Author Archives: Kathleen Atkins

Kathleen Atkins

About Kathleen Atkins

Kathleen Atkins is the Windows Secrets associate editor. She's also a freelance writer, editor, and photographer. Prior to joining Windows Secrets, she worked at Microsoft Press.

Considering Windows Vista in context

When a new Lounger asks whether Windows Vista is better than Windows XP Professional, a lengthy discussion ensues. The conversation is every bit as analytical as you might think but also calmer than you might expect, given Vista’s denigrated history.

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Even French cattle have a fondness for jazz

It’s common knowledge that the French like Jerry Lewis and jazz. Now there’s proof that French cows share that taste in music. A Utah-based jazz band stopped to entertain a bovine audience in Autrans, France — and caught the attention of the entire herd.

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Etiquette lesson for the computer age

In any office these days, no tool is likely to be more important than a computer — well, maybe the coffeemaker. So when your PC breaks and must go out for repair, most people understand when you need to borrow time on someone else’s system.

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When it’s more efficient to start over

Installing Malwarebytes on a machine that’s already infected is like trying to install a deadbolt on a door thieves have already crashed through. Or maybe the exercise works as a form of diagnostic testing — if you can’t run the antivirus software, you’ve got a virus.

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Irene interfered with computers in New Jersey

Synching Outlook on three computers and an iPad with Windows Mesh was on a Lounge member’s mind when she began a thread last week. But then Hurricane Irene blew in.

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We hide error reports from our software

You’d be surprised how often software is conscious and has intentions — at least in the minds of its users.

Most of us don’t name our computers — though many, many people have been overheard talking to their machines and not always dispassionately. Recently, Lounge member New Lounger wrote about the puzzling behavior of Windows Live Mail. WLM works like a charm, he reported, but only when New Lounger “grabs the error report window and moves it out of sight.” Out of sight of his mail program, presumably.

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When simple answers raise more questions

The problem: You can’t change Vista’s Desktop Backgrounds settings. So you wonder whether you have a permissions or a malware problem.

That’s what Lounge member kjvbible1611 was thinking as he posted a query in the Lounge. He was helping an 11-year-old boy, who wanted to make the Superman logo his desktop wallpaper.

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Welcome to the Lounge’s new room: Social Media

How to count the ways people are busy on the Internet? If you guessed someone in the world is checking in on a Facebook account, you’d be right roughly 750 million times.

Fifty percent of active Facebook users are signed in on any given day, according to Facebook statistics. And Facebook isn’t alone in finding social-media methods of connecting us: Google is launching Google+, MySpace still commands a following, and other sites wave their banners at us in our electronic neighborhoods.

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Intrepid spider-catcher impresses child

Giant spiders don’t appear on the kitchen ceiling every day, so it’s a videoworthy occasion when a father decides to demonstrate his wildlife-management skills.

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Microsoft-bashers won’t like this video

Surely you’ve heard — people are passionately for and against versions of operating systems.

That seems especially true of Windows. Whether it’s Windows 2000, XP, Windows 7, or maybe even Vista, every PC user has a favorite and mightily resists upgrading.

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