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Welcome to Clif Notes Newsletter

January 4, 2009



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!






Outlook Export - helps move emails to other applications

Posted by ClifNotes, Jan 2009, permalink E-mail Backup


I keep an eye on Steven Burns, webmaster of it-mate. He always seems to come up with the most unique freeware. I've often been asked if there was a good way to export email from Outlook (not Outlook Express). Until now, I'm not sure that there was a good free solution.


Let's see what Steven says about his solution ...


click to expand picture

Quote from the website

Outlook Export is a simple application, written specifically to allow you to;


1. Quickly and easily export e-mails (individual or entire folder)


- Includes reverse DNS for senders e-mail address

- Includes full headers

- Includes both text and HTML versions

- Includes "readable" list of links in e-mail


2. Quickly and easily export e-mail attachments

3. Quickly and easily extract links from all e-mails in a given folder


- Optional simple list

- Optional export without checks against known malicious links

- Optional export with check against known malicious links


Additionally, e-mail addresses and "from" names can be checked against;


1. fSpamlist - www.fspamlist.com

2. StopForumSpam - www.stopforumspam.com


In addition to this, links in e-mails can also be checked against;


1. hpHosts - www.hosts-file.net

2. Malware Domain List - www.malwaredomainlist.com

3. PhishTank - www.phishtank.com


And further, OE can be set both to auto-detect new e-mails at a given interval, and have your attachments automatically checked using your favourite virus scanner.





My time with Ubuntu - freedom isn't always easy

Posted by ClifNotes, Jan 2009, permalink Operating System


I've had time to play around over the holidays. I finally got around to installing Ubuntu on my laptop which already has two versions of XP on it. I played around with it for about 2 weeks and I've slowly gained enough knowledge about it that I can share some opinions with you.


Easy to install?

No. One of first hurdles a new user will face is setting up partitions on a hard drive. There isn't enough guidance for the average PC user at this point unless they are starting off with a completely empty hard drive.


Easy to use?

Yes. Most of the time, you'll be able to double click files and they open in the correct applications that you need to be in. Finding the pre-installed applications is as easy as clicking on the Applications menu. Installing new apps is also at the bottom of the Apps menu and there are a good selection of apps already tweaked to be ready for Ubuntu.


Easy to customize?

Yes and no. Some of the customizations are simple to figure out. You can change wallpapers and screensavers very easily. Many of the other customizations are pretty geeky and require some study before attempting.


Is it ready to replace Windows?

That depends on how you use your PC.


If Grandma only uses her PC to browse the web and read email, then Ubuntu is a far safer alternative to Windows. There just aren't as many bad guys who care to take time to hack linux for a profit. Grandma will need help getting it set up, but you won't get as many phone calls for additional help later.


If you need it for business, you'll have a harder time setting it up and finding exactly the right software for your situation.


If you're a young kid. It's safe to use. You can't accidentally screw it up unless Daddy gave you the admin password.


Will I switch to Ubuntu?

Not yet. I love the idea that all software should be free. That's what Ubuntu is all about. I'm all about free software, but I'm definitely not ready to take the time needed to become a software guru in Linux.


Could I use it if I had to?

Definitely. By the time I was done tweaking it, I did have all the software I needed to perform my everyday activities.


Quote from the website

Ubuntu is a community developed operating system that is perfect for laptops, desktops and servers. Whether you use it at home, at school or at work Ubuntu contains all the applications you'll ever need, from word processing and email applications, to web server software and programming tools.


Ubuntu is and always will be free of charge. You do not pay any licensing fees. You can download, use and share Ubuntu with your friends, family, school or business for absolutely nothing.


We issue a new desktop and server release every six months. That means you'll always have the latest and greatest applications that the open source world has to offer.

Ubuntu is here:




Returnil Virtual System - super protection from malware or accidents

Posted by ClifNotes, Jan 2008, permalink Virtualization Software


If you're smart, you use lots of protection tools to keep your PC running right. You need a firewall, anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-rootkit and you need to keep good backups. All of these are there just in case your system screws up or if you get infected by a bad bug.


Wouldn't it be nice to have a way to go back to the way your PC was working before the system went all screwy on you?


