• 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.



Newsletter Archive    Reviews Archive     Add to Netvibes

Subscribe to this free newsletter?



Welcome to Clif Notes Newsletter

April 29, 2007




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!






Sieklus - an adventure puzzle for the whole family

review from Tony at TopFreeware, Apr 2007, permalink Game


From Tony at Topfreeware.net:

Platform: Windows 95 - XP


SEIKLUS is a puzzle/strategy game that involves exploring various area to find all the colour items and treasure chest so you can be reunited with your girlfriend. Along the way there are secret rooms to find and many puzzles to work out. A fun, family friendly game which is addictive. It requires no installing and you can also save your progress along the way using the 3 save slots available.


click to view large


Kind Regards




www.topfreeware.net - The best freeware downloads and tips to optimize your system






IrfanView - my favorite image viewer

review from ClifNotes, Apr 2007, permalink Image Viewers


I think having a good fast image viewer is a must. Some people like and recommend XnView for this, but I've been using IrfanView since the days of Windows 95. I have even used IrfanView to listen to MP3s or to view Flash movies. It can also create screen savers from your images if you want it to.


Quote from the website

IrfanView is a very fast, small, compact and innovative FREEWARE (for non-commercial use) graphic viewer for Windows 9x/ME/NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista.


Some IrfanView features:


  • Many supported file formats (click here the list of formats)
  • Multi language support
  • Thumbnail/preview option
  • Toolbar skins option
  • Slideshow (save slideshow as EXE/SCR or burn it to CD)
  • Show EXIF/IPTC/Comment text in Slideshow/Fullscreen etc.
  • Support for Adobe Photoshop Filters
  • Fast directory view (moving through directory)
  • Batch conversion (with image processing)
  • Multipage TIF editing
  • File search
  • Email option
  • Multimedia player
  • Print option
  • Change color depth
  • Scan (batch scan) support
  • Cut/crop
  • IPTC editing
  • Effects (Sharpen, Blur, Adobe 8BF, Filter Factory, Filters Unlimited, etc.)
  • Capturing
  • Extract icons from EXE/DLL/ICLs
  • Lossless JPG rotation
  • Many hotkeys
  • Many command line options
  • Many PlugIns
  • Only one EXE-File, no DLLs, no Shareware messages like "I Agree" or "Evaluation expired"
  • No registry changes without user action/permission!
  • and much much more




XPL0 Games - the tiniest games

review from ClifNotes, Apr 2007, permalink Games


Several years ago I found "The XPL0 Programming Language" website. The website tells about this programming language and hosts several games and utilities made using XPL0. My favorite version of Mahjongg is hosted there as well as several other of the tiniest games you may ever find.


I'm hoping you will find these tiny games as amazing as I do. Most games today are measured in megabytes. These games are 1,000 times smaller and are still quite good. They should run on most Windows machines except for the new Vista which does not support a DOS full screen mode.


Here below are a few of the games.


Challenge Matey to a game of chess


A game very similar to Centipede


A 3D Sokoban game



A solitaire game



Dangerously addicting Columns game



Mah Jongg Solitaire



Quote from the website

XPL0 is similar to Pascal. It was created in the mid 70s by Peter J. R. Boyle and the 6502 Group.


Although XPL0 is not mainstream, over the years it has proven to be immensely useful. It has been used to write everything from operating systems to embedded controllers. Since its 6502 days, it has been steadily upgraded and spread to other processors like the 8080, 6800, PDP-10, IBM-360, a couple homebrew machines, 65802, 680x0, PIC, Ubicom, and the 80x86 family used by the IBM-PC. The PC versions can be downloaded from this webpage.




PassPack - your secure online password keeper

review from The Privacy Guy, Apr 2007, permalink Password Manager


From Clif:

One of the readers here mentioned this service in a comment. I was curious and looked into it. It sounds absolutely terrific for the person who is always on the move and needs to access their passwords from any computer with internet access.


Here is a portion of a review from "The Privacy Guy", an advocate in today's never ending battle for privacy.


I know the majority of users do use the same password or some minor variation for everything from their online banking to favorite message board, but this is a bad habit for people to engage in. However, I am not writing today to discuss password policies; I want to highlight PassPack and why I think it rocks! read more from the article



Quote from the website

What is PassPack?


