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Topics - Steven Avery [ switch to compact view ]

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Hi Folks,

Mamutu - Behavior-Based Malware Protection

Mamutu on BDJ 8th June $8.69  - Wilders thread

 (And Mamutu discussed on other threads on Wilders, Gladiator, DSL Reports, etc.)

 Mamutu from Emsi, a behavioral HIPS.  Plays nice with Online Armor, according to reports, although I gather it can overlap (double messages) in some cases.  I gather you can adjust what sections Mamutu is covering.

 If you take this program for a year, suggest you immediately cancel the auto-renewal a year later, you can always renew then, or look for a new discount.  (This also was on GiveawayoftheDay once, over a year ago.)

Mamutu - Emsi Description

Bladed Thoth review


Living Room / Troubleshooting an XP bootup lockup
« on: June 07, 2009, 05:18 PM »
Hi Folks,

This is a relaxed problem. (Thus I prefer to discuss it here .. rather than in any of the hyper-ventilated forums.)

When I boot up XP under the main user, I get a lockup, hourglass, active, no keyboard or mouse actions allowed, perhaps relating to Internet Explorer. (After a couple of programs like Avira and NoteZilla have loaded, but most have not.) When I crash out Windows Explorer with my task manager (ctrl-alt delete is not disabled, my task manager replacement DTaskManager, comes up and is fully functional) the system can be normal, ready for me to start up the rest of the programs by hand. (A couple have started up by the time of the lockup.)  There is no residue of difficulty in that case.

I saw in the "weird window" thread the suggestion to stop a bunch of stuff from starting up in Autoruns and then put back in groups.  Sounds like a good idea, I was also wondering about checking the event log, or a load order program and stuff like that.  This stuff is squirrelly.  The Autoruns  suggestion is probably a good idea, any thing to go along with that ?  I usually do not reboot that frequently so I have to dedicate some time to this when I am doing other stuff in multi-task. HijackThis style logs is a possibility too.


Here are a couple of other notes.

Paragon's freebie would not install without "administrator" rights, even though my main user is an administrator.  No other new programs have had this problem.  So I eventually bit the bullet and did ctrl-alt-delete twice at signon, went in as the official administrator, and install went fine.  Any thoughts ?  This was different than when this type of problem happens and you actually do not have administrator rights.  Maybe I will write Paragon, since they are known for high-class customer service.  The problem is .. I don't have a problem anymore.

I also have some XP questions (on another puter or 2) similar to the ones in the "weird window" thread.  These XPs have the right # on the side, almost surely original motherboard,  and the guy gets them from a solid corporation and has to reinstall the OS. (Total investment for 2 puters = $175 and 1 might just become a Linux box anyway and the fellow will help me get them up, if I catch him at the right time.)  At one time I think I had XP validated on one but smashed it with an attempted partition.  (Ugh). So all this adventure is in process... stay tuned.  Again, these are secondary puters, there is no rush, but a lot of the issues overlap the "weird window" thread.  In general, if you have a high-class OEM-style wide-mouth Windows XP installer and an original system with the right sticker # on the side, should you have much problem getting XP back up, do you thunk ?


Hi Folks,

DbSchema 5 - The Art Of Keeping Data Together

A database design front-end (I think that is what it is) to work with a number of mostly SQL database products.  You design the database in DbSchema and have maybe better schema and documentation tools than you might find in the individual program. And then you can go here and there exporting.  Maybe if you change your database in midstream the horse doesn't gurgle.  (Granted this does not take into consideration all the user interface aspects specific to the tools.)

Sounds rather interesting, even if the usable databases are limited.  The lack of a user forum .. a smidgen discomfiting.

Your thoughts ?

Steven Avery

General Software Discussion / Sticky Notes - Freeware Roundup
« on: June 04, 2009, 02:05 AM »
Hi Folks,

  From the recent threads and the NoteZilla review we have seen that two products understandably generate the most interest.

NoteZilla - ConceptWorld - Shareware

Stickies  - Zhorn - Freeware

Yet there are many others to consider. First, the freeware. However, most of these freeware products do not have what I consider the two most significant features  -

1) Auto-See & Auto-Hide (opening programs, documents, webpages)
2) Functional data repository for all the notes (sorting, searching)

Yet, not all might consider these requirements, especially those looking for simple sticky capabilities and little more.  (btw .. what other Note software has these features ?  Perhaps one or two of the other commercial apps ? )

Thus, this post is the freeware review, the listing of currently available with a spot of info and urls.  After chopping out a few for various reasons there were about 20+ that were interesting.


This site has some pics of a lot of the freeware software.

Free Sticky Notes
(Crawler should be avoided, Desktop 3D Notes is commercial)


FREEWARE (& Donationware)


Note-It - Veign

Shock Sticker - (Freeware Genius likes this)


KNot - update of "Akatanomasto" by Cylog -   Kostas Symeonidis

PaperNotes - Open Source

StickIt - Singer's Creations

NetNotes6  (server edition is commercial)

FreeNote - mgshareware  (toolbar to decline on install)

Hott Notes (updated 2007 - forum active)

StickyPad - Green Eclipse (updated 2007)

Stickypaper - (from Japan)


Sheer Notes - Solway's Software

Two Notes - Softjournal

TK8 Easy Notes


Efficient Sticky Notes (related to "Efficient PIM")

Simple Sticky Notes - Simnet

Simple Notes Organizer

WireNote (2005) - PIM'ish capabilities

Shirusu Pad (2005)

Fast Note (2005)



Freebie Notes - PowerSoft (Also Dynamic Notes $17 and Power Notes $22)

Stickler Lite    (MoRUN has about five Note softwares, these two are the freewares)
Free Sticky Notes

NotesHolder - (Pro - $20)


Notes: Online stickies are not included here.  Efficient (above) .. a bit of an Essential PIM knockoff .. is the only regular PIM I know that has separately broken out the sticky notes as its own app.

Exstora and Exstora Pro
is a PIM application with a sticky note feature and note manager.

Some here might have experiences with these freewares.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  If so .. please share away.

Steven Avery

Mini-Reviews by Members / NoteZilla
« on: June 03, 2009, 11:20 AM »
Basic Info

App NameNoteZilla
App Version ReviewedNoteZilla 7.0 Build 85 Nov 12, 2008
Test System SpecsWindows XP SP3
Supported OSesWindows 2000, XP, Vista
Support MethodsEmail, very open to discussion
Upgrade PolicyNoteZilla 8 should be available in Aug-Sep next year (2010). And the upgrade price planned to be 30%-40% less of original price.
Trial Version Available?30-day
Pricing SchemeNoteZilla $29.95 (1 person, 2 puters used only by the 1 person) Portable USB $39.95 Sliding discounts on multi-licenses and packs.  Also watch DonationCoder and BitsDuJour.
Relationship btwn. Reviewer and Product None.  Inhabitants of the same teeming megalopolis.

NoteZilla takes the concept of sticky note software to a fine art.  

The first thing to see is that NoteZilla was very stable in my use.  And consistently esthetically pleasing.  You can navigate menus and right-clicks at leisure and find the features, the author will try to answer any puzzles you hit by email and the color and shape and utility of the notes are very flexible.  

One key feature of any power-user sticky note software will be the Auto-See and Auto-Hide function. (I will use this expression in the review, it goes by many names and descriptions.) Linking to programs and web pages and documents .. working through the Windows API for the description of a window .. so that a particular note comes up automatically as an auxiliary to the page or program or document and then hides when the item gives up focus. (Unless you pin the note to the desktop or are working on the note).  

