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.

I Want My NGI

My first online experience was
20-ish years ago with a 300 bps (that’s 0.3 kbps) acoustic modem I’d clamp onto
the ear- and mouthpiece of my phone. It seemed cool and high-tech at the time.

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R.I.P. SysEdit

By coincidence, two readers wrote in
almost simultaneously about the late, lamented SysEdit tool— a kind of
super-notepad that used a "multiple document inteface" to open five
important Windows files at once for easy, side-by-side scrutiny and editing.
With a click, SysEdit would let you access and edit your Autoexc.bat,
Config.Sys, Win.Ini, System.Ini, and Protocol.Ini files.

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BIOS Updates

The BIOS is the "Basic
Input/Output System" of a PC— it’s one of the very first parts of a PC to
"wake up" when you hit the power switch, and it handles a variety of
extremely low-level functions that must be running before any operating system
can load and run.

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Another TweakUI Trick

We’ve recently discussed a number of
useful functions found in that veritable Swiss Army Knife of free utility
software, TweakUI.  Here’s another:

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Now Available: Updated “CleanAll!”

There’s a new a new version
available of the extremely popular "CleanAll" batch file that can
scrub your hard drive clean of huge quantities of files left behind by other
cleanup tools. 

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DIY “Restore CDs”

Reader Mont Roberts wonders
about creating the equivalent of OEM one-step "Restore CDs" on your
own, with your own choice of files, setup, etc.:

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Two-In-One Reader Recommendation: Software and Site

Reader Leo Wilson found good
software on a nice site. I’d heard about— and have mentioned— the software
before, but  I’d never seen the site before. After looking, I wish I’d
found it sooner! <g>

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Free Registry Primer, and More

To many Windows users, the Registry is
Terra Incognita, populated with DAT files and Hkeys and patches (oh my!).
Indeed, the Registry is not generally well-explained.
But I was poking around in the
Knowledgebase a few days ago, I came across a decent little primer on the
Registry— defining terms, file names, locations, and such. It’s at
, and is a good way to begin to understand the Registry, or to refresh your
memory quickly if you’re a little rusty. I don’t know when Microsoft posted this
primer, but it still seems mostly current.

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Another Way To Help Defrag (And More)

Jerry Benton writes:

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Never Too Late For “System Setup Secrets!”

Reader "Skwall" has a
not-so-new system, so he wondered if it was too late to benefit from the current
"System Setup Secret" article (

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