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

  • Browse and search Google Drive and Gmail attachments (plus Dropbox and Slack files) with a unified tool for working with your cloud files. Try Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) for free. Now available on the web, Mac, Windows, and as a Chrome extension!



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Welcome to Clif Notes Newsletter

February 22, 2009



Hi Everyone.

Thanks for reading my newsletter. I try to have a few freeware reviews, tips, tricks, news, and 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!






Digital Clip Factory - easy to use photo to video tool

Posted by ClifNotes, Feb 2009, permalink Video Editing Tools


A few weeks ago, I mentioned some programs that I wanted to try but hadn't had time. I was hoping to find out if you had tried them and would tell us what you thought.


Jimbo has stepped up to the plate with more than just a comment. Here is a nicely done full review of Digital Clip Factory. As a bonus, after the review, you can see the video that Jimbo made using this tool.


Quote from Jimbo:

Despite some earlier reservations I must say, after trying it out, I am overall quite impressed with this slideshow maker from Dunes MultiMedia.

Digital Clip Factory does not include lots of features and options. If you prefer a wider range of control over your slideshow compilations then this may not suit you, but if it's an easy 2 click solution you are after, Digital Clip Factory is well worth a look.


DCF includes the terrific “Ken Burns’ motion effects and quite a good range of options for video, including; adjust display length for each slide, adjust transition time/zooming and output quality. Audio options, however, appear to be non-existent. I could find no way to sync the audio track with the video display, no fade-in nor fade-out and no help on these matters. There are no help files included with the program and it appears any assistance is restricted to the meagre information on DCF’s home page. That said, the GUI is clear and pretty much self explanatory. Also, after selecting an audio track which was slightly longer duration than the video display I did notice, on play back, that they both finished at the same time….so I guess the program must include some kind of auto sync function for longer audio tracks.


For purposes of testing I processed 22 photos (total size 35mb) using DCF’s pre-loaded settings (at 75% quality) which took around 2 minutes to produce a good quality .wmv video file (size 34.7mb). I did experiment with the program’s ‘Fast’ setting (the lowest quality and smallest output file size) but the quality was very poor. I’m sure that with a little playing most would find a happy medium.


After my brief testing of DCF I can report a couple of traps for first time users:

1)Audio does not play when using the ‘Preview’ function. Don’t worry, the audio will be there when the finished file is played.

2)When first opening the program each time, it remains unresponsive for several seconds until a ‘Donate’ button appears at the bottom of the window.




Download file size1.12mb
Installed size3.06mb (version on Vista)
Uninstaller includedYes
Help files includedNo
Other requirements (e.g. .net)None
Output file formatWMV
Operating SystemXP*,Vista


  • I could find no information on the publisher’s site as to which operating systems are supported but a quick look around the net suggests that DCF supports Windows XP and Vista only.


There are undoubtedly more advanced free slideshow makers around but DCF’s simplicity and ease of use would make it an appealing option for many.




And here's what you've been waiting for ...

Jimbo's video featuring some spectacular views of Tasmania




WinSplit Revolution

Notes from ClifNotes, Oct 2007, Updated 2009 permalink Desktop Tools


I wrote this bit in 2007 ...

CC wrote me about this program he's been trying out. WinSplit Revolution gives you an easier way to tile the programs on your PCs desktop so that you can work on two or more programs at once.


I tried it and I honestly wasn't too impressed. I didn't take much time to try out all of the features so it may be an uninformed opinion. The best use of the program involves using hotkeys. Most of the hotkeys are assigned to the numeric keypad. My laptop doesn't have a numberic keypad, so I was forced to change the hotkeys.


Wait a minute, it's been improved since then ... (update for Feb 2009)

I was a little tough on WinSplit in my review from 2007. I've been using WinSplit at work for almost two weeks now. The one thing that I complained about, being forced to use hotkeys, is no longer a problem. WinSplit allows you to pop up a little toolbar that lets you very quickly set up your windows the way you want them. I can now say that I very much recommend this program to those who have widescreen displays that easily allow room for more than one application on the screen at the same time.


Here's a shot of the tool bar that you can use. I typically drag it out of the way and set it to be "always on top".


Quote from the website

What is it for? WinSplit Revolution is a small utility which allows you to easily organize your open windows by tiling, resizing and positioning them to make the best use of your desktop real estate.