Not realizing this capability existed, I had discarded sticky notes a while back as impractical, sticking with Keynote-NF for note software, a fine program with no sticky capabilities.  Yet the Auto-See-Hide feature exists in a few note products.  Now with this capability understood the question is in reverse .. how much usage to give the sticky notes ?  Since they are so effective and fit into a daily puter usage mix, as they no longer have the tendency to get in the way (also you use the "pinning" feature to reduce real estate for notes in and out of use).

Another feature for power use is that the notes must have a strong central data repository that has multiple features for organizing and searching.  This is not immediately obvious when you think of sticky notes, since your paper notes tend to get crumpled and discarded and mixed-up and you thought the program was just to put a few notes on the screen.  This repository (the well-designed "NoteZilla Notes Browser") is what allows a program like NoteZilla to contend to become your main note program. To either augment or supplant programs like Keynote-NF or Treepad.

Note though that NoteZilla - despite its use for ToDo and reminders, makes little effort to be an all-purpose PIM or to integrate with web snippets. And NoteZilla, and sticky note programs in general, lacks significant functions of the dedicated notes programs. More sophisticated searching and macros as well as word processing style text manipulation. As you move more into project planning and organization and less into notes/reminders you will hit the wall with a sticky note program.  

For Screen Shots NoteZilla has a fairly fine series of 11.

Here are a couple, on the web-pages is additional NoteZilla explanatory notes on the left, these pics here are actually more how your screen appears. Time permitting I may update these a bit with my own pics.  Mouser and all, thanks for the include-pic-explanation thread !

On this first pic I am not sure if the bubble-annotation-style note is from NoteZilla ! (Either a feature I missed or a bit of picture-fudge using another program, research in process.)

Stickies on Windows Desktop.jpg

On this next pic notice that the MemoBoards do allow sub-folders. Quite easily in fact. (Thus some corrections came to the review). This pic is missing an important element .. the filters which supply a lot of the extra power can be in the lower left .. or the full left if you hide the memoboards. I will plan to pic including the filter area later. Another important element missing in this pic .. the full sortable columns, will also be included.  Overall, you can see the clarity and cleanness of working within the Notes Browser, one of the key elements to NoteZilla.

Notes Browser.jpg

Next we see how far NoteZilla has taken the tags so far.  When there is more than one (not shown) it is simply in the same box, separated by a column.  So tags at this time are essentially one-level use. Still very nice and helpful, yet more can be done.


Reminders are done nicely.  This next pic (the popup box at the bottom right of the pic .. the screen itself is a tad color-gaudy) is what you see when the reminder is happening.  You have options for sound or not, to let it buzz for x seconds, put in your own .wav file and bring up the source note.  The "Set Reminder" screen (not shown) is where there are two tabs, one for the basic action and one for recurring entries.  


And for the DonationCoder techies, the pic of the export page.

Export Notes.jpg

Who is this app designed for:
NoteZilla can be for the techie keeping notes on dozens of issues and projects and ToDos and programs.  Using a multi-searchable and sortable free-lance data repository. And sharing the notes with others.

As an example, my first real productive usage was to link notes to program support, such as Online Armor, so that when the OA config box goes up by my directive, my wip questions for their forum come up as well in a NoteZilla note, a note which will include any helpful forum links.

Or it can be for the home user keeping some notes handy for shopping and wanting little reminders and todos and when to pay bills and make appointments and this and that.  The more tech elements (ie. attaching a file or a picture, setting up tags for filing, linking to a program) can be ignored for light use.

The NoteZilla website front page has a few dozen examples. "But, what will I use this program for?"  For many of those I would continue with my existing PIM, which in my case is my bookmark program Linkman, since I have it well-trained to show maximum information on minimum effort.  

Ironically one place where I definitely plan to use NoteZilla was not listed.

Screen capture annotation. Easy capture programs like WinSnap and Purrint and MWSnap do not have an annotation feature (Screenshot Captor and the higher-end commercial programs have this feature).  However you can simply bring up a new note before taking the picture, give the note the placement and color and style (skin) and text that fits best ("My firewall gave me this error msg after I installed Program XYZ"). And then take the picture. Thus you have filled in for the missing feature and can even save the text in your notes, and, in reverse, maneuver to put the resulting picture inside the note !

The Good
First, the two features above are of great interest for my usage.

Auto-See & Auto-Hide
"Attach a sticky note to any document, website, program or window. Great advantage!"

"Tags are like keywords or labels that you can assign to sticky notes in order to group them and find them easily. By adding tags you can group your sticky notes by topics, projects, contexts or anything else that is important to you."

Tagging allows flexible grouping of any notes by an additional filter system. Adding to the "note repository" function.  NoteZilla has a strong MemoBoard filtering (e.g. show all notes with Reminders or Starred and sort them by reminder date using the one-click sortable column feature).  However so far it looks like the Tagging is in early implementation and is not included in the filtering system except appearing in a sortable column (which loses functionality when there is more than one tag for a note).

There are a large number of excellent features that can only get quick mention here.

First there is the niceness of transparencies and color and RTF flexibilities and skins and tiling and cascading and separate title editing and text and various ways to size and hide and stick and roll up and down the windows.  These are all done well in NoteZilla and the best is simply to test it out for awhile to see how the basics work.

Reminders with recurring events is a semi-basic Sticky Note feature well-implemented in NoteZilla. If you don't have a reminder program in a PIM or elsewhere (I do not) NoteZilla will fill this function admirably.  

The search function is definitely solid and sufficient, essentially NoteZilla "Finds" all the notes that have the searched-for-texts (with word/string and case options).  And as you look at each found note the text is highlighted (although not in the title, possibly an oversight to be improved).  

Here is my short list of semi-special features.

Picture insert (works excellently !)
Attaching Files and Folder (e.g. a picture is "attached" that will come up in a viewer when the attachment is clicked or a file will be executed by its associated program).
Checklist, bullets numbering
Spell Check
Solid flexible export (.html .txt .db) and import (.txt .db)
Portable functionality.
Contact list for emailing and sharing notes
Network sharing

The needs improvement section
More in the concept of enhancement than "needs improvement".

Enhancement request:
It would be nice to see a feature where the linking is to ANY webpage with the text "DonationCoder" in the window text.  And not just a specific web-page. This is done by GoScreen, a virtual screen manager, and requires some extra programmer effort and would be worthwhile.

Long-term Enhancement Request:
Enhanced PIM functionality/integration in various ways or form.  The principle one I see is a calendar integration coming out of the reminder system.  This could be program enhancement or export to an .ics (iCalendar) file for import to another dedicated calendar program.  

Another longer-term consideration is adding phone #s to the contact and some other information and then having contact-note linkage.   So that you scan your contacts and have the phone # and whatever put right into the note.  You would also have a view of notes for a contact.

Bugs and annoyances were few and far between.  I asked the developer to consider putting the "hide" button on the other side of the top-bar so you might not accidentally hide a work-in-process.  Gautam responded favorably, and thought it a good idea for consideration. (Generally he either showed me a feature I had missed or looked upon the suggestions favorably or for consideration.) Online Armor had a few extra unusual prompts at time that I had to repeat. Essentially I have hit no bugs or annoyances of note.

And I also asked the developer Gautam to consider a "Properties" tag similar to his "Statistics" section.  I was not able to determine what pages a note was linked to (not even in the Notes Browser).  Thus all the pertinent information about a note (including linked pages and files and folders and other properties) would be best easily visible on a right-click option.

