IN THIS PREMIUM EDITION ISSUE:
0. EDITORIAL: How to surf with complete security Part 3
This month I'll show you two more free ways to surf safely.
But first, let's recap.
In issues #129 and #130 I talked about using the free VMWare Reader and the free Ubuntu LiveCD to surf safely. Both are great solutions but both are a little awkward to use as they take several minutes to start up.
Today I'll show you two different free products that will allow you to start surfing safely in seconds rather than minutes.
The first is called Sandboxie. Its name accurately describes what it does: it creates a sandbox environment on your PC within which you can browse safely.
The strange name "sandbox" derives from the Java world where it refers to the highly contained and restricted environment in which Java programs (applets) are allowed to run. They are allowed to "play in the sandbox" but not go outside it. The important point is that while running in the sandbox, the programs have no access to your PC.
So it is with Sandboxie. While browsing within the environment provided by Sandboxie you are totally corralled off from your other parts of your PC. Any files you download are isolated to the sandbox. Similarly, any programs that are executed only do so within the sandbox and have no access to your normal files, the Windows operating system or indeed any other part of your PC.
This means you have complete browsing security. Nothing you do while browsing can have any effect on your PC outside the sandbox.
Starting SandBoxie is simple. You just double click the Sandboxie icon and it will launch your default browser within the sandbox. When you've finished browsing you have the option of deleting all files accumulated in the sandbox during the session or retaining specific files. The secure option is to delete the lot.
It's a neat solution for safe surfing but there are some caveats. First, Sandboxie only works on Windows 2000 and later so Win9x users are out of luck. Second, the system is only safe if you choose the option of deleting all files at the end of your browsing session. Third, you have to be constantly mindful whether you are browsing in the safe sandbox environment or just browsing normally as the two environments look exactly alike. This is a real problem and I do wish the makers of Sandboxie would do something to make the sandboxed environment look visually different.
I also wonder about SandBoxie's ultimate security compared to using VMWare or a Linux LiveCD. I wasn't able to break out of the sandbox environment and get access to my PC but maybe a smart hacker could.
I don't have these residual concerns about the next option: surfing from Damn Small Linux within a QEMU virtual machine running on your Windows PC.
This is bit similar to the option of running a Linux on your Windows PC within a VMWare virtual machine that I mentioned in issue #129. It differs in that the virtual environment is created using the free Open Source program QEMU rather than VMWare.
Damn Small Linux (DSL) is a special cut-down version of Knoppix Linux that only takes up 50MB. However, it does include a pre- installed version of Firefox so it's ideal for creating a safe- surfing environment.
This may sound daunting to set up but it's not. The folks at DSL have included everything you need in a single archive. All you need do is download the 50 MB DSL archive, unzip it to a folder and run the file dsl-windows.bat.
This will automatically launch QEMU and then Damn Small Linux which will auto-install, including automatic network configuration. On my test 3.2 GHz P4 the whole process took less than one minute.
Running Firefox from within DSL is no more complex the clicking the Firefox icon on the DSL desktop. Ending your session is equally simple: just right click on the desktop and select "Power down."
When you power-down, all traces of your surfing session will disappear. That includes any files downloaded, any cookies and your whole surfing history.
This all sounds very attractive but I must warn you that QEMU takes up a lot of processing power; bags of it. You'll need at least a 2.0 GHz Pentium class processor to run it and even then you'll find response to be sluggish. With faster processors, though, it will work just fine.
So that's it folks. You now have four free options for safe surfing; VMWare Reader, the Ubuntu Linux LiveCD, Sandboxie and DSL under QEMU.
Which is best? Well, if convenience is your top priority then you can't beat Sandboxie. If you have a really fast PC then you'll be tempted by DSL and if you want the best security VMWare and Ubuntu are the way to go; it's your call.
Whatever option you choose you will soon discover that once you are freed from security and privacy concerns you will be free to surf the internet without fear, to go to places you would normally never dream visiting and to try things you wouldn't normally dare. All this, while knowing that at the end of your browsing session, you can wipe everything from your PC without leaving a trace.
Free for non-commercial use, Windows 2000 and later,
Free GPL/GNU software, All Windows versions, 49.5MB.
