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IN THIS FREE EDITION:
0. EDITORIAL: Windows Secrets and Support Alert join on July 24http://WindowsSecrets.com/SupportAlert/080709.
I've received many emails from readers since sending out that announcement wishing me well in this new enterprise. I thank you for your kind words and thoughts.
I hope all of my readers understand that the task of administering 145,000 subscribers had became too much for me to handle by myself. Merging Support Alert Newsletter with the Windows Secrets Newsletter will bring you a better publication while freeing up my time to concentrate on finding you the best freeware products.
On July 24, the two newsletters will merge, and you will see a new logo for Windows Secrets & Support Alert, as shown in the image at left. (This name is too long, so we'll shorten it after a transitional period.)
I'm becoming the senior editor of the combined newsletter. After the merger, the combined newsletter will reach more than 400,000 subscribers.
The combined newsletter will come out weekly rather than monthly, and my freeware reviews will be in every second issue. That means you will be hearing from me twice as often as before. However, each newsletter you receive will be shorter (but more timely) than the old, monthly Support Alert.
While Windows Secrets & Support Alert are merging our newsletters, we are not merging our websites. My website techsupportalert.com will continue on as before. Indeed, in its new freeware wiki format, I will be giving it my full personal support to make it the best freeware resource on the web.
Please take a moment now to do the following things, if you haven't already done so when you received the July 8 announcement.
0.1 Set your preferences for the combined publication
Our new, combined publication has several options that Support Alert didn't have. Please use the following link to let me know your delivery preferences — it takes less than one minute:
Set your publication preferences now
To thank you for taking the time to select your options, I've created a new, 20-page e-book, 9 Free Programs Every PC Should Have. This printable, PDF document brings together in one place my top recommendations on the most essential utilities. You can read the e-book and immediately download for free all of the programs it reviews.
This e-book is not available anywhere else. Only newsletter subscribers can get it. To obtain your copy, simply use the link above to set your preferences. After you're done, you'll see a download button.
0.2 Use my new e-mail address and IP addresses
Please use the following email address, instead of my old email addresses, to contact me about articles I've written for the newsletter or anything else about the publication. If you need to contact me about my website techsupportalert.com or personally then use the site contact form on that website.
To make sure you receive the newsletter, enter the above address into your email program's address book and any "safe senders" list it uses.
If you work for a company that manages its own mail server, ask your administrator to accept mail from the following IP addresses. This newsletter, plus any replies to messages you may send our writers and staff, now come from these addresses:
0.3 Merge your subscriptions if you get both newsletters
If you subscribe to Support Alert using one email address and Windows Secrets using another, use the following link to merge the two subscriptions into one:
Use this link to merge two subscriptions
If you have a paid subscription to Support Alert or Windows Secrets or both, we have automatically given you credit for the number of paid months you have remaining. If you merge two paying subscriptions, you'll get the combined number of months.
0.4 We've dropped the fixed subscription fee to get the paid version
The combined Windows Secrets & Support Alert Newsletter will have no fixed fee for you to get the better, paid version. You can now get the premium content by making a financial contribution of whatever amount it's worth to you. Just use the following link, and you'll immediately be upgraded to our premium level:
How to get the premium content with no fixed fee
My twice-monthly reviews of the best free software will appear in the paid section of the combined newsletter. Fortunately for you, there's no fixed fee any more. We will accept any contribution, and you'll get our paid content for a full 12 months.
0.5 How to unsubscribe if you wish
The combined e-mail newsletter will be a good thing, I'm sure of that. But, if you wish, you can unsubscribe from both the Windows Secrets Newsletter and the Support Alert Newsletter at any time with just two clicks:
Use this link to unsubscribe
0.6 You'll see a reminder on the 21st of July
I'll send you a reminder on the 21st of July with any last-minute details about merging the two publications. After that, you'll receive on the 24th of July the first combined issue of Windows Secrets & Support Alert Newsletter.
I've updated our subscription and information links in the Managing Your Subscription section at the bottom of this newsletter. Check out those links, which now utilize the faster Windows Secrets server for all subscription support. I'll see you in the new, combined newsletter on the 24th of July.
1.0 TOP TECH SITES AND RESOURCES
I've put together an FAQ covering the myriad of questions I've received about the upcoming merger of Support Alert and Windows Secrets newsletters.
Does it affect the techsupportalert.com website? How much will Gizmo contribute to Windows Secrets? What will happen to my subscription? Is Gizmo retiring? All these questions and more are answered here:
I hate to tell you this but you are missing out on some great freebies. That's because I just don't have the room in this newsletter to tell you about all the great new freeware finds being generated by our new Best-ever Freeware wiki website .
Next month the problem will be worse as will have even less space available in my column in Windows Secrets newsletter.
The answer is simple. If you want to know about all the freebies you are missing then sign up for my free "Gizmo's Best-ever Freeware" RSS feed 
And if you don't have an RSS reader that's no problem, you can get the feed articles delivered by email by subscribing here 
Already 50,000 readers have signed up and they have been getting the latest finds delivered to their desktop as soon as I discover them. Just today I put out an item on how to upgrade a compact Canon camera to have the same software features as their expensive SLT models.