Another feature request was a hotkey capability for a specific note. All hotkeys now are NoteZilla global functions.

A minor request was an option to simply keep the excellent top-bar up, rather than requiring a mouse-hover or mouse-click or key to unhide the bar.  The reason it is not up is that it detracts from the super-simple "Sticky Note" appearance, yet I think it actually often adds to appearance and functionality.

Also a request to make the "Title" line more distinctive than it is currently (color, underlining-sectioning) although actually you can accomplish some of that with default colors and fonts, as the Title line is kept distinct in applying RTF attributes and has a separate default.  Also if you ask to have a note tagged with date and time, that ends up starting out as the Title-line until you edit it.  A smidgen unelegant, I would rather open up right to the title awaiting my input.


There were two lacks that I found notable. Both may be more in the line of "newish feature -- and .. nobody asked about it yet".  (Also I may have missed some functionalities.)

1) The lack of an easy way to see the Auto-See linkages from the note itself, or even from the Note Browser. They are only triggered when the program or web page or document opens.

2) NoteZilla is not yet oriented toward full multi-tagging.  Multi-tagging is possible, but will not help in grouping (filters). The second tag will simply be listed to the right of the first in a row view in the Note Browser, as a sort field and to show what tags a note was placed in.  They have no function within the filtering section, which is their most natural power-use.  This grouping functionality is a feature that is strong in some ToDo lists programs and was strong when I used Time & Chaos.  Once NoteZilla includes user-defined multiple groups, it becomes important to give them fuller function.

Why I think you should use this product
NoteZilla sticky notes are surprisingly versatile.

The Auto-See-Hide feature of linking with a document or program or web-page is such a powerful feature, combined with a fine interface, that I highly recommend at least trying a program with these features.

The Notes Browser (data repository) is excellent, the key feature of searching and collecting and organizing.  

On the lighter level there are freeware alternatives, yet many would prefer NoteZilla.  

On the techie level NoteZilla is simply a sweet software.  Price is very moderate for a daily-use software so I recommend not economizing on a lesser program unless you are extremely comfortable with the program.

How does it compare to similar apps
NoteZilla appears to be the standard bearer, the measuring line.

Stickies by Zhorn is a very competent freeware product that does have the linking to url and programs feature, yet lacks the tagging and is lighter in general in elements like filtering.  With Stickies I did not feel as comfortable, and missed the top bar on NoteZilla which is very nice.  (Giving you options to hide, roll/up or pin the note and showing you whether there is a reminder or attachment and quick access to the full note menu and allowing you to work in an intuitive and visual fashion.)  Overall I felt NoteZilla was superior for active use, while Stickies might be fine for lighter use. Note: I may have missed aspects of how to use StickyNotes, in my brief usage periods.

Post-it Digital Notes by 3M is a commercial competitor.  One article on DonationCoder lamented how they botched the upgrade and transition to the new version, which is what can happen with corporate software.  Plus I do not see the Auto-See-Hide feature and tagging in the blurb.

There have been some attempts to add sticky notes to PIM or web applications, working in reverse.  None have stood out in my research to date. Google Sticky Notes and Exstora (mentioned in some portable apps pages) are two.

There are many other shareware and freeware and donationware stickies.  I will try to list many of them with a url and note in a separate post, noting here a few names that seemed substantive.

Freeware & Donationware - NoteIt by Veign, PrestoNotes, NetNote, Stickit, Freebie Notes, hott notes, Wirenote (more PIM features but no active development)

Shareware - Power Notes, Magic Notes, TurboNote+, NetNote 6 and Server

In some cases, like NetNote, you have a freeware and commercial product.

NoteZilla simply does its job, and well.  NoteZilla is under continual development with an active and helpful software author.  A webforum or at least an email forum would be an excellent addition, although less critical on an app like this than a lower-level utility like a security app or a virtual screen monitor.

Links to other reviews of this application
These two reviews were linked to from the NoteZilla pages.

Notezilla Review - Free Downloads

PC World - editorial review

Not many reviews,  Lifehacker only has it in favorable comments, the program cannot qualify for the excellent freeware reviews like Gizmo or FreewareGenius.  Even Fileforum and Snapfiles only have a smidgen.

Overall, I enjoyed studying for this review, like homework, compelling me to learn a ton more about the program in a few hours !  Helpful to me, hopefully to you as well.

Steven Avery

Hi Folks,

  In the spring and summer I start "missing" more events than in the winter, so I start to wonder...

 Calendar software is a tricky area, so much so that I am always tempted to return to the last I actually used consistently for awhile - Calendar Creator, now Plus. Many years back.  Oh yeah, I also used Time & Chaos reasonably well for awhile.

  However a spot of time has marched on, here are my thoughts beyond the :

Decent screen view and printouts.
Easy entry.
Recurring events should be reasonably simple and powerful.

 However the fancy custom calendar backgrounds for printing that some give are unimportant.  The theme here is practical.

are close to a necessity.  Either pop-up from tray or even better more sophisticated stuff, like to a cell phone. They should be reasonably flexible (e.g. every day for a week before the event).

OVERLAYS (Groups/Categories)
are a necessity for me to be happy with such a program.  You should be able to look at your "radio" calendar or "local events" calendar separately or with "ALL". Preferably you should be able to choose to group a few categories together for a custom calendar. This calendar may include my "Local Events" and "Concerts" and "Conferences" but not my other dozen groupings like personal finance deadlines or internet and radio events or work stuff.  

This is more possible if the grouping allows a sub-grouping concept .. and that is more likely if the calendar is the outgrowth of a ToDo with sub-categories. However sub-groups is not a necessity and may barely exist anywhere well in calendar software.

And asking for geographic savvy is likely a bit too much to ask, but I could include that to an extent in my defined categories (easier with sub-groups).

Are a necessity.  I may put into the calendar some radio or internet events that are high priority, but a dozen other may be normal schedules that are there as a "look-see" in the AM but otherwise not important.  Thus the event I really want to remember is high priority (or number = 8 ) and the others are a 1 or 2 or low.  They are in the calendar but only if I include the low priorities.  Three priorities would be ok but a number system is superior.

And it would be nice if deadlines are hard or soft.  That is again more likely coming out of a ToDo manager.  There is a big difference between a calender notice that has an event on a certain date (my vehicle inspection is due) and one that is a flexible job deadline.  This distinction in dates (coming from ToDo stuff like .. ugh .. GTD) is nice to build in one way or another.  e.g. A calendar event of a soft deadline does not disappear when the day passes, it asks to be reset to a later date. Ok, all this is not a necessity.

URL Hot-links
Clearly this is a feature that you would expect today. Close to necessity.


One other question is very important.  It would be very nice if this calendar was not an orphan calendar, but was integrated to a high-quality To-Do list or PIM (email I would ignore at this time, although in the long run Thunderbird might be integratable, today I use Eudora.  Tbird has various connections and extensions to consider).  

Integration would be especially nice to a ToDo, which is a natural complement and integration to calendar.  PIM is nice because it may allow a drag-and-drop to have stuff like the phone # put in without a recheck or retype (Time & Chaos had some of that functionality).

