Newsletter Archives

  • Minor Lounge Button Tweaks

    A long time ago when the Lounge was new, our wish list included having the Lounge posts with Reply, Thanks and Quote buttons in the header row of each post, and the Report button at the bottom. In the meantime, we have all got used to how we were forced to have it.

    Well, we now have the tools to make those wanted changes, which have just been activated.

    We are aware that some of us will be in the habit of the old button locations, and that this may be a bigger issue for those with sight impairments of varying degrees.

    We hope this change is found to be usable, and not too disorientating, in the short-term.

    The feedback received has been firmly on the idea that the header buttons should be in the footer, and vice versa. So we’re going to give this a try – Reply, Thanks and Quote in the Footer, with Report in the Header.
    Keep that feedback coming, please!

  • High praise, indeed!, and its eponymous factotum (…Woody), have made it to Martin Brinkmann’s Tech Sites We Love, over on offers news, tips, and support for Microsoft Windows, Office, PCs and other tech. It is run by Woody Leonhard and one of the prime news sources for Windows administrators and users on the Internet…
    It is a must-visit site in my opinion as a system administrator, regardless of whether you administrate a single Home PC or PCs in a company network.

    @martinbrinkmann is a trusted MVP here (but of course, with the roles still not 100%, you may not always see a correct indication on any account!), and his articles have often been linked here on AskWoody. Judging by the number of mentions he’s received here, you must respect him too.

    In this case, I am 100% in support of Martin’s opinion – Well done, Woody!

    Thx @Microfix

  • The site’s about to get a mild makeover

    We aren’t yet ready for the full rollout, but things are stable enough to get the Plus Memberships going – and to start taking down the ads.

    In the not-too-distant future we won’t have any “automatic” ads, although we may have a few ads from individually vetted sponsors.

  • AskWoody turns 14 years old

    The world was a very different place on July 14, 2004 — the day I finally got the site cranked up and working. After many years, first on CompuServe, then with printed, snail-mailed newsletters (!), then with electronic “Watch” newsletters, and books all along, AskWoody arose from my perch in Phuket.

    With the help of many people you see here every day, the AskWoody Lounge was born in January, 2017, and the site has evolved into what you see now.

    Through it all — and there have been many up’s and down’s, including some that are literal — has been committed to helping computer users with what ails them. No bull. No pulled punches.

    Happy birthday, and thanks everybody!

  • The ‘AskWoody Lounge’ starts its second year

    A whole year has passed since Woody opened up the site further, to what is known as the “AskWoody Lounge”, allowing users to register. Mind you, actually dates back to July 2004. This year has seen an explosion in activity on the site, with around 30,000 replies and over 1,000 topics posted in that time. Site traffic has also increased, with over 110,000 unique site visitors this month, and we’ve just had the busiest day, with over 16,600 site visits.

    We’ve had a few site issues, sure (and sorry – they are still being worked on), but soldiered on together. We have navigated many update crises, even got to MS-Defcon 5, but have spent much of the time hanging on for the “all-clear”. We’ve seen cybersecurity threats like Wannacry, issues like Net Neutrality, the unravelling of Intel ME, most recently the Meltdown / Spectre vulnerabilities, and many discussions over the future of owning a WinOS-based device / machine. Woody has managed to maintain his trademark humor in his ComputerWorld articles throughout! Ok, so it hasn’t all been sunshine and roses here, but Woody has managed to keep a fairly good lid on things, with the willing assistance of his small team of MVP helpers.

    One thing that hasn’t quite panned out as hoped, was Woody’s wish for to be a self-sustaining venture. Donations have been coming in steadily, but the ad revenue has dropped off since the site issues in September. All support received has been helpful, from whatever channel. Could we please ask for your continued support, and if you are shopping at Amazon, could you please use the AskWoody link? It all helps a little.

    I’m sure we’d be lost without this resource! In the words of Kermit & Fozzie Bear:
    “Moving right along in search of good times and good news, with good friends you can’t lose – this could become a habit”.

    So here’s to the second year – may it be more successful than the first. And three cheers for Woody! Hip, hip, hooray!

  • In case you missed it, in recent days

    Over the last several days, while has been on “less than normal service”, you may have missed some of the newly posted topics, including the following:

    In Code Red – Security advisories:
    New Locky Ransomware Variant
    New FinFisher surveillance campaigns: Are internet providers involved?

    In Admin IT Lounge:
    Windows Update stuck at 0 percent on Windows Server 2016

    In Office:
    Changes to Slow/Fast level names for Office Insider for Windows desktop

    In Windows:
    Manual step is needed to fix CVE-2017-8529 after installing September updates

    We don’t yet have the old Topic Freshness, New Topics (and the other) helpful right-panel links back up and running, but we hope you’ll check out what’s been going on apart from on the home page.

  • The Lounge is filling out

    With 400 registered users and a thousand posts arriving every day, things are starting to heat up around here.

