Newsletter Archives

  • Happy Holidays 2022

    Happy holidays to all and hope everyone around the world has had a great and safe morning no matter where you are or what you celebrate.

    Today is the day I make one of my favorite breakfast recipes. And of course, while I could go find the cookbook on the shelf, like any good geek, I just googled it. Or rather duck duck go’d it.  (Sorry duck, you are going to have to work on your naming as it just doesn’t roll off the tongue.

    Here’s hoping you have a wonderful holiday season, always have batteries on hand, always have power on hand, always have lit up Christmas trees and no burnt out bulbs and above all else, always have a helpful community to help you through any questions that life, or technology may throw your way.

    Thanks to all our readers and forum participants.

  • Happy Thanksgiving to all 2022!

    It’s the American holiday of eating turkey, watching tv and at my house, the annual get the Christmas boxes down and start decorating the tree. Already I’ve prevented a near disaster, when checking the Christmas tree lights (as I am the master light checker), I realized that one of the fuse bulbs was out making an entire string go out. Fortunately, last year I realized that while I still had quite a few replacement bulb, I didn’t have many fuse bulb and ordered replacements.  Notice they are sold out and thus at some point in the future I will have to restring the tree with new lights. Once again proving that with any technology, always make sure you have spare parts.

    Today’s the day I also spend the time reviewing the health and well being of computers in my house as the turkey roasts in the oven. I’ll review hard drive space, make sure that all computers have been updated to SSD drives. I use this time to ensure all of my machines on Windows 10 21H2 are ready to go to 22H2. But don’t just review your computer hardware, also review the speed of your internet. If you have multiple computers, check the speed on all of the devices – including ipads. If you’ve been a customer of your ISP for a long time, consider calling them up and seeing if you can get a cheaper/faster deal. You may not want to call today, as chances are their staffing is lower today and thus you’d have longer wait times.

    So monitor that turkey, and review your technology and have a happy holiday!  Thanks to all of you too!

  • Keeping computer aches away

    While we tend to focus A LOT about the patch Tuesday post install issues, one thing you should also be aware of is the pains and aches that using technology can do to your body. While I’m sooooo not a fan of ergonomic keyboards, constantly using your keyboard and keeping your wrists a certain way can cause carpel tunnel syndrome.

    But you shouldn’t just be concerned about keyboards. A recent Consumer reports Heath article reminds me that we need to set up a good working and consuming environment properly. Computer screens should be about an arm’s length away from you and the top height of the monitor should be at eye level. If you have glasses with bifocals, you may need to lower it.

    When using a keyboard, your elbows should be slightly bent. Make sure you have a good solid chair. Don’t get a hugely expensive chair, but at the same time, a good comfortable and supportive chair is key. Your feet should be easily able to touch the ground.

    For those with ipads, consider ipad stands or holders to prop up your devices. I’d also recommend ensure you purchase the proper device for the proper role. I purchase smaller book sized lightweight kindles when I’m wanting to read electronic books. Trying to read it from a heavier ipad just isn’t comfortable and makes my arm hurt.

    For those that watch antenna tv (I’m currently watching vintage episodes of Emergency on Cozi.TV) or stream their television content, place your television in a good neutral spot for your neck as well. Ensure it’s not making your neck too much to the left or to the right. Get cushions and pillows.

    When talking on your cell phone, while I HATE it when people are talking loudly on the speaker phone so that everyone around them hears what they are talking about, you do need to adjust your hand. Holding an iphone for a long period of time can be hard on your grip.

    What do you do to keep computer aches away?

    Here are some links with ideas:

    Preventing aches and pains

    Harvard Health and tips on neck position

  • A thanks to Dads all over the world

    Even if your country doesn’t celebrate Father’s day, here’s to all of you who are Dads. Today is the day in the United States and in the UK that we celebrate Fathers.

    I’m always amazed at my Dad. When my Sister and I were going through school he’d coach us through Algebra, Calculus and even Trig. I look back to how he remembered enough to be a coach and I’m amazed.  Even now he amazes me with how he embraces change and technology – even though he would argue that it was WAY easier to repair cars in the days before everything is now computerized and needs a diagnostic tool to figure out what’s wrong.

