• 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.



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Welcome to Clif Notes Newsletter

January 11, 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!






How do you burn AVI files to a DVD or SVCD?

Posted by ClifNotes, Jan 2008, permalink CD-DVD Burning Tools


This week I was trying out freebie tools that were supposed to convert an AVI movie. I wanted to burn it to a SVCD so that I could watch it in a DVD player.


In case you weren't aware, an SVCD uses a digital format for storing video on standard CDs that's supposed to work just like a DVD in most DVD players. This would be great for me since I don't have a DVD burner on any of my computers.


Each time the tools I tried would fail at some point into the process. The options and details needed to do this are very confusing to me. I even found a great tutorial at AfterDawn to help me do it.


Here are the tools I tried.





Those were all free solutions but none worked for me. Do you have any suggestions?


Quote from the Doom9 website

A while ago DVD2SVCD got another feature: create (S)VCDs and DVDs from AVI sources. DVD2SVCD is pretty flexible towards this account and it can even handle AVIs with AC3 sound (thought AVIs with multiple audio sources, OGMs and subs aren't possible - actually subs are possible but it's outside the scope of this guide). Though starting out from a non DVD source is really not such a great idea, you'll notice what I'm talking about when you watch your SVCD on your PC and compare with the original.




Advanced SystemCare Free - are tuneup utilities like this any good?

Posted by ClifNotes, Jan 2008, permalink System Maintenance


Recently one of your fellow readers wrote in with a question.


Letter from Daniel G:

Hi Clif,


Could you give us your opinion on programs like TuneUp Utilities?

Also, is it worthwhile to delete Windows Temp files?


Thanks again!





I've always had big doubts about the use of "tune up" utilities. Most often, when you run into these online, they are advertised in a popup and they'll leave your system more screwed up than when you started. The only place I've ever used to help with system tune-ups is PC Pitstop. They do a decent job, but you can bet they'll be pushing some payware tools to help out their cash flow. They won't force you to buy anything, so I'd still give'em a try if I needed help.


So is there a good free software tool for system tune-ups?


There's only one that I've tried (long ago) that I've ever heard anything good about. It used to be called Advanced Windows Care but it's now called Advanced SystemCare Free. You can read some of the past comments about the Advanced Windows Care tool. If you're up to it, be sure to add some comments about the current version of Advanced SystemCare.


If you want to try out a new tune-up utility you see online, but sure to check it out at SiteAdvisor to see if it's legitimate or bogus.

Note: Iobit (author of SystemCare) gets a green rating from SiteAdvisor.


Oh, one more thing. If you want to clean up temp files, go ahead. Just be careful to stick to the Windows temp folders unless you're willing to take a little risk. If you need to clean up browser stuff, use the tools and options in each browser to do that.


click to expand picture

Quote from the website

Slow down, freeze, crash, and security threats are over. Advanced SystemCare Free is a comprehensive PC care utility that takes a one-click approach to help protect, repair, and optimize your computer. It provides an all-in-one and super convenient solution for PC maintenance and protection. All work will be done with 1 click and 1 minute. Compared with its nearest competitor, Advanced SystemCare Free provides the more essential and practical formula for Windows: Removing Spyware and Adware, Preventing Security Threats, Privacy Protection, Fixing Registry Errors, Temporary Files Cleanup, Startup Cleanup, Repairing Windows, Speeding up System and 1-click Mechanism.







IconsExtract - free stand-alone tool to grab icons and cursors

Posted by ClifNotes, Jan 2008, permalink Icon Tools


I use Ubuntu Linux occasionally. Sometimes when I create Launchers (shortcuts) for scripts or programs, I need an icon to represent them. I haven't yet figured out how to locate icons for Linux, so I grabbed a few from Windows to use.


I found a great Windows stand-alone tool from Nirsoft called IconExtract. It's simple to use and it's fast. You won't find anything else at Nirsoft that doesn't meet those standards.


Quote from the website

This utility is a standalone executable, and it doesn't require any installation process or additional DLLs. Just run the executable (iconsext.exe) and start using it.