What can it do? WinSplit is especially useful for high-end LCD screens with high resolutions because it helps you to efficiently manage many active windows. For example WinSplit is useful for owners of the Dell 2407FPW monitor. As you can see in the screenshots below, the advantages of using WinSplit is that it saves you from having to drag and drop windows by allowing you to snap windows into specific tiled configurations using simple keyboard hotkeys.





Snowbird Search - still very fast but has a new look and new features

Posted by ClifNotes, Feb 2009, Permalink File Management


I believe I first ran into Snowbird back in 2004 or 2005. Back then, it had a really unique way of displaying results in a web browser, but the amazing thing was that it kicked the pants off of the Windows search tool.


Watching Microsoft's little doggy dig through piles of papers isn't much help when you need to find one file out of 30,000. It's cute but it gets old when you have to wait 10 minutes.


I don't believe that Snowbird has gotten much faster than it was in 2005, but it's interface has gotten a major upgrade over version 6. It's now much more like working inside of a typical file explorer window.


Snowbird is a single executable file, but does include a help file, so there's no installation needed. Just unpack the zip file into a folder and create your own links to it. Snowbird may not be as fast as many of the indexing search tools, but it sure beats the Windows default search and it doesn't have to run all the time like most of the indexing search tools do.


Quote from the website

Snowbird is a small and fast file management and search tool. Unlike other similar tools, Snowbird was built from the ground up with performance rather than features in mind.


• Fully multi-threaded architecture ensures that the interface always remains responsive, even when accessing network resources or copying large amounts of data

• Can handle extremely large folders without noticeable degradation in performance

• Fast file operations (copy, move, delete) with the ability to pause transfers and to skip errors

• Integrated search tool that can find files (and even text within files) without indexing





Can you replace Windows default search?

Posted by ClifNotes, Feb 2009, permalink File Management


There's a little utility out there that allows you to change the search application that's called when you use the search link in the Windows Start Menu.


This does not change what happens when you are in Windows Explorer and you hit F3 or click on search there. So it does do what it advertises, but it would be so much better if it did change all the places you can call up Windows search.


What would I recommend you choose as a replacement search? Here are my top 3 picks.

SnowBird, AgentRansack, EveryThing


Quote from the website

RerouteXPSearch utility helps you reroute the Start menu Search link to a third-party utility (such as Agent Ransack) of your choice.


Download/Unzip/Run the utility, and mention the third-party application path in the text box. Then click Apply. To undo the changes made by the utility, click the Restore defaults button once.



Note: The download link is hard to find on the page so I've included one for you.

Download Reroute XP Search



Freebyte Task Scheduler - small and portable automation

Posted by ClifNotes, Feb 2009, permalink Automation Tools


A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I'd like to try Freebyte Task Scheduler if I had the time. Ron was nice enough to post his opinion of the software in the comments. Thanks Ron!


Quote from Ron:

This is a light weight (200+ kb), mature bit of s/w. Freebyte's business model is more old skool than many. They started up nearly 15 years ago and developed Tree Pad, still one of the best information managers around, IMHO. With all the eye candy on the 'net, it's easy to forget these boxes are just big filing cabinets. We stick stuff into them with some sort of plan in mind, hopefully, but there's always a chance to mis-file.


Task Scheduler is a nice solution for routine maintenance tasks, although many softwares that address those individual tasks come with built-in schedulers. Still, the ability to set and forget about those from one source is appealing.


Clif, I think it'd be nice to expose your readers to Freebyte. They have a number of programs developed by their crew, both free and $ware, especially Treepad. (In case there's any doubt, I like Treepad enough to have graduated from the freeware version long ago.) Likewise, the site lists categories of programs both free and commercial. There are a lot of solutions packed into their little corner of the Web.



2 penny ron


Quote from the website

Freebyte's portable task scheduler

Freebyte Task Scheduler is a small and zero-install program which enables you to start other programs automatically, periodically and at pre-defined times. This program functions very well in combination with backup software like Freebyte Backup, disk fragmenters, virus scanners and other regularly scheduled system maintanance utilities.

Freebyte Task Scheduler is freeware for commercial and non-commercial use and runs on Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/XP.




Print What You Like - website helps you save paper

Posted by ClifNotes, Feb 2009, permalink Web Service


Thanks to Robert. He wrote in with a great tip that may save me and many of you some paper and some money.


