Information Avenue Premium - August 4, 2006 - Issue #146 - Web Edition
Welcome to issue #146 of InfoAve Premium. We sincerely appreciate all of you who have helped us by making our Start Page your Home Page. Thanks to all of you for subscribing to our Premium edition of InfoAve.
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We've completely redesigned our public Information Avenue section of our Web site. We'd like you to come and see it and to browse through the tips and tricks archives and visit the Freeware Hall Of Fame. Please visit http://thundercloud.net/infoave/ and see all the nice changes we've made!
We want your comments and suggestions! Every single one of them will be read although we cannot acknowledge them all. We do appreciate your comments and suggestions. So please continue sending them to us as you always have. Your feedback is always welcome.
Don't Forget! Zappit System Cleaner Is Now FREEWARE!
Zappit System Cleaner is the fun and easy way to keep your computer clean and free from junk files and temp files that cause your computer to run slow. Zappit is powerful enough for the advanced user, yet safe and easy enough for the newest beginner. Please accept our thanks and our free gift to all of you! You can download the full, registered version of our Zappit System Cleaner completely free from this location.
This Week's Quote: --"Opportunities multiply as they are seized."- Sun Tzu
Coupon Offer For Cloudeight Subscribers - Now
Save 20% Instantly on
S*pyware Doctor or
Registry Mechanic. Both of these products are approved and endorsed by Cloudeight.
Comment From Dorothy
Just want to let you know how much I admire your new Information Avenue page. Really smart! Wish I were as clever! Love you lots. Dorothy.
Thanks, Dorothy! One of the things we always wish we had more time for is to update our site completely. While the old pages are constantly updated we think it's time for a complete facelift. The new InfoAve pages are the beginning of that project. We hope to give a facelift to other sections of our site in the coming weeks. Thanks again for your nice comments. TC & EB
A Comment From
Thanks for all the info you give out but am disappointed with one of the programs; not your fault though. At your recommendation I purchased and installed SpySweeper. It worked well but slowed my system a bit but I could live with that. Recently, they said they had a new version and I was eligible for it. I upgraded and woe betide me! My whole system froze again and again. I suspected SpySweeper and on doing some checking I discovered that they had increased the program from 126 ram to 256 ram. My machine could not handle that so I had to delete the whole program. They did not warn of the increase in ram and am very disappointed. I will not install it again. Binnie
Hi Binnie. We are aware of this situation with SpySweeper and are addressing this issue with Webroot (the makers of SpySweeper). Please understand that we had no warning they would change the minimum RAM requirements without notice. We agree with you that it isn't fair to those who purchased SpySweeper and now discover they don't have enough RAM to run the program. We're doing all we can to see what we can do for those who cannot run the update because they don't have enough RAM. For now, we're pulling our endorsement and recommendation of SpySweeper due to Webroot upping minimum requirements for SpySweeper. Please understand we had nothing to do with this and had no idea it was coming.
(Late Addition! We've written to Nicholas, our contact at Webroot, and he provided this answer for those of you not using Windows XP or Windows 2000 - or those of you who are but do not have at least 256MB of RAM ---
"....For customers not on Windows
2000 or XP, or with less RAM... there is still the option of downloading v4.5
instead of 5.0.
You'll notice in the download instructions that two links (on the download page) are provided - one for 4.5 and the other for 5.0.
I know it's not a perfect answer but at least it is an option. And those customers will, at least, continue to get the updated definitions...."
So, Binnie, this applies to you - so please download version
4.5 and install it. Your definitions will continue to be updated as always and
your system will be protected as always with SpySweeper installed. If you're
reading this and find yourself in the same situation as Binnie; please install
That being said, if you're running Windows XP SP2 on less than 256MB of RAM, you should add more RAM. You're barely at 'minimum requirements' for RAM with 128 MB on Windows XP SP2. Adding an additional 128MB RAM costs less than $30.00. Adding more RAM to your computer is the single most important improvement you can make to your computer. Having sufficient RAM ensures your computer has all the memory it needs to meet the demands of everyday use and makes your computer perform better and faster. Not only is adding more RAM relatively inexpensive, it's easy to install yourself. There is no need to pay someone $50.00 to install a $30.00 RAM chip.
