More free stuff

More free stuff

By Richard Heller

More free stuff

This week, let’s take a look at a few of the free and low-cost programs available to you from the Internet.

Are you tired of those annoying windows that keep appearing each time you visit web sites? You can get rid of them with a program named “Pop-Up Stopper” available from PanicWare ( You will no longer have to fear those obnoxious ads interrupting your online browsing.

Along the same line, are you an AOL subscriber? Did you know that once you are online, you can select “My AOL” and disable all the marketing pop-ups, phone calls, junk mail and e-mail? Just choose marketing under preferences and turn it off. There are separate settings for each marketing item; be sure to turn them all off. You may miss that once in-a-lifetime chance at something of great importance. (Yeah, right!)

Are you having problems with the computer slowing down the longer that you are using it? If you do, then the “Maxmem” program from AnalogX ( is just what you need. As you run programs, they occupy some of your system memory or RAM. When you quit using the program it is supposed to release the memory back so other programs may use it. The only problem is, some programs don’t give it all back, and pretty soon, there is no memory available. Maxmem goes out and reclaims this memory so it is again available to the system.

Do you ever have to rename a lot of files? It’s a real pain to do it manually, but with a program called “THERename” it’s a lot easier. The program is available from the author’s web site (

Now the CAI has announced that “InnoculateIT” anti-virus software is being discontinued, you will need something to replace it with. One choice for a free program comes from Grisoft ( and is called “AVG 6.0”. It functions similar to Norton and McAfee Anti-virus but at a much lower price. They also offer free updates to the virus database; in fact, they update it daily if not more often.

To go along with your anti-virus program, you need a firewall program. “ZoneAlarm” is available from Zone labs (, and another is “Tiny Personal Firewall” from Tiny Software ( If you are using a dial-up connection to access the Internet, then you should have one of these programs running whenever you are online.

All of the programs mentioned are available as free downloads from the sites listed. The companies supply these programs free for personal use, hoping that you like them enough to buy their advanced program or will introduce it to your corporation, where they can sell hundreds of copies.

Another good source of freeware and shareware programs is and Freeware is exactly as the name sounds, free software, while shareware is designed to let you try the program for a certain period of time before expecting you to pay for it. Some shareware programs cease to function when this time period is reached; others nag you about paying for the program.

Richard Heller is an independent computer specialist who specializes in repairs, installation, upgrades, technical support, Internet sharing, data recovery and diagnostics. If you have any computer or service-related questions, please send them to The Rock River Times or e-mail

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