 I used Time & Chaos (now Chaos Intellect) for awhile and it was reasonable on all this, however it was clearly stronger on PIM features like contacts than ToDo or calendar. I would even consider returning to such a program, even in a commercial version, if the calender is strong and integrated well.  After T&C I poked around (e.g. Essential PIM and Pimex) yet never found a really fine alternative PIM, and I also consider building my own with a database program with or without template. (This might be Alpha Software, or a project to help me learn WinDev or Magic Software, but those last two would have a work-related learning aspect since they can run on the iSeries/AS400 data as well as the PC.)

  Otherwise I would continue to use Linkman as my primary PIM (with which I am quite happy, since it has a natural web-integration and fast look-up) and use something like ToDoList (Abstract Spoon) if the calender program and ToDo cannot be one program per my requirements.  ToDoList has a separate calendar plug-in, but I tend to doubt that it mustard-cuts for the above.  As for my current tools, I also use NoteZilla and KeyNote-NF, with NoteZilla recently moving up the ladder.

  It is possible that some programs like Agenda At Once or Ultra Recall or Exstora or this and that have a lot of this stuff. If you have experience with one that is looks like it can do the calendar job above, give a holla. Who knows, I may already have the program license.  Also InfoQube may be a player, it is the type of PC-friendly database program that may have some modules that fit the needs above.  I would jump right into Agenda or InfoQube or UltraRecall if they are strong enuf and malleable enuf (AAO in native mode, InfoQube in building/programming mode, Ultra Recall in the middle).

 On the straight calender with some ToDo.. Rainlendar is often mentioned, perhaps it fits the bill ?  Does it make the "de minimus" above ?

 Ok, one other obvious question.


  Can a RemembertheMilk or another online program do this well ?  Does it have the layered and priority functions and more ?  If so, I will try that route. I am happy to let this be a home puter function, an online function, or both integrated .. if the functionality is excellent.

Oh, along the same line.


   Blackberry, IPhone, Palm. Clearly this is the rage this day, yet I am not so excited.  I would be more than happy knowing what is happening each day early in the morning by a little screen and/or print reminder.  Right now I have a cell phone, simple clam-shell Samsung that is very functional.  While I would consider the move to a Blackberry or some other carry-around organizer, I do not consider that a driving force.  In a sense I consider that a bit too intrusive, similar to how I gave up on laptops and notebooks some years back.  Yet if your Blackberry-type experiences have been positive, share away.



  A popular backwards method today is to sync multiple calendar.  See that type of discussion in the comments here.

How to Sync Any Desktop Calendar with Google Calendar

Or in this one, although it is also has other issues, trying to use the .ics format over multiple calendar programs.

Use Drobox To Synchronise Multiple Rainlendar Calendars

Does this .ics format support some the features I am asking for above ?

 And note, there is mention of "sub-calendars" (hard to work with externally) within Outlook.

 Multiple calendars is exactly what I want to avoid.  Imho, the only really sensible method is one calendar with flexible groupings.  One master calendar.  You may "export" from it for a particular reason (e.g. web access, fancy printing) but the data repository should be solid and singular.


  Your thoughts and experiences and suggestions ?


Hi Folks,


"Thank you for your interest in Snagit. We are happy to offer you a free, legal version of Snagit 7.2.5 through 5 pm (EST) on June 5, 2009. Please note this version is not compatible with Windows Vista. Please register below to receive your software key. As a registered user, you automatically qualify for upgrade pricing to our latest version – Snagit 9.1. For more information on our latest version – Snagit 9.1 – please visit http://www.techsmith.../snagit/whatsnew.asp "

Found on the Wilder's thread this AM
SnagIt - Free License

(Where they mention it works fine on Vista and also discussed some other software.)

No doubt SnagIt is quality, even if you use Screenshot Captor, WinSnap, Purrint, HyperSnap, FastStone, Jing and Potato online and a dozen others, there likely will be some features (web captures, text capture, editing, this and that) where you find SnagIt the best.  If I remember, its text capture facility is pretty neat. OCR .. and the auxiliary area of text capture through the Windows API .. is a complex area, and one size never fits all, Evernote is known for some capabilities in that area through the cloud.

Steven Avery

Hi Folks,

DefenseWall HIPS

Well-regarded by the Wilder's crew, though I have not used it.  If it is confirmed that it generally plays nice with Online Armor and Avira (allowing for some double-warnings with OA if OA HIPS "Program Guard" is kept on - maybe you simply turn it off) then I am quite interested.

And it might be good to load it today in anticipation of a trial before the discount.  (Note: I might not, it might be too sandbox-ish for me.)

Your thoughts ? :) .


Hi Folks,

X-Setup Pro at Bits Du Jour. $10 instead of $20.

However the freeware market has a bunch of these tweak programs, although some have considered X-Setup the best. Worthwhile for the investment, which is relatively small for the license ?

Is this a market whose time has passed ? (I've never used one of these XP tweakers.)  Later I may list a few of these that are freeware.
Steven Avery

Living Room / browser use - frame frustrations
« on: April 30, 2009, 08:24 AM »
Hi Folks,

  Frames are a bit of a mess to the user.  Often you don't get a specific link for a page, bookmarking becomes difficult. Often too much real estate is taken up, the page is hard to read, maybe you have to go back and forth to F11 mode. And sometimes they try to keep control when you click a URL to other sites ( uses that trick a lot, one reason I avoid their reviews).

  Yet perhaps they sometimes have redeeming browsing value.

  Here is an example from an otherwise quite excellent site.  I'm not sure if these are technically "frames" - the webdev folks can give us the nuances.
Neat Net Tricks

  Note that if you click "Software Reviews" your address bar remains unchanged. On the other hand you can put in:

Software Reviews

  And get directly to the Software Reviews page.  (Yet it is still ugly-small.)  I'm not sure how you are supposed to get to that bookmark originally.

  So what are the solutions ?  (Some web-sites give you a "No-Frames" option, so that is a solution when available.)

  Well sometimes you can google-search some text on a page, and lo-and-behold, you can find the URL to the same page in full-screen no-hassle mode.  Ah, so much better, maybe I can find an example of that later. 

  Can you just put in a Firefox-Opera setting ?
  Can you use NoScript with the frame stuff checked ?
  Is there another way ?

  And if so, can you turn it on/off for a website ?

  How do you accomplish all this ?

Steven Avery

Living Room / sleeping Rip Van Winkle anti-virus execs wake up !
« on: April 18, 2009, 05:34 PM »
Hi Folks,

Newsflash ! 
- Anti-virus company executives notice the real world !

Rogue product ads on F-Secure, McAfee, Trend Micro searches -
Angela Moscaritolo - April 17, 2009

The magazine for "Security Professionals" placed this article right above a large google scamware ad for Shield Deluxe !  No, they did not put through my post (at least not yet) pointing this out .. however now the ad I see is Trend Micro.  Update: now I see the bogus "Top Ten Anti-Virus Software Read Reviews..." ad, so the change was from Google, not a block.  You can read about this particular scamware on Wilders, Web of Trust and even the comments on SiteAdvisor.

Steven Avery

Hi Folks,

  Bear with me through a wordy one.  Or move on :) .

  My main system crashed with a lsass.exe message, something like "end of format is invalid".  This is a real tacky crash -- technically it is a reboot cycle in the early stages of booting XP. (I have some some conjectures about possible culprits, later I will try to look at my MJ Registry Watch and event viewer logs.) On the net this problem is pretty frequent .. sometimes folks attach that message to a user account mashup corruption, other times pagefile-related confusions, other times this and that, lsass.exe is fundamental and resists, for some reason, simple replacement .. from what I could tell.  This also resists sfc /scannow and registry fixes and deleting the page file and lots of other tries.  And often effects safe mode, so that it has a reboot-cycle just like regular mode, you never make it to safe mode, and you can't get to where you could try the "last successful boot" (or whatever that wording is).  Even when folks on the Net get this semi-resolved, it seems like it is often a temporary fix and the problem recurs. 

