Newsletter Archives

  • A major change to our newsletters

    newsletter banner

    ISSUE 19.48 • 2022-11-28

    FROM THE PUBLISHER

    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    We’re developing new, bonus content!

    When I acquired the AskWoody business, I felt that we would face difficulty in publishing our newsletters every week, 52 weeks per year. One of my first decisions was to change the publishing schedule to 48 times per year, approximately four issues per month. That remains our official policy.

    However, that’s not actually what we did.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.48.0, 2022-11-28).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • How our little business is run

    FROM THE EDITOR

    Will Fastie

    By Will Fastie

    The operation of a small business isn’t usually the subject of a paper in the Harvard Business Review.

    Neither is AskWoody Tech LLC.

    In one of our regular and routine conversations, Susan and I talked about our respective operational roles, the things we regularly do, and — more to the point — the technology we use every day. The surprise was that despite common links, we do dramatically different things.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.48.0, 2022-11-28).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • Behind the scenes: The site

    COMMENTARY

    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    A newsletter about Windows isn’t run on Windows.

    I’ve always found it interesting to see how something works, and I’ll bet many of our readers do, too. So I’m going to use my space in this bonus issue by giving you a peek into the technology we use to run the site and our forums, to prepare the newsletter, and to get it to your inbox.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.48.0, 2022-11-28).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • Behind the scenes: The newsletter

    COMMENTARY

    Will Fastie

    By Will Fastie

    When I took this job, I was surprised at the number of moving parts involved in publishing the newsletter.

    My predecessor, editor emeritus Tracey Capen, did an excellent job with general organization and collaboration. Tracey wrote a very comprehensive document in OneNote about how to produce the newsletter, which was extremely helpful in my early days. I was very grateful to have that guide because otherwise, I would have been at sea on day one.

    Publishing an issue of the newsletter involves a lot of steps.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.48.0, 2022-11-28).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • MS-DEFCON 3: Issues with domains

    alert banner

    ISSUE 19.47.1 • 2022-11-22

    MS-DEFCON 3

    By Susan Bradley

    November updates lead to side effects

    My usual advice regarding updates with known side effects is to wait until the problems are resolved. But every so often, the risk of waiting is greater than the risks associated with the side effects.

    That’s the way I see the situation now. The November updates require you to slog through the issues and deal with the side effects. For that reason, I’m lowering the MS-DEFCON level to 3. I’d really like to go to 4, but I think greater caution is required.

    Anyone can read the full MS-DEFCON Alert (19.47.1, 2022-11-22).

  • When should you retire your Apple device?

    newsletter banner

    ISSUE 19.47 • 2022-11-21
    Look for our BONUS issue on November 28!

    PATCH WATCH

    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    Apple’s recent releases encourage new hardware.

    There are several people at my office who constantly purchase the latest iPhone or iPad, turning in their old devices in the process. I’m not that adventurous — I don’t recommend updating quite that fast.

    However, I do recommend an upgrade if your phone is an older model, such as iPhone 8. Why? Because the best security is provided on the newest hardware, and because Apple has become more like Microsoft in requiring newer hardware to protect against snooping, zero days, and other risks.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.47.0, 2022-11-21).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • Will PayPal fine you $2500 for trading artistic nudes?

    PUBLIC DEFENDER

    Brian Livingston

    By Brian Livingston

    PayPal, the giant online payment-processing service based in San Jose, California, put itself in hot water last month by releasing, and then disavowing, a document that threatened to deduct $2500 or more from PayPal users’ financial accounts if any of their transactions “appear to depict nudity” or “promote misinformation.”

    Setting aside that vague and confusing language for a moment, PayPal’s checkered history with regulators is worth recalling. For instance, the company was recently subjected to a number of actions.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.47.0, 2022-11-21).

  • Why would you use OneNote at all?

    ONENOTE

    Mary Branscombe

    By Mary Branscombe

    If you’ve never seen the point of a digital shoebox for notes, here are some ways of putting OneNote to use that could change your mind.

    From the feedback I get when I talk about OneNote, it’s clear that there are plenty of devoted fans and heavy users out there. But I also get questions asking why you should use OneNote, and what it’s good at.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.47.0, 2022-11-21).

  • Gourmet Recipe Manager — Organizing your stolen recipes

    FREEWARE SPOTLIGHT

    Deanna McElveen

    By Deanna McElveen

    First of all, I’m not a cook. That’s my husband’s job.

    The few things I do cook or bake are from recipes that I nab at family gatherings from my older relatives. I decided I needed to move these recipes out of their old card file boxes, so I went looking for some free software — because I’m cheap that way.

    I tried a few recipe organizers before I found an old program. Released in 2014, Gourmet Recipe Manager by Tom Hinkle may not have had any updates in quite a while, but it was exactly what I was looking for. I went ahead and tested it on Windows 7, 10, and 11; all seems fine.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.47.0, 2022-11-21).

  • Does an old personal computer become useless?

    newsletter banner

    ISSUE 19.46 • 2022-11-14

    HARDWARE

    Ben Myers

    By Ben Myers

    Come take a ride in my souped-up DeLorean for an adventure in the days before Windows.

    You see an old computer and ask, “Why hasn’t it been scrapped?” But don’t look at just the PC — look at what it does within some total system. That’s what this story is about.

    The ride takes many twists and turns on the path to where we are today. Progress over the last 20-plus years is hard to believe.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.46.0, 2022-11-14).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • Resolved!

    FROM THE FORUMS

    Susan Bradley

    By Susan Bradley

    We’ve added a much-requested enhancement to the forums.

    Our forums exist not only because technology is annoying at times, but also because it can be very difficult to find the solution to a particular problem.

    We’ve been lacking a feature to guide you in the right direction, and now we’ve added it — the ability to post a response in a forum to indicate that the answer to your question has been found.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.46.0, 2022-11-14).
    This story also appears in our public Newsletter.

  • Windows 11 22H2: Which new features stand out?

    WINDOWS 11

    Lance Whitney

    By Lance Whitney

    Microsoft has beefed up Windows 11 with its first major update. Among all the changes, which ones are worth the upgrade?

    Since its debut in October 2021, Windows 11 has proven to be a controversial addition to Microsoft’s lineup. Though it boasts several improvements over its predecessor, the new operating system has turned off many people with its strict hardware requirements, its dumbing-down of the Start menu, and its lack of flexibility and customization.

    With Windows 11 finally sneaking past the one-year mark, Microsoft has released its first major update for the OS. Known as Windows 11 22H2, the annual update offers a bevy of incremental changes and enhancements. Though no single change is earth-shattering by itself, collectively the improvements beef up the new version in subtle but useful ways.

    Read the full story in our Plus Newsletter (19.46.0, 2022-11-14).