programs

Fri
12
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Needs Your Help!

Since November 2005, infopackets has opened its doors to volunteer authors to share their thoughts and ideas with our audience. The transition to a multi-authored web site has been both enlightening and challenging. On one side: infopackets now ... offers a variety of fresh and interesting discussions almost daily to its audience; on the other hand, acquiring and maintaining material on a regular basis has proven to be particularly difficult. Let me explain. Since our volunteer bloggers are not paid to submit articles, submissions have been (for the most part) sporadic. Further to that, my work ... (view more)

Thu
27
Apr
Dennis Faas's picture

Tidy Start Menu Review

Gerald from South Africa writes: " Dear Clif, I look forward to your weekly letters with great anticipation for I am always finding useful programs to experiment with and some to retain. I now have so many programs in my Start -> Programs Folder ... that there are now 3 full columns. How do I alter the columns into one long column? Also when I right click on the programs in the list I no longer get any response from the right click button so I am unable to remove those shortcuts that I no longer wish to retain. Clif's response: A freeware version of Tidy Menu comes to mind. From the web ... (view more)

Tue
25
Apr
Dennis Faas's picture

Is it Safe to Try New Freeware?

How do you know which freeware is safe to download? The fact is that trying out new, free software is sometimes risky. For example: some web sites will purposely mislead visitors by implying that their software is free -- but in fact, the "free" ... software comes bundled with added Spyware or adware . One good rule of thumb is to stick to downloading software from trusted sources (such as infopackets and Clif Notes); but if you're like me and you're always trying out new software on a regular basis, you don't always have the luxury of trusting a source. That's when I break out the big ... (view more)

Tue
28
Mar
Dennis Faas's picture

Computer Exits to Desktop when Playing Games?

Infopackets Reader Edith S. writes: " Dear Dennis, I just bought my new PC in December and am problems with all my software games. I start playing the games, and all of a sudden they go off the screen, and I'm brought back to the task bar. Then I ... have to re-click on the game task to bring it back into full screen again. This happens on and off, almost like clockwork (about every 2 minutes). Is there a setting maybe that is causing this, or is it something else? My games are all that is affected by this strange annoying behavior. Is there something I can adjust to stabilize the my game play so ... (view more)

Fri
06
Jan
Dennis Faas's picture

Rootkits and Windows

Infopackets Reader S. Frisch recently asked a question regarding rootkits: " I've been hearing a lot of talk these days about 'rootkits' and how they can infiltrate Windows (regardless of whether or not you have a Firewall installed). What is your ... opinion of rootkits? I've also heard that there are programs that can help to defeat rootkits (with frequent updates): Rootkit Revealer, Ghostbuster and Blacklight. Do you think any one is better than the other? Do you think installing these programs is necessary? And if so, are there any others that are better?" Before answering this question, let' ... (view more)

Wed
04
Jan
Dennis Faas's picture

Trojan Horse Computing

In the context of computer software, a Trojan horse is a malicious program that is disguised as legitimate software. The term is derived from the classical myth of the Trojan horse. In the siege of Troy, the Greeks left a large wooden horse outside ... the city. The Trojans were convinced that it was a gift, and moved the horse to a place within the city walls. It turned out that the horse was hollow, containing Greek soldiers who opened the city gates of Troy at night, making it possible for the Greek army to pillage the city. Trojan horse programs work in a similar way: they may look useful or ... (view more)

Wed
28
Dec
Dennis Faas's picture

Top 10 Must-Have PC Maintenance Utilities

Die-hard Infopackets Reader Paul B. writes: " Dear Dennis, I have been a faithful subscriber to your newsletter for a few years now. While I immensely enjoy reading your articles (especially the software reviews), I am constantly second-guessing ... myself as to which utilities *I* need to keep my system running smoothly. As a newbie, I would like to know how many of these 'fix all programs' are really necessary? For example, which utilities do I need for: speeding up, uninstalling, defragging, anti-Spyware, anti-spam, firewall, anti-virus, registry cleaning / fixing... etc. I mostly use my ... (view more)

Sat
17
Dec
Dennis Faas's picture

Using Startup Managers to Prevent Spyware

Malware programmers frequently strap their rogue software (Spyware) into key sections of the Windows boot process. By doing so, the writers ensure they can keep their software running in hopes of maintaining control of your system. An excellent way ... to prevent these types of attacks from bypassing your security layers is to install a startup manager. Startup managers monitor specific sections of your system for anything newly installed, or that might pose as something out of the ordinary. When something tries to insert itself into your system, an alert will be triggered to ask if you want to ... (view more)

Tue
15
Nov
Dennis Faas's picture

Disk Cloning

Disk Cloning or Disk Imaging is a category of software which copies the contents of one computer hard disk to another, or onto a secondary medium such as a DVD or CD Recordable. A disk cloning program is most commonly used by large companies to ... provision new computers to install the initial package of the operating system and applications for sale, or by home computer users who wish to backup their operating systems in a healthy state. An individual user may also use disk cloning to upgrade to a new hard disk or backup an existing operating system. To provision the hard disk of a computer ... (view more)

Tue
04
Oct
Dennis Faas's picture

PowerUp XP Platinum 2 Review

Great news! Just this past Wednesday, I received wind that Ashampoo has released their flagship tweak utility, "Powerup XP Platinum", version 2. Reminder: What is Ashampoo PowerUp XP Platinum? PowerUp XP Platinum takes the hassle out of optimizing ... and fine-tuning a Windows PC and combines everything into one easy to use, tidy package. Rated 5/5 by the editor's at Download.com, PowerUp XP Platinum 2 includes all the powerful features that made its predecessor the favorite tuning tool of many Windows users -- plus it adds many new terrific and unique features that yield even more ... (view more)

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