I've tried various protection tools that create a sandbox for you while you are surfing the net. A sandbox is a protected area of an operating system that lets you make changes to your PC temporarily, but will let you remove those changes when you need to. This is great when you know you've been infected. You can simply revert the changes that were made to your sandbox and go back to your normally safe environment.


Many sandboxing or virtualization systems only protect certain applications that connect to the internet. You can sandbox your web browser or your email application to keep you safe while you use them. Returnil Virtual System offers a free Personal Edition that makes your entire system partition into a sandbox. That's even better than protecting single applications.


I've tried Returnil Virtual System and it works great. After I installed it I was able to install new applications, uninstall applications, change system settings, delete and create files but the next time I rebooted, all the changes I'd made were magically gone. Returnil didn't seem to slow down the PC or cause any problems during my normal use.


Returnil would be perfect for classrooms, libraries, internet cafes or even at home. You should use it anytime you need to keep people from messing up a PC. If you feel like it system tray icon for Returnil can be hidden.


There are lots of settings to figure out but Returnil provides plenty of help and a nice PDF manual for you to consult. After playing with it for awhile, I decided the best way to set it up was to put all the documents and settings on another hard drive or drive partition. Returnil even offers a wizard that helps you do this. That way, at least you can save documents or download pictures and files without them disappearing when you reboot. Also be sure to set Returnil's program access password if more than one person uses the PC.


click to expand picture

Quote from the website

Returnil virtualization technology clones a computer's System Partition and boots the PC into this system rather than native Windows, allowing you run your applications in a completely isolated environment. Hence the session and all activity, malicious or otherwise, will happen in the virtual environment, not in the real PC environment. If the PC is attacked or gets infected, all you need to do is to simply reboot the PC to erase all changes. After reboot, the system will be restored to its original state, as if nothing ever happened. All of this without sacrificing computer performance or usability while helping to reduce technical support intervention and the need for routine maintenance.




Free Personal Edition:




Iron - portable web browser without Google spies

Posted by ClifNotes, Jan 2009, permalink Web Browser


Ever since Google announced they were releasing their Chrome browser, I've been using it occasionally in one form or another. Typically, I prefer to use portable versions of freeware and Google's Chrome browser is not portable and flings it's files all over your hard drive when you install it.


I like the speed and uncluttered user interface of the Chrome browser and I've found a couple of portable versions of Chrome that seem to work just as well as the installed version from Google. A few weeks ago I heard about a portable version called Iron which removes the numerous reporting features in the Chrome browser.


If you are already using Google Chrome and you want to remove Google's unique ID tracking from it, you may want to try out UnChrome.


click to expand picture

Quote from the website

Google's Web browser Chrome thrilled with an extremely fast site rendering, a sleek design and innovative features. But it also gets critic from data protection specialists , for reasons such as creating a unique user ID or the submission of entries to Google to generate suggestions. SRWare Iron is a real alternative. The browser is based on the Chromium-source and offers the same features as Chrome - but without the critical points that the privacy concern.


Privacy problems that Iron does not have:



Chrome creates a unique ID through which a user can be theoretically identified.



Chrome remembers up to the second exactly when the software was installed.



Depending on the configuration, each time you put something in the address line,this information is sent to Google to provide suggestions.


Alternate Error Pages

Depending on the configuration, if you have typed a false address in the adress bar, this is sent to Google and you get an error message from Google's servers.


Error Reporting

Depending on the configuration, details about crashes or failures are sent Google's servers.



This Chrome-function transmits information in encoded form to Google, for example, when and where Chrome has been downloaded.


Google Updater

Chrome installs a updater, which loads at every Windows in background.



Calls depending on the configuration five seconds after launch the Google homepage opens in background





Golden Rules Organizer - java based project and contacts manager

Posted by ClifNotes, Jan 2009, permalink Info Management


Last week a fellow named Michael Gvirtzman wrote me to recommend that I give his freeware a try. Michael has authored a business information management application using Sun Java. His application is very full featured and will run on any operating system that also supports Java.


