• 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

August 31, 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!






F-Secure BlackLight Rootkit Eliminator - be sure you are clean

Posted by ClifNotes, Aug 2008, permalink Security Tools


I install and try hundreds of freebie programs every year. I can't recall the last time I was seriously infected with spyware or malware (keeping fingers crossed). I think this is because I can usually spot a scam program easily and I always use PC monitoring software like WinPatrol, backed up by a good anti-virus program like AvgAntiVirus and a good software firewall like OnlineArmor.


That doesn't mean I'm fearless. I am afraid of one malware type more than any other. That would be rootkits. I have tried several types of rootkit scanners over the last few years.


A few I've tried ...







I'm happy to say that F-Secure now offers a good free scanner. I haven't used the BlackLight scanner much but here is some info from PC World and from the F-Secure website.


PC World editor's review Source

One of the more esoteric but dangerous pieces of malware that might infect you is a rootkit. This software uses tricky techniques to shield itself from many anti-spyware, anti-malware, and anti-virus programs. A rootkit hides deep in your system, and allows someone to take complete control of your PC without your knowledge. Rootkits typically are spread online in a variety of ways, such as riding along on another download.


Some anti-virus tools, such as Avast, claim to detect and kill rootkits. Many don't. But even if you are using an anti-virus tool that claims to detect them, you can't be too safe. So you'd do well to download, install, and use F-Secure Blacklight Rootkit Eliminator, a freebie designed to do one thing, and one thing alone: detect and kill rootkits.


Quote from the website

What is F-Secure BlackLight?


F-Secure BlackLight Rootkit Elimination Technology detects objects that are hidden from users and security tools and offers the user an option to remove them. The main purpose is to fight rootkits and all kinds of malware that use rootkits. The F-Secure BlackLight Rootkit Elimination Technology works by examining the system at a deep level. This enables BlackLight to detect objects that are hidden from the user and security software.

Software description

Download (very bottom of page)



WinPatrol Flash Edition - protect any PC in a flash

Posted by ClifNotes, Aug 2008, permalink PC Activity Monitoring


Bill P, author of WinPatrol, mentioned my website recently in his blog. I didn't even know he had a blog and that made me take a look.


While I was reading Bill's blog, I saw a mention of his portable version of WinPatrol.

Wow! I didn't know!


I am such a fan of portable apps that I immediately downloaded a copy for testing. It's just great. All that power to analyze and protect a PC, and it's all in a single executable file.


You will rarely find a PC at my house that doesn't have WinPatrol installed. Now I have no excuse. I don't even have to install it.


click to expand picture

Quote from the website

Analyze what's installed and running on any computer!


• Remove Un-Wanted Auto Start crapware.

• Disable Un-Needed Automatic Windows Services

• Remove Annoying Toolbars and BHO's

• Create Reports that provide a snapshot of potential problems

• Disable ActiveX Controls & MORE!


• Compatible with Windows 95 - Windows Vista


This is a stand-alone version of WinPatrol Explorer which can run from a USB flash drive or other portable device without leaving any left over files or registry entries on the computer being optimized.


If you're someone who frequently needs to help family and friends, this program is for you! Just download directly to your USB Flash or other portable device.

Even if you don't use WinPatrol, you'll want this version in your utility toolbox.




CleanUp! - flushing out the useless files

review from ClifNotes, Dec 2006, Updated Aug 2008, permalink _ Disk Cleanup


Comment from Debbie (2006)

I Have used CCleaner for 3 years, but recently downloaded a program called "WindowsCleanUp" that does a great job too ... just thought I'd share.


Thank you Debbie


CleanUp 4.52 is available at the authors website. I donated a dollar to help him out when I first visited his site in December of 2006. If everyone who uses this program clicks the donation button and donates, he'll have no problem keeping his site running.


The author recommends that you backup your hard drive before you use this program. You can also run it in Demo mode the first time and it will ask you to verify files before it deletes them.


Just be aware that you could lose a few files with CleanUp. Back in 2006, it deleted at least one file I didn't want to. I have a bad habit of renaming files to .BAK when I save them. This program deletes BAK files by default. I've been using CleanUp since I first wrote about it here in 2006. I trust it and I'm not afraid of losing files to it anymore.


I think you'll get a kick out of the sound that CleanUp makes when you tell it to start working.


Quote from the website

Covers your tracks on the Internet. CleanUp! deletes traces of you Internet activity that get stored on your hard disk. These things include:

• Browser cache

• Browser History

• Cookies

• Bookmarks and Favorites. Deletion of these is optional and disabled by default.


Removes Windows files tracking your use of the computer. This includes things such as:

• Removing "MRU lists" (storing a list of your Most Recently Used files) for various applications

• Emptying the Recent Documents folder

• Deleting entries from the Run and Find Computer dialogs

• Emptying Recycle Bins

• Emptying various temporary folders

• Removing unneeded registry entries

• Optionally resetting the high scores for Windows games;

• And more.



