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Welcome to Clif Notes Newsletter

November 5, 2006




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.

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visiting this newsletter!









EditPad Lite - a text editor with valuable extras

review from ClifNotes, Mar 2005, permalink, _ Text Editors


I first tried this LiteWare program about three years ago. It's been revised and improved since then. I was reminded about EditPad Lite while reading Brett Christensen's Hoax-Slayer newsletter. He uses the pro version, but for most of us, the added pro features aren't needed.


(Clif - Mar 2005)

Do you need a notepad editor with a little extra kick? I do, and I use EditPad Lite. Earlier today I opened over 400 html files all at the same time and did multiple search and replace operations. I wasn't worried about making mistakes because of EditPad's unlimited undo features. EditPad has nearly all the features I could want.


Quote from the website

EditPad Lite is a general-purpose text editor, designed to be small and compact, yet offer all the functionality you expect from a basic text editor. EditPad Lite works with Windows NT4, 98, 2000, ME and XP.


EditPad Lite is free for non-commercial use. That is, you may use EditPad Lite if you do not get paid, directly or indirectly, for the work you do with EditPad Lite. Registered charities may also use EditPad Lite.




IconTweaker - dress up your desktop icons

review from BearBottoms, Nov 2006, permalink, _ Desktop Tools


I sometimes visit Alt.Comp.Freeware to see what's going on. I just happened to find this mention of IconTweaker in one of the threads.


From BearBottoms

IconTweaker allows you to customize Windows with different sets of icon themes. It comes with several themes to choose from and additional ones can be added later. You can choose to change all icons according to the theme, and also set different icons for selected files and/or folders. The program provides an easy to use interface, and can restore your original icons at any time.


Elis_Jay replied back

great icons. I downloaded over 50 megs worth


Quote from the website

Give your desktop a personal look by changing the default Windows icons. You can also modify individual icons of drives and folders to be able to recognize their contents easily.


Using the available themes you can apply set of icons at once. Designers can create themes to share their icons with other people. Many themes with beautiful icons are already included and ready to use.



Ultra CPU Monitor - freeware CPU monitoring

review by wr975 at DonationCoder, Sept 2006, permalink, Source, _ System Monitoring


From Clif

I often visit DonationCoder to see what they are up to there. It's great place to pick up freeware and find good deals on software that you must pay to aquire. They also devote a special section of the forums for mini-reviews, and the review below is just one example of the fine work they do.


Review from wr975


Basic Info


App NameUltra CPU Monitor
App Version Reviewed1.2
Supported OSesW2K/XP, unsure about W9x
Support MethodsNone mentioned. Probably email.
Pricing SchemeFreeware. Author asks for a postcard if you like it.





This is my first mini-review and English is not my native language, so please... be nice.


I like to see the CPU activity all the time. I know a minimized taskman can do it, but I accidently close it all the time. So for many years I've used Active CPU and thought there'd be never another tool of its kind, but today I found something better: Ultra CPU Monitor. I don't like programs with SUPER or ULTRA in their name (sounds like cheap hype) but I still gave it a try.



Who is this app designed for:


Power users who like to know what's happening with their system. If the PC acts "sluggish" for no reason and you see CPU = 100% you know at instant something's not correct. You also know at one glance if the PC is still busy with some task (MP3 encoding).



The Good


The good thing about this app is of course the price no one can beat. Also it's not showing a "block" like taskman or Active CPU do, but a real graphical presentation (diagram) of the CPU load.


So, instead of



you'll see



You can extend it to up to 8 tray icons, to expand the "history"



Or use a tray icon as number.



Colors can be changed



and, last but not least, the update interval can be adjusted. (no picture).



The needs improvement section


I guess there's not much to improve. As I started it the first time it took 30 MB memory, but dropped to 9 MB. That's not much for an application these days. Active CPU consumed 7 MB.


Slighty annoying:






Why I think you should use this product


Anyone who likes to see the current CPU load all the time.



How does it compare to similar apps


The graphical presention (with history) makes it unique. Don't know of any other application doing this only.





Instant keeper and after many, many years Active CPU had to go.



Links to other reviews of this application


Since I mentioned it various times, here's the link to Active CPU (also freeware):


Read the rest of this forum post to see more improvements the author of Ultra CPU Monitor has made.