I tried it out briefly in Windows and in Ubuntu Linux. The application works nicely in both. If you have to switch between several operating systems and you need to stay organized, Golden Rules Organizer may be a good solution for you.


click to expand picture

Quote from the website

This site is dedicated to cross-platform Golden Rules Organizer. It allows several planning levels, actual effort tracking, mind mapping, and contact management, providing function-rich goal system for both beginners and professionals.




Requires the Java Runtime Environment (free download):




Dexpot - up to 20 virtual desktops

Posted by ClifNotes, Jan 2009, permalink Desktop Tools


Lately I've been reading a bit about multiple monitors. I'd love to be able to use more than one monitor here at home, but I use a laptop and I don't use a desk that I can place extra monitors on. I've got the space to use them at work but with today's economic outlook, I don't expect to see an extra monitor anytime soon.


If you can't afford extra monitors or simply can't find room for them, a virtual desktop (VD) application may be useful for you. Virtual desktops are more or less copies of your current desktop that you can view different applications in. They aren't as handy as having multiple monitors but they are the next best option.


I've tried quite a few different virtual desktop applications over the years. The Dexpot application is one of the most feature rich that I've used. My favorite feature is it's ability to change the icons that are displayed on each desktop. That's something you'll rarely find in a free virtual desktop application.


There's also a portable version of Dexpot available and I always prefer those over installed versions.


Here are some other virtual desktop apps I've featured in newsletters.





Quote from the website

Dexpot 1.4 turns your monitor into up to 20. It creates and manages virtual desktops and enables you to work far more efficiently and comfortably with many simultaneously opened windows on Windows 95/98/ME and NT4/2000/XP/2003/Vista (incl. x64).






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






Comments last week

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



SaveIt - Locking Programs and Files with a password •

Driver Backup2 - free portable Windows Drivers backup and restore •

PicPick - great free portable screenshot capture •

Recuva - undelete and recover files •

PagePlus SE - alternative to MS Publisher •



World Golf Tour - lifelike free online flash game •

Views from the Hubble Telescope set to music

Beware Of The Doghouse - don't give lame gifts



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



Internet Fixes Weekend Windup

Visit My New FAQ Section Of The Website! This Takes The Place Of The Old Forum And Login Section Of The Website!




The Following Are New Tips From The Past Week.


Question about XP or Vista? Post Them at the Address Below.




Q. I Am Missing The LAN Connection Icon In The Taskbar.


A. You need to get into the Network Connections. How you do this is going to be different depending on various settings on your system or Version Of Windows. The most common way to get there would be to click on the Start button, Settings, and then Control Panel. When the Control Panel opens Double






Q. "Network Connections" Folder Empty.


I recently went to my control panel and found the "Network Connections" folder empty. I hadn't been in there since I switched from dial-up to DSL and I suspect that installing the DSL connection somehow deleted the entries. How can I restore them?


A. Couple of Possibilities for this one.




Click On Start, Run. Type in cmd and Press






Q. When I boot my computer, it asks me to find TrayApp.msi for some sort of HP software I assume. I no longer have the disks for them so I cannot reinstall them in order to fix it. I was wondering how to eliminate items from my startup menu, I can view them by going to Run > MSINFO32 > Startup, but how do I remove items from this list? Is there a file that contains these file names I can edit manually with notepad or something? Or can I go Regedit and do it that way?


A. The list of programs under the Startup information in MSINFO32 comes from a number of different sources. You can figure out where each program comes from by looking in the Location






Q. Using IE-7 ,with Google Toolbar. I Get Message Internet Explorer Cannot Display This Webpage I Don’t Know What To Do.


Thanks Howard


Cannot view pages in IE 7.


A. There are several fixes for the problem you are having. I have just set up a list of the possible fixes in order to cut down on multiple emails. Try the following in the order I have sent them.


Method 1: Use the Delete Browsing History feature in Internet Explorer 7


1. Start Internet Explorer 7, click Tools, and then






Q. Run disappeared from the start menu and taskbar properties.


I’ve pressed winkey+R & got this message this operation has been cancelled due to restriction on this computer. Please contact your system administrator.

Could you please help me to get run back. Your help is highly appreciated.


A. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the "C:WindowsSystem32" directory. Within this directory, locate the "gpedit.msc" file and double-click on it. This should open up







This Tips Are Made Possible Because Of Your Continued Donations!




Q. I'm using XP Pro (SP2). I've noticed that all of a sudden, and only recently too, the names of many of my files appear in blue text when I view them in Windows Explorer. Not all files are affected, and it seems that ANY file type can be affected. All the files open as normal and behave as normal so this blue text doesn't seem to have affected the file in any other ways, so it's more of a mystery than a problem (and it's beginning to annoy me now because I can't figure out what caused it). Any ideas about what may have caused this and how I can fix it?


A. The files changed color because they were compressed to save disk space. Files that are not used often are sometimes compressed automatically by Windows. You can also opt to have any file/directory compressed whenever you want. Accessing compressed files and directories may take a little longer than uncompressed files, but not much longer. Also, don't go compressing everything






Q. I have a raft of KB files residing in my Window folder. What are these files and can I get rid of them?


A. I believe that the files you are talking about are the backups of the various updates applied to Windows. These are placed there after you do a Windows Update or a Windows Update is done






Q. How Do I Install Windows XP On A SATA Hard Drive


A. Serial ATA (SATA) drives are the latest in the hard drive fashion and, in theory, installing Windows on the drive should prove relatively simple. The problem is that Windows XP doesn’t contain the necessary drivers to allow windows to see the drive so that Windows can install it.


To load Windows XP onto a SATA drive you need to proceed as follows:


1. Copy the SATA drivers (these can usually be found






Q. Can you tell me how I can add items to the Right click and send to option in Vista?


A. Dealing with the "Send To" folder in Vista is pretty much the same as it is in Windows XP, only the location of the folder is in a different location.


Find the Send To folder:


1. It is a hidden folder so we first need to make it visible. Click Start






Q. I want to change my Default Browser back to Internet Explorer. I set Firefox as my default browser now I want to change my Default Browser back to Internet Explorer and can not seem to anywhere in the options area to do this please can anyone give me assistance


A. If you have Windows XP just click






This Tips Are Made Possible Because Of Your Continued Donations!








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Question about Vista? Post Them at the Address Below.




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





140 Windows XP Run Commands.




Vista Run Commands.




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.




I try and keep up on the latest Virus Alerts.




Drivers Index.




Click The Link Below To Join My News Letter.




Computer Problem? Post Your Question Here.

















Daves Freeware Forum - got questions or tips about freeware?

Posted by ClifNotes, Jan 2009, permalink Cool Website


Recently, Dave at Dave's Computer Tips wrote me to invite me to hang out in his new freeware forum.


We have created a specific forum for freeware discussion. You and your readers are more than welcome to participate. If you would like, and have the time


It's a great place for questions about freeware. Give it a try if you have time.





Freeware Mission - how can you use only freeware?

Posted by ClifNotes, Jan 2009, permalink Cool Website


I've mentioned Johnny Karp's freeware blog here before. He's got a new address for it and he's added lots of cool new articles since I've been there.


Here's a note from Johnny:


Hey Clif!


I'm writing to tell you I'm wishing you a Happy New Year and all the best for 2009. I don't know if you visited my blog lately, I moved it to a .com address and I also moved it from Blogger to paid hosting... I think I gave you the new address, it's www.freewaremission.com.


As you know I tried to have only freeware programs in my PC, and it's working quite well. I just published a new list with the 72 freeware programs that I have now, maybe you can check it out and tell me your view.


Thanks for your support.




Johnny Karp





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.


January 2 2009 COOLSITES Newsletter #198 by Mark Donaldson

• Freeware by DS Software: http://members.ozemail.com.au/~nulifetv/freezip/freeware/

• Kongregate- Play free games online: http://www.kongregate.com/

• Universal Viewer Free 3.8.3 advanced file viewer: http://www.uvviewsoft.com/

• K-Meleon 1.5.2 lite web browser based on Gecko: http://kmeleon.sourceforge.net/

• Foobar2000 media player: http://www.foobar2000.org/

• Shortcut to Show-Hide Hidden Files: http://cybernetnews.com/2008/07/24/cybernotes-shortcut-to-showhide-hidden-files/


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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