• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Files spread between Dropbox, Google Drive, Gmail, Slack, and more? Dokkio, a new product from the PBworks team, integrates and organizes them for you. Try it for free today.

View
 

ClifNotesNewsletter090308

Newsletter Archive    Reviews Archive     Add to Netvibes

Subscribe to this free newsletter?

 

 

Welcome to Clif Notes Newsletter

March 8, 2009

 

  

Hi Everyone.

Thanks for reading my newsletter. I try to have a few freeware reviews, tips, tricks, news, and 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!

_Online?

 


Notice: Upcoming changes to Freewarewiki

 

I just want to warn you that over the next few weeks you'll be seeing lots of changes to the look and feel of freewarewiki as my web host, pbwiki.com, updates the software on my site.

 

This update will be adding lots of features that I can take advantage of to make it easier to publish freeware articles and the newsletter. I may also start adding volunteer editors to the wiki because the new features will allow better administrative control over the content.

 

I also work part time at pbwiki.com as a "support guru". If you ever click the help link at the top of a pbwiki page, you'll either get me or one of my co-workers here. If you need a free or premium wiki website, be sure to try it out. It's simply the best online wiki host in my opinion.

 


 

REVIEWS

 

WinMerge - a visual text differencing tool

Posted by ClifNotes, Mar 2009, permalink File Management

 

In my day job as an Electronics Technician, I'm on the computer more often than not. One of the nice breaks I get away from the PC is building printed circuit board assemblies (PCBs). Before I start on a new PCB, I have to take information from our designs and convert it into text files that run our manual part placement machine. I have a large Excel spreadsheet program that helps generate the text files but any wrong move on my part can really screw up the final assembly.

 

Me at Work and some of the stuff I help design

 

I found a single error while I was building the PCBs and I went back to the Excel sheets to find out what I'd done wrong. I had forgotten to sort a table before generating the text files. That meant that there were potentially many errors. I needed to compare my previous bad text files with the current ones to see how many errors I had made on my PCBs.

 

I decided to try WinMerge to identify the differences for me. Even though there were hundreds of lines of text to compare for differences, WinMerge found the differences between the files instantly and highlighted them for me. Thankfully I found only the single error that I'd already noticed.

 

Without WinMerge or a similar utility, I'd have spent an hour going through the text by hand. Not many people will need a utility like WinMerge, but if you do, it can be a huge time saver.

 

WinMerge is Free Open Source Software (FOSS) and is also available in two different portable versions in addition to the version at SourceForge.

 

Quote from the website

WinMerge is an Open Source differencing and merging tool for Windows. WinMerge can compare both folders and files, presenting differences in a visual text format that is easy to understand and handle.

Website - http://winmerge.org/

Portable Freeware - http://portableapps.com/news/2008-01-21_-_winmerge_portable_2.6.12

Portable Apps - http://www.winpenpack.com/main/download.php?view.27

 


 

LinkExtend - identifies risky websites during web search

Posted by ClifNotes, Mar 2009, permalink Security Tools

 

Two or three weeks ago, there was a discussion in our comments about LinkScanner, a service from AVG. It's similar to SiteAdvisor, TrendProtect, NetcraftToolbar and Web of Trust. These services are generally addons or plugins for your web browser that work when you are doing web searches in Google, Yahoo, or MSN. When the search results pop in, so do the visual indicators from the link scanning services. The indicators tell you if a website is safe to visit and other information.

 

I believe that a link scanning tool is a must have for any computer that is used by newbies or kids. It will really save you tons of headaches if it's used for every web search.

 

A.K. chimed in with a recommendation of the new LinkExtend addon for Firefox. I tried it recently and I was really impressed. Here is what A.K. said about it.

 

I uninstalled SiteAdvisor several weeks back when the new version caused all kinds of problems like window freezes, etc. (many others have complained about it too).

 

Right now, I'm using the FF extension, LinkExtend: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/...fox/addon/10777

 

LinkExtend's toolbar can be hidden by View tab > Toolbars.

