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.

PLEASE READ: Summer Hiatus

Short form: I have to move my office, so the LangaList will be shut down for
a while. Subscriber email will not— cannot— be answered for a while; and
there’ll be no new issues published. There also are other factors at work (see
below), so the
combined downtime will be significant— at least 6-8
weeks. I *will* get to your letters and subscription service requests, but

Read More »

Reinstall XP Without Losing Any Software Or Settings

This technique lets you completely and nondestructively
rebuild, repair or refresh an existing XP installation while leaving
already-installed software alone (no reinstallation needed!). It leaves user accounts, names, and
passwords untouched; and also takes only a fraction of the time a full,
from-scratch reinstall does. And unlike a traditional full reinstall, this
option doesn’t leave you with two

Read More »

Dude, Where’s ‘My Documents’?

I’ve looked forward to each issue of Plus for
years. The other day I installed Microsoft Office Professional 2003. The next
day I booted up my PC to check and reply to some emails. I wanted to insert a
picture and found that all the Folders and Files I added to My Documents were
gone, other than I had when I first installed WindowsXP Professional and
Service Pack 2. How can I access everything that was there before installing,
Microsoft Office Professional 2003? —Dwight Stilson

Read More »

Two Mice Installed At Once

Fred, I have a Logitech Trackman Marble Wheel which
I use for day-to-day work but when I do graphics work it’s not as sensitive as
I need it to be. Is it possible to use two different pointing devices (mice)
without unplugging one to plug in the other? —Riley

Read More »

Automating Disk Maintenance— Without Risk

As a long time plus subscriber, I wouldn’t miss an
issue. Good stuff… Anyway, I was thinking about automating both scandisk(Win9x)/chkdsk.exe
(XP, 2K) and defrag on all of the computers in my office (all are Windows
XP Pro SP2). I was going to have them run automatically, first scandisk on
Tuesday night, then follow up on Wednesday night with defrag. I have done the
research to determine exactly how to accomplish this via the Task Scheduler
using batch files so no help needed there.

Read More »

Software For Shaky Hands

Hi Fred, Probably not very interesting to most of
your readers, but for those with shaky hands (aka a tremor) like me this can
be very good news. I found this software application called Mousecage. Its
intention is to help people with hand tremor control their computer mouse. As
you will understand, using a computer mouse is often impossible for people
with a hand tremor. At first, Mousecage needed some getting used to, but once
I did that, it helped me enormously. For the first time in ages, I can now
handle the mouse without frustration! I found Mousecage mentioned on a Dutch
website, but the company that developed Mousecage is UK based (I think) and
has an English website: .

Read More »

Upgrading From Bootleg Software

Fred, I resubscribed to the Plus! edition— that’s an indicator of how
much I enjoy the newsletter.

Read More »

Those Weird Confirmation Numbers…

Hi Fred.
What are those numbers and letters that some sites want you to enter for
security reasons (I notice eBay has started to use the same on some entry points
to their forms).

Read More »

“Trusted Site” Annoyance

Hi Fred: I have a very short list of trusted sites in
Internet Explorer–which I usually only use on MS’s web site.  But IE
exhibits a weird behavior when I go to the trusted sites–it tells me that
I’m going to a trusted site and asks if that is OK. 

Read More »