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.

Handy Wattage Estimator

Hi Fred, This is inspired by "Confused Salesman?" (  In
taking that article a step further; I came across this site while searching for information
on how much wattage a new video card would use in my old HP Pavilion that
would only allow up to 149 watts. This site calculated and showed the
wattage of each piece of hardware that was in my system. It allowed me to
determine what size video card upgrade I could get that my power unit could
handle. It uses a format easy enough to navigate through to get to the
results. I am not affiliated this site, but I thought your readers might
find it as useful as I did.  Thank you for a grand newsletter
especially the Plus edition. Gale Hausenbuiller

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Another Hidden Gem: The Windows Disk Management Tool

Before we get into the details, let me tell
you why we’re covering this now: Several weeks ago, I was challenged by a reader who
disbelieved me when I said in print that it was possible to put together a
terabyte (1,000 GB) file server for around $500. Well, you can— the example
system I put together is humming happily on the other side of my office with far
more storage than I currently know what to do with. A thousand gigabytes is a
*lot* of disk space! <g>

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RATs In Her PC

Dear Fred:
My sister discovered RATS (Remote Access Trojans) in her computer last nite.
She’s currently re-installing Windows after thoroughly sanitizing the HDD.
If it wasn’t for CounterSpy she never would have known her computer had been
compromised. The only information about the two (NeoControlRed-4.1.4 & Tro.Dropper.Microjoin.A) that I could find via Google was from Sunbelt. My
question is: Are/how effective are Anti-Virus, Firewall and Anti-Spyware
programs against RATS? She was running the free Zone Alarm firewall and
free EZ Anti-Virus along with Spy Sweeper and Counterspy.
Randy N.

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Battery Care And Feeding

Fred, I have been a subscriber for
some time. Have
an older laptop that I use only in-frequently. It remains plugged into the
charger/AC adapter most of the time. The battery in the laptop is a Li-ion
type. The batteries seem to last about a year or less and then die.
Is there a proper way to care for the battery or should I
take it out and only put it in when I am planning to use it?
Thanks for the tips, I do use and enjoy the list info. —Victor Johnson

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“File Not Suitable?”

Hi Fred:
I enjoy your email and use a lot of your tips. I have a problem that I hope you
can help me with. When I upgraded to Window XP I tried to reinstall several
software applications for high school math and geometry from PRO ONE Softsource. When I put the cd
in the reader I get the error message
that talks about the system file not be suitable  and the application will not
install. I am left dead in the water. Anything I can do to install the
program. I couldn’t find anything on the Microsoft web site.
Thanks for your help.
Bill Smith

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“High-Bandwidth Digital Content Protection”

HDCP is a hot-button issue for many; a form of Digital Rights Management. If
you’re unfamiliar with the term, this Wikipedia entry will get you up to speed:

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Perfect AntiSpam Storm

Dear Fred: Here’s a problem I haven’t seen
addressed in your news letter and I wonder if maybe it’s a phenomenon related to
my particular ISP or region of the planet. For about the past six weeks or so, I
have been experiencing strange e-mail glitches. My e-mail, particularly news
letters, have been held up or stopped entirely. Or, maybe one day I won’t get
any e-mail and then get it all at once the next day.

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