Author Archives: Fred Langa

Fred Langa

About Fred Langa

Fred Langa is senior editor. His LangaList Newsletter merged with Windows Secrets on Nov. 16, 2006. Prior to that, Fred was editor of Byte Magazine (1987 to 1991) and editorial director of CMP Media (1991 to 1996), overseeing Windows Magazine and others.

The best of LangaList Plus — 2010

Every issue, the LangaList Plus technical Q&A tackles difficult — and sometimes esoteric — problems sent in by paid Windows Secrets subscribers.

For this last LangaList Plus of the year, we’ve assembled a half-dozen of the most popular Langa stories, covering topics as diverse as notebook batteries and self-healing PCs.

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10 great ‘Do these first’ tweaks for Windows 7

It’s that time of year when many PC users are buying new machines and — ready or not — making the leap to Windows 7.

Get off on the right foot: save time, trouble, and frustration by performing these 10 simple Win7 tweaks.

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Forcefully rooting out a bad hardware driver

Sometimes you have to rip out a bad driver by its roots in order to install a new and better driver.

A skillful reader tracks down and solves a driver problem before Fred can even reply!

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Beware bogus ‘Security Essentials’ downloads!

What’s a sure sign of success? If you’re a Microsoft product, you become the favorite target of hackers — and the newest mark is Security Essentials.

Hackers are offering fake copies of the popular security app to snare the unwary — but a few simple steps easily thwart this ploy.

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Avoid the security risk of shortened URLs

The compact URLs produced by services such as TinyURL, bit.ly, is.gd, and many others are convenient and save space, but they can also be used to hide the identity of malicious sites.

Fortunately, there are several ways to peek behind a shortened URL to see exactly where the link will take you — before you click it!

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An old PC speed-up hoax reappears

Like bad pennies and Nigerian money scams, those bogus offers to speed up your online connection keep coming back.

Most of these speedup come-ons give bad advice — disable Windows’ networking Quality of Service feature.

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Windows XP: Looking back, looking forward

On October 22, Microsoft pulled the plug on sales of Windows XP, ending the operating system’s spectacular nine-year run.

With no new copies being sold, support for XP will start to decline. Fortunately, XP’s long run has produced a ton of collected wisdom: everything you need to keep your copy going strong and — when ready — to help you move on.

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