  Thus .. it is format and reinstall XP time.  I like to do that occasionally anyway on a busy system -- well when needed. Granted .. if I had a recent image I could try format and image reinstall, in the future I plan to design my systems for dual restore.  This is a Dell system, Precision 380 --  I was able to get into some special tool-testing section that Dell has .. went through their whole "OS not booting" test phase without a difficulty :) . And I was able to boot with UBCD4Windows (and Parted Magic if I want) for lots of tools.

   And, using the Dell CDs, which I have, I am able to get into "Windows XP Professional Setup" which allows a deletion of a partition followed by an XP restore (all solidly registered with Dell and MS).  Even when the support time is officially over Dell is pretty good on answering things like -- what should I do ? -- do you have a CD ? etc).

   For backing up the most recent data I simply did an essentially full file-by-file Free Commander (!) backup from UBCD to a removable drive connected by USB that is one of those 150 Gigabyte or more thingies.   I got a chuckle seeing that with the dozens of tools that they have there on UBCD, the one that I trusted for simple file backup was copy files in Free Commander !  (Perhaps the DriveImageXML has that as a sub-feature, however it gave me no confidence .. I would use that for images, which you do not create on crippled machines and expect much.)

 I also used Double Driver, nicely in UBCD, to be sure the drivers were backed up nicely, although I likely had some backup on the disk already.

 Now Dell does not give you an XP CD, they give you a "reinstallation" CD with the service pack, also separate CDs for drivers and an application CD are with this.  And the reinstallation CD pretty clearly is not a fresh install .. I'm pretty sure of that. 

  Important change-note.  I may well have been wrong on that.  The wording on the CD was unclear, it may well be a fresh install, so that would make the rest of the following moot for my XP.  In fact I think I did use it that way once before a year or more ago ! After a Vundo infection and some other difficulties if I remember. Although even if so the questions below may still remain for future reference on other systems.

  So I wonder .. should I look for a generic XP-iso on the net to burn (on another puter) ?  Should I see what Dell has officially that I may have to purchase ?  Or should I try to create a special CD on another puter using some of those strange build-your-XP utilities .. however those I think they want the same hardware.   Or maybe at work where they have a dozen Dell XPs there is actually a full XP OS and if so I should get that in the AM and use it ? Or should I bring it over to the techie guy (who just sold me another decent Lenovo XP system for $100) who installs XP in his sleep in 15 minutes and then types it from the numbers of the box-side.  He is busy tomorrow -- he picks up the one generation old machines from Port Authority by the dozens which is why I was able to get a decent system cheap and, with patience, watch XP in the making .. watching XP is a bit like sauerkraut or frankfurters or whatever has that adage .. oh yeah .. sausage .. hmmm.. Hebrew National may be better.  Well I had to find the Ethernet driver and he ended up giving me two XP-OS in one partition - Windows and Windows.0 -- yet one was trivial to delete, surprisingly. Anyway, he can't help till Tuesday so should I try one of the other methods ? Does an XP-iso work ?  Is it doable without going to crackerjacker sites ? 

  Any thought on the variety pack of choices appreciated.

Steven Avery

This system downloads my email, so if it is down for more than a day or two some stuff starts bouncing, or I have to download unto another system, which is awkward with my Eudora filters. Thus I like to get it up fairly quickly even if I have another puter doing all my essential stuff.  The system, although a couple of years old, is still very nice, especially after I upgraded the memory.  (Oh, yeah, taking out some memory sticks was another try that I found unappetizing.)

Hi Folks,

  Along with the OS thread, which got me thinking.

OS Re-install Tips?

  So what about someone partitioning for the first time ?.  And concerned not to be blindsided (hearing various stories of the occasional missing partition, trashed disk, MBR manipulations, and whatever).  Preparing for the 1% difficulty, also learning good practices at the same time.

  How is this for a checklist ?
  (Much of this can apply to any low-level activity, or a general cleanup and system review.)

    * XP vs lower-level Partition tool
    * Which partition tools to use - install and play w/o update (& burn to CD or put on USB as appropriate)
    * Decide on number of partitions and sizes and their file types
    * Decide on boot manager, if multi-boot is planned
    * Settle on data backup (many good alternatives) and/or image (more sensitive) backup programs

    * Look for mfgr XP CDs and keep phone #s and serial #s handy
    * NLite or other XP CD alternatives (Plan B to mfgr CD and good idea in general) 
    * Bart-PE type CD available and working
    * Consider USB alternatives to CD, test booting if used

XP REGISTRATION (if an issue)
    * Possible preemptive Microsoft contact to verify XP license
    * Use registration save help pages, if appropriate

SECURITY SCANS (optional good time for enhanced scan activity)
    * Your normal full scans
    * Malwarebytes, A2 & more tools (follow up but avoid getting bogged down in the false positives)

    * Net accounts used and comfy (e.g FileFactory, DriveHQ, Dropbox) to hold info, double-save some stuff
    * Local puter for net contact when down, and can hold info - (Plan B, friends, library)
    * Backup media - e.g. removable hard drive, USB

    * Basic info -- e.g. Belarc --with XP#s -- to print/net/usb/backup
    * Keep Serial #s of installed software is available at backup points, and list of installed software

    * CHKDSK (e.g. Gparted can choke if Windows has unfixed disk errors)
    * maximize PTF -- eg. SP3
    * Early backup and/or image before cleaning (e.g. normal daily)
    * Clean disk (eg. CCleaner) temp files etc - using utilities and any additional hand work.
    * Good time for any special cleanup (see note below)
    * Special note - this is not a good time for "registry cleaning" (unless previously an established routine)
    * When done -- empty the recycle bin

    * Defrag and compact registry, page and sys files (PageDefrag), (ERUNT before and after)
          (only what is your normal practice, can be skipped entirely)
    * Setup special folder/sub to hold special backup prep areas, easy to see on backup disk
    * Backup Registry w/ERUNT
    * Backup current drivers (allowing one-by-one restore on an as-needed basis)
    * Special backups e.g Firefox extensions FEBE, Desktop Saves
    * Windows Scheduler - at least note of current status, pic of what is there (not sure of backup method)
    * Final report backup logs (e.g. Belarc, SiSandra, Installed Program Printer) placed in their save folders
    * Any special security and password info saved
    * Review that your backup program picks up all essential files from daily app usage.
    * Backup data files

    * Turn off System Restore if on
    * Defrag (optional)
    * Backup Image (2 is better than 1 - verification difficult)
    * Turn on System Restore if you use it

    * Defrag with file placement
    * Create Partitions
    * Verification and test of new setup, use multiple tools to check they see system
    * Install any new OS, move any data, create any recovery partitions, etc.

    * Begin daily use


Some notes.



Partition time -- a good time to read and do once-in-a-blue-moon cleanup. 

One example:. C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution (and the same name in the system 32 folder) is very deletable, likely by hand, perhaps turning off MS auto-update when on - or that caveat may be Vista-only.  On my system it is 100 MB.  Also a good time to use a good disk-tree software to see the things worth deleting and checking. Generally, I would delete l my downloaded files in temp folders for installs at this time, keeping the folder structure I set up.

