Sunday, June 6, 2010

CFS Weekly Newsletter Announcement - March 19, 2010

CFS Weekly Newsletter Announcement
Web Site:
E-mail 1:

Welcome to this special CFS Weekly Newsletter announcement. I'd like to extend a warm welcome to our new subscribers.
Alas there is no normal CFS newsletter this week due to circumstances outside of my control. In other words, "stuff happens" and the newsletter for this week suffered as a consequence.
I always like to send out something when there isn't a newsletter so people know what's happening and we don't get inundated with e-mails for the next week asking what happened to their newsletter. This is that "something".
Just to make this announcement worth the bandwidth, I have also included 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, recession-free downloads from CFS, why not take a minute and become a member of arguably the largest and 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.
Is your CFS membership going to expire soon? If you wish to extend an existing membership (without creating a new account) read this FAQ:
I look forward to being with you next week with a proper newsletter. Until then...
Keep smilin'
Graham Pockett
Completely FREE Software

As a special offer to newsletter subscribers, anyone with a current 1-year membership can update to a Lifetime membership for just $25. Members with a current 2-year membership can update to Lifetime for just $15.
Please note that this is for current members only and can be used at any time during the period of a membership. Don't put it off because this offer may not continue indefinitely.
Make the appropriate payment ($25 or $15) using your credit card and tell us your username so we know which account to update. Click on this address to update your membership through PayPal:
(Payment is made through our parent company, Kooronya Holdings.)

from Dr T --
=: Should I Register Software? :=
A friend of mine told me that I should always register software. Is this true? Will the software police come and get me if I don't?
OK, I'm going to take some heat for this, so just remember this is my opinion -- you do what you want. My feeling on registration is not to-unless you absolutely have to.
The reason I'm generally against registering software is that it usually does the customer more harm than good. For the most part, you can get tech support whether you've registered or not. You can normally get updates even if you're not a registered user. About the only thing you don't get by not registering is a bunch of advertising, phone calls, and spam email.
It's my opinion that the reason most companies want your info is so they can sell it. This happens all the time in every industry. I don't know about you, but I've had my fill of junk mail, junk e-mail, and telephone solicitors postal trash waste. The idea of giving these people my contact info by typing it in myself and voluntarily sending to their computer is sickening. So if you are purchasing online, or sending in the registered material, most sites make a disclaimer that they would not sell your name. If you want to believe them or not, fine. No one forcing you to send it.
Of course, not every company you register with will sell your info, but I'd check their privacy policy first. After all, why would they want it if they weren't going to do anything with it? Do they have excess hard drive space in their computers that need filling? Oh, and don't get taken in by the line that they will only give your information to their "selected advertising partners" -- that's pretty much anyone with a checkbook. Besides, once their "advertising partners" get a hold of it, what's to stop them from selling it to others? See how easy it is to feed the Spam Machine??
Also if you are a gamer it's a no brainier to register your game. It annoying enough that some never works out of the box, let alone that they release them in the first place. But to get any support you need to sign on the dotted line. Gamers are a special group apart from us normal folks. They lock their doors and turn on their 6-in-1 speaker systems and you wonder if you are hearing Hell released in their rooms. Believe me the best support I have found are the game companies supporting their products. Some go out of their way to help you correct the problems, some had release patch fixes before the game's release. That tells you something right away.
Then there are those sneaky folk out there. We know whom I am talking about. Those friends who got hold of a program code or registration number and email it to the four corners of the Internet. How many of you never really purchased a copy of Paint Shop Pro, or Photoshop, or filters, or plug ins? Shame on you. But never expect support when it eats half your hard drive or crashes. I like to know I could get help when something breaks. Call me a model citizen, my wife is on my case with all the money I waste on programs and games. I don't get them free like game or computer magazines do to review. Now you coming up against the real police in the world.
There are times you really will need to register though:
Shareware Programs - These are try before you buy downloads. If you saw my Freeware/Shareware page you know what I am talking about. If you purchase them, you pretty much have to give your contact info. Since many shareware authors are just people working out of their house, you're usually safe. Besides, you have to have basic info to run a credit card, so they are collecting it out of necessity. Also many shareware programs have a lite version (search engine programs I send are examples of these) that is free, with many of the better features disabled. Once you upgrade to the "Pro" version you get a full running program. That's when you have to register it.
Freeware Programs - These often require registration since you're getting the program for free. Kind of a "we'll swap you a program for contact info" deal. But many never ask for a letter from you. Some are ready-to-go programs (such as *.exe files), but many have to be installed. That is possible where you run into the registration factor.
Retail Program - You never own anything from Microsoft. You allow to use the program for a price. Think WinXP is fun after you installed it. But many retail box programs work the same way in principle as shareware. But you get a disk and booklet and dozen of other product ads stuff in the box and yes possibly a registration card. Some even want you to put a stamp on them and mail them. How so 1980s could they be. Some programs will not work or annoy you to "Register Me Now!" There are sometimes popups reminding you (RealOne is the worst). Children's software is an great example (Disney and Barbie for sure) throwing "register me" in your face and then you get blitzed with ads, mail and email from the companies.
Tech Support - Although most companies will give you tech support without your registration info on file, you may run across one that doesn't (I've personally never had a problem, but it's possible). Again Microsoft is prime example and you have to pay for it. Most programs will let you register right from the Help menu, so you can put this off until you need it. But don't register it tomorrow when you need help today.
Updates - Again, most companies will let you update your software without registration -- but there are a few who won't. So, if you need software updates and the company requires you to register, you probably have no choice. Be very careful with this one. Some programs will make it look like registration is required for updates when it's really not (Norton and McAfee is good for this).
Annoyed To Death - Some programs will annoy you into registration with constant registration reminders. Sometimes the only relief is to register. Even after installing the program, some programs put a remainder enable when you start Windows. You have to go into the StartUp menu and unchecked the annoying remainders.
Real Requirement - Finally, some programs require you to register in order to use the software. Period. In this case, you either register or stop using the software. You have 30 days to register Windows XP or it will shut down completely.
Keep in mind that the harder a company tries to get you to register (with the exception of shareware programs), the more likely it is that they are selling your information. Their business model may be to sell the software cheap on the front end and make up the difference by selling addresses and phone numbers on the back end. But some don't care and load the program with banners and ads in their freeware. Forcing you to upgrade to the Pro to have peace. I remember Juno used to do this.
Your best bet before giving any company any information is to check their privacy policy carefully. Take a look and see if they are going to sell your info. If they are, see if you can request that it not be sold (and try to get Bill Gates to discount Windows while you're at it).
OK, I'm done ranting and feel much better now. Just remember, all of this is only my "humble" opinion. If you feel your need to register, certainly do so. As we say going to Disney World, you need a ticket to get into the parks.

(contributions for this section are most welcome)
Supposedly, these are actual advertisements that have appeared in papers across the country...
* Lost: Small apricot poodle. Reward. Neutered. Like one of the family.
* A superb and inexpensive restaurant. Fine food expertly served by waitresses in appetizing forms.
* Dinner Special -- Turkey $2.35; Chicken or Beef $2.25; Children $2.00.
* For Sale: An antique desk suitable for lady with thick legs and large drawers.
* Four-poster bed, 101 years old. Perfect for antique lover.
* Now is your chance to have your ears pierced and get an extra pair to take home, too.
* Wanted: 50 girls for stripping machine operators in factory.
* Wanted: Unmarried girls to pick fresh fruit and produce at night.
* We do not tear your clothing with machinery. We do it carefully by hand.
* For Sale -- Eight puppies from a German Shepherd and an Alaskan Hussy.
* Great Dames for sale.
* Have several very old dresses from grandmother in beautiful condition.
* Tired of cleaning yourself? Let me do it.
* Dog for sale: eats anything and is fond of children.
* Vacation Special: have your home exterminated.
* Sheer stockings. Designed for fancy dress, but so serviceable that lots of women wear nothing else.
* Stock up and save. Limit: one.
* We build bodies that last a lifetime.
* For Rent: 6-room hated apartment.
* Man, honest. Will take anything.
* Wanted: Chambermaid in rectory. Love in, $200 a month. References required.
* Used Cars: Why go elsewhere to be cheated? Come here first!
[author unknown]

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:
If you enjoy the Completely FREE Software site -- and this newsletter -- please don't feel shy about letting others know.

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