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  • Advice for first-time posters on AskWoody

    Posted on May 6th, 2019 at 07:52 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    We’re seeing a lot of first-time posters on AskWoody. That’s great! Just realize that there are rules we all follow about content and continuity. You can browse and post anonymously — without logging in — if you like, but it’ll take longer for your post to appear. Each anonymous post is vetted manually.

    Everyone who subscribes to the AskWoody Plus Newsletter already has an AskWoody account, but subscribers should make sure that the account user name is not your email address. If you try to post using an account name that’s an email address, we’ll protect you from yourself.

    If you lack a “proper” AskWoody account, getting things switched around is easy. Just email me at

  • AskWoody sponsorships: Meet Isabella

    Posted on May 6th, 2019 at 02:02 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Please meet Isabella, or latest sponsored great kid. She’s nine years old, from Appalachia.

    Your Plus donations make the sponsorships happen. Thank YOU!

    Details this morning in AskWoody Plus Newsletter 16.16.0.

  • Ramadan Mubarak

    Posted on May 5th, 2019 at 21:22 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Wishing my Islamic friends Ramadan kareem.

  • Reprise: How to put a picture “avatar” on your account

    Posted on April 30th, 2019 at 07:50 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    It’s easy. WordPress picks up your picture from a site called

    Gravatar is owned by WordPress, the company that makes the software that drives this site.

    We don’t support the full Gravatar shtick – you can’t click on an avatar on AskWoody and get all of the background info stored on Gravatar (sorry, it’s my privacy tin foil hat shining through) — but in spite of several legitimate privacy concerns, it works well for most people. I use it.

    Full discussion – including pro’s and con’s – here.

  • AskWoody is slow, but it’ll get better

    Posted on April 29th, 2019 at 11:11 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Real Soon Now (TM).

    We’re still processing those 1,000,000-plus replies from Windows Secrets – and the devs have identified an additional slowdown source that should be fixed shortly. I hope.

    Hang in there. Rest assured that those of us plunking away behind the scenes are even more frustrated than you….

  • Reminder: No AskWoody Plus Newsletter this morning

    Posted on April 29th, 2019 at 06:12 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    For those of you accustomed to devouring the latest with your Monday cuppa joe… this is a bye week for the Newsletter. We’ll be back again next Monday with Fred, Susan, Deanna, Tracey, me and the crew — and we’ll have a couple of surprises of particular interest to Loungers.

  • Happy Orthodox Easter

    Posted on April 28th, 2019 at 17:10 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    An Orthodox Easter cake.

  • 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,

    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.