    To all of the AskWoody Moderators, Plus members, and readership that are Dads, I hope you had a great Sunday and thank you for all that you’ve done over the years.

  • Working on “the basics of the forum” instruction

    Tonight I’m working on the “basics of the forum” topic as suggested by Geekdom.

    The beginnings of it are here. Note that I have the thread closed to new posts as it’s a work in progress and I’m still working on it so rather than have comments on the bottom or inserted over there I’ll ask that you make comments in this thread over here.  Sorry to be a bit confusing but I want the topic to be continuous over there.

    Besides the items that Geekdom suggested as listed below:

    • login
    • create a post from a word processor or text file
    • post the contents to forum edit box
    • add an attachment
    • use the edit tabs across the edit box (hieroglyphs)
    • swap between Visual and Text
    • what HTML looks like (and how to remove detritus)
    • edit a post after it has been posted — time duration of edit (looks like at least one hour now)
    • include links
    • logout

    Is there any other topics about the basics of the forum you want covered?

    I’ll add one more – if you put the word “by” in the title of your forum post it will make the format very large and very odd. If you go back and realize that one of the moderators have edited the word “by” out of your title or have reworded it, that’s why we did it. Ah, the joys of bugs in software.

    For those of you that noticed that the “resolution” button is gone whereby you can’t flag a forum question as answered, the plug in we used was abandoned by the author and our software security vendor flagged it as having unpatched vulnerabilities. Given that we are a web facing forum, needless to say …. out it went.

    I’m looking at possibilities for replacements – as I really do like some sort of ability to flag that an answer has been found. Don’t forget you can always click that “thanks” button at the bottom of a post. I’ll let you know if/when we find a replacement.

  • New Apple forums

    We’ve once again expanded the Apple forums with some more categories. Since Apple is making big changes in hardware we’re added a specific venue for hardware. If you are confused about what can – and can’t be done with the new M1 hardware this is the place to ask questions.

    Also just like the Windows forum, we’ve now separated the macOS by versions (noting which ones are and are not supported)

    Remember to post a new topic, find the category and look for the button for new topic.

    This button shows up when you are in a sub forum.

    As always you can look in the upper right side where we have shortcuts for the major categories!  Let me know what you think!


  • Inspired to do a bit of weeding

    I’m a fan of the gardening show “Gardener’s world” and of gardening in general. And with any garden you need to do a bit of weeding and reorganizing.

    Tonight’s post is inspired by AskWoody plus reader who wanted to know if we could set up different areas of the forum for interests such as Windows users, Apple users, Linux and Android and honestly, we do, but because we tend to focus on Windows A LOT that’s what gets the focus. But if you look in the AskWoody support section – see that “non windows” that’s where they are hiding!

    In just a smidge I’m going to be pulling them out so they won’t be all tucked under the AskWoody support subhead of “non windows” rather they will be right below Windows so that they will be way more obvious.

    I’m also going to be a bit of reorganization so that when you go into a section, you’ll need to go into a category to post, rather than generically posting right where you end up.  When we added the new forum skin that has a much more prominent “new topic” button and because the forum sections weren’t originally set up as categories like they should have been, needless to say our garden needs a bit of weeding.

    I also moved down the “AskWoody Central” section a bit more and renamed it to “Frequently asked questions, feedback, suggestions” as that’s more descriptive of what it is.

    You’ll also see that I’m going to be putting “sticky posts” at the top of major sections pointing to the master knowledge base articles. For example I already put the “how to block windows 11” at the top of the Windows 11 forum.

    Gardens were not weeded in a day so you’ll see some of these weeding things take some time. But the Apple and Linux topics for sure will be dug up out of the hidden garden where they are hiding and put in a better more prominent place in the forum.

    Last and certainly not least, we are working on making search better on the site itself and I’ll let you know when that gardening project is done (it’s in the works), but in the meantime remember you can always use advanced search terms in your favorite search engine to make the search engine JUST look at the site.

    I’ve got a video here explaining the process but in general in your search box put in

    For example:  Block windows 11 in the search box will narrow down the duckduckgo to JUST this site.