Download link



Johnny's Freeware Mission - running a freeware computer

Posted by ClifNotes, Aug 2008, permalink Software Collections


A bit over a month ago, Johnny Karp told us how his PC had crashed and he was reinstalling Windows. He was planning on installing nothing but freeware on the machine. How has his Freeware Mission gone?


Read below to find out ...


Quote from the website

The Freeware Mission started exactly one month ago. My Windows XP powered PC crashed and I had to reinstall everything in it. I decided to try something different: install only freeware programs except Windows XP (I might try Ubuntu later ;). I was a little bit uncertain at first, because I was using some commercial programs (Microsoft Office, Nero, BitDefender etc.) and I wasn't sure that I could find good freeware alternatives. But I did after all. My computer can do now everything it could do before the crash, but now it has only freeware programs installed. Here is the list of essential freeware programs that I chose to install, please consider donating a few bucks to the people that made the open source programs presented in this list.




OpenWide - enlarge your open and save dialog boxes

Posted by ClifNotes, Dec 2005, Updated Aug 2007, permalink File Management


This week at work, a friend of mine called me up to say he was looking for ways to defeat the default settings in the Windows Open/Save dialog. It's an old problem. When you are looking at files and folders in Explorer, you can change the default view to list, details, thumbnails, icons etc. Windows will even remember the settings for you. You'd think Windows would be smart enough to remember those folder settings when you are viewing files from inside a program using the File Open and File Save menus.


I gave my friend a list of a few programs I'd found that help change the default Open/Save dialog. He ended up using OpenWide.


Here is what my friend Allen said:

Thanks for the info, Clif. Of all the options, I liked OpenWide best. Installation and configuration was very simple. MS Office has its own controls for the open dialog and appears to ignore OpenWide (which is fine). I can change options on the fly without having to restart an application.


OpenWide is a tiny system tray tool that allows your to resize your open and save dialog boxes for most Windows programs. It fixes a long time annoyance that many people have complained about over the years. I found this cool little utility while I was browsing the latest review of Best Dialog Extenders at DonationCoder.


click to expand picture

Quote from the website

This is a test release. Limited testing has shown it to work on a release of

Win2000 Professional and a release of ~WinXP Home.



Set position and size of Open & Save dialogs


Set initial keyboard focus


Set initial view style


Drag & drop folders onto the title bar of an Open/Save dialog box,

and the view will change to that folder!








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


WOT says PC Doc Pro Lies

Posted by ClifNotes, Aug 2008, permalink Security Tools


There are three web browser plugins that I recommend to help you decide what web search results are safe to use. The first of these I've tried is SiteAdvisor. Later I tried TrendProtect and WOT.


I have written about WOT (Web Of Trust) before and I used WOT for a few months. I don't use it now and I personally never had any issues with WOT, but my friend Tom at termerc.com recommends SiteAdvisor. He has clearly stated that he doesn't care for the way that WOT verifies it's blocking lists, but that's another story. In any case, I won't tell you which is best to use. I will simply trust what my security guru friends tell me.


WOT wants to educate you about why you really need to filter the results of a web search. They sent me a link to a video about some fake security "scareware" they found in Google "sponsored results". Read the short description and the see the video below. You will see why I hate Google's sponsored results and why I recommend a search filter plugin. If you don't use a plugin, at least use a safer search engine like ScanDoo.


Quote from the website

A clean installation of Windows Vista Ultimate has 572 problems!


We started with a clean install of Windows Vista Ultimate. PC Doc Pro scanned the system and found 572 problems, out of which 31 were severe! On a clean Windows Vista installation! Oh yes! The product fixes 50 problems for free, but to fix the rest, you need to buy a 30-day license that costs $29.95.


This is a good example of software that scares consumers by producing fake or false detection warnings. Misleading unaware computer users into downloading and paying for the "full" version of bogus software seems to be one emerging trend within the rogue software on the Internet.






Why does Google want to Free The Airwaves?

Posted by ClifNotes, Aug 2008, permalink Rants and Raves


Why would Google want to turn America's free radio spectrum into wireless internet service? I think that's obvious since Google's search engine gets the most traffic of any site on the net. If more people surf, they make more money.


Aside from that, I'd be all for the idea. I do have some questions about how this would all work. I keep thinking of Heinlein's old quote "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch". Who pays for a free internet service that gets broadcast across the nation?


I'd guess that they'd make it ad supported. The idea leaves a bad taste in my mouth, but if they can solve the technology side of this, I can only hope that it helps people access free and useful information, instead of serving fluffy entertainment and advertising.


Quote from Google's "Free the Airwaves" site:

Remember that fuzzy static between channels on the old TVs? Today more than three-quarters of those radio airwaves, or "white space" spectrum, are completely unused. This vast public resource could offer a revolution in wireless services of all kinds, including universal wireless Internet. The FCC will soon decide whether to open this unused spectrum for general usage, and your voice matters -- a lot. So if you agree that freeing the white spaces represents a vote for the future of the Internet, please sign our petition and help spread the word about this campaign



Quote from Business Week:

... while the idea has appeal, and has gained support from FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, I just don’t see it going anywhere any time soon — despite this additional pressure from Google. Television broadcasters and wireless service providers are dead set against it. Devices supposed to work over white spaces keep failing government tests. And Google’s publicity campaign doesn’t help address either of these problems.






Internet Fixes - Kids And Computers

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!".


This week, I decided to post a special tip from Gary. In addition to Gary's tip below, I also recommend the OpenDNS web filtering service.


Hello Folks! I got alot of Feedback on the Tip Below so I decided to give it a mailing of it own. No link backs to a Web Address. If you don't have kids send it along to someone who does!



Run An Internet Filter In IE 7.


Many parents out there are worried about their kids once they have an Internet Connection at home. From sex to violence, it's all available on the internet and worst still, most of it is FREE at first!


This is a concern raising the daily stress level of many parents. I have a few tips on how you can control your kids web activities. Start with restricting our innocent life from gaining access to such websites.


If you are using Internet Explorer (IE) 5.0 and above, its a great place to start. IE has a feature to restrict such websites displaying sex, violence and many other things, only that 90% of the parents are not aware of this great facility provided by Microsoft.


Steps to a stress free kids life.

1. Open IE.

2. Go to the Tools menu and click on Internet Options.

3. Select the Content Tab.

4. Click on Enable.

5. On the dialogue box, you can choose a rating standard. For each area, you can choose a level to which one can gain access. for sex, nudity, language and violence. Select your choice. You can choose to allow a little bit of everything or not allowing anything of such content.

6. Click on advanced tab after you are done with the selection of levels.

7. Enter a password and keep it to yourself. make sure your smart kids cannot guess what it is.

8. Click OK, and close all windows.

9. Test It For Yourself! Go to a sex website, and the content advisor will block it, asking for a password.

10. If That Happens Then All Is Well For Now!



I Have More Tips Like This That I Will Be Sending In Future Weeks!



Due to my declining health I am Still looking for some people with an IT background or even self taught People to stop in (When You Have A Few Free Minutes) and answer some of the open questions in the FAQ section of my Website. This is Strictly Voluntary as the website is strictly a donation based site.


If you have a computer background and want to help others stop in and answer a few questions. I read the first three answers that anyone sends before they are posted but after that I just add you to the moderators list. You can add a link back to your website as long as it is Computer Related.


Just go to the Open Questions Page once you get on the site.


Thank You!




Sign up for Gary's newsletter?




Comments last week

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



Folder Guide - a guide to your favorite folders •

Graptxt - copy text from Windows dialogs •

Mp3tag - a great tool for tweaking MP3 tags •

LogMeIn - is their free service any good? •

Remobo: VPN, Chat, Filesharing, Remote Control All-In-One! •

Styler - Style The Windows Explorer Toolbar Your Way •

Anti-Malware Toolkit Keeps Your Arsenal Up-To-Date - but do you need it? •



Making Internet Explorer Safer - tutorial from bleepingcomputer •

50+ Free Online Photo Tools

The Top 100 Undiscovered Web Sites from PC Magazine



EvaPhone - free VOIP phone in your web browser •

Drop.io - my new favorite free file exchange •

Windows Live SkyDrive - 5Gb of free file space in the cloud •

Abandonia - abandoned software and games, resurrected and alive again •

KickNotes - free self-destructing emails for any reason •










Bedtime For Puppies - sing'em to sleep

Posted by ClifNotes, Aug 2008, permalink Cool Videos


From Tiffany:


Truly amazing! You must see this to believe it, and be sure your speakers are turned up.




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








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.


August 29 2008 COOLSITES Newsletter #180 by Mark Donaldson

• Announcing the Extend Firefox 3 Contest Winners: http://blog.mozilla.com/extendfirefox/2008/08/21/extend-firefox-3-winners/

• Free Dictionary online - probably the biggest open dictionary: http://gonaomi.com/

• Free Games by Igor Galochkin's: http://www.geocities.com/creationislife/Games.html

• New. Jackson is DJ software from the future: http://jacksondj.com/products.html

• New. Sysinternals Desktops 1.0: http://technet.microsoft.com/hi-in/sysinternals/cc817881(en-us).aspx

• Update. Glary Utilities 2.6.1 powerful utilities to increase your PC performance and maintain your system: http://www.glaryutilities.com/gu.html


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






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