• 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.



Newsletter Archive    Reviews Archive     Add to Netvibes

Subscribe to this free newsletter?



Welcome to Clif Notes Newsletter

May 4, 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!







AVG Antivirus Free Edition 8 - please don't give us features we don't want

Posted by ClifNotes, May 2008, permalink Anti-Virus Tools


I've been using AVG free on my computers at home since Grisoft started offering it back in the mid 1990s. I've often strayed from AVG while trying out other free anti-virus apps like Avast and AntiVir. Some people will chime in to tell me that AVG is not the best, or that they don't trust a free application to keep them secure. I simply trust AVG after all of these years. I also appreciate it's ease of use and it's daily brief updates.


AVG Free version 8 is now out and I've just installed it. I ended up happy after a little work, but I have to tell you that I did run into some minor issues.



Yes, there were a two or three wrinkles I had to iron out.


Error during installation

First, I received an error while installing. I was told that the installer had a problem with some rootkit protection I had installed. I guessed that it was probably my OnlineArmor firewall and cancelled the install, then turned off my Online Armor before trying again. I also went back into my ZsoftUninstaller and removed the older version of AVG that I had installed. Once I'd done those two things, AVG Free 8 installed with no problems.


Email Scanner

Secondly, I noticed that I had the Email Scanner feature installed in AVG and I knew that I didn't need it. I tried turning off the Email Scanner in AVG settings, but it complained too much and the AVG icon turned red as a warning. I didn't consider that acceptable.


Link Scanner

Next, while I was testing a new feature, the AVG Link Scanner, I determined that I didn't like the service at all. I typically use SiteAdvisor and Web Of Trust to tell me what links are safe to click on when I'm doing Google searches or reading my Gmail. To test the AVG Link Scanner, I went to Google and searched for "Screen Savers". Most of you know that there are several highly ranked but very bad free screen saver websites you should avoid. Link Scanner says that these sites are fine while SiteAdvisor and WOT both gave me visible warnings not to ever go there. See the images below.



Notice the two icons at the end of the link: The green icon the left is AVG and the red one on the right is SiteAdvisor. I also noticed something new from Google just under the results link. Google now posts a warning link that says "This website may harm your computer". I don't see enough of the Google warnings to help out most folks.



Which one would you trust?

When you hover over the two icons, you can see these possibly conflicting reports.

In a second, I'll tell you why I think both are accurate ...


AVG's Link Scanner appears to merely scan websites for active browser exploits and known phishing scams. SiteAdvisor does that as well, but it also checks many of the downloads, email spam traffic, and user recommendations.


An AVG Security Toolbar?

When you install AVG Free 8, it offers you the chance to install this toolbar in IE and Firefox. It offers a customized "safe" search box and more options to control the Link Scanner feature.


Yes, I told AVG to install it just in case it had something I could use. To tell you the truth, I do believe that the filtered Yahoo searches looked a little safer than a normal search. I didn't care for it and after a short time, I reinstalled AVG to remove the Email Scanner, Link Scanner, and AVG Toolbar. At least they let me do that.


Other annoyances:

While Respect2Glory (my wife) was installing the new AVG, she had an IE7 browser open with a slew of tabs open to other pages. AVG's installer closed her browser with no warning during the install and she was so aggravated by this that she promptly went to the forums (link below) and reported it. She also gave them some advice on how to better place their forum login links.



Message to AVG ... don't give us toolbars we don't need and don't try to give us services that belong in your web protection suite. In my opinion, the Link Scanner doesn't belong in this free version. Other web services do a better job. I believe the AVG Security Toolbar is more an annoyance than a help. Yeah, I know Yahoo paid you nicely for the option to make Yahoo the default search engine, but don't you know that we really really hate it when software does that?


Once I had removed the items from AVG Free 8 that I didn't want, I was happy seeing the little multi-colored flag flying in my system tray once again.


Quote from the website

AVG Free is available free of charge to home users for the life of the product. Rapid virus database updates are available for the lifetime of the product, thereby providing the high level of detection capability that millions of users around the world trust to protect their computers. AVG Free is easy to use and will not slow your system down (low system resource requirements. Highlights include automatic update functionality, the AVG Resident Shield, which provides real-time protection as files are opened and programs are run, free Virus Database Updates for the lifetime of the product, and AVG Virus Vault for safe handling of infected files.


