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Welcome to Clif Notes Newsletter

March 2, 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!







3d Room Planners - are better than moving a couch around

Notes from ClifNotes, Mar 2008, permalink Home and Hobby


This week a friend of mine told me he had a room to plan out and wanted to know some of the software he could use. I happened to run across two places you can get help with that.


The first is a web service called MyDeco Plan My Room.



The second, Sweet Home 3D, is a free and open source software you can download from Sourceforge.


Tell me about your favorite room planning software? Do you have any suggestions?


Quote from the website

Sweet Home 3D is a free interior design application that helps you placing your furniture

on a house 2D plan, with a 3D preview.




Actual Booster - does it really boost anything?

Notes from ClifNotes, Mar 2008, permalink System Maintenance


When a natural skeptic likes a program that I would normally cast aside as not worth trying, I pay attention. I've never seen a program that does nearly as good a job at speeding up a system as it claims to do.


Bill Webb seems to like this one. Pay attention.


Quote from Bill:

The piece of… ah… cheese much-repaired eMachine at work (not my problem or responsibility) runs much faster. My 3.2 Pentium D at home is quicker with processor-intensive programs like OpenOffice and PhotoShop, and Firefox is snappier.




Cetus Wordpad - an abandoned wordpad replacement

Notes from ClifNotes, Mar 2008, permalink Text Editors


I've been keeping my eye on John Hood's site. It looks like his switch to a different content manager has allowed him to devote more time to trying new freebies out.


Here is one of John's recent updates to an old program.


Cetus Wordpad

John H., 20 January 2008 (created 24 August 2007)


Review Date: Apr-2003 First Listed: Jun-2004 -License: Abandonware

Average Rating = 6.5 (Of The 4 Programs I Reviewed)


Pluses - Blazingly fast. Dead-easy for a new person to pick up. Reads and writes RTF and Microsoft Word Version 6.0 and below.


Minuses - Interface won't win any beauty contests. Also, no longer available. I am hosting it.




John Hood's

The Best of Free Software

for Business and Productivity




Enhance online TV-Watching: Zorro 1.4

Notes from ClifNotes, Mar 2008, permalink Multimedia Streaming


This week I spotted a great review at Confessions of a freeware junkie. I've never heard of anything like this tool.


Quote from the junkie:

but one of the things that can be very distracting to your viewing experience is the content which surrounds the streaming window ... sometimes, you just can't get rid of the extra advertisements and other stuff surrounding the streaming content. Fortunately, there is a handy little utility called 'Zorro' that you can use to "black out" the extra crap, leaving a nice window with nothing but video content!




Wink - easily create your own flash animated tutorials

review from ClifNotes, Feb 2005, permalink Video-Encoders-Converter



This is just one more of those programs that I really have a hard time believing is free. Wink allows me to do something that I've seen done with tutorials but never imagined I could do myself without a lot of hard work. In a few easy steps Wink allows you to make a tutorial with mouse cursors zipping around and opening menus. It lets you pop up comments and advice. It also lets you create branch points based on user decisions of what they want to see next. Finally Wink creates the html code that lets you publish your flash tutorial for the whole world to see and appreciate.



click to expand



Wink is a Tutorial and Presentation creation software, primarily aimed at creating tutorials on how to use software (like a tutor for MS-Word/Excel etc). Using Wink you can capture screenshots of your software, use images that you already have, type-in explanations for each step, create a navigation sequence complete with buttons, delays, titles etc and create a highly effective tutorial for your users.


Wink Website - Freeware




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


What's an EFX file and how do I open one?

Notes from ClifNotes, Mar 2008, permalink Web Service


Has anyone ever forwarded an eFax to you before? What you'd see is that they've sent you a .efx file that you have no clue how to open. I've only seen this happen a few times, but here's what the deal is.


eFax is a sometimes free service at efax.com which allows you to receive a fax from people even if you don't have your own fax machine. They supply you with a phone number and all you have to do is give them your email address. If someone sends a fax to your eFax phone number, you'll get an email from eFax with an attached .EFX file.


