Wednesday, March 16, 2005

How am I doing? Please provide feedback!

This web site started out as an idea of a way of sharing neat freeware with friends and family. Originally, I thought I would write reviews in Word documents and e-mail them. When I found blogger.com, I decided to create a web site instead. To my surprise, several search engines included my site in their listings and I started getting traffic. As of this writing, I have posted 14 reviews of free software. I need feedback so I can produce a better product. If possible, please try to answer at least some of the following questions:

Are the reviews too complicated?

Do you like the screen shots of the programs I review?

Do you like the flash presentations when you click on the buttons that say “click here to see demo”?

Some of the reviews have procedures on how to do things. Are these helpful?

Are the web links included useful?

Have you installed any software because of my review?

You may add comments by clicking on the “comments” link at the end of the article, then click on “Post a Comment” and then “Anonymous” if you don’t have a blogger account. I can assure you that is impossible to obtain your identify if you post anonymously.

Thanks,

George

32 Comments:

At March 18, 2005, Blogger Brian said...

I just found you through Blog Explosion, so I can't answer your question. If I was looking for freeware, I'd check you first to see if you've reviewed it. Do you provide info about spyware? A lot of freeware comes loaded with malware.

Your stuff looks well written.

 
At March 18, 2005, Blogger George said...

To best of my knowledge, nothing I review has any spyware, viruses or other types of malware. But, I can't make any guarantees. The web links I provide go to other sites on the internet where I have no control. Changes can be made to the download files that I don’t know about. I’ve never found a web site on the internet that has viruses in the download files although I suppose some do exist. I have; however, downloaded several viruses on peer to peer (P2P) networks and e-mail. In fact, many P2P programs and download files for desktop themes contain spyware. Spyware tends to be more of a nuisance than an actual hazard. You can pick up spyware just by opening a web page! So, there is some risk in even surfing the internet. Your best bet is to use all three of the spyware tools I recommend on my site. You also need a fire wall and a virus checker. I don’t talk about these on my site because the ones I use are not freeware. To make a long story short, I think the freeware that I review is worth taking the risk. I use the file manager, Xplorer2 Lite, nearly every day. I wouldn’t have it if I hadn’t taken that initial risk of downloading and installing it. I would say that my successful installation and use of the software would tend to make it at least a little less risky for you because I have tried it and not had any problems. If you are still apprehensive, you can use a program called “Total Uninstall” when I install a new program. The program takes a snap shot of everything on your computer before and after you install a program. If you suspect a program has installed malware, you can uninstall it with Total Uninstall and the malware should go away. I’ve been thinking about posting a review for it. You can get it at http://www.martau.com/.

 
At May 05, 2005, Blogger Pamela Erny said...

Oh George! THANK-YOU!!!!!!! I have done my best to stumble through discovering how to work within Blogger, but your site will be a great help to me! I already use Flickr..and love it...and have many free photo-editing programs, but interestingly, not photo-filtre..i'll download it and give it a try! I really want to learn how to make flash files..so i can do more media-savvy demos of my design techniques. I look forward to learning much from you and again, thanx for sharing your knowledge with this humble Shirtmaker!

Pam (whose most daring "wreck" was figuring out how to cover those HORRIBLE big dots on my chosen template, LOL)

~Off The Cuff~ Style, Sewing Techniques, Design Tips!

 
At May 20, 2005, Blogger Rigoletto said...

You are doing great, except for dummies like me and you know who me is.
Rigo

 
At May 25, 2005, Anonymous Malcolm said...

Hi George,
I'm a freeware lover too - and I've gathered a collection over the years. I also have a blog (www.morris.hk)where I've posted from time to time about techie stuff. Programs I particularly like are those that run from a single file, with no fancy installation routines. Inspired by your site I may remember to post links to some of them.

I saw your review of Copernic. Have you compared it to the Yahoo/Google/MSN freeware offers ? I settled on Yahoo - but have not tried Copernic yet.

 
At May 26, 2005, Blogger George said...

Malcolm,

I haven't tried the Yahoo or Google desktop search tools yet. I've been so satisfied with Copernic that I haven't felt an immediate need to change. I do plan on trying both and will update my Copernic review when I do.

George

 
At May 30, 2005, Blogger Rob said...