Or you might have humongous log files of which  you are unawares.  Be sure that you see hidden files visible if you want to do a full analysis and study, and be careful.  An example of a helpful article. 

Disk Cleanup: deleting unnecessary files

Oh, if you are not sure of a delete, better rename the folder, make a note, you can delete later after reboots.



    Decide between data and image per your practices, a data backup is always a helpful auxiliary, even if you image.  The simplest is, space available, a non-compressed data backup where the files are fully individually viewable and tested in restore.  No matter how superior imaging may be for a particular installation for speed and fullness of backup, it generally will not be as reliable and verifiable and flexible for small and specific needs as simply a straight file save and restore. (I am not sure if any image software has gotten to the point of similar flexibility when used for simple restore mode, eg. allowing a dual pane explorer mode of the files within the image.)


Partition Choices

XP (Partition Master, Easeus etc)  and lower-level partition (GParted, Linux tools Grub, etc) is a fundamental decision, they can be combined yet have nuances. Discussions on the Linux forums especially can help in preparation, and they indicate that XP tools are limited in utility. Here is a sample discussion.

Partitioning for XP/Ubuntu dual boot


Tool Savvy for Linux Partition

Free tools mentioned as very savvy for Linux partition work  :

gparted cd
livecd (with ntfstools with ntfsresize )

 Apparently there are some limitations from some XP tools as to how well they will set up partitions for a Linux install.

 There are also questions about primary and logical partitions, extended partitions and such.  One idea that is especially interesting is a "FAT32 shared OS drive" that can hold data for multiple OS, within that partition you could set up a directory for XP-only data, a directory for Linux-only data, and a directory for shared data.



And I am still researching which is the best defrag to use before partition.  How much difference it makes, what settings and such. And e.g. whether a simple defrag like Auslogics will be acceptable in clearing space if the disk is only 25%-35% full.



My understanding is that System Restore points can be a bear for drive image software. 
Ergo, above -- turn off, image, turn on.


An example of changeable (user-defined) data kept in the operating system section. 
The hosts file.


Your thoughts ?   I'll modify the above as needed.

Steven Avery

Living Room / false positive mishegas
« on: April 04, 2009, 06:53 AM »
Hi Folks,

  In notice there is another recent thread about false positives, and it has really jumped to the forefront of difficulties.  I recently ran the A-squared free scanner and Malwarebytes, and had with A2 a rather interesting false positive situation.

(My Malwarebytes and Avira are pretty happy with my system, this was my first attempt with Malwarebytes and A2 - Malwarebytes lived up to promise, Wilder's folks generally speak quite highly of the scan, and MB's findings were neatly confirmed by Avira, which popped up when MB hit its files .. I barely knew I had memory-resident scanning on from Avira.)

  All the information (which you might find boring or interesting) can be found through this thread on EMSI, which links to my earlier thread on Gladiator, which is simply 3 posts of mine.

Trace.File.SpyPc 8.0 - Trace.Registry.SpyPc 8.0 (look like false positives)

  There seems to be a type of institutional ossification so that these companies - even the better ones like Emsi - do not know how to get false positives out of their system on the less-publicized cases. They look at each file in an atomistic analysis level, not caring about where it came from, how it is used, the history etc.  Not thinking it through.

   Incidentally I had to develop my technique for finding the source of the file, which some here might find interesting.  Using file properties, you find when it was installed on your system, then searching (I searched folder creation dates in Total Commander) you can often find out when and where a file came on your system.  It might be nice to have a  program that helps with such issues more directly (if you use a snapshot installer it might be a start) but in the real-world my method probably will work in many cases.  I never did check if registry entries are similar date-stamped.

   Oh, I had to puzzle around a little bit on how to search, it seems like the search programs often do not work files based on placed-on-system date (whatever they call it, it is not the file creation date). That is why I switched to folder searching, then looked at individual files .. while I would have preferred a file search.

   Incidentally, all this does not mean that we are unaware about problems like .dll-injection - you can't always tell just by the name of a file, one reason the executable protector programs are an interesting realm of protection .. most of all,  know your own system reasonably well.

  Oh, another point of special interest.  After I traced down the file origin (totally legitimate) I found a McAfee (!) confirmation that this program installs this file.

PC Inspector task manager 3.00.000 (pci_uk_taskmanager.exe)

  Which makes me want to look around at the McAfee logs of programs I am thinking of installing. In general, if they have done this for the program. Do others do similar logs ? Dunno.
Steven Avery

ProcessTamer / taming ink-jet printing and email download
« on: April 03, 2009, 03:48 PM »
Hi Folks,

  Can Process Tamer help me with either of these ?

  Ink-jet printing hogs the XP .. I could print to another PC on a network, to a laser or maybe a smart printer, the laser definitely helps.  Can I do anything when it is a local ink-jet ?  This may be tuff because it could be embedded in those nebulous OpSys functions.

  Email download takes a lot of resources too (lots of email forum stuff, most of it totally unread)  .. can last a few minutes, I have it done every two hours.  So here is a multi-thread example .. Eudora is also used for composing mail, so when that is happening then a foreground priority bump comes to play (however I an avoid doing that during the download) .. overall I want the download to use the least resources possible, even if takes a bit longer.
  Suggestions ?


Hi Folks,

  Most up-time measurement tools are for screen display, or for a network monitoring.  If you try to measure uptime on a local puter and put the info to a log file you have the problem of a BSOD or power-off that is a disorderly shutdown of the program.   They will have a start time but no end time, thus no total time.

  Thus one design would be to have a polling and update the end time every interval (e.g. a minute) and update the end time so that even in a power off .. the info is there -- "The puter was up from 12:00 to 5:00".  It would be nice if the report knew whether a Windows orderly shutdown was in process at the final polling, and marked the distinction, however that is a nicety. 

  An alternative would be to have the polling done by another puter on the network (e.g. a home computer shared behind the router) which presumably is on 24/7.

   My puter that is having the BSOD would use this, I would like to know how long it stays up (it can BSOD even when nothing is apparently happening, or it can stay happy through hard work).

   Do you know anything that exists for an accurate log of uptime -- that works even if the power is turned off ?

   If the log includes other information about activity, so much the better, however I am wondering if there is a program that covers the simple thing first.

Steven Avery


Hi Folks,

On "System Restore Cleanup" cyberdiva is trying to avoid too many system restores ! :) .
So that leads to this uninstaller roundup, with the emphasis on 3 solid in-depth programs.

Revo Uninstaller, Total Uninstaller and ZSoft Uninstaller.

And 7 more down below.  Half of the 10 are freeware.  Ok, on recount there are 11, 6 free, but we can consider FARR a special case. From the System Restore thread :

Revo Uninstaller  (no forum)

is very good, far, far better than Windows Add/Remove (its a shell around Add/Remove, giving additional features and better searching.) And it is what I use, although I rarely uninstall.

If you ever need to have "closest to 100%" uninstallation then you go to :

Total Uninstall - powerful installation monitor and advanced uninstaller - $30
Last Freeware Version

And the third major player.

ZSoft - freeware
Zsoft Uninstaller  (10/2007)

Here are solid discussions of the three, with some other mentions.

Total Uninstall or Revo Uninstaller, Which is best (which should i keep) (Piriform Forums)

Best Free Program Un-installer - Gizmo

Clean Windows Systems on the Go with Revo Uninstaller Portable

ZSoft Uninstaller Removes Crapware from Your PC

(Note the developer's informative comments at bottom, acknowledging lacks as well as new features. I'll chop 'em up.)

