More than 33,000 new members have signed up to use the Lounge discussion board since it moved to our domain name last November, and they and the 20,000 existing Loungers have been posting a flurry of useful tips.
Beginning this week, our newsletter’s new “Lounge Life” column will highlight the best new topics and the most-interesting questions posted.
As I announced in my Dec. 15, 2009, Top Story, the former Woody’s Lounge, founded in 1995 by our senior editor Woody Leonhard, merged with WindowsSecrets.com and was renamed the WS Lounge. The board’s many forums offer a wealth of 700,000 comments — going back nine