So stop missing out. Sign up now and get your regular "fix" of the latest Gizmo freebies.
1.3 Bill Gates Savaged by
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2.1 Gizmo's Desert Island
Subscriber Erik Santucci writes:
"Gizmo I have used your suggestion TeamViewer  myself, but I often have found it necessary to get the person at the other end to install DynGate  on their machine in order for TeamViewer to pass through the user's firewall. DynGate free has a five-minute time limit, so it's not good for a whole lot.
Personally, I mostly use ShowMyPC . There's no installation involved, and it allows an hour-long session. If I'm doing real work on the machine at the other end, ShowMyPC gives me plenty of time to install LogMeIn . Even the free version of LogMeIn allows you to connect to unlimited machines, for unlimited periods of time.
The only thing it lacks is a "start with Windows" feature, which is simple enough to get around. I just open Scott's Windows Startup Program Manager, and create a run key in local machine for LogMeIn.exe. Voila! Now, anytime they call for help, they don't have to do anything except switch their machine on. Often enough, nobody ever needs to call me back."
Erik's suggestion is a good example of how techies often need to employ multiple tools to solve problems when there is no complete solution available.
ShowMyPC can be launched without user intervention but the free version is limited to one hour's use. LogMeIn is not time limited but requires user intervention to be launched. Erik uses ShowMyPC to bootstrap into LogMeIn thus getting remote access that requires no user intervention and is not time limited. Nice work Erik.
Mind you the free version of LogMeIn has its own limitations: it does not support remote file transfer or offer remote printing.
 TeamViewer: http://www.teamviewer.com/index.aspx
Last month I mentioned StripMail , a free utility that removes unwanted formatting and line breaks from text. It's a great product but it's not the easiest to set up. (See item 2.7)
I also mentioned PureText  that
only removes formatting not line breaks. However it is
really easy to setup and use.
As Shahar says "If some readers wonder what AutoUnbreak is useful for, it really helps when you want, for example, to copy multiple lines of text, or even paragraphs, from PDF files to text editors or word processors." Freeware, Windows 9x->XP, 229KB
Spiceworks IT Desktop has long been one my favorite free network management tools. It runs on a manager's PC and monitors the health and software and hardware inventory up to 250 devices connected to the network.
Its strength has always been its high degree of configurability and the latest version 3 adds to that strength while at the same time adding new features and an improved user interface that allows a manager to "view network devices, applications and services more quickly." Also new is a software-as-a-service inventory management feature.
Like previous versions V3 is ad supported. These Google Ad-Sense ads only appear on the manager's PC and are an acceptable price to pay for an outstanding freeware product. Freeware, ad-supported, can discover Windows, Linux and OSX devices but the management console must be a Windows PC running XP Pro SP2, Windows Vista (with special settings) or Windows 2003 Server, 12.6MB
The Microsoft "Patch Tuesday" for July  resulted in the release of four security bulletins covering nine vulnerabilities, none of which were rated "critical" by Microsoft.
This all sounds low key and uneventful but for me it was quite the opposite as one of the patches totally trashed the internet connection on my personal laptop.
A quick Google search on another PC revealed the problem was caused by a conflict between the patch (KB951748, MS08-037) and my ZoneAlarm Pro firewall. I simply uninstalled KB951748 from the Windows Control Panel, rebooted and my laptop worked fine again.
Since that time a new version 7.0.483.0 of ZoneAlarm has been released that fixes the conflict with the Microsoft patch. It works: I upgraded to this release and reinstalled the patch and everything works fine.
All of the updates are distributed
automatically via the Microsoft Update Service. Dial-up
users in particular need to be aware that these updates
are large files and will require a considerable period
of time online to be successfully downloaded. If you
are not certain that you have received the updates,
then visit the Microsoft Update Service 
Subscriber Callie Jordan writes:
"Gizmo I had to call Microsoft about installing XP SP3 and they had me do it in Safe Mode. They sent me detailed step-by-step instructions about pressing F8 before Windows loads to enter Safe Mode.
But no matter how many times I tried, I couldn't get into Safe Mode. Then I realized the problem was I was using a USB keyboard. I'd struck this before: USB and of course, wireless keyboards, won't work until Window loads their drivers. So my presses on F8 were not registering.
So I dragged out another keyboard that used a PS2 plug and it worked first time."
That's an interesting problem Callie however it's not a problem with all PCs with USB keyboards: some will boot into Safe Mode just fine.
It all depends on the BIOS setup on your PC and unfortunately there is no easy way of telling whether it will work other than by trying it.
There is however another completely
reliable way of booting into Safe Mode and that's by
using the MSConfig Utility.
