FREEWARE JUNKIES!!! Friday, March 30 2012 at 2:38 pm
You must welcome change as the rule but not as your ruler. ~Denis Waitley
I haven't posted a review for awhile and one of the reasons is that I went on a search of what seems to be, in hindsight, the most populated, diverse and competitive software releases online - the (multi) clipboard.
I earlier reviewed '101 Clips', a program I had grown comfortable with and had yet to find one I preferred more in the world wide web of freeware.As it always happens, much to my chagrin, is that at some point if the software has been around for a lot of years and has gained popularity due to its' discovery and execution by more and more users, developers decide it has a value and close the open-ended version or change the terms of the license, and give it a price tag.This is what happened with my version ‘101 Clips’ after using it for free for a lot of years. The payment request came in the form of a pestiferous pop-up that threatened continual interruptions until they were compensated for their now getting some remuneration. The nettlesome splash screen informed me that it was now called "Spartan" and true to their proclamation of bothersome advertising I had to keep exiting the program when I didn’t want the disruption.
This is where it gets interesting, because upon looking for the site to see if they had a free version, ‘101 Clip’s was now called ‘101 Pics’ and could be used just like the clipboard but for image files only, and that was free under the new appellation.So, now having ‘101 Pics’ installed I continued my quest for a user friendly clipboard and go figure, I find one that is freeware, it is the exact same program but under the name of ‘M8 Clipboard’ or ‘Free Clip’.Same program, maybe a few tweaks in the use of hot keys, but same GUI.This is just speculation, but I believe that the developers (I say this because it makes sense) decided to part ways and those involved wanted ownership.This would be where they simply took their ownership, each getting a piece of the (original) pie and each of them using their own moniker and deciding their own price.Remember this 'speculation' because it will tie in neatly with the end of my search.
I went to my usual and favorite freeware sites first; the larger ones like CNET, Snapfiles, Softpedia, Brothersoft and Freeware Files are preferential due to the fact that software descriptions include a rating system. I cannot say that the ratings are accurate in any sense of the word but I do believe that the site owners screen and test the programs before listing, recommendations and creating a link.In a search as vast as this one, I can narrow it down to checking out the highest rated for download and then at this point I may Google and select a few of the results, even going beyond the ordinal page.I try the smaller freeware sites and even one or two places that exist only for the distribution of said software.
I downloaded what I thought was a good cross section of free multi-clipboards and at this point I will only say which ones I did not like either because they were not user-friendly, interfered with other programs, had too many useless functions or based their ease of use by implementing hot keys. And here comes my list of 'nixed freeware multi-clipboards:Shellex (too confusing), Clip Help & Spell (reported as Trojan), Input Director (Red Flag, Security breach), Clipboard Recorder (Help-clips, Hot keys), Snapshoter , and 3D Clipboard are not user friendly, and Ditto depends far too much on Hot keys.
‘Shexview’ is to me like playing with fire; any program that suggests or directly begins to manipulate or access the 'shell' is not a good idea, I learned this from experience not just once, but a couple of times while trying to 'tweak' my Windows OS, seriously, don't go there. ‘Express Paste’ has very limited capabilities and Agata and Archive Clipboard gave me an error message. ‘Clipboard Manager’ caused a crash that also crashed my ‘Office Word Program’.This is just a general sweep of clipboards I discovered; for those who say just use the ever changing ‘Windows Clipboard’ I think it is always user preference in the end. I want something that is a click of the mouse in my taskbar and can maintain a lot of text; especially when you read or write and you just want to copy that word or quote and easily access it for use in the future.The fewer times I save to a document makes for a more convenient method of writing and looking for references.
In the end I voted for M8FreeClip which at the time was the closest, or let’s say definite offspring of ‘101 Clips’, and I have downloaded ‘101 Pics ‘although I haven't found much use for it as most pictures I take from online are already going straight to my image editor and finding the assigned folder.
