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.

Transform Your Desktop With Toolbars

Fred, there’s a
surprisingly useful launch bar built right into every copy of Windows (I’m NOT
talking about the Quick Launch bar, which is just plain lame), and I’m surprised
that I’ve never seen you or anyone else mention it.

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Hosing Down The Dust; and This “Expanded” Issue

We’re finally catching up, thank goodness. I spent an
entire day just going through reader mail and subscriber service requests, and
got through most of it; I’m within striking distance of the rest. <g> Most
readers got their last issue normally, but a minority— especially those who
had pending address-change requests, for example— did not. For those folks,
this will be the first issue they’ve seen after the hiatus. (If you missed the
first new issue, it’s here for Plus! subscribers and here
for Standard Edition readers: )

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Some Very Nice Free Software

Over the summer, I found a some new
software you might be interested in. Best of all, it’s free. There’s more than I
can put in one issue, so let me start in this issue by telling you of a very
large collection of free stuff— some of it very, very cool:

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Can Swap Files Cause Blue Screens Of Death?

Hi Fred, I’ve been a heavy tinkerer with my
computers for many years, so I’ve learned to deal with almost all computer
problems. The past few days, though, I’d gotten several "page fault in non-paged
area" BSOD on my WinXP installation. Now, knowing that my machine is six years
old, under heavy use, and soon to be replaced, my first thought was that I had
faulty RAM. Just on a hunch though, I deleted and recreated my semi-permanent
swap file, and since then <knock on wood> haven’t seen a BSOD.

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Update on Jakison, A LangaList-Sponsored Kid

About a year ago, we added Jakison to the group of
kids sponsored on an ongoing basis by LangaList Plus! subscribers.

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In Search Of ‘Mystery’ Devices

I use another method to figure out the
"mystery" yellow-question mark hardware in Device Manager. You need to go into
the Registry and navigate to

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Of Blogs and Feeds

After launching the new Langa Blog ( ) and RSS feed
( ), we
received mail about using them, including this note:

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Free Up Megabytes of Disk Space

I’ve got almost a gig of "$NtUninstall…" files
in my Windows directory. They all appear to be related to various patches,
updates and service packs for Windows. I’ve got XP Pro SP2 installed. Some of
these folders are a couple of years old and they are all flagged as hidden and
read only. I’m getting low on disk space, can I safely delete all these folders
since I have no plans to uninstall any of the related patches, etc.? As updates
and patches accumulate in the future, will this these types of folders continue
to grow and take more unnecessary disk space? Aren’t even the old patches and
stuff dated before SP2, at the very least obsolete? —Dennis

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