A Comment From Lillian
Dear TC and EB, Thought you might find this interesting--I
wanted to forward the Rant about MySpace to my granddaughter as I know she
signed up for it (she is 28 and very computer savvy) and thought she might find
it interesting. However, when I clicked on Send, AVAST gave me 3 options which
I didn't really like, much less understand, so I chose "Don't Send". Then the
black symbol appeared from AVAST, so I clicked on "Don't Send" again. Think I'd
better do a Scan!! I'm sure you'll know why this happened, but thought I would
just pass it onto you. Thanks as always. Lillian
A Comment From Kathy
I would love for your stationery to work with Incredimail. I would be making cloudeight my homepage. Thank you. Kathy
Hi Kathy, I have a feeling you'll be waiting a long, long time for that. Rather than go into the reasons "why" we'll never make our stationery compatible with Incredimail, we'll let you read "why" by visiting this page. Maybe after reading this information you won't be so inclined to use "Incredimail" at all. We're not sure why you think you cannot use our Start Page as your home page, but the email program you use has nothing to do with what page you use as your browser's home page. We've tested our home page with Internet Explorer 6 and 7, Mozilla, Netscape, Firefox and Opera, and it works well in all of them. We hope you will take some time and learn more about the email program you've chosen. Once you have the facts you can make an informed decision on whether to expose yourself to that kind of tracking and opening your computer that much to a Web server.
This Week's Top Questions and Answers
Joey Needs More Speed
I just love your newsletters and the great information and freeware. I used Zappit for the first time (thanks for that), and was hoping it would help speed up my computer. Lately everything is taking forever to load. I have no unnecessary programs running at start-up. Only SpySweeper, firewall and antivirus. Still it's all running like molasses on a cold day. Do you know (obviously you do) of anything else I can try? I would appreciate any info you can give me. Thanks again for the wonderful newsletter.
I wish we could live up to your high expectations and give you one single tip that would have your computer running like brand new, but, alas, we're not able to do that.
Before we give you some ideas and our thoughts about your problem. We're aware that SpySweeper's latest version requires at least 256MB of RAM. If you don't have at least 256MB of RAM, that could be the cause of your problem. If this is the case and you don't have at least 256MB of RAM go to www.webroot.com and download SpySweeper 4.5. You will continue to receive updated definitions with this version and it does run on less than 256MB of RAM.
Next: What anti-virus are you running? You don't mention it, but we can tell you that if you're using Norton or McAfee, there's the first place to look for your computer's poor performance. Recently (as all of you know by now) we bought two new computers. TC being bright and thoughtful, formatted the new Dell (which came with McAfee pre-installed) and proceeded to clean install Windows XP -then reinstall the drivers and was up and running. EB, for reason being characteristically recalcitrant, fended off TC's advice to format and clean install Windows. EB left McAfee on --- for one week. EB's computer was taking forever to boot up and was slower than a Siberian Tree Sloth slinking through a sea of half-frozen mud. EB finally overcame the stubborn resistance to TC's advice and formatted and cleaned installed Windows. What a difference a format makes. EB's computer was running as fast as it could run (which is pretty darn fast too!). Keep in mind these are two identical Dell computers; same components, same everything. So check your AV - if it's Norton or McAfee consider switching to AVAST or one of the other free ones we recommend. Your wallet will thank you, your computer will thank you, and we will thank you.
And, a second thought - (Assuming you have at least 256 MB of RAM) Have you kept your SpySweeper up-to-date? Do you have another anti-spyware installed (as we recommend you should always have two - no one anti-spyware is going to grab everything). We'd recommend that you verify that SpySweeper is current and do a full scan. If it finds anything, let it remove what it finds. Also, if you don't have a second anti-spyware installed, install Spybot Search & Destroy (free for personal use from www.safernetworking.org ). Scan you computer with Spybot and let it remove what it finds. Spyware and adware are by far, the biggest cause of computer slowdowns and eventual computer failure.