 

LinkExtend uses various free online services:

*Safety - Web of Trust, McAfee SiteAdvisor, Web Security Guard, Browser Defender, RGguard, Norton Safe Web, Compete, Google Safe Browsing

*KidSafe - Web of Trust, Alexa, ICRA

*Ethics - Scryve, Knowmore, CorporateCritic

*Site Traffic - Alexa, Quantcast, Compete, Statbrain

*Thumbnails - GooglePreview, MyThumbnail, Websnapr, Thumbshot

 

Thanks A.K., I think I can scrap the others and use this one now. It actually uses results from many of the other services to generate it's recommendations. Like A.K. found, the toolbar isn't needed and I recommend hiding it.

 

 

Quote from the website

LinkExtend, the ultimate browsing tool. Enhance your web surfing experience getting link information instantly on computer security, company ethics, child safety, popularity, and much more. Data from many free online services is collected and combined to provide you with comprehensive results. LinkExtend is freeware and contains no adware or spyware.

 

 

Website:

http://www.linkextend.com/

 

Firefox Addon:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/10777

 


 

Zotero Firefox Addon - collect and manage your web research

Posted by ClifNotes, Mar 2009, permalink Info Management

 

I've been using GoogleNotebook for web clippings. Since Google announced that they will stop supporting it, I've been keeping an eye out for a replacement.

 

Bob W. mailed me this week with news about the Zotero Firefox addon. It sure looks like it can replace my Google Notebook and I plan on trying it soon.

 

Here's what Bob said in his letter ...

 

Hi Clif,

I found a Firefox extension Zotero (zoh-TAIR-oh) which is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, manage, and cite your research sources.

Features of Zotero:

• Automatically capture citations

• Remotely back up and sync your library

• Store PDFs, images, and web pages

• Cite from within Word and OpenOffice

• Take rich-text notes in any language

• Wide variety of import/export options

• Free, open source, and extensible

• Collaborate with group libraries

• Organize with collections and tags

• Access your library from anywhere

• Automatically grab metadata for PDFs

• Use thousands of bibliographic styles

• Instantly search your PDFs and notes

• Advanced search and data mining tools

• Interface available in over 30 languages

• Recommendation engine and RSS feeds

 

Checkout these videos:

http://www.zotero.org/support/zotero_tour_screencast

http://www.zotero.org/support/screencasts/intro

 

Thanks for everything that you do.

Bob

 

Thanks to you Bob, for sharing your find with us. Below is one of the videos I found on YouTube.

 

 

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/3504

http://www.zotero.org/

 


 

Online Solutions Autorun Manager - identifying and controlling autorun applications

Posted by ClifNotes, Mar 2009, permalink Security Tools

 

As you may know, an autorun is a program that starts when Windows boots up and they'll often display an icon down in the System Tray (next to the clock). Some programs don't display an icon down there. Some programs (bad ones) don't even want you to know that they are running. Spyware and Adware like to start without your permission. Lots of other programs love to start little apps silently even though you don't need them to run. Altogether, they'll slow your PC to a crawl if you don't get some control over them.

 

How can you tell the good ones from the bad ones? I used to use QuickAccessInfoBar, WhatsRunning and WinPatrol to help me identify which autoruns were good and bad. After a certain amount of time, I stopped using the QuickAccess product because it is now too commercialized. I stopped using WhatsRunning as I became familiar with what should be running on my PC. I still use WinPatrol and generally install it on all my PCs.

 

I recently tried OSAM (Online Solutions Autorun Manager) and I was amazed at all the things it can do. The OSAM utility comes in an installed and a portable version and has more functions than I'll ever need.

 

According to the website, here are the features.

 

Functional capabilities:

• support of virtually all known methods of automatic loading using the system registry or special folders;

• automatic detection of the peculiarities of settings on specific user systems;

• validation of digital file signatures;

• color marking of file statuses for better comprehension;

• filtering by statuses of detected objects;

• search by masks using any parameter in any display mode;

• output of additional information for any object type;

• output of detailed file information, validation of file existence and accessibility;

• temporary disablement of registry objects or files without creating additional keys or subfolders;

• generation of two types of report files (text and HTML) with all autoload information.

 

Unique capabilities:

• protection against rootkits by detecting hidden registry keys and records using the method of direct registry data analysis (without using OS functions);

• comprehensive support of LSP (Layered Service Providers) filters deletion and recovery with rearrangement of the providers chain;

• support of namespace providers (NSP) with rearrangement of the providers chain.