Version 8.0.1 adds integrated spyware protection and a new LinkScanner feature that gives users safety rankings for their Google, Yahoo, and MSN searches.




AVG Forum:




Collanos Workplace - making work groups much easier

Posted by ClifNotes, May 2008, permalink Info Management


Collanos Workplace does just what it says. It really can help people work together more easily on projects. The simple yet functional interface gives you more power to share files, notes, tasks, and hold chats or discussions. You can drag and drop your files to share them. It's easy to invite partipants to your project and hold chat sessions or leave them a note in a discussion log. This is a good solution for people who are separated by long distances and need to collaborate on a project.


There are only two things that I didn't consider helpful.


The application is Java based and this makes it very easy for the authors to port it from one operating system to another. It's available for Mac and Linux as well as Windows. Since it's Java based, it does take quite a bit longer than most desktop applications to get started. Once it's up and running I found it to be very responsive and far better looking than most other Java applets I've used in the past.


CW (Collanos Workplace) hooks you up with your co-workers by forming peer to peer connections. That means that both you and your buddies have to be online at the same time to see each other. I sometimes found it annoying that I could only get updates from fellow participants when they were online. This is a catch-22 situation. I may not want to wait on the others to get online, but I also may not like the alternative. The only way to get instant updates is if all our info is stored on someone else's server on the net. Maybe they could set up CW to work with Google Docs using their API? I'd be very happy with that but I'd understand if they don't like the sound of that suggestion. (Do you trust Google?)


All in all, I'd have to tell you that I really enjoyed trying out this app. The guys at Collanos are definitely on the right track as far as I can see.


Quote from the website

Every team project entails countless emails, messages, documents, tasks, comments, versions, revisions, approvals, etc.


With Collanos Workplace you can overcome this information clutter by having a single space to share, interact and collaborate with your team.




glJakal's To Do - helps you stay organized

Posted by ClifNotes, May 2008, permalink Notes and Reminders


People write me with tips all the time. I love it. Here's a tip from Blll. (or is it Bill?)


From Blll: This is a ToDo list which might be useful for people. Several users of The Master Genealogist program use it with TMG.


Note1: The Master Genealogist application looks great, but it's not free. Do you know about any free genealogy programs that are free and useful? (comment below)


Note2: I've been wanting to try another nice looking ToDo manager called Remember The Milk. If you have tried this Gmail Firefox extension, be sure to tell me about it in the comments below.


Note3: If you're a web 2.0 freak, you might like the Todoist web service.


Quote from the website

• Simple You don't need a degree in computer science to use it!

• Graphical Important tasks are marked in red, normal ones are in green and not-so-important ones are in blue. This way you can immediately identify what needs to be done first!

• Smart Gljakal's to do remembers your preferences, from the window position to the last file used, which is automatically open on start!

• Accessible Control every action with your keyboard, even when you don't have the to do window open!

• Printer friendly You can print your to do list, in case you need to share it with friends or colleagues.

• On Top If you want, To Do will be always shown over other windows.

• Detailed You can type a detailed description for every thing you have to do, using multiple colors and fonts!

• Hierarchical To do items are displayed in a tree-structure, so you can define a series of sub-projects and actions for each of your projects.

• 100% Windows XP™ compatible Your preferences are yours, not your sister's! That's why every windows user has his own "to do" settings.

• 100% free No hidden catch, no strings attached. Spyware and virus free




JLC's Internet TV - free video from all across the globe

Posted by ClifNotes, May 2008, permalink Multimedia Streaming


Here's a note out of the blue. Johnny wrote to tell me about his freeware blog. I had no problem finding a freeware tool that looked interesting. Take a look at Johnny's post about JLC's Internet TV.


Mail from Johnny Karp:

I like your website. I have started a freeware blog too, because I think that good free software deserve to be promoted.


click to expand picture

Quote from Johnny's Blog:

Online TV is becoming more and more popular, and that's mainly because the increasing bandwidth allows better quality broadcasts. Today we're going to test JLC's Internet TV, a tiny piece of freeware that gives you access to thousands of online TV streams. Let's see how it goes.

