NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, August 2006
The Deals Column
by Bob (the Cheapskate)Click, The Dealsguy
Greater Orlando Computer Users Group
bobclick@mindspring.com
(click to email author)


Last month I published an announcement for a product that could copy DVDs. We included what we found about downloading an additional product that was necessary to accomplish certain tasks, and I was accused of encouraging illegal activities. Maybe I should have worded it differently, but the fact is, I simply published the announcement for a free product, along with our findings, and made the information available so an editor, or reader, could use it, or not use it, however they wished. I had two complaints (from the same UG) and that group chose not to make the column available to their members, which is their choice. This is not an apology because there has been tremendous interest in such products; I simply reported the facts and people are responsible for their own actions. I have read a number of articles in UG newsletters containing opinions concerning the law and the tactics of publishing companies. By the way, since last monthís column, ShrinkTo5ís product pricing and lineup has changed.

There are also those who would argue that a gun shop encourages murder, and I could use other similar issues that might be said to imply illegal activity. Recently I published an announcement for a product that recovers passwords. That could also be used for an illegal activity if used on a stolen computer. With all the write-ups and notoriety about new and controversial copyright laws, I wouldnít even try to explain the legalities of anything. Is it legal, or illegal to make a backup copy? Do you know for sure? Also, ShrinkTo5 has other uses and we did not include a link for Machinist2.dll. My proof reader suggested that car companies must encourage a long list of illegal activities, including manslaughter, since they sell cars that can do such things.

Actually, I am not a fan of publishing companiesí tactics and the UCITA or DCMA laws. If those officials have their way, you would not be able to give, or even lend, anything published after you have read or listened to it. From what I read, they want all used book stores shut down as well as all libraries, and you would even be arrested if you were caught lending, or giving, a book or CD to a friend. Who knows where it all might end when it comes to the pockets of some corporate bigwigs. However, I have no interest in any of this copying stuff. I have no time and have not bought a music CD in years, nor do I rent videos or go to a movie. The performers and executives involved with that industry are grossly overpaid, but they donít make any money from me. I donít watch much TV now, but if they keep adding commercials, Iíll shut that off too. While Iím on my soapbox; if I am paying for cable TV, why should I have to put up with all those commercials? People are much too tolerant of being taken advantage of, and about what they are paying for.

Do Your Homework
The announcements below have been edited to shorten them so be sure to check their Web sites for better information. Remember, I have not tried any of these and have no knowledge about their reliability.

Check That Malware, And For Free!
Put an end to all types of Malware, at no cost: The a-squared Web Malware Scanner 2.0 hunts undesired Spyware modules and dangerous Trojans, Backdoors, Keyloggers, Worms, Dialers, Rootkits, Hacking Tools, Riskware and TrackingCookies; all from within the Web browser and no software must be installed. All users having Internet Explorer and a fast Internet connection, such as DSL, can make optimum use of the scanner.

The a-squared Web Malware Scanner 2.0 uses over 350,000 signatures and an ingenious heuristic algorithm for detecting pests on the local computer, and this scanner can be used directly from the Web browser. The user can choose from four different scan functions depending on the time available for a scan. The quick test provides rapid results, while a detailed analysis of the entire computer can take a while. A Riskware recognition system can also be enabled that informs the user of programs that are usually harmless, but are often used by Malware for specific tasks. There is also a paid version that they recommend as quicker and better with a 30-day free trial.

a-squared Web Malware Scanner 2.0: http://malwarescan.emsisoft.com
a-squared Anti-Malware: http://www.emsisoft.com/en/software/personal
Product details Malware-IDS:
Order a-squared Anti-Malware: http://www.emsisoft.com/en/order/homeuser
Phone: +43-664-3446068 (German)
Fax: +43-6272-73083
Email: info@emsisoft.com
Web: http://www.emsisoft.com

Lets Compare Data
ZsCompare allows users to efficiently synchronize computers, backup data, compare different versions of files, verify that CDs have been copied correctly, manage Zip files, review changes to source code, and more. Users can easily run comparisons on local directories, networked computers, or removable media, such as CDs, DVDs, and flash drives.

ZsCompare 3.0 adds many new file and freeform text comparison features, including the ability to compare text from Microsoft Word documents and PDF documents. Also, zsCompare provides additional control over how the comparison is performed with predefined options for common comparisons. Finally, the new version of zsCompare permits direct editing of the contents of a file from the results. ZsCompare 3.0 operates on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. It runs on the Java platform, a copy of which is included with the ZsCompare installation. ZsCompare 3.0 is available in three editions: Professional ($199.95), Standard ($99.95), and Lite ($35.00). For a 20% discount, my readers should enter the coupon code "DealsGuy" when purchasing a license at . The Lite Edition contains basic comparison and synchronization functionality. With the Lite Edition, users can compare directories, zip files, text files, and freeform text. All versions include free lifetime upgrades and free technical support.

More information, including a complete list of enhancements and a fully functional 30 day trial version, is available at http://www.zizasoft.com/products/zsCompare/index.shtml.

Sales: sales@zizasoft.com
Telephone: 1 (303) 638-9235
Fax: 1 (720) 862-2089

The Arnold Schwarzenegger Of Windows?
Tame Windows with Actual Window Manager 4.01. Microsoft Windows is the most widely used operating system today and its window architecture is a brilliant invention. However, this architecture comes with a bit of baggage and a degree of frustration, especially when you work with several windows simultaneously. With many applications open at once Windows becomes heavily cluttered, which in turn cuts down on your computational productivity. The more windows you open, the more time you spend to manage them and less focus is on the job. Monotonous clicking, window clutter in the taskbar, switching between windows, their positioning and resizing may double and even triple the time you need to concentrate on your job.

Actual Window Manager adds its buttons to each window in your system and allows you to navigate them in new ways. Instead of the taskbar, you will be able to minimize windows to the task tray or to the edge of the desktop, or roll them up or unroll, like blinds. If you need to multitask in several applications at once, you can simply pin all necessary windows on top without the need to bring up each one several times a day. In fact, you have over 40 other controls to automate routines related to windows. You can apply a predefined level of transparency to any window, automate positioning of windows, resize them and change priory from the title bar menu and more.

Over 450 suggestions were carefully considered and reflected in a more intuitive user interface. The customization of options has become much simpler, and the choice of options wider. In addition to subtle customization abilities, the program has a list of presets for most popular applications that allow you to use Actual Window Manager in the "install-and-go" style.

Read the complete description of features at http://www.ActualTools.com/windowmanager/ Download a no-cost evaluation copy from http://www.ActualTools.com/files/aimsetup.exe

Pricing and Availability
Actual Window Manager 4.0 runs under all Windows platforms and costs $39.95 (USD) for a single-user license. Registered customers are entitled to the unlimited functionality, free updates and lifetime technical support. Additional information on Actual Window Manager, a collection of tutorial articles and success stories, as well as a 60-day evaluation copy is available from http://www.ActualTools.com/. UG members should visit our User Groups Support page http://www.actualtools.com/usergroups/ and click the "Get 20% discount" Link, then follow the instructions.

E-mail: info@actualtools.com

That's it for this month. Meet me here again next month if your editor permits. This column is written to make user group members aware of special offers or freebies I have found or arranged, and my comments should not be interpreted to encourage, or discourage, the purchase of any products, no matter how enthused I might sound. Bob (The Cheapskate) Click bobclick@mindspring.com. Visit my Web site at http://www.dealsguy.com

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