• 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

November 2, 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.

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ThinkFree Office - MS Office compatible and 1Gb of free document hosting

Posted by ClifNotes, Oct 2008, permalink Office Suite


I'm a big fan of OpenOffice.org's free office software, but I was curious to see ThinkFree's offering. I've tried it now and I believe that ThinkFree Office is a great Microsoft Office replacement. ThinkFree's Calc, Write and Show are able to edit and produce the same files as MS Excel, MS Word, and MS Powerpoint.


The TF Office download is about 52Mb and you do have to register for a free account at ThinkFree.com. That's not actually a drawback if you intend to use their office suite. Registering at ThinkFree allows you to set up for 1Gb of free document hosting. That's more room than most of us need and it's easy to share your files with someone by simply sending them a link in email.


Once installed, you'll find that it's really a breeze to use if you've ever used MS Office 2003. Nearly all the same features are there for you to use. Since TF Office can be linked to your free online document hosting, it's also a great way to keep your documents safe and access them from anywhere on the net. Even if you are at a computer that doesn't have TF Office installed, ThinkFree.com still offers their online office tools that can read, edit and save most office documents.


As far as I can tell, the only requirements are that you have Sun Java installed. Versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux are available.


I'd have no problem recommending ThinkFree Office, but I am patiently waiting on a portable version of OpenOffice3. I can get the Google Docs plugin for OpenOffice that allows me to use Google Docs as an online document host. The fact that I can use a portable version is the deciding factor for me. If TF Office had a portable version, I'd have to take a closer look at keeping it around.


click to expand picture

Quote from the website

Success doesn't have to come at a High Price

At least when it comes to office applications-An office suite of high performance word processing, spreadsheet and presentation applications that is extremely compatible withMicrosoft® Word, Excel and Power Point. Whether you work in Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint, with ThinkFree Office 3 you'll feel right at home because it looks, feels and behaves just like they do regardless of whether you use it on Windows, Linux, or Macintosh.




A First Look at OpenOffice 3

Posted by ClifNotes, Nov 2008, permalink Office Suite


OpenOffice is what I typically use when I need to open or edit MS Office files such as Word, Excel or PowerPoint. There's a new version out but I've been waiting on a portable version before I go out and grab a copy. OpenOffice 2.4 is still available in portable format if you need it now.


One of my old online buddies has recently written a review of OpenOffice 3. He's covered the basics for you and has also included some screenshots and tips.


Below is a snippet from Terry's review. Be sure to check out his free weekly newsletter. It's a quick read and you'll often learn a thing or two.


Review at Terry's Computer Tips

OpenOffice.org v3.0 has been released — it's not a beta version any more!


The first thing I noticed about OpenOffice.org v3.0 (yes, the .org is really part of the program's name, as well as being part of the web site's name and the organization's name), was that it was a 145MB download.


If you've got a high-speed cable connection or a direct Ethernet wired connection, you'll be happy. If you've got a slow DSL connection, it will take a while to download. If you've got a dialup connection, check around — there are vendors who sell CD's of OpenOffice.org quite cheaply via the Internet.


When I installed it, I ran into a little problem with Vipre — it wanted to scan the 145MB file and it took a long time to do it. I'm not sure why I had to do it, but I ended up having to turn off my "active protection" while I did the installation. Of course, immediately afterwards, I turned it back on.


When I started OpenOffice 3.0 (let's drop the .org for now) from the redesigned desktop icon, I was impressed by the glitzy opening interface ...

read the rest here









Portable Safari - take your Safari browser on the road

Posted by ClifNotes, Nov 2008, permalink Web Browser


I recently traveled across the web looking for the one web browser that I didn't have as a portable version. At first, I was unable to find a portable version of the Safari web browser from Apple.com.


There's only one place you can get a legitimate copy of Safari. You have to go to Apple, just like you have to go to Microsoft to get Internet Explorer.


I eventually found a forum post about making Safari portable while I was at PortableApps.com. The forum post told me how to create Portable Safari.


From http://portableapps.com/node/13160

I feel that it is buggy somehow, but must work in most cases. It would be nice to hear something about its bugs :) You need browser itself from http://www.apple.com/safari/ and files from its installation folder. Use this loader to make it portable



What you need to do is download and install Safari, then download and unpack the Safari loader from Lazeek.net. Finally, you have to copy all of the program files in the installed Safari program folder and copy them into the loader folder. Once that's done, all you have to do is to launch the Safari-Portable.exe file to run your portable copy of Safari. Afterwards, you can uninstall the original Safari if you wish.