Visual Task Tips - adding a Vista feature to XP

review from ClifNotes, Nov 2006, permalink, _ Desktop Tools

Visual Task Tips is a small program that gives you a thumbnail view of the programs on your PC's task bar. This should be a very handy tool for those of you who like to have a dozen or more tasks running there. I tried it out and I was impressed with how nicely it works. Sorry, it only works in Windows XP.


Quote from the website

What is Visual Task Tips?


Visual Task Tips is a lightweight shell enhancement utility. It provides thumbnail preview image for each task in the Windows Taskbar, as seen in the upcoming Microsoft Windows Vista.


NOTE: Windows XP is required to run Visual Task Tips.



Blink Personal Edition - firewall and intrusion detection

question from ClifNotes, Nov 2006, permalink, _ Security Tools



Under review


This one looks good, but I'm reluctant to try a suite of tools like this one.


I'm not recommending it yet. I just wondered if anyone visiting here might have tried it. If so, please comment below.


Quote from the website

eEye Digital Security's Blink® Personal Edition combines intrusion prevention, application and network firewall, identity theft protection, and vulnerability assessment into a single, unified client security solution. With Blink, you are ensured both proactive and reactive protection against the broad methods of attack and compromise used by hackers to gain access to your system and personal data.



Spyware Terminator - a challenger for Windows Defender

review by Rocker452, Oct 2006, permalink, _ Adware & Spyware Removal


Recently, my friend BillAllin told us how Windows Defender can't be trusted to work on a Windows 2000 PC. After reading one of the comments to his article, he plans on trying out Spyware Terminator.


This anti-spyware program has not arrived on the scene without a bit of controversy. The company that has developed Spyware Terminator, was also affiliated with adware distributors. They were black-listed at SpywareWarrior's website, but have since been removed from that list. In fact, SpywareWarrior plans on reviewing this program soon to see if he can recommend it.


Spyware Terminator was also recently recommended by Gizmo Richards in the TechSupportAlert newsletter.


Rocker452 wrote the following:

The one I use is Spyware Terminator and it is free. It is listed as working on any windows OS from 98 on. I use to use Defender myself but found this one to work better and I saw somewhere a review of it (don't recall where) that showed it haveing a better detection rate than Defender. One of the best things is

it has real time protection and HIPS which is usually only found in the paid apps.


I have been using it for several months now and it does the job. The scans are faster than with Defender although not by much and it updates regularly. It is the only free program I think that offers the real time and HIPS protection. Some of the tests results I've seen don't show it as having as good a removal rate as Defender but I really can't tell seeing as all it detects on mine are cookies and it removes them with no problem. If you want to use these comments feel free to do so and thanks for a great newsletter.










Old Newsletter


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



















I want a Firefox Extension to ...

found on the net by ClifNotes, Nov 2006, permalink, _ Web Service


200+ extremely useful firefox extensions that save time and effort.




Clif's Email Rant

by ClifNotes


To BCC or Not to BCCCome on people! Stop forwarding junk email to your friends and co-workers. I still get lots of email that has been forwarded two thousand times and has the email addresses of half the world in it. Stop it right now! I know a lot of you out there are not newbies anymore. If you get an email joke, funny story or a thought provoking tale that you just have to pass on to all your friends, do not forward it. I repeat, don't do it. Just copy the story and paste it into a brand new email and use the BCC address line to send it out to your many friends. BCC will make sure you aren't giving their email addresses out to all the big spammers out there. The new email will be easier to read and it won't contain all the email addresses that were in it when the last goober sent it to you. One more thing, the next time you want to send me an email that says Bill Gates is giving money away to you for forwarding an email, get some brains, or check to see if the story is true at before you send it. If you ignore this message you will be cursed with seven years of bad spam and your pc will get infected with a horrible virus that will delete all your files, so please pass it on to all your friends.


For a good laugh read this email.


Below are recently published email resources and articles from all over the web. Please add your comments if you have something that can help.














More tips from Nob

Oct 2006, permalink


Nob in Japan writes:

Hi Clif!


I thought that i got to know about NoteTab Light ( ) from you, but looking through the Reviews I noticed that it isn't among them. It's worth knowing this program exists.