    I’ve re-jiggered the forums, so now almost everybody can post almost everywhere. If you register and are approved, you can post immediately; if you prefer to remain anonymous, that’s OK, but your posts will be moderated (reviewed) before they appear.

    For most technical topics, there are two branches: There’s a main forum, where people with technical know-how, tips and advice can offer their wisdom (and commiseration). There’s also a Questions forum for each technical area, where normal people like me can post questions and maybe get some answers.

    If you’re accustomed to the old blog format, nothing’s changed, except for the lists of forums and topics on the right. You can still comment on anything posted here in the main blog – anonymously, if you prefer – and see what other people are thinking. It’s ideally suited for wide-open discussions, as long as you avoid personal attacks, swearing, politics and religion (which go in their own Rants forum).

    So dive right in! There’s a whole lot happening, and much more to come. And if you know an Office expert or two, drop me a line – I really need to fill out the Office forums.

  • Update on the AskWoody Lounge

    We’ve been up for less than a day, and already have 200 registered users.

    We’ve also had 3,658 posts moved from the old AskWoody to the new format. They’re indexed and ready for searching. Unfortunately, the nesting (threading) didn’t come across, so old comments (now called “Replies”) appear in chronological order. If you reply to one of the old comments, though, your reply is nested properly.

    Several of you have already started asking questions… which is kinda what you would expect from a site called “AskWoody,” eh? My next goal is to set up the Forum superstructure so there’s a place for you to ask questions. With luck, if my coffee holds out, I’ll have that up today. By tomorrow morning, I hope, there will be links in the upper right corner of this page, pointing you to where you can ask custom questions.

    Then the next goal, later this week, is to kick off the AskWoody Knowledge Base, add forums for Windows veterans who are trying other operating systems, and to generally flesh things out a bit.

    Thanks to all of you. If you have suggestions for the Lounge, post ’em here:

    Suggestions about improving the Lounge

  • AskWoody Lounge beta test continues

    Calling all testers. I know it ain’t perfect, but I’ve made a few tweaks and would appreciate it if you could log in and respond to the first post…

    Unless I have to throw out bbPress altogether, we’re close to converting the site over – to growing the appendage.

  • AskWoody Lounge beta testers

    When you have a chance, please drop by the beta Lounge site.

    Several important new developments – and I think the number of bugs has dropped way down.

  • Looking for AskWoody Lounge Insiders

    Hey, if Microsoft can have millions of unpaid beta testers, I can look for “Insiders,” too, eh? 🙂

    The AskWoody Lounge web site team is a couple of weeks away from having a prototype up and working. When the prototype is ready, I’d like to enlist a few of you as beta testers, to make sure the whole house of cards doesn’t collapse on the first day.

    The Lounge appendage is pretty simple, really. When I post a new blog, the web site automatically generates a “Topic” in the Lounge, then creates links back and forth between the blog post and the Topic. That Topic joins other Topics in the Lounge, and folks can post in a forum-style setting.

    Commenters in the Lounge can either be registered – and their comments are posted immediately – or they can post as “Anonymous,” in which case I moderate the post before it appears.

    My first effort will be getting that back-and-forth mechanism working. After that base is working, we can start populating the Lounge with new Forums, adding new Topics to each.

    Would you be interested in giving it a try? If so, drop me a line, . Let me know if you’d like to sign up for a registered account, or if you’d like to post anonymously.

    When we’re ready to take ‘er out for a test drive, I’ll let you know. Sorry, no Ninja Cats….

  • Your advice for the AskWoody Lounge, please

    My web folks are limping along with a bbPress appendage to the AskWoody site. I have a million questions and would like to enlist your help, if you have time.

    General layout looks like this:

    AskWoody blog posts continue just the way they are.

    Instead of having each blog post link to a comments section for that blogs post (we’re up to almost 500 comments on some blog posts!), I want to link directly into the Lounge.

    The Lounge consists of Fora (OK, Forums for many of you). Each Forum can have many Topics. Each Topic gets lots of posts or comments (the terms seem to be used interchangeably).

    You’ll be able to sign up for the Lounge, set a password, then type your username and password when you compose a comment. The way I envision things now, comments from registered users will be posted immediately. Anonymous comments are most welcome, but they’re subject to vetting, probably by me.

    Registered users (including me) have roles. Right now, it looks like we’ll have Admins, Moderators (who can approve and delete comments, and block ne’erdowells), and Participants (who can create Topics and submit comments unmoderated).

    Did you know that we’ve had 1.5 million spam posts on AskWoody so far? Fortunately, software handles almost all of them, but I still seem to deal with far too much.

    Lounge rules will be as you have come to expect: Behave with dignity, no profanity, no personal attacks, and you’ll be fine.

    So far so good?

    Now, the next HUUUUUUGE job is to come up with a list of initial Fora (and sub-Fora and sub-sub-you get the idea). Anybody have an idea of a starting point?

    Let me know what you think. This is going to be a long and painful process, but in the end I think it’ll work pretty well.