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  • AskWoody Improvements

    Posted on April 5th, 2021 at 01:08 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge


    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).

  • A housekeeping note about the Free Newsletter

    Posted on July 21st, 2020 at 07:48 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The AskWoody FREE Newsletter went out about 12 hours ago, and there are several outstanding questions that keep cropping up. Here’s a quick FAQ:

    Why am I getting both the Plus Newsletter and the FREE Newsletter? That’s by design. You can keep your FREE Newsletter subscription as long as you like, even if you’ve made a donation and become a Plus Member. Some people find it worthwhile to have the FREE Newsletter to remind them that the full Plus Newsletter arrived earlier (spam filters are such a pain!). Others want to have something they can forward to friends. In any case, the two subscriptions are maintained in two separate databases. Neither affects the other.

    How can I change my email address on the FREE Newsletter? It’s a two-step process. You can click Unsubscribe in any FREE Newsletter and have your email removed from the list. (Or you can write to me and I’ll remove it.) But I can’t add a new address to the list – our list management software is very picky about new addresses, and it should be. If you want to subscribe to the FREE Newsletter, you (or everybody you know!) can head over here to our signup page.

    The FREE Newsletter is, uh, free. We don’t sell, rent, give away or otherwise monkey around with the mailing list. We support the FREE Newsletter by running one ad, at the top of each issue. It’s the only ad in all of AskWoody-dom.

    How can I ask a technical question? You can shoot email to me, but I’ll recommend that you post your question here on the site, so everyone can benefit. With well over 200,000 subscribers, you might imagine that I get a lot of questions. I talk about that in the FAQ. Posting questions (and viewing them and answering them) is completely free. No obligations at all.

    A shout-out to our Plus members. Thanks a thousand times over to our Plus Members – the ones with gold ribbons on their pictures/avatars. I know times are tight. Believe me, I feel it too. Donations have been running slow this summer — a natural consequence of the economic times, I s’pose. If you aren’t yet a Plus Member, please consider joining us. It’s easy – and you get to choose how much to pay.

    We run things differently around these parts.

  • The AskWoody FREE Newsletter just went out

    Posted on June 8th, 2020 at 14:35 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Issue 17.22.F just went out to 201,236 recipients.

    You can see the FREE newsletter here. (Yes, it’s available for everyone.)

    You can sign up for the FREE newsletter here.

    If you subscribed to both the Plus Newsletter and the FREE Newsletter, and don’t want the freebie, you can unsubscribe from the latter. Just click the Unsubscribe link that’s at the top of any issue. The FREE Newsletter and Plus Newsletter are handled by two completely separate databases: Unsubscribing from one won’t have any effect on the other.

    To change your FREE newsletter email address, click Unsubscribe at the top of the newsletter to dislodge your old email address, then head over to the sign up page to add your new email address.

  • AskWoody FREE Newsletter is out

    Posted on April 22nd, 2020 at 09:46 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The second edition of the AskWoody FREE Newsletter went out yesterday, to more than 200,000 subscribers.

    I’ve had lots of good questions. Here’s a handful:

    I have somehow managed to acquire two accounts on AskWoody: one a paid-up Plus account, the other an old one just receiving the free newsletter, which is superfluous. They are tied to different email addresses. I tried to log in using the old, free-only account but nowhere can I find ‘Delete account’, ‘Cancel’, ‘Unsubscribe’ or anything. Not one — compared to approx half a million saying how I can sign up. What, again? It ain’t in the FAQs and neither can I find a search feature. It’s like Hotel California in there.

    There’s a reason why. The AskWoody FREE Newsletter operates quite independently of this site, and the Plus Newsletter. If you were a subscriber to the old Windows Secrets Free Newsletter, you’re now on the AskWoody FREE Newsletter mailing list.

    Several of you have suggested that I create an account for everyone who’s getting the FREE Newsletter, but I’d rather not. Those who receive the FREE Newsletter and are interested in getting involved on this site only need to click Register in the upper right corner of this (or any other) page, and set up an AskWoody account.

    Why can’t I change my FREE Newsletter email delivery address?

    Short answer: We haven’t figured out how to put a link in the FREE Newsletters to make that possible. I’m also painfully aware of the fact that the Unsubscribe link in the FREE Newsletters doesn’t always work. No idea why. For now, if you want to change email addresses for the FREE Newsletter, send me a message ( and I’ll delete the old address. You can sign up your new address on our usual FREE Newsletter signup page at any point.

    What’s the hook – how can you afford to send out a FREE Newsletter, especially if you don’t sell or rent the mailing list? After all, putting together a free weekly mailing for 200,000 subscribers can get a bit, uh, pricey.

    The answer’s simple — and it’s the same motivation that led to the Windows Secrets Free Newsletter decades ago. We’ve found that a substantial percentage of the people who get the FREE Newsletter are interested in reading the whole Plus Newsletter. They discover that they can become Plus Members for a price that they think is fair (not $39 or $59, as was the case 18 months ago), scratch their heads, and sign up.

    If you’re getting the FREE Newsletter and want to move on up to the Plus Newsletter (and get emailed Alerts, and access to Susan Bradley’s Master Patch List), there’s a simple three-step process:

    1. Get an account on Click Register in the upper right corner, and connect the dots. It’s free.
    2. Sign on with your new account.
    3. On the right, under Plus Membership, click the link to sign up for Plus Membership. You can make a donation that you think is fair, with a credit card or with PayPal.

    We don’t store any of your payment information. (PayPal prompts for theirs; Stripe handles our credit card payments.)

    No, we aren’t like all the other sites. We don’t have a corporate overlord — we’re 100% donation based. Everything you donate goes straight to paying the bills. If that seems weird, well, OK, I guess it is. But that’s how AskWoody works, how we sink or swim, for better or worse.

    Tell your friends.

  • Sign up for the AskWoody FREE Newsletter

    Posted on April 19th, 2020 at 16:34 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    No, you don’t need a password. No, you don’t need an account. All you need is an email address.

    Mosey on over here:

    and sign up. We don’t sell, rent, swap, or subvert our mailing lists. Ever.

    If you’re a Plus Member, you already get all of the content in the Free Newsletter.

    Stay safe out there.

  • Welcome back, Windows Secrets Free subscribers

    Posted on April 10th, 2020 at 07:16 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    I’ve heard from many of you — and I’m digging out from under an avalanche of email. I greatly appreciate all of your greetings. Yes, it’s true, we’re BACK. And, yes, we aren’t part of a big company anymore. The inmates are truly in charge of the asylum.

    If this is your first time on the new, improved Lounge, please register for a free username (upper right corner). You need a functioning email address (but don’t try to use an email address as your username). Then feel free to explore — pitch in and help, ask questions, question answers! Although our roots are in Windows, you’ll quickly find that we have our noses in many other topics. At this point, we have 140,000 registered users and well over a million posts.

    If you want to ask a question, find a forum (quick links to Windows 10, Win8.1, Win7, Surface, Office, or browse through our Forums list), scroll down to the bottom, type in a good synopsis for your “Topic,” then give us all the pertinent details.

    If you want to reply to something that’s been posted, click Reply.

    Give it a try. You’ll catch on in no time.

    Most of all, kick off your shoes and stay awhile. There’s a remarkable group of volunteers around here. Good folks.

  • AskWoody FREE Newsletter launching today

    Posted on April 8th, 2020 at 07:53 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    If you haven’t yet signed up for the AskWoody FREE Newsletter — the gussied up, re-thought and re-targeted reincarnation of the old Windows Secrets Free Newsletter — now’s the time. We’re on track to launch the first edition today.

    To sign up, just fill out our signup form, and stand back.

    If you’re already a Plus Member, there’s no need to sign up for the FREE Newsletter — you already get all of the FREE content in the Plus Newsletter. But if you’re curious, go right ahead! Invite your Sainted Aunt Martha to join us, too.

  • Final beta test version of the FREE Newsletter headed out shortly

    Posted on March 30th, 2020 at 22:00 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    We’re just about ready to re-introduce the free Windows Secrets Newsletter.

    Now rechristened as the (what else?) AskWoody FREE Newsletter it’s, uh, free.

    Each week we’ll send out one full article from the Plus Newsletter, a recap of the latest happenings on the AskWoody web site (just like we have in the Plus Newsletter), and an offer for folks to join us as Plus Members. It’s a great way to sample what we’re up to, to see if it’s worth making a donation.