As the person in the forum mentioned, I also believe it's a bit buggy but it does work in a pinch. Safari is a very fast web browser but I rarely use it. It has a few quirks that I've never taken time to get used to.


For those of you out there who hunger for more portable web browsers, see HowManyBrowsersDoYouHaveInstalled.



Opera@USB - use browser, emails, addresses, anytime, anywhere

Posted by ClifNotes, Dec 2005, Updated Nov 2008, permalink Web Browser


There's a new version of Opera out.

Opera 9.6 is fast. I'd say it's just about as fast as GoogleChrome, but I don't have any proof of that. In any case, if you've never tried it, the best way to try it is to use a portable version. Opera@USB is now updated to 9.6 as well, and I've been keeping a copy of Opera@USB around since I wrote about it back in 2005. My current favorite browser is Firefox, but I could change my mind at any time.


Notes from Clif (6 Dec 2005)

Yesterday, Vic Dura wrote me to let me know that there was a USB version of Opera available. I was very interested because Opera has always been my favorite browser. You might ask, "Why would you want a USB version of Opera?".


Opera is a fast, tabbed internet browser, with a built in email client, RSS feeds manager, download manager, IRC chat client, website password manager, and much more. Since it's now in a USB version, I can take it with me and use it on any PC without leaving any tracks behind. It will allow me to do almost all of my internet work from one application.


I asked Vic about moving my personal Opera settings and website passwords (wand) over to the USB copy. Vic shares my enthusiasm for Opera and he was quickly able to answer my questions and give me a few tips on using the USB version. Thank you Vic.


Comments from Vic

The wand entries are stored in \opera\profile\wand.dat and the bookmarks are in \opera\profile\opera6.adr so if you copy those two files from the desktop installation to the thumb-drive \opera\profile directory you will have your bookmarks and wand entries.


The other settings are in \opera\profile\opera6.ini but I would *not* copy that file to the thumb drive. Opera6.ini in the usb version contains directory entries such as "%operadir%mail" whereas the desktop opera6.ini file would have something like "d:\opera\mail" as the corresponding entry; and that would be wrong for the portable version. Unless you are willing to manually examine and edit the desktop copy of opera.ini, you'll run into problems. It's do-able, but easy to miss something. I find it easier to just start from scratch and reset the options I want from scratch. That give me a chance to start with a clean slate and decide once again what I want to change.


Quote from the website

You want to use all opera features mobile - no problem !


- there are no unwanted effects on IE or other browsers

- existing opera versions are also not affected

- make no entries to the registry

- leave no data on the guestcomputer


What do i need for Opera@USB ?


- a computer with an internet connection

- a USB-Stick / USB Flashdrive with about 6 MB space left




For those of you who like to surf the net in anonymity, check out OperaTor.

Also see HowManyBrowsersDoYouHaveInstalled for lots of other portable web browsers.



Notebook - free portable wiki style notebook

Posted by ClifNotes, Oct 2008, permalink Notes and Reminders


I've tried lots of desktop wiki applications. This one is one of the easiest and most flexible I've found. It comes as a single executable file that you can run in any location, even a USB stick.


Notebook allows you to create multiple linked pages much as a real wiki does and it can also display local GIF images in pages.


click to expand picture

Notebook is an application for saving notes, to-do lists, daily logs, and any other kind of textual information in a place where you can find it all again, and where related information is easily found. It runs on Linux, Mac and Windows. Exports to HTML and MediaWiki markup.




See also, StickWiki, TiddlyWiki, Pepys, WikidPad, CourseForum and ZuluPad.



Note Mania - sticky notes, calendar and reminders on your desktop

Posted by ClifNotes, Nov 2008, permalink Notes and Reminders


CC Likes this program and wrote me about it. I haven't tried it yet but I checked it out and it looks great.


From CC:

How can you improve a note application?

In this one you can insert GIFs


I ran through its paces, its seems that you cannot retrieve the messages once you close the program ... only on the "Paid Version". What a bummer!! BUT what you can do is create a file that you can save all of your notes. (save as is available)


I like the calendar desktop and the versatility of the notes.


Note: when you bookmark, it creates a tab on the right side of the screen "nice". I'm keeping it for the calendar and general daily reminders.


click to expand picture

Quote from the website

While having the same potentials, each of notes can do a different role, depending on various note properties, category properties and tools you use with it. Some notes can be appointment reminders while some notes can be phrases you need frequently in your word processing:


You can set schedule properties for any note and it will remind you and/or launch some program or website at the specified time for you. It can be a recurrent event like weekly, monthly as well as a simple one time event.


