• A changing of the guard at AskWoody.com



    By Woody Leonhard

    I’m retiring.

    But AskWoody marches on — in new but familiar, and highly capable, hands.

    I was nudged into retirement by a combination of medical concerns, family obligations … and a screaming desire to turn my attention to interests outside the computer industry.

    So it’s my great pleasure to announce that Patch Lady Susan Bradley will be taking up leadership of the cause — as major-domo of AskWoody.com, as managing editor of the AskWoody Newsletters, as guiding light of the @AskWoody twitter charge — and, most importantly, as a spiritual advisor to gazillions of disenfranchised Microsoft customers. She also has a new column in Computerworld: Microsoft Patch Lady.

    I’ve known and worked with Susan for decades, and she is as familiar to long-time Windows Secrets subscribers as a favorite old hat. Part of the original Windows Secrets team and a regular contributor to the AskWoody newsletter, she also moderates the patchmanagement.org mailing list and writes pivotal security columns for the CSO website. In her day-job guise, Susan is an IT admin and forensic investigator at a well-known CPA firm.

    We’ve always known Susan for her perspicacious pursuit of patching problems … and their resolution.

    What a long and strange trip it’s been

    Life’s changed in extraordinary ways since my first “meatspace” book “Windows 3.1 Programming for Mere Mortals” (Amazon) appeared 28 years ago. Windows has evolved from a rickety infrastructure built on top of a wobbly operating system to a wobbly operating system in its own right.

    I don’t miss the original bug-ridden incarnations of Windows. But I do miss the fire and vision that drove the unqualified success of Windows XP and Win7. And I’ll continue to rail against the flaws that are introduced — and sometimes re-introduced — with every round of updates.

    Microsoft has a long history of Windows patching issues. Some things never change, eh?

    On a personal note, I’m back in Thailand. We survived two weeks of quarantine and are now free to visit family and friends all over the country. I think of it as an extended vacation, camping out while the U.S. struggles with the pandemic. Eventually, we’ll be back in the States, but the “when” is an open question.

    Most importantly, rest assured that the “Open for business” sign remains lit at AskWoody. And we’re still standing up for the little guy. I’ll continue to drop in from time to time — just to contribute my two cents. But the ongoing effort to guide and help all personal-computer users is now in new and much more capable hands.

    So long to all AskWoody supporters. I’ve already been warned by Susan that I must pop in every now and then to offer insights about technology outside of the Redmond bubble — better known as the real world we all actually live in.

    And thanks for all the fish!