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.

More Cool Free Tools

In last issue’s "Very Nice Free Software" (

http://langa.com/newsletters/2006/2006-09-21.htm#2 ) we discussed some
software available from Microsoft Research. In that issue, I said
"Microsoft Research explores new technologies and applications. Some of
them don’t pan out and thus never see the light of day. Others get built into
working demos or lightweight tools for further experimentation." I mentioned
"Continuous Flash," and some of you who took a look were disappointed
that it wasn’t a full-blown application. My description could have been clearer;
I apologize. Continuous Flash is one of those working demos; not a ready-to use
tool. That’s
the thing with an R&D site: you never know quite what you’ll find, or how useful
it will be. But as we said, it’s at least interesting, and worth a look.

Read More »

Got Your Vista RC1 Yet?

One major item that happened while I was offline was Microsoft’s public
release of Vista RC1— "release candidate 1." You may already know this, and
may have grabbed a copy; but it’s a significant enough thing to warrant a "just
in case" mention here.

Read More »

“Super-Hidden” Folders Are Super Annoying

HI Fred. In Windows XP Pro (and probably
most other flavors of Windows) when I’m using Outlook 2003, I receive messages
with attachments (e.g., a Word doc). When I save this attachment, the default
folder is something like “OLK1C” (without the quotes. If I accidentally save to
this folder, I can never find the document or the folder again. It is apparently
a “super-hidden” folder that cannot be seen in Windows Explorer. I think over
time I’ve accumulated lots of stuff in this folder (and maybe more similar
folders). There must be a way to “unhide” this folder so I can see it and work
with it like a normal folder. Your thoughts?

Read More »

Making the Remote Desktop Connection

Hi Fred: Enjoy your plus column very much,
to the point where I’ve bought and given out gift subscriptions. It’s the one
column that I read religiously as soon as it comes in. Thank you.

Read More »

Comodo Firewall: Friend or Foe?

Fred, When I downloaded the Comodo firewall,
I was surprised to see the company offering several other free security
programs: Verification Engine (anti-phishing), AntiSpam (which uses the
"challenge-response" method you detest), BackUp, iVault, Email Certificate,
Anti-Virus.

Read More »

Even *More* Ghostbusting

Our accidental series on spooky
"ghost-in-the-machine" noises and behaviors inside the apparently haunted PCs of
some users continues below. Previously:

Read More »

Netmeeting As Remote Control Software

Hi, Fred. In the 2005-11-07 Plus
Newsletter, Mark asked about Remote Control software. An often overlooked piece
of software that has remote control capabilities, and that many people already
have on their computers is Microsoft’s Netmeeting. Windows XP doesn’t install
the Netmeeting short cut under Accessories, Communications like previous
versions, but the program is still there, nevertheless. To start Netmeeting, run
"conf.exe". If Netmeeting hasn’t been run before, a wizard will step the user
through setting it up. Once Netmeeting is set up, another wizard can be run to
set up Remote Desktop Sharing (look under Tools).

Read More »

Forum Lurking Reveals Product Pitfalls:

Hi Fred. Thanks for your bible of knowledge.
I should have followed your advice and waited to install the latest Zone Alarm
Pro. I did successfully install the new version on a newer P4 2.4ghz machine and
all went pretty well. It was quirky in that it didn’t seem to remember some of
the permissions for which it constantly prompted. After a few weeks it seems to
be ok.

Read More »

Is This Information Useful?

If you think the LangaList is a worthwhile read, maybe a
friend would find it useful too! Just use the following link to recommend the
LangaList— your friend may find a new source of useful information and you
just may win one of three FREE ONE YEAR SUBSCRIPTIONS to the LangaList Plus!
edition given each month. (If your name is drawn and you’re already a Plus!
subscriber, your current subscription will be extended by a full year.)

Read More »

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.

Read More »