A Free Online Password Manager and Personal Vault. The only one to merge high security with ease-of-use. Too many passwords now-a-days? Use PassPack, it makes life easier.




Infra Recorder - simply creating your CD

review from ClifNotes, Apr 2007, permalink CD-DVD Burning Tools


From Clif:

Here's a review from DonationCoder forums. It features a unique CD burning application that you may find useful. I was interested in it because it's an open source program hosted by SourceForge.



Excerpt of a review from Lanux128:

Infra Recorder is a free CD burning solution for Microsoft Windows.


App NameInfra Recorder
App URLhttp://infrarecorder.sourceforge.net
App Version ReviewedVersion (Unicode)
Test System SpecsPentium 3 733Mhz, 512MB RAM, WinXP Pro SP2
Supported OSesWindows 9x/ME/2000/XP/x64; tested on WinXP Pro SP2
Support MethodsHelp file included with the program. Other methods of support: the author's email and a very nascent FAQ on the website.
Pricing SchemeFreeware, donations accepted.
Author Donation LinkDonate to Christian Kindahl, the Author
Reviewer Donation LinkDonate to Lanux128, the Reviewer
Relationship between Reviewer and ProductI am not affiliated with this product and its developer in any way.





I have fond memories of Nero, which came with the first CD-RW drive that I bought years back. However over the years, I became disenchanted with Nero, the bundle-ware and began actively looking for a light-weight alternative. On such a journey, I discovered Infra Recorder - which I didn't know much about except that it uses cdrtools and the programmer is also involved with TugZip. However I was pleasantly surprised with the program's simple interface, and even more with the easiness of use. read the rest of the review




Quote from the Infra Recorder website

InfraRecorder is a free CD/DVD burning solution for Microsoft Windows. It offers a wide range of powerful features; all through an easy to use application interface and Windows Explorer integration.



Be sure to visit DonationCoder.com to find more cool programs.



Galaxiga - free game similar to Galaxians

review from ClifNotes, Apr 2007, permalink Games


I used to spend hours dropping quarters into the old Galaxians game machine back in the 70's and 80's. Now I can play it at home for free. It's not a perfect copy of Galaxians, but it's good enough.


Quote from the Caiman website

A mixture between a vertical scrolling Space Shooter and a Space Invaders game. A very nice and tense game, but definitely not an easy one! It saves highscores, has infinite levels, and a boss halfway through at level 15. Also features asteroid field levels every ten stages and 3 different weapons.

controls: arrows + space




CyberDefender - how can they defend themselves?

review from StevenBurn, Apr 2007, permalink Not Recommended


From Clif:

I'll be honest with you. Sometimes I don't care if a program is AdWare, DonationWare, FreeWare or any of the other various WAREs out there. If I like it and the cost (not always money) is right, I may still use it. If the authors of the program are up front and don't lie to me about what the program is doing, then at least I know what I'm are getting. The decision is mine to make.


Trust plays a large role in this decision.


If the authors of the program lie to us, or tell us the program does one thing and it does something else, then they risk the wrath of the righteous software users out there.


Steven Burns, webmaster of it-mate, found a case of the authors who lied. Thank you Steven, you are a righteous man.



Quote from Steven Burns:

I first found out about CyberDefender due to a contest at CastleCops.


One of the first things that made me suspicious about it however, is that the "free" version contains adverts. Not suprisingly, quite a few of us began questioning the fact it was permitted as one of the prizes for the competition. Eventually, we were told the version being given away for the competition, was a full licence without adverts.


Join me for the next few minutes as we find out how this is not the case.

read the rest of the story


http://cyberdefender.com/ Not Recommended









Old Newsletter


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



















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?



Wednesdays News Letter Tips. 4/25/2007



1. Create An Emergency Start Up Disk For Windows XP.




2. Show Hidden Files And Folders To Windows XP.




3. Clear Your Netmeeting Call History.




4. Turn Off Clear Type in Internet Explorer 7.




5. Internet Explorer 7.0 Search Box.




6. Enable Bitlocker Encryption In Vista.




7. Disable Hibernation In Vista.




8. Preview Documents In Vistas Windows Explorer.




New Section On The Windows Registry You Will Want To Visit And Bookmark.





