Tuesday, December 27, 2011

From PCWorld article:

When Is a Baked-Bean Can a Wi-Fi Network Antenna?

You can make high technology from anything when you're competing in Intel's International Science and Engineering Fair.

Steven Buss with his satellite-dish Wi-Fi antenna.Is using an empty baked-bean can to grab a Wi-Fi signal from a mile away high technology? The answer is yes if you're an entrant in Intel's International Science and Engineering Fair being held this week in Phoenix.
The cantenna, a Wi-Fi extender built from a baked-bean can.Steven Buss, an 18-year-old Wi-Fi buff from Palm City, Florida, built three different types of antennas to see which provided the greatest range for his wireless network. The best performer, made from a "biquad" antenna and a used DirectTV satellite dish bought on EBay, picked up the wireless signal 1.3 miles away.
But the cheapest and easiest, the one he calls a "cantenna," made from an empty baked-bean can, let him connect to his 802.11b wireless network from almost as far--a mile away.
Buss ran his experiments using an IBM ThinkPad on a long, straight Florida road to avoid obstacles that can block a wireless signal.
[Published here under the Fair Use provision for educational purposes only.]

Saturday, July 2, 2011

CFS Weekly Newsletter #565

Web Site:http://www.completelyFREEsoftware.com
E-mail 1: editor@completelyFREEsoftware.com
E-mail 2: cfs@people.net.au

We have some terrific programs in our line-up for you this week. My favorites are SpeedyFox, a small utility that speeds up the Firefox Web browser, GumNotes, an annotation tool for documents, Websites, e-mails, and contacts, Studio-Scrap, a scrapbooking and photo collage tool, Square Privacy Cleaner, a privacy protection tool, and MPC-2d-3d, offering real-time 2D to 3D video display.

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...


See you all next week.

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.)

RetroRaider II v20100712 -- Win98/ME/WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
RetroRaider II is a retro platformer with VGA-style graphics. It features 6 levels, a level editor to create additional levels, a good assortment of enemies to avoid, good traps & puzzles, some powerups to collect, and more. The author describes this as a "copyright infringing retro game". He also says that you take "one part Pitfall, one part Tomb Raider, and mix in a little Indiana Jones, and this probably wouldn't be the first thing that springs to mind". So true. This is a game with a mid-eighties look 'n feel. It is a basic platformer where you go from level to level collecting items. Along the way you come across a wide assortment of animals and birds that will rob you of your health. They can be jumped, or killed. Not always obvious, there are some lightweight challenges along the way to keep you playing, and the level editor will help you create your very own levels. While RetroRaider II could have been terrible, in fact it is a playable little game that could keep you amused for some hours. The retro aspect is both a positive and a negative -- graphics are chunky but the animation is surprisingly good for a game like this. It is not just for people who yearn for the "good ole days" when men were men and computer characters were a few chunky pixels that staggered across the screen (albeit a 12 inch 16-color CRT screen with text permanently burnt onto it -- you really did need screensavers those days!). We probably shouldn't have liked RetroRaider II as it does not live up to modern gaiming expectations, but we did. You don't have to remember those heady mid-eighties days to enjoy RetroRaider II. Grab a copy now! Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95. Access this 4.17MB download from:


SpeedyFox v1.5 -- WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
SpeedyFox is a small utility that speeds up Firefox Web browser by compacting the SQLITE databases used to store many settings. This means that it loads faster, browsing history will become faster, and performing operations with cookies will be quicker than before. This optimization tool requires no installation and can select the profile to optimize if more than one is used on the computer. Our tests showed that SpeedyFox speeded up initial loading by 25%, though ours is a newly installed browser which means that the SQLITE databases should not be too fragmented. The author claims that it can speed up Firefox by up to three times (300%). Even though the author doesn't tell us, we assume that SpeedyFox should be used regularly (monthly?) to ensure that the databases remain defragmented. From our experience using SpeedyFox, we are happy to keep it as a once-a-month defragmenting tool. We loved! Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95, 98 or
ME. Access this 458kB download from:


Hanso Burner v1.4.0.0 -- WinXP/Vista/Win7 (4 doves)
Hanso Burner is a CD/DVD burner. It supports ISO & BIN/CUE disk images, disk copy, dual-layer DVDs, creates CDs from audio files (MP3, WMA, WAV, etc), generates audio & mixed-mode projects, creates rewritable & multisession disks, shell extensions, and more. This is a simple-to-use disk burner that offers much. We spent considerable time with this program and found that some tasks it did well, and others we could not get to work at all. For example, it copied disk-to-disk with ease and it burnt data disks without trouble. Unfortunately we could not get it to burn audio CDs and video DVDs. We aren't sure if it was us or the program, but as it carried out other tasks as specified we can only assume that there is either a flaw in this program, or an incompatibility with Windows 7. This was very much a disappointment because we liked the clean, simple interface and the promise to do so much. Even in areas where it did seem to work OK it presented problems. For example, you cannot  just select individual files from a folder to burn -- it must be the entire folder and then you manually remove the ones you don't want. Cumbersome. We tried very hard to like Hanso Burner but, in the end, we were too disappointed with its rough edges. We hope that they can sort out the problems with Hanso Burner because it is potentially a superb CD and DVD burner. Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95, 98 or ME. Access this 2.12MB download from:


Studio-Scrap v2.2.2 -- Win98/ME/WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
Studio-Scrap is a scrapbooking and photo collage tool. It features over 400 editable templates, 230 embellishments (buttons, labels, tags, flowers, frames, stickers, etc), 340 high-quality backgrounds (colored papers, imitation leather, sand, textiles, etc), 1000 picture shapes (for image cropping), freeform text labels, you can print/e-mail/PDF finished scrapbooks, and more. This is an amazing program with so many resources it is impossible to list them all. You can create traditional scrapbooks of your photographs, or build photo collages. There are additional backgrounds you can download (1.5GB!) or you can grab them directly off the Internet as you need them. The main program starts as a 316kB download, but that is just a download starter for the whopping 145MB you will be downloading. Studio-Scrap is enormous in every way. It offers a huge number of templates, picture shapes, etc -- so many that a hundred users could scrapbook the same photos and no two would be similar.
 There is an on-line tutorial video which is worth watching, and lots of gallery scrapbooks on the author's site to give you ideas. Studio-Scrap can also be used in place of regular DTP (desktop publishing) programs (like Microsoft Publisher) to create calendars and cards. We were amazed at the scope of Studio-Scrap. The huge download is justified by the depth and power of this program. In a word, awesome! Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95. Access this 145MB download from:


MPC-2d-3d v2.0 -- WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
MPC-2d-3d is a media player, based on Media Player Classic (MPC), which can carry out real-time video conversions from 2D to 3D. Similar in appearance to the standard MPC player, it displays videos in an electronically created 3D format. The author says: "MPC 2d-3d uses a real-time algorithm to recover the depth information from the common 2D video. The recovered 3D video is not as good as the true 3D video. But it's a good method to play the 2D video in 3D mode." We used the program to open a number of AVI videos to judge the quality of the resultant 3D video, and we were impressed. It cannot save a video to 3D -- it is a real-time converter that takes a 2D video and converts it on the fly. Unfortunately, on our test computer the video ran slower than normal, distorting sound and making the video jerky. However, the 3D effect was superb, much better than we had anticipated. It might run smoother on a faster computer that is not multi-tasking. The biggest problem with MPC-2d-
3d is that you need red/green Anaglyph 3D glasses, and the right eye should be viewing through the red side. More common are red/cyan glasses, with the red on the left. While they are partially inter-changeable, for the best results you need the correct glasses. We were amazed at the quality of the 3D rendition, though the jerky video spoilt the effect for us. If you want to see Aunt Bertha in all her 3D glory, then grab a copy of MPC-2d-3d and have fun. We loved! Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95, 98 or ME. Access this 18.0MB download from:


Square Privacy Cleaner v1.1.0.0 --WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)Square Privacy Cleaner is a privacy protection tool. It features extensive cleaning of traces (Windows, Internet, IE, Firefox, Opera, Google Chrome, Registry MRU lists, Windows temp directories & log files, application histories, etc), terminates running processes, commandline support, cleans on next re-boot, cleans when Windows shuts down, and more. There is also a portable version available (347kB). This is one of the most extensive privacy cleaners we have seen. It covers a massive number of items and is configurable so you need not delete all traces, just the ones you want. Of course, if you are using an Internet cafe or public Internet source you may wish to delete all traces, histories, lists, logs, etc. In that case you would probably want the portable version. One of its options is to try to delete index.dat files on the next reboot, and also locked files. One of the best privacy cleaners we have seen, Square Privacy Cleaner is a "must have" if you are using public co
mputers. Get it now! Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95, 98 or ME. Access this 696kB download from:


GumNotes v0.9.6.544 -- WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
GumNotes is an annotation tool for documents, Websites, e-mails, and contacts. It optionally stays on top, notes are saved in an XML data format, and more. This is an interesting "sticky note" type program except that this one links the notes to their associated documents, etc. Open up a Webpage, make a note, and next time you visit that Website you will be reminded that there is a note attached. You can add notes to your e-mails, to ordinary documents -- to virtually any program you require. Simple in operation, and extremely handy in usage, GumNotes is one of those "how did I ever live without it" type programs. We loved! Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95, 98 or ME. Access this 5.04MB download from:


Big Solitaires 3D v1.4 -- Win9x/ME/WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)Big Solitaires 3D is a collection of 3D solitaire cardgames. It features 40 games in 10 main groupings (Canfield, Doubles, Forty Thieves, Freecell, Golf, Klondike, Montana, Rail, Spider & Yukon), a choice of 4 decks, a choice of 4 backgrounds (or use your own PNG file), 2 camera angles (3D & 2D top down), full undo/redo, optional automatic card movements, a Helpfile for each game, and more. The games are: Canfield; Canfield Two Decks; Canfield Superior; Corona; Doubles; Doubles 13; Easthaven; Emperor; Forty Thieves; Forty Thieves and Eight; Forty Thieves Three Decks; Forty Thieves Four Decks; FreeCell; FreeCell Two Decks; Golf; Golf A-K; Golf A-K Two Decks; Indian; Klondike (one & three cards); Klondike Two Decks; Lucky Fans; Montana Three Redeals; Ocean's Eleven; Rail One Deck; Rail Two Decks; Russian; Russian Relaxed; Scarab; Scorpion; Simple Simon; Spider; Spider One Suite; Spider Two Suites; Spider Three Decks; Spiderette; Spiderette Relaxed; Towers; Yukon; Yukon Relaxed;
 and Z-Four. This is a nice collection of popular solitaire cardgames. There is a quasi 3D effect, specially when starting a new game, but we felt that the 3D effect in the game itself detracted from the gameplay. Fortunately, there is an optional "Standard View" which is the usual top-down, 2D format. There is little real choice in decks, but the default is quite acceptable with good clear cardfaces that are easily read. Overall, Big Solitaires 3D is an excellent solitaire cardgame collection with sufficient variation between the games to keep you playing, and playing, and playing. Worth checking out! Access this 6.69MB download from:



Fotobounce -- a photo organizer, with built-in face recognition -- has been updated to version 3.1.0 with a slightly larger download size of 14.9MB. The author advises that changes in this version include: photo sharing with privacy; more user-friendly features without sacrificing function; and high-quality photo products (printed direct from Fotobounce via the LifePics network). Get this update from:


from Dr T -- RTemlak4dds@aol.com

Q. How do I remove McAfee from my computer completely, to install a different anti-virus?
A. McAfee offers products for home and business users alike. Both can be removed from any computer, but sometimes it takes more than just a few steps. Products available for home computer use include; Internet Security, VirusScan Plus, and Total Protection, to name a few. For business computers, there are a multitude of downloads for corporate products, betas, virus definition files, patches, and even removal tools for viruses.

Most downloads available through McAfee can be used on a trial basis, before you decide to purchase them. If you decide to buy one, subscription renewals are provided for each product. This will allow you to continue using the security product you prefer - instead of it expiring, causing you to have to download something new. There's even an option to upgrade a trial, in case you require a different type of security for your computer. Whichever type of software you've chosen, you should be able to uninstall it with relative ease.

Updates for each type of product are offered, when they become available. If you don't update often, sometimes your software won't provide as much protection as you'd hoped. This can allow viruses through and make it seem like your software isn't as good as you thought it was. This is often why many people decide to uninstall their current anti-virus program. They feel it isn't doing its job, when all it actually needed was an update.

Uninstall in XP

To begin removing McAfee, you'll need to click on the Start button at the bottom left corner of your desktop. When the box opens up, go to the Control Panel link and click on it. In the Control Panel, click on Add or Remove Programs.

The list of programs to add or remove will appear in a smaller box on your monitor. You can scroll down the entire list, until you find the McAfee program you want to uninstall. Click on the desired program once and there should be a button or two that appear as the program name is highlighted. The buttons are usually Change or Remove, but sometimes there is only a Remove button. You'll want to click on the Remove button.

Once the uninstall is complete, close all the programs that you have running and then restart your computer. After the computer has rebooted itself, check to see if the program has actually been removed. You can look in the Add/Remove programs list. If it is still there, then it has not been removed and you can again try the removal process described above, or download a removal tool. A McAfee Consumer Product Removal tool is available and described on the McAfee Website athttp://service.mcafee.com/FAQDocument.aspx?id=TS100507, but they apparently no longer provide, or support the device.

Uninstall in Windows 7

To remove McAfee from Windows 7, you also begin at the Start button and the Control Panel. However, the Control Panel will be slightly different (see below). Click on Uninstall a program, and the list of programs described above will appear. You can then select McAfee and begin the removal process.

Once the removal is successful, you can install the anti-virus software of your choice. If the new software is on a disc, just insert the CD and follow the prompts on the screen. Downloading new software takes you through the same process. The screen will tell you which buttons to push and when it's time to restart your computer.

A word of warning; before you can remove McAfee Security Center, you need to uninstall SpamKiller, Privacy Service, Personal Firewall, and Virus Scan first. If any of these components are left in place, the uninstall process won't be completed and the new program installed won't work properly. Make sure you are actually removing the McAfee program and aren't accidentally clicking on something else. This might cause another program to quit working, which can lead to a huge mess.

I hope this removal process is helpful and you are able to uninstall your McAfee program successfully!

[Source: Worldstart.com & The Angellmore Newsletter]


(contributions for this section are most welcome)

=: How to Photograph A new Puppy :=

1. Remove film from box and load camera.

2. Remove film box from puppy's mouth and throw in trash.

3. Remove puppy from trash and brush coffee grounds from muzzle.

4. Choose a suitable background for photo.

5. Mount camera on tripod and focus.

6. Find puppy and take dirty sock from mouth.

7. Place puppy in pre-focused spot and return to camera.

8. Forget about spot and crawl after puppy on knees.

9. Focus with one hand and fend off puppy with other hand.

10. Get tissue and clean nose print from lens.

11. Put cat outside and put peroxide on the scratch on puppy's nose.

13. Put magazines back on coffee table.

14. Try to get puppy's attention by squeaking toy over your head.

15. Replace your glasses and check camera for damage.

16. Jump up in time to grab puppy by scruff of neck and say, "No, outside! No, outside!"

17. Clean up mess.

18. Sit back in chair with lemonade and resolve to teach puppy "sit" and "stay" the first thing in the morning.

[author unknown]

Tech--for Everyone

Posted: 28 Jun 2011 10:43 AM PDT
I receive frequent requests to recover hijacked email accounts or retrieve the information in them, and/or to reset lost passwords. Here’s my answer: No. There is nothing I can do. But here is what you can do: 1) Contact your email service provider and tell them what has happened. They should have some way of [...]

Posted: 27 Jun 2011 01:21 PM PDT
Participation Gift You can choose one of these three EASEUS product as a free gift as soon as taking part. Partition Master Professional $39.95 Todo Backup Workstation $39.00 Data Recovery Wizard $69.95 Interested? (who doesn’t like free software?) Well, you do have to “take part”.. here’s the 4-1-1: http://www.easeus.com/special-offers/easeus-gift.htm. It an easy, and fun, way [...]

Posted: 26 Jun 2011 09:48 AM PDT
Today’s pretty picture: “Paysage à Port-Goulphar”, by Oscar-Claude Monet. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Today’s quote: “If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”  ~ Thomas Edison Sunday Ugly: Attn Mr Walid Sami: please check your Inbox. Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved. >> [...]

Tech--for Everyone 

Posted: 25 Jun 2011 10:29 AM PDT
aka Weekend Grab Bag * For Facebook users: June 2011: The Definitive Facebook Lockdown Guide “June 2011 edition of The Definitive Facebook Lockdown Guide. Helping you to protect your privacy, your social network security and to manage your network safely.“ * Better Late Than Never: I didn’t have time to post a Friday Fun video [...]

Ethical Hacking 

Posted: 23 Jun 2011 10:45 PM PDT
More than 100 website defaced having domains of UNITED KINGDOM by blackzero Recently i got a news from the website http://pastebin.com which is used by hackers now a days that more than 100 websites of co.uk and org.uk domains are defaced by black zero. The list of website is posted by THE HACKER NEWS http://pastebin.com/tVVzXMbf

Tech--for Everyone 

Posted: 24 Jun 2011 08:32 AM PDT
Folks, I mentioned back in January that I decided to make changes in my life this year (see, Goodbye 2010. I'll Miss Ye Not.) So today I am doing something extraordinary (for me, anyway). Here’s one of the reasons why.. .. stuff is getting .. old. Friday is here! Have a super fantastical weekend everybody! Mark [...]

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Ekiga ~ Free Your Speech

Ekiga ~ Free Your Speech

Ekiga (formely known as GnomeMeeting) is an open source SoftPhone, Video Conferencing and Instant Messengerapplication over the Internet.

It supports HD sound quality and video up to DVD size and quality.

It is interoperable with many other standard compliant softwares, hardwares and service providers as it uses both the major telephony standards (SIP and H.323).

Would you like to know more?

Other downloads.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Free Online Image-editing Suite

Aviary is a free online image editing suite. Check it out below.

Welcome to Aviary's editing suite!

Aviary is a powerful suite of browser-based design tools, now available right from within Google Apps. Learn more!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New Freeware from CompletelyFreeSoftware.com

   Space Fights v2.0 -- Win9x/ME/WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
Space Fights is a space shooter where you must destroy waves of alien attackers. It features 9 bonuses to collect, it has multiple levels, good animated graphics & sound effects, keyboard & mouse control, there is fullscreen & windowed modes, it has light-hearted background music, and more. In the style of Space Invaders, Space Fights is a 21st Century take on the old classic shooter. It boasts good animated graphics and lots of bonuses to collect. You are faced with a huge number of alien invaders, plus a number of asteroids. Controls are best used on the mouse where the left mouse button fires the primary weapon and the right mouse button fires a secondary weapon. The ship itself is moved with the mouse. The bonuses are: Armor; Ionic Gun; Missiles; Life; Laser Gun; Mega-Skull; Energy; Plasma Gun; and Mega-Bomb. While this is not the most spectacular space shooter available, never-the-less Space Fights is lots of fun to play and is surprisingly addictive. We loved! CFS membe
rs can get this 2.41MB download from:



               DPWipe v1.1 -- Win98/ME/WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
DPWipe is a small utility that securely deletes files and folders. It features 7 different deletion methods (overwrite with zeros or pseudorandom data, RCMP DSX 3x overwrite, DoD 5220.22 compliant 3x & 7x overwrite, & Gutmann's 35-pass wiping method), files & folders are added via drag 'n drop, it includes HTML Helpfiles in English & German, and more. This is an awesome way of securely deleting sensitive data. Deletion methods vary from the most basic single overwrite with zeros, to the 35-pass Gutmann's Maximum Security for the most paranoid user. For the average user either of the triple pass methods should be more than sufficient to prevent unauthorized access to your information but, if you are even slightly paranoid, the US Department of Defense 7x method should suffice. If you are seriously paranoid then Gutmann's Maximum Security is for you. We were most impressed with DPWipe. It offers a level of data deletion security that should suit all users. It is easy to use and
 fast in operation. A "must have" for your utility toolbox. Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95. Access this 421kB download from:


               Stellarium -- WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
Stellarium is a real time, 3D photo-realistic virtual planetarium. It features a catalog of over 600,000 stars, it displays constellations, has a powerful zoom, offers time control, fisheye projection, telescope control, displays equatorial & azimuthal grids, shooting stars, eclipse simulation, skinnable landscapes, it is highly customizable, and more. If you have ever looked up at the heavens and wondered what is up there then Stellarium is for you. It offers so many functions that you could spend a month just learning them all. It can be used like a telescope, or you can use it to create  a spheric mirror projection for your own dome. If you want information about stars or planets it is all there, and you can set it for any location in the world you want. There are add-ons and plug-ins you can get for this program that enhance it even further. Words cannot express the awesome wonder of your own glimpse into outer space through Stellarium -- with you in full control. Stellar
ium is impressive from all angles. It did everything demanded of it, and did it easily. We loved! Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95, 98 or ME. Access this 43.4MB download from:


               Broken Shortcut Fixer v1.0 -- WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
Broken Shortcut Fixer is a tool that removes or repairs broken shortcuts. It features a one-click scan for each drive, displays location information about the broken shortcut, no installation is required, it is simple to use, and more. This is a great way of locating, and removing, broken shortcuts. Nominate the drive, click on the scan button and, a few seconds later, you will be prompted to delete any broken links found. These links are deleted to the Recycle Bin so they are recoverable, if required, until you decide to empty the Recycle Bin. The only aspect of this program we didn't like was the requirement to scan each drive separately -- we have five partitions on our hard drive and each one had to be scanned individually. However, because Broken Shortcut Fixer is so fast, this was not onerous. Without needing to be installed, Broken Shortcut Fixer is fully portable and can be run from a USB pen drive if required. We liked! Note: we have been advised that this program is
 not suitable for Windows 95, 98 or ME. Access this 1.02MB download from:


               LightMan Player v1.1.0.0 -- WinXP/Vista/Win7 (4 doves)
LightMan Player is a multimedia player for video, audio and images. It supports all popular media formats, includes standard audio playback functions, offers playlist support, plays single files or the contents of a folder, offers fullscreen & windowed modes, built-in codecs, and more. LightMan Player is a standard multimedia player that is reported to play most popular file formats. It will play your MP3s, your videos and even display your images. Codecs are added when you install the program and the player does what is expected of it, most of the time. Having successfully opened AVI and WMV videos, we tried to open an FLV file and the program locked up. We re-installed it a number of times, even re-booted the computer, but from that point on we could not get it to work again! We are assuming that there was a conflict with this particular video file (which plays normally in other programs) but we could not remove it from the list so every time the program was opened (even af
ter a re-install) it fell foul of this video file which still appeared in its playlist. We even spent quite some time trying to clean out Registry entries, etc to remove the listing for this file but were unsuccessful. Aaaarrrggghhh!!! LightMan Player might work well for you but we can only base our review on what we found, so this is not a program we can recommend. Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95, 98 or ME. Access this 6.09MB download from:


               TetraEdit v3.24 -- Win9x/ME/WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
TetraEdit is a tabbed RTF editor with multimedia and Internet functions. It features a spell checker (external on-line source), autocorrect, opens TXT docs, has its own image viewer, music player, video player, SWF player, Internet browser (IE-based), VBScript controller, skin maker (3 skins included), RSS reader, and more. This is an unusual, multifunctional program that presents as an RTF text editor which can also play many multimedia sources, and is also a Web browser. You can select from nine different on-line dictionary sources (Google Definitions, Merriam-Webster, Cambridge, Dictionary.com, etc) and three different on-line thesaurus sources. Results are displayed in a side window. TetraEdit can even create and playback macros. It can also play M3U audio playlists, and a wide selection of video formats including SWF Flash files. TetraEdit includes its own skin maker, and RSS reader and a VBScript controller. There are two major problems with TetraEdit. The first is that
 it tries to be all things to all people, and never quite succeeds as successfully as a top-line dedicated tool. The second is that the author's site has disappeared and this has caused some minor problems with the program automatically looking for updates (obviously not now available). In spite of its shortcomings, TetraEdit is a great multifunctional RTF text editor. We liked! CFS members can get this 6.41MB download from:


               TdhCad v11.01.02 -- WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
TdhCad is a simplified 2D vector graphics editor. It creates entities of many shapes, you can move/rotate/resize entities, move points to reshape entities, create groups containing entities & other groups, create paths containing lines & curves, copy 'n paste entire entities or points between entities, change properties, apply color gradients to entities & groups, add a note to any entity, use any number of layers, merge drawings, export drawings to SVG/PNG/PDF formats, save drawings within project databases, it includes a 12 page user's manual, and more. If you are looking for a basic vector drawing editor then TdhCad is probably exactly what you want. While it uses the term "CAD" in its title, it is not a typical CAD program that can create 3D ray-traced graphics -- this use of the term CAD is basic, computer aided design. It may lack some of the bells and whistles of other vector drawing programs but TdhCad is surprisingly powerful within its own right, and includes a 12-p
age PDF Helpfile. It offers layers and other fancy tools, but lacks a toolbar which means that you must squirrel down through menus to find what you are looking for. Even the most basic toolbar would enhance TdhCad enormously. If you create vector drawings but don't want to use a massive, and complex, tool that has all the bells and whistles you may never need, then grab a copy of TdhCad. Like us, you may be pleasantly surprised at this unpretentious program. We loved! Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95, 98 or ME. Access this 7.27MB download from:


               Balancing Building v1.0 -- Win98/ME/WinXP/Vista/Win7 (5 doves)
Balancing Building is a construction-themed balancing game where you must build a structure that doesn't topple. It features 20 progressively harder levels, uses real-time physics, has excellent animated graphics, addictive gameplay, background music, and more. This is a fun way to kill an hour or two. In this Tetris-like puzzle, you must build a structure that doesn't topple using different shapes provided by the game. Like Tetris, there is a next piece notification so you know what is next but, in many ways, this is more challenging (and more fun!) than Tetris. Pieces must be carefully placed (never dropped!) within the allotted timespan and you must use them to build a strong structure that won't topple. You can rotate pieces using the left mouse button, and you also use the mouse to position the piece in your structure. The first level requires 11 pieces to be placed, but this rises to 30 on level 20 (an extra piece added for each level). It starts with 5 different shaped
 pieces rising to 9 on level 20, and you must complete a level before embarking on the next level. Confused? It really is easy to play, just hard to win. Balancing Building can suck the hours out of you faster than you'll probably admit, and we feel it should contain a label: "Warning: this game is highly addictive! Set a time limit before you start." In case you hadn't already realized it, we loved Balancing Building. Now go away so we can play another level... Note: we have been advised that this program is not suitable for Windows 95. Access this 4.83MB download from:



Free Window Registry Repair -- an easy-to-use, one-button Registry cleaning tool -- has been updated to version 2.5 with a new download size of 780kB. The author advises that this version adds some ignore keys, plus bug fixes and stability improvements. Grab a copy of this excellent program from:


Extra DVD Copy Free -- a tool that copies unprotected DVD movies to DVD-9 (dual layer), DVD-5 (single layer) or hard disk -- has been updated to version 7.02 with a size of 1.83MB. The author has not advised the changes in this version. Get this updated version from:


Windows 7 Tweaker -- a System tuneup & tweaking tool -- has been updated to version 3.6 with a new download size of 3.58MB. The author advises that changes in this version are mainly bugfixes. Access this great tweaker from:


HDClone (Free Edition) -- a tool for moving contents of entire hard disk drives onto bigger ones -- has been updated to version 4.0.2 with a new download size of 11.3MB. The author advises that changes in this version include: a new, task oriented user interface; and fixed problems with partition size adjustment. Access this latest version from:


from Dr T -- RTemlak4dds@aol.com

=: Calling For Computer Help :=

Sometimes the pleasure of owning a computer is overshadowed by the need to ask for assistance with a computer issue. Calling for technical support does not have to be an unpleasant experience. Preparing yourself before you make that call, and knowing what to expect while talking to support representatives, can help ease the way.

1. Before you pick up the phone, have as much information at hand as possible. Any product serial numbers should be within easy reach and be prepared to answer these questions:

What version of Windows are you using?

What, if any, changes did you make to your system before the problem occurred? Include both hardware and software changes, and be honest!

What is the exact wording of any error message you receive?

What steps have you taken to try to resolve the issue on your own?

2. Make your call to tech support when you are relatively free from distractions. Being able to focus on what is discussed will go a long way to aiding both you and the tech you are talking to. Do not yell, insult or use profanity no matter how frustrated you are. Most companies advise their techs to hang up on any caller using abusive language. No matter how frustrated you are at the hold time before your call is answered, remember that the tech you are talking to was helping someone else, not ignoring you.

3. Be prepared to verify your address, phone number and even your e-mail address before moving on to your issue. The technician is not being nosy by asking, but rather doing their job. After all, verifying your statistics ensures that your computer is still in your hands and not those of a thief. Many companies require techs to log all calls. If you have called for support before, your statistics may be used to bring up your records and help the technician deal with your issue. Also, if you are using e-mail support, make sure your e-mail address is correct and complete. Otherwise, the tech won't be able to get ahold of you.

4. Be frank about your level of computer expertise. Support technicians talk to customers with vast differences in their skill levels, from the beginner to the expert. If the tech is moving too fast, ask them to slow down. If you don't understand something, ask them to clarify. Don't be embarrassed to admit you are in unfamiliar territory. Likewise, try not to second guess where the tech is leading you and jump ahead. Working together is the surest way to a resolution.

5. Listen carefully to everything the tech is telling you. Most techs have a wealth of knowledge they are more than willing to share with attentive callers.

6. Stick to the subject. Unless you are involved in a long procedure with lots of down time such as a complete Windows reinstall, avoid chit chat. There are many other people waiting to have their call answered (just as you were) and while you may not be working, the tech is.

7. Make sure you get all the help you need. If you have called for assistance with installing hardware, the technician should also help you install the drivers for that hardware. If you have more than one question, jot them down ahead of time so you don't forget them and have to call back.

8. Don't ask your support person to do something that is not their job. For instance, if you have called your computer manufacturer for assistance, don't also ask them to help you with an AOL problem. If you have called for help with installing software, remember it is not the technician's job to train you on that as well.

9. If your computer issue can not be resolved with one phone call, ask the technician to take ownership of it. Many techs are willing to go the extra mile for a friendly customer and will research your problem, then get back to you when they have the solution.

10. Say thank you. Support technicians are people too! If your tech has done an especially good job or kind act, ask if you can send an e-mail to their supervisor to express your appreciation, and then follow through.

Having to call for support on today's technology will probably never be a truly pleasant experience, but it doesn't have to be a painful one either. Don't be intimidated. Being prepared for the call and knowing what to expect ahead of time will make it easier for you and the technician on the phone. And you might just learn a tip or two along the way!

[Source: JoAnn Sommer]

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Gizmo's Tech Treats: April 10 -19, 2011 Summary

Posted: 19 Apr 2011 09:38 AM PDT
Undoing an accidental delete.. Last week I had a client who had somehow or another deleted some Quick Launch shortcuts, and – now – wanted them back: most notably, the “Show Desktop” icon. (“Quick Launch” are the “shortcuts” [icons] next to the Start button, on the left of your Taskbar.) Turns out they missed the [...]

Posted: 19 Apr 2011 02:43 PM PDT

Posted: 15 Apr 2011 05:32 PM PDT

Posted: 15 Apr 2011 08:23 AM PDT
Today a few “quick tips” for you on this TGIF. QT#1: Quick Tip One is a “keyboard shortcut”: You can quickly change the size of the icons on your Desktop by holding down the Ctrl key and scrolling your mouse wheel. Scroll forward to shrink them (to make room for more, maybe) or scroll back [...]

Daves Computer Tips

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