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Welcome to Clif Notes Newsletter

August 3, 2008


There's always more to the story...

Posted by Becky aka Respect2Glory


As you may know, last week we made a trip to Parris Island, SC, to see my nephew, Eric, graduate from U.S. Marines Basic Training. It wasn't long after we left the base when Eric expressed how much he missed real food. So we stopped at Applebee's Restaurant, Beaufort, SC, where our new Marine bought us all dinner.


We sat at the table and enjoyed each other's company. Eric fidgeting with his cap on a rail, and his mother (Laurie, my sister) sitting beside him. Sis, Laurie's friend, sat on my left, while Clif sat on my right. We shared many conversations about his graduation. (beaming proud)


We ordered our drinks and food when a call of the wild occurred. Sis joined me on a quest to find a powder room. As we passed a corner I asked a waitress and waiter where the Ladies Room was located. The waitress immediately pointed behind us with simple directions, as the waiter added that the Ladies Room was out of order and that we would need to go across the road to use another facility. As he laughed, we proceeded to the Ladies Room.


We opened the door and laughed about the waiter's clever kidding with customers, and I thought about how we could return a joke. Well, it didn't take me long to devise a plan. I returned to our table and ran my idea past our party. Some were more interested than others, but I decided to give it a go anyway. I announced that I was off to look for our waitress, Jessie, to see if she would go along. When I found her, I explained to her what I wanted to do. She was all for it since Stedman was a practical joker. Great, a joke is in progress... or I should say that a great joke is in progress... lol


When Stedman came to the table, he was hesitant as he approached us, asking the waitress twice to confirm who it was that wanted to speak with him.

Stedman Washington, Steadman Washington

Stedman: "What can I do for you ma'am?"

Becky: "What is your name?"

Stedman: "Stedman W..., ma'am."

Becky: "What is your hire date here at Applebee's?" (giving him a stern look)

Stedman: "Nearly a month." (voice a little shaky, but no hesitation)

Becky: "Do you pull pranks on customers here often?" (raising her eyebrows)

Stedman: "No ma'am." (hesitated, looking scared now)

Becky: "How would you like to be fired?" (calm voice with another stern look)

Stedman: "No ma'am." (eyes got real wide, you could see the panic)

Becky: "That's good because I can't fire you anyway, I'm not from corporate. This is a joke." (now smiling, the rest of us bellowing laughs)

Stedman: "Oh! Man! You guys really had me going!" (as he nearly fell to the floor in relief)


The waitress was laughing, we were laughing, and Steadman was laughing too as he was telling Jessie that he'd get even some day. Later, Steadman seemed to avoid our table as he made his way around the restaurant. That's ok though, since I have this fond memory of him and I hope to cross paths with him again some day.


Birthday News...

by the sneaky wife :P

Today is Clif's birthday!



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!







Kid Protect your PC using Windows SteadyState

Posted by ClifNotes, Aug 2008, permalink Virtualization Software


Here's nice tutorial on setting up your PC to be kid, friend, and relative resistant. It was recommended by my friend Zia at CyberNirvana. I have not tried this, but I will be re-installing XP soon. I'm pretty sure that this app will be high on my list as a "first install" after all the stupid Windows Updates.


Quote from LifeHacker.com:

When you've got your Windows XP or Vista setup running perfectly, you don't want to lose all your painstaking customizations to a reckless tot, an experiment-minded friend or spouse, or a rogue system-lousing program. Windows SteadyState, as we mentioned earlier this week, helps you to create a kind of virtual rubber room those types can play around in and not really harm anything. SteadyState can also restrict web site access for innocent eyes, set timer limits on user access, and get better control of those other folks who use your computer—in other words, SteadyState makes you the Grand Master Sysadmin of your single-unit empire. Let's take a look at setting up SteadyState and get familiar with a few of its key features. read the rest of the article




The Lupo PenSuite of portable applications

Posted by ClifNotes, Aug 2008, permalink Software Collections


CC wrote me with a link to this portable suite and a message saying that this is right up my alley. Yes, he's right. I love portable apps and a portable app suite is usually something I can't resist looking over.


The Lupo PenSuite is chock full of completely free goodies that you don't have to install. The menu system looks very similar to the menu included in the suite provided by PortableApps.com. If it's the same menu system, it's a good one, but I found it difficult to write my own menu entries.


I'll be looking for a more flexible portable menu system. Any ideas? (comment below)



Quote from the website

Lupo PenSuite is a completely free suite of portable programs and games. This Suite is designed to simplify the user's life, by collecting the best suites and portable applications available on the Web.

Optimized to be loaded on a USB flash drive and brought always with you, this Suite works perfectly well on any other device. It includes over 200 portable programs and games (7-Zip, Audacity, CCleaner, eMule, FileZilla, Firefox, Foxit Reader, Gimp, IrfanView, Miranda, Notepad++, Opera, Thunderbird, µTorrent, VLC and many more).