Mondays News Letter Tips. 4/16/2007



1. Remove The NTFS File System In XP.




2. Clear Windows Paging File At Shutdown In XP.





3. Turn Off Auto Play For Program CDs In XP.




4. Create A Complete Backup And Restore Image With Windows Vista.




IF01101 How Can I Stop Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) from opening documents in the IE.




IF01102 I am unable to see full amount of a new hard drive I bought and installed.




IF01103 Is Your Computer Running Slowly?




IF01104 My Web Browser Has Been Hijacked.




IF01105 How Do I Enable / Disable Or Delete Internet Cookies?




IF01106 How Do I Prevent Windows Messenger Pop-ups?




IF01107 How Do I Stop Pop-up Or Pop-under Internet Ads?




IF01108 How Do I Enable And Or Disable The Microsoft Windows XP Firewall?






Check in the mail

review from Respect2Glory, April 24th, 2007, permalink tips


I received a check in the mail this week for $4995.24 - The check appears to be from "The TJX Companies, INC.".


As I read through this letter I realized that I did not enter this contest. I knew that I had to write about awareness of spam, scams, and the junk-mail in our street mail boxes. Even with a check enclosed to make things more tempting, I know better than to cash it. Most of the time, cashing a check in the mail means that you are agreeing to the terms that the check stands for. In this instance, the check didn't have any fine print. It does state that the check is to cover the 'fees' that are connected to this drawing, that I supposedly won. Since I've 'looked' into this, I've learned that we have laws to protect us from paying fees for any contest, and that contests and lotteries abroad are illegal.


After reading about TJX's credit card numbers being stolen, there is no way I would attempt to cash this check. This is just not a good reason to take a chance on getting a visit from someone wearing a suit.


More search words from this mailing: (typos are from the letter too)

Lottery Board Commission, mandatory surcharges, clearance fees, handling charges, Processing fees, G.S.T. and Non-Resident Taxes, Marie Benson, Promotional Manager, North American Payment Agent, Angela Madison, John Dobson, 1 604 710 0629, winning price, processing your winning.


TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, A.J. Wright, BOBS Stores


CHECK NO: 86xxxxx


Mellon Trust of New England, N. A

Evertt, MA 02149










Here is an excerpt of the letter ...




. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PRIZE AND AWARD PRESENTATION

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . INTERNATIONAL CLAIM DEPARTMENT

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .| TEL: 1 604 771 9173


Sweepstakes and Internet Games Payment Verification Center.


Date: April 18th 2007

Ref No. xxx xxxx xxxx / 9

Claim No: xxxxxx


Attn : Sir/Madam


After a successful completion of the EXPRESS third category draw, we are pleased to inform you of the official

announcement today that you have emerged as one of the winners of the EXPRESS INTERNATIONAL LOTTERY

PROMOTION, which is part os of 50th anniversary promotional draws.

Participants were selected through a Computer ballot system drawn from 49,000,000 names and addresses from the

data base of your countries.



Your name has won the lottery in the third category.



OK, I'm thinking SCAM by now, so I visit the search engines and I cannot find results to confirm or deny this exact letter and the check. I finally target "TJX" and read about a security breach where thousands of customers information had been stolen.


IMPORTANT CUSTOMER ALERT: http://www.tjx.com/tjx_message.html


I found and dialed a TJX phone number, and spoke to their hot-line representative, which had me hold to speak to her manager. I told the manager about the check and letter, and then described them to him. He was certain that it was a scam and he instructed me to rip it up and toss it into the trash. I thanked him for his time and we hung up.


Um, I don't think I want to destroy this quite yet. Isn't this evidence in an ongoing FBI investigation? Time will tell.


Also see ...









Some of my search results...


INFOWORLD TECH WATCH : TJX slapped with class action suit by banks

Banks want to prove that TJX misrepresented its handling of sensitive financial information (saying it was secure, when it wasn't). The group also wants to raise the stakes of data breaches for merchants, which they argue are the source of most breaches, but bear few of the costs.






Fla., TJX differ on scam timeline - The Boston Globe

State investigators looking into the theft of more than 45 million credit and debit card numbers from TJX Cos. are trying to determine when the Framingham ...



Scam may be tied to stolen TJX data - The Boston Globe

A ring of thieves arrested in Florida and charged with using stolen credit-card numbers to buy more than $8 million worth of gift cards and electronics ...



