain text or images from a Web Page?




3. Opening Your Email Attachments Safely!




4. I can't open my e-mail attachments in Outlook Express?




5. Uncover Windows XP’s built-in image resizing utility.




6. I’m Having Problems locating the folder containing Outlook Express dbx files.




7. Disable the Indexing Service on Windows XP.




8. Document That Problem Before Contacting Support!




9. Registry Hack to Set Internet Explorer Start Page.




10. How To Repair XP and Avoid a Full Reinstall.




Hardware And Software Vendor Phone List, A-K




Hardware And Software Vendor Phone List, L-P




Hardware And Software Vendor Phone List, Q-Z




Computer Motherboard And Chipset Drivers.







How Do I Prevent CHKDSK From Running Every Time My PC Starts






IF01766 Easy enable real Administrator Account in Windows Vista Home Premium




IF01767 Keep User Account Control active, but get rid of annoying popups in Vista.




IF01768 Transfer User Accounts, System Settings from XP to Vista.




IF02011 Map a Network Printer In Windows XP.




IF02006 Using The Windows XP Event Viewer Log.







Comments last week

Thanks to everyone who commented on the articles last week. You gave me more ideas and some good advice.


MediaCoder - free Open Source audio converter and extractor •

Movie Organizer - get your collection organized •

VideoSpin - create your own videos in minutes •

[KantarisMediaPlayer|Kantaris Media Player - open-source alternative to Windows Media Player •

NewsGator FeedDemon 2.6 - the best of both online and on PC •

ComicRack - comic ebook reader and manager •



Unlikely Friends




Top 10 Anti-Malware Tools

Freeware Bulletin Board - nice place to browse •
















DizzyWood - virtual play-world for kids

Notes from ClifNotes, Feb 2008, permalink Games


I keep an eye out for new web startups. This one, DizzyWood, recently won a received $1 million in investor funding, so I imagine they'll be around awhile. I've done a little research and it looks to be a safe moderated environment for kids to have fun in. I especially liked their advice for parents about kids online.


Dizzywood is free to play, but plans to offer subscriptions for premium items ...


Quote from the website

Our aim is to create a web site for kids that inspires a sense of imagination, discovery, exploration, and most of all, fun. Frankly, when we took a good look at what was already out there, we felt that kids deserved a lot better. Our hope is that through a commitment to quality storytelling, creative vision, and technological innovation, Dizzywood.com will deliver an outstanding entertainment experience for young people that inspires the imagination in a safe environment. Our goal is to be the most popular web destination for kids in the 8-12 age range. It's a lofty goal, to be sure, but we're all about dreaming big.





Learn new languages online: Babbel

Notes from ClifNotes, Feb 2008, permalink Cool Website


Here's another great find from "Confessions of a freeware junkie". Max has found a new way to learn to speak other languages.


Does anyone else here know a good free way to learn other languages? Be sure to comment below.


Quote from the blog:

Aside from the fact that most of us are lazy, there is a decent reason why we don't speak a second language: It isn't really needed. The size of the United States is such that we don't have a lot of other language-speaking people coming in/out of every state in the Union, nor do we find ourselves traveling through other countries often enough to mandate that schools teach anything other than English (French/Spanish, other languages are optional) ...


I came across a Babbel.com last night which can help you learn new languages online.


read the rest of the article



ExtractVideo - download online videos fast

Notes from ClifNotes, Feb 2008, permalink Cool Website


There are many websites that let you download online videos. Here is yet another. It works nicely and it's fast. Two thumbs up.


Once you have your videos downloaded, you'll often need to convert the files from FLV format to some other more recognizable format. I always use media-convert.com for that job.


Quote from the website

ExtractVideo.com allows you to download and save videos from YouTube, Metacafe and Break directly to your computer. Even more, you can search YouTube.com and download videos you like!




UmbilicalBrothers - skits with more humor

Review from Respect2Glory, Feb 2008, permalink Funny


These guys are so funny that we searched YouTube and found that they had been on David Letterman and Jay Leno shows among oodles of other public showings. They are over-imaginative and certainly have hilarious skits containing some speechless sets, but all of their shows aren't kid friendly. Clif and I must have laughed through about a dozen videos before we called it a night.






CoolSites Newsletter this week


Here are a 6 links (out of dozens) from Mark's CoolSites Newsletter. Be sure to visit his site and see the rest of his links this week.


February 1 2008 COOLSITES Newsletter #150 by Mark Donaldson

• Free Scheduling Software - Integrate Outlook, Google Calendar & Exchange Availability - TimeBridge: http://timebridge.com/home.php

• New. iDeaS iDeaS is a Nintendo DS emulator that can run NDS games on Windows PC with OpenGL: http://www.freewarefiles.com/program_1_21_28814.html

• New. swiss file knife - free command line text file processor: http://stahlworks.com/dev/index.php?tool=sfk

• Update. JetPhoto Studio 3.12 digital photo organizing and web publishing platform. digital photo organizing, creating, sharing and publishing software: http://www.jetphotosoft.com/web/home/

• Update. Maxthon 2.0.8 IE based browser that uses very little resources. Full-Featured Browser: http://www.maxthon.com/

• Update. Total Organizer 2.32 Store your contacts, tasks and notes - all in one, divided into categories: http://www.konradp.com/products/organizer/


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.












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 6 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 Meebo. To see who's gabbing at this website, click here.





Find out more about Gabbly.com







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.



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