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Clif Notes Newsletter          January 16, 2005
Notice - Clif_Notes is now a member of the Freeware Revolution 

 Help What is True Freeware?
My website and newsletter both specialize in freeware reviews. My site drew the attention of a great group of people that fly the banner of "The Freeware Revolution". I accepted their invitation to join them and from now on I promise to make sure I classify any software I review here. If it's not true freeware, then I'll tell you. We will never tell you that software is bad because it doesn't meet the conditions below but we do want to educate everyone on what freeware is. Many websites offer "free downloads", but it's not the same as freeware. Don't be confused. Read the definition below.

True Freeware:
Software that requires no payments (in any form)
Does not have registration requirements
Does not come with spyware/adware or other malware bundled inside it
Has all features 100% fully working
Does not have time limits
Does not require payment for access to support information
Allows you to freely share the program with friends, family and collegues
Reviews

SecurityMS AntiSpyware vs Ad-Aware vs SpyBot - review by FlexBeta.net
Here is a comparison between these three spyware/adware removal tools. So far all three are freeware. However the Microsoft program may not be free for long. Why should Microsoft charge us for spyware removal that is mostly caused by vulnerabilities in their software? So they can keep on getting paid to make faulty software?
 
I've made up my mind. I will not use MS AntiSpyware unless they keep a freeware version available. I mean a true freeware version. "Freeware is defined as software that is available for download and use at NO costs, it is NOT shareware, it is NOT trialware, not a demo and contains no adware, spyware or any malware that contains intrusive components." Quote from FreewareArena 

Website - Freeware Review by FlexBeta.net 

Quote from the website - Though Microsoft’s new toy offers really nice feature as we are about to explore, how well does it match up against the already known spyware removal champs; Ad-Aware and SpyBot S&D? Let us find out.

 DisksCopernic Desktop Search - search for files on your PC almost instantly
CDS works pretty much as advertised, although I was unable to get it to search my email. When CDS first installs, it "indexes" all the files on your hard drives. This took over an hour on my system. CDS also wants to run at startup in the system tray. Great program overall.
Website - Freeware - works best with WinXP
Quote from the website - Easily search your entire hard drive in less than a second to pinpoint the right file, e-mail, music or pictures. CDS brings the power of a sophisticated, yet easy-to-use search engine right to your PC and allows you instantly to search files, e-mails, and email attachments stored anywhere on your PC hard drive. It executes sub-second searching of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files, Acrobat PDFs, and all popular music, picture and video formats. CDS also searches your browser history, favorites, and contacts.

 Internet550 Access Toolbar - block popups and enables automatic logon to websites
While I was reading about the features of this toolbar, I was most interested in it's popup blocking, formfilling, and website passkey abilities. After installing I tested the popup blocking. It does a fine job there. I tried the form fill. It's working. When you enable the ad and banner blocking those features worked well. The passkey feature is supposed to fill in login names and passwords for you at web pages that ask for them. I couldn't get this feature to work for me. It could be because I use AI Roboform for the same thing and I wasn't willing to uninstall it to try this one out. The rest of the features worked like they say. One thing I didn't like was that the Toolbar accesses the internet on it's own as soon as I fire up Internet Explorer. I don't know what it's doing that for. Summary: Seems to be safe to use and it may work better for other people than what it does for me.

Website - Freeware

Quote from the website -
 Blocks Pop-ups 

 Blocks Search Ads 

 Improves surfing speeds 

 Manages Passwords 

 Automatic Account Logins 

 Includes AutoFill 

 One-click system cleanup 

 Multiple search options 

 Customizable settings

 InternetEarthlink Toolbar - block popups, search Google, and be alert to scam websites
EarthLink Toolbar has great security features for those of you who are in fear of falling for phishing emails and other scams. I liked the EarthLink Toolbar but I had to reclassify it from freeware to adware because the built in Google takes you to a branded Google page with an Earthlink header and a banner ad in it. If you don't use the Google search box you can hide it and you'll never see those ads.
Website - Adware
Quote from the website - Displays a visual safety rating for each Web page you visit. Alerts you before you enter a page that's on our list of known scammers or has characteristics commonly associated with fraudulent Web sites. Includes our innovative Pop-Up BlockerSM tool. Offers a built-in Google search box for fast, anytime access to the Web's top search engine. Features five clickable, up-to-the-minute news headlines

 InternetClif Notes Toolbar - integrated search and RSS feed to my newsletter
I created this little toolbar just for fun. I don't really expect anyone to use it. I used the toolbar wizard at EffectiveBrand.com. The toolbar does show "effective results" which are exactly like the text ads that Google uses at their website. The "effective results" can also be turned off in the options. I have no problem with adware as long as it clearly tells you exactly what to expect when you install it and doesn't try to spy on you or install other third party software. This toolbar is perfectly safe to use and should not be flagged by Adaware or Spybot. This branded toolbar is perfect for any webmaster or newsletter publisher who wants to expand their free offerings and allow their readers easy access to RSS feeds.
Clif Notes Toolbar - Make you own toolbar - Privacy Statement - adware - requires IE5 or greater
EffectiveBrand's family of toolbars is used by over 12 million users world wide. Is this toolbar safe? The EffectiveBrand family of toolbars does not violate users privacy and does not create security holes - as verified by SpyBot and privacy consultancy Doxdesk.com.

Editors IntelliEdit - a great replacement for WordPad
IntelliEdit from FlashPeak.com is a great rich text editor with multitabbed windows and a cool word autocompletion feature. When you paste url links into it, they are clickable and send you to the website in your internet browser.
Website - Freeware
IntelliEdit is a Rich Text Editor powered by smart autocompletion. It can autocomplete words and phrases, auto-expand shorthands. It can even learn new words and phrase while typing. IntelliEdit can tremendously boost your typing speed. IntelliEdit is based on a tab-page MDI interface. You can create, edit and print multiple RTF documents conveniently in IntelliEdit. IntelliEdit is slim in size and quick to load.

 GrahicsPowerPoint Viewer - good freeware from Microsoft
If you've been around the web for awhile, you've definitely run into PPS files and you might have wondered what they are. PPS stands for PowerPoint Show. PowerPoint is probably one of the most common formats for presenting graphical information is slide show style. Once you've installed this software, you can view any PPS file.
Website  Freeware
Quote from the website - The PowerPoint Viewer 97 allows people who use PowerPoint to share their presentations with people who do not have PowerPoint installed on their computers. When you post presentations on the Internet, you can include the PowerPoint Viewer to expand your online audience to people who might not have PowerPoint, or to those with different versions. You can use this viewer to view files created in both PowerPoint for Windows® and PowerPoint for the Macintosh.
TIPS

Editors Adobe Acrobat Reader 7 - update your Acrobat to fix a security hole
Nearly all the popular software for Windows PC's has been found to have vulnerabilities. Now they've found one for Adobe Acrobat Reader. To better protect your computer, you should upgrade to version 7 of Acrobat Reader. Check out the link below to PDF SpeedUp. I've found that it helps PDF files open much faster and lets you turn off many unused features of Acrobat Reader. PDF SpeedUp is a "must have" for those who are using dial-up internet services.
Adobe Acrobat Website - PDF SpeedUp - Freeware
Quote from the website - free software that lets you view, print, search, and share Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files more securely using a variety of platforms and devices. Adobe Reader 7.0 features a faster launch time and real-time zooming and panning.

 SecurityLSPfix - fix your broken internet connection
My wife's cousin called us up one day and mentioned she was having trouble with Trojans on her system. She just couldn't get rid of them. I advised her to download LSPfix and send me a HJT log. She made the repairs to her system that I advised, however she misplaced the LSPfix file and she also lost her internet connection. If she'd had it ready to go she could have been back online in a few minutes. In the end she was ok after she reinstalled her ISP provider's software.

Website - Freeware requires Winsock 2 (most pc's have it, Win95 may not)

Quote from the website - LSP-Fix is a free utility to repair a specific type of problem associated with certain Internet software. Unfortunately, this type of software is sometimes quietly installed by unrelated software such as file-sharing programs, sneaking onto a system unannounced. In fact, in many cases, the user does not know of its existence until something goes wrong, and he/she can no longer access Web sites. Common offenders include New.net* (NEWDOTNET) and WebHancer*, which are often bundled with file-sharing utilities, DVD player software, and other free downloads. LSP-Fix repairs the Winsock LSP chain by removing the entries left behind when LSP software is removed by hand (or when errors in the software itself break the LSP chain), and removing any gaps in the chain.

 Help Mac Mini - get a Macintosh computer for $500
I've never used a Mac. Why? Too darned expensive and I've never used one. Now they are getting smart. This is an offer that has me thinking that I might wait a year or two and pick up a used Mac Mini just so I can say I've used an Apple Macitosh PC. Take a look at this computer. It only weighs 3 lbs or 1.4 kilograms and you can pick it up in one hand. To use the Mac Mini all you need to have are USB keyboard and USB mouse and almost any monitor. Why would a person want a Mac? They've always been easy to use and so far there just aren't many viruses and spyware that can live on a Mac. In other words it's a great PC for newbies.

Website - Product review

Quote from the website - All that, and not an inch of wasted space. Apple engineers designed this small wonder from the ground up to deliver the most Mac for the least dinero. Inside its petite 2-inch tall, 6.5-inch square anodized aluminum enclosure, Mac mini houses a 1.25 or 1.42GHz G4 processor, 40 or 80GB hard drive, a slot-loading CD-R/DVD-ROM optical drive, 256MB DDR SDRAM and ATI Radeon 9200 graphics chip with 32MB dedicated DDR SDRAM all whisper-quiet.
COOL WEBSITES

 Website Downloads Machine - freeware with a difference
I ran across this website one day and I was amazed by the variety of freeware that the author provided. Much of it is very unique. Have you ever heard of a talking firewall? Get it here.
Website  Cool Website  this site requires a free registration to download some software
Quote from the Website - Freeware with a difference. Most of it is created by the owner of Downloads Machine. There are a good few links to other free software and submissions by other software creators. Please feel free to send any feedback that will sound like a thankyou to the webmaster. If you spot any broken links or anything that doesn't seem right, your feedback is very important.

 SecurityHelp.com free online course - Combating Spam and Spyware
How do you like that? A free online course from Help.com to keep us all cruisin the net worry free. I like it. I'm going to sign up for it even if it turns out I don't need it.

Website - Class starts January 27, 2005

Quote from the website - Concerned about spam, malware, usage trackers, adware, and spyware infesting your computer? This course will teach you the basics about what spam and spyware is, how it works, and how to manage it. We'll cover the different types of spyware, learn how spyware infects a machine, and explore techniques and utilities for detecting and removing it. Next we'll take aim at spam. You'll find out how spammers fake their e-mail details, how to avoid receiving new spam, and how to manage the spam you're already receiving.

 Website XPedition - how to set up a freeware pc
The owner of this website is a young multi-talented savant who wants to help others. He says "I'm a young doctor learning cardiac surgery in this city. I'm also the "system administrator" of our clinic and our colleagues. I often help them with their computer related  problems. Because people in Hungary are usually not very rich they don't buy too much software. I don't use illegal and warez software so I've been searching for free possibilities for 2 years. That's why I'm also a Linux user and I'm using only free software under Windows too. I decided to start my webpage to help other people know about other ways they can use computers." Clif says "Keep up the good work Doctor."  If I ever visit Hungary, I'm going to look you up.


XPedition - Cool Website
Quote from the website - This site would like to demonstrate for the home Windows users how they can develop a free yet powerful and secure system environment. It tries to help in the duties of system installation as you can easily reach and install all of the components from the device drivers to the video editing tools with one or two mouse clicks.
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