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IN THIS EDITION ...
News & Reviews ...
User Review: Burnaware Free
Recommended Downloads ...
Interested to see which downloads we're excited about this edition? Read On
Recent Active Topics On The Site ...
In case you missed them, we've listed the latest active topics on the site in the past week or so HERE.
Top 10 Downloads Last Month! ...
Did You Know ...
How To ...
Readers Polls ...
Just For Laughs! ...
|News & Reviews ...|
By Jim Hillier
So many programs automatically set themselves to startup with Windows, many do not need to be continuously running in the background and can just be started manually when required. Over a period of time the number of programs which run at startup can get quite large, noticeably slowing the computer down. It is, therefore, a good idea to review the list of startup items from time to time and remove any which are not needed.
The best method for preventing a program from auto-starting with Windows is via the application’s own options/preferences menu, which is generally available by right clicking on the associated icon in the notification area (at the far right hand side of the taskbar). Not all programs include that option however and this is where a startup manager can really help.
Startup Guard is somewhat unique among the freeware startup managers; it includes a couple of features which are not found, together, in other products. As well as enabling you to view and disable startup items, Startup Guard also:
1) Monitors the system in real time, automatically alerting the user if any program attempts to add itself to the startup list.
2) Provides links for information to help indentify any unknown startup items plus advice on how best to deal with them.
The latter feature is especially helpful for less experienced users to indentify the source program and help make the correct decision as to whether or not an item should be disabled. As far as I know; that feature is available in only one other freeware startup manager, and both features together are not available in any others. Inevitably, comparisons are going to be made with the free version of WinPatrol. WinPatrol (free) does offer a more comprehensive solution in that it also monitors browser helper objects (BHO's), cookies, the HOSTS file and file associations. However, acces to extra information is only available in the commercial version, WinPatrol Plus.
Features of Startup Guard can be viewed HERE.
Comment on Startup Guard HERE.
By Jim Hillier
Duck Duck Go – what is that?
I readily admit I have only just recently come across this one, which is quite surprising considering the amount of time I spend daily searching around for new items.
So, what is Duck Duck Go (apart from being a very strange name)? It is actually a search engine, along the lines of Google, Yahoo, Bing, ect. Except it is a somewhat different and unique search engine.
“ Duck Duck Go is a search engine, founded by Gabriel Weinberg, that uses information from crowd-sourced sites (like Wikipedia) with the aim of augmenting traditional results and improving relevance. The search engine philosophy emphasizes privacy and does not record user information.”
The Interface: is clean and simple and devoid of distractions; no ads, no lists of similar or previously visited sites, no news items……just a search box. I like that!!
DDG also incorporates useful keyboard shortcuts so there is really no need to use the mouse at all; especially helpful for laptop users. A list of all keyboard shortcuts can be viewed HERE.
Zero Click Info: Whenever you enter a search term in DDG the first result, displayed right at the top of the list inside a red box, is a snippet of information garnered from Wikipedia or other open rights information sources. For example; if you were to enter the term “Arctic Monkeys”, DDG would first tell you that Arctic Monkeys are an English indie rock band……that’s Zero Click Info.
How is that useful? Well, say someone just wanted to know what the heck Arctic Monkeys means. DDG gives them that simple answer straight away without having to search through dozens of different results.
Disambiguation: Enter a search term with multiple meanings into Google, Yahoo, Bling, etc. and you will get a myriad of different interpretations, reflected in the results. DDG, on the other hand, realises that ‘Star’ (for example) can mean different things and will present you with a list of options to help narrow down your search…...that’s disambiguation.
!Bang: Use the Bang feature in DDG to search other popular sites without needing to navigate there first. Just type in the ‘sitename’ (preceded by an exclamation mark) plus the query and you will be taken to that site’s search results page. For example: entering “!youtube Roy Orbison” will take you to Youtube’s list of videos featuring Roy Orbison……..that’s !Bang.
A full list of sites currently supported by !Bang can be viewed HERE.
Settings: On the Settings Page you can set/change your preferences. Most are to do with presentation but two important ones are ‘Region’ and ‘SafeSearch’.
Important Note: If you reside outside the USA, make sure to change the ‘Region’ setting so you get the results which are germane to your area.