    I moved the Apple and Linux forums out into their own section. I realized we didn’t have a specific Office for Mac category so I’ve added that along with Backup, as with ANY computer you want to back it up.

    If you would like subforums for specific Linux distros, let me know which ones you would like?

  • Coming soon to a forum near you

    Youtube demonstrating the changes

    Here’s a sneak peak of upcoming changes to the forum. We’ ve got a new “skin” on the forum that will make it easier to start new posts. Up at the top of each location will be a spot to click to jump to make a new post.

    We will be getting rid of that confusing “comment” link that never went anywhere.

    Click below on the funky url to check out the changes!

    Test of the new forum

    And when do we plan to make the change?

    Why October 5th of course!  If Microsoft can roll out a change, so can we!  Stay tuned!

    P.S. want to know how to change the colors for links on a web page to what you want? There’s lots of ways to do it. Some are with the use of addons, some you can use the accessibility feature to enable different colors.

  • Got your Plus newsletter now?

    So hopefully by now you have received your PLUS newsletter for the week. First, apologies. For some unknown reason that I’m unsure of at this time,  Mailchimp flagged our Plus newsletter account and would not send out the emails last night. They finally unblocked the account around noon pacific time, but for a while there I was considering alternatives.

    When I reached out to Mailchimp the issue they said was “As you know, this was a pause by Omnivore, our automated abuse-prevention system, and was done out of caution, rather than for correction. It scans account and campaign content, and prompts human review so we can determine whether correction is needed, or, as is the case here, all’s well.”

    Okay so how much do you want to bet that a software update nailed us? Sigh.  Apologies again, sorry for the inconvenience, we should be fully back to mailing you properly now. Remember stay tuned for the MS-DEFCON 4 to go out this week.


  • Missing your Plus newsletter?

    So are we.  Apparently we are in the dog house (or rather Chimp house?) and it was not sent out last night as it was supposed to be.  We have a support ticket open with Mailchimp and as soon as the issue is resolved we’ll be sending out the newsletter.  Until then, remember you can read it online here.

    Then clearly if we didn’t have enough troubles we accidentally put the subject line of “Plus” in the “Free” newsletter.  So if you got a “plus” newsletter and couldn’t get to any of the paid links, it’s because it REALLY was the Free newsletter.

    I know.  It’s a Monday.  Apologies for the mess, we’ll get it straightened out.

  • Doing a bit of re-organizing

    I’m doing some reorganizing of the side menu to make the site better in the long run.  First off thank you to all that make the forums a happy and healthy place.  But…. and there’s a but coming… but that happy and healthy means that we have a LARGE database. Over a million entries and counting.  As we grow there are certain functions that cause a real drag on the database – and one of them is the “recent replies” widget.  Because it was on every page and on every view, every time it causes a query to be run. You can only imagine that as we grow bigger …. well you get the idea. Bottom line in the background it’s been giving us headaches over the last few weeks. So for now I’ve rearranged the widgets on the side to remove that offending one so it doesn’t trigger the database errors we’ve been seeing.

    So here are some alternative ways to view the forums:

    First I moved up the search for topics menu and the ones I’d recommend are “New posts: Last day”  or “Recently active topics

    Remember too as you post a question to either tick the box “Notify me of follow-up replies via email” or – if you just want to watch the topic and not post, remember to click subscribe at the top of the topic.  Either method will ensure that you get an alert when someone someone posts.

    As always THANK YOU to all and everyone for making this a fantastic and helpful site!

  • AskWoody Improvements


    Will Fastie

    By Will Fastie, Editor

    We continue to make changes to AskWoody, to make it easier and faster for you to use.

    Susan Bradley and I have been subscribers to AskWoody and its predecessors from the get-go. And we’ve both been contributors, Susan for a very long time and I for about a year. We’ve been on the outside looking in, but that’s been reversed: we’re now the ones behind the curtain.

    Read the full story in the AskWoody Plus Newsletter 18.12.0 (2021-04-05).
    This story also appears in the AskWoody Free Newsletter 18.12.F (2021-04-05).