• 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

August 17, 2008



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!






Folder Guide - a guide to your favorite folders

Posted by ClifNotes, Aug 2008, permalink File Management


This freebie file dialog enhancement has been recommended by two of the readers here at Clif Notes.


First, back in 2006, it was suggested by AK in comments.


Recently, CC sent me an email and said it was a 5 star pick. He must really like it.


Quote from the website

Folder Guide is a free handy utility that provides fast access to your frequently used and favorite folders. It can operate as the part of your context menu in your Windows Explorer.


After quick install it will appear in context menus of Windows Explorer and Open/Save dialogs as "Folder Guide" item. With Folder Guide, you no longer need dozens of mouse clicks to navigate to your desired folder. Now reach your favorite folders in just 2 mouse clicks. Select from right click menu "Folder Guide" then click on your desired folder. Folder Guide runs automatically as part of the Windows Explorer context menu, so you will never need to start the program otherwise you want to edit the list of folders. It also works from the desktop, the Start button.


Folder Guide is a freeware and 100% Spyware FREE. It does NOT contain any Spyware, Adware or Viruses.


Website: http://www.freeware365.com/desktop/folderguide.htm



Graptxt - copy text from Windows dialogs

Posted by ClifNotes, Aug 2008, permalink Clipboard Utilities


Here's a quickie review from one of the readers of this newsletter.

I really appreciate your recommendations for new programs in the comments.


Quote from thebluejay:

Grabtxt is great for getting text out of windows dialog boxes. It works much more quickly and easily (and better!) than Grab Text.


It's perfect for copying things like error messages that you want to send to a forum or support site.



click to expand picture

Quote from the website

as most developers, while testing a program I get runtime errors displayed as windows error message boxes and I have to type these error messages in a search engine to find more about these errors and how to fix them. This tool will make this task very easy.


this tool is free and you can download it and use it:




Mp3tag - a great tool for tweaking MP3 tags

Posted by ClifNotes, Aug 2008, permalink Audio Editing Tools


Last month, I reviewed an MP3 tag renaming utility called Id3Renamer. One of your fellow readers wrote in with a comment about a tool he likes better.


Quote from the TechnoMonster:

ID3 Renamer looked ok, but I found a much more powerful and simple MP3 tool called Mp3tag.


One of the guys at Download.com seems to agree that it's pretty good.


Quote from the Download Blog:

Mp3tag allows batch or single edits to effect such changes as case changing, autonumbering, tag and track name flipping, and user-defined actions. There's playlist support and configuration exporting in six formats including CSV, HTML, and RTF. Support for more than two dozen languages offer the program up for international use, and a Favorite directory setting makes it easy to return to your My Music folder, or wherever you store your tracks.





LogMeIn - is their free service any good?

Posted by ClifNotes, Aug 2008, permalink Misc. Networking Tools


I have been interested in these free services that let you use your work computer at home. Naturally, the IT guys at work might frown on my tests when they see all the traffic on the network. Fortunately, there are people out there that either don't have IT guys watching their every move, or they have permission.


One of the bloggers at Download.com seems to like this free service from LogMeIn.com.


click to expand picture

Quote from the website

LogMeIn Free functions so well it makes an excellent case for ditching the VPN entirely. I installed the program on my work computer before I left San Francisco, created an account at the LogMeIn Web site and then logged out, leaving the machine on but in standby mode. The next step was installing the LogMeIn client on my laptop. Once I arrived in Massachusetts, I hit a coffee shop with a reliable Internet connection, and fired up Firefox. The LogMeIn client runs at start-up, an essential feature for the computer you want to use remotely. It also uses 256-bit SSL encryption, dual authentication for the application and the remote computer, and RSA SecureID, which assuaged my security concerns.

read the rest of the article at the Download Blog





Remobo: VPN, Chat, Filesharing, Remote Control All-In-One!

Posted by ClifNotes, Aug 2008, permalink Misc. Communications


All those tools in one package? Hmmmm, sounds great.

Do I need VPN? No.

Do I need a chat client? Yes, but I prefer Meebo.com online chat service. No install needed.

Do I need file sharing? Not really.

Do I need a remote control program? Yes, but I won't use this program if that's all I need from it.


If you do need all those tools, maybe you should consider Remobo. Take a look at this review from the DownloadSquad.


Quote from the DownloadSquad:

Hamachi is a great app. So is VNC. Torrents are great, too. You see where I'm going. These are all great on their own - so when Remobo rolled them all in to one, tasty package, I was pretty excited.


Set it up, add your buddies, and you've got an instant, private P2P network. Click the My Shared Files link and create torrents of your folders and files with two clicks. When your buddies view your shares, they'll see a simple web page with links to the torrent downloads. It's simple, and it works quite well.


Clicking windows file sharing on a buddy will display their Windows file and printer shares (like Hamachi does). File access speeds (even over my sluggish DSL) are good, and at least on par with Hamachi's free offering.


Continue reading Remobo: VPN, Chat, Filesharing, Remote Control All-In-One!





Styler - Style The Windows Explorer Toolbar Your Way

Posted by ClifNotes, Aug 2008, permalink System Tweaking


There are tons of tweaks for your desktop, applications, program launchers, and other stuff. If you want to, you can make your Windows look like it is actually another operating system. I've tried quite a few system enhancements and I typically end up back with the basic Windows look and feel after a brief spell.


Here is a tweak that I'm tempted to try. On the other hand, it really doesn't change the way your Explorer window works. It will simply look better. At least that's what this blogger at AppAholic says.


click to expand picture

Quote from AppAholic:

Change the style of the windows explorer by adding a new customisable toolbar. Many many designs on deviant art, all free to download. Even includes OS mimics like vista and mac leopard and tiger style toolbar. Also includes other graphical enhancements like drop shadow and icon placement and icon size.


So, you already skinned your OS to look a bit different using Uxtheme Patches. Surly its about time to do something about that blasted windows explorer? I think so!


I found this on a bit of an off chance a while ago, and have only got round to testing it today. I’m glad to say, I’m really impressed, and it IS going to be staying on my system. The very simply named Styler, works rather simply as well. Download, install, find a few different styles you like, try them, and your away. It took a me a little while to work out where to find the styles to download, but deviant art came up trumps again, as it often does with graphical things.


I was a tad skeptical about the ease of this app. The screen shot showed a simple windows with different styles which could be applied to windows explorer. The download comes with the vista style, but naturally there are many more to download.



Read the rest of Styler - Style The Windows Explorer Toolbar Your Way


Author's site is not available.

Download hosted by CrystalXP



Anti-Malware Toolkit Keeps Your Arsenal Up-To-Date - but do you need it?

Posted by ClifNotes, Aug 2008, permalink Security Tools


I was initially interested in this tool when I saw the blog post. After a minute or two, I thought, "I need to ask an expert about this".


I wrote Tom (master of Temerc.com security forums) for his opinion ... here's what he said.


Those types of ‘kits’ don’t much impress me. For one, they make an assumption to ‘target all the tools you’re going to need’. Well, I tell ya what, LSPFix is certainly not one of those tools. I can’t recall the last time I used it, prolly been over a year at least.


And there isn’t anything there that 9 out of 10 users don’t likely already have on their system or something that is very close to those apps. Most update regularly.


I also don’t like going thru ‘third parties’ for anything, direct links are the way for me. No affiliate BS and I know what I’m getting.


So it’s not really anything that I’d recommend to anyone on any level.


Quote from the DownloadSquad

For those of you charged with the unenviable task of malware removal and defense, keeping your toolbox current can be a lot of work. Lunarsoft's Anti-Malware Toolkit simplifies the process by providing an easy way to handle downloading.

The Toolkit is really just a downloader which fetches the current versions of programs like Super Antispyware, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, HijackThis, Spybot, Autoruns, CCleaner, and LSP Fix. It also grabs programs that you'll want to install to prevent further issues: Avast, Firefox, Comodo Firewall.

Point it to your USB flash drive or network share, hit the download button and grab yourself a cup of coffee.

While you could do this with just about any decent download manager, why bother? Anti-Malware toolkit already targets most of the tools you're going to need and it's as simple to maintain them as clicking a single button.

read the rest of the article at Downloadsquad









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


Making Internet Explorer Safer - tutorial from bleepingcomputer

Posted by ClifNotes, Aug 2008, permalink Windows Tips


Wouldn't it be nice if there was a magic wand you could wave over your PC so that your web browsers would be safer to use?

Sorry, it ain't happening.


If you want to make Microsoft's Internet Explorer safe to use, you may have to roll up your sleeves and do a little work. The tutorial below doesn't include screen shots and easy to follow instructions, but it covers a great deal of tips on making your IE a safer place to surf from.


Quote from the website

The components that make up Internet Explorer are tightly integrated into the Windows environment, so making changes to them affects many other programs including Outlook (Express) and Windows Media Player. Be aware of the changes you make!

Even if you mistype an address you might fall into the hands of someone who has bad intentions. A simple example is the well known search engine of Google. If you mistype this as Goggle, you'll end up at a site for SpyBouncer...|


Every day, new security holes are found in Internet Explorer, so you should always keep Internet Explorer up-to-date, even if you use another browser like Opera or Firefox. By not updating you might leave holes to be used in other programs.


Another cause for trouble is active content. ActiveX controls and Java applets can bring the net to life, but they also introduce possible risks in that they will have programming errors that can be used maliciously.




50+ Free Online Photo Tools

Posted by ClifNotes, Aug 2008, permalink Tips


I don't often use online photo editing tools. I should get to know them a little better. One of my goals is to try to make sure I can do my job from any computer with internet access. I'm almost there, and some of these online apps may get me a bit closer.


click to expand picture

Quote from the website (I corrected this for grammar):

Online image editors are starting to get popular now. This is true especially with users of social networking sites like Myspace, Friendster and Facebook. Simplicity and ease to use are the advantages of online image tools. You don’t need know about layers, masking and blending. Just click, click and boom! Your image is ready to show on your page. Of course, these services are not limited to social networking users, even web developers often use them to customize site banners or other images on their websites.





The Top 100 Undiscovered Web Sites from PC Magazine

Posted by ClifNotes, Aug 2008, permalink Cool Website


Here we go again. Every online PC magazine puts out a list or lists of web sites they like. I just can't resist these and I usually end up wasting lots of time.


If you'd like to waste some time, by all means, take a look below.


Quote from the website

Each year, a team of PC Magazine editors, bloggers, and analysts assembles to find the best Web sites of the year. We pour over thousands of submissions from PC Mag staffers, proud Web admins, enthusiastic PR flacks, and readers just like you. We then painstakingly whittle the list of nominations down to 100 Undiscovered Web Sites





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!




Check Out The New Tips Package!




Post Your Your Computer Related Questions!




The Following are links from the past weeks Newsletter.


1. Impassable Passwords For Windows Operating Systems.




2. Reposition Windows XP’s Quick Launch toolbar.




3. To keep the Numerical Lock always on at start-up?




4. Configure the Windows XP logon screen saver.




5. Renaming The Recycle Bin For Microsoft Windows XP Users.




6. To remove a Stored Password in Internet Explorer 7.




7. Prevent a shutdown of a Windows XP System.




DONATIONS AND THE TIPS PACKAGES KEEP THIS LARGE WEBSITE ALIVE!! I would rather put another tip in this space.

Things always slow down in the summer and I would imagine allot of my reader's are putting much more in the gas tank.




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




8. Take advantage of Windows XP Pro’s Remote Desktop Connection shortcuts.




9. View Your Computer Specs.




10. Would you like to copy some files you update during the day to a network location before you log off and go home at night?




11. Turn Off The Windows Sidebar.




12. Turn Off The Vista User Account Control (UAC).




13. Checking System Memory With Windows Memory Diagnostics Tool (Vista).




14. Turn Off System Restore In Vista.




15. Create New Partition Using The Vista DVD.




Kids And Computers








Click The Link Below To Join My News Letter.


The Form At The Link Below Covers Wednesdays News Letter.




Vista Run Commands.




Download 1000 Of My Tips!

Over 600 Windows XP Tips!

Added 100 Vista Tips To The Download!




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





Using Password Phrases For Better Security.




Post Your Your Computer Related Questions!



To Expedite The Answer I Send You Please Check Your Event Viewer And Include Any Errors It May Be Recording.








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.





Newsletters From Past Weeks!




































































IF01766 Easy enable real Administrator Account in Windows Vista Home Premium




IF01767 Keep User Account Control active, but get rid of annoying popups in Vista.




IF01768 Transfer User Accounts, System Settings from XP to Vista.




IF02011 Map a Network Printer In Windows XP.




IF02006 Using The Windows XP Event Viewer Log.








Comments last week

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



GParted - free open source partition manager •

Zoundry Raven - portable blog post editor •

Malware Bytes Anti-Malware - good anti-spyware and trojan scanner •

Switch Audio File Converter



Free Tools To Keep Your Software Up To Date



WriteToMyBlog.com - online blog post and HTML editor •

Google Street View is very nice, now a marriage proposal?

England's Child Singing Star










EvaPhone - free VOIP phone in your web browser

Posted by ClifNotes, Aug 2008, permalink Internet Phones - VoIP


This service allows you to make phone calls for free over the net. It is ad supported, but it's so new, they don't even have anyone lined up for ads yet.


I tried it briefly tonight and it does work. The sound is fine most of the time but the connection does lag by about a second or so. There is a large selection of countries I could have called, but I didn't test the international service.