Stolen TJX data used in Florida credit card fraud ring; Arkansas

Find Stolen TJX data used in Florida credit card fraud ring; Arkansas organization sues to see firm's data protection and all latest security news, ...



TJX card scam worsens: Data thefts started two years ago

TJX Cos. Inc. said yesterday that it now believes the breach of its computer system first occurred in July 2005, almost a year earlier than it previously ...



TJX Customers: What To Do

Consumer News Recalls Complaint Form Scam Alerts ... To protect against identity theft, consumers who have shopped at the TJX Stores, including Marshalls, ...




Saving Internet Radio

review from ClifNotes, Apr 2007, permalink


From Clif:

Over the last couple of weeks I've been receiving a few emails from Pandora Radio about a new law that was passed. I don't think it made many headlines and it sure looks like another attempt by big business (like the RIAA) to squash the little guys.


Here's a letter from the founder of Pandora.


Hi, Tim again,

First, I wanted to thank you again for the support last week. It was absolutely overwhelming. More than 200,000 Pandora listeners contacted their congressional representatives! The entire fax infrastructure on Capitol Hill ground to a halt. We had to deliver faxes manually - literally boxes full of them were delivered to every office in the Capitol building.


The result has been swift and dramatic: more than a million people have already joined the cause! There is now a bill just being introduced called the "Internet Radio Equality Act, H.R. 2060" to fix the problem and save Internet radio (and Pandora) from obliteration.


I'd like to ask you to do one more thing which is to call and ask your Congressperson, to co-sponsor the Internet Radio Equality Act, H.R. 2060:


John A. Boehner's phone number: (202)225-6205


This fight for our life is not over, but there has been a marked shift in momentum. Thanks to your efforts, this vital channel for musical diversity has a hope of finally being treated fairly and being allowed to grow and nurture a newly empowered class of independent musicians.


Your opinion matters to your representatives - so please take just a minute to call.


Visit www.savenetradio.org to continue following the fight to Save Internet Radio.


Thanks again for being such a wonderful supporter.


-Tim Westergren

(Pandora founder)



Quote from SaveNetRadio

The future of Internet radio is in immediate danger. Royalty rates for webcasters have been drastically increased by a recent ruling and are due to go into effect on May 15 (retroactive to Jan 1, 2006!). If the increased rates remain unchanged, the majority of webcasters will go bankrupt and silent on this date.




Are Cookies Safe?

review from ClifNotes, Apr 2007, permalink Windows Tips


From Clif:

I don't worry about cookies on my PC. Cookies aren't going to cause me to get infected with a keylogger or a virus or adware. If some cookies are evil, they are a necessary evil. Most of the services on the internet either wouldn't work or wouldn't be free without them.


Here's what Terry at Terry's Computer Tips thinks about it. I agree with him on this one.


Quote from Terry's Computer Tips

Web site income is another use of cookies -- they allow an advertising agency to track a referral from a web site to the advertiser. This is a necessary part of the free Internet — if you want free content, the content providers have to make their money on advertising.


This is the cookie function that is blown all out of proportion by the anti-spyware companies. Cookies are easy to find, so it's easy for the program to say "I found Spyware!" That's why you'll find vastly different numbers of "spyware items" found on your computer depending on which antispyware you use -- some seem to declare ANY cookie to be spyware.


What do I do with cookies?


I don't worry about them. I have my web browsers set to accept them automatically.


Read the rest of the article:

Temporary Files, Passwords, Cookies and Privacy









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.



YackPack - voice chat at PBwiki.com •

XP SysPad - Editor's pick at Freeware Arena •

Wubi - the easiest way to Linux? •

KompoZer - A Freeware WYSIWYG Editor •

ZipGenius 6 - great archiving tool •

XSPF Web Music Player - more goodness from Source Forge •

Clickster - search and download MP3 files •



The fastest way to defragment your hard drive

Disable Taskbar Grouping in XP and Vista

How to backup your Gmail account

New Music Store Allows Non-DRM Downloads



Media Convert - free online converter •

Memory Alpha - enter the Star Trek universe •

Public Domain and Free Image Resources



















CoolSites Newsletter this week


Here are a few links from Mark's CoolSites Newsletter. Be sure to visit his site and see the rest of his links this week.