When I hypothecated about ‘101 Clips’, ‘M8 Clipboard’ and ‘Spartan’ earlier in this article I failed to mention my stumbling into it on GAOD and in order to check my information about it I discovered that it is marketed as M8Software. ‘
To finish this forage into the crazy world software developers I Googled ‘M8Free Clipboard’ and I found it as a freeware program on CNET, and did a quick download.Then I went to the homepage of M8Software, where I found it as shareware, but also with free options, called ‘Spartan Lite’ , M8 Free Multi-Clipboard and Get Portable.The link for that page is http://m8software.com/clipboards/freeclip/freeclip.htm.You will also see that the aforementioned ‘101Pics’ is no longer in the freeware category.Next, I did a search for‘101 Clips’ to see if it was still converted for sale, and much to my surprise I found it under ‘One O One Software’ all alone and free; the link for that is http://dl.filekicker.com/send /file/17043-3712/oneoone.exe. So it is your choice if you want the original, like me because I used it for so long it is like getting back an old friend or if you prefer one of the other choices.I can’t say that I am not apoplectic that one program sent me on a wild goose chase for quite some time; it is a chance we all take when we download an open-ended program.
In conclusion, the great multi-clipboard hunt is over for now; I hope I have saved someone a lot of time searching, reading, downloading and the need to use your Add or Remove Programs, or your current uninstall utility.
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FREEWARE JUNKIES!!! Saturday, January 28 2012 at 11:05 am
In order to succeed you must fail, so that you know what not to do the next time. ~Anthony J. D'Angelo,
Oh what a great day this is for a freeware junkie like me; I have been chained to my laptop due to an apparently unrecoverable situation with my home office computer. It was like losing an old friend; no more downloading ‘crap’. That is the definition my children (grown adults now) gave to my continual experimentation with freeware. My children are not even aware of these little reviews I do, because they have their experience which makes them superior to me and all things computers. They grew up in a time that created distinctive, detailed, dexterous, and dignified direction of development of the domineering devoutly divine digerati. Do you have any idea how many words beginning with the letter ‘D’ are negative? I do now, a bazillion, well no, maybe a de-nanozillion (I made that up so do not quote me) due to the fact that half of the adverbs and adjectives in the dictionary seem to be, ‘de’, ‘down’, ‘di’ , ‘dicho’ ‘dio’, ‘dil’, ‘dire’, and last but certainly the most, not least, ‘dis’ and ‘dys’ – wow with that much negativity no wonder they call it DE-pression! I think I have done my exercise in lexicology in this particular review but I divagate; notice I didn’t use the always faithful ‘digress’ when I head off into one of my time consuming literary pro-sesquipedalian diatribes? I have spent two full hours studying words beginning with‘d’ – thank goodness I spent two hours at a ‘Time Management’ conference, (that was two hours of my life that I will never get back). I guess what I am saying is that it is more difficult for an aged generation, (old folks) to wrap our fingers, not our brains, around the miniaturization of everything in a technical world. This is a world evolved into not only ‘micro’, but also ‘nano’ and if I blinked and they got smaller it is because it is simply too damn cosy under this particular rock, and believe me although I worked for a lapidary, it is still just a rock.
After my new dysthymic depression due to being apart from my old friend I thought I would never be able to download and try out all the crap software again; I would not have it. When I experienced the latest ‘crash’, I confessed to my son in law, aka my technical analyst that I was a ‘closet blogger’ (little pun with the Skull Collector moniker). I thought if he read what I had to say he would understand the need for my big computer. He did finally give me the administrative password on my lap top – LOL – yes, he decided to make it so I had permanent backup if I did irretrievably screw up. I thought I had and after he read me he actually took a look at it, very quickly, he was installing new cable and router and his diagnosis was quick and only related to the hardware. His time is much more valuable than mine at the moment so that is how I started on not just playing around with the numerous utility programs – my problem being it would just not connect to the internet, ergo the new cables and router and that was that. So, every couple of days during the past five or six months I would boot it up and give it a try and try and try I did; not to be redundant but I did have all those software programs already on there and still working so I had nothing to lose, but my laptop if I started downloading the aforementioned ‘crap’ on it. It was sad, painful sometimes, so discouraging I thought of just literally pulling the plug on it and sending it to that great cyber-cemetery somewhere in the ‘outer net’ because I could not find it here. I think if no one else has claimed the outer-net I will make it mine; a place for us people who are not ‘technic’ but ‘eclectic’ when it comes to computers. A little literary footnote here; technic is a word but not an adverb but a noun and its lexical meaning is ‘technique’, but I was shooting for its assonance.
