News, tips, advice, support for Windows, Office, PCs & more. Tech help. No bull. We're community supported by donations from our Plus Members, and proud of it
Home icon Home icon Home icon Email icon RSS icon

Daily Archives: April 22, 2019

  • A voice from the past

    Posted on April 22nd, 2019 at 15:27 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I’ll just drop this here and quietly slip back into the background.

  • Quick update on swallowing the whale

    Posted on April 22nd, 2019 at 12:30 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    We’ve already merged about a quarter of a million Replies (posts) from the Windows Secrets Lounge to the AskWoody Lounge. My guess is that the mammoth job will be done this week. We’ve goosed the server and more than doubled nearly tripled the merge rate, while keeping response times here pretty reasonable. Apologies to those of you who spent an inordinate amount of time getting around the site over the weekend.

    What’s next? Good question.

    As soon as all of the Replies are merged, we’ll start the job of consolidating the old Windows Secrets “WS”-prefixed accounts with existing AskWoody accounts. I’ll put out a call for those with dual citizenship as soon as we’re braced.

    We’ll also be looking for lost or misplaced Topics (questions, usually). There are many, and we’ll have to manually bring them across.

    And we’re going to be re-organizing the forums. They were set up for the old AskWoody — emphasis on “What Microsoft screwed up, and how to protect yourself” — and need to be more in line with our expanding “tech help” charter.

    Folks signing up for new accounts and anonymous posters will see an “I am not a robot” challenge in the near future. Why? We’re manually weeding out 100 or more new spamming/bot accounts every day. And we’re fielding more and more attempts at direct upload of malicious scripts through anonymous posts. It’s a jungle out there. (UPDATE: That feature’s now working.)

    Afterwards there’s a laundry list of improvements coming. As we get ready for the big ones – such as redesigning the site, improving the Replies editor, separating out “free” and “Plus” content, reinstating the old Free newsletters – I’ll put out a call for your input.

    In the interim, you can use your existing AskWoody account, or your old WS account — either or both — and there shouldn’t be any conflicts, either now or in the future. (See the Windows Secrets Landing Page for details.) Not all of your Replies are melded into AskWoody yet, but almost all of the Topics should be here already.

    Don’t forget that, if you log on with an email address, you need to get switched over to a “proper” AskWoody account. You can’t do it yourself — the old cruft has to be nuked from orbit. Send me mail, CustomerSupport@AskWoody.com.

    As we wait for the merge to complete, I want to extend my thanks once again to all of the people who kept Windows Secrets alive for so long. You’ll see many of them right here, every day. I also want to say “many thanks” to the people at Informa/KNect365 (formerly Penton) who helped us move. Moving a million-post web site isn’t easy, and we’ve had tremendous support from the staff at KNect365.

    I also want to thank each of you Plus members for making this possible. I really do believe there’s still a place in the industry for volunteer-based, truly independent tech help, open to everybody. Your donations keep it all going.

  • Bott: Win10 apps – which are worth keeping, which should you dump?

    Posted on April 22nd, 2019 at 10:41 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Over on ZDNet, Ed has a succinct roundup of major pre-installed Win10 apps and what you should do with them. Ed’s verdict:

    “Sponsored” crap apps – delete them immediately
    Internet Explorer – once a browser, now a relic, only worth trashing
    XPS Writer – wuzzat? Thumbs way down.
    Office (cloud based free version), OneNote, OneDrive, Skype – optional
    Groove Music, Movies & TV – put a fork in it
    3D whosit, whatsit, wheresit, Mixed Reality – off with their heads

    Take a look and tell me what you think.

  • How to see your entire newsletter

    Posted on April 22nd, 2019 at 08:24 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Just got a note from @rhp52….

    The last two newsletters I’ve received have only contained your article. It ends with a picture of Fred and the title of his article, then the end credits, email addys, etc.

    Good point. Email programs cut off long-winded emails. (Not to say that I’m long-winded, but guilty as charged.) Most have a link at the bottom to “Show more” or something of that sort. But there’s an easier way.

    At the top of each Newsletter there’s a tiny link that says

    Having trouble reading this issue? Click here for the online version.

    Click on that link and you’ll be transported to the full version – which is much easier to read and navigate….

  • Woody’s Windows Watch: More on April’s abysmal Win7 and 8.1 patches

    Posted on April 22nd, 2019 at 05:49 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Six (seven?) patches. Four (five?) antivirus programs. Bluescreens. Slow-as-sludge systems. Conflicting advice. Delayed warnings. Hundreds of thousands of machines put through the wringer.

    The people who know what happened with this month’s conflicted patches aren’t talking.

    Here’s what we know, and why it’s important to you — even if (especially if!) you run Windows 10.

    Woody pokes at the mystery and throws some well-deserved shade in this week’s AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.15.0, out this morning to AskWoody Plus Members.

  • LangaList: Should you force your machine onto Win10 1809 or wait for 1903?

    Posted on April 22nd, 2019 at 05:40 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    It’s a tough question. Fred Langa takes you through the pros and cons, and offers some solace during these trying times. If every version of Windows were good, it’d be a no-brainer. Demonstrably, that isn’t the case.

    Fred also has a peek into a bit of history with us still — the old 8.3 filename. It’s there, on your system, whether you know it or not.

    LangaList lives in this week’s AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.15.0, out this morning to AskWoody Plus Members.

  • Deanna’s Freeware Spotlight: Desktop Restore

    Posted on April 22nd, 2019 at 05:32 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Ever have your desktop icons move when you reboot or switch screen resolution?

    Randy and Deanna at The Older Geeks have a solution for you. There’s a free Windows Shell Extension from Jamie O’Connell at Midiox called Desktop Restore that lets you save your icon positions, give each configuration a name, and swap among them.

    More brilliant, free and crap-free software from Deanna McElveen at OlderGeeks.com

    Details in this week’s AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.15.0, out this morning to AskWoody Plus Members.

  • Windows Security: On beyond passwords

    Posted on April 22nd, 2019 at 05:00 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Lance Whitney returns with an explanation of Windows Hello ways to log in to Windows without a password. PINs, pics, swipes and winks, oh my! They’re not only faster and easier than using a password, they’re more secure too.

    Details in this week’s AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.15.0, out this morning to AskWoody Plus Members.