1.0 TOP TECH SITES AND RESOURCES
1.1 How to Get a Free Premium Subscription
I need your help. I've decided to change the name of the
newsletter as the current name "Support Alert" is generic, non-
memorable and not even descriptive. I've been racking my brain
for a new title and have come up with a few possibilities such
as "Gizmo's Guide" and "TopTekTips" but I'm not sure. So I've
decided to have a subscriber competition. Here's the deal: the
reader who comes up with the best suggestion for the newsletter
title will score $100, a free lifetime premium edition
subscription, some free software plus, of course, ever-lasting
fame. So put on that thinking cap and send in your suggestions
1.2 Outstanding Video How-To Site
to copy one of your DVDs or strip the sound track to a CD?
Need to join several video files? Like to convert from one video
format to another? This site shows you how to do all these
things and more using free software.
1.3 Convert MS Word and Excel Documents to PDF
can pay $49 for a utility to do this or go to this web site
where they will do it will do it for free. They also can convert
HTML pages to PDF as well.
1.4 Site Lists P2P Clients Loaded with Spyware
P2P programs will infect your PC with adware and spyware
when you install them on your PC while others are as clean as a
whistle. Find out which from this informative article.
1.5 Save Money by Making Your Own Ethernet Leads
5 Ethernet cable costs less than 10 cents a foot while two
RJ-45 connectors will cost you only 32c. That means you can make
a five foot cable for 82 cents. Full instructions here:
1.6 Help Site for ZoneAlarm
from the subscriber letters I get, lots of folks have
trouble configuring the ZoneAlarm firewall. If that's you then
head for this site where you'll find lots of useful tips. The
layout is a bit hard on the eyes but the content is good.
Thanks to subscriber Howard Kampff for this one.
** Additional Items in this Premium SE Edition **
1.7 How to Back Up, Restore and Move Outlook Express Email
no need to spend a cent on this; just follow this
Microsoft Guide. Some of these pages use ActiveX so you may
have to browse them with Internet Explorer rather than Firefox
1.8 Some Smiles for Techies
Sherry Sanford sent me this excellent collection of
tech cartoons. They made me laugh so I put them on a web page
for all to share.
1.9 Free MS Excel Resources
web design at this site  is poor but the tips, tricks and
tutorials are excellent. Check out the second link, too. This
site is not only easier on eyes but has excellent information
for Excel users at all levels.
1.10 BitTorrent Clients Compared
you'll find a table listing features for 25 of the top
clients. The user comments are just as interesting with my two
favorite clients, Azureus and uTorrent, receiving the thumbs up
from most users.
some top sites to suggest? Send them to
2.0 TOP FREEWARE AND SHAREWARE UTILITIES
2.1 The Best Drive Imaging Program
drive imaging program is a utility that creates a backup
snapshot or image of your disk drives, most commonly your system
drive. You can use that backup image to recover from system
failures, spyware infections, installations gone wrong or any of
the dozens of other things that can seriously mess up your PC.
Every PC I own has a drive imaging utility installed and I use
these regularly to make image backups of the C: drives. I simply
can't tell you just how many times I've been able to use these
backup images to restore a non-working PC to perfect health.
Restoring from an image only takes me minutes while a full
Windows re-install can take many hours or even days when you
take into account re-installing application programs. That's why
I recommend every PC should be imaged regularly using a reliable
imaging program. Now let me tell you the harsh truth: when it
comes to the best imaging program it's a two horse race between
the commercial products Acronis True Image and Norton Ghost with
the freeware contenders trailing by a couple of miles. Not that
there aren't some usable freeware products; it's just they
aren't in the same league when it comes to function, features
and reliability. Choosing between True Image and Ghost is tough
because they are both quality programs. That's why I asked
regular Support Alert contributor J.W. to review the latest
versions of these products. In his normal methodical way he's
scrutinized each from top to bottom and pronounced one the
winner. Find out which from J.W's full review on the Support
Alert web site. Just teasing actually, here's what J.W.
concluded: "I will be removing Symantec Ghost from my system. My
recommendation and choice ... for a disk-imaging program is
Acronis True Image." Please do read J.W's review though; it's
2.2 The Best Free Reminder/To-Do Program
are literally dozens of free stand-alone reminder
programs. Even more if you include sticky notes utilities and
calendaring programs that offer reminder features. Many, I can
assure you, are not worth installing. Of the nine programs I
looked at, two impressed me for their ease of use of their
reminder and "to-do" features. "Easy To-Do"  has the starkest
interface of any of the products I reviewed yet it is among the
most effective in use. It has all the features you need but no
more, including unlimited task lists, task categories, recurring
reminders, audible and visual alarms, adjustable snooze,
configurable reports and more. It's been really well thought
through with lots of nice touches like the ability to add a new
task or reminder by simply right-clicking the tray icon.