Every note created can be browsed and managed using the Pad window. Pad is also useful when you want to review the things you've done or to preview the things to come for the day or for the week, etc. You can also look for a specific note using the full text search feature.




RadarSync 2009 - do your drivers need updated?

Posted by ClifNotes, Oct 2008, permalink System Maintenance


Susan at RadarSync recently wrote me to let me know that they have a new version out. I haven't used it since 2006 and I probably won't use it anytime soon. My philosophy is that I won't go looking for updates to drivers that are already working just fine.


If you are reinstalling Windows on a PC, that's a different story. You may have to go out and find many missing drivers. I mentioned JohnnysFreewareMission a while back and the author of that site has RadarSync listed as one of his 51 essential freeware programs.


Letter from Susan at RadarSync:

Hi Clif,


I saw your discussion of our driver/software updater, RadarSync posted http://freewarewiki.com/RadarSync. I think it was a pretty fair evaluation, although you were wrong that our old 2006 version 'directed you to paid download sites for driver updates' (it asked you to pay to get the direct links to the downloads, but we did give all the info that anyone could have used to google the files themselves).


I wanted to tell you that we've released a new version -- RadarSync 2009. It fixes one problem that I saw some of the people who commented on your site had -- an installation problem. That problem happened when people had an older version of .Net installed on their computer. The new RadarSync only requires .Net 2 and up, so that shouldn't be a problem anymore.


We've also made a LOT of other improvements -- since moving to free mode w/ RadarSync 2008, we obviously have had a lot more users and their feedback has let us make a lot of improvements in our detection engine. We're now matching updates by 4 different parameters to the installed versions, so accuracy has improved a lot.


We also added what we think is going to be a very cool new feature. Basically, using RS you can create software packs of downloads that you like (or that you want to remember to try one day) and have RS save them for you as a package that you can download at any time (using the 'Download All' feature of our downloader). The items in your pack will be maintained with the latest versions, and the direct download links will always be available for you whenever you need them. This feature (you access it through the MyPacks menu in RS2009 and through our website http://www.radarsync.com/mypack ) can first and foremost be used as a backup, so all your favorite downloads are stored for you in case you need to do a full reinstall of windows. It can also just be used to keep track of different kinds of software you find, and to discover new software (on the website page -- which is still very beta and the new design isn't up yet -- you can search for software to add to your packs or look at the packs other users have made to get ideas).


Anyway, have a look if you can, and I'd be interested in getting some feedback from you and your readers, especially on the MyPacks (we call it 'Packzoola') section.









See my previous reviews of RadarSync



















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


Flash Security and Privacy Settings Panel

Posted by ClifNotes, Nov 2008, permalink Security Tools


I recently read an article at Windows Secrets magazine that talked about how risky some multimedia addons are. They specifically mentioned Adobe Flash as one of those risky addons. Apparently, Flash Cookies are a big security risk and there's no easy way to control them.


How many applications make you go to their website to make adjustments to the security settings in them? Yes, it sounds utterly ridiculous, but that's what you have to do to make Adobe Flash more secure in your web browser.


I can't make any specific recommendations on the settings there, but if you read the article I linked to above, you may get a few ideas.


They also recommended that you use the SecuniaPersonalSoftwareInspector to make sure that all your browser addons and other software are up to date.


Quote from the website

What can I do with the Settings Manager?


Adobe is committed to providing you with options to control SWF or FLV content and applications that run in Flash Player. The Adobe Flash Player Settings Manager lets you manage global privacy settings, storage settings, security settings, and automatic notification settings by using the following panels:


• To specify whether websites must ask your permission before using your camera or microphone, you use the Global Privacy Settings panel.

• To specify the amount of disk space that websites you haven't yet visited can use to store information on your computer, or to prevent websites you haven't yet visited from storing information on your computer, you use the Global Storage Settings panel.

• To view or change your security settings, you use the Global Security Settings panel.

• To specify if and how often Flash Player should check for updated versions, you use the Global Notifications Settings panel.

• To view or change the privacy settings for websites you have already visited, you use the Website Privacy Settings panel.

• To view or change the storage settings for websites you have already visited, or to delete information that any or all websites have already stored on your computer, you use the Website Storage Settings panel.


