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The Freeware Workshop

We are very large proponents of freeware available on the internet for many routine computer tasks. It is truly amazing to find out that software of remarkable quality is available free of charge if you just know where to look and pay special attention when you install it. Chances are, you don't want a new toolbar, a new homepage on your browser, a new search engine made as your default, etc. Some freeware will attempt to slide this stuff past the goalie (you). So beware of "Quick Install" options which will do untold things to your system without asking you!

From time to time, we will attempt to highlight some of our favorite freeware gems here. We are hopeful that you can enjoy these little treasures and your relationship with your computer will be enhanced by the experience. We tend to cringe when we think of all of the software sold at very high prices that could easily be replaced by freeware, if only the user had the time to seek it out and test it.

Let's get started with one of our real favorites. When you buy a new desktop or laptop computer, you will quickly discover that it probably comes preloaded with a bunch of software that works for maybe 30 days, then asks you for money. This atrocious behavior has become routine for PC manufacturers that sold their souls long ago to the devil. You may get anti-virus software that craps out, some kind of cloud software, and a plethora of other overpriced and often totally useless crap. And when you fire up your new baby ... guess what!?! All this stuff gets loaded in the background, making your brand new computer necessarily slower that it should be right out of the box.

Along comes PC Decrapifier! Yes, some wonderful individual has made available a little piece of software that will inspect your new or rebuilt computer, list for you all of the junk added to it and give you the option to remove some or all of it. You might find it interesting that for $99, Best Buy will take this crap off for you and provide you with a set of restoration disks that manufacturers now routinely do not provide. You can get much of the job done with PC Decrapifier. You will still need to smoke out a source for restoration disks (a highly recommended move). Generally, such disks can be made by the user by visiting the manufacturer's website, downloading data files and burning disks on your DVD burner. But that is for another day. Enjoy being Decrapified!

One quick note. If you have owned and used your computer for some time, PC Decrapifier may or may not function properly. It is designed to work with new computers, but has been known to do the job on older ones as well. Your luck may vary on older machines.


Current Form

We are often asked how this team can be rated higher than that team. Usually these questions arise when there is a notable disparity between the win-loss records of the two teams. At the present time (12/19), we have the Seattle Seahawks (9-5) rated slightly higher than both Atlanta (12-2) and Houston (12-2) in the NFL. Does that make any sense? To us, it does. We are not measuring performance for the entire season. We are measuring the current form of the teams.

This is important in understanding what we do here. Our goal is to forecast the outcome of games to the best extent possible using basic mathematics. In order to do that, one must evaluate the current form of the teams. Clearly, Seattle has been playing extremely well of late. Meanwhile, both Atlanta and Houston seem to have fallen off from their earlier levels of play.

Coach Lou Holtz once put it in words that explain this situation. Lou stated that you never coach the same team twice. Each game is a different deal. Your team's mental attitude changes, along with injuries and many other factors. Teams may struggle early in a season and catch fire late. We often see wildcard NFL champions due to late momentum. The New York Giants are famous for late runs. Green Bay recently got hot late in the year and parlayed it into a championship.

So ... when you look at our ratings, please keep these things in mind. Our goal is to predict the outcome of the next game and we are reasonably good at it. Of course, we occasionally miss by a mile. Comes with the territory.

Other rating systems may have different goals. If one is looking to evaluate the overall performance over an entire season, the results would be different from ours. The BCS is a case in point. Those guys are interested in evaluation, not prediction. In that case, the first game of the season counts as much as the last game. Not here. Recent performances carry the most weight in our rating scheme.

SportsPlays is Fun!

No, don't expect to get rich placing 50 cent bets, especially if the 50 cents is not even your money. But you can have a bunch of sports betting fun with no risk of losing your hard earned cash at SportsPlays.com. You will be staked to a small amount and given the opportunity to roll it up from there. If you lose your bankroll, you may just start over. The player never loses any of their own money. That is what makes it legal.

I know. You're thinking ... how can they do this? They offer an enhanced experience for a small monthly fee. They cut you a better deal if you pay them. Their rules for actually cashing out are designed to make it nearly impossible to win actual cash from them unless you pay to play. But ... it is very fun nevertheless!!!

Just be advised that you are not likely to get very far for free. We play for free and it's the next best thing to having an online sportsbook at your disposal with no chance of losing the rent money or the mortgage payment. You might be surprised how a 50-cent bet can make watching a game a little more interesting. Especially, if the 50 cents is not your own.

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This Page was Computer Generated, using custom software designed by G. Hawley.
Updated Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Contents 2014 Gary Hawley Denver, CO

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