Rainlender  by contrast, is a much slicker product but a tad
more difficult to use. Rainlender is not only a reminder program
but a very capable iCal "compatible" desktop calendar, though
the calendar feature can be turned off. Used as a reminder and
"to do" program it's very feature rich with a really snazzy
interface employing things like variable windows transparency,
impressive mouse-over effects, hotkeys and easy skinning. It
also has several features missing from Easy To-Do such as the
ability to synchronize events between clients as well as Outlook
appointment integration. I liked, too, the way the tray icon
shows the current date, a feature that Easy To-Do could well
emulate. Either of these programs will meet the reminder needs
of most users. Some will prefer Easy To-Do for its simple but
effective approach while others will be won over by Rainlender's
optional desktop calendar, impressive interface and powerful
features. Firefox and Thunderbird users also have the option of
using the free ReminderFox and Mozilla Calendar extensions which
together provide similar functionality. They offer the advantage
of avoiding the need for running a separate reminder application
but at the cost of not having reminders available when Firefox
or Thunderbird aren't running.
2.3 Free Utility Adds Voice Email to Outlook
is a free Outlook/Outlook Express plug-in that allows
you to send/reply to emails by using MP3 voice file attachments.
All you do is click the "Add Waxmail" button, record your
message using the simple control panel and the rest is
automatic. The free version of the software is full featured but
adds a Waxmail advertising link at the bottom of your emails.
It's quite discretely done but can be removed by paying $29.95
for the full product. Freeware, requires Outlook 2000 and later
or Outlook Express, 1.23MB
2.4 The Best Free Parental Filter: Part 2
issue #130 I gave a very positive review of the free parental
filter K9 Web Protection by Blue Coat Systems . It's
definitely the best free filter I've tried but it has one
downside; in order to provide the filtering it uses Blue Coat's
web servers which can slow down your browsing a tad. Subscriber
Adi Iana wrote in tell me about another free parental filter
called Naomi  that has the advantage of filtering locally. I
tried it out and it's quite impressive. It caught all the
offensive sites I tried though occasionally it caught an
innocent site as well. Like K9, it's also difficult to disable.
I tried the obvious tricks of terminating the Naomi service and
deleting the autostart entry without success. Naomi also works
with any browser on your system not just Internet Explorer. On
the downside, it filters by terminating the browser session
without warning whenever a banned site is encountered. I found
this a real pain especially when I had several browser tabs open
and lost the lot! Naomi is certainly a very capable parental
filter but on balance I preferred K9's smarter logic, greater
configurability and friendlier behavior. Modem users will
however, appreciate Naomi's speed advantage. Freeware, Windows
ME and later, 1.3MB
2.5 New FireFox Backup Extension
few issues back I mentioned MozBackup, a free program that
allows you to back up your critical Firefox and Thunderbird
data. Another alternative is BackupFox which backs up all the data in your Firefox profile. It
will also backup your Thunderbird profile as well. (395KB)
** Additional Items in this Premium SE Edition **
2.6 The Best Free CD Burning Software
quality freeware burning applications for this review
proved challenging, even though there are plenty of contenders.
My short list included: AVS Disc Creator, burnatonce, Burn to
the Brim, CDBurnerXP Pro, CDR Tools Front End, CommandBurner,
DeepBurner Free, Easy Burning, Express Burn, and HT Fireman
CD/DVD Burner. I was also attracted to two other programs,
Burn4Free and Artisan (a.k.a. Sun), but they were packaged with
adware and/or spyware and were discarded. Of all the products,
the most impressive was CDBurnerXP Pro . It possesses all of
the core features you need including an intuitive interface, the
ability to author data discs, create audio CDs playable in a
regular CD player, create bootable discs, copy discs, and create
and burn image files (e.g. ISO). It passed every test I was
able to throw at it including adding to a multi-session disc
created on another drive with another burning application and
creating a functional slip-streamed Windows XP installation CD!
In addition to the core features, CDBurnerXP Pro also has a
several additional features including: customizable boot disc
options (lacking in DeepBurner), integrated cover printing
utility, integrated audio player and audio, and the ability to
rip audio CDs to various formats including MP3 (with CDDB
lookup). Lastly, those familiar with Nero will be right at home
as CDBurnerXP's interface is very much like Nero's. All up,
CDBurnerXP is a good choice for both basic and advanced users.
