Posts filed under ‘freeware’

Scribefire (Firefox Extension)

Scribefire is a useful tool for posting to your blog online.  I’d forgotten I had it/considered it to be new and therefore usable in a later version.
Do I need to add that I’m using it to publish this entry?  The link process actually looks more usable than the native one on WordPress, but looks quite a bit different. 

April 19, 2009 at 9:30 pm Leave a comment

LAN chats and file transfers (freeware)

LAN chats and file transfers
This can be a frustrating subject, particularly when working with two operating systems. Or like I did when one wireless technology was going out and the other phasing in (which come to think of it has been the rule–sort of like Google and everything they produce being forever in beta, like Chrome). To do an actual physical file transfer on a working network somehow adds insult to injury. The program I am going to recommend is in no way recommended for business use. For one thing, I haven’t used it for long enough, and from all I can tell there’s no separate log-in procedure. It could be argued that log-in to the network obviates that, but drive-by and the whole mentality negates that comfortable and easy assumption.

What I’m talking about is BORG chat. Easy search results. Small file, couple of megabytes. XP and Vista compatible, which means it’s compatible to Windows 2000 and will be to Windows 7. If you have anything older you’re asking for trouble. You can’t run some of the programs necessary to ensure your safety–pardon me, the safety of your data; we have indeed become cybernetic citizens willy-nilly.

Or Home page:
if you want to get picky about it.

(I just had to add the “social networking” bit with all the mis-use of the term going on currently.)

April 18, 2009 at 8:10 am Leave a comment

Alternate Browsers, Freeware, Orca

Orca bears a relationship to both Firefox and Google.  It’s had something like one security vulnerability in the last year, and it’s one of the least-used browsers, mainly because there are so many of them.  You could add that each and every one of them has its own little peculiarities, too.  Orca uses little RAM, is fast to load, and lacks a lot of the built-in supposed security features of (say) IE.  You can disable Pop-ups, Sounds, Videos, ActiveX, Scripts and Java Applets as usual; there are several tab options…and you can use some Mozilla add-ons.  It’s an attractive browser and a work-in-progress.  And I am thinking about switching away from Firefox now because it is targeting more and more attention from badware writers.


You can even import favorites and that sort of thing.  Perhaps I should have mentioned that.  As far as passwords go, I would not import that kind of file but build it from scratch, just in case.  However, I am actually certifiably paranoid (part of the PTSD package) so if you want you can discount that.

[I forgot to mention that I carefully posted that using Orca.  The rendering problems I reported on about 18 months ago were not at all evident, not just on the pages of WordPress.  That is a tremendous step forward, believe it or not.  I should have added too that disabling ActiveX and so on (which are not enabled by default, necessarily, on Orca) is very easy–and may end up with some web pages that can’t be navigated except by turning them on.  There are online gaming sites were some security controls aren’t even possible (I even play on one of them, and not as ‘oregonnerd’).]

April 17, 2009 at 3:21 pm Leave a comment

The Most Vulnerable Browser

Firefox, for now.


P.S.  Which is why I intended the review of browsers this week.  I haven’t forgotten.  I think I only have 8 installed.  The best was the freeware browser with the notepad…that led on a quick & easy search to the moniker for a hacker.  Incidentally, a recent scan turned up badware.  A trojan.  That was apparently installed courtesy of adware on the site he uses for his blog.  I was truly grateful.  I just hide it well.

April 16, 2009 at 3:34 pm Leave a comment

Conficker Test

And that most likely does it for the day.  I’m sick.


April 10, 2009 at 3:45 pm Leave a comment

Student Pad, a New (Freeware) Browser

You’ll note I haven’t provided any links.  I had intended to cover this piece of freeware–offered in CNET, no less, how I heard of it.  So I did a bit of sleuthing.  “Haxbro” could be a user-name.  Let’s note that, first, and that the name of the “company” (stated in the fine print to be basically one person; there’s enough information to lead to a search…which leads to a blog on dangerous site) is that user-name.  That dangerous site parenthetically mentioned is a threat of a click-jack; I ended up having to do a shutdown in order to avoid copying something (presumably an exe file of some sort) to my desktop.  [That’s one of the reasons you don’t shut off things like User Access Control, because the very thing that makes it a pain in the butt makes it the occasional butt-saver.]

Better than that, I used an alternate e-mail address to contact [him?] the author with no reply.

Don’t use Student Pad.


April 10, 2009 at 3:15 pm Leave a comment

Games, Performance Enhancement (Computer), Freeware

Game Booster is the real thing.  If you play games that use anything much, this shuts down on non-essentials while you’re doing it; it does it visibly; it won’t allow you to shut down the program while it has processes shut down.  It is a beta; I’ve been using it now for a couple of weeks (the updated beta, version 3, to which you have the link, is improved) and never had any problem.  Bit Defender has another version of the same thing, more or less, which seems to amount to a spotty AV protection.  I didn’t read through the whole description.  Any disablement of protective functions needs to be visible–in fact, in needs to be “in your face” as Game Booster is.