The EFX file is sort of like a specially encoded TIFF file. Most people can't view this file without an eFax viewer. If you search for an eFax viewer online, you'll generally end up at the eFax website and downloading a bloated tool called the eFax Messenger.


I used eFax years ago when it was a new service. I still have a copy of one of their first eFax viewers here and it works just fine on most PCs.


Here's a tip for existing eFax users. Don't forward your eFax files to folks and expect them to know how to open them for viewing. All the eFax viewers I've ever used allow you to save your eFax as another more common file type. Just look through the menus while you have an eFax open and you'll soon see how to save it as a TIFF or maybe even a PDF file.


By the way folks, I still recommend their free service despite their choice of a proprietary format for sending you a fax. If you seriously need to receive a fax at home and you can't afford a real fax machine, this will do the trick nicely. Please be aware that you can't send a fax from your PC unless you pay them a little money for a premium account. Even if that's so, I'm sure it's well worth a few bucks if you're a business person on the go and you can't drag a big fax machine with you everywhere.


Quote from the website

eFax is an online fax service that eliminates the need for a fax machine, an extra fax line and all the associated expenses (paper, ink cartridges etc.). Get a real fax number that's tied to your email. Send and receive faxes as email attachments. It's all the reliability and security of faxing with the ease and convenience of email.




What is a winmail.dat file and how do you open it?

Notes from ClifNotes, Mar 2008, permalink Outlook Add-ons


One day this week, someone left me a voicemail message at work. "Hey Clif, I've gotten this winmail.dat file from someone. How do I open it?".


I'm not in the I.T. department at work, but the guys in my group know where to go to get answers to weird questions like this one. Yes, I did know the answer because I've seen this happen before.


Here's the answer I gave:


Some people fail to realize that the whole world does not use MS Outlook Email.


Outlook sometimes sends proprietary info in each email that appears as winmail.dat to anyone who isn't using Outlook. The info included is rich text formatting and also file attachments.


We can't see file attachments inside the winmail.dat file, but they might be there.


Since that's the case, you'd think MS would make the winmail.dat file easy to open and view in almost any program. Yeah right, and I've got some farmland in Florida I can sell you too.


MS doesn't supply a free viewer for that winmail.dat file, but some really nice folks on the net do.


You need Winmail Opener to view this file.


Quote from the website

Winmail Opener is a small and simple utility that allows you to view and extract contents of TNEF-encoded messages (infamous winmail.dat). That means if you receive winmail.dat on your e-mail, with Winmail Opener you can view the rich text message contents and attachments embedded into this file.


You may receive winmail.dat files from the senders who are using Microsoft Outlook (97, 2000). Winmail.dat contains all attachments and rich text message, and not all e-mail clients can recognize its format. Winmail Opener is the solution.




5 Free Screencasting Apps for Creating Video Tutorials

Notes from ClifNotes, Mar 2008, permalink Video-Encoders-Converter


I like this article at MakeUseOf.com. They show you several good free video capture programs that help create tutorials. I did notice that they left out one of my favorites. Where is Wink at? Maybe they don't consider it a true video capture? That's true, but it's still a great option when making tutorials.


Quote from the website

With all the screencasting going on in the blogosphere lately, what with tutorials running rampant across all different video sharing websites…I thought I’d share a few screencasting tools for those of you looking for a free alternative to some of those higher priced utilities. This review covers both PC and Mac utilities, and not wanting to leave anyone out … one for those running Java.




Top 10 Free Programs to make the most out of your MP3 Collection

Notes from ClifNotes, Mar 2008, permalink Misc. Multimedia Tools


Here's a great article if you like to listen to your MP3s often.


Quote from the website

Ok, you’ve got loads of music on your computer - but is that all cluttered, unorganized, unmanaged and simply not easy to access? May be you need to do something. Literally hundreds of free software let you play, organize, burn and do lots more with your digital MP3 music collection. Have a well tagged, sortable music collection that you can be proud of! Here comes a carefully chosen list of free programs that might help you squeeze the best out of your MP3 collection.