Read the rest of this article at the Best Freeware blog.



PC Wizard 2008

Posted by ClifNotes, May 2008, permalink System Information


I was checking up on Best of Free Software at jhoodsoft.org and I saw that John was building himself a new computer.


Here's what he said that drew my attention ...


I just built a new computer out of parts from TigerDirect


The good news: it was cheap. The bad news: the motherboard didn't come with any of the drivers and I spent about three hours figuring out what hardware I actually had.


Couple of tools that I stumbled on were quite helpful in my quest:


The first was PC-wizard. It basically tells you everything you need to know about your computer and the devices installed or attached to it, including brand name and model.


Be sure to drop by John's site to see his picks for the Best of Free Software.


Quote from the website

Since 1996 PC WIZARD is among the most advanced system information programs on the market. PC WIZARD 2008 is a powerful utility designed especially for detection of hardware, but also some more analysis. It's able to identify a large scale of system components and supports the latest technologies and standards. This tool is periodically updated (usually once per month) in order to provide most accurate results.




Pingus - save the penguins

Posted by ClifNotes, May 2008, permalink Games


Every time I see a cool looking game like this one, I wish I had time to play it. Here's a review of the Pingus game from Tony at Top Freeware.


Quote from Top Freeware:

A Lemmings type game, that requires you to save as many penguins as possible at the end of each level.

Use your penguins to dig holes, blowup objects or themselves, build bridges, parachute and more. A fun game for all ages with nice graphics and gameplay

Read this and other reviews at Top Freeware



Note-it - sticky notes that stand out

Posted by ClifNotes, May 2008, permalink tag20tag|tagtagtag


Here's another tip from CC.


I know you have reviewed many note programs. Tthis one is in version 4.5 big improvement. What I like is that you can paste images with no trouble, you don't have to configure your email program it automatic uses your default and last it has spellChecker. I give it a 5 for simplicity and 5 functionality.


• Append multiple notes to a single file

• All text formating is now saved with the note file

• Drag and drop text from most applications

• Control the transparency of a note - let notes fade to the background

• Store images inside a note - simply paste into the note

• Show Special View notes and display information like computer memory, live clipboard viewer, and hard drive space

• Minimize option lets you shrink a note to icon size

• Spell checking capability

• Hyperlink and URL detection support






Duotris - twice the game, twice the challenge

Posted by ClifNotes, May 2008, permalink Games


Duotris is a new take on the old Tetris theme. In some ways it's simpler but now you have to watch two windows at the same time while making sure you don't stack the blocks too high. The graphics and game play make this game far more interesting than the old Tetris games.


This game is a simple zip file download. Once you download it, just unpack it to a folder and launch the executable file. If you have trouble getting the game to run, you may need to update your video codecs. I recommend using the KliteCodecs. It also requires DirectX 9b or better.


click to expand picture















Old Newsletter


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














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


Alternative Disk/Partition Cloning Tools from Free Biz Ware

Posted by ClifNotes, May 2008, permalink Backup Tools


While playing around the net yesterday I ran into this very good blog about FOSS (free and open source software) tools for business. I'm going to make sure I grab the RSS feed for this blog, which looks up to date and very professional.


Quote from the website

Hello there, thank you for visiting Free Biz Ware. My name is Ken and I am a small business owner. Here I will be sharing my experience in using free and opensource software in the office.


My question today is ‘What are the open source/free alternatives to disk/partition cloning tools like Norton Ghost, Acronis True Image or Paragon Drive Backup.”


Let me list the alternatives and I will get back with the result in a few days.


Partition Saving


UBCD - Ultimate Boot CD for Windows


FOG - Free, Ghost-like Cloning Solution


Trinity Rescue Kit

PING - Partimage is Not Ghost

Linux Rescue Server - this one is interesting from an overall system management point of view.

Be sure to stop by Free Biz Ware to find out what Ken decides.











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 Wednesdays News Letter Tips.