Also, how much RAM do you have? How old is your computer? If your computer came with let's say 256MB of RAM and it was running well when you got it, think of how much software you've installed since you first fired it up. If you're like most folks, you've put many new programs on it since the day you got it. While 256MB of RAM might have been OK then, it might not be OK now that you've installed more programs. Consider investing in more RAM for you computer We recommend that you install as much as your computer's motherboard will accommodate. One of the best places to buy RAM is called Crucial.com www.crucial.com . Notice we didn't say "cheapest" we said best. Not that Crucial doesn't have good prices it's just that you might find RAM cheaper somewhere else. (We do not receive any commission or remuneration from Crucial - we just happen to like their service and we think you will too.) But you'll find Crucial supplies you with great instructions on exactly how to install RAM (which is very easy so don't go paying the "Geek Squad" $50.00 to do it!). Not only does Crucial ship your RAM to you quickly, the include easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions on how to install the RAM, and they provide an easy way to determine exactly which type of RAM you need and will even tell you how much RAM your computer can handle. All motherboards have a limit on how much RAM you can install. Most modern motherboards will accommodate two to four GB of RAM. You probably don't need two, three or four GB of RAM, but you will really notice a difference if you increase your RAM to 1 GB. And it's not as expensive as you might think. Especially when you install it yourself - and don't shrug and say you can't do it. You can do it. Opening up a computer is not hard - there's no lizards or other biting things inside - we promise!
Finally, if you've been running the same installation Windows XP for more than three years, it might be time for the ultimate user experience - formatting your hard drive and reinstalling Windows XP. Yes, it's big deal because you have to back up all your information - otherwise you're going to lose it. But, nothing runs better than a new computer (especially one that has been formatted and Windows clean installed). If you've been running the same installation of Windows XP for three years or more, it might be time for the big deal. We've covered "reinstalling Windows XP" before, so if you're interested in this option please visit this page.
Speaking of formatting and reinstalling Windows: here's a little tidbit which sort of follows the timeline and evolution of Windows. When we had Windows 95 installed, we figured on formatting every three months (really). Because after three months of use, Windows 95 would either start running poorly or not at all. Windows 98 was better (especially Windows 98 SE). We figured on a format every six months. Windows ME was a waste of time and money. It was, if anything, worse than Windows 98. Windows XP brought huge changes with it. EB formatted once in 4 years. TC formatted about six times in four years, but that's because he's the guinea pig for InfoAve - he installs all the software that gets tested for InfoAve - and sometimes he's just too lazy to install it on the test machine so he puts it on his main machine - which sometimes results in catastrophe. With Windows XP you can figure on about 3 years + of good service before formatting and reinstalling Windows might become the only way to get your computer out of the molasses-mode and back into the lightning mode.
Lynn Wants To Know Why Websites Say Her Cookies Are
Not Turned On
I'm wondering why some websites are telling me that my cookies are not turned on when they ARE. I can't get on Michigan Live or E-Bay because they both tell me the same thing. Do you know what could be causing this? Thank you, Lynn
Show your cookies a picture of a scantily-clad glass of milk - that should turn them on. No seriously, we're thinking what is happening to you is that you have some sort of Internet security program, anti-spyware program, or firewall program which is configured to block cookies.
Let's face it: the Internet security, firewall and anti-spyware software business is a highly competitive one with each company trying to grab its share of the big pie. When you're competing with Symantec (Norton), McAfee and Microsoft, you've got some real competition. Norton/McAfee think that cookies are enigmatic, despicable demon devices that skulk around and infect your computer with all sorts of stealthy naughty things. This is simply not true despite what some so-called "computer experts" tell you. And speaking of computer experts, they tell you all the dastardly deeds cookies can perform because the "computer expert" business is highly competitive too. Since the general consensus among these mostly self-proclaimed computer experts is that cookies are made from a recipe devised by the devil himself, they clamor on about how bad they are. Yawn! One of the tips/tricks today is called "Good Cookie/Bad Cookie" and it was written by us. Are we computer experts? Hmmm, I don't know, we've never proclaimed ourselves to be - but we've survived a lot of years and learned a lot of things - even though we don't have a lot (we don't have any <grin>) initials after our names. What we do know we pass on to you. When we don't know something we research it well and learn. But, cookies? We know them very well!
Anyway, getting back to the topic at hand, since McAfee and Norton have a gazillion dollars to spend on advertising so the other companies, even the smallest of them, have to show they're "as good" or they cannot survive very long. So, given the fact that 22% of the computers which are connected to the Internet have no spyware on them at all (but 78% do) - these companies follow the lead of Norton/McAfee and so now all Anti-spyware program (even those that we endorse and recommend) identify "tracking cookies" - and lump them with spyware/malware/badware. Are they correct? Absolutely not. But when you're in a competitive business you have to do as the leaders do and the leaders do lump "tracking cookies" with spyware/adware/badware. So, now we have a confusing mess. Most people are confused enough about adware/spyware/viruses/Trojans/worms/keyloggers/hijackers without having to understand why cookies CANNOT be spyware/adware/badware. And it doesn't help much when the Web is replete with self-proclaimed computer experts ranting and raving about the dangers and nefariousness of cookies. But they're wrong. Cookies are not spyware/adware/badware or even "tracking-ware". Believe us or not; it's true.