You can also easily customize your suite adding portable apps from our broad software database. All you need in one package.



See also:

WinInzio PenSuite

Portableapps.com Suite



VJPEG - quick and unique image viewer

Posted by ClifNotes, Aug 2008, permalink Image Viewers


Pete wrote in a comment on my last review of IrfanView. He mentioned a little image viewer called vjpeg. It supports JPG, BMP, and GIF and it sounds like a great alternative to Windows Preview.


From Pete:

I'm certainly a fan of Irfanview as well and have used it for years and the author Irfan Skiljan never seems to tire of improving it (well,I'm guessing).


But for a fast view of a single picture or two, there's nothing that can beat VJPEG


It's my default - everything else is on my right click menu.


For a tiny app it has more features than you might expect.

Pity not many people seem to know about it.


PLEASE BE AWARE that VJPEG will associate itself with .jpg .gif and .bmp and give them its icon and type (VJPG files). You will have to re-associate those files with another program if you don't like this.


Quote from the website

The idea here is "images as objects" so once they're open, you drag them around the screen by clicking and dragging. That's it. If you push them against the top or left edge of the screen, they "stick" for a while and resize to stay on the screen (that means you get live zooming.)





Mini-Putt - addictive putt-putt golf online

Posted by ClifNotes, Aug 2008, permalink Games


This game was recommended at Daves Computer Tips Newsletter. I had fun with it. Maybe you will too!

You can tell us your scores here.


Quote from the website

To begin, you must place your ball on the dark green Mat at the beginning of each hole. To do this simply move the ball with your mouse and click the left button to drop it.


To aim your ball, move the mouse away from the direction you wish to shoot. A line composed of yellow dots will show you which direction the ball is going to roll. The longer the line is, the more powerful your shot will be. Once you have your shot aimed, click the left button on your mouse to shoot the ball.




Xpy - disable undesired XP settings and services

Posted by ClifNotes, Aug 2008, permalink System Tweaking


Here is a brief review of Xpy from Shankar Ganesh. I often visit his blog to see what he's been up to.

In addition to the stuff mentioned below, Xpy is a portable application and free open source software.


From Killer Tech Tips by Shankar Ganesh:


Enable or Disable Various Windows XP Settings Quickly using Xpy

Xpy is a very small but powerful software that can let you disable many Windows XP settings and program behaviour quickly at the click of a few buttons.


Secure Windows by disabling unsafe Windows settings


Using Xpy , you can disable over a hundred Windows settings, including:


• Disable Compressed Folders

• Disable File Association Web service

• Disable Net Crawling

• Disable Error Reporting

• Disable WGA Notifications

• Disable Error Reporting

• Disable Automatic Windows Updates

• Disable Windows Security Center

• Disable Windows Defender

• Disable Time Synchronization

• Disable Scheduled Task Service

• Disable Indexing Service

read the rest








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


How to set up OpenDNS to surf faster and safer

Posted by ClifNotes, Aug 2008, permalink Web Service


I recently noticed that my old friend Paul Thunder had bookmarked a tutorial on setting up OpenDNS. DNS is basically a web service that tells your PC where to go on the net when you type in an address. OpenDNS is different because it's made to help protect you from the bad places. Typically, you are getting your DNS service from your internet provider, but you don't have to settle for a second rate DNS service. If you are interested, read this tutorial from webmonkey to find out how to get faster and safer web surfing.


Quote from OpenDNS:

OpenDNS protects millions of people a day across hundreds of thousands of schools, businesses and homes. We block phishing sites, give you the power to filter out adult sites and proxies among more than 50 categories, and provide the precision to block individual domains.


We provide you with the tools to see what's happening on your network, coupled with the tools to take action. For example, discover that myspace is the most frequently visited site on your network, and then block it with a single click.


Free yourself of DNS-related Internet outages with our zero-downtime global network. Eliminate DNS as a problem source on your network. Using OpenDNS means fewer support calls and headaches, letting you focus on more important issues.





Goog-411 - another Google great


Hi Clif,


I think you'll really like this great new information service, as it's super easy to use, quick and it won't cost you one cent.


Here's a number worth putting in both your cell phone and your home phone. http://www.google.com/goog411/

Now, how cool is that? This awesome service is free from Google and it's extremely helpful; especially when you are on the road. Just click on the link provided, and don't leave home without it!


Have a super weekend,





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




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. See which type of account you're using now in Windows XP.




2. How to switch between users in Windows XP.




3. Create and customize user accounts in Windows XP.




4. Choose pictures or create passwords for Windows XP user accounts.




5. Exposing your computer to unwanted software when using P2P File Sharing in XP.




6. Forbid Shutdown on XP Pro.




7. Installing software as a NON-admin user in Windows XP Pro.




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. Network Sharing in Windows XP.




9. Windows XP Hangs Up During Shut Down.




10. Remind your kids not to talk to strangers online!




11. Enable Bitlocker Encryption In Vista.




12. Disable Hibernation In Vista.




13. Preview Documents In Vistas Windows Explorer.




14. Logon To Windows Vista as Administrator.




15. Run Pre-Vista Programs In Compatibility Mode.




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.



IrfanView - my favorite image viewer •

Bug Shooter - nice free screen capture tool •

Mozilla Sunbird and Lightning - best free calendar tools •

Google Calendar - great online calendar for you or your organization •

Desktop Calendar - sits right up front for easy access •

AccelMan - Windows Explorer replacement •

AnVir Task Manager - replace Windows task manager •



Johnny's Freeware Mission - running a freeware computer •



VideoFetcher.com - searching for online videos •

4 Neurons - freeware that's small and useful •












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.


July 25 2008 COOLSITES Newsletter #175 by Mark Donaldson

• 2008 Perseid meteor shower peaks during the dark hours before dawn on Tuesday, August 12th, and forecasters say it should be a good show: http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/22jul_perseiddawn.htm?list38463

• Freeware Software - Free software downloads with ratings and comments: http://www.freewarebb.com/

• CatSpy is a video surveillance application, which enables you to create a video surveillance based on cameras connected to your computer: http://www.catspy.de/

• DriverView- List all device drivers currently loaded on your Windows: http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/driverview.html

• valodas - Free Language Learning Software: http://www.valodas.com/

• Avidemux 2.4.3 video editor designed for simple cutting, filtering and encoding tasks: http://avidemux.sourceforge.net/




CommandWindows.com - great techie resource

Posted by ClifNotes, Aug 2008, permalink Cool Website


Are you comfortable typing commands into the System Console in Windows? You know, it's a big black box that you can get to if you hit the start button and type "cmd" and press enter.


Ok, maybe you don't use the old DOS commands and you don't need to. If you do or if you want to learn how to gain some real powerz, this site is for you.


Quote from the website

The Windows command line is a mainstay for systems administrators and power users but is relatively unknown to many PC users. The purpose of this site is to make the power and utility of the command line more familiar to a wider community of computer users. Also under-appreciated are the related resources of batch files and scripts and these will be discussed as well.





App-Stick.com - directory of portable freeware

Posted by ClifNotes, Aug 2008, permalink Software Collections


I don't know how I found this site, but it's well worth bookmarking. If you are searching for a specific portable application, this is a good place to start.


Quote from the website

What is a portable application?


A portable app is a computer program that you can carry around with you on a USB flash drive (a "stick") and use on any Windows computer. When your stick is plugged in, you have access to your software and personal data just as you would on your own PC. And when you unplug the device, none of your personal data is left behind on the PC.


In an effort to "eat our own dogfood", we have developed most of the software for App-Stick from a 2GB stick with portable applications (XAMPP, PSPad, FileZilla, Firefox,...). As a result, we can plug that stick into any of our computers and get to work immediately. We love it!




PicReflect.com and WaterEffect.net - add reflections to images online

Posted by ClifNotes, Aug 2008, permalink Web Service


Here are two image manipulation services I ran into a couple of weeks ago. PicReflect.com lets you upload images and then generates a new image with a reflection in it.


It's very nice but I do like the ripple effect that some other web apps and downloaded apps can give you. If you need a real ripple effect, try the WaterEffect.net site.







BookMooch.com - exchange books for new reading material

Posted by ClifNotes, Aug 2008, permalink Web Service


I sometimes visit the Windows Fanatics blog to see what Brandon Watts has been up to. He often finds websites that are unique and very useful. Thanks Brandon!


Quote from Brandon:

By exchanging books at the book store near my house, I’m limited to the selection that they have, but BookMooch enables book exchanges with people all over the world. You provide the list of books that you want to give away, and when someone requests one of your books and you mail it to them, you get points that you can use to get books from others. This system is fair and ensures that members won’t just ask for books from others without sending some of their own to fellow readers. read the rest of Brandon's review




Giọt Mưa Thu - studying Vietnamese Music

Posted by ClifNotes, July 2008, permalink Cool Website


Under review

My friend Vu is studying Vietnamese music in Toronto for 4 weeks. He sent me a link to his music instructor's website. Check out the video ... that's some really cool music.


Pham Duc Thanh is a world-renowned musician known for his masterful ability on the Vietnamese one-stringed instrument (Dan Bau). He was born in 1958 in Ninh Binh , Vietnam . His talent was fully apparent from his youth: he was adept at the Chèo drumming style at age 4, he learned the mandolin at age 5, and he had begun playing Dan Bau (monochord) and Dan Nhi (2-string fiddle) at the age of 5. In 1974, Duc-Thanh left Hanoi to join the largest Cheo opera troupe in Vietnam and officially became a professional Dan Bau performer.
Link to Youtube video









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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