"Total Uninstall ... takes snapshots before and after ...the best way ... ZSoft Uninstaller can do this too ... Revo searches for leftovers .. the current version of ZSoft Uninstaller doesn't do this ...the newest beta ... does have this feature - search the desktop, start-menu, send-to menu, application data folder, 'application main folder', and registry for leftovers (if you tell it to)"

The problem with Total Uninstall (which I used awhile) and any before-and-after-snapshot style is that it can make the installation far more cumbersome.  Who wants to do that for anything but the most complicated installs ? (Maybe some sort of Visual Studio or Dreamweaver or a complicated virtual sandbox pseudo-defense system.)  Or an install that you really have doubts about.  (Does TU work very well in a simple no-snapshot mode ?  Dunno, there are a couple of reviews on onsite and here and there.) With Revo and ZSoft around for free .. most don't want to purchase a program that is only marginally better.  However, since you may only want a Total in specialty cases, the humoungous installs,  it might be good to at least have the last freeware Total version ready, or use ZSoft snapshot.

Note that ZSoft is used in both modes, so if he is truly enhancing his "clean-up after" mode, as in the comments above, ZSoft becomes a very interesting freeware alternative.  I haven't checked for any comparisons after his new release went the post-remove cleanup route.  Maybe in his forum there are some discussions.

In here I have included most of the dedicated Donationcoder uninstaller threads for a couple of years, but there are some goodies around 2005-2006, especially about Total Uninstaller.

Seven more with solid reps:

farruninstall - FarrUninstall plugin for Find and Run Robot
FARR Uninstall Plug

MyUninstaller - Nirsoft (freeware)
My Uninstaller - Donationcoder 2008/02
Remove Item In "Add/Remove Programs" 03/2009

Absolute Uninstaller - Glarysoft - freeware

Safarp - Open Source - Freeware (2005) - lite, fast
Forum -  some activity 2007-2008

Advanced Uninstaller Pro - $40

Your Uninstaller - $40 (bundle deal some like)
Your Unistaller 2008 just released.

Uninstall Tool - $25

Smarty Uninstaller - $20


As I rethought this, I made my own decision (sort of a recommendation).  Everyone should consider having two programs handy.  One like Revo for the basic uninstall situation.  Revo is the unqualified leader, ZSoft is just trying now to be right there in the mix, and a bunch of others are definitely very good, with their own style and advantages, if you are using them and happy -- clap your hands. You can stick with them fine.  Even Windows Add/Remove alone is .. usually .. sometimes .. ok.  Most of this is not mission critical.

And in the back holster we have the snapshot program. 
Which generally is either :
  Total Uninstall $30
  Total Uninstall Last Free Version

(Putting aside some possible techie possibilities that are less automated like RegShot, that might be helpful, at least for visibility.  And  probably for some people the two programs will be one.  ZSoft being the only one, perhaps, with both snapshot for the toughies .. and post-dinner cleanup for the regular .. a feature which many like .. and also free.)

You may use this snapshot install-uninstall once every few months, or never, but when you get that humoungous program that you are taking on a demo, or that problematic program that you want to try out .. the one that is known to leave hundreds of registry entries and little .dlls everywhere .. then you load up TU or ZSoft !

So we have successfully bifurcated the uninstalling suggestions !

Steven Avery

Hi Folks,

  I'm involved in a little project to see to what extent scamware google ads "clean your registry now, or your vegetable soup will boil over" can be blocked.  mozillaZine has an interest in that and one of the Firefox extension folks who carries the ads is helping.  Remember overseas the ads are different and apparently ad-carrying folks have Google TOS that limit how aggressively they can review and initiate actions, thus they rely on outside assistance (please block A,B,C). However they can block resulting domains, theoretically, on a block list. (Perhaps this was first set up so a person did not have to see a competitors ads on their page, it can be used for all-purpose integrity reasons.)  Once a solid list is set up, it is easy to pass it around or even post it on a web-page. 

   For legal niceties you might want to be a bit less aggressive in the wording of a public page (that excellent rogueware spyware site http://www.spywarewa...gue_anti-spyware.htm had to tiptoe at times) however there should be no difficulties simply setting up a list saying "we find these ads dubious".

   Incidentally using WOT (web of trust) which has a Firefox extension is of some corroborative help -- they miss a lot, however in this type of software sale site false positives seem to be very few.  (Perhaps some freeware/shareware sites get blocked that are actually reasonable, but vendor-sale ad sites that are blocked seem to always be real scamware, shamware, rogueware.  I don't use them as a primary source, that is always my own checking .. there are families of sham and scam products ..  but as occasional corroboration.  To be clear though I have not seen any Snapfiles or FreewareGenius types of sites given WOT disapproval).

   Most companies fall pretty clearly on one side of the good/bad equation but of course there are a few exceptions, and you have to wonder if you should be concerned much outside software shams.

  Now, the issue.

  There seems to be a few that get around the block, perhaps by a redirection scheme, or there could be other reasons. So the first thought I had was to look more closely at the long googleclick URL that is directly on the page, also perhaps the resulting redirections. 

  For the first, what is the best method to get that underlying URL to the clipboard (simplest to use). Or if there is any difficulty there, it would show up in the other attempt .. following the full redirection history after the click with some sort of logging history file created by a monitor program.

  Any tool recommendations ?

Steven Avery

General Software Discussion / System Restore Cleanup
« on: April 01, 2009, 08:15 AM »
Hi Folks,

As this informed community knows, one of the biggest wastes of space is a gazillion system restore points, whether done as the almost-daily "System Checkpoint" , or special points set up by install programs, so you often end up with 2-3 or more a day.

Even though my 140Gb disk is only 40% used, I figgered it was time to clean up, I knew the trick of reducing the % allocation.  Looking at the XP stuff I got a couple of surprises.  Before I reduced the 12% (18Gb..ugh) I noticed that was 90 days, maybe 150 restore points !   And I only want a couple.  Normally I had heard of reducing to 5% or so, but it was clear that 1% should be a good try.  And even that .. left about 20 days of restores ! .  What was perplexing was that 0% , the 200 mb minimum, resulted in the same number of points, none were taken away !? ... hmmmm

Anyway, then I wanted the 15+ Gibabytes to show up .. somewhere.  I tried Auslogics Disk Defrag, but the numbers were unchanged. Same with WinDirStat, and their numbers agree with XP Computer Management.  So either .. the Restore Points were not picked up as disk space, or it needs a reboot to wake up the numbers.  That is where I am now.  I'll report back after the reboot, it would seem strange that these programs would not consider System Restore space as used space, if that is the case.

Steven Avery

Hi Folks,

This may be a simple, trivial question.

Some programs give you this format in the web browser, pointing to your disk file.
Belarc ends up giving you an entry like this (and you can change the target folder in config).


Which can then be immediately bookmarked for future local reference.  What if you have a folder with a bunch of files and you want to 'convert' them to this format.  You could get the path to the clipboard, and then add "file:///" to the front but that would be a bit cumbersome.  Or, conceivably, you could have your file manager like Total Commander try to open all the .jpg and .gif and such in the browser, temporarily, rather than IrfanView, so they could be bookmarked from there.  And maybe Total Commander or Dopus or this and that have a feature or plug-in to accomplish this.

What method do you find the best to bookmark multiple disc files?

I just started using Jing to make simple pics quickly accessible here or on other web forums or to friends, the pic can also be Linkman-bookmarked right away and I am quite satisfied with that for new captures.  (99% of the time I simply want to specify the window-size and have the ability to add my own text and choose the file type.)

How about disc files in general ?
What method is best for bookmarking for easy bookmark-browser access ?

(e.g. Once bookmarked, you have the keywords to find, then Firefox can open up an extension or Irfanview or whatever to view the .jpg and .gif and .bmp.  Html is of course natural. And more.)

Steven Avery

Hi Folks,

As discussed in this thread, which is a good place to discuss product comparisons.

Is 'TK8 Backup Professional' recommendable?


Hi Folks,

One thing that I would like from Google searches that I do not have is not too complicated.  A front-end that is designed to digest my multi-search needs.

e.g. Let's say I am searching on some new software, I would like to be able to limit the search to a number of domains, like DonationCoder, Lifehackers, Wilders, Snapfiles, MajorGeeks, Fileforum, Freewaregenius and maybe another 5 or 10 other domains.  (And often a review or discussion in one of those will link to other good discussions.) Afaik, there is no direct way to do that in Google (you can ask for one domain) however a front-end could conceivably do this. Even if it adds a couple of seconds, no problemo, a really focused search.  Remember and name my lists, let me add a new domain quickly when needed, and fly.

There are probably many other similar "front-end" enhancements that could come to mind (the built-in Boolean in Google is quite powerful but even that might sometimes use a front-end, or even "save-searches" options).  This one about domains I will use as an example.  (Note: All this does not mean that I will not also do the "full search" .. that is how you find new gems, yet often you want to cut right to the quick.)


Sidenote: I got an email today from the very well-respected xplorer² where he specifically mentions a toolbar.

"google beater!! Naturally it will make your internet searches more convenient but that's not all. It will help you make sense of the search results with keyword highlighting and in-page searches. And it is also giving you access to all your online e-mail accounts (hotmail, yahoo, gmail etc) with a single click!"

However I am not sure if there is much there of great help, look forward to giving it a try.


Oh, one other point.  The biggest lack in my browser searches is the inability to have two or three "Find"s active at one time, each one with their own button, able to move back and forth without a retyping.  It would be a natural Firefox extension -- yet does not seem to exist, I asked over in that realm once.  Anybody have any thoughts ?  I really like the Firefox-Linkman-Powermarks incremental-letter search (any duplicate of that on Opera or Chrome ?) sitting down in the bar at bottom in Firefox, never needing a ctrl-f.  Excellent, simple design.  However there is plenty of room there, why not two or three "Find" fields ?


Feel free to break out these last two sections into their own thread, if they are of solid interest.

Steven Avery

Hi Folks,

We know of various programs like Process Tamer and Process Lasso adjust settings.  (Process Tamer is a great.)

What I really want now is a utility that just tells me how bad is the need for new memory (or other possible upgrades or tweaks might come to play).  e.g. At work I noted that a heavily used XP system only had 512 KB.  Oops. That was a no-brainer and we quickly bumped it up to 2 Gigabytes. (Yes, we could consider 4 Gb in some situations, with most addressable.)  The user was quite happy.  (The network guy is less aware of this stuff.)

Yet some cases might be less clear.  Example: a 1 Gigabyte XP-system that does not have the heavyweight memory usage programs (in my case Firefox, Eudora, Linkman).  Perhaps an upgrade to 2-Gb would be a big improvement, perhaps not.

So a utility that looks historically at things like Page File usage might indicate whether there was lots of need, especially for more memory. If there is a lot of swapping .. upgrade the memory.

Looking around, I don't see a utility quite in that alley.

The newish freeware CS Fire Monitor from PCWinTech :
CS Fire Monitor - System Monitoring Tool v.3.0.1

Is an example of a reporting tool that might be close, yet it looks like it does not specially focus on memory and upgrade questions, although it includes memory analysis.  More importantly, it looks to be more of a snapshot than an historical reporting tool.  (Although I have not yet loaded it, it was one of the more interesting analysis tools that have little mention so far here on DC so feel free to comment.)

What I want is something that I can load on a system, stick in the startup folder, and come back a week later and meanwhile be totally unobtrusive.  And will give good, helpful info when I get back there.

Any suggestions ?

Steven Avery

Hi Folks,

WinPatrol Plus discount on Friday - I placed this on the found sales and discounts.  However here we could compare these three products and any others that are of similar quality.  Let's mostly pass by the freebies, especially those that are not actively developed and supported or products that are not as hefty and stable, even if good products.

WinPatrol Plus on Bits Du Jour - Friday  2/13/09 - $14.95

Personally I think a good startup manager is one of the utilities that are worth a small investment -- over freeware.
(WinPatrol also has a decent free version, possibly the best of the freeware alternatives.)  A good startup organizer gives a firewall visibility type of help, may have some HIPS (Win Patrol Plus may have the most) and it can help with the startup issues like multiple startup configurations and startup delays -- and also just plain visibility, what starts where, programs and services.  Two of these three products add more extra features, although many of us may handle those through other software like a task manager or a HIPS program.  A good solid alarm (this new program will start up next time .. allow or rollback) is almost indispensable. In my experience the firewall products have not been strong on this protection .. although theoretically they should have such a user help.

The three that I like most are:

Startup Organizer - Metaproducts ($25 .. formerly DC discount 02/2008)
Support Forum - Mild activity

Chameleon Startup Manager ($24.95 - 40% DC Discount = $15 ) No forum
Free, Standard and Pro versions.

WinPatrol Plus - BillP Studios - no forum, nice blog and FAQ
Free and Pro versions

In my limited experience:

Startup Organizer is the simplest, is well-organized and easy to understand and is very reliable.

Chameleon has more features.  Note some design similarity to SO.

Win Patrol Plus also is feature-rich - perhaps with a wider variety and stronger malware awareness

There are another couple of dozen alternatives and some reasonable freeware. For most uses I recommend having one of the above. ...   I started with Startup Organizer years ago so I tend to be sympathetic, yet the other two may have passed it by some.  All three have gotten almost uniformly good mention on DonationCoder.  The techies may have a preference for programs like Autoruns with the Sysinternals heritage, however the emphasis here I hope to be more simplicity and clarity and moderate-tech usability :) .

Your thoughts ?  
Anybody ready to write up a start-up shoot-out ?

Steven Avery

Hi Folks,

Definitely a quality software.

WinPatrol Plus on Bits Du Jour - Friday  2/13/09 - $14.95  (why not $15 :) )

Personally I think a good startup manager is one of the utilities that are worth a small investment over freeware.
WinPatrol has a decent free version.

The three that I like most are:

Startup Organizer - Metaproducts ($25 .. formerly DC discount 02/2008)
Support Forum - Mild activity

Chameleon Startup Manager ($24.95 - 40% DC Discount = $15 ) No forum

WinPatrol Plus - BillP Studios - no forum, nice blog and FAQ

In my limited experience:

Startup Organizer is the simplest, is well-organized and easy to understand and is very reliable.
Chameleon has more features.  Note some design similarity to SO.
Win Patrol Plus also is feature-rich - perhaps with a wider variety and stronger malware awareness

There are another couple of dozen alternatives and some reasonable freeware, for most uses I recommend having one of the above.

Perhaps a separate thread in the discussion forum focusing mostly on the three.  I started with Startup Organizer years ago, so I tend to be sympathetic, yet the other two may have passed it by some.

Look for the thread in the General Discussion Forum. I'll bring this whole post over, more or less.

Steven Avery

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