So, we'd suggest that you start looking at programs you've installed which are in the "Internet Security", "Firewall", or "Anti-Spyware" category and take a good look at the user-configurable settings. Many of these types of programs are set by default to block cookies. And tell the program - "Hey! I know more than you! I want my cookies!" And, when you're successful at controlling the program (or programs you've installed) instead of letting them control you, you'll be wiser and happier. And, you won't have any problems logging on to E-Bay or Michigan Live. (Go Bucks! - I'm from Ohio you know :-) )
And, I've still never met a cookie I didn't like, but I still like Oreos™ and chocolate chip the best - even though I can't eat them anymore :-( .
Leila Has An MIA (System Tools
in Accessories folder)
Love your newsletter. The systems tools sub folder has disappeared from my ACCESSORIES folder in the all programs menu, and everything that it contained therein. Help!
Thanks, Leila. Here's something you can try first, before trying solution #2:
1. In Control Panel, start Add or
2. In the left pane, click Add/Remove Windows Components.
3. In the Components box, click Accessories and Utilities, and then click Details.
4. Click to clear the Accessories check box, click OK, and then click Next.
5. Click Finish.
To add Accessories again, follow these steps:
1. In Control Panel, start Add or Remove Programs.
2. In the left pane, click Add/Remove Windows Components.
3. In the Components box, click Accessories and Utilities, and then click Details.
4. Click to select the Accessories check box, click OK, and then click Next.
5. Click Finish.
Download and run this little utility by Ramesh Srinivasan (© 2005 Ramesh Srinivasan). If the above instructions fail this should fix your Accessories folder in a jiffy.
Carolyn Asks About Our E-books
Do your e-books expire? I downloaded them to my hard drive and when I went in to read them I got the message page cannot be found, so I decided to put the CD in and I got the same message. I never had any trouble accessing them before. Carolyn
Hi Carolyn. Remember when we warned everyone about installing the beta version of Internet Explorer on their main computer? You didn't heed our advice :-( . Now, you're finding out why. Internet Explorer 7 is still in beta (testing) stage and both Microsoft and we warned you not to install this browser on your main computer - but you did and now you cannot access your e-books. You're probably finding other programs that don't work correctly or don't work at all.
We're aware of this issue and the e-books do not work with Internet Explorer 7 installed. We will ensure all new e-books will be compatible with the "Final" version of Internet Explorer 7 but we're not going to worry about the beta version. We can't worry about betas. We'll tell you why. Between now and the final version there will be many changes made to Internet Explorer 7. And, making software compatible with "beta" versions is an exercise in futility and sometimes a waste of time. For now, we strongly advise you to remove the beta from your computer and go back to using the only current released (public/final) version of Internet Explorer. Then your e-books will work, you'll be happier, and all will be as it should be. We've found the current version of I.E. 7 to be slow and bulky - we're sure this will be addressed and corrected before the final version is released. That's why we're not saying much about IE 7 one way or the other yet. It's not the final version and unless you have a secondary computer you shouldn't be installing it on your main machine.
Barbara Discovers Why FunWebProducts are No Fun At All
To answer your question quickly - you should install Spyware Doctor right now and let it scan your system and see what it finds. You should buy the full version of Spyware Doctor and keep it up-to-date -to remove SmileyCentral and the rest of the NoFunWebProducts bundle - and to help you keep from being infected by other spyware, adware, hijackers and badware lurking on the Web. And as we've always said, one anti-spyware program is not enough. You should have two. For your secondary anti-spyware program we recommend "Spybot Search and Destroy" available free from http://www.safernetworking.org/ .