April 6, 2009 at 4:53 pm Leave a comment

Password Manager Freeware

I’m tempted to quit looking.  Password Safe–this Password Safe, I mean–has just become my password manager of choice, in preference to Oubliette.  There are too many conveniences that Mark whosit* was going to add, and he simply got too busy, just as he could no longer respond to e-mails.  I do intend to continue coverage of the matter until I’ve at least reached the end of my couple of searches on Copernic and WebFerret (yeah, I do intend to provide links at some point to the just-mentioned desktop internet search engines…but I might as well let people build up anticipation, or something).


*Jedlinski, and no disrespect intended.  Partially because of the epilepsy, my memory for names has gotten even worse.

April 2, 2009 at 5:41 pm Leave a comment

AVG (Freeware AV program)

Updated; this is the link on CNET (however, this is off a watch list…so:  this is the home page; if you have to use the latter watch carefully or you’ll download the trial rather than the free version, and the paid version has not  been given reviews much better if at all than the free one).


April 2, 2009 at 3:35 pm Leave a comment

Password Manager Freeware (A Continuing Saga…Search…Whatever)

Next we come to Password Safe, which is by a professional cryptographer and presumably a programmer.  [Note that I just got it installed on the third try.  I used ‘pwsafe-3.16.msi’.  That’s the Windows Installer version, and it’s without the newest support for the USB stick.  Now I’m about to try it a bit.  SOURCEFORGE.NET is utterly safe, in my experience, dating at least from the days when I had just gotten up to a 56K modem and its blazing speed.  I’ve just tried out Password Safe on one password, and its ease of use is better than “Oubliette”–which is bad.  Unfortunately.  However, I give both of them a 5 out of 5.

Via that, I’m going to take another detour and say that Carol’s Vault looks very good.  I haven’t had a chance to check out anything except Password Safe–but I actually know some of the software recommended there.  For instance, she links to Audacity on SourceForge.Net.  That program was originally recommended to me by a professional musician.  It’s not quadrophonic, so it’s freeware, according to him.  It–Audacity, I mean–was complicated enough that I wasn’t going to use it for my only possible purpose, editing noise off records I was recording, so it went with an earlier computer.  The point of mentioning that is readers of this…have found Carol…who seems a good source for programs.

And then we come to PasswordSafe.  You say something like, “You just said that,” and I reply something like, “Yeah, but it’s a different program and a different location on the net.”  This has the capability to have a number of “safes”, and each time one is opened the former is closed.  So this is at least possibly something that could be used with a network and an IT department, although I’d have to admit that I’m skeptical of freeware and such situations.  (As to cloud computing, I think that has something to do with Valentine’s day.)  I do like what I see of the control panel.  I’m also dubious that I would ever try each and every one of these.  So here comes the research part (at 3.02 am).  Fifteen minutes later, I’ve looked for definite comments one way or the other and found none, and the kaspersky online scanner found no virus.  This is a German site, and I have the feeling that these guys at least were the “player” kind of hackers.  I don’t know if they exist any more, but there were people who just couldn’t resist the temptation to mess with the machines.  Or so I understand.  With the size of this it’s ideal for…various things.  This is a tiny program.

Now we have Any Password, with its own handy interface and password generation algorithm.  It is, again, the most secure in the world.  I’m sorry; I shouldn’t have said that.  Anything that involves a pattern comprised of commonly available objects can be repeated.  The reason that phishing is used so much more than password-breaking is that it’s easier and we–people, that is–are gullible by nature.  This is freeware for individuals and philanthropic organizations.

Password Dragon has a lot of neat-looking features and I definitely wouldn’t recommend it.  Why?  First of all, it’s Java-based.  ” Ability to view records from the command line without launching GUI.”  The reason that the feature list brags about its ability to run under a firewall is to assure the user that all their sensitive information isn’t being transmitted to the aliens in the 300-foot machines.  Unfortunately, Java programs are easily corrupted.  However, Roman Lab is an interesting site and I w0uldn’t discount all their software.  Face it, I’m just prejudiced against Java, Active-X and the rest of it.

I haven’t mentioned RoboForm for a simple reason.  It’s actually shareware.  As a paid program, I hear it’s excellent.  After the trial period, max of 10 signons and passwords.

And at nearly 4 a.m. I’m going back to bed to see if I can sleep again.  The reason for the totally unreasonable hours is pain.  Often I’ll stay up until I have to lie down, lie down for a couple of hours and get back up, and end up keeping that up until I’m exhausted enough to actually sleep for a while.  The Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome bit isn’t fun.  [I made a rather long entry about that and the VA and deleted it.  Even I don’t care.]

The next intended entry is KeePass Password Safe.  Gee.  Lots of Password Safes.


April 2, 2009 at 5:57 am Leave a comment

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