Immediately after you run this utility, the "Search For Icons" dialog box will be appeared. In this window, you should select the files or folders that you want to scan, and the resource types you want to find (icons, cursors, or both). You can also filter unneeded icons and get only icons that contains images with specific size and number of colors.





MadEdit - lots of functions in a clunky looking interface

Posted by ClifNotes, Jan 2009, permalink Text Editors


While sprucing up the article about VST plugins, I ran across a recommendation for a text editor that is able to sort and remove duplicate lines. I was given a list of over 3000 http and ftp links that were all mixed up and had many potential duplicates. MadEdit had that text file sorted and cleaned in seconds.


The application looks really old school, like from Windows 95 days. It's got tons of functions and it's more geared towards programmers and other hackers.


The download was at Sourceforge.net and it came as a 7-Zip file. I merely unpacked it into my Portables folder and ran it.


click to expand picture

Quote from the website

MadEdit is an Open-Source & Cross-Platform Text/Hex Editor written in C++ and wxWidgets.

MadEdit can edit files in Text/Column/Hex modes, and supports many useful functions, e.g. SyntaxHighlightings, WordWrap, Encodings.





Virtual Studio Technology plugins - links from a master musician

comments by ClifNotes on 16 Oct 2005, Links by JimiPocius permalink _ Audio Editing Tools


Notes from Clif

I can tell you from experience. Some of the smartest geeks I know seem to have an additional talent for music. Actually they might say they are musicians with a talent for PC's. In any case, here's a page of links from a musician I trust. Hopefully a fellow musician will someday benefit from this page.


Letter from Jimi

bro, almost every one of these links is freeware....a few MAY be shareware, but i doubt it...these are from my aol bookmarks, and are mostly VST (Virtual Studio Technology) plugins...there are also stand-alone programs including my fav audacity...

there's thousands of things out there, and these are from all over the world. one caveat: a spyware scan is a must after visiting a few of these sights...not because of the programs or plugins, but because ya run into nasties sometimes on the servers themselves..

anyways, hope these may prove helpful for some of your readers.

Rock On.


jimi pocius



Note from Clif:

Updated 9 Jan 2009

Here's some info about Virtual Studio Technology and plugins from Wikipedia.


Jimi's list at this point includes over 3000 web links. I placed these into a text file rather than a huge scrolling page.



Here is Jimi's list of VST Plugins and more









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


The Windows 7 Beta is out there, have you tried it?

Posted by ClifNotes, Jan 2009, permalink Operating System


I've been dying to try out the Windows 7 beta. Two things prevent me. I don't go to piratebay and I don't have a way to burn a DVD ISO file right now.


Have any of you out there tried it yet? Any opinions on it?


Quote from the website

Since its initial leak a few days ago, the torrents for Windows 7 build 7000 have become more numerous - and extremely healthy.


Pirate Bay's now has more than 5,500 seeders and more than twice that number leeching. Mininova's top two torrents have almost 6,000 seeders and 17,000 leechers.


While they're likely a little concerned with how quickly the leaked image appeared on the net, Microsoft has to be pleased about the buzz generated so far.


I can almost picture Steve Ballmer rubbing his hands together and muttering "Exxxxxxxxcellent."

Read the rest of the article:






Comments last week

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



Outlook Export - helps move emails to other applications •

My time with Ubuntu - freedom isn't always easy •

Returnil Virtual System - super protection from malware or accidents •

Iron - portable web browser without Google spies •

Golden Rules Organizer - java based project and contacts manager •

Dexpot - up to 20 virtual desktops •



Daves Freeware Forum - got questions or tips about freeware? •

Freeware Mission - how can you use only freeware? •



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.




Don't Warn On Close With Multiple Tabs Open In I E 7.


By default, if you close Internet Explorer 7 with multiple tabs open, it will prompt you to confirm this decision. This helps prevent you from accidentally closing the browser when you forget that websites are open in other tabs.


While many people prefer this






Browse Multiple Web Sites With Internet Explorer 7.


Tabbed browsing in Internet Explorer® 7 enables a single Internet Explorer window to run with the convenience of multiple pages. Open a new page by






Turn Off Clear Type in Internet Explorer 7.