I took a course to upgrade and become certificated in Microsoft’s 2003 office collection of software and one of the instructors actually understood me - she said that the reason I am the ‘Wizard Destructor’ this because over the thirty years that I have worked with computers I was trained in different areas on different systems in different formats. Although I learned well, I became one of those people who knows “a little of everything, and a lot of nothing.” I have never settled or spent enough time on each program or in any one area of expertise, I continually moved to a different job, a different set of parameters and therefore software programmed or targeted toward a different result at each and every turn. The end result of all my experienced and personal upgrades (I have completed my certificate for Microsoft Office 7 and love it) is someone who is the equivalent to a – and dare I say – but due to the fact that this is a women’s networking site I will say – the equivalent of your average man when handed a road map or set of instructions. I forge on into configurations and options like there is no challenge whatsoever until something is awry and I finally admit defeat and open the ‘Help’ file. I always tell people you can use any software program if you can read; just click the word ‘Help’ and follow the universal, comprehensive and consistent pedagogy. As for the ‘male’ analogy, I consider myself experienced and upgraded in my knowledge of men and I will add that I wish they were as easy to configure as the ever -changing dynamics of computer operating systems and software programs.
This whole article started with the excitement and the greatest of all achievements I have ever found in the build of one software program. To avoid the discountenanced “TMI” I completed a post titled”about me”, so I can avoid such length in future reviews. You will find it here because it did not fit into the construct of the standard profile formation corner at Divine.ca. The winner of my very prolonged search for the best anti-virus protection, and newly discovered registry cleaner, a user-friendly and just plain most complete, thorough, system care utility I have discovered in my ongoing quest is Kingsoft Antivirus. They have now developed the new (to me) Personal Firewall 9, Kingsoft Antispyware and Kingsoft PC Doctor Pro. I originally downloaded Kingsoft Antivirus way back when, you can see it in one of my earlier reviews, and I liked it just fine as a standalone program and settled on it. Desperately seeking a miracle, I was going folder to folder, program to program, and discovered that at my last reformat I had, and not intentionally, downloaded the entire suite of tools. At this point, with nothing to lose I opened the set of tools and let it scan and diagnose my computer. The first thing I noticed in my leap of faith to say ‘yes, take this action – clean and repair my registry’ was that it added a number of necessary patches, grabbed my much needed Microsoft updates, meaning I was back online! When the repair finished, and I tried every tool, from cleaning my plug-in and browser to locating vulnerabilities, I became more and more impressed with the program and it is a worthwhile competitor in the computer utility category. I have now downloaded Kingsoft onto my laptop as well and although its serial number says it is covered until sometime in 2012, my registration and continual visits to the site for updates assures me that I can go on using this awesome and sophisticated software utility suite for a long time.
If you visit their site, you will notice they also have an office suite that is quite like the Microsoft 2007 Office suite and there is not a lot of difference between the ‘add the word Pro and charge money for it’ version and the free version. I like it better than Open Office Suite, which is usually the freeware equivalent for Microsoft’s Office. Of course, in my continual freeware downloads there may be something better and if it exists, I will find it.
