• 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. Connect your Gmail, DriveDropbox, and Slack accounts and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio will automatically organize all your file attachments. Learn more and claim your free account.



 Newsletter Archive    Reviews Archive    


Subscribe to this free newsletter?



Welcome to Clif Notes Newsletter

March 29, 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


Topics in this week's letter




Comodo Antivirus - another free AV alternative

Posted by ClifNotes, March 2009, permalink Anti-Virus Tools


Recently I tried out the lastest version of AntiVir. It's good, in fact it's rated as the best pick at Gizmo's site. I've used it before, but I got tired of seeing the pop-up ads every time it updated. I was told you can disable the ads, but I moved on anyway.


While browsing around, I found out that Comodo includes an Antivirus application in it's Comodo Internet Security Suite. I've always been impressed by Comodo's firewall application.


Here are the steps I went through during installation.

1. I unchecked the Firewall application. I don't need it right now.

2. I chose not to allow the ThreatFire community suggestions because I think they only work with the Firewall.

3. I allowed the Comodo SafeSurf toolbar (for Internet Explorer) I don't use IE much and I know I can get rid of it easy if I don't like it.

4. I chose not to give my email address to Comodo.

5. I did allow Comodo to scan my system for viruses when it started the first time.


Comodo's Antivirus updated as soon as it fired up and started scanning my PC for viruses. I have tons of files on this PC and it did take about 15 minutes. I don't think that's bad at all. However, it did pop up a few false alarms. Pay attention to what it considers to be malware or untrusted applications. Like most AV programs, it's not perfect and it will err on the side of alarm rather than acceptance. Comodo will allow you to ignore programs that you know are safe.


So far I'm happy with it. It updates daily and plays well with my other applications. I can't promise that it's the best but I wouldn't tell you not to use it.


click to expand picture


Quote from the website

  Comodo AntiVirus detects and removes threats that are present on your machine and forms an additional layer of security on top of the threat prevention offered by the Firewall component of Comodo Internet Security. In order to maintain maximum security levels, Comodo advise you to run regular AntiVirus scans.







SUMo - software update manager

Posted by ClifNotes, Mar 2009, permalink System Maintenance


Tiffany sent me this in email. She's tried it and the last time we chatted, she mentioned how much she likes it.


Hi Clif,
I think this is something you will like. My weekly newsletter from Information Avenue *Premium Edition arrived this morning, and their "Freeware Pick of the Week" looks like a real winner.  With just one click, SUMo will scan your entire computer, then list all the software you have installed on it, along with any major and minor updates available.  SUMo also tells you which ones are already up-to-date.  Any programs needing updating are quickly and easily brought up-to-par by right-clicking and selecting "Get Update".  What could be easier?  SUMo is a great program for all Windows users!


click to expand picture


Quote from the website

SUMo, which stands for Software Update Monitor. Thanks to SUMo you'll be able to keep your PC up-to-date by using the most recent version of your favorite software! Unlike build-in auto update features, SUMo tells you if updates are available before you need to use your software.



  • Automatic detection of installed software
  • Detects required updates / patchs for your software
  • Filter / authorize Beta versions (user setting)
  • Ignore list : only tracks software YOU want to track
  • More compatibility and less false positive than others Update Monitors (according to users feedback ;-)
  • Internationalization support.


Download:  http://www.kcsoftwares.com/index.php?sumo



Launchy - stop searching for programs

Posted by ClifNotes, Mar 2009, permalink Desktop Tools


If you have dozens of programs installed on your PC (like I do), then it can be a real adventure just finding stuff in your "All Programs" start menu. Sometimes, a program is listed under the authors title and it really doesn't have the same name as the program. That's very frustrating!


Now comes Launchy. Just install it, then hit Alt+Space on your keyboard and up pops a small search box. Start typing in the program's name and it displays all the closest matches. Once you see what you want just click on it to launch it. That's great, and I think I'll keep this little program around.



Launchy website


If you need a program finding launcher like this one, with even more features, try out Find and Run Robot.

Give us a comment below if you've ever used a program like these.




Karen's Replicator - easy scheduled file backups

Posted by ClifNotes, Mar 2009, permalink Backup Tools


A few years ago, I was at work and I wrote up a clumsy DOS batch file to backup some network files for me. Some of the other folks I worked with saw what I was doing and asked me to set them up too. Recently, one of my co-workers asked me to modify it to work for his PC at home. He only wanted to copy some folders to his USB flash drive whenever his PC started up.


After some thought, I recommended Karen's Replicator to him. He was thrilled to see all the features he wanted and more. If you need a simple way to back up files at sheduled intervals, give Replicator a try.  


click to expand picture


Quote from the website

Automatically backup files, directories, even entire drives! Karen's Replicator copies selected files from one drive/folder to another. Source and Destination folders can reside anywhere on your network.

Options include repeated copies at intervals as short as a few minutes, or as long as several months, copy only files that have changed, and the replication of folder and file deletions.

New features allow you to specify which files should not be copied, and also which days a file should be skipped!





Be sure to check out the rest of Karen's free utilities.





Will you like Internet Explorer 8?

Posted by ClifNotes, March 2009, permalink Web Browser


I read every issue of Terry's Computer Tips. Last week, he told everyone about his first try on the new IE8 browser. He had some trouble and his initial opinions changed as he started using it. Don't look for any fantastic speed in the new browser, but you may find a few things that you'll like ...


Quote from Terry: 

The first time I started IE8, I was underimpressed by its new speed.
Be sure to read the rest of Terry's article:


Quote from Microsoft:

    *  Browser performance: See and learn how Internet Explorer 8 stacks up against the competition.

    *  Security: Learn how Internet Explorer 8 helps keeps you safer online.

    *  Speed and ease in the real world: Learn how Internet Explorer 8 delivers the best web experience.






Xenocode - Try all the web browsers without installing them

Posted by ClifNotes, March 2009, permalink Web Browser


Xenocode has some great freebies right now. You can download "sandboxed" versions of IE8, IE7, IE6, Safari, Firefox2, Firefox3, Chrome1 and Opera. What do they mean by sandboxed? These are all single executable files. No installation needed and they don't keep a history. They also won't affect any other browsers you already have.


Get 'em now while they're still available. Just click on the green icon displayed on each browser picture.



Quote from the website

Web designers, system administrators, and other users can now evaluate Internet Explorer 8, 7, and 6, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari, Opera, and Google Chrome directly from the web in a risk-free manner.  Unlike traditional software applications, Xenocode WebApps do not require any software to be installed and allow multiple application versions to run side-by-side on any version of Windows.






MenuMaid - clean up the right click menus

Posted by ClifNotes, March 2009, permalink Registry Tools


Awhile back I mentioned that I'd like to try out this program. Elizabeth commented with a great recommendation below.


I have been using MenuMaid for some time now, and it's great. It's the easiest way to clean up your right-click menu. I especially like the fact that I can restore items to the menu anytime. It's a terrific little freebie.

Quote from the website

Are you looking for a fast and easy way to clean up your Window Explorer and Internet Explorer right-click (context) menu? Look no further. MenuMaid makes it simple! Just uncheck the items you don't want to show up. Restore them at any time.






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.


Scroll down to add your own request or reply:


Comments from the last newsletter


LastPass - you don't have to remember more than one password •

Pixlr - online image editor kicks mspaint to the curb •

Xenon Portable File Manager - lets you open apps on your thumbdrive, not the host pc •

TKexe Kalendar creates photo calendars of any size •

PCLinuxOS - great Linux live CD and installed OS •



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.



Document That Problem Before Contacting Support!


Have you ever run into a problem with your computer that happened to bring up an error message? I'm sure you have. You're really lucky if you've never had to deal with that. Well, when that happens, wouldn't it be nice if you could just capture that error message and send it to someone else so they could help you figure out what's wrong? It sure would save me quite a few times! Well, lucky




Registry Hack to Set Internet Explorer Start Page.

System administrators will almost always set the default home page for the browser to the corporate website or intranet when building a machine. This is just a small registry hack that will set the home page for IE6 or IE7.

You could probably




How To Repair XP and Avoid a Full Reinstall.

I have covered this one before and have posts with Graphics on how to do the following steps.  This is just the text version all on one page.

One of the ideas behind the Windows XP installation CD was




Quickly Map a Network Drive in Windows XP.


Do you want to quickly map a drive, but can’t find the toolbar button? If you map drives often, use one of these options to add a Map Drive button to the folder toolbar.

Option One (Long Term Fix):

• Click Start, click My Computer, right-click the




Create a Personal Screen Saver in Windows XP.

For a great way to put your digital photos to work, try creating a slide show presentation for use as a screen saver.

• Right–click an empty spot on your desktop, and then click




Create a Keyboard Shortcut to Open a Folder in XP.


Do you have a folder to which you want instant access from anywhere on your computer? For example, if you want the My Music folder to pop up while Internet Explorer or Word is maximized, follow these steps:

• Select the folder in Windows Explorer.

• Create a shortcut, and place




Show Hidden Program or System Files in Windows XP.


Showing hidden files can come in handy when you've tried to delete everything from a floppy disk and the disk properties still indicate 100K of disk space is being used by hidden files.

To see hidden files:




Rename a Series of Files in Windows XP.


When you are sometimes confronted with files that often have unrecognizable names. You can rename several similar files at once with the following procedure. This also works for renaming any type of files.

To rename a series of files:

1. Open the




Very Slow Boot When Networking in XP Pro.


On some XP Pro installations, when connected to a network (peer-peer in this case), the computer boot time is over 1:40. The system seems to freeze after logging in and the desktop may not appear or will freeze for a minute. As timed with the utility, Bootvis.exe, the problem was with the driver mrxsmb.dll, adding over 67 seconds




Use the Ultimate Configuration Tool (XP Pro Only)


One of the most full featured Windows XP configuration tools available is hidden right there in your system, but most people don't even know it exists. It's called the Local Group Policy Editor, or gpedit for short.

To invoke this




This Tips Are Made Possible Because Of Your Continued Donations!




Clif Notes Freeware Reviews



Add the Run command to the Vista Start Menu

Beginning way back with the release of Windows 1.0, Microsoft has been all about the GUI interface (more or less effectively). But sometimes you just want to run a program without having to navigate the GUI maze of menus and folders.

Windows Vista, by default, does not




Disable the Welcome Center and Sidebar

The Windows Vista default setting is to show the Welcome Center on startup. While the Welcome Center is mildly interesting the first time you see it, you will quickly tire of it appearing every time you boot your Vista PC. This behavior is easily




Change the Vista Product Key.

A Windows Vista installation disk essentially has all of the various editions of Vista included on that one disk. Which version gets installed is dependent on what product key you enter during the installation process. At some point you may want to upgrade




Start Windows Explorer at somewhere other than documents in Vista.

While Windows Vista has desktop search that will theoretically allow you the option of merely typing in a location on your hard disk to get an Explorer view, some users will undoubtedly prefer to use Windows Explorer. By default, Windows Explorer in Vista shows you the files located in the user Documents folder. Follow these steps to




Privacy tweak in Vista.

As a convenience, Windows Vista by default saves and displays a list of recently opened files and programs on the Start Menu. This is supposed to make it easier




Smaller icons on Vista Start Menu

The icons located on the Windows Vista Start Menu default to large.

For many users, the personal preference will be for those icons to be much smaller. Here is




Add Internet Explorer to the Vista Desktop

For some reason known only to the Windows Vista development team, there is no easy option to add the Internet Explorer icon to the Vista Desktop.

You can add Computer, Recycle Bin, and the Control Panel --- perhaps someone can explain that to me. In the meantime, if you want to add Internet Explorer you




Change Security Center Notifications

One of the most often leveled criticisms of Windows has been its lack of security. To overcome that perception Microsoft had programmed Vista to complain loudly and often if it discovers your malware, firewall or virus protection software is off or requires maintenance. For many users, the constant




Set Folder options in Vista.

One of the first things experienced users change when they get a new Windows computer is change the Folder View options to a preferred setting. Windows Vista is no exception




Adjust power settings in Vista.

By default, Windows Vista sets the power options to what it calls a "Balanced" plan. While for many users this plan will be adequate, there are many who will want to make adjustments. For laptop users specifically, settings




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.








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 27 2009 COOLSITES Newsletter #210 Mark Donaldson

• Freeware by 1 Hour Software by Skrommel: http://www.donationcoder.com/Software/Skrommel/index.html#LabelControl

• Freeware by MISHA CHERKES: http://mikelab.kiev.ua/index_en.php?page=PROGRAMS/programs_en

• Freeware Games by nightwolfproductions: http://nightwolfproductions.wordpress.com/

• QtWeb 2.0 compact, portable and secure alternative web browser: http://www.qtweb.net/

• Google Chrome  browser: http://www.google.com/chrome

• FormatFactory 1.80 multifunctional media converter: http://www.formatoz.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



Social Network News from Sarah In Tampa

Source - http://sarahintampa.com



Security news from Malware Advisor

Source - http://temerc.blogspot.com/



A view from CyberNirvana

Source - http://zia.blogspot.com/






Frapper - you people live all over the world!


Wow! Almost 1000 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 7 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.


Have fun and surf safely.



http://clifnotes.net & http://freewarewiki.pbwiki.com

Devoted to promoting Freeware and Free Information



Please provide a link back to the webpage used if you publish any part of Clif's pages.


Visitors to Clif Notes: