Saturday, July 2, 2011

CFS Weekly Newsletter #565

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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 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


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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:

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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 --

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 at, 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: & 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]

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Daves Computer Tips


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