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

  • Stop wasting time looking for files and revisions! Dokkio, a new product from the PBworks team, integrates and organizes your Drive, Dropbox, Box, Slack and Gmail files. Sign up for free.



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Welcome to Clif Notes Newsletter

This is the 2006 Christmas Edition and the last edition of the year!

December 17, 2006


Free Christmas Graphics from http://www.YuleLoveIt.com


We'll be away for two weeks visiting family. Feel free to drop on by anytime to check out the old newsletters. The next newsletter is planned for the first Sunday of the new year, Jan-7-2007.



Happy New Year!



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.

Click here to chat while

visiting this newsletter!








Eclipse Crossword - who likes making crosswords?

review from Tony at TopFreeware, Dec 2006, permalink _ Misc. Utilities


From Tony:

Who likes making crosswords?


An easy to use crossword maker. Create and print out crosswords or save them into either a web page, Microsoft word or text file. Features include save crossword lists, allow cheating with solve button, open existing crosswords, show hints and more


Check it out



Here are some pics



Kind Regards



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


From Clif:

Thank you Tony!

I just made my first crossword puzzle. It's an easy one but let me know if you solve it.




Quote from the website

Who can use EclipseCrossword?


• Teachers and parents: Use crosswords to introduce vocabulary and unit concepts. Students may actually even enjoy doing the assignment! Crossword puzzles encourage logical thinking and correct spelling.


• Webmasters: Interactive crosswords are a great way to get people to visit and return to your site. Your visitors can download the crossword for use later, or play it right on your website.


• Newsletter editors: Try adding a crossword puzzle to the next edition of your newsletter, and you might be surprised—people might even look at it before throwing it away.






Web-Email-Cloaker - post your email address in relative safety

review from ClifNotes, Dec 2006, permalink _ Misc. HTML Tools


Recently, I had to change the way people email me. PhotoBucket used to provide me a nice form for people to contact me with and one day it disappeared. Most folks know it's not a good idea to post your email address on a web page. You have to be aware that your email address could be "harvested" by spam bots. Spam bots are computer programs that surf the net looking for email addresses on web pages so that the spammers always have a fresh supply of people to send their stupid Viagra emails to.


However, there are some ways you can post an email address that won't end up attracting all of the spam bots. It helps if you are able to hide the address in a way that the readers can use it, but the spam bots can't read it. The Web-Email-Cloaker helps you do this easily.


I used this program to post an email link in the newsletter's index box so it's easy to email me now. It took all of 30 seconds to run it and paste the code into my website.


Quote from the website

Web Email Cloaker is a simple utility for webmasters to beat the spam-spiders by cloaking email contact information in obfuscated or complex JavaScript code. Web Email Cloaker uses multiple methods of cloaking together to create email contact code that displays correctly but is utterly unreadable by email-hunting spam robots.


To use, download and run - the program is entirely self-contained and requires no installation (it can also be run directly from fixed media such as Flash card or CD).





Merry Frog - might make you hopping mad

review from ClifNotes, Dec 2006, permalink _ Games


Not recommended


Merry Frog is a nice little game. It's challenging, almost too challenging for me. The graphics are great and the game play is almost too simple. There is one small problem. Every time you start or exit the game, it pops up your web browser and takes you to it's home site. That makes me hopping mad. If you don't mind this behavior, then it's a nice game to keep around.


I've since found that the home website for Merry Frog, MyPlayCity.com, is loaded with adware. Don't go there!


Quote from the website

Take the first steps with a cute young frog Max in the world full of adventure and danger. Jump from one water lily to another and expand the horizons and get food. Max is growing up, demanding that the meal should be more substantial. Be aware: Don't become someone's meal when searching for food.





LineRider - simple yet addictive sledding game

review from ClifNotes, Date, permalink _ Games


I found this game by accident today and just had to show it to you. I picture is worth a thousand words, but a you tube video? Priceless ...



Quote from the website

Welcome to Linerider.org


What can you do here?

- Play Line Rider

- Download Line Rider

- See top Movies, made by other people

- Join the Forum, gaining almost 1k members per day!

- And more is coming!

Have fun with Line Rider!





ZipCentral - zipping, unzipping and creating installers

review from ClifNotes, Date, permalink _ File Management


ZipCentral is a very nice zip file management program that I've used on and off for years. The only thing I don't like about it is that it "hijacks" your .ZIP file association. Fortunately for me, I've gotten very adept at fixing things like this over the years. Unfortunately, that's one of the things I hate most about some software installs.


Therefore, I give this program a "thumbs down" except for one very useful feature which I have used in the past. It has a very nice zip to exe wizard that lets you create an executable file from a zip file. This is very handy for creating install files for programs or packages of files you want to deliver to folks who aren't really experienced with putting files where they should be placed.


Quote from the website

  • Runs on Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP and Windows NT 4.0.
  • Files created in all popular Zip utilities can be opened with ZipCental.
  • Files created in ZipCentral can be opened with all popular Zip utilities.
  • ZipCentral let's you create Self-Extracting archives that can be executed on any Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP machine without any special software installed.
  • Drag & Drop support to and from the Windows Explorer.
  • Includes shell extension to enable archive operations from Windows Explorer.
  • Open documents or run applications by double-clicking the desired file in the ZipCentral window.
  • Span large zip files across multiple floppy disks.
  • Archives can be scanned for viruses with your anti-virus software without leaving ZipCentral.
  • Install function included to simplify installation of applications within an archive.
  • Damaged archives can be repaired.
  • E-mail the current archive with your default e-mail program by a single keystroke.
  • Let's you customize your zip files the way you want them.
  • Archive comments can be viewed and created.
  • Rename of files within a zip file is possible.
  • User interface similar to other popular shareware archive managers.
  • Full install and uninstall support.
  • Online manual included.
  • Available in several different languages.
  • It's completely free! (please read the software license agreement when installing).
  • ... and more...





FreeSpell - spelling right in any Windows text area

review from Nipun in Zimbabwe, Dec 2006, permalink _ Misc. Utilities


From Nipun:

I tried out FreeSpell. It's not bad but it's not brilliant either. The way it works is by copying your text onto the clipboard and then reading it back to you in a one of those command line windows circa the DOS era, giving you a choice of words it thinks you should change.


Obviously I was thrown off completely by the DOS. I guess I'm a sucker for the ultra-cool interfaces but come on, Command Line? It also doesn't minimize to the system tray which means that it constantly takes up valuable space on my task-bar.


On the plus side it works well, the dictionary is pretty good and it seems to be pretty efficient. It also seems to be virus and malware free.


Overall it's not a bad program but honestly I think I would rather fire up TinySpell or copy my work onto Microsoft word. Maybe when it gets a version upgrade it will be better. But if you need a quick, barebones spell-checker then this will do.


In the end it seems to me to be a lot like CrippleWare. ProSpell, the other product made by the same company is suped up version of FreeSpell with a much prettier interface. Given that a demo comes shipped with FreeSpell they're practically jumping down your throats to promote ProSpell.


Quote from the website

FreeSpell is a spell checker for any and all Windows applications. You can use it in Eudora, in Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Visual C++, and even in Windows Explorer when renaming files (though it can be a little tricky to do that). Anything that supports the clipboard supports FreeSpell, and all it takes is a hotkey to invoke it. Just as important, FreeSpell is based upon the Aspell engine, which means it offers the best spell checker around for people with weak spelling skills (as well for people who just need a quick proofreader). Aspell is full featured as well, with a large default dictionary, and custom dictionary support.






Secunia Software Inspector

tip from Mike at Carputers.net, Dec 2006, permalink _ Security Tools


From Mike:

This is a neat vulnerability assessment tool. I keep pretty up-to-date, but it found an outdated flash.ocx file on one of my systems that was not removed during an upgrade.


I would recommend running it periodically as another means of making sure your system is as up-to-date as possible.


Secunia is well-known and well-respected in IT (as I am sure you are aware) for their work in identifying and issuing advisories on viruses and vulnerabilities.


More on what the Software Inspector does and how it works can be found here.


Thanks, and keep up the good work!




Frustrated with your computer?

Website: http://carputers.net


From Clif:

Wow, Thanks Mike!

