Newsletter Archives

  • Welcome to our twentieth year

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    ISSUE 20.02 • 2023-01-09


    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    Time flies.

    It seems like only yesterday. Out of the blue, I got an email from Brian Livingston, asking to meet with him while I was in Seattle attending a Microsoft event. Over dinner, he explained that he wanted me to write a column in the Windows Secrets Newsletter that would track issues with Microsoft patches and analyze their impact on PCs and their users.

    It was the dawn of “The Patch Lady.”

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (20.02.0, 2023-01-09).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • I just swapped the Twitter handles @woodyleonhard and @AskWoody

    Those of you who watch for such things may notice that my tweets now come from @AskWoody, whereas before they were coming from @woodyleonhard.

    It’s not a big deal. (I think.) I did a lot of testing and it looks like you won’t notice a difference, with two exceptions:

    • If you want to add me to a thread, use @AskWoody
    • If you want to send me a direct message, send it to @AskWoody

    I’ll continue to watch the @woodyleonhard account for the foreseeable future, but from here on it’ll be faster to get to me via @AskWoody.

    Let me know of any problems!

  • 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!

  • Recently updated topics you may have missed

    It’s possible you may have missed recent security updates that have been made to Chrome, Firefox, Thunderbird, Java and Flash Player. The following topics have now been updated with the US-Cert alerts, with links:

    Chrome Security Update: US-CERT (Browser)

    Mozilla Security Update: US-CERT (Firefox)

    Mozilla Security Update: US-CERT (Thunderbird)

    Oracle Security Update: US-CERT (Java etc)

    1000002: Links to Flash update resources

    Subscribers to those topics should have received emails with details of the new posts. However, we have had some reports that some people are currently not receiving those emails. If your subscription emails aren’t working, please let us know.

    Also updated recently is AKB3000005: On the subject of Botnets, which was posted last month, but promptly disappeared in a backup-reset of the site.

  • Advertising on AskWoody

    As many of you know, I’ve been operating AskWoody without advertising and without cookies (except for the open source avatar site) for several years. I occasionally toss up a post for my books, or for my son’s mobile phone games, but that’s been the extent of the ads. I pay for the site out of my own pocket and, increasingly, spend a whole lot of time keeping up with it.

    I need to start making the site pay its own way. It’s a tough decision for me.

    I’ve thought about doing some sort of pay scheme, but just can’t figure out how to make it work. I subscribe to Paul Thurrott’s $64-a-year Premium service – it’s a great way to support Paul and Brad – but I just can’t see trying to implement anything similar. Windows Secrets Newsletter went the pay route long ago — $25 to $59/year is worth it just for Susan Bradley, Fred Langa and Tracey Capen — but I’ve done the newsletter thing before and it’s a whole lotta overhead. Several of you have suggested putting a PayPal donation button on the site. Martin Brinkmann at does that, but (as he says) his site’s dying.

    So I’m turning back to the old, old approach: Display ads. I found a company that brokers ads, and I trust them. Sometime in the next couple of weeks, I’ll start posting their ads.

    I’m not going to hit you with pop-over black-out, roving scroll, time triggered, blaring ads. They’ll be simple, out of the main line of fire, and relatively unobtrusive.

    Here’s what you can do for me. Turn off add blocking for If you see something interesting, click on it. And if you’re ticked off about any ad, shoot me right between the eyes,

    Let’s see if we can get this baby up and crawling.

    UPDATE: Thanks to all of you for your encouragement!

  • New (and slightly improved) version of the AskWoody site is up!

    I went through a couple of months of testing and comparisons, lots of blind alleys, more than a thousand bucks out-of-pocket, and come back to basically the same layout I had before. What you see is the new version of AskWoody.

    You’ll find a few improvements here and there (some of which I leaked earlier). All in all, I took the advice of an overwhelming percentage of viewers and employed my old “Ain’t broke, don’t fix” standard.

    The basic layout on the main page hasn’t changed much, but there are lots of small changes. The biggest improvement in the discussions area is (finally!) the ability to “nest” responses to comments. I’ll slowly be rolling out a few hand-selected ads, so be forewarned. Nope, I haven’t bowed to the Google adverlords, but instead found a way of bringing in ads that should be more appropriate for this site – and for you.

    Stay tuned. Interesting stuff ahead.