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. Quickly Map a Network Drive in Windows XP.




2. Create a Personal Screen Saver in Windows XP.




3. Create a Keyboard Shortcut to Open a Folder in XP.




4. Show Hidden Program or System Files in Windows XP.




5. Rename a Series of Files in Windows XP.




6. Very Slow Boot When Networking in XP Pro.




7. Use the Ultimate Configuration Tool (XP Pro Only)




8. Using Advanced Options in XP’s Scheduled Tasks.




9. Schedule Tasks in Windows XP.








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!




Function Keys F1 F2 F3 F4 F5 F6 F7 F8 F9 F10 F11 F12





PC Problems? Use My New Detailed Help Form.



To Expedite The Answer I Send You Please Check Your Event Viewer And Include Any Errors It May Be Recording.








Last Wednesdays News Letter Tips.


1. Printing Email Image Attachments.




2. Don't Ignore the Windows Logo Key. Many People Go Without Ever Pushing It.




3. The default printer in the host computer changes when you logon using Remote Desktop?




4. How You Should be running a scan using Ad-Aware.




5. Not prompted to specify the Download Directory when downloading files from the Net.




6. Disabling the hovering Image toolbar in Internet Explorer.




7. You Select Open in New Window and the Command does nothing.




8. Sort order is not preserved when you Transfer Favorites to another PC.




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.


HobComment - a better way to add file and folder comments •

Windows Home Server - how to make it work for you •

Pocket K-meleon - web browsing with no install and no tracks left behind •

Offline NT Password & Registry Editor - did you lose your Windows login password? •

DivX Web Player - better videos in your web browser •



PC Tips on Security from TopFreeware

Ten Must-Have Plug-ins to Power Up Pidgin

Tips from Geert Moernaut - runscanner and lansweeper



Tower Bloxx - a simple online game that's fun and challenging •

Free Mac Ware - great site for free OSX stuff •

Gate2Home - your universal keyboard •














Graboid - no underground monsters, just full length movies

Notes from ClifNotes, Mar 2008, permalink Multimedia Streaming


The last graboid I saw was in a movie about underground monsters that lived in the desert. The graboid website and the application you install, offers you access to full length videos.


Quote from the website

Access to over 70,000 videos

Full-length, full-resolution files

High-Definition video support

Faster than peer-to-peer

Integrated playback


We’re not afraid to compare ourselves to the competition. From the beginning, Graboid Video was conceived to be better, faster, easier and prettier than the other guys ... go ahead and download the latest version of Graboid to get access to over 70,000 full-length videos. It’s completely free, and Graboid Video does not include any harmful and intrusive spyware or adware.




Talkster - free long distance?

Notes from ClifNotes, Mar 2008, permalink Web Service


I haven't tried this so I can't recommend it yet. There are lots of VOIP services out there. How can this one be free? I'm guessing it won't be free forever.


Quote from the website

Getting FREE local Talkster numbers for you and your friends around the world is simple!


1. The first time only, tell us the name and phone number of the friend you want to call

2. You are given a new Talkster phone number for each friend that is yours to use forever. Save it in the address book on your phone!

3. Whenever you want to talk to your friend, dial the new local Talkster number for that friend instead of the old long distance or international number.










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

• 5 Image Resizing Tools to Die For: http://www.friedbeef.com/2008/01/27/5-image-resizing-tools-to-die-for/

• Free Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 download: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/downloads/virtualpc/default.mspx

• Freeware by AmoK - The Art of Coding: http://www.amok.am/en/home/

• Freeware by Brooks Younce Software: http://www.brooksyounce.com/

• Freeware by Loonies Software: http://www.loonies.narod.ru/products.htm

• Freeware by RGS-Avance Software UK: http://users.belgacom.net/rgs/rgssoftware.htm


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.



http://clifnotes.net & http://freewarewiki.pbwiki.com

Devoted to promoting Freeware and Free Information






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