 

Advantages:

• a completely free application!

• grouping by file objects enables you to quickly find all links to a specific automatically loaded file;

• regular updates of the methodological database after the analysis of in-the-wild malicious software;

• full Unicode support (any national characters, filenames and registry data);

• support of visual themes (skins) for users who do care how their favorite software looks.

 

My final opinion of OSAM is mixed. It has lots of features and lots of power. That's part of the problem. I had trouble figuring out how to use it and stumbled around for a long time.

 

I believe that WhatsRunning is a better application for most users. If you need more horsepower, then OSAM is likely what you'll want to use. It never hurts to use WinPatrol all the time because it will let you know every time a new autorun application is added to your PC.

 

Quote from the website

"OSAM" (Online Solutions Autorun Manager) is a powerful and reliable tool for controlling the 'cleanliness' of components and applications that are automatically loaded or started under certain conditions without user's consent.

 

"OSAM" provides an easy one-click way of obtaining detailed information about the components that are run automatically at the system start and can potentially affect its operation.

Basically, all types of malicious software that have been around for the last 7-10 years use various mechanisms of sticking to an infected system. With this product, you will be able to monitor and control these activities and, which is more important, eradicate the threat on your own.

http://www.online-solutions.ru/en/osam_autorun_manager.php

 


 

 

 

 

Old Newsletter

 

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

 

 


 

 

 

 

TIPS AND FEEDBACK

 

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 freebie should I try next?

Posted by ClifNotes, xxx 2009, permalink Software Collections

 

I have not tried these yet.

Below are a few freebies I haven't had time to try yet. Have you tried them? If so, let us know how you like them.

 

SUITEKeys free speech recognition suite - have you tried anything like this?

SUITEKeys is a continuous speech understanding interface for motor-impaired PC users. In contrast to other speech recognition systems, it provides access to all available PC functionality. This is accomplished by modeling speech interaction at the linguistic level of the physical keyboard and mouse.

http://www.cs.cofc.edu/~manaris/SUITEKeys/

 

SUITEKeys uses MS Speech Engine

 

Microsoft Speech Recognition - how to - XP

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/setup/expert/moskowitz_02september23.mspx

 

Here's a video that shows how speech recognition works in Windows Vista. Looks awesome.

 

DeskHedron Adds 3d Virtual Desktop Switching

DeskHedron is a tool which switch the desktop by using 3D GUI.

*This software doesn't support multi monitor environment.

 

At 3D view you can switch the desktop by mouse wheel or left and right cursor keys.

DeskHedron can organize apporoximetely 9 desktops, and switch the desktop

 

http://tokyodownstairs.blogspot.com/2008/10/deskhedron.html

 

 

 

Magic Formation creates a circulare or other shaped launching dock

Magic Formation is a kind of Dock program.

But, It appears anywhere on desktop.

Just draw a circle by mouse cursor on desktop anywhere you like.

 

http://tokyodownstairs.blogspot.com/2008/03/magic-formation.html

 

 


 

Comments from the last newsletter

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

 

REVIEWS

LastPass - you don't have to remember more than one password •

Pixlr - online image editor kicks mspaint to the curb •

Xenon Portable File Manager - lets you open apps on your thumbdrive, not the host pc •

TKexe Kalendar creates photo calendars of any size •

PCLinuxOS - great Linux live CD and installed OS •


 

 

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 it!".

 

Sign up for Gary's newsletter?

Weekend Windups are now available online

http://www.internetfixes.com/weekend_windup/

 

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!

http://www.internetfixes.com/fixes/index.php

 

The Following Are New Tips From The Past Week.

============================

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

http://www.internetfixes.com/fixes/index.php

 

============================

Is it possible to send a 'folder' as an E-Mail attachment?

 

If no, why? If yes, how? Thanks in advance!

 

A. Most email programs and operating systems will not let you attach a file

 

Read More...

http://www.internetfixes.com/readers_questions/IF01971.htm

 

============================

How Can I Use Word as My Default Email Editor in Microsoft Outlook?

 

A. You may want to use Word as your editor for email messages in Outlook because of its

 

Read More...

http://www.internetfixes.com/readers_questions/IF01972.htm

 

============================

I was wondering why there is a delay in receiving my e mail.

 

Example: Checked my mail at 7:30 and an e mail message was just received but the sender sent it at 5:30. What could be the cause of this?

 

A. Email is similar to real "snail" mail when it comes to delivery. The email message is passed from the sender

 

Read More...

http://www.internetfixes.com/readers_questions/IF01973.htm

 

============================

Enable Internet Time Services behind Windows XP Personal Firewall.

 

The Internet Time service in its default state does not work with the Windows XP Personal Firewall enabled on a dial-up connection.

 

To re-enable

 

Read More...

http://www.internetfixes.com/readers_questions/IF01974.htm

 

============================

Is there any measures I can take to protect myself from viruses using Outlook Express?

 

A. Update Outlook Express (OE) to the latest

 

Read More...

http://www.internetfixes.com/readers_questions/IF01975.htm

 

============================

What is the difference between COMMAND and CMD DOS Virtual Machine in Windows XP?

 

A. Windows XP includes TWO command-line

 

Read More...

http://www.internetfixes.com/readers_questions/IF01976.htm

 

============================

When I start my Computer A little page comes up about TrayApp telling me to insert disc Which I don't have and don't know what TrayApp is for.

 

A. This problem is related to the HP Imaging software that came with an HP product. It might be a

 

Read More...

http://www.internetfixes.com/readers_questions/IF01977.htm

 

============================

I have a file on my Desktop that I can’t get rid of. I have Right Clicked and selected delete with no luck. I tried to Drag and Drop the file in the Trash Bin again with no luck. Can you help.

 

A. Nothing is Undeletable

 

If you ever encounter a stubborn file that simply refuses to delete there is a way.

 

Remember that some

 

Read More...

http://www.internetfixes.com/readers_questions/IF01978.htm

 

============================

Can you tell me how to Capture a Screen Shot of an Error Message that I want to send you from a Windows Problem I am having?

 

A. A screenshot is like taking a snapshot of what is appearing on your monitor. You can then

 

Read More...

http://www.internetfixes.com/readers_questions/IF01979.htm

 

============================

I don't like IE 7 and would like to put IE 6 on instead. Can I do this with Vista?

 

A. Vista does not support IE6. This was done on purpose (As I understand) because of a lawsuit Microsoft Lost.

 

You can't remove IE7 as

 

Read More...

http://www.internetfixes.com/readers_questions/IF01980.htm

 

****************************

This Tips Are Made Possible Because Of Your Continued Donations!

http://www.internetfixes.com/main_paypal.htm

 

REGISTRY PROBLEMS?

http://www.internetfixes.com/registry/

 

****************************

What is the InstallDriver Table Manager (IDriverT.exe)?

 

A. I've gotten a lot of requests recently asking what this is, so I decided to poke around and find out.

 

It appears

 

Read More...

http://www.internetfixes.com/readers_questions/IF01981.htm

 

============================

How can I attach an audio file to an email and have it start to play as soon as they open the email?

 

A. You can format your outbound email in one of three ways: plain text, rich text, or

 

Read More...

http://www.internetfixes.com/readers_questions/IF01982.htm

 

============================

Just a Hard Disk Space Saving Tip From Me.

 

Ever wondered where a large chunk of your hard drive disappeared to? If you run XP (this may apply to ME) when you have included in the OS a Restore feature.

 

This feature takes

 

Read More...

http://www.internetfixes.com/readers_questions/IF01983.htm

 

============================

Is it possible to open a program and when it opens have it Minimize to the Task Bar?

 

A. Set The Program To Open Minimized

 

If you are like most computer users, you multi-task. Typically

 

Read More...

http://www.internetfixes.com/readers_questions/IF01984.htm

 

============================

I am trying to rename the icon to a blank name or Just No Text At All. Is this possible?

 

A. Yes it is possible. Just follow along with the instructions that I have included

 

Read More...

http://www.internetfixes.com/readers_questions/IF01985.htm

 

============================

I have four other Users on this computer and I would like to Create a hidden folder that cannot be found real easy.

 

A. You can just make A Super Hidden Folder

 

You probably already know how to create just a plain hidden

 

Read More...

http://www.internetfixes.com/readers_questions/IF01986.htm

 

============================

Is there any way that I can Scan For Dead Links in my Bookmarks? I have years and years worth and would like to weed out the dead ones.

 

A. This answer is one that you will definitely want to read up about. It addresses

 

Read More...

http://www.internetfixes.com/readers_questions/IF01987.htm

 

============================

Reset the Administrator Password in Windows XP.

 

The main Administrator account is a hidden user account that is installed with Windows XP. If you have ever booted into safe mode you have seen this user Account (the username is simply “Administrator”). Well if you have forgotten the password (and your username is classified as an administrator) you can reset the password.

 

Click

 

Read More...

http://www.internetfixes.com/readers_questions/IF01987_A.htm

============================

 

Would you recommend a program (Freeware if possible) with a few more features that the bland XP Calculator?

 

A. Microsoft does have a free calculator upgrade

 

Read More...

http://www.internetfixes.com/readers_questions/IF01987_B.htm

============================

 

Instantly Create A List Of All Files In Windows XP.

 

This little trick is very useful, especially if you have a drive or folder with a lot of files, subfolders and sub-files. It allows you to quickly list all file names, including their location, size and the date the file was modified in a text file or spreadsheet.

 

Click

 

Read More...

http://www.internetfixes.com/readers_questions/IF01987_C.htm

 

****************************

This Tips Are Made Possible Because Of Your Continued Donations!

http://www.internetfixes.com/main_paypal.htm

 

****************************

Clif Notes Freeware Reviews

http://freewarewiki.com/FreewareReviews

 

****************************

Question about Vista? Post Them at the Address Below.

http://www.internetfixes.com/fixes/index.php

 

============================

Click The Link Below To Get My NewsLetter.

http://www.internetfixes.com/newsletter.htm

 

============================

Kids And Computers

http://www.internetfixes.com/blog/

 

============================

BUSY SECTIONS OF THE WEBSITE!

 

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

 

http://www.internetfixes.com/definitions/IF01424.htm

 

============================

140 Windows XP Run Commands.

http://www.internetfixes.com/xp_run_commands.htm

 

============================

Vista Run Commands.

http://www.internetfixes.com/vista_run_commands.htm

 

============================

Hardware And Software Vendor Phone List, A-K

http://www.internetfixes.com/IF01051.htm

 

Hardware And Software Vendor Phone List, L-P

http://www.internetfixes.com/IF01052.htm

 

Hardware And Software Vendor Phone List, Q-Z

http://www.internetfixes.com/IF01053.htm

 

============================

Computer Motherboard And Chipset Drivers.

http://www.internetfixes.com/IF01057.htm

 

============================

I try and keep up on the latest Virus Alerts.

http://www.internetfixes.com/virus_info.htm

 

============================

Drivers Index.

http://www.internetfixes.com/drivers_index.htm

 

============================

Click The Link Below To Join My News Letter.

http://www.internetfixes.com/newsletter.htm

 

============================

Computer Problem? Post Your Question Here.

http://www.internetfixes.com/fixes/index.php

 

==============================

TIPS WITH FULL GRAPHICS! ALL ONE LOCATION!

http://www.internetfixes.com/tips_with_full_graphics.htm

 

============================

 


 

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 27 2009 COOLSITES Newsletter #206 by Mark Donaldson

• 7 Security Tools You Absolutely MUST Have: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/7-security-tools-you-absolutely-must-have/

• New. KL-Detector- detect keylogging activity on your computer! (it detects keyloggers, but you should remove keylogger by yourself): http://dewasoft.com/privacy/kldetector.htm

• Freeware by DewaSoft.com - a hobbyist programmer's website: http://dewasoft.com/

MagMyPic.com - Fake Magazine Covers with your Photo! Novelty Magazines and Novelty Gifts!: http://www.magmypic.com/

• New. Dooble - Secure and Open Source Web Browser: http://dooble.sourceforge.net/

• New. WeFi allows for reliable connection to Wi-Fi anywhere a wireless network is available, see online status and location of friends and find an available hotspot anywhere around the world: http://www.wefi.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.


http://luem42.googlepages.com/coolsites.html

 


 

 

 

 

NEW NEWS

 

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.

http://zia.blogspot.com/

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OTHER STUFF

 

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

permalink

 

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.

 

Clif

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: