• 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

March 30, 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!







Netscape Navigator - good bye old friend

Posted by ClifNotes, Mar 2008, permalink Web Browser


I've never really used Netscape much over the years, but I've always been impressed with the Netscape Communicator suites which include an Email client and HTML editor. I can still remember the day when Netscape was king of the net and Internet Explorer was still scrambling to catch up.


Now that Netscape is at version 9.06, they've decided that it's time to hang it up.


Official support for all Netscape client products ended on March 1st, 2008. Please see the announcement for more details.



Years ago, they donated the Netscape code to Mozilla and since then, Mozilla has created the fabulous Firefox and SeaMonkey browsers. This last version of Netscape is essentially Firefox 2 with a special theme.


I tried this last version and I liked it, but if you're serious about your surfing, just stick to Firefox or Flock. If you need a full suite like the old Netscape Communicator, you should take a look at either Opera or SeaMonkey.




Quote from the website

Netscape Navigator 9 is a browser-only release. It does not contain an e-mail client, newsgroup reader, or HTML composer.


Users of the Netscape 7.x suite may choose not to install Netscape Navigator 9 to avoid the loss of these features.


You can have the best of both worlds by keeping Netscape 7.x installed for mail and news and installing Navigator 9 for browsing the Web.



Comments (View)


Portable Flock - an easy way to try it out

Posted by ClifNotes, Mar 2007, permalink Web Browser


Flock is a web browser specifically designed for bloggers and those of you who love social websites such as MySpace and FaceBook. I haven't had much use for it, but I'm going to be trying it out again.


Naturally, since I love portable apps, I had to see if I could find a portable version of Flock.

Yes ... and here it is.




Quote from the website

Internet users spend a lot of time going from one site to the next, keeping up with a variety of friends and interests. Flock pulls all of your favorite people, places and content together in a convenient view and delivers a more personal experience of the web, where its users are more easily connected to what's important to them.



Comments (View)


Cool MP3 Chopper - chopping up those long mp3s

Notes from ClifNotes, Mar 2008, permalink Audio Encoders and Converters


I tried this out briefly to see if it'd be useful. Sorry folks, if you need MP3 files chopped up, I still recommend Audacity. The Cool MP3 Chopper has one huge drawback. I couldn't find any way to move quickly back and forth in a large MP3 file. Sure you can mouse click the progress bar, but it won't let you get down to the second that you want to find without a lot of hit and miss. I'd like to see the music speed up or slow down based on using the arrow keys like many other media players allow.


click to expand picture

Quote from the website

Easy to use MP3 file chopper (splitter). Just select a tune, play it and set the chop marks wherever you want it cut. When done playing - mark the end of the file then click the Chop button. Within seconds the file will be chopped up and stacked in the pile (folder). Leaves the original file intact.



Comments (View)


Kid Watch

Notes from ClifNotes, Mar 2008, permalink PC Activity Monitoring


What is it?

This is a nice and simple way to monitor what's going on with kids. Kid Watch takes a screen shot once every minute to show you what's going on at the time. It's easy to set up and nobody will even notice that it's running.


What I'd like to change:

The only features I'd like to see added are the ability to hide the program from the Task Manager, and also to store the screen shots as JPG instead of BMP files. Kid Watch also uses the Windows clipboard and I'd like to see this program find some other way to create the image files.



Kid Watch stores the images in a folder called "SnapShots" which is created in the same location as the kidwatch.exe file. You can view the images any time by unhiding Kid Watch with the key combination of CTRL + SHIFT + P and then clicking the "Snap Shot Viewer" button.


click to expand picture

Quote from the website

In a nutshell - runs invisible to the user: takes snap shots (images) of the ACTIVE window at the interval you determine/ set. This allows you to preview (via the included Image Viewer) what the kids are doing; thus, giving you (the parents) insight on if any steps need to be taken to PROTECT YOUR KID!



Comments (View)


Sizer - resize active windows to exact specs

Posted by ClifNotes, Mar 2008, permalink Desktop Tools


Sizer lets you quickly resize a window to 3 standard sizes so you can more easily create images for tutorials. It's small and it does only one job. I like programs like this because they are so simple yet effective.


Quote from the website

Sizer is a freeware utility that allows you to resize any window to an exact, predefined size. This is extremely useful when designing web pages, as it allows you to see how the page will look when viewed at a smaller size. The utility is also handy when compiling screen-shots for documentation, using Sizer allows you to easily maintain the same window size across screen grabs.



Comments (View)













Old Newsletter


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














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.



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


Best Firewall for 2008?

Posted by ClifNotes, Mar 2008, permalink Personal Firewalls


A few weeks ago, I wrote about trying a new free firewall called Online Armor. I've been using it ever since. I've always heard good things about OA and it wasn't really surprising to me to see that Scot Finnie has voted it his favorite as well.


I encourage everyone to try this one out.


Quote from Scot's Blog:

The decision is in. After a year and a half of testing, and with the help of more than a thousand Scot’s Newsletter readers who’ve written detailed descriptions of their software firewall experiences, I’m happy to announce that Tall Emu’s Online Armor 2.1 is The Scot’s Newsletter Blog Best Firewall Software of 2008.


There are many reasons why I’ve selected Online Armor (OA) as the best software firewall for Windows users; the rest of this story delivers the details. But boiled down to a single thought, the most important reason is this: Online Armor offers the best blend of a high degree of protection with a high level of usability.


Comments (View)


The 13 "Best of the Best" Free File Hosting Options

Posted by ClifNotes, Mar 2008, permalink Windows Tips


I spotted this article about the best online file backup, sharing and hosting solutions. Keep in mind that the key word is FREE, but the meaning of the word may vary from site to site.



Here is number 14 ... Someone sent me a letter about a free 2Gb file backup solution called IDrive.




If you use a free online file hosting service, let us know about it. If you don't use one and you are interested in a little research, take a look at this article below.



Quote from the website

Need to store your files online? There are hundreds if not thousands of options, but the trick is picking out the cream of the crop. Some sites have long registration requirements, slow upload speeds, and annoying ads, or worse.


This list has been narrowed down to the best of the best file storage options, guaranteed to be stable, free, generous with file size limits, offer lots of space, and top things off with some really cool features.



Comments (View)


Microsoft Not Sure Of Its Own Future

Posted by ClifNotes, Mar 2008, permalink Windows Tips


From Clif:

Once again, MS Mole surfaces and speaks to our friend Bill. What evil lurks in the dark underground passages of Redmond? Only the Mole knows.


From Bill Allin:

Hi Clif,


I wasn't sure that we would ever have another report from MS Mole, but apparently he is still well connected and not afraid to speak behind the scenes.

Microsoft Not Sure Of Its Own Future


To say that Microsoft is in disarray over its operating systems is an understatement. As usual, MS acts as if everyone approves of its anointing itself King Of Software for life.


Speculation is that the lifespan of Vista may not even be as long as the initial commitment of five years. Its supporters, mostly those with Vista who have software that is all compatible, are in a minority, and a relatively quiet one at that.


MS has tried to focus itself especially on commercial clients for the past few years, despite its public claim that it has the operating system for the people. But industry IT people are up in arms. Major software makers such as accounting systems, for example, require years to tweak and debug their packages until they work perfectly with an operating system.


With a forecast lifespan for Vista of only five years, major manufacturers would be lucky to have their Vista systems online dependably for three years before they had to begin all over again with a new operating system.


Home users aren't any happier because many of their favourite programs, especially freeware, won't work on Vista or may be buggy with Vista. They want software fixes, but software manufacturers aren't eager to spend much time and money on fixes when a new OS should be tested shortly.


Then there are millions of XP fans who cry "If it ain't broke, don't scrub it!" Speculation is now that Microsoft will extend its final deadline for selling XP an extra year from its announced end sales date of June, 2008. My guess is that MS may extend its sales deadline even beyond the one year.


Meanwhile MS has withdrawn countless salable copies of XP from resellers, while at the same time forcing them to promote Vista, a situation which may cause outright rebellion among MS software sellers who are fed up with the dictatorial and seemingly backward tactics of Microsoft.


Major software testers in Malaysia have found so many faults with Vista and compatibility problems with Vista that IT publications following the tests are advising people who don't have Vista now to not buy it.


Way in the background, beyond visible distance and hearing by Microsoft, is a growing support base that's cheering on the still-mysterious new operating system supposedly coming from Google. Considering Google's track record, who would bet against them?


Now that Service Pack 1 for Vista is on the street, to the delight of some and the regret of many, Microsoft is set to release Service Pack 3 for XP, almost certainly in April's Update Tuesday bundle.


Despite the fact that MS conducted extensive testing of the beta version, Mole strongly advises everyone to avoid installing SP3 immediately. Such releases never come without grief for many. MS has been known to substitute revised versions of its service packs for download anywhere from a day to a week after the official release date without making a public announcement. After that MS calls the patches hotfixes.


The screaming should begin at least by the Wednesday following Update Tuesday and continue for weeks afterward. Wait until you have read of the success or the troubles of others with similar setups to yours before taking the plunge. If you aren't having problems with your XP SP2 now, you have no reason to hurry to install SP3. As always, eventually you will be required to get SP3, but you can be an interested spectator for a while.


Bill Allin


Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today’s Epidemic Social Problems, a book about real and inexpensive solutions to personal and community problems most people think are inevitable evils of modern society. They aren't. We just have to look in the right place.

Learn more at http://billallin.com

Contact author Bill Allin at turningitaround@sympatico.ca














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




Last Wednesdays News Letter Tips


1. Loss of Task Manager Functions.




2. I Lost The Quick Launch Toolbar.




3. Missing LAN Connection Icon In The Taskbar.




4. Will Programs Stop Working After A Defrag.




5. When I hit the START, ALL PROGRAMS I only get one column of programs. How can I spread them out to multiple columns.




6. I replaced the modem in my computer but I have been told I need to turn the one off on the motherboard and I have no idea how to do that.




7. Trying to setup network: If i ping from wireless router my ping works.. If I ping from cmd it does not,I tried echo.




8. I would like to know some great things about Windows XP registry like ,how to show version of Windows of desktop right bottom I had seen this at my friends computer.




9. "Network Connections" Folder Empty.




10. In Windows XP, is there a way to make the contents of the clipboard visible or available over a network.




11. I have the various Microsoft Office applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint but would like to make a folder within my Quick Launch Taskbar.




12. How can I stop the computer from offering me a choice at startup as to which Operating System to boot to.




13. Please help! My task bar is now upside down, that is, the Start button is upside down on the lower right side of the screen (that is, if I put the task bar at the bottom. If I pull the task bar to the top, it appears with the Start button upside down and on the upper right hand corner. My desktop has also rotated 90 deg. The icons are now lined up towards the top of the screen. What can I do?




14. Someone tweaked my Windows XP pro system to remove the "Group similar taskbar buttons" from the taskbar.




15. When I boot my computer, it asks me to find TrayApp.msi for some sort of HP software I assume.




16. How can I tell what is running while the machine is on?




17. I was doing email stuff and searching the internet when all of a sudden everything got much smaller - even the icons on the desktop.




18. Status bar in Windows XP no longer showed the programs running.




19. Using IE-7 ,with Google Toolbar. I Get Message Internet Explorer Cannot Display This Webpage I Don’t Know What To Do.




20. Run disappeared from the start menu and taskbar properties.








Click The Link Below To Join My News Letter.


The Form At The Link Below Covers Both Monday and Wednesdays News Letter.




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Over 600 Windows XP Tips!

11/11/2007 Added 100 Vista Tips To The Download!




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





PC Problems? Use My New Detailed Help Form.



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.







How Do I Prevent CHKDSK From Running Every Time My PC Starts






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.



Auslogics Registry Defrag

Free Video to Flash Converter - simple but powerful•

2008 Planner - realistic looking yearly planner •

Digital Calendar - simple calendar with built in MP3 player •

Flash this - convert WMV, AVI, MPG to SWF or FLV •

Windows XP Security Console

Office Live Workspace vs Google Docs

Popuload - RSS feeds to prevent boredom while waiting •



10 Tips to Manage Photos Better using Google Picasa

Sometimes You Have To Dance - video tip from Tiffany •

How To: Maintain A Lean Mean Computing Machine

How to get into your computer's BIOS

Earth Hour is coming soon

Special Hot Air Balloons



SendSpace - sending and sharing large files is easy •

Karen's Power Tools














WaveMyPic - Apply the lake effect to your pictures

Posted by ClifNotes, Mar 2008, permalink Image Effects and Filters


Here's a nice free service. The only drawback I see is that they add their logo at the bottom of images they create for you.


If you want more control, I believe there are still free versions of Reflet and GT Ripple available. These two programs allow you to create water reflection images on your PC.



Quote from the website

• Add wave effect reflection to your images.

• Save images to your hard drive. (Right click - > Save image as … )

• Embed ready images onto your blog or online profile page.

• No registration needed.



Comments (View)


Wowio - download free e-books

Posted by ClifNotes, Mar 2008, permalink Web Service


Wow! They don't have many books there yet, but I had no problem finding some old classics that I decided to re-read.


Wowio will let you download e-books in PDF format, but they have this silly requirement. They only want "real" people to register. I guess that leaves me out. They wouldn't accept my Gmail address and I'll be darned if I'll give them a credit card number.


Comment below if you know a better service for getting free e-books.


Quote from the website

How does it work?

• Find the book/s you want and add it to download queue.

• When you are ready to get your books, go to the ‘Queue’ section.

• Click on the “Gee Ebooks” and download button will appear next to each book.



• Search, find and download copyrighted ebooks.

• Browse books by popularity or genre (architecture, art, classics, computers, college textbooks, fiction etc.)

• Limitation: You are allowed to download at most three books/day and not to exceed 30/month.

• Due to licensing restrictions service available only in United States.



Comments (View)


WRASAP - free hosted contact form

Posted by ClifNotes, Mar 2008, permalink Web Service


Do you ever have the need to post your email address on a web site or forum? I'd advise against it. Some spammers actually have armies of web spiders that crawl across the net looking for email addresses that they can send spam to.


There are a few free services that let you post a link to a web site rather than posting your email address. Wrasap means "Will reply as soon as possible" and they let you post a link to their website when you need to be contacted by people on the web. This service is very similar to that offered by Contactify.


Quote from the website

What is WRASAP? It's a FREE web to email gateway service that provides you with your own online contact form, i.e. a webpage with a contact form which will forward messages to yor email address.


The idea behind the WRASAP project was that people do not want and do not have to give away their e-mail to let others contact them. People have the right to keep their email private and people have the right to be protected from SPAM.


Yeah, and it was never convenient for me to type that '@' anyway.



Comments (View)




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.


March 28 2008 COOLSITES Newsletter #158 by Mark Donaldson

• R.E.M.-s New Album Seeks Facebook Friends: http://redherring.com/Home/23913

• Alltop, all the top stories from the internet: http://alltop.com/

• CAPTCHA Service - Stop Guestbook Spam, Blog spam, Wiki Spam, Comment Spam - Protect Web Form .COM: http://www.protectwebform.com/

• Create HTML forms, contact forms and any type of web forms in seconds: http://www.123contactform.com/

• New. Photomesa Zoomable Image Browser: http://www.windsorinterfaces.com/photomesa.shtml

• New. Open Contacts, a flexible address book for dynamic interactions with your contacts.: http://www.fonlow.com/opencontacts/index.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.




























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 Gabbly.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.



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