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.

Many free alternatives to Microsoft Office

There are a surprising number of excellent office software suites available, and some of the best don’t cost a dime.

MS Office remains the king of office suites, but if you can’t or don’t want to use it, numerous free and commercial substitutes stand ready to serve.

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Extend the life of your laptop’s battery

With proper care and feeding, the expensive lithium-ion batteries in your notebook PCs and other portable gear can run well for many, many years.

On the other hand, common battery-care mistakes will reduce your batteries’ run times and lead to needless and costly early replacement.

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Windows, solid-state disks, and ‘trim’

It’s a little-known fact that all solid-state disks — all of them — suffer inevitable performance declines over time.

It’s also little known that Windows 7 and Server 2008 are currently the world’s only operating systems to fully implement the new trim command that helps forestall this speed decline.

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Using Windows’ built-in disk-imaging utility

When the bits hit the fan, nothing gets your PC back in shape like having a complete known-good image of your hard drive to use for recovery.

Disk imaging — the gold standard of backups — is built into all versions of Windows 7 and some versions of Vista, but it’s also available for XP.

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