Letter from Robert W:

Hi Clif,


Recently, I shared information about the Firefox addon Aardvark that allowed a user to clean-up a webpage before it is printed or sent. I love the addon and I love using Firefox but what if I am on another PC that does not have Firefox?


There is a website titled Print What You Like which will allow most browsers a chance to clean-up a webpage before you print. About a quarter of the way down the http://www.printwhatyoulike.com main page you will see the graphic that says "Enter a URL and press start".


A page will display with the Print What You Like tool bar to the left and the webpage you entered to the right. As you navigate through the webpage various elements of the page will appear outlined in red. You can use the Print What You Like buttons on the left to change the page or right-click inside the red outline and use the menu that is displayed.


Quote from the website

Save Money. Save the Environment.

Ever print a web page only to find your printout is full of ads, empty space and other junk you don't want?


PrintWhatYouLike is a free web page editor that gives you control of how webpages look when printed.








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


What freebie should I try next?

Posted by ClifNotes, Feb 22 2009, permalink Software Collections


I have not tried these yet.

Below are a few freebies I haven't had time to try yet. Have you tried them? If so, let us know how you like them.


Link Scanner - A new service like SiteAdvisor and W.O.T.

LinkScanner Lite integrates with major search engines to check search results for a variety of online threats before you click. When you search with LinkScanner Lite on guard, you get advance warning of:


* Exploits

* Hacked pages

* Phishing and fraud scams

* Malicious lure sites


A color-coded icon appears alongside each listing so you can steer clear of active threats.





Makeagif.com - Free web service helps you make animated gif images:

Create Animated GIFs for free!


Use the form below to upload the pictures you want to animate. Then click upload, and we'll do the rest. Once our system has processed the images and created an animated GIF out of them, you will be provided with a download link.





USBDeview v1.30 - View all installed/connected USB devices on your system

USBDeview is a small utility that lists all USB devices that currently connected to your computer, as well as all USB devices that you previously used.

For each USB device, exteneded information is displayed: Device name/description, device type, serial number (for mass storage devices), the date/time that device was added, VendorID, ProductID, and more...

USBDeview also allows you to uninstall USB devices that you previously used, and disconnect USB devices that are currently connected to your computer.


You can also use USBDeview on a remote computer, as long as you login to that computer with admin user.





Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder v2.0.1

The Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder is a freeware open source utility that retrieves your Product Key (cd key) used to install Windows from your registry. It allows you to print or save your keys for safekeeping. It works on Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP, Vista, Server 2003, Server 2008, Office XP, Office 2003, and Office 2007 family of products. It also has a community-updated configuration file that retrieves product keys for many other applications. Another feature is the ability to retrieve product keys from unbootable Windows installations.





TKexe Kalendar creates photo calendars of any size

TKexe Kalendar enables the creation of photo calendars of any size. Customization is very easy: position the elements by dragging them with the mouse and change the settings of any element by double-clicking it. 20 images can be added to a month.





Photo Cutter allows you to cut digital photos

Photo Cutter is a free image cutter that allows you to cut digital photos free. It is a very easy to use photo software. Due to its design it is an extremely fast photo cutting tool. You can cut a large amount of images manually in few seconds. It supports various formats including jpg, bmp, gif, tiff, png, emf, wmf.







Comments from the last newsletter

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



SkyDrive adds more storage and bulk file upload tool

Easeus Partition Manager - great free hard drive helper •

NewsGator FeedDemon - the best of both online and on PC •

Kantaris Media Player - open-source alternative to Windows Media Player •

Google Docs Uploader - an easy way to take your office docs into Google Docs •

tinySpell - a tiny spell checker for Windows •



Download.com reveals the worst downloads of 2008



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 it!".


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 New Tips From The Past Week.


Question about XP or Vista? Post Them at the Address Below.




Add a new Location to the SendTo Menu in Vista.


To add items to the sendto menu, you just need to add a shortcut to the sendto folder. For example, if you want to have sendto your C drive, you would just need to create a shortcut to the C drive in your sendto folder.


Finding the sendto is






Create An Administrator Password Reset Disk.


Password protecting Windows Vista is fine until you forget the password. The Result Being. You are unable to log on to your PC. For this reason it is imperative that you create a password reset disk. Here is how you do it.


1. Click the






Uninstall Windows Live Mail.


If you have tried Windows Live Mail and don't think it is for you, you can easily uninstall it by following the steps below:


1. Click the Start






Disable Hide Extensions For Known File Types


When you look at a file name in Windows Explorer you may have noticed that it is not very informative as to what type of file it actually is; in other words, just by looking at it, you don't know whether it is an .ini; .exe; .docx or some other type of file. The file extensions are, by default, simply not shown. The instructions below will show you how to disable this option and get Vista to show its hidden file extensions.


1. Open Windows






Change Windows Mail Preview Pane View.


By default Windows Mail displays its preview pane below the list of messages. If you want to change this view so the preview pane takes on a similar look to Microsoft Outlook, i.e., preview pane beside messages, proceed as follows:


1. Open






This Tips Are Made Possible Because Of Your Continued Donations!







Enable BCC Field In Windows Mail Email.


The BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) field enables you to sent mail to multiple targets without the list of recipients being displayed. This is particularly useful if you have an email that has to be sent to a number of your friends or colleagues. At least you can sent the mail knowing that whoever receives it will not know who else the mail has been sent to.


To enable the BCC field in Windows mail proceed






Remove Personal Information From Image Files in Vista.


All image files contain a host of information such as Author, date taken, star rating, folder path, camera speed etc; all of which you may not want the person(s) you are sending the file to see.


Removing this information






Delete Browsing History From IE 7.0


No matter what websites you visit on the Internet your web browser keeps a record of every site. In one way this is good because the details are always available if you need to revisit the site. However, if you don't want everyone else that uses your PC to go snooping around the sites you have visited you need to get rid of the evidence.


While deleting browsing history will prevent others from immediately viewing the






Set Vista Notification Pop-ups To Stay On Screen Longer


Sometimes the little windows that pop out of the taskbar to notify you of some event, such as a USB device you just plugged in being ready to use, disappear too quickly.


To extend the duration of notification windows






PC Power Conservation: It's not just for Notebooks anymore.


The preset power schemes in Windows XP and Vista are too generic to match your unique computing style. Creating your own custom scheme can reduce your energy bill without cutting into your work time.


All those little light-emitting diodes glowing green, blue, yellow, and every other






This Tips Are Made Possible Because Of Your Continued Donations!




Clif Notes Freeware Reviews




Question about Vista? Post Them at the Address Below.




Click The Link Below To Get My NewsLetter.




Kids And Computers






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.

















Tabbloid.com - have RSS feeds sent to your email

Posted by ClifNotes, Feb 2009, permalink Web Service


I don't always have time to check all of my RSS feeds and the Tabbloid service is a new tool I've taken up to help me stay current with happenings on the web.


After giving Tabbloid a RSS address and your email address, you'll get your RSS feed sent via email. They send you a nicely formatted PDF file that you can open or save to read at your leisure. Don't worry about giving your email address away. So far, I haven't gotten any spam from them.


Quote from the website

Turn your favorite feeds into a personal magazine

∙ Pro design

∙ Automatic delivery

∙ 1-step setup

∙ Free

∙ No account required




ActiveFreeStuff.com - all kinds of stuff, no money needed

Posted by ClifNotes, Feb 2009, permalink Web Service


Since you're here, you probably like free stuff. I don't know how much software that they can point you to but there is plenty of other stuff to look for there. It's not the type of site that I typically visit, but they have gotten a good rating from SiteAdvisor, so it's safe to visit them.


Quote from the website

Hi, Welcome to Active Free Stuff.

Our purpose is simple, to bring free stuff to the internet community. Simply browse around and get tons of free stuff or you can sign up for our free stuff newsletter to get weekly free stuff right to your email.





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.


February 20 2009 COOLSITES Newsletter #205 by Mark Donaldson

• Parental Control Software Review: http://askbobrankin.com/parental_control_software.html

• Freeware by Bapuli: http://bapuli.reflectionsindia.org/programs.htm

• Freeware by Xworks: http://www.xworks.ca/

• kidscolorings.net - Coloring pages at kidscolorings.net: http://www.kidscolorings.net/

• New. Unscrambled searches for all possible words in a Scramble or Shake & Spell grid. You just enter the letters you see on the screen, specify what maximum word length you wish to search for: http://www.unscramblethat.com/

• Update. foobar2000 Beta 1 audio player: http://www.foobar2000.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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