George, you're doing a great job! Great tips for the blogger beginner. Particularly nice job on the animated demos. Clearly you've adapted well to blogging, computers, software and all the fun and frustration that goes with it.
Cheers. Rob.

 
At June 06, 2005, Blogger GrandPooOfAwesome said...

George, I think you're doing a fabulous job on all of the above. Blogs/sites like this are more needed than people think.

Came across you by flickr blog group btw. Might I suggest www.freevlog.org as an addition? I'm not associated with them at all, but thought it was worth noting.

Re your post on firefox: I downloaded it very recently. I don't know how I lived without it!

Cheers!
Megan

 
At June 16, 2005, Blogger Pamela said...

George, your reviews are exceedingly well written and helpful. I already use the spyware programs you mention and I am a Firefox user, so, in that respect, I would confirm to anyone reading that your recommendations really are for the best.

I was actually looking for a program to make screensavers and having read your review of "Picture and Sound Show", I know this will do what I wish to achieve. Thank you.

 
At September 06, 2005, Blogger essjay said...

Hi George

I just wanted to tell you that I am finding your freeware blog very useful, keep up the good work.

I actually found your blog while looking for a review for "picture and sound show", for a student where I work. She only has a Win 98 PC and was looking for a similar program to the built in WIn XP screensaver we have here.

After further reading, your review of Ewido has encouraged me to add it to my other three scanners which are the same as the three you mentioned.

I have bookmarked your blog and will be back...

 
At September 06, 2005, Blogger George said...

Thanks Essjay,

It is nice to get some encouragement when most of my visitors spend 5 seconds or less. I was wandering how everyone likes the video I started adding to my reviews (Ewido and K-Lite Mega Codec Pack). Would you rather have the Flash presentations? Does the video take too long to load?

George

 
At September 25, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for your reviews. I found you courtesy of Clif Notes Newsletter.

As I have dialup only available to me, I haven't viewed your videos. I actually could view them...I accidentally found the .swf files are saved in the Temporary Internet Files directory...but one still must go through the process of downloading the entire video clip...

Anyway, I was wondering why I cannot save the "blog"...when I try I get a message stating something like webpage cannot be saved to this location. I am not an htlm expert, but have gleaned that this is something one puts in his code to avoid content being saved??? I have tried repeatedly to save your reviews in .mht format, but no luck.
Despite this, I will continue reading your reviews...they are excellent! It is just nice to see someone "give to the community" so to speak.

Sincerely,

Ken Free

 
At November 18, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so great having this available.
sjh

 
At November 29, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

George

Thanks so much for your efforts. For some time I have wanted to try the Visual Styles, but was a little reluctant in case it messed things up.

I really like how you explained everything and I very much like your videos which I find an easier way of understanding how to do things.

I really liked your review as you explained your concerns which were exactly what my concerns were, so I am going to try it out.

Thanks again.
Marlene

 
At November 29, 2005, Blogger George said...

Thank you so much, Marlene! You make me feel like I am doing something worthwhile. If you have trouble, you can e-mail me at georgehgeorge@yahoo.com. I wish it wasn't necessary to turn on the "Word Verification" thing. I got too much blog spam without it.

 
At December 25, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful, George.

I've done technical documentation in the trenches of Silicon Valley, and I sometimes write freeware reviews for myself in the same way that you do.

Most people who come to the site won't realize how much time and effort you've put into what you've done; I know from experience how exhausive (and exhausting) it can be to test the routines, and even try to break the program to duplicate pitfalls that others may stumble into.

A real nice job, George. Very much appreciated.

Richard (from the freeware newsgroup).

PS: I'm still all burned out from testing all the notepad programs, looking for just one that'll handle word wrapping and printing properly. And the metronome programs that almost destroyed my computer. I mean, some of this code can get nasty! Whew!

 
At March 16, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I searched for hours looking for a solution to a problem that I was having before finally stumbling upon your site. I found your videos to be exeptionaly useful. Excellent job Greorge keep up the good work! Thank you SO MUCH!

 
At April 11, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

so tell me is there a spyware that is for window's 98 that is just as similer as ewido??---cause i can't load ewindo cause it doesn't have the requirements for it to download

 
At April 12, 2006, Blogger George said...

