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BUG-BYTES

VIEWS: 13 PAGES: 5

  • pg 1
									                                              B UG -B YTES
                                           THE MONTHLY ONLINE NEWSLETTER OF COMPUTER BUGS

VOL . 8, ISSUE 05                                                                                           MAY   2009

                                         offer more advanced versions of their     JAVA program from Sun. The author
 FABULOUS FREEBIES                       free software, with additional capabil-   suggests that you voluntarily make a
 SOMETIMES FREE IS GREAT                 ities, or with useful bundles.            small contribution for his program.
                                         Antivirus software is an example of       However, if you are strapped for cash,
                                         this type of offering. Vendors, such      just tell him so, and he will send you
FREEWARE
                                         as AVAST, AVIRA, and AVG offer            the program anyway.
                                         internet security software that bun-
              There is a saying “That                                                             NOTICE
                                         dles antivirus, firewall, malware and
              there is no free lunch.”   spam filters. However, you have to        I use, have used, or have tested the
              We have to modify that     pay for the more capable bundles.         following freeware programs and can
              saying somewhat when       The advantage of bundled software is      recommend their use. The list of
              we are talking about       that the individual modules are de-       programs in not exhaustive, but it
computer software. There are some        signed to work seamlessly with each       does demonstrate that lots of good
very useful free software programs,      other. A plus is that you only have to    free software is available. Download
and also a lot of bad and dangerous      go to one source for updates.             only those programs that appeal to
free programs. The trick is to decide                                              you and to the way you work. You
which free software will be useful to    Some freeware comes with hooks.
                                         For example, a free program may add       may be pleasantly surprised at what
you, and of those which are good and                                               you find here.
safe, and which free software should     a modest signature line to outgoing e-
be avoided at all cost.                  mail to advertise their product.                FREE SOFTWARE SUMMARY
                                         SpamFighter is one such example.
Search with Google, or your current                                                I will briefly describe the following
favorite search engine, and search for   Then there are free software products     free software.
reviews about the software you are       that include malware (adware,
considering downloading. Armed           spyware, and keystroke loggers) as a       Adobe Reader
with that information, you can avoid     means to generate income for their         Ashampoo Clip Finder
nasty surprises.                         firms. The worse of the lot include        Avast!
                                         ‘phone home’ capabilities that com-
                                                                                    AVG
You don’t have to pay for ‘Free’ soft-   promise your personal data and which
ware. For instance, in a collegial       track your computer’s usage. Some of       Avira
manner, some software writers enjoy      these programs offer ‘fun’ but they        Belarc Advisor
sharing their brainchildern with oth-    give you pain instead. Beware!             Bullzip PDF
ers, and they don’t expect any kind of                                              CCleaner
payback.                                 SHAREWARE
                                                                                    Comodo
                 Other free software     Shareware vendors offer specialized        Copernic Desktop Search
                 publishers may offer    software at very low prices. Much of       CuteSendIt
                 free software ver-      their software, but not all, is written
                                                                                    DriverMax
                 sions as a way to       by single individuals. One outstand-
                                         ing example is AKGbackup by                FastStone Image Viewer
                 attract you to their
                 web sites where         www.akgupta.com. This is an ex-            Foxit Reader
                 they offer a range of   tremely fast and easy way to backup        GIMP
                 software products       your all of your files. The program        Irfanview
                 for which you do        requires that JAVA be installed on         Magical Jelly Bean Key Finder
have to pay. In those cases they may     your computer. You get the free
                                                                                    Notepad++


                                                          -1-
 VOL . 8, ISSUE 05                                   Bug-Bytes                                              MAY   2009


 OpenOffice                               into their own integrated packages.
                                          These more capable bundles are for-
 PC-Decrapifier
                                          pay products.
 PC Inspector™ File Recovery
 PC Inspector™ Smart Recovery             For consumers who want to only use
 Personal Software Inspector              free products, Consumer Reports
                                          recommends a combination of Avira
 Picasa
                                          antivirus, Microsoft Windows De-
 Photo Resizer                            fender and SpamFighter. Add
 Skype                                    Comodo for a good free firewall.
 SpamFighter
                                          www.avira.com
 Startup Inspector
                                          Belarc Advisor scans
                                          your computer and pro-
      FREE SOFTWARE DETAILS               duces a very useful report.
                                          The report lists the equip-
The following programs are free of
                                          ment and software you
spyware (at least when I tested or last
                                          have.
used them), and they are very useful
programs.                                 www.belarc.com
                                          Bullzip PDF is a print
                             Adobe        driver. It ‘prints’ to a file
                             Reader       to produce a PDF version
reads PDF files. PDF stands for Por-      of any document that you normally
table Document Format. Adobe cre-         print.www.bullzip.com
ated PDF to enable users to share         CCleaner easyily re-                           CCleaner menu example
documents that can be viewed on any       moves unwanted tem-
computer or operating system as long      porary files, old clip-                Comodo offers a highly-rated free
as the software is installed.             board files, memory                    firewall. It adds another layer of secu-
                                          dumps, Chkdsk frag-                    rity to stop hackers from compromis-
Adobe Reader is designed for busi-
                                          ments, and cleans out                  ing your computer.          Check the
nesses and includes many plug-ins
                                          your recycle bin.                      Comodo web site for other free pro-
that are not needed by home users.
                                                                                 grams as well.
Now, there are many PDF readers.          However, for safety sake, I recom-
Foxit Reader is light version that        mend that only a small number of the
takes up little space on a hard drive     options be checked. Personally, I
and opens very quickly.                   check only the items shown in the
                                          screen shot at the top right.        www.comodo.com
Ashampoo Clip Finder is used to
locate and capture videos from            I once made the mistake of checking                Copernic Desktop Search
YouTube and similar sources. Think        the option (not shown) to remove Old               is a popular search tool
of this free program as a                 Prefetch data. That is not recom-                  used to search your com-
video search engine.                      mended. Now Vista will not use the                 puter for data, music ,
                                          ReadyBoost feature to speed up load-   graphic files, e-mail messages, and
www.ashampoo.com
                                          ing Windows. I am really sorry I       contacts. It updates in the background.
Avast, Avira, and AVG publish free        experimented with that option.         Unlike the Windows search program,
antivirus programs, and each pub-                                                you are not aware it is even operating
lisher also offers internet security      www.ccleaner.com                       in the background.
suites that bundle antivirus, spyware
                                                                                 www.copernic.com
blocker, spam filter, and a firewall

                                                            -2-
 VOL . 8, ISSUE 05                                   Bug-Bytes                                                 MAY   2009


CuteSendIt answers the question,          effects, and to view your photo collec-                 Irfanview is a popular
“How can I send very large files?” E-     tion. See FastStone Image Viewer                        graphics converter,
mail is not designed to send very large   and FastStone Photo Resizer                             viewer, and simple full
files. In fact, many ISPs, or your                                                                screen slideshow. The
                                          www.faststone.org
software, restricts file attachments to                                                           program also plays au-
keep such files small.                                                              dio files.
CuteSendIt uses File Transfer Proto-                                                http://www.irfanview.com/
col (FTP) to upload your large files to
their server. You provide your e-mail     Foxit Reader is a very fast to open       Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder
address, the e-mail address to which      and small footprint PDF reader. For       quickly locates Microsoft registration
you want to send the file, and browse     most home owners it is all that you       keys, such as for the operating system
to the file you want to send.             will ever need to view PDF files.         and Microsoft office. If you can’t
                                                                                    find your registration information, this
CuteSendIt sends the url address for      http://www.foxitsoftware.com/
                                                                                    product can save your bacon.
your file to your recipient. They just
click on the url and the file is down-
loaded to their computer just like any
large file.
www.cutesendit.com                        GIMP is a an advanced
                                          photo editing program
                                          that has some of the fea-
                                          tures of programs like
DriverMax scans your computer             Adobe Photoshop. How-
                                          ever, it can’t compete with Adobe         For example the product located these
drivers and lists the updates that are
                                          Photoshop Elements or Jasc’s Paint        keys on my main computer. Not
available. It works with both XP and
                                          Shop Pro. Then again, the latter two      shown are the keys that displayed in a
Vista. The downloads are free.
                                          products cost just under $100.            drop down window to the right of the
Review the suggested updates. I rec-                                                screen shot.
ommend that you pass on updates that      http://www.gimp.org/
                                                                                    http://www.magicaljellybean.com/
are beta releases, or where the re-
ported success rate for installing the                                              Notepad++ is beefed up replacement
updates is very low.                                                                for Windows’ Notepad, with many
                                                                                    more features.




                                                                                    http://www.magicaljellybean.com/
                                                                                                 OpenOffice is a free of-
                                                                                                 fice suite similar to
www.drivermax.com                                                                                Microsoft Office. It opens
FastStone Image Viewer is an easy                                                                Microsoft documents,
way to resize images, to do some light                                              PowerPoint slide presentations, and
editing, to convert images, to create                                               Excel files.
slideshows with many transitional                      GIMP Tools                   www.openoffice.org

                                                           -3-
 VOL . 8, ISSUE 05                                    Bug-Bytes                                                MAY   2009


PC-decrapifier removes                     http://secunia.com/vulnerability_sca      Skype and similar services use the
junk promotional files                     nning/personal/                           Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP).
and unnecessary pro-                                                                 If you regularly have big long distance
grams from new comput-                     Picasa 3 is the latest version of this    phone bills, take a look Skype’s sub-
ers. Start out fresh.                                         very popular photo     scription rates. For example, unlim-
                                                              manager and editor.    ited calls in the US and Canada are
Go to this address to see a list of what
                                                              It offers even more    $2.95 per month to cellphones and
the program finds.
                                                              easy to use features   landlines.
http://pcdecrapifier.com/                  including the ability to share uploaded
                                           albums with friends.                      Similarly, Charter and Quest, and
          Convar’s PC-Inspector                                                      other broadband internet provides,
          File Recovery locates and                                                  offer bundles with VOIP services.
                                           Play the video showing what is new at
          recovers lost files. The
                                           http://picasa.google.com/
          program works with Win-                                                    www.skype.com
dows XP and Vista.
                                           FastStone Photo Resizer
The program supports the following         makes short work of                                    Spamfighter is a popular
file formats:ARJ AVI BMP CDR DOC           resizing photo images to                               spam locker for Outlook
DXF DBF XLS EXE GIF HLP HTML               send to friends either in                              Express and Windows
HTM JPG LZH and MID                        e-mail messages, docu-                                 Mail. The program auto-
http://www.pcinspector.de/default.ht       ments, or as prints.                                   matically filters spam and
          m?language=1                                                                            phishing messages. The
                                           In addition, the program converts         free version prints a small signature
           PC-Inspector Smart Re-          photos, renames, crops, rotates,          line at the end of your outgoing e-mail
           covery is designed to re-       changes color depth, adds text, and       messages. Their web site offers a free
           cover deleted photos from       adds watermarks to single images or       version and a paid pro version with
           digital camera film cards.      to batches of photos.                     additional features.
Recover data from Flash Card™,
Smart Media™, SONY Memory                  It is now possible to preview conver-     www.spamfighter.com
Stick™, IBM™ Micro Drive, Multi-           sions before the changes are final.
media Card, Secure Digital Card or                                                             Startup Inspector provides
any other data carrier for digital cam-    http://www.faststone.org/FSResizer                  information to help you
eras.                                      Detail.htm                                          decide which programs are
www.pcinspector.de/Sites/smart_rec                                                             necessary at startup and
overy/info.htm?language=1                                   Skype lets you make      which are not.
                                                            free phone calls from    The application scans your computer
                      Secunia’s Per-                        Skype-user to Skype-
                      sonal Software                                                 and lists the programs that are asking
                                                            user via your com-       permission to load at startup.
                      Inspector scans      puter, or to make low costs calls to
                      your computer        landline standard phones. For com-        Except for your internet security pro-
for insecure software programs. In         puter to computer calls, a headset with   gram (antivirus, spyware, spam,
addition it identifies end-of-life pro-    microphone is required, or a video        firewall), very few programs are nec-
grams, and list all of your patched        cam with built in microphone.             essary at startup. Startup Inspector
programs.                                                                            codes the programs it finds with the
                                           With a web cam, you can see your          following codes. This makes it easier
The program provides easy to use           caller if they are also equipped with a   to decide which programs to uncheck.
links that enable you to manually          web cam.
update your at risk software.                                                        Notice that only the starred items are
                                           There is even a cellphone to cellphone    required by your system.
                                           plan. Go to the following site for
                                           more information.

                                                            -4-
 VOL . 8, ISSUE 05                                      Bug-Bytes                       MAY   2009


It is amazing how many fewer prob-           both a discounted price for the prod-
lems you have, and how fast your             uct plus a rebate offer. The price after
computer starts after youo pare down         rebate at the time I looked was $54.99
the list of programs that start when-        for those upgrading PS Elements.
ever you start your computer.
                                                        SAMPLE REVIEW
                                             Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 is a
                                             very popular photo editing and photo
                                             managing software package. It pro-
                                             vides advanced editing functions for
                                             serious photographers. For instance it
                                             includes a clone tool and special ef-
                                             fects like teeth brightening, making
Startup Inspector has a database of          skies bluer, and a photo scene cleaner.
about 6300 programs. Thus, it may            Photoshop Elements provides tools
show many unknown programs. How-             that are not available in free photo
ever, it still gives you useful informa-     editing packages, and provides many
tion.                                        of the tools that are also part of the
Remember, except for you internet            professional Photoshop package.
security program almost all other
programs are optional at startup. If
you uncheck a program and find that
you later want it to load at startup, just
reopen Startup Inspector and check
that item.
http://www.windowsstartup.com/



    COMING ATTRACTIONS
   Reviews of great software that is
         priced under$100


            New month, I will cover
            what I believe are some
            great software products
            priced under $100.
            Do comparison price
shopping with www.pricegrabber.com
and www.amazon.com.           Use the
power of the internet to keep your
options high and your cost of software
ownership low. Be sure to check for
current rebates which may make the
price you pay even lower. As exam-
ple, look up Photoshop Elements 7 at
Amazon.com. Notice that they offer

                                                               -5-

								
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