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FREEWARE JUNKIES!!! Friday, June 17 2011 at 4:35 pm
"Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness." ~Maya Angelou, Gather Together in My Name I haven't made an entry here or suggested software for some time, not because I am disinterested of not downloading a ton of freeware to find the best, solid and most useful software or applications to post here. I spend absolute hours searching for a program to do something or one thing offered by a multifaceted program; I just don't like the bloatware that some of these programs add to the registry of your computer. Using Revo Uninstaller, a program I already reviewed here, I have had programs place up to and over a whopping three thousand, (3000!!!!) entries on my computer. The worst programs for this are of course the file sharing programs that are popular to download free music and videos. I am not an online video fan, don't even care for You Tube; I just don't think the pitfalls, zaniness, misfortunes and exploitations of the general public for amusement are my cup of tea. I do however, like music, and although I am a classic Rock fan, I now and again may hear a song I like and will seek it out online using a lyric search and ultimately finding the desired tune and artist. This is where it can get a little silly, I am as willing to share my song list of over 400 mp3s with the next guy in order to have access to some old and rare or new and fair music. These sites are a little scary as you open your music folder to all that want to download - although you do have the option to just say no in the configuration, it only seems fair to me to share with others who are willing to share with me. I have, as I always mention here, been around for a long time and a lot of changes on the fascinating yet anarchistic world of the internet; ("The Internet is the first thing that humanity has built that humanity doesn't understand, the largest experiment in anarchy that we have ever had.~Eric Schmidt") Love that quote.
Back to the music sharing dilemmas and the numerous sites that offer this particular brand of media; I was around when the original Napster was the place to go and then busted for the 'hijacking' and infractions on copyrights of music and ergo the artists, and when it fell it fell hard. It has now come back but has very little traffic as far as I can tell, and this is due to, IMHO, the aforementioned 'beating' it took and what probably turned into years of corporate legal hassles. At that time KAZAA (shareware version) and KAZAA lite(the free version)took its place in the spotlight and other sharing sites followed suit. I have personally tried Imesh, Bearshare and am currently using and sticking with Soulseek. I really liked Imesh until it started causing problems during download; I found it to have some of the really not rare but maybe ancient musical fare. I did try a site called Rocket Mp3s recently but it was far too slow and although it seemed to upload to the site for others to download quickly not one of my downloads was completed in four hours. It also added a good 1000 entries to my computer so, I opted to uninstall and move on to the next program. Here is the link for Soulseek http://www.slsknet.org/download.htmlfile sharing site, has a lot of the old classics and does not have installation problems on my old P.C. (XP Pro SP2) like I found with Imesh and Bearshare (Maybe false positives in my antivirus or firewall?)
I started this post quite some time ago and, ironically, I had the disaster of all disasters, I had to reformat and for the first time (for me, ever) my hard drive was "wiped clean" and although I had all my documents intact in my email account, I lost all of my music. I went to all the former mentioned sites and had nothing but problems due to whatever problem my computer has, and my quest to re download all of my mp3s was an exercise in futility if ever there was one. I tried every place possible, Limewire, Blubster, beemp3, emusic, SeekASong, Music Oasis, Emule, MP3 to MP3, well, Google free music downloads and you can imagine the most disappointing freeware quest I have ever undergone in my fifteen or more years of being a home pc user. I had not a lot of luck and resigned to the fact that I would have to over time, individually search each song and download from lyric sites or the like. Then I got lucky, I was doing my daily visit to Giveaway of the Day, a site that offers free licensed software programs for twenty four hours, then its back to shareware. This works well for the publishers, they can get their product tested and reviewed, and if you get hooked on a program and lose it its possible that you will purchase the program, or by word of mouth, others who missed the giveaway will purchase it on your recommendation. I found a program called "Recuva" there, and much to my surprise and delight, it did what it claimed to do, in deep scan it recovered old files, that had been overwritten, and that was how I got back all of my MP3s. I intend to zip and email my music folder to myself,(I have a bit of editing to do, my Recuva search was for all audio files) so I do not have to go through a similar disaster. On the musical endeavour, I will wish everyone good luck and remember that some of these sites won't get past your firewall or anti-virus, so you may have to add them to the exclusion files in the configurations.
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FREEWARE JUNKIES!!! Thursday, January 6 2011 at 4:10 pm
"Simplicity is making the journey of this life with just baggage enough." ~Author Unknown
I have a lot of pictures downloaded on my computer; I like to attach images to my emails and posts. I have found that
looking for a particular picture can be time consuming and require a lot of searching even with the best of photo organizers. Who wants to open another whole program to search out and then insert the desired photo? It is time consuming and involves a whole other process. There is a great little program called Xentient Thumbnails that I discovered quite a few years ago and I have continued to use it without any problems. Oddly enough, in all of the years that I have spent seeking out freeware sites and installing what now seems like a bazillion freeware downloads I do not remember ever running across another software program with the same function.
Xenient Thumbnails, once installed, automatically turns all your generic image icons into the photo itself. It supports most image formats, JPG, JPE, JPEG, JP2, J2K, GIF, PNG, BMP, WBMP, EMF, WMF, PCX, PBM, PGM, PNM, PPM, RAS, TIF, TIFF, and TGA. No matter where the photo, or what the format this little gem will display it. It is a very unobtrusive download and takes up literally no space. If you want to see it for yourself (pun intended) you can find it through this link: http://xentient-thumbnails.en.softonic.com/download - this is only one of the freeware sites that offer it, if you Google it, you can find it at a variety of locations.
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FREEWARE JUNKIES!!! Thursday, September 30 2010 at 12:58 pm
"Who can hope to be safe? who sufficiently cautious?Guard himself as he may, every moment's an ambush." ~Horace
Lately I have been trying to find an anti-virus/anti-malware software program that is user friendly, easily manipulated or configured and non-intrusive, but protects in real time. I had no idea of what I was getting myself into when the search began, especially since it had to be freeware. It all started when I wanted to recover a game that I had on my computer since the late nineties, called Picture Lines by 2VG group, a Russian developer. The game is your standard five-in-a-row type lines game but when the board was cleared a picture from a specific categorical collection would appear. The game, IMHO, was better even then the shareware Lines Game that was very popular at the time, which included bombs and various ‘extras’. I was hooked on this game and could play it endlessly – I always watched the site for new picture sets. Over the space of a couple of years, and of course the space of a few download disasters, tricky errors or just plain screw-ups and the inevitable re-formatting which followed, I always had the game at the top of my ‘must re-download’ list. Then of course, factor in the wonderful world of viruses, spam, adware, malware and spyware and we have a whole pile of other possible catastrophes. At some point during this time, 2VG Group sold out, or (don’t quote me on this, I am just guessing) sold to another company, renamed the game X-lines and turned it into shareware. I have no problem with what was probably a nice chunk of money for the developers but I was faithful to the game from the get-go and didn’t think I should have to pay for something I loved so much; I had all the picture sets, just not a working executable. Somewhere in the changing of hands, and the vast world wide web, the game which is powered by Cydoor, a self –proclaimed ad support software, was reported as such and my anti-virus, AVG at the time, automatically blocked it…not with a message or warning of any sort, it just looped the download so it failed every time.
At some point, after a very long search for a similar game and not being satisfied I went to every possible site I could Google and looked for the original set-up. I found it, and just by guessing, I decided to try to install it, without AVG running, and “sell my clothes, I’m going to heaven!!!” it worked. At that point I switched from AVG to Avast and went on my merry way, no problem. (I must say that one of the hardest things I have ever attempted on my computer is purposely trying to download adware). Then, (yikes!) another reformat and attempt to download and Avast would not allow me to add it to the exclusion list during scanning because that feature wasn’t available on the freeware edition. Bring on the next antivirus - Avira, was nice for awhile but it to was not fully functional for free and I didn’t like the way it operated or its interface. So, the quest begins, those three being eliminated I had to head into the dark world of lower rated (via the five star system) programs. Okay, having said all that, here is the list so far…the most popular and always present, that I haven’t mentioned already, that include an entire suite of tools, such as Zone Alarm, I will say have been verbally negated to me, as has Norton and the very old name McAfee. Now for the ones I have tried and uninstalled so far, Spyware Blaster, Super Anti-Spyware, PC Tools Anti-Virus Free Edition, Panda Cloud, ClamWin, Bit Defender and Maxa Security. Quite the list and I am currently using Kingsoft Anti-virus which has lasted the better part of today which is longer than some of the previous mentioned programs. How do we determine which is the best? I have no idea. I just forge ahead, make sure my precious game, Picture Lines, (which started the whole time-consuming yet educational trip) is excluded in scans and easy to download again, should I encounter a unique yet unrecognizable problem that leads me to reformat. When I say unique and unrecognizable I mean exactly that, I am famous amongst those who know me and where I have taken upgrading in computer courses for creating errors or difficulties that even the best of techies cannot ‘undo’. In one course I was named “the wizard destructor” due to this uncanny talent. So, I will not send you to a specific link or recommend any anti-virus program because I think it is up to the individual. What you find comfortable, reliable and trustworthy may not be compatible to the next person. It’s anyone’s guess what is the best and all of the most popular freeware sites offer them all and rate them. Good Luck!
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FREEWARE JUNKIES!!! Wednesday, June 16 2010 at 1:45 pm
A journey of a thousand sites begins with a single click. ~Author Unknown
It has been a while since I have posted any new freeware suggestions; sometimes I am inspired and other times I suffer from writer’s block and the words just won’t flow.Either way I thought I would suggest some sites that provide not freeware but free printable documents.These sites are, for the most part, pretty extensive and if you are ever stuck on what format or type of style you want utilize for publishing any document you can quickly and easily locate templates for all of them; within human possibility of course.
I have personally used a few of these and have also registered to a site or two just to get some new ideas or to check out what is available; one site that is very good for free printable material is http://www.freeprintable.net. There are several categories, downloads are easy and printing is a breeze.
I am also a huge fan of browser apps and between Firefox and Google I think that these time savers are not only essential but some are rather fun.There is one that is called Similar Web and it has become a personal favourite.You can download it from Firefox; when you click on this panoptical button it drops down a menu, (or you can open a side bar) with a list of all similar sites to the one you are viewing.Access to the collection of corresponding websites is just as simple; with a click you can open them in a new tab or a new window.
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FREEWARE JUNKIES!!! Monday, May 17 2010 at 9:33 am
“When a thing has been said and said well, have no scruple. Take it and copy it.” ~Anatole France I have recently been doing a lot of copying and pasting.In terms of picking up snippets and bits from all over the web, I can recommend two clip programs/apps that are what I find to be the best. The first is a Firefox add-on, called Clippings.It is multi-functioned and user friendly.You can download it directly from their site; just search it in the add-ons section.The nice thing about Clippings is that it has a lot of room for editing and playing around and it integrates with the right click menu.It also is great for storage of information that you can keep in your mailbox if you use Google’s GMail.
The second is 101 Clips, I have been using it for rather a long time, and I can’t say for sure that there aren’t better ones out there; I have tried a lot of them.I always come back to this one because it integrates easily with Windows, and it doesn’t interfere with other clipboard functions. When you go looking for that site address or recipe you copied you can easily bring it right up front, and paste directly to whichever document suite you may be using at the time.It stores up to twenty-five clips and then a reminder is given when it is full.You can access your email to reply or to write to a site simply by clicking on the link you copied and it loads straight from the program.It also allows you to preview your clips.Again I am recommending this because it has proven to be consistently reliable and is simple and not as overwhelming as some of the other multi-clipboards I have tested. Here is the address just paste it in your search engine:http://101clips.com/freeclip.htm. There is an upgraded version that will save a larger number of clips but the free version is quite sufficient for the average user.