It is true that Ewido won't work on Windows 98. I have never tried "A Squared" but have read good things about it. It is avbailable at: http://www.emsisoft.com/en/software/free/

George

 
At May 17, 2006, Blogger Dave Kent said...

George, I really, really appreciate your blog page! I am 65, 66 dammit on June 2006 (!). I have learned so much from you, my friend. As a blog newbie, things are a little confusing for me currently, but with your help, I hope to have a blog worthy enough to have my friends look in on me! I will probably be harassing you for help!! I am in Liverpool, UK btw. Thanks again! Dave Fillis. I think I just created my first blog page:- http://davekent33.blogspot.com/
gulp!

 
At July 07, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi George,

First, very helpful site.
Wanted to sugget that you add a submit page, where people that read this blog can suggest freewares to you for your evaluation.

Specifically encountered a new freeware called PCPal (www.pcpal.com) - did you get to look at it yet? It looks interesting.

 
At September 14, 2006, Anonymous Rodney said...

hay george,
i like your site. I found it on the discover page of blogrithm.com
Your presentation is great. i also have a site similar to yours at http://www.xanga.com/rockin4459
keep up the good work, and stop by to see my site.
Rodney

 
At November 03, 2006, Anonymous Rolf said...

Thank You, George, for Your researching welldone. Saves us a lot of crawling around!

Rolf, Berlin

 
At November 16, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi George!
Thanks a lot for the great reviews which have made me use certain of those programs. Keep doing them the way you feel that as such are quite instructive.
Waiting for the next one. Adieu. Nob

 
At January 06, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi George,

Great website! I found while searching for ways to kill SpySheriff. Question for you... do you have any reviews on freeware virus protection software?

Thanks & your work's appreciated.
Jon

 
At January 06, 2007, Blogger George said...

I normally use a purchased anti-virus program and haven’t tried freeware alternatives. I have done quite a bit of reading on the topic and consider the two top contenders are AVG and Avast!. From what I have read, both are of about equal quality. It is important to have your anti-virus scan your e-mail. You might select the one that is compatible with the e-mail program that you are using.

AVG: http://free.grisoft.com/freeweb.php/doc/2/
Avast!: http://www.avast.com/eng/avast_4_home.html

George

 
At February 24, 2007, Anonymous Adam Gulyas said...

I noticed that you have no programs listed as removing old "free scan" programs. I am currently plagued by them, and a program like that would be very helpful.

 
At February 24, 2007, Blogger George said...

Adam,

I'm not sure what you are calling free scan programs. The malware that I know about are spyware, trojans, key loggers and the newest is called a "root kit". The program you describe probably falls into one of these categories. I have found Microsoft's "Windows Defender" is pretty good at finding a lot of bad malware.

 
At March 02, 2007, Anonymous Adam Gulyas said...

Hi again. Virus scaners often offfer a free scan of your computer. I used a few of these, and now the software that they loaded on to my computer won't allow its self to be deleted. I don't know if this is just a safe gaurd of if they are really viruses in disguise. (Which is a bit paranoid, I know.) I don't know what to do with them. HELP! :)

 
At March 20, 2007, Anonymous Dmitry said...

Dear George,

Thank you for the job you are doing.
Could you please take a look at our freeware AVI editor - SolveigMM AVI Trimmer
http://solveigmm.com/?Products&id=AVITrimmer

In would be great you if you decide to review it.

There is also available 'how to' guide:

How to edit your movie to put it on YouTube
http://www.solveigmm.com/HowTo/how-to-edit-your-movie-to-put-it-on-youtube-with-avi-trimmer

Thanks in advance.
Dmirty

 
At January 30, 2008, Anonymous Jamie said...

I found this site through google while I was searching for "visual themes"!

This is a really useful website and I think I'll keep it tucked away in my favorites. I am 15 so for me, freeware is not only excellent but necessary!

I would like to reccomend that you use Google Ad-Sense on this site as if you are getting serious traffic, you may want to make a little money for your efforts!

I would like to see an easy, drag and drop way to create websites. I.e. you drag and drop create your site then view it as HTML.

Keep up the good work,
Jamie.

 
At December 31, 2008, Blogger Peter said...

Hi George, love your page. You might be interested in a list of my favorite freeware:
www.simmondsfam.com/html/downloads.html

 

Post a Comment

<< Home