I've seen other start-ups do this before. None of them lasted long as a free service.


click to expand picture

Quote from the website

EvaPhone is a free Web2.0-powered VoIP service that allows you to make free international PC-to-phone calls. It saves you money and doesn't add the complications listed above.


Unlike other VoIP programs, this application doesn't require any software installation. Instead it works directly from your Web browser. All you need to make a phone call is navigate to the website in a browser and dial the number right there in the browser window.


Another benefit of the program is that it doesn't require registration with a service. To make a call to any number in any country, simply dial the number. The recipient will not have to pay for the incoming call, unless he/she pays for incoming calls anyway.


Your call to a landline or mobile phone is supported by a short ad, which is displayed while your telephone connection is being established. You may discontinue viewing the ads by registration at a nominal cost. But even with a membership account you have the ability to call at the price of a short ad. Registration benefits also include your own personal phone book and call history. EvaPhone's toll rates are considerably lower and its quality of sound is higher than those featured by providers of stand-alone applications.


Note: The free version is ad supported.



Drop.io - my new favorite free file exchange

Posted by ClifNotes, Aug 2008, permalink Web Service


Recently I've seen drop.io mentioned several times in blogs and other places. The other day at work, I had to send two large files to a vendor. This vendor's email service seems to choke on files much larger than 10mb. In the past I've used YouSendIt, BoxDotNet and SkyDrive to allow them to pick up my files. This time I used drop.io. I was very pleased with the security of the service and the vendor did not raise any questions about it because I had it password protected. That's a service I'd expect to register or pay for but drop.io offers it for free and no registration is needed.


Quote from the website

Drop.io is the simplest way to share files online.


Simply set up a private space to drop any files by phone, email, web, widget or fax and then share them with whoever you want via a variety of outputs.



Other recommended file hosts (via Lifehacker)




Windows Live SkyDrive - 5Gb of free file space in the cloud

Posted by ClifNotes, Aug 2008, permalink Web Service


I've been using this service for a couple of months. It's really a great service but for some reason I can't get too excited about it. Maybe it's the fact that it's from Microsoft? Maybe it's also the fact that I really don't need it?


In any case, SkyDrive may not be for me, but if you have tons of files you need to store online, this may be a big help to you.


File hosts I've used:

YouSendIt, BoxDotNet, DropIo or GmailSpace.


Other recommended file hosts (via Lifehacker)


Quote from the website

Personal folders

Store files for yourself

Using multiple computers? No problem. Store and access your personal files from anywhere online.

Shared folders

Share files with friends

Sharing with friends, co-workers, or family is easy when you all add and update files in a shared folder.

Public folders

Share files with everybody

Some ideas are too good to keep to yourself. Share them in a public folder that only you can update.





Abandonia - abandoned software and games, resurrected and alive again

Posted by ClifNotes, Aug 2008, permalink Cool Website


You want some cool old games for free? Abandonia has them and a few other goodies. I think I've run into this site before, but for some reason I never bookmarked it.


Mostly, I think I found lots of abandonware at wikipedia.


Quote from the DownloadSquad

Abandonia is one of the biggest and best-known abandonware sites around. Abandonware is software the copyright holders don't support or distribute any more. Why does that matter? Well, it means that they mostly don't care whether someone like Abandonia distributes it for free ...

read more of this article




KickNotes - free self-destructing emails for any reason

Posted by ClifNotes, Aug 2008, permalink Cool Website


I ran into this one day last week and I thought it was a very cool idea. The email they send out actually only contains a link to their site and the recipient can read the message there.


click to expand picture

Quote from the website

KickNotes is a completely free service to send and receive self-destructing online messages. Self-destructing messages are configured to delete themselves at a certain point. When composing a message on KickNotes, you can set the maximum number of times the message can be viewed, the amount of time that the message actually exists, or both.






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.


August 15 2008 COOLSITES Newsletter #178 by Mark Donaldson

• F-Secure Blacklight Rootkit Eliminator: http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file/fid,72632/description.html

• Free EBooks. Open Library: http://openlibrary.org/

• MakeInstantPlayer- create self-running video file: http://zia.blogspot.com/2008/08/makeinstantplayer-create-self-running.html

• DebugView is an application that lets you monitor debug output on your local system, or any computer on the network that you can reach via TCP-IP: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896647.aspx

• Partition Resizer v1.3.4: http://www.zeleps.com/

• Totally Free Burner, 100% Free CD DVD Burning Software: http://www.dandans.com/TotallyFreeBurner.htm


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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