OpenExpert ( ) is an app that eliminates the monopoly that certain programs impose on files, thus it brings variety to play a role when working with files.


FKeys ( ) brings actual functionality to the function keys, making them work as launchers and to want more than that (one push (press) launcher) is just stepping into the realm of slothfulness.


Finally, to put some visual spice into the conventional uniformity of windows comes Windowpaper XP ( ).






Thanks Nob! I have tried most of those, but you are right, I haven't reviewed them.



The sad tale of Morris and Esther

a joke from Brett at, Oct 2006, permalink, _ Joke


Here's the sad tale of Morris and Esther:


Morris and his wife Esther went to the state fair every year, and every year Morris would say,"Esther, I'd like to ride in that helicopter."


Esther always replied, "I know Morris, but that helicopter ride is 50 dollars, and 50 dollars is 50 dollars."


One year Esther and Morris went to the fair, and Morris said "Esther I'm 85 years old. If I don't ride that helicopter, I might never get another chance."


Esther replied "Morris that helicopter ride is 50 dollars, and 50 dollars is 50 dollars."


The pilot over heard the couple and said,"folks I'll make you a deal I'll take the both of you for a ride. If you can stay quiet for the entire ride and not say a word I won't charge you! But if you say one word, it's 50 dollars".


Morris and Esther agreed and up they went. The pilot did all kinds of fancy maneuver, but not a word was heard. He did his dare daredevil tricks over and over again, but still not a word. when they landed, the pilot turned to Morris and said "by golly, I did everything I could to get you to yell out, but you didn't. I'm impressed!"


Morris replied "Well, I was going to say something when Esther fell out, but "50 dollars is 50 dollars."


If you ever have email questions or have gotten a letter that you aren't sure is true, be sure to ask Brett at He also has a free monthly newsletter all about email hoaxes and scams.








Comments last week

Thanks to everyone who commented on the articles last week. You gave me more ideas and some good advice. If you see comments on an article, you will be missing out if you don't click on them to take a look.


If you commented last week, check to see who commented on your comment!


Here are the comments from last week.


PowerToys for Windows - good freeware from Microsoft •

Virtual Desktop Toolbox - maximum control over multiple desktops •

Last.FM - the social music revolution •

OpenPandora - open your music and enjoy it •

Stick Soldiers II - a simple but very challenging game


ThinkAll - think twice before you buy •

Windows Defender - no longer good for Win2k •

Microsoft nervous about IE7 problems

Interview with Merijn Bellekom - creator of HijackThis


Bear Bottoms Open Source and Freeware Research •

Ms Dewey - a search engine with attitude •

Play Free Online Games - your one-stop free online game directory •

BestDownloads4Free - nice freeware blog site •



















Google News Archive Search - coolest thing since Google Maps

website recommended by BillWebb, Nov 2006, permalink, _ Web Service


Here's a good tip from Bill


Give it a shot. Enter "Osama bin Laden" for example, then click the date links on the left side to drill back to the earliest archived articles about him.


This is seriously cool and useful for research.




Check out Bill's opinion filled column at Digital Zen.



European Space Agency - out of this world multimedia

cool website from CyberGuide, Oct 2006, permalink, _ Cool Website


Here's a great website that our friend Zia posted at his CyberGuide blog.



Hey check this out ... While I came across an excellent Flash rendering of the 'Face of Mars' on the ESA website, I decided to explore further the multimedia section. Oh Boy, what a beautiful site! The range and content of moving images is simply amazing: from Avi movies to Flash animations, it has got them all! and all good quality too!


Drop on by to see more cool stuff that Zia finds.







Websites I've visited recently


Have you seen any cool websites you want to share with us?







NEW NEWS - new and updated freeware

Source -





News from Sarah in Tampa



Security news from Malware Advisor

blog by TeMerc Internet Countermeasures, source

Infected? Go to for help





























Get Gmail! and Get Firefox!


You need a free 2.7 GB Gmail account to access many of the cool features at Google. I'll send you an invitation right away if you write me and say I WANT GMAIL.



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 Gabbly. To see who's gabbing at this website, click here.





Find out more about





Frapper - you people live all over the world!

Wow! Over 400 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.



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 &

Devoted to promoting Freeware and Free Information

Want a free 2.7Gb Gmail account?

Email me here.






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