A feature of Internet Explorer 7 is Clear Type which makes the text on a web page look smooth instead of looking crisp and sharp. Clear Type is supposed to make reading text easier on a web page. This guide shows you how to turn off Clear Type.


I have to admit when I first started using Internet Explorer 7 the Clear Type text gave me a headache for a few days. After getting used to it I have to say it is much easier to read text with Clear Type turned on. I suggest giving Clear Type a try before






Learn how to configure and use the search box in Internet Explorer 7 (IE7).


One of the features of Internet Explorer 7 is the search box located at the top right of the Internet Explorer 7 window. You can search the internet using most search engines from that search box instead of going to the search engines site and using their search






Quick-search The Web With IE 7.


Internet Explorer 7’s search tool is no longer limited to Microsoft’s search engine. Now you can use it with Google, Yahoo, eBay, Wikipedia, and many






This Tips Are Made Possible Because Of Your Continued Donations!





Configure Outlook Express 6.0 for Internet Mail.


Steps to add and configure a new Internet e-mail account


If your ISP is not AOL, MSN, or Hotmail, use the following steps to add and configure a new Internet e-mail account with Outlook Express 6.0:


1. Start Outlook Express 6.0.


2. On the Tools menu, click






Clear the Temporary Internet Files Folder on Browser Close.


By default, Internet Explorer 7 keeps a cache of visited webpage's in its Temporary Internet Files folder. This way, if you frequently view the same webpage's, Internet Explorer 7 can load unchanged content such as images, multimedia, or the pages themselves from your cache instead of reloading content from the web.


While many people find the cache feature useful, others find it a potential privacy violation. If others use your computer, they may be able to figure out which sites you viewed using Internet Explorer.


Without completely





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 its all available on the internet and worst still most of it is FREE!


This is a concern raising the daily stress






Make Internet Explorer 7 Your Default Web Browser.


You can set Internet Explorer 7 as your default browser within Internet Explorer 7 or via the Control Panel in Windows XP. The choice is yours.


Set Internet Explorer 7 as your default browser via the browser


1. Open Internet






Nothing Happens When You Click The "Read Mail" Button In Internet Explorer 7


When you click the Read Mail button in the Command Bar in Internet Explorer 7, the mail client may not open.


Possible Resolution


This happens if the default mail client is not






This Tips Are Made Possible Because Of Your Continued Donations!








Clif Notes Freeware Reviews




Question about Vista? Post Them at the Address Below.




Click The Link Below To Get My NewsLetters.




Kids And Computers




Click The Link Below To Get My NewsLetters.






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.

















50 Free Internet Tools for Tin-Foil Hat Wearers

Posted by ClifNotes, Jan 2009, permalink Security Tools


I ran into this unique list of privacy tools last week. The author has put together a great selection of stuff that will keep Big Brother from looking over your shoulder.


Some of the links there include tools for sending private or anonymous email, anonymous surfing, erasing your tracks on browsers, protecting yourself from infections, tracking down laptop thieves, spying on your family or friends, and spying on terrorists.


Quote from the website

If your wardrobe includes a shiny tin-foil hat, then you will love these free Internet tools. Whether you want to protect yourself from Internet snoopers, want to spy on those out to get you, or want to be able to track trends that you know will lead to something big, then these tools will help you get the job done.





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 9 2009 COOLSITES Newsletter #199 by Mark Donaldson

• FreeOCR .net is a list of totally free OCR (Optical character recognition) software available to download: http://www.freeocr.net/

• DownThemAll (or just dTa) is a powerful yet easy-to-use Mozilla Firefox extension that adds new advanced download capabilities to your browser: http://www.downthemall.net/

• KLS Mail Backup. It will store a copy of your e-mail in a compact zip file. It works with most popular desktop e-mail programs: http://www.kls-soft.com/klsbackup/mailb_index.php

• piZap - fun easy photo editing - free photo effects: http://pizap.com/

• SUPER 2009 build 35 Simplified Universal Player Encoder and Renderer: http://www.erightsoft.com/SUPER.html

• TheWorld Browser 2.4 fast, safe, and easy way to browse the Web. I use this browser for it's great builtin downloader. Mark.: http://www.ioage.com/en/


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

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