DeepBurner Free  is a close second to CDBurnerXP Pro. If you
don't author bootable CDs or care about the additional
multimedia features, then DeepBurner Free might be the one for
you. It has all of the core functionality, but is a much
smaller download package and has a smaller installation
footprint. It also offers a portable version that can be run
stand-alone from a USB drive. In addition to these products,
there are several free burners that are extremely small and
specialize in just one or two features. For example, Burrrn 
is for authoring audio CDs, CreateCD  and CommandBurner 
offer command line burning capabilities, DVDShrink  is meant
for creating DVD backups, and ImgBrn  and ISO Recorder 
are for burning images to disc with a couple clicks of the
mouse. For general users, though, CDBurnerXP Pro or DeepBurner
Free are the clear winners. Editor's note: many thanks to
regular contributor Craig Vollmar for taking the time to prepare
this excellent review.
2.7 Outstanding Process Viewer and Startup Manager
are blessed with a profusion of free, top class process
viewers. Of these, Process Explorer from Sysinternals  has
long been my favorite but there are many other candidates
including PrcView, Nirsoft and the excellent Chinese program
IceSword. With such a strong field I was a little shocked to
discover yet another outstanding program. It's called "What's
Running"  and has a number of features that could make it the
best choice for a lot of users. First, processes are shown in a
tree rather than a list, a representation that makes the parent
and child relationship crystal clear. The same view provides
process id, the name of the program that started the process and
CPU utilization with the display sortable by any of these
attributes. If you click on any process you get a wealth of
information about that process displayed in a separate panel.
Second, What's Running doesn't only show processes; it also
displays, in separate tabs, running services, dlls, drivers, IP
connections, startup programs and system information. The
startup tabs and IP tabs are of particular interest as they are
of sufficient quality that you don't need separate dedicated
applications to provide this information. So is What's Running
better than Process Explorer? For advanced technical users no,
but all other users will benefit from the clear, non-confusing
display and the fact they get a first class startup manager and
IP enumerator in a single product. Thanks to subscriber Nigel
Hislop for letting me know about this product. Free beta,
Windows 2000 and later, 1.09MB.
2.8 How to Send Large Email Files from Your Own PC
contributor Leib Moscovitz recently wrote, "Gizmo I've
recently been using a really terrific program for sending large
files, called Pando . It's very easy to use and extremely
fast, in fact I clocked it against YouSendIt  and it was
something like 25% faster, not to mention the fact that it works
quietly in the background without forcing you to stay on the web
page you're currently using, as YouSendIt does. The program is
officially only in closed beta although you can download it
directly from Softpedia  without having to contact Pando
directly." Thanks Leib for another great find. Pando works by
setting up a server on your PC that allows you to send and
receive large files without the size limitations of your email
program. Nothing new here but what is new is the slick and
hassle-free way Pando does it. To send someone a large file, you
just click the Pando tray icon, enter the recipient's email
address, drag and drop the files (or folders) you want to send
into Pando and then hit "send". This initiates a file transfer
to Pando's servers. The recipient will then automatically
receive an email telling them about the files you have just sent
along with instructions how they can retrieve them. Recipients
not using Pando are instructed to download the Pando program and
install it. Pando users simply have to click a link to start the
download. I tried it with a couple of my friends and it worked
flawlessly and fast. I particularly liked the way a recipient
can start downloading before the uploading is complete; a real
time saver for very large files. On the downside there is little
integration with email clients, it requires both the sender and
user to be using Pando and files only remain on the server for
14 days. I also wonder about the security risk of having a
server running on your PC. Those reservations aside, it's a
great solution to a common problem. Free beta, Windows 2000 and
later or OS X V10+, 2MB.
Got some favorite utilities to suggest? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
3.0 SECURITY PATCHES, SERVICE RELEASES AND UPDATES
3.1 Microsoft Security
March 2006 patch release  was unusually light.
There were only two updates with only one rated "critical",
covering a serious vulnerability in MS Office 2000 and later
that could allow remote code execution. These updates will be
automatically distributed by Windows Update Service. Users who
do not have automatic updates enabled should visit the Windows
Update service  now.