    If you’d like to take a look, please sign up. And encourage your friends to join us, too!

  • Help us test the new AskWoody FREE Newsletter

    Posted on March 20th, 2020 at 10:40 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    We’ve hit more than a few snags along the way, but all now seems set for the re-appearance of the old Windows Secrets Free Newsletter, now cleverly renamed the AskWoody FREE Newsletter.

    And, yep, it’s free – unlike the AskWoody Plus Newsletter, which goes out to folks who make a donation.

    For you Plus Members, it won’t have any remarkable new content — the main article in the FREE Newsletter will be one of the articles in the Plus Newsletter, and “Best of the Lounge” will come across — but it’ll be arranged a little differently. Most of all it’s an absolutely free way for folks to see what we’re all about. With a little luck, FREE subscribers will decide to donate — or at the very least, sign up here on and join the merry, no-bull crew.

    If you’d like to help test, there’s a very simple signup form here. (Yes, we’ve brought across the signups from our last effort to get the FREE Newsletter off the ground. No need to sign up twice.)

    Expect the first, beta test version, to arrive in your mailbox later today.

    Your comments, criticisms, suggestions, and off-the-wall ideas are most welcome here in the comments.

  • The beta-test FREE newsletter is out!

    Posted on December 30th, 2019 at 17:55 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The next big thing at AskWoody? A free version of the weekly newsletter. Our thanks to the 400+ AskWoody members who volunteered to be beta testers.

    We plan to put out the first production issue on January 6 (Monday), along with the regular full issue. So we really need your thoughts, concerns, and suggested changes — soon!

    If you want to see the beta edition, but did not sign up to receive it by email, click here for the online version. If you want to get signed up for the Newsletter itself, fill out the signup form here.

    Thanks for your support!

  • Last chance to join the AskWoody Insider Program, er, sign up to beta test the FREE newsletter

    Posted on December 22nd, 2019 at 07:30 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Early next week (possibly on Monday) we’ll send out the first, trial edition of the AskWoody FREE Newsletter.

    For you Plus Members, it won’t have any remarkable new content — the main article in the FREE Newsletter will be the same as the main article in the Plus Newsletter, and “Best of the Lounge” will come across — but it’ll be arranged a little differently. Most of all it’s an absolutely free way for folks to see what we’re all about.

    If you’d like to help test, there’s a very simple signup form here.

    Your comments, criticisms, suggestions, and off-the-wall ideas are most welcome here in the comments.

  • Become an AskWoody Insider! Sign up to beta test the AskWoody FREE Newsletter.

    Posted on December 18th, 2019 at 09:51 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Sorry. Couldn’t resist the tease. What, 16 million Windows Insiders? Crimony, even Coca Cola has an Insider program now. Ahem.

    Although it isn’t Inside much of anything, we’re currently scurrying behind the scenes to revive the old Windows Secrets Free Newsletter.

    Rechristened the AskWoody FREE Newsletter, we’ll largely borrow from the old format. Each issue will appear shortly after the Plus Newsletter, and each will lead with the first article from the Plus Newsletter. We’ll also have thumbnails of the other articles, pointers to what’s happening on the AskWoody site, and instructions for signing up — both for the AskWoody Lounge web site, and for the AskWoody PLUS Newsletter.

    Our goal is to give people a reason to become Plus Members, make it easy for people to check out the Newsletters and point their friends to the source, and (if history is any indication) get the word out to many more people. Free.

    Nothing else will change. Everybody will have access to all of the old Newsletters except the most recent ones (which are Plus Member only). Plus Memberships will continue to be based on the donation model — you don’t have to pay $39 or $59 to join Plus.

    The databases will be maintained separately. You can be both a Plus Member (and thus an AskWoody Plus Newsletter subscriber) and a FREE Newsletter subscriber at the same time. You don’t have to sign up for an AskWoody account in order to get the FREE newsletter. The databases all operate independently.

    Timing is up in the air at this point, but I hope to get a couple of test mailings out later this year, with an eye to (hopefully!) going live on January 6. That’s the one-year anniversary of the AskWoody Plus Newsletter.

    If you’d like to help us test the FREE Newsletter, we have a simple sign-up form.