I tried it and look at all the old vulnerable software it found on my laptop. Looks like I've got some work to do.



Quote from the website

We at Secunia are proud to announce the availability of the Secunia Software Inspector. It's a free service that detects insecure versions of software that you may have installed in your system. When insecure versions are detected, the Secunia Software Inspector also provides thorough guidelines for updating thesoftware to the latest secure version from the vendor.


The Software Inspector is a Java applet, which makes it easier for you to use; no downloading required!


It detects the most popular consumer-oriented applications, such as browsers, plug-ins, IM clients, email clients, and media players, and their respective versions.


Secunia Software Inspector




CleanUp! - flushing out the useless files

review from ClifNotes, Dec 2006, permalink _ Disk Cleanup


Comment from Debbie

I Have used CCleaner for 3 years, but recently downloaded a program called "WindowsCleanUp" that does a great job too ... just thought I'd share.


Thank you Debbie


I couldn't get the most recent version 4.52 because the author's website is down. I donated a dollar to help him out. If everyone who uses this program clicks the register button and donates, he'll have no problem keeping his site running.


I found an older version at Tucows (link below). It worked great. Here is my report.


CleanUp! 4.0 recovered 459.3 MB of disk space from 36701 files.

CleanUp! finished on 12/11/06 21:26:47.


Be careful with this program. I deleted at least one file I didn't want to. I have a bad habit of renaming files to .BAK when I save them. This program deletes them by default. I'll remember to change that habit now.


I think you'll get a kick out of the sound that CleanUp makes when you tell it to start working.


Quote from the website

The new CleanUp! version 4.0 performs the following clean up of your system:

  • Empties the Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, Mozilla, Firefox and Opera caches.
  • Empties the Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, Mozilla, Firefox and Opera History files.
  • Erases the Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, Mozilla, Firefox and Opera URL History.
  • Empties the Recent Documents folder.
  • Removes temporary files from the temporary directories. These are often left behind by programs that don't properly clean up after themselves, or sometimes when a program or Windows crashes.
  • Removes temporary files sometimes created when running SCANDISK.
  • Cleans up various registry settings storing some of the above information.

(C) Steven R. Gould, 1998-2005


http://cleanup.stevengould.org/ (site is down?)

http://www.tucows.com/preview/405276 (alternate site)



File Association Editor - keeps three letter words from turning into four

review from ClifNotes, Dec 2006, permalink _ File Management


Sometimes the three letter file types make me speak some four letter words. Most of you know how these work. Windows file names generally use a dot and three letters at the end of every file name to help Windows figure out how the file should be handled. The oldest version of Windows called these File Associations, but they are now called File Types.


Good examples of this:

myfile.doc - opens in MS Word

myfile.txt - opens in Notepad

myfile.mp3 - opens in a music player (Windows Media Player)

myfile.wmv - opens in a video player (Windows Media Player)


If you change those last three letters, you can change which program opens the file. You can also change which program is assigned to each three letter combination. I don't like MS Word, so my .DOC files open in AbiWord.


Recently at work, I'd been having a little trouble with a file type that had been accidently assigned to Adobe Reader. I kept trying to fix the file type by using Windows built in File Types applet. Any time you have your file browser open, you can get to the File Types applet by clicking on "Tools" and "Folder Options", then opening the "File Types" tab. It just wasn't working for me. Not only that, but I've noticed over the years that the File Types applet takes forever to load.


I installed the "File Association Editor" program at home. I then made it into a stand-alone program by copying the program folder onto my thumb drive. I took it to work and a few minutes after launching it, I had my problem fixed. File Association Editor doesn't have all the features that Windows File Type applet contains, but it's been around since the Windows 95 days and really hasn't changed much over the years. As they say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", and File Association Editor definitely isn't broken. It also loads up far faster than the Windows applet and is just a little easier to use.


Quote from the website

File Association Editor is a program for examining and editing the Registry settings which tell Windows how to open files depending on the extension name. You can easily:

  • add new Explorer right mouse click menu items,
  • change the Icon shown by Explorer,
  • repair corrupted file associations, such as damage caused by installing and removing software,
  • create new associations.



















Old Newsletter


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




















Wizards of Winter - are you ready for Christmas?

Here are a few videos from 2005 to put you in the mood. Most of these homeowners have chosen music from Trans Siberian Orchestra to accompany their Christmas lights.















10 Free Personal Firewalls

tip from ClifNotes, Dec 2006, permalink _ Personal Firewalls


Most times, security experts recommend that you run a good personal software firewall instead of the Windows Firewall. There are many good software firewalls out there and the challenge is often finding a good one that is still free. I've recently heard that Commodo and Jettico firewalls have been judged very well in independent testing. I've noticed that it's often just as important to folks that the software firewall is easy to use. I agree. Take your time when choosing a firewall. Find one that's right for you.


Quote from the website

Firewall software allow you to protect your computer from intrusions from the Internet as well as warn you when programs try to connect to Internet from your computer. It has become increasingly popular with numerous programs installing spyware that try to call home without your knowing. Some of these free firewalls are free only for personal use.





Setting Up Spam Filtration Using Gmail Accounts

tip from BillWebb, Dec 2006, permalink _ Email Tips


Tip from Bill Webb

First of all, you need to have a Google account. You can open a free account here.


Open two Gmail accounts. Name one of them something appropriate, like billsjunkmail@gmail.com. Name the other one something elegant, as you would any other email account.


Now, here’s the deal. You use the junk account for everything except personal correspondence with people you trust. It’s the one you give to the porn sites, the cable service, all your online subscriptions, and so forth.


On the personal account, you set things so that any mail coming from the junk account that you choose to answer will automatically use the address of that account.


Here’s what will happen. All the garbage mail will go to the junk account, because you don’t give the personal address to anyone online. Most spam will be filtered automatically. Anything that Gmail doesn’t recognize as spam will come to the other account. If something you don’t want gets through, you simply tell the filters of the personal account that it’s a baddie.


I used to visit the junk accounts and look through the spam folders. After several weeks without finding anything but garbage, I stopped. In a year and a half of using this system, I’m not aware of having lost anything.


You can configure your junk account so that it will forward to other accounts outside Google's domain, or POP-3 check your Gmail account with a mail program such as Eudora or Thunderbird. If you're having trouble with spam, this is a quick, free, effective solution for most of it.


about the author



Notes from Clif

Thank you Bill, that's a mighty good tip and it's darn near exactly how I use my multiple Gmail accounts. Just remember folks, if you don't have a cell phone with text messaging, you can always write me at the address displayed here if you need a free Gmail account.



Wikipedia's lists of free games

review from ClifNotes, Dec 2006, permalink _ Games



If you like games, I'm sure you also like free games. I accidently stumbled onto these the other day while playing with a new search engine.


  • List of freeware games (go!)
  • List of commercial games released as freeware (go!)
  • List of open source games (go!)


These lists should keep you browsing for hours and playing for days.


Quote from the website

Freeware games are games that are released as freeware and can be downloaded and used, free of charge, for an unlimited length of time. Though the phrase free games is often used to refer simply to games that are free of charge, the term free games can also mean games that are Free Software, i.e., the source code is available under a free software license that permits modification and redistribution. See List of open source games for such games, which are not included in this list.



Netzero's PrivatePhone - free phone voicemail messaging

from ClifNotes, Dec 2006, permalink _ Web Service


This tip is from The Internet Patrol

According to Aunty Spam at the Internet Patrol ...

NetZero has just started offering a free Internet voicemail service with local voicemail numbers, and it really works!


The service is called “PrivatePhone”, and in addition to providing you with truly free Internet voicemail, it doesn’t require that you have any special equipment.


And you can check your voicemail from any web browser or telephone! You can also set it up to send you an alert to either your email or cell phone!


Note from Clif:

I think I found the "home page" for this service. It leads to the same signup page that Aunty Spam sends you to. Be aware that you should read the "Terms of Service" very closely when signing up. Sometimes "FREE" means giving up a little privacy. Also, "FREE" doesn't mean that this service will remain free.



Quote from the website

What is PrivatePhone?

  • A NEW phone number, with BETTER privacy features, and a voicemail that gives you MORE CONTROL over your social and professional life.
  • Access your voicemail messages any time, anywhere over the phone or on the web.


Is my PrivatePhone number really FREE?

  • Yes, your PrivatePhone number is free. There is no obligation, no hidden charge. No Catch.
  • PrivatePhone will be introducing future enhancements that will make your PrivatePhone experience even better; some enhancements will be available for a nominal fee, others for free.





Tips from Tiffany - QuickSend and SendStory

From Tiffany:

Dec 17 2006

Hi Clif,


I've written these people to ask if their program will work with Firefox, as it appears to be compatible only with IE. Am waiting to hear back, and will send you all the details IF it can be used with Firefox or other browsers ... I'll let you know as soon as I hear back from Irondust.com.




Quote from the website**

QuickSend allows Windows Internet Explorer users to email text selections using the selection's right-click context menu. The email will be pre-filled-in with the page's URL, title, and the selected text. All that's left to do is type in who you want to email. What could be easier?




Happy Sunday!





http://hello-kitty.group.stumbleupon.com/ =^..^=





From Clif in reply:

Dec 17 2006

Hi Tiffany,


Try this one for Firefox instead.


Quote from the website Send Story

Ever wanted to copy a bit of a web page into an e-mail message in one easy step? With SendStory, simply select some text and select "Send Text in Message..." from the right-click menu.




Have fun!





Tips from CC - Web Design Toy and LogMeIn Hamachi

December 12, 2006


Web Design Toy

This is a simple little program that is ideal for beginners.


Web Design Toy provides a deceptively simple split-window layout. Whatever HTML is typed in the editor window is instantly shown in web-page form in the display window. The result is an instant feedback learning tool - a perfect companion for any HTML course or tutorial.





December 11, 2006


LogMeIn Hamachi

LogMeIn Hamachi is a zero-configuration virtual private networking (VPN) application. In other words Hamachi is a program that allows you to arrange multiple computers into their own secure network just as if they were connected by a physical network cable. Hamachi is fast, secure and simple. Its core version is also free.




















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.

Winterbells - make your rabbit soar •

IsoPuzzle - piecing together damaged CDs or DVDs •

musikCube - clearly organizing and playing your music •

Knytt - stranded on a strange planet •

Vector Scape - single player space shooter •

KidRocket Kids Browser - safe surfing for young ones •

Send To Notepad - handy for copying text •

ForecastFox - weather forecast in the Firefox status bar •

Internet Explorer 6 Application Compatibility VPC Image


MS Mole Report - Defender leaves the gates open •

Are registry cleaners safe to use?

Tips from CC

Another Adobe Acrobat security flaw


Tony vs Paul - stop motion video at it's best •

Patina's Treasures - great Windows themes •

Qunu - live questions and answers •

XP Games - describe •

PasswordMaker - One password to rule them all •



















Snow Globe - shake'me up and hear the screams


An interactive online snow globe with a fun script. Check it out, it's worth a chuckle!




Giveaway of the Day - free commercial software?

tip from E. La Orden, Dec 2006, permalink _ Cool Website


From E.

Dear Sir:


On page http://www.giveawayoftheday.com/ you will find the following text:


"Every day we offer licensed software you'd have to buy otherwise, for free! Yes, we are giving away software, and you can download it from our site, right now and right here and our goal is to give away every good piece of software, sooner or later. For game giveaways check out Game Giveaway of the Day."


I think it may interest your readers.


Yours truly,








Brian's Freeware Pages

from ClifNotes, Dec 2006, permalink _ Cool Website


I was reading a few tips and reviews in alt.comp.freeware when I ran across a link to this very nice website. Good work Brian!


Quote from the website

Welcome to Brian Robertson's Place on the World Wide Web












Websites I've visited recently


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









SnapFiles.com - new and updated freeware

Source - http://snapfiles.com/freeware





News from Sarah in Tampa



Security news from Malware Advisor

blog by TeMerc Internet Countermeasures, source

Infected? Go to http://temerc.com 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 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

Want a free 2.7Gb Gmail account?

Email me here.






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