FROM THE TUSTIN NEWS, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2000


THE DOC IS IN...

Three programs to eat your cookies, erase history

Three programs are on my computer just for fun. Probably it's because I'm a sucker for downloadable programs that sell for less than $29.95 and do interesting things. They are "WindowWasher" by Webroot Software; CookiePal from Kookaburra Software; and WinSNTP by Coetanian. All three programs offer a free 30-day trial version from their web sites.

WindowWasher is a teenager's dream program. It "washes" the hard drive erasing any history of where you have been. For Netscape and Microsoft Internet Explorer browsers, it erases stored web pages, temporary Internet files and cookies. In Windows it erases the document and run history files. Thus, no-one can use your computer to find out what web sites you have been visiting or what files you have been using. My pre-teen grandson didn't know this and I had a long discussion about some of the places he had been visiting on the web.

Seriously, using WindowWasher frees up a surprising amount of hard disk space after "washing," especially if you have been visiting web sites that contain a lot of graphics. It can be downloaded from the web by going to www.webroot.com. It sells for $29.95. A free 30 day trial version is available from their web site.

"CookiePal" from Kookaburra Software eats cookies. Cookies are those little Internet files that web sites can leave on your computer to help identify you when you visit the site again. Most are harmless and even desirable. However, some cookies allow web sites to put on annoying advertising banners when you visit. CookiePal gives you the ability to filter out undesirable cookies. I have mine filter out cookies from a number of advertising sites which produce these annoying banners.

Half the fun of CookiePal is watching the little happy face icon on the Windows toolbar. It normally smiles until an undesirable cookie tries to enter. Then its mouth opens and it "eats" the cookie. CookiePal is available by download from the Internet at www.kburra.com. It sells for $15 and a free 30 day trial version is available.

WinSNTP by Coetanian is for us obsessives. It is used to set the Windows clock. It compares the clock in your computer with "standard" atomic clocks and resets the computer clock to within a few hundredths of a second.

Atomic clocks are used to set the time all around the world. They are accurate to seconds in centuries. Coetanian lists 117 such atomic clocks which are available through the Internet and can be used to set your computer clock.

You can test your computer clock by going to their web site at www.coetanian.com. You may be surprised that your clock is far off. This may not seem important but the time may come when the "time stamp" on one of your computer documents has legal significance.

Anyway, I have fun with this program. It is available by download for $15 and a free 30 day trial version is available.

There literally are hundreds of these special purpose programs available on the web. I probably heard of my three from newspaper or magazine articles. Keep your eyes open and try some of these when you see them mentioned. They can be useful or just plain fun. Most have free trial versions.

To learn more about these and other programs, visit "Coffee and Computers" any Friday morning in the Conference Room of the Tustin Area Senior Center. Bring your computer questions and concerns.

In the meantime, keep the neurons happy, the synapses snapping and enjoy computing.

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Dr. Art Holub is a long time resident of Tustin and teaches computer and Internet courses at the Tustin Area Senior Center and the Tustin Adult School. Visit his web site at: www.arholub.com. This column is written to address the computer adventures and concerns of older adults. If you have comments, questions or suggestions for future columns, Email HIM at: doc@arholub.com.


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