Press Start/Run and type msconfig into the run box and press Enter. When MSConfig starts, click the BOOT.TAB and put a check mark against /SAFEBOOT. Next time you boot Windows will automatically start in Safe mode without any need to press F8. Remember later to take out the check mark otherwise your PC will always boot in Safe Mode.
4.1 Cheap USB Flash Drives:
the Final Word
It's often useful to print the names of all the files in a folder but this capability is not built into Windows by default.
Some third party file managers offer this function and there are some specialist utilities that will do the job as well.
But what most people don't realize is that you can set up Windows to do the job without having to use other utilities. In this article I'll show you how.
This technique makes use of the fact that good old DOS can print a folder file listing. All you do is use a DIR command and redirect the listing to your printer rather than your screen.
Don't panic! I'm not going to ask you to run DOS from the command windows. There is an easier way.
All you need do is create a batch file using Notepad or other plain text editor and then configure Windows to run the batch file from Windows Explorer right click context menu.
Microsoft has a knowledge base article  explaining exactly how to create and use the batch file and full instructions on integrating this into Windows Explorer.
Unfortunately the KB article leaves out one step in the instructions so I've reproduced a modified version of the KB article below:
To add the print directory feature to
Windows Explorer, follow these steps:
c) Start Windows Explorer, click Tools, and then click Folder Options.
d) Click the File Types tab, and then click File Folder. d1)Click Advanced (this step added by Gizmo)
e) Click Edit, and then click New.
f) In the Action box, type Print Directory Listing.
g) In Application used to perform action, click Prin.bat, and then click OK.
h) Click OK, click Apply, and then click OK.
Now Open Windows Explorer, right-click the folder that you would like to print a directory listing of, and then click Print Directory Listing.
That's it. The print directory feature has been permanently added to your copy of Windows
Here's another gift From Gizmo. Following the popularity of last month's offer of a commercial backup program for free I've made an arrangement with EMSI Software to provide my subscribers with a full $40 version of the highly regarded A-Squared (A2) Anti-Malware for free.
A2 is a top rated product that provides active signature and behavioral protection against trojans, spyware, rootkits and a broad range of other malware products.
It offers a strong additional layer of protection to anti-virus scanners, particularly those like AVG 7.5 that do not provide broad spectrum anti malware detection. A2 can also be used as an on-demand scanner. Additionally it has a good reputation as a malware removal tool so it's a handy addition to your PC toolkit.
Finally it's one of the few anti-malware products that will work with Windows 98.
This is the full commercial version not the free version and comes complete with a full 12 months license. You can compare its features with the free version here .
You can find full details how to download and license the product on my website . The offer expires on July 31 so go grab it now while you can.
Free offer for TSA readers expiring on July 31, Windows 98->Vista, 26MB.
This is nice: a full version of a $40 commercial disk defragger for free.
There are many disk defraggers around but this one has a neat feature you don't often see. It allows you to place particular files in the highest performing area of you disk drive. This could be really handy for gamers and other folks looking to squeeze the last drop of performance out of their PC.
The free version offered is the previous version of the company's current offering. Even so it is an impressive product.
This is the last edition of Support Alert Newsletter in its current format. From the next issue it will be merged with Brian Livingston's Windows Secrets newsletter.
It would be wrong to suggest the merged newsletter will be much the same as Support Alert. It won't; it will be very different.
The merged newsletter will be in many ways better than the old as it will be the product of a professional team not one man. I'll be just one of a half a dozen or so professional writers who contribute to the newsletter.
But in the process it's inevitable that some of the personal touch of this newsletter will be lost. It has to be. In the past six years I've personally answered over 10,000 subscriber emails. In the process, I've got to know many of my subscribers and they have got to know me. This personal contact will be sorely missed.
Many of my subscribers have become valued email pen friends while others have made an enormous contribution to the newsletter through their regular suggestions. Look through any issue and you'll find items suggested by JW, Lex Davidson, Mikel Peterson, Andreas Büsing, Leib Moscovitz, Rick Farrow, Callie Jordan, Rhiannon Dent, Noel Glucksman and many more regulars too numerous to mention. I thank them all. Also to be thanked are my long-suffering volunteer proof-readers Amy Belile and Roger Keeny. I not only thank them but apologize to them profusely for all the error-ridden last minute additions I have made to their otherwise error-free proofed text :>)
But my greatest thanks goes to you, dear subscribers. Your emails, your suggestions and your support have been a source of unending pleasure to me and the basis of this newsletter's success. I thank you all.
While this issue marks the end for Support Alert newsletter, Gizmo will not be retiring. In fact I'm looking forward to a new and energetic phase of my life.
From now on you'll be hearing from me twice monthly through my column in Windows Secrets.
I'll also be putting my full energy into developing my website techsupportalert.com into the best freeware resource on the web. And if you sign up to the site's RSS feed you will be hearing from me more regularly than ever.
And here's an open invitation:
If you are over at techsupportalert.com, do use the site contact form to drop in and say hello. I'd love to hear from you.
So please come and join with me. A new adventure has begun.
8.0 MANAGE YOUR