3.2 Microsoft Antispyware Beta 2 Tests
month I mentioned the release of the latest beta version of
Microsoft's free anti-spyware program, Windows Defender , and
said I'd have some test results for you this month. Well,
testing this thing has proved a pain as it only runs under
Windows XP SP2 while all my VMWare test machines are unpatched
Windows XP. This means I've had to build a new VMWare test
environment and re-run tests on all anti-spyware products in
that environment. I'm only about a third of the way through this
huge job but early results suggest Windows Defender may provide
the best protection against spyware of any of the free anti-
spyware programs but falls behind the top commercial products
such as WebRoot SpySweeper. These results are preliminary and I
may have to eat my words when I complete the tests. Free beta
software, Windows 2000 SP4, Windows XP SP2, 4.3 MB
3.3 Running Some Apps as a Limited User from an Admin Account
as a Windows limited user is a very effective way of
increasing your internet security but it's often impractical. In
this interesting article Mark Russinovich from Sysinternals
shows how to run your browser and other internet apps with
limited rights while retaining full administrator rights for
3.4 uTorrent V1.5 Released
never seen any software product develop faster than
uTorrent. Equally amazingly, each new release seems to work well
without major new bugs being introduced. Sure says something
about the developers. The latest V1.5 adds dozens of new
features including Peer Exchange (IR peers only) and Protocol
Encryption that will work with what's planned for Azureus.
Additionally, the product has been tweaked for better transfer
speeds. The program size has blown out though; it now takes up a
massive 154KB! Yes folks, that's kilobytes. Truly amazing.
Freeware, Windows 95 (with Winsock2) and later, 154KB
4.0 OTHER USEFUL STUFF
4.1 The Ten Best Watches for Geeks
liked the Suunto X9 GPS Watch best. It's includes a 12-channel
GPS and shows altitude, vertical speed, temperature, sea level
pressure, absolute pressure, weather trend graph, bearing,
graphic compass rose, bearing tracking and more. Not sure that
it tells the time though. ;>) Naturally, being a geek watch
there's a PC interface cable and software. The street price is
4.2 How to Put Your DVDs on a Video iPod
magazine shows how to do it using free software.
4.3 Make Your Own CD Cases from Paper
to subscriber Andrew Seward for letting me know about
this site that shows you how to make a paper CD case rather than
use a plastic one. Better still, the site allows you to print
the case complete with the Album title and tracks. If you want
to use a plastic case you can optionally print just the cover
insert. However, the killer feature is the ability to import an
4.4 Customized Internet Radio Only Plays Songs You Like
Music Genome Project set for itself the objective of working
out how to identify in music, the elements common to different
musical tastes and genres. They have now applied this knowledge
to create a streaming music radio service that delivers music to
your PC that claims to be personalized to your particular
personal taste. Initially you have to define your preferences by
stating favorite artists and songs. As songs get delivered you
can then refine your choices by stating what you like and what
you don't. It all works quite well but be aware it will quickly
eat up your broadband bandwidth allowance. It's a free service
supported by advertising, though you can elect to pay for an ad-
free service. Thanks to regular contributor Mikel Peters for
letting me know about this.
4.5 Useless Waste of Time Department
got two diversions for you this month. First, an online
puzzle  that is rather more challenging than you might think.
The second is a great rag doll simulation  that uses a
George Bush figure rather than the attractive bikini clad gal
used in the simulation I mentioned a few issues back. Sorry
George, I like the chic in the bikini best.
** Additional Items in this Premium SE Edition **
4.6 Dozens of Free Games
is a personal selection of the best free games from the
Gnomes' Lair. Most are familiar but there are some excellent
freebies I've never seen before. The games I tried were all
spyware free but I haven't checked them all.
4.7 How to Shuffle and Cut a Deck of Cards One-Handed
all seen slick dudes do this in the movies. This article
shows how, with a bit of practice, you can do it yourself.
4.8 How to Download Music Files in Lossless Format
of paying for your music downloads in compressed, low
quality formats? For a slight premium you can download them in
Windows Lossless Format that will give you genuine CD quality
when replaying. The cost from this site is around $1.29 a
track. Note, too, that the download file size will be
considerably larger than an equivalent MP3 file.
5.0 TIP OF THE MONTH
5.1 How to Use Windows Update with Firefox
Most folks know that the Windows Update site won't work correctly with Firefox. You can get around this by using Internet Explorer (IE) when visiting the Windows Update site but there are some better options.
The simplest option is to start up Internet Explorer from within Firefox by using either the IETab  or IEView  extensions.
IETab sets up an IE session within a separate Firefox tab while IEView opens IE in a separate window. Both work well and both save you the trouble of having to leave Firefox to start up Internet Explorer. Note that these extensions are still using IE but are doing so in a more convenient way.
There is another option that doesn't use IE at all. This to use the third party WindizUpdate web site . It's a free service for Firefox users that pretty well duplicates the function of the Windows Update site but without ActiveX and Windows Genuine Advantage hassles.
To use the site you'll need to download an extension that scans your PC to determine the updates you need. Initially this gave me some privacy concerns but I quickly managed to satisfy myself that it was kosher.
Once you have the WindizUpdate plug-in installed the updating process works pretty much like the Windows Update site itself with separate suggestions for critical updates, other Windows updates and hardware updates. Downloading and installing the suggested updates proved effortless.
Apparently there can be a time delay between the time updates appear on the Windows Update sites and when they available from WindizUpdate. However, when I tested the service in late February, I found all the Microsoft February patches were available.
Overall, highly recommended for Firefox users.
footnote: Recently I had my hopes raised for an even better
solution when I got an email from subscriber 'TinnyTim' (sic)
who enthused over " ... a great GreaseMonkey script written by
Rafael Rivera that allows Firefox users to access all Microsoft
sites." Nice find TinnyTim, but the script only defeats Windows
Genuine Advantage validation and doesn't help Firefox handle the
ActiveX scripting that's integral to the Windows Update
6.0 FREEBIE OF THE MONTH
6.1 A New Way to Delete Un-deletable Files
Every Windows user has encountered the annoying situation where they try to delete a file and Windows says it can't be deleted because it's "in use by another program or person," or something similar.
There are lots of ways around this but many folks, me included, have chosen to use a free utility called MoveOnBoot that deletes the file or folder on the next reboot.
But I've just discovered a better utility called Unlocker that will try to free up the locked file (or folder) without rebooting.
I say "try" because Unlocker can't always release the file in which case a reboot may still be required. However, it works most of the time and this is a huge convenience.
Unlocker works as an explorer shell extension. To release a locked file you just right click on the file and select Unlocker from the context menu. Unlocker will then guide you through the rest of the process.
You can optionally install an assistant that will automatically popup the Unlocker dialog when you try to delete or rename a locked file. I advise against this; who really wants another program running on your PC when all it saves you is a single right click?
Unlocker does a great job; in two weeks of use it performed flawlessly. It takes about 5-10 seconds to work but this sure beats rebooting your PC.
for private and commercial use though donations are
encouraged, Windows 2000 and later, 182KB.
** Bonus Freebie for Premium Edition subscribers **
6.2 How to Decrypt Protected iTunes Songs
Recently subscriber Travis Carden wrote, "Hey Gizmo, I thought I'd turn you on to a free tool called JHymn  for decrypting iTunes protected AAC files for use with alternate media players or portable MP3 devices ... you should check it out."
Well, I did check it out and it certainly offers a very effective freeware solution. Here's what the site says: "You buy some new music through iTunes, you run JHymn, hopefully do no more than click one or two buttons and when you quit JHymn and go back to iTunes, all of your DRM-protected music has been seamlessly replaced by unlocked, DRM-free music with the same sound quality as your original purchases, music which is virtually indistinguishable from music that you rip from your own CDs. If you had set up playlists which had included protected songs, the unprotected versions of those songs would now be in those same playlists, in the same play order."
I tried it and it works, though not quite as simply as the above description would have you believe. To start with, it doesn't work with iTunes V6 so I had to uninstall V6 and install V5 following the instructions on the JHymn site . That accomplished, using JHymn to decrypt protected AAC files proved to be reasonably straight-forward.
Once my test files were decrypted I immediately re-installed iTunes V6 because I like the podcast features only available in V6. If you have a second PC you could leave a copy of V5 running on that machine and save yourself a bit of hassle.
The decrypted files are standard unprotected AAC files of the same quality as the DRM protected originals. They can be played on your iPod, iTunes or any device that supports AAC format. They can also be ripped to MP3 though there will be a small audio quality loss in the conversion.
There are clearly legal and moral concerns here. I suspect many folks would argue that if they pay for a song, it's "fair use" that they should be able to listen to it on whatever device they choose. It's something you as an individual have to think about, though, and there's plenty of material on the JHymn site to help you make up your mind.
Whatever, I suspect JHymn is the answer to the prayers of many iTunes users.
Free, open source software, Windows and Mac OS X (tested with Windows XP though it may be compatible with earlier versions), 588KB
Got some top sites and services to suggest? Send them in to email@example.com
7.0 MANAGE YOUR SUBSCRIPTION
The best way to manage your
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There you'll also find all individual back issues, a downloadable back issue archive,
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Support Alert is a registered online serial publication ISSN 1448-7020. Content of this newsletter is (c) Copyright TechSupportAlert.com, 2006
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