Now let's discuss your problem and what exactly is installed on your computer. Not only do you have SmileyCentral and Cursor Mania but you have all the other programs that are included with the FunWebProducts bundle. You have, among other thing "MyWebSearch" also known as MySearch and MyTotalSearch - and perhaps several other names by now, which is a search engine hijacker and a potential home page hijacker. This bundle is not easy to get rid of. There are currently twelve to fourteen programs included with this bundle - all of which start with Windows; all of which use up your computer's resources unnecessarily; all of which require you to leave the MySearch (etc) search assistant installed or the other programs will not function. This is how they make you pay for whatever software you downloaded from them. If you download "SmileyCentral" you get the other 12 or 13 applications including the hijacker - you have no choice. So even though you only downloaded SmileyCentral, you get (and this is taken right from FunWebProduct's own, so-called "Plain English Eula"):
"By agreeing to this contract,
software with the following features will be installed onto your computer:
SEARCH BOX: This is a toolbar that will help you search the Internet using various search engines.
SEARCH ASSISTANT: This provides relevant links and results when your search request or browser address request is misspelled or incorrectly formatted.
SMILEY CENTRAL: This allows you to insert smiley faces and other graphics into your e-mail and instant messages.
CURSOR MANIA: This allows you to change the look of your mouse cursor.
FUN BUDDY ICONS: This allows you to add icons to instant message clients.
HISTORY SWATTER: This allows you to delete easily computer cookies, URL history, temporary cache, and other stored browser files.
MY FUN CARDS: This provides access to free electronic greeting cards that you can personalize on the Web and send to any email address.
MY INFO: This provides instant access to the latest local weather, stock prices, sports scores and news headlines.
MY MAIL NOTIFIER: This allows you to use animated characters to alert you to new web mail messages.
MY MAIL SIGNATURE: This allows you to create signature designs for outgoing email messages.
MY MAIL STAMP: This allows you to insert digital stamp designs into outgoing email messages.
MY MAIL STATIONERY: This provides you with background images, colors and themes to enhance the look of outgoing email messages.
POPULAR SCREENSAVERS: This provides you with photos and images to use as a screensaver or wallpaper on your computer.
SMOTOS: This enables you to post, share, download and store images.
In addition, an Easy Installer will be downloaded to install this software. It does not install any other software and is automatically deleted the first time you turn off your computer after installation of the above-described products. "
You notice that they say the do not install any other software and make it seem like these 14 applications are not programs at all - just one program with all these "features". This is not true. Most of these are separate applications that automatically run at Windows start up. And guess what else? You get any new software this company puts together automatically - because you agree to allow them to install "updates" automatically (without your specific permission or knowledge). So you start off with 14 and after a few weeks it might be 15 then 16 - there's no end to it until your computer collapses under the weight of all these programs starting up with Windows.
You can remove each of these programs individually but there's a good chance you won't be able to easily get rid of the search assistance. That's the part that generates huge revenues for IAC (the parent of FunWebProducts). By hijacking and manipulating your search results - and it doesn't matter which search engine you choose - Google, Yahoo, MSN - this search assistant injects advertising into the search results which look very much like search results themselves. They're hoping to trick you into clicking on these look-alike search results because they get paid anywhere from one to as much as fifty cents (or more) from you accidental click. This is deceiving you and the advertisers who are paying for real clicks. They make money by deception - but nonetheless they have millions of users. Why? Because the mindset of the average Internet user is that everything on the 'Net should be free and whatever is free is really free. Our readers know this is not true - and this is not to say that there are not some very good and really free programs available -SmileyCentral and FunWebProducts just don't include any of them.
For further reading and information about FunWebProducts / SmileyCentral - see the pages below:
Win DVD Movies - Portable DVD Player - Great Software - And a new online games arcade! You can play Trivia, Name That Tune, or Word Scramble (each contest features a new game every day but Sunday!). Who knows, you might win a portable DVD player, cool software, or a DVD movie of you choice. Come on! Give our Start Page a chance to be your start page! You've got nothing to lose and lots of stuff to win. Visit our Start Page right now! And, you can play online games now on our Start Page Arcade...come and play a few games! Our Start Page is Growing - Please help keep it growing!
This Week's Rant
The Zango Tango
Most of us would say that in the real world the old adage: "What goes around, comes around" is, for the most part true. But, on the Internet, that old and trusted adage is as outdated as a Commodore 64 (never mind!). How about "as outdated as a monochrome monitor" (remember those)?
Recently, Hotbar merged with PUSware/adware giant, 180solutions and became "Zango". (This just goes to prove another old adage: "Birds of a feather, flock together".) So before we really get rolling here, let's get it straight that this concatenation is: Hotbar+180solutions=Zango. "Zango" sounds innocent enough. Kind of hip - no doubt geared to the younger crowd.