Go to the Flash Global Privacy Settings panel







Comments last week

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



Seagate DiscWizard - is it a free copy of Acronis True Image? •

RemoteKeys - hundreds of Windows automation commands •

AutoClip - retrieve text clips a few keystrokes •

QuickPaste - save text clippings as short links •

Screenshot Captor - is this the best screenshot tool? •

QeepIt - nice little text based PIM •

Zune Theme for XP - free Windows theme installer •

Billeo - assisting with shopping, billing and passwords •



Where are the Best Free Fonts?



Mothers of the Year

Clif Notes For President



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!




The Following are links from the past weeks Newsletter.


1. You can make changes to the way a page will print when using IE7.




2. Hide messages that you've already read.




3. How to Use Windows Meeting Space for Collaboration Sessions




4. Dual Boot (multiboot) between Vista and Windows XP.




5. Independently control the sound level for each application in Vista.




6. Vista Parental Controls let you decide how your children use the PC.












Readers Questions Along With Some Of My Answers.























12. Super Speedy Shutdown For XP.




13. Copy Error Messages To Clipboard In XP.




14. Hidden XP Utilities








Kids And Computers




Click The Link Below To Join My News Letter.






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





140 Windows XP Run Commands.




Vista Run Commands.




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.




I try and keep up on the latest Virus Alerts.




Drivers Index.




Click The Link Below To Join My News Letter.




Computer Problem? Post Your Question Here.















WebNotes - create unique web pages with no registration

Posted by ClifNotes, Nov 2008, permalink Web Service


How hard is it to create your own notes on a website? It's so easy at WebNote, it's almost criminal.


Below is a WebNote page embedded in my wiki. You can edit a note yourself and save it.


This page is actually located at:




Quote from the website

Webnote is a tool for taking notes on your computer. It allows you to quickly write something down during a meeting, class, or any other time that you have a web browser available.


You start by creating a workspace and creating notes in the workspace. You can save your workspace at any time and return to them from the same computer or any other computer. You can also share your notes with others by providing the workspace name (or url) to a friend.






rssfwd.com - turn RSS feeds into email

Posted by ClifNotes, Nov 2008, permalink E-mail Notification Web Service


Do you know what an RSS feed is? An RSS feed is usually a notification of a change to a website. It can include a portion of the page or an entire article. You need a "Feed Reader" to use RSS feeds. I use Google Reader because I don't have to install it and I can use any web browser to access my list of feeds.


Sometimes, I find that I'd rather be notified of a change to a website in email. So how do I change an RSS feed into an email? I used to use a service called SendMeRSS. It's gone now and I've had to start using a new service. It's called Rssfwd.com.


It's easy to use and you don't need a feed reader.


Quote from the website

1. Enter the URL of the site you'd like to subscribe to. We'll find the RSS feed for you!


2. Enter your email address and choose your delivery preferences.


3. Preview what the RSS email will look like, and subscribe!






NapSounds.com - take a 20 minute nap to sounds from the net

Posted by ClifNotes, Nov 2008, permalink Web Service


I don't remember how I found this site. NapSounds will let you stream a 20 minute sound session or download an MP3 file. They really believe in the power of a 20 minute power nap.


I'll often grab few minutes of sleep during lunch at work. I rarely sleep for 20 minutes, but I always feel much better afterwards. If you have a good set of headphones and internet access at work, maybe you should see how it works for you.


Quote from the website

Yes, the nap is a recipe of balance within everybody's reach, since only a quarter of an hour of good rest is enough to recover from the greatest tiredness.











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.


October 31 2008 COOLSITES Newsletter #189 by Mark Donaldson

• 150 Best Online Flash Games: http://www.techcult.com/the-150-best-online-flash-games/

• New. AltMove windows and mouse manager: http://www.deskex.com/Altmove/index.asp

• New. ComiX is a daily comic strip reader. It supports 157 comic strips: http://gravityfx.org/2006/04/15/comix/

• New. Shoot 1.6.4 Shoot is a speech recognition program that translates your voice commands into arbitrary keystrokes: http://clans.gameclubcentral.com/shoot/

• New. XMPlay is an audio player: http://www.un4seen.com/

• Freebies at Active-Freebies.com: http://active-freebies.com/


Quote from the website

COOLSITES is a list of safe, fun, useful, informative and just plain cool websites and programs that are FREE, FREE and FREE. All of the programs and websites I list are free. If I list anything that is so good but isn't free I will list the price with it.











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.



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