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.

When you think your trouble is a software virus

You might be heavy-hearted this week if you, like Lounge member Dougie, were listing the interesting but discouraging symptoms exhibited by a crippled PC. Dougie hopes that fellow Loungers in the Security & Backups forum can help him avoid a clean install of the machine to return it to a healthy state. He might be in luck — suggestions posted so far sound promising.

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Windows Secrets Lounge information is free

A new visitor to the Lounge recently was shocked to read he’d be charged U.S. $38.00 to post his question. Wrong! said regular posters, the forum administrator, and the Lounge administrator — immediately and almost in unison. No one has to pay anything to post a question or receive an answer in the Lounge.

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Some questions are easier to ask than answer

You might think it a stretch to classify a question about an icon as bordering on philosophical. But some discussions seem to go that way. When Lounge member NealNYC posted a photo of a screen icon he couldn’t identify, he probably hoped for swift enlightenment.

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Hazel has had a long, long day at the dog show

Hazel brings to mind the sociable young child who can’t bear to go to bed after a long, busy day — no matter how sleepy she is.

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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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