And speaking of birds of a feather, it looks like these two birds were really happy to be flocking together. According to this June 7, 2006 press release both companies were ecstatic:
"...Hotbar and 180solutions today announced an agreement to merge, effective immediately. The merged company will be known as Zango...."
"...This merger will benefit
each of the constituents in the Zango Content Economy vision," said
Keith Smith, CEO of the newly formed Zango. "The vision is to
deliver consumers free, online entertainment experiences while
automating and monetizing the ecosystem of content creators,
publisher and webmaster entrepreneurs and advertisers. This merger
is a significant milestone in those efforts...."
"....We have built an extensive user base and effective advertising opportunities through a wide variety of Internet services," said Oren Dobronsky, co-founder and CEO of Hotbar. "The scale of this merger makes possible an array of opportunities to fulfill consumer and advertising demand for the products of the new Zango....." (You can read more of this jubilation here.)
But some of the content on the Zango site is certainly not fit for children. When you think of all the youngsters that have installed Hotbar and now, therefore, have easy access to Zango.com and its YAK browser (we'll get to that later) it should give you shudders. Please read the rest of this eye-opening rant by visiting this page.
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Cloudeight CalendarPal CalendarPal by Cloudeight is a perpetual desktop calendar and weather together? Brilliant! Make notes on your calendar, create "To Do" lists, create reminders, and more! This is really a handy program. We offer a free, fully-functional 14-day trial. Just give it a try and we're betting you find it a great tool for staying organized, keeping up with the latest weather, and planning your days. Visit this page to learn more about Cloudeight CalendarPal and/or to get your free 14 day trial. Sales of CalendarPal help support our Web sites and over 5500 free downloads.
Reader's Tip Of The Week Submitted by Linda
With the desktop showing (Win key + D), press the Windows key and the first letter of any shortcut name showing. The first alphabetical shortcut with that letter will be highlighted and you can press Enter to go to that site or folder. Or once you're "on" the desktop, you can use the arrow keys to tab all over the desktop. And for whatever reason, you can hold the shift key as you arrow around, highlighting all kinds of shortcuts.
Hmmm...we never knew this one. It's a good one, Linda! Thanks for sharing with all of us. Do you have a tip or trick you would like to share with our readers? Send it to us by clicking here. If we use your tip, you'll win a great prize!
|Make a Donation - Help Support Our Site And Free Downloads and Services You can make a small donation by visiting http://thundercloud.net/start/dollar.htm . All donations are very much appreciated. You donations are used to maintain our site, improve our services, upgrade our servers, purchase software for review, and support all of our 5500+ truly free downloads. Thanks!|
This Week's Tips and Tricks
Good Cookie, Bad Cookie, Delicious Cookie
Windows All Versions - All Browsers
Well, um, TC got a little carried away and this tip grew into a very detailed, but very good (we hope) explanation of cookies and why you should not fear them or believe the gurus who expound profusely on the inherent evils of cookies. So, we invite you to read this heart-stopping, scintillating, article about cookies - including (really) two excellent recipes for the other kind of cookies. To learn what cookies are and what they do, please visit this page to read "Good Cookies, Bad Cookies". And, even if you think you have a good idea about cookies, go read it anyway. You'll find it interesting. And there are delicious cookies on this page too ;-)
Drivering you Crazy! - Identify Faulty
Windows XP (all editions)
If you are having problems with lockups, blue screens, or can only get to
often the problem is due to a faulty device driver.
One way to help identify them is through the use of the Verifier program
Windows 98/NT/ME/NT2000 and Windows XP (all editions)
(1) After installing many programs you may find your desktop is littered with icons so you can have quick access to the various programs. It is safe to delete these from your desktop; it will not delete the program. These same programs will be listed in your Start Menu / All Programs menu too.
(2) When installing a new program, many will give you the option to make a desktop icon. If you are not going to need to open the program several times a day you probably don't need a desktop icon, so slow down and read the install/setup as the program is installing and uncheck "create desktop icon" when available.
(3) Quick launch is for those programs you use often; you can right mouse click a desktop icon for running a program and drop it into Quick Launch. Choose the "move" option and it will move it from your desktop to Quick Launch. Remember to choose "Move" not copy or else you'll end up with your desktop cluttered and your Quick Launch full of duplicate shortcuts. Slow down - don't hurry. Be happy!
(4) If you right click on your desktop and choose "align to grid" it will keep all your desktop icons from crowding into each other. It may even reveal a few hidden icons (icons that are underneath each other) and solve the "where the heck did my shortcut to Mabel's kitchen go?" problem!
Help. I Broke My Back (button)
Windows 98/NT/ME/NT2000 and Windows XP (all editions) - Internet Explorer 5 and 6
Have you ever tried to use the Back Button in your browser, only to find you are still in the same window? Some webmasters use a script so that your back button won't work. To get by this, just right click on the Back Button and choose the page you want to go back to from the drop down menu that appears.
Sensitive Keyboard? No Doubt!
Windows XP Home, Media and Professional Editions
Windows lets you control how long you must hold down a key before it repeats, as well as the speed it repeats. To set the sensitivity, open Control Panel and click Keyboard (Win 98/XP Classic view) or in XP Category View click "Printers and Other Hardware" then click "Keyboard". Now click the speed tab and adjust the sliders for Repeat Delay and Repeat Rate and test for your touch. There is a test area right on this screen so you can try different settings. Repeat Delay determines how long you have to hold a key down before it starts repeating. Repeat Rate is how quickly repeated characters appear. There is even a Cursor Blink Rate setting in this window. Click here to view!
Be sure to click Apply when done!
Windows Vista® - A Look Ahead
Windows Vista's User Account Control (UAC)
One of the most significant changes in Windows Vista over any previous version of Windows is called "User Account Control" (UAC). UAC is an alternative to the way many people currently use Windows (XP) which is as administrators. Running your computer as an administrator gives you the right to change settings and install programs. The problem with that is that it makes Windows XP PCs more susceptible to undetected installation of spyware and other malicious programs. In other words, it's easy to "sneak a program" on a computer being run by an administrator with "administrator privileges". Click here to read the rest of our latest look at Windows Vista .
NewsByte - Time Warner said Wednesday it would no longer charge
broadband users of its online service AOL in a move designed to boost
advertising revenue. While the company will still offer dial-up access at
$25.90 USD per month, it would no longer be aggressively marketed. The
switch to a free service is a real gamble for AOL -- the company is expected
to lose about $2 billion in subscriber revenue as a result of the move,
which must be made up in advertising. However, something needed to be done,
as AOL has lost a third of its subscribers since 2002.
Read the "Rest Of The Story".
Comments - Can you spell POPUPS, POP-UNDERS, FLOATING ADS, BANNER ADS, SP*AM? :-) TC & EB
Our Freeware Pick Of The Week
One of the biggest causes of system sluggishness is too many programs starting up with Windows. Many programs which have no reason to start up with Windows seem to think you're going to forget about them if they don't add themselves to your Windows Startups. And if you don't watch it, soon you'll be loading everything but Mt. Rushmore on your computer when it boots up. This causes longer boot-up times and slows down your computer. None of us want that. StartupMonitor will help you catch programs in the act of adding themselves to your Windows Startup menu. Catch the little things before they become big things and your computer will run much better much longer!
Here's what the developer has to say about Startup Monitor: "...StartupMonitor is a small utility that runs transparently (it doesn't even use a tray icon) and notifies you when any program registers itself to run at system startup. It prevents annoying programs from registering themselves behind your back. StartupMonitor does not require Startup Control Panel, but it complements it nicely. When you choose not to allow a program to register itself, the program's entry becomes disabled in Startup Control Panel, so you can go back and enable it later if necessary. StartupMonitor watches the Start Menu's Startup folders and the Run entries in the registry. StartupMonitor works on any version of Windows from the last ten years. ...
A little program that does what it says and watches your back for you. It's
simple, free, and runs on all versions of Windows. Here's your chance to grab
some really nice freeware with really good purpose.
Visit this page to read
more about and/or to download our
Freeware Program of The Week
|Premium NewsByte - Some computers with wireless Internet capabilities are vulnerable to attacks that could expose passwords, bank account details and other sensitive information even if the machines aren't actually online, researchers said here Wednesday. The researchers demonstrated the vulnerability at a computer-security conference, showing how to take complete control of a MacBook from Apple Computer Inc. But the two researchers, David Maynor, 28, and Jon Ellch, a 24-year-old who prefers to go by his hacker handle Johnny Cache, said the technique will work on an array of machines, including those that run Microsoft Corp.'s Windows and the free Linux operating system. Read the "Rest Of The Story".|
Our Site of The Week
A World Of Ends
What is the Internet? Does it really exist? Or is it just a world of ends? Without you and us and everyone else on the Internet there would be no Internet at all. Because when you really think about it, there is no such place as the Internet. This article is one of the best we've ever read about the Internet. Find out more about the world of cyberspace and we bet you'll be surprised at how much you learn from this week's "Site Of The Week".
|Premium NewsByte (OPINION) - Last summer the FCC and the U.S. courts removed consumer protections on Internet access and gave phone companies and cable operators a blank check to provide a "tiered" Internet where those who pay the most would get preferred treatment and preferred access. This means that huge companies who can afford to bride the cable and phone companies will get preferential access and speedier connections than other sites (like ours and many other smaller sites) who cannot afford to pay the bribe to cable operators and/or phone companies who provide Internet services to the masses. We don't need or want to see the Internet become the property of the rich and powerful (like the real world is today). We think the Internet should be open to all and allow equal access to all - to every Web site. And when you browse the Web you shouldn't have to work with a multi-tiered Internet where Web sites owned by rich and powerful load quickly and are given priority over other Web sites who cannot pay the ransom required to access the "higher tier". We don't think this is right; we don't think it's fair; and we don't think you'd like the Web that way either. Want to learn more? Visit this page .|
Back To Basics
What does the "http" part of Web Site addresses stand for?
It stands for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (World Wide Web Protocol). So, now you know when you type in http://thundercloud.net/ what that obscure acronym in the beginning means. HTML, by-the-way, means Hyper Text Mark-up Language which is the language of Web pages.
Internet Threat Alerts
No New Widespread Threats This Week
Always keep your anti-virus and anti-S*pyware programs up-to-date. Use a good firewall, especially if you're using a broadband or other high-speed connection. Make sure your version of Windows is updated with the latest patches and fixes from Microsoft.
Recommended Free Anti-Virus Programs (Never install more than one anti-virus program)
AVAST Anti-Virus (free version for personal/home use) AVAST will continue to offer and support their free version. It's great and we use it on our PCs.
Anti-Vir (free personal version available)
Please note this is a new web site for AVG Free
AVG Anti-Virus (free version for personal/home use)
Remember! No anti-virus can protect you if you do not keep it updated. Update your anti-virus at least twice a week or more. Install and use only one anti-virus program. Installing two does not give you twice the protection. On the contrary, installing two could result in reduced protection.
Also, it's very important that you keep your Windows updated with the latest patches, fixes, and updates from http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/ . If you don't have Automatic Update turned on, you should visit the Windows Update site once per week.
Recommended Anti-S*pyware (install at least two anti-S*pyware programs for the best protection)
Doctor (commercial software - free trial available - Cloudeight subscribers get 20%
Spybot Search & Destroy (freeware)
NOTE: No anti-S*pyware program can protect you if you if do not keep the S*pyware definitions updated. We recommend installing and using at least two anti-S*pyware programs. No one program can completely protect you from all the potential S*pyware and adware threats.
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We'll see you next week with a brand new issue of InfoAve Premium. Thanks to all of you for your support and for subscribing to InfoAve Premium!
Eightball & Thundercloud
Cloudeight InfoAve Premium Edition
August 4, 2006
All software recommendations we make in this newsletter are based on our own experience and testing of the programs that we recommend. This does NOT guarantee they will work on YOUR computer. We assume you will read the program documentation and use the program according to the instructions. We make no guarantees about any program recommended in this newsletter or its suitability for any particular purpose. We will not be responsible for any problems you may have. We do not and cannot provide support for any products other than our own Cloudeight products and we will not answer email concerning any product which is not a Cloudeight product. We urge you to use good judgment when downloading and installing software and to use a program only after reading the program's documentation. And, all Tips & Tricks in this newsletter have been tested by us on several different computers and were found to work as indicated. They may not work on yours. We make no guarantees. Anything we recommend you try and use at your own risk. We will not be responsible for any problems caused by any software programs recommended in this newsletter or any of the tips and tricks in this newsletter.
Readers comments are their own and Cloudeight Internet LLC is not responsible for comments of our readers. All readers' comments, suggestions, questions, and tips and tricks sent to us become the property of Cloudeight Internet LLC. You understand that we may use your comments without your explicit permission.