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.

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
Schropshier

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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.

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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: http://www.mousecage.org .

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Upgrading From Bootleg Software

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

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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).

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“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. 

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Sloooow XP Shutdown

Fred, You’ve had many discussions on optimizing the
Windows XP boot-up time, but I’m now experiencing a slow shut down time. 
After clicking Start/Shut Down, there is often times a long period of time
before the shut down dialogue window pops up.  This is even after I’ve
closed all open programs.  I think this slow shut down time can sometimes
relate to hard drive intensive activities involving a lot of temporary file
storage, and the hard drive is spending time purging these files.  I can
correlate this to when I had recorded CD’s or DVD’s during a session.  But
other times I only had the computer on to read email (in Outlook) and/or do
a little web browsing.  What else can be slowing my shut down time and what
can I do about it? Thanks for the great newsletter. —Greg Ray

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