Firefox: Integration of the DDG search bar into the Firefox browser is a very simple process; just go to the DDG search engine home page HERE and click on the “Add to Firefox” link directly under the query entry box. Then open Firefox and go to the Firefox search bar (adjacent to the address bar) and select Duck Duck Go from the list of search engines in the ‘Manage Search Engines’ drop down menu.
Privacy: Concerns about privacy have grown exponentially with the expansion of web based organisations and their influence. Today, privacy is a major issue; users (such as myself) who are concerned about the intrusion of these organisations and the data they store will be delighted to hear that Duck Duck Go does not gather nor store any user data or IP addresses at all.
On a slightly negative note: DDG does not currently enjoy support from any of the site advisory services. I sent off an email to Gabriel Weinberg (the founder of DDG) querying this and was pleasantly surprised to receive a response within about 10 minutes…..another big plus for DDG.
Gabriel informed me he is currently holding talks with WOT, hopefully that collaboration will come to fruition in the not too distant future.
The Verdict: In the immortal words of Jim Carey….I like it, I like it a lot!!
Submitted by Fred Jones
Just downloaded Burnaware, fantastic free easy to use software.
I rarely use burners, only for backing up and by the time I need to do this chore I've forgotten how to use the software!. All I needed was something simple quick with a big red button "Burn". This software installed on to my Windows 7 Ultimate system no worries, ran straight away, no mucking with compatibility settings - so far it's great!.
So simple - pick disk, CD or DVD multi-session or single, drag and drop files into it, and hit the RED button - so easy.
On my old DVD burner using cheap 4x DVDs it burnt 758mb, 339 files in 10 folders in 3min 40 secs, of course you can copy videos/audio etc as well, go on give it a go ...it's free!.
Comment on Burnaware Free HERE.
Submit your own review HERE.
Microchip giant Intel has announced that it will be buying security-software company McAfee Inc. According to a statement issued by Intel, McAfee will continue to operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary, reporting to Intel’s Software and Services Group.
Intel says the acquisition will help them achieve their goal of providing on-chip security.
NEWS: New DNS Service automatically blocks malware sites
Sunbelt, the well known developers of reputable security software, are offering a free alternative DNS service which automatically filters out known bad websites. The service is known as ClearCloud:
Setting up ClearCloud as your new DNS server is quick and easy; it is not
necessary to install anything. All you need to do is simply change a setting on
your PC or in your router. The ClearCloud site includes precise step by step
guides which can be viewed
There is also an installable utility available (via the same page) which allows users to automatically enable and disable ClearCloud at the click of a button.
NEWS: Online Armor Free Firewall - Now includes support for Win7 64-bit
Online Armor has long been established as one of the best and most popular
free firewalls available. It always earns top ratings in the respected
Online Armor's only real failing has been lack of any support for 64-bit systems.....well that has now changed!!
The latest version of Online Armor now also supports Windows 7 64-bit operating systems. Unfortunately, there is still no support for Vista and XP 64-bit users and I would suggest that at this stage that is never likely to eventuate.
Still, good news for Windows 7 64-bit users.....latest version can be downloaded HERE.
|Recommended Downloads ...|
Each edition we list a few freeware titles that have caught our eye and we reckon you'll agree they're worth a look!
HiJackFree is a detailed system analysis tool which helps advanced users to detect and remove all types of HiJackers, Spyware, Adware, Trojans and Worms.
Write your daily thoughts, opinions, and life views in your own journal. It also includes a password login dialog box for keeping prying eyes out of your personal business. Insert special characters, emotional icons, pictures, and images into your writing for a more colourful display of your thoughts and ideas.
Free YouTube Downloader - download video from YouTube and other video-sharing sites. Save downloaded videos in the original FLV format or one of the most popular formats: AVI, MP4, WMV, M2T, MPEG, etc. Merge videos, split, extract audio. Download and convert YouTube videos with just a click!