1. There are two ways you can convert a volume to NTFS!




2. Track down startup programs in Windows XP!




3. Export, Import or Back Up Your Cookies!




4. Turn Off Multimedia and Graphics on Web Pages!




5. Customize Internet Explorer Printing




6. Add details to the Getmac command's report in Windows XP!




7. Using the System File Checker in XP!




8. If you ever open the Task Manager and see 5 or 6 Svchost.exe Don't Become Alarmed!




9. Add a Safe Mode option to the Boot menu in XP!




10. Add Fields to the Details View of Folders in XP!




11. Add a Map Drive Button to the Toolbar!




12. Arrange Multiple Monitors in Windows XP




13. Windows Task Manager has a built in CPU Meter!




14. Windows XP's Prefetch Directory!




15. Manually clean out the Temp folder in XP!








Click The Link Below To Join My News Letter.


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




Vista Run Commands.




Download 1000 Of My Tips!

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






Using Password Phrases For Better Security.




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.








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.



Avant Browser - Single handed at it's best •

Unknown Devices - a quick way to find drivers for pci devices •

Technitium MAC Address Changer

andLinux - running Linux in Windows •

Sebran's ABC - fun learning for children •



My journey from Windows to Linux

Sentry Lite - is it safe to monitor your children? •



Tell Microsoft you want to Save XP

The Webware 100 winners - according to Download.com •

Pixel2life - 18,000 tutorials •

The Bee Hive - History













WebNotes at Aypwip.org - notes on the net in a flash

Posted by ClifNotes, May 2008, permalink Web Service


I'm just a nut over web services and this one is really great. I can't believe the webmaster keeps it free.


So, what exactly is the aypwip.org's webnote?

Well, it allows you to create web pages on the fly and you can jot down notes into the pages just as quick as you please.


How do I use it?

To create a page just make up a page name and add it to the end of the webnotes address. If I want to create a page about albino cats, I might make a page with the address as follows:



Once I have the page up, I click on the little yellow square in the toolbar to add a note box. Then I double click the note box to add text. You can change the color of the note box and you can also add HTML inside the note box to display images, links, or other content.


Any problems?

No, not really. As long as you remember that anyone can drop by and change your page. You can always revert back to a previous version of the page to get back to the un-touched version you want. They provide an RSS feed to every page so you can keep up with any changes that others might make to your page.



Quote from the website

Webnote is a tool for taking notes on your computer. It allows you to quickly write something down during a meeting, class, or any other time that you have a web browser available.


You start by creating a workspace and creating notes in the workspace. You can save your workspace at any time and return to them from the same computer or any other computer. You can also share your notes with others by providing the workspace name (or url) to a friend.




Seeqpod - seek music and video to play in your browser

Posted by ClifNotes, May 2008, permalink Multimedia Streaming


Seeqpod is a very nice way to search for music and music videos to listen to and watch. Their search engines auto-magically crawl the web looking for more and more for you to hear and see.


Here's a music video that Seeqpod found for me. I bet you've never seen it before ...


Timelapse Video From Around the World


Quote from the website

SeeqPod is the most satisfying way to find, play, and enjoy playable Web content. In less than two years, we have created a totally unique, easy-to-use search experience that appeals to millions. From video to audio, slideshows, and Adobe Flash, the vast multitude of rich media files and applications that exist online can now easily be found and played using the Adobe Flash Player at SeeqPod.com. 24 hours a day, we mine the deepest crevices of the Web - the world's largest inventory of growing playable search results using our intelligent, targeted crawling system.















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.


May 2 2008 COOLSITES Newsletter #163 by Mark Donaldson

• Free MP3 Song from Coldplay: http://coldplay.com/song.html

• New. Kantaris Media Player: http://www.kantaris.org/

• New. Pencil - a traditional 2D animation software: http://www.les-stooges.org/pascal/pencil/index.php?id=Home

• New. ResourcesExtract 1.00 extract all resources (bitmaps, icons, cursors, AVI movies, HTML files, ...) from dll-ocx-exe files: http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/resources_extract.html

• Remove DRM protection. Lossless DRM removal software for Windows Media files: http://www.undrm.info/remove-DRM-protection/

• Update. Best CashBook 3.75 blessing for cash management. Manage cash, deposits, cards at once in the cashbook: http://bestcashbook.com/


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.




























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.



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 Meebo.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






Creative Commons License Please provide a link back to the webpage used if you publish any part of Clif's pages.


Visitors to Clif Notes: