Sunday, June 6, 2010
CFS Weekly Newsletter #540
CFS Weekly Newsletter #540
Web Site: http://www.completelyFREEsoftware.com
E-mail 1: editor@completelyFREEsoftware.com
E-mail 2: firstname.lastname@example.org
Welcome to the 'Completely FREE Software' Weekly Newsletter.
This is an "opt in" only newsletter. If you didn't subscribe, or wish to unsubscribe, please use the personalized address at the end of this newsletter.
Great to be back with you for another week of fabulously fresh freeware.
This week we have an awesome line-up of top quality free programs. My personal favorites were STOIK Imagic, a multimedia suite, LiberKey Ultimate, a collection of 168 portable applications, and both games (RecWar and Nineball Solitaire). However, check out all the programs reviewed below because you might find a different set of favorites.
We also have our regular columns -- Dr T's excellent Computer Tip of the Week, and our ever popular Smile of the Week.
To get access to the best downloads, why not take a minute and become a member of arguably the best freeware-only site in the world. More details from our members' page:
What are you waiting for -- become a CFS "lifer" now, or try out the site with a 1-month, 1-year or 2-year membership. We are still half the price of most other sites and I think we offer the best value for your hard earned dollar.
One small point. If you sign up for a Lifetime membership through 2CheckOut.com you might be surprised to see that, according to them, a "lifetime" is only 12 years. That is because the number 12 is the highest number option they have -- 12 weeks, 12 months, 12 years. Don't worry, at the end of 12 years you will NOT be cut off if you are a CFS 'lifer' -- your membership will continue indefinitely...
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See you same time, same station next week. 'Till then...
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COMPLETELY FREE SOFTWARE
RecWar v1.0 -- Win9x/ME/XP/Vista/7 (5 doves)
RecWar is a 2D top-down vehicle combat game for 1 or 2 players. It features a choice of 3 vehicles (tank, hovercraft or Hummer) with 8 weapons, there are 3 game modes (Deathmatch, Team War & Capture The Cow), it offers splitscreen & network play (even at the same time), you can have up to 64 players (2 human & 62 bots) & 11 teams, there are 17 included levels (more can be downloaded), the host automatically sends levels if necessary, it has configurable taunts, there is a level editor, good helpfile, and more. Short for "Recreational Warfare", the author says "the gameplay is more or less Grant (sic) Theft Auto meets Liero". RecWar has a compulsive aspect that compensates for its poor graphics' quality. In this game you must defeat the enemy units (doh!) but your equipment takes some mastering and you will probably find that initially you won't get too far without being clobbered. However, this changes as you master the controls. However good RecWar may be as a single player
game, it is best in two-player mode, whether you are playing across the Internet or just on the same machine. If you like your shooters to be somewhat unique, you will enjoy playing RecWar. A "must have" for all fans of shooter-type games. We loved! Access this 1.81MB download from:
Service Manager Plus v188.8.131.52 -- WinXP/Vista/7 (5 doves)
Service Manager Plus is an enhancement for the Windows Service Control Manager applet. It features control over the service configuration, improved service recovery configuration, displays a services' event log, offers smart service restart, you can display & edit kernel drivers/services, it has quick find, and more. This is an excellent tool for system administrators, software developers, system builders, and any PC user with some advanced knowledge who wishes to better control the various System services which are normally accessed using the Service Control Manager applet (services.msc). This enhanced version offers many more controls, plus access to a service's event log so you can easily see what has been happening with a particular service (inability to load, successful or failed operation, etc with their respective dates & times). If you are looking for hands-on control of your PC and have the knowledge to be able to make changes without crashing the System, Service Man
ager Plus is for you. We liked! Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95, 98 or ME. Access this 818kB download from:
STOIK Imagic v184.108.40.2064 -- WinXP/Vista/7 (5 doves)
STOIK Imagic is a program that combines the functions of a thumbnail browser, a photo viewer, an image editor, and a video editor. It features a digital camera auto download wizard, calendar creation, geo-tagging, it organizes video & music clips, offers CD/DVD burning, e-mail sharing, HTML album creation, basic image editing (red eye removal, rotate, resize, flip, crop, adjust brightness & color, text, etc), an horizon tool for photo alignment, photographic edges & frames, step-by-step video editing, story board interface, video scene splitting & trimming, and more. This is an amazing suite of image and video tools. While it lacks some of the features of the Pro version, the features it does offer are exceptional and they should allow users to carry out most photo and video tasks. Of course, STOIK Imagic is not as powerful as the commercial photo and video editors, but it also doesn't carry their massive price tag. The interface is easy to use and the program has a high-end
professional feel about it. For the first 30 days you get all the Pro features as well, and then it reverts to the cut-back free version. However, don't feel that this is a second-rate offering because those free features are exceptionally powerful. If we had a complaint about STOIK Imagic it would be that it tries to be all things to all people, and it falls somewhat short of that goal. However, the tools and functions it does offer are excellent and this is a real Swiss Army knife multimedia program. One aspect we really did like was the video editor which is more powerful than some of the commercial editors we have seen! While it is nice to have both photo and video functions in the same program, maybe two separate programs would suit users better... Overall, STOIK Imagic is a superb multimedia suite that tends to lean a little more towards the graphics side than the video side. If you don't mind its massive size, STOIK Imagic is definitely worth grabbing. In one word, awesome! Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95, 98 or ME. Access this 78.8MB download from:
Unit Converter EX v1.0.B -- Win9x/ME/XP/Vista/7 (5 doves)
Unit Converter EX is a utility that makes metric conversion, between various units & measurements, easy. It features 40 categories (mass, length, temperature, etc), customizable output format (separators, scientific, engineering, number of decimal points, etc), you can create your own category, it includes a typing unit (for inserting positive/negative, degree, superscript 2, superscript 3, etc), it includes a Universal Gas Constant Converter, has a good Helpfile, and more. This is an excellent metric conversion tool that has an extraordinary number of categories in its default database, plus the ability to add (or subtract) an unlimited number of categories. Unit Converter EX also includes a Universal Gas Constant Converter in the Miscellaneous section which is used to convert the gas constant value (R) using the formula P*V = n*R*T with either Rankine or Kelvin as the temperature basis. The typing unit allows for the input of numeric characters (which can also be done by ty
ping directly into the box) plus the insertion of symbols or formatting. To round out this impressive little tool is a comprehensive Helpfile. Some of the results have questionable accuracy, and this was a worry under some circumstances. For example, it says that there are 8,760 hours in a year, which is correct for a 365-day year, but there is no allowance (or option) for a Leap year. Likewise, in the same category of Time, the only monthly option is for 30 days -- it ignores 28-, 29- and 31-day months. This minor issue aside, Unit Converter EX is one of the most comprehensive unit converters we have seen, and a worthwhile addition to any computer. Worth grabbing! Access this 804kB download from:
LiberKey Ultimate v4.8 -- WinXP/Vista/7 (5 doves)
LiberKey Ultimate is a collection of 168 portable applications in 10 major categories, each designed to run from a USB pen drive. It features huge variety of applications, auto-update of portable programs, 118 additional applications to add (including games), and more. The 10 major categories included with LiberKey Ultimate are Audio, CD/DVD, File Management, Graphics, Internet, Network, Office, Security, System Utilities, and Video. Each major category includes lots of sub-categories, many of which include multiple programs. This is a hard program to define because, in essence, it is simply a presentation of various software author's programs which cover all aspects of computing -- from audio editors to video editors, from CD/DVD burning tools to anti-virus programs, from a file manager to font manager -- and each one is a fully portable application. However, the author of LiberKey Ultimate has packaged them together, added an update feature so that you can keep each of the
included applications up-to-date, and has also made available further programs to download. As long as you check for additional programs through the main LiberKey Ultimate program the Web page will acknowledge programs you already have and allow you to use the update feature within the program to get more. This is a sensational service and one that makes LiberKey Ultimate a "must have". We loved! Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95, 98 or ME. Access this 208MB download from:
CuzYa Free Website Builder v1.0 -- WinXP/Vista/7 (5 doves)
CuzYa Free Website Builder is a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) Website builder and publisher. It features unlimited number of pages, 15 templates, automatically constructed site menu, drag 'n drop, built-in tutorial, and more. CFS was unable to review this program. The author says: "Cuzya Free Website Builder is an intuitively clear application with user-friendly interface. The features include visual HTML editor and smart image handling mechanism. There are no HTML knowledge or Web experience requirements: you can easily set up the structure of your Website, choose the style, heading design, make as many Webpages as you like, and finally, publish them via FTP." The author also advises that in the free version there is a watermark added to Web images. Free on-line registration is required to use CuzYa Free Website Builder. Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95, 98 or ME. Access this 4.83MB download from:
CintaNotes v1.0B -- WinXP/Vista/7 (5 doves)
CintaNotes is a lightweight personal notes manager. It features fast insertion of a new note using the hotkey, it has fast as-you-type searching, you can link notes to a Webpage, there are 8 built-in color schemes, it minimizes to the tray, there is a portable version available, it offers auto-saving of notes, there is a good Helpfile, and more. This is a handy little notes keeper that will save a clip as a note by simply pressing the Ctrl+F12 hotkey. There is provision to add a "link" to a note and, if that is a URL, you can click on it and that page will open in your Web browser. Neat. There is a portable version (no installer) also available for download. The structure of CintaNotes is somewhat awkward at first use, though you quickly learn to adapt to it. We would have preferred to see a more common note structure, possibly based off the Windows Explorer tree, but other users may prefer this layout. CintaNotes is a great way of collecting snippets of information from vari
ous sources and storing them in its database. Worth checking out! Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95, 98 or ME. Access this 878kB download from:
Nineball Solitaire v1.0 -- Win9x/ME/XP/Vista/7 (5 doves)
Nineball Solitaire is a strategic solitaire cardgame (with a billiards theme) where you must think ahead to clear each "rack" of cards. It features challenging gameplay, no-further-moves notification, excellent graphics & sound effects, high scores, and more. Nineball Solitaire is an excellent solitaire cardgame which is lots of fun to play. The idea is to clear cards from the "rack" by matching up cards so they equal either 9 or 19 and see how many racks you can clear. When you click on the cards they become red until the correct count is reached, upon which they turn green and the "Shoot" button appears. There are great pinball style sound effects, and playing the game is an enjoyable experience so you want to come back for more and more. While there is a certain amount of chance in Nineball Solitaire, it also requires strategic gameplay. If you are bored with the regular solitaire games, try Nineball Solitaire. We don't think you will be disappointed! Access this 1.20MB do
Free Internet Window Washer -- safeguards your privacy by cleaning up the tracks of your activities on your PC and the Internet -- has been updated to version 2.8 with a new, larger download size of 1.14MB. The author has advised that changes in this version include: added three languages; added support for Firefox new version; improved 64-bit support & performance; and fixed bug for IE8 on Win7. Get this updated version from:
COMPUTER TIP OF THE WEEK
from Dr T -- RTemlak4dds@aol.com
I got an attachment but I can't seem to open it. How do I know which program to use? What if I don't have the program needed?
First off, before you open any attachment, make sure you know who sent it. Even if you do know the sender, if you aren't expecting it, you might want to send a quick note to your friend and make sure they really sent it -- specially PPS files since they can contain viruses. Also, do not open any attachments with EXE, SCR or PIF file extensions.
Nothing worse than getting a file from a friend and you don't have the right program to open it. Here are some common file extensions and the programs needed to open:
.doc - Microsoft Word
.pps - MS PowerPoint
.xls - MS Excel worksheet
.wpd - Corel WordPerfect
.pdf - Adobe Acrobat
.jpg - JPEG graphic file
.zip - Zip (compressed) file
.sit - Stuffit (compressed) file
.scr - Windows Screen Saver (do not open)
.pif - Program Information File (do not open)
The good news is that most software developers offer freeware viewers that will allow you to see, but not alter, content.
.doc -- Microsoft Word Viewer from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=3657CE88-7CFA-457A-9AEC-F4F827F20CAC&DisplayLang=en
.pps -- PowerPoint Viewer from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=048DC840-14E1-467D-8DCA-19D2A8FD7485&displaylang=en
.xls -- Excel Spreadsheet Viewer from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=1CD6ACF9-CE06-4E1C-8DCF-F33F669DBC3A&displaylang=en
.wpd -- Wordperfect from http://download.cnet.com/Corel-WordPerfect-Lightning/3000-2192_4-192908.html?tag=mncol (Corel no longer offers a viewer, but this is a third-party application called "Lightning" that includes a Wordperfect viewer.)
.pdf -- Acrobat Reader from http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html
.jpg -- You can view these in your web browser or most imaging software.
.scr -- Use caution if you receive a screen saver via email. They can contain worms or viruses.
.pif -- Do not open! This is most likely a virus. Clicking it will run a program or code that can mess up your computer.
As for compressed files (.zip & .sit), I recommend 7 Zip, because it's free.
There are also freeware/shareware programs for opening .zip files such as WinZip at http://www.winzip.com/. In addition, with Windows XP you can save any zipped file to your desktop or a folder and access the files without unzipping (just click it like any other folder -- drag items out to run them).
So, next time you gett an attached file in your email but don't have the program to open it, just grab a viewer.
SMILE OF THE WEEK
(contributions for this section are most welcome)
You Know You're a Mom When...
1. Your feet stick to the kitchen floor... and you don't care.
2. When the kids are fighting, you threaten to lock them in a room together and not let them out until someone's bleeding.
3. You can't find your cordless phone, so you ask a friend to call you, and you run around the house madly, following the sound until you locate the phone downstairs in the laundry basket.
4. You spend an entire week wearing sweats.
5. Your idea of a good day is making it through without a child leaking bodily fluids on you.
6. Popsicle become a food staple.
7. Your favorite television show is a cartoon.
8. Peanut butter and jelly is eaten at least in one meal a day.
9. You're willing to kiss your child's boo-boo, regardless of what body part it happens to be on.
10. Your baby's pacifier falls on the floor and you give it back to her after you suck the dirt off of it because you're too busy to wash it off.
11. Your kids make jokes about farting, burping, pooping, etc, and you think it's funny.
12. You're so desperate for adult conversation that you spill your guts to the telemarketer that calls and he hangs up on you!
13. Spit is your number one cleaning agent.
14. You're up each night until 10 PM vacuuming, dusting, wiping, washing, drying, loading, unloading, shopping, cooking, driving, flushing, ironing, sweeping picking up, changing sheets, changing diapers, bathing, helping with homework, paying bills, budgeting, clipping coupons, folding clothes, putting to bed, dragging out of bed, brushing, chasing, buckling, feeding (them, not you), plus swinging, playing baseball, bike riding, pushing trucks, cuddling dolls, rollerblading, basketball, football, catch, bubbles, sprinklers, slides, nature walks, coloring, crafts, jumping rope, plus raking, trimming, planting, edging, mowing, gardening, painting, and walking the dog. You get up at 5:30 AM and you have no time to eat, sleep, drink or go to the bathroom, and yet you still managed to gain 10 pounds.
15. In your bathroom there is toothpaste on the light fixtures, water all over the floor, a dog drinking out of the toilet and body hair forming a union to protest unsafe working conditions.
16. You buy cereal with marshmallows in it.
17. The closest you get to gourmet cooking is making Rice Krispie bars.
18. You count the sprinkles on each kid's cupcake to make sure they 're equal.
19. You want to take out a contract on the kid who broke your child's favorite toy and made him/her cry.
20. You have time to shave only one leg at a time.
21. You hide in the bathroom to be alone.
22. You child throws up and you catch it.
23. Someone else's kid throws up at a party and you keep eating.
24. You consider finger paint to be a controlled substance.
25. You mastered the art of placing food on a plate without anything touching.
26. Your child insists that you read "Once Upon a Potty" out loud in the lobby of the doctor office, and you do it.
27. You hire a sitter because you haven't been out with your husband ages, then spend half the night talking about and checking on the kids.
28. You hope ketchup is a vegetable because it's the only one your child eats.
29. You can't bear the thought of your son's first girlfriend.
30. You hate the thought of his wife even more.
31. You find yourself cutting your husband's sandwiches into unusual shapes.
32. You fast-forward through the scene when the hunter shoots Bambi's mother.
33. You obsess when your child clings to you upon parting during his first month at school, then obsess when he skips in without looking back the second time.
34. You can't bear to give away baby clothes -- it seems so final.
35. You hear your mother's voice coming out of your mouth when you say, "Not in your good clothes!"
36. You stop criticizing the way your mother raised you.
37. You read that the average five-year-old asks 437 questions a day and feel proud that your kid is "above average."
38. You say at least once a day, "I'm not cut out for this job," but you know you wouldn't trade it for anything.
[Source: Chicken Soup For The Soul]
Daves Computer Tips
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