PDF To JPG Converter is a windows utility that quickly convert PDF Files into JPG,BMP,TIF,GIF,PNG Images. With PDF To JPG Converter users can also convert PDF to JPG in page range, and set the output image DPI.
|Recent Active Topics On The Site ...|
|Top 10 Downloads Last Month! ....|
|Did You Know ...|
By Mark Williamson
Believe it or not, FaceBook was, and still is to some extent, surrounded by controversy. The 'founder', Mark Zuckerberg allegedly stole the idea from a group of 3 Harvard seniors shortly after it's launch in early 2004. The seniors hired Mark to develop their own FaceBook type site, having already established a reasonably successful website called HarvardConnections.com. The plan was to introduce a dating site to HarvardConnections.com which Zuckerberg was to develop for them. After a number of stalling attempts by Zuckerberg, he finally released his own site called then 'TheFaceBook". They accused him of stealing their idea as well as using private login information from FaceBook's server to read users emails and subsequently accused him of hacking into their own server to change other user information to make their competing system less attractive!. Currently, FaceBook is used by more than 400 million people across the globe, that's a lot of email to read!!!.
By Mark Williamson
'Yahoo!' started life called 'David's and Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web' in 1994 but the founders, David Filo and Jerry Yang soon realised a name change was needed!. They scoured through a dictionary and 'Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle' was abbreviated to 'Yahoo!' with the trademark exclamation mark at the end. David and Jerry had no particular reason for the new name other than they liked the definition of a yahoo: 'rude, unsophisticated, uncouth!'.
|How To ...|
By Mark Williamson
Firefox never ceases to amaze me sometimes!. I had one of those "oh my god" moments recently, when typing a rather large entry on the site, at the same time I had a few tabs open and upon attempting to close one of them I accidentally hit the tab I was working on. After the initial heart stopping moment I remembered the 'History' function ... from the menu it's "History => Recent Closed Tabs" and choose the tab you just closed and voila, everything's back, including all the text you just entered into forms, etc. Even closing firefox completely, you can still recover your last few closed pages through "History => Recently Closed Windows". Not a major tip to avid firefox users I know, but a massive relief to anyone who happens to make the same mistake I did and doesn't already know about this feature.
By Mark Williamson
If you do nothing else this month, why not take 10 minutes to safeguard your entire PC against the worst. When you loose data it can often be a pain, but for some it can mean the difference between hours or days of heartache and a few minutes of restoring your machine from a saved backup!. Windows users already have System Restore but for ultimate peace of mind you can restore your whole PC back to the way it was at the last backup easily and quickly using Macrium's Reflect Free. In Part 1 we'll look at installing and backing up, next month in Part 2 we'll go through the restore process.
1. First things first, download your copy of Reflect Free HERE and kick of the install. The installation process is pretty straight forward and you can leave the defaults as they are and hit the "Next" button. (Don't forget to read the license though!).
2. OK, once the install is complete, start up Reflect using the newly created link in your "Programs" menu or by double clicking the icon on your desktop.
3.When the program starts up it will remind you about the need for an internet connection to register the program, we can ignore this for now and just press "OK".
4.As this is the free version, the free license key is already inserted for you, just press "OK".
5. Now the license is applied!. Press "OK".
6. Before we start backing up, it's worth creating the Rescue CD. This ensures we can start the machine and restore our backups from CD if we were unable to start the PC normally. Make sure you have a blank CD and insert in the PC's CD writing drive now. Press "Yes" when you're ready.
7. There are 2 options when creating a Rescue CD, Linux and BartPE. If you're going to keep your backups on a CD, second hard drive or external hard drive then it's safe enough to just select the "Linux" option. However, if you are going to save your backups on a second machine on your network and you are using XP or Server 2003 then you may be safer to choose the "BartPE" option. For our demonstration we're saving to a local disk and will be selecting "Linux". Press "Next".
8. Usually it's safe enough just to accept the defaults, as we have, and press "Finish" to start the CD burning process.
9. The Rescue CD is now complete. Press "OK".
10. Let's get started creating our backup. In the left pane, click "Create a backup image of an entire disk or selected partition(s)".
11. Press "Next" to continue with the backup wizard.
12. If you have more than one disk or partition on your PC, you now need to choose which one you want to backup. We're going to backup our system drive which is our "C" drive. Choose the drive and then press "Next".
13. Now we need to specify the destination for the backup. You can choose to backup to a local disk, like a second hard drive, or to another machine on your network, CD/DVD or a locally attached external device. For our example we're using our "D" drive, so we hit the drop-down menu, choose "Browse for folder" and select the drive.
14. OK, so we're now backing up to the "D" drive. Once you've made your selection, hit "Next".
15. We're just about ready to start the backup. You can choose to specify other attributes like compression ratio of your backup, etc from the "Advanced" option, otherwise you're just about ready to go. Hit the "Finish" button.
16. You can run this backup immediately and save the backup job to run at scheduled intervals or just to run manually at a later date. For now, we're going to let the backup run for the first time and we're saving the backup job as well. You can enter a different name from the default we have "My Backup". Hit the "OK" button to kick off the backup.
17. Note the balloon notification which should appear when the backup starts!.
18. The backup job will first analyze the disk or partition you want to backup.
19. Once the analysis is done, the backup will start. You can minimize the backup screen and continue working on your PC by pressing the "Hide" button, and if you notice your machine becoming too slow or unresponsive during the backup you can reduce the priority given to Reflect using the slider as in Fig 1.19.
20. OK, our backup is now complete!. Press "OK".
21. Back on the main screen, we can see our backup job under the "XML Definition Files" tab called "My Backup.xml". Now we've made our first backup, we want to make sure it runs at a scheduled interval so we always have a current copy available. To schedule the backup job, right-click on it and choose "Schedule" from the drop-down menu.
22. We can leave the "Task Name" as default, or if you wish enter any custom name for the schedule.
23. Now we want to choose when to run the backup, we're choosing "Weekly" but you can choose which option suits you best. Make your select and press "Next".
24. Now we need to specify the days and start time of the schedule. You can change which date the scheduled backup will start and can even change the weekly backup to only backup every 2 or 3 weeks if you wanted. You can also specify to run the backup if the schedule wasn't run for some reason. Make your choices then press "Next".
25. Once you've made your choices, review the information and if you notice a mistake or want to change something about the schedule just hit the "Back" button and make the appropriate changes otherwise we're done, press "Finish".
26. From the "Scheduled Backups" tab we can now see the scheduled job, further confirmation that we have now setup a backup job to run at our chosen time and day.
27. If for any reason you wanted to perform the scheduled backup manually you can do this by 'right-clicking' on the scheduled job and selecting "Run Now" from the drop-down menu. Next month we'll be taking a look at restoring your PC from your backup, till then, happy backing up!.
HOW TO: Use the functions on our download pages
When viewing a download on FreewareBB it may not be instantly obvious there is a wealth of information available. Allow us to navigate around the page and show you what each function does :)
|Readers Polls ...|
Got a burning question you want to ask the readers?. We have another section in our forum area called Polling Place which allows you to ask and respond to various polls. Read more about posting and responding to a poll HERE.
This months poll ...
Do you think kids spend too much time on computers these days?. Cast your vote HERE.
Your favourite Antivirus app?
Avast! came out on top last month, and surprisingly 'Others' came second!. The poll is still open and you can cast your own vote HERE.
Which Windows is for you?
Windows 7 and XP came joint first, with Vista in second place. The poll is still open and you can cast your own vote HERE
|Just For Laughs! ...|
Send us your funny pics, jokes or a note of the funny vid HERE.
Thanks this month to Angela McHugh for these hilarious photos.
Rice Cereal? I don’t need no stinkin’ rice cereal!
Ohhh, cold wipes, cold wipes!
Don't know bout you, but I'm seriously fed up!
I can't believe this place, I really can't!
Please tell me she didn't just say that!
Double check that email address!
Frank Harrison, a businessman from Minnesota, went on a business trip to
recently to Florida.
On arrival, he sent an e-mail back home to his wife, Karren. Unfortunately, he mistyped a letter in the email address, and the e-mail went to jharrison instead of kharrison!.
Joan Harrison, the wife of a preacher who had just passed away, took one look at the e-mail and promptly fainted.
When she was finally revived, she nervously pointed to the message, which read: "Arrived safely, but it sure is hot down here."
Three engineers in a car; an electrical engineer, a chemical engineer and a
Suddenly the car just stops by the side of the road, and the three engineers look at each other wondering what could be wrong.
The electrical engineer suggests stripping down the electronics of the car and trying to trace where a fault might have occurred.
The chemical engineer suggests that maybe the fuel is becoming emulsified and getting blocked somewhere.
Then, the Microsoft engineer comes up with a suggestion, "Why don`t we close all the windows, get out, get back in, open the windows again, and maybe it`ll work !?"