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.

Virtual PC Virtually Doesn’t Work With Vista

Fred, Glad to have you back. Your column has
been sorely missed. I am not a novice, but darned if I understand how to work a
Virtual PC. I want to run a VPC to try Vista but I cannot figure out how to make
it work. Maybe there are other "dummies" who don’t get it. —Ed Clabaugh

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Two Ways To Put Windows On A Diet

Dear Fred, I was curious if you’ve heard
about nLite. if you haven’t, here’s a generic description: nLite lets you choose
which components to remove from Windows 2000, XP or 2003 before installation. By
removing unneeded components you gain on your system speed and security. It
supports removal of almost any component and few services. You can make a
bootable ISO and easily slipstream Service packs with a click of a button. Use
the easy cd-key implementation so you don’t need to enter it during setup. If
you have heard of it or even tried it, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.
I’ve been using it for several months now and I find it to be a interesting and
powerful utility. Installing Windows is much faster and I don’t have to spend
time entering my name, key or other info. My favorite feature is Component
Removal. I can trim Windows of its bloat and it will only use 40-50% of its
default installation size. Sincerely, Kevin

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Can’t Find Perfect Search Utility

Fred: It might be useful to your subscribers to
mention desktop search programs. I have tried three (Google, Microsoft,
Copernic) and found all to be flawed. Is there a perfect one out there? Google
is cluttered and keeps pushing you to the Google search screen but it does
locate everything on the computer. It does not index it so well, though, I guess
because it does not have the underlying cross-references the Web search engine
uses. Microsoft was polite, fast and well organized, but it ignored
non-Microsoft files like WordPerfect and Thunderbird (the plug-ins they offer do
NOT work). Copernic was non-intrusive and organized things well, but it missed a
lot. Unpredictably it would find some E-mails from Thunderbird and not others;
some documents and not others. My two cents. A loyal subscriber, —Paul DeLeeuw

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VPN Not The Only Way To Connect

Our recent piece on setting up a Remote Desktop
connection via "virtual private networking" (VPN) sparked some very good reader
advice and information on alternatives to this approach.

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Super Advice On Those “Super Hidden” Folders

An item in the Sept. 25 issue ("’Super-Hidden’
Folders Are Super Annoying" )
prompted two readers to submit a tip and some good advice.

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Another Code Load Success Story

After his site was listed in the "Load The Code" section, Steve Henthorn,

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Another “Expanded” Issue

Yes, it’s another longer-than-usual
expanded issue, as Mike and I work to backfill some of the content we couldn’t
send you while I was unavoidably offline. (More info: and )

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Ewido Update

Our item on "ewido" ( )the new antispyware tool from
the makers of the AVG antispyware tool, prompted some diametrically opposite

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Hi Fred: Just wondered if you have heard of
the Linux based OS called "ubuntu",,
or if you have had any dialog about it in the past?

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Inside Svchost.exe

Fred: I was pleased to find the
command shell command: tasklist /svc to finally actually see what the heck
service host was running. Up until now service host was a back hole that could
have been running anything and I had no idea how to find out what; of concern
obviously was malware cloaked by the cryptic cover "svchost". Are you aware of
any programs out there that take this a step further, internally breaking down
all of the svchost services running, looking at them, perhaps checking their
checksums or some other process to identify if each is the appropriate service
and warning if any are either out of the ordinary or an ordinary named service
that does not properly match the identifying characteristics for that service?

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