April 27 2007 COOLSITES by Mark Donaldson Issue 110


Gotta get this limited time freebie


PKWARE has a new program called SecureZIP which they are giving away free for a limited time. For those that don't know PKWARE invented PKZip and the .zip format which is the most used compression standard. I don't know how long they will give it away free for home use, on a Windows desktop, so get yours now.


My ideal software is small, reliable and easy to use. Small means no bells, whistles, skins, fancy looking buttons, etc.. Small means reliable because there is less to go wrong according to Murphy's Law. Easy to use means I don't have to learn how to use it because it is intuitive. 7-Zip fits these criteria for my archiving needs. Mark.


SecureZIP by PKWARE is free for a limited time: http://www.securezip.com/

Update. 7-Zip 4.45 beta: http://www.7-zip.org/


Free Online Games Arcade Games Free Games - Arcade Town .com: http://www.arcadetown.com/


Freeware at Smola Utilities Page: http://supersmola.net/smola/utils/


Freeware from HarmlessLion.com!: http://www.harmlesslion.com/cgi-bin/showprog.cgi?Windows


Freeware. baliganikhil - Softwares - By- B.Nikhil Baliga: http://baliganikhil.googlepages.com/home


Googlism.com will find out what Google.com thinks of you, your friends or anything: http://www.googlism.com/


Conduit has changed the way they do business and now lets anyone make their own toolbar for IE or Firefox. They make their money on the search function, just like Google, and respect the privacy of the users. I have made a toolbar for my website that has multiple search functions (search Google, search dictionary, search encyclopedia, etc.) has links to my web pages, has a popup blocker/ privacy cleaner, has an email notifier and a weather function. I can add many more functions and when I do everyone who has my toolbar will be automatically updated.

luem42's COOLSITES Toolbar - Download: http://luem42.ourtoolbar.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.




Websites I've visited recently


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



Nintendo Mii editor - what do you look like?

review from ClifNotes, Apr 2007, permalink Cool Website


I think I spotted this one at Digg and wondered what in the heck is a Mii editor. Here's what that Digg said:

Mii Editor is a website that mirrors the experience of creating a Mii on the (Wii game) console. You can choose your face shape, eye and hair color and styles, the size of your eyebrows, pretty much everything you need to customize your Mii to your hearts content.


I've never played on the Wii game console but it sure looks cool. I had fun playing with the Mii editor and I actually finished a Mii picture as you can see below. It kinda looks like me, but I wish they had more choices on mustaches. The one that looks similar to me kind of makes me look a little like Hitler. Doesn't Becky look nice? She made hers. I think she's cute.



click to expand picture

Quote from the website

What's different between this Editor and the Editor on the Wii?


What the editor at MiiEditor.com has and the Mii editor found on the Wii does not:


  • The ability to modify a Mii's ID
  • The ability to modify the Wii ID (MAC address) associated with a Mii (determining which Wii can edit it)
  • A randomize Mii feature
  • The option to load a Mii binary
  • The option to save a Mii binary
  • Being able to edit a Mii through XML
  • Saving a Mii as XML
  • Exporting a Mii to a JPEG
  • A URL which can be used to dynamically load any Mii character directly within the editor


What the editor at MiiEditor.com doesn't have and the Mii editor found on the Wii does:


  • An option to designate a Mii as being a favorite
  • Creating a Mii from a look-alike
  • Rotating the Mii in 3D space (MiiEditor.com uses a 2D representation)




If any of you create your own Mii image, send it to me and I'll post it here.




OldApps.com - find your old favorites here

review from ClifNotes, Apr 2007, permalink Cool Website


I recently found another good spot for getting older versions of the programs you can't live without. You may find that OldApps is really handy when you are setting up a PC with an older operating system.


Two other good places are OldVersion and LastFreewareVersion.


Quote from the website

The Idea behind our site, OldApps.com is to provide most of the current and old versions software online for free. We will try to keep our database up-to-date with old versions so you will get the most out of our site. Moreover we check all the software for you so you will never end up with any malware, torjan, and/or virus.






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.




























Get Gmail! and Get Firefox!


You need a free 2.8 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 Gabbly. To see who's gabbing at this website, click here.





Find out more about Gabbly.com





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.



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: