Sunday, June 27, 2010
CFS Weekly Newsletter #550
CFS Weekly Newsletter #550
Web Site: http://www.completelyFREEsoftware.com
E-mail 1: editor@completelyFREEsoftware.com
E-mail 2: firstname.lastname@example.org
COMPLETELY FREE SOFTWARE
Anti Terrorism Department v1.0 -- WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
Anti Terrorism Department is an action shooter where you play an FBI agent fighting terrorists. It features 4 missions (Tunnels of Terror, Desert Storm, The Rock & The Pentagon), there are weapons to collect & terrorists to kill, it has good gameplay, and more. It seems like Anti Terrorism Department has a combination of games within each mission, there are different scenarios and different gameplay. Generally, you use the arrow keys for movement, the Spacebar to shoot, the PageUp and PageDown keys to scroll through your weapons, and the End key to pick up a weapon dropped by a terrorist. This is an enjoyable game that has simple, cartoon-style graphics, and cartoon-style blood. Unfortunately it had two aspects which we did not like. The first was that there was no option on where the program is installed on your hard drive -- it is placed in the C:\Program Files folder. This we consider very bad manners as it does not give the user the option on where to install the game. Th
e second aspect was the advertising. While it does not draw ads from the Internet, the ad displayed was for a European gambling site -- a site we consider should be accessed with caution. That aside, Anti Terrorism Department is a fun little game that should provide a pleasant diversion from the real world. We liked. Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95, 98 or ME. Access this 3.44MB download from:
Clipboard Agent v0.85 -- Win9x/ME/WinXP (5 doves)
Clipboard Agent is an MSAgent text to speech utility that reads Clipboard text aloud. It can read aloud & auto increment verses of the Bible (included with download), it is multi-lingual, and more. This is a neat tool if you wish to have the contents of your Windows Clipboard text read out to you. Text can be copied into the Clipboard and Clipboard Agent will read it to you. It also includes a copy of the American Standard Version (ASV) Bible which it can read for you. We had some trouble with Clipboard Agent as it would not work with our Windows 7 operating system, even after we set the compatibility to XP. We were able to review the program by running our computer in Virtual XP mode and installing the program through that. Clipboard Agent performed well in all tasks we gave it -- except its inability to run under Windows 7. Worth checking out. Note: this program is not suitable for Vista, Win7, or later. Access this 9.14MB download from:
VOB Converter v1.0 -- WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
VOB Converter is a tool that converts videos to the VOB video format. It supports all popular video formats (WMV, MP4, VOB, MKV, FLV, VOB, MPG, AVI, MOV, etc), offers variable output settings (bitrate, frame rate & frame size), and more. This is one of the simplest ways of converting your videos to the VOB format. Simply select a suitable video, select the output quality you desire, and click on the Convert button. Easy. We tested VOB Converter on one of our videos and the result was exactly as described. However, it should be noted that this does not create the file structure suitable for burning to a movie DVD, for that you need a program like DVD Flick (also listed with CFS). If you are looking an easy way to convert your videos to the VOB format then try VOB Converter. It could be exactly what you require. Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95, 98 or ME. Access this 2.66MB download from:
CSS3Menu v1.2 -- Win98/ME/WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
ain categories of templates, we would have liked to have seen a wider variation in styles. CSS3Menu also requires that you are comfortable inserting code into HTML pages. While this is not hard to do, many people are confused by HTML tags, specially if they have previously tried to work with the raw code from a WYSIWYG site builder. We liked CSS3Menu. It is simple to use yet produces a nice looking site menu. Worth checking out. Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95. Access this 9.02MB download from:
NoteFly v1.0.2 -- WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
NoteFly is a small, notes keeper. It features an always-on-top option, you can change the note color (choice of 7 colors), roll up a note, save a note to textfile, send a note via e-mail, post a note on Twitter, copy a note to the Clipboard, and more. This is a neat little program to create and manage notes. Each note can have its own color and remembers its own location on the desktop. The notes can be "rolled up" so that only the top section is visible or some can be rolled up, others left fully visible. Notes can be hidden, or kept always on top (like a sticky note). You can also group notes by background color so they can be easily identified. Maybe our system setup was different to the author's, but only the date was visible in the top section of our notes, which makes it hard to see what the note was about when rolled up and all you have is a date. If the heading font size was slightly smaller, more information would be able to appear in this section. We also noted that
if you changed the size of the text font -- the font used for the text of your note -- when the Settings dialog box was opened, it automatically restored the default font type and size. Most strange. That aside, we found NoteFly to be a great little notes taker. We liked! Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95, 98 or ME. Access this 102kB download from:
Start Killer v3.1 -- Win9x/ME/WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
Start Killer is a simple tool that removes the Start button from the desktop and gives additional space on the taskbar. It optionally starts with Windows, resides as an icon in the tray, offers hotkey access to Settings, and more. Start Killer not only hides the Start button from your desktop, it also hides aftermarket Start menu replacements (like CSMenu, listed with CFS). The Start menu can be accessed by pressing the Win key, or by pressing the CTRL+ESC keys, though the button remains hidden while the program is active. Start Killer works with all versions of Windows from Win95, and we reviewed it using Windows 7. If you need more real estate on your taskbar, or if you simply don't like the look of the Start button, grab a copy of Start Killer. It really works! Access this 190kB download from:
CD-DVD Indepth v22.214.171.124 -- Win9x/ME/WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
CD-DVD Indepth is a CD & DVD burner that creates compilations of files and/or folders. It supports both ASPI & SPTI writing modes, allows multi-session disks, has a test mode (burning simulation), erases rewritable CD/DVDs before burning, optionally creates a bootable disk, and more. CD-DVD Indepth uses a simple 10-screen Wizard interface to lead the user through the process of creating a data disk. While the publisher states that it can "burn or rip audio and data CDs and DVDs", we could find no way of ripping or burning audio CDs -- this is a data burner only. However, it does a creditable job in burning data CDs and DVDs, and offers the tools so that it can be used in basically all versions of Windows from 95. Unfortunately, it contains very intrusive RelevantKnowledge advertising. We object strongly to this type of advertising because it not only runs independently of the host program, but does not automatically get removed when the host program is uninstalled. Fortunatel
y, you can uninstall RelevantKnowledge separately and it won't prevent the host program, in this case CD-DVD Indepth, from working. If you are looking for a data burner program, and you don't want to burn multiple copies within the same session, then check out CD-DVD Indepth. It could be exactly what you want. Access this 1.52MB download from:
Arabella Gems 4 v1.0 -- Win9x/ME/WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
Arabella Gems 4 is a hidden object game where you must find specific items within each level. It features 4 levels (bathroom, car, children's room & museum), uses photographic images, it is suitable for all ages, it has optional music & sound effects, and more. This is a fun little game that will keep the average adult entertained for about 5 minutes -- young children and dementia-racked senior citizens slightly longer. Using good quality photographs, you must find the specified objects in each level -- usually 10 or 11 items. When you click on them they disappear and get marked off the list. When you find all items in a level, you move to the next one. They generally are not hard to find, and most adults would be unlikely to play the game again, but children, specially girls, will enjoy playing Arabella Gems 4, either on their own or with their friends. If this is you then grab a copy of Arabella Gems 4 and enjoy yourself. Access this 3.66MB download from:
Kigo Image Converter -- an image converter that changes the format of existing image files -- has been updated to version 2.1.1 with a download size of 1.13MB. The author has advised that changes in this version include the addition of the PNG output format. Access this latest version from:
COMPUTER TIP OF THE WEEK
from Dr T -- RTemlak4dds@aol.com
=: How to Have your XP Cake and Eat Win7 Too :=
Based on what I'm hearing from readers, friends and family members, there are many people who are caught between two computing worlds. They've bought new computers that came with Windows 7 installed and after getting past the initial learning curve, they like it. But they have one or more other machines in the house that are running XP and they don't want to spend the money to upgrade them.
In fact, some of those other machines can't be upgraded to Windows 7, at least not without some serious hardware upgrading, too. They don't have enough RAM, or the video card isn't good enough or they just aren't powerful enough to run the newer OS. But there is a way for you to use Windows 7 on those older, less powerful computers - and you don't have to give up the XP that's already running on them, either.
The solution is what's now called presentation virtualization. When you hear the word "virtualization," you probably think about virtual machine software such as Microsoft's Virtual PC, VMware or Parallels for Macs. That's a different type of virtualization, operating system virtualization. You install the VM software on your computer and create a virtual PC that "thinks" it is a separate computer. Then you can install the operating system of your choice in that VM. That's one way to run both XP and Win7 on the same machine at the same time. The problem with this solution is that it requires some pretty hefty system resources, which your ancient XP machine might not have. Another "gotcha" is that you have to buy a license for the operating system when you install Windows 7 in the VM, just as you do when you install it on another "real" (physical) system.
Presentation virtualization is the technology originally developed by Citrix and first implemented by Microsoft in Windows NT Terminal Services Edition. That's right - we're talking about Remote Desktop Services. If your new Windows 7 computer is running Professional edition or above, you're all set and don't have to buy or install anything extra (assuming your Windows XP and Windows 7 computer are on the same home network). You do have to make some configuration changes, though.
First, on the Windows 7 computer, you need to enable Remote Desktop Services. Open the System applet in Control Panel, click "Advanced system settings" in the left pane, and click the Remote tab. Under Remote Desktop, the default is "Don't allow connections to this computer." Change that to "Allow connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop (less secure)." The third, and more secure choice, "Allow connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication," is only for those who will be connecting with another Windows 7 machine. Your XP computer doesn't support that option.
The next step is to select the user accounts that will be allowed to connect from the XP machine. Add the user account names here. Next, go to the XP machine from which you want to connect. If you want to use the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) client that comes with XP so that you don't need to install anything on the XP machine, you'll find it in Start | All Programs | Accessories | Communications.
If you want a richer experience and your XP computer has Service Pack 3 installed, and you don't mind installing the latest version of the Remote Desktop Connection client version 7.0 on it, you can download it at:
The v7.0 client makes for better multiple monitor support, Windows Media Player redirection, bidirectional audio and enhanced video playback, along with a number of features for connecting to terminal services/RDS on Windows Server machines (which you'll probably never use in a home setup). You can read about all of the new features at:
Whichever client you use, you'll need to enter the name or IP address of your Windows 7 computer that you've set up as the remote desktop server and the user credentials for the account that you authorized to connect. You can choose to save the credentials so you won't have to enter them every time you connect. Click the Options button to configure display settings, audio, what local devices and resources you want to be able to use, and more. Then, on the XP computer, click Connect.
If you are unable to connect, and the computers are on the same network, check your local firewall settings. Be sure there is an exception for Remote Desktop and if there isn't, create one.
Once you're connected, you'll have your Windows 7 desktop right there on your XP machine. You can run it full screen to work as if you're using the Windows 7 computer itself, or you can run it in a window so you can use the Windows 7 desktop and the XP desktop at the same time. You can run all of the programs that you have installed on the Windows 7 computer and have almost the same experience that you would have if you were working at the Win7 machine. It doesn't matter that your XP system's hardware doesn't support Windows 7, because all of the processing is taking place on the Win7 machine.
There are a few things that you won't get over the RDP connection from XP to Windows 7. You lose the Aero glass interface and along with that, the Aero features like Snap, Peek and Shake. You also lose the thumbnail previews in the taskbar, since that's an Aero feature. Another problem you might run into is that you won't be able to play videos - either locally stored on your hard drive or on web sites such as YouTube - in full screen mode. You also won't be able to watch TV programs recorded in Windows Media Center over RDP. Other than that, just about everything functions normally if you're using the 7.0 client. See above for the features it adds, that you'll miss out on if you use the built in XP client. There are other caveats, too. For example, when you use Remote Desktop on the client (XP) computer, the host (Windows 7) computer's desktop is locked and someone else can't be using it at the same time. But overall, it's an easy and inexpensive way to have the user experie
nce of running Windows 7 on your old computer (even though it isn't technically running on that machine at all) and still have XP at your beck and call when you want to do something in it.
You might be thinking "this is all well and good, but I don't have the Pro, Enterprise or Ultimate edition of Windows 7. Am I out of luck?" Well, when it comes to the Windows Remote Desktop Services, you are - but there are other third party options. VNC (Virtual Networking Computing) is a platform independent system that does the same thing, but uses a different protocol, RFB (Remote Framebuffer) that was . You can get free or low cost versions of VNC server and client software such as RealVNC, TightVNC, UltraVNC and others. The VNC server software can be installed on the Home versions of Windows 7 or Vista (or XP, for that matter). With some of the products, you may have to use the beta version, or the paid version, to get Windows 7 support.
An advantage of VNC is that not only can you connect to your Windows 7 desktop from your XP computer, you can also do it from Linux or Mac computers (if the version you use has clients for those operating systems). You do have to install a VNC client; since it uses a different protocol, you can't connect to it with the Windows RDP client. Some VNC programs will give you functionality that you don't get with Remote Desktop, such as the ability to watch recordings on Windows Media Center.
And yes, there are services such as LogMeIn and GoToMyPC that you can use to connect your XP computer to your Windows 7 desktop, too, but those require going out over the Internet and then back in to your home network. Remote Desktop Services and VNC work over your local network, so you aren't using Internet bandwidth nor do you have the security concerns of going through the service's server.
This can also be a way to transition from XP to Windows 7 a bit more painlessly than making the big switch all at once. When my husband bought his new Nehalem computer with Windows 7, he wasn't yet ready to give up his familiar XP environment, so he put the Win7 machine in another room and just uses RDP to connect to it, keeping his XP computer on his desk. You can also go in the other direction - set up your XP Pro computer somewhere, make it a Remote Desktop Computer, and connect to it from your new Win7 machine when you need to run one of its programs that isn't installed on your Win7 system. Or if you have XP Home, install the VNC server software on it and the VNC client on the Windows 7 machine. And of course, you can use Remote Desktop or VNC to connect from one XP computer to another XP machine.
Do you use Remote Desktop to connect an XP computer to a Windows 7 computer or vice versa? What do you like about the Remote Desktop experience? What don't you like? Do you find that it gives you the opportunity to "have your cake and eat it too," getting both XP and Windows 7 on one machine, without having to reboot when you want to change operating systems or having to buy a license to install a second OS in dual boot configuration or in a virtual machine? Have you tried any of the third party alternatives? Do you like them better than Remote Desktop Services? Which one is your favorite? We invite you to discuss this topic in our forum at http://www.wxpnews.com/SJ5XCX/100518-Forum-Discussion
SMILE OF THE WEEK
(contributions for this section are most welcome)
NEW MEDICINES APPROVED BY THE FDA
Histalavista: Say bye-bye to those allergies.
Milk of Amnesia: Infant formula to help babies forget birth trauma.
Non-Interferon: Black market drug often slipped to unsuspecting in-laws.
Testsoteroni: A hormonal supplement eaten as pasta.
Aesthetominophen: You don't feel any better, but you look fabulous.
Elmer's Aspirin: Half aspirin and half glue, for those splitting headaches.
Preparation H with Aspirin: Offers relief from people who are a pain in the posterior.
[from Mikey's Funnies -- www.mikeysfunnies.com]
We would like to thank the regular visitors to the CFS site who have told us their favorite freeware. If you have a favorite program which isn't listed on the CFS pages we invite you to share that information with everyone through this site and this newsletter.
If you are an author of a freeware application and you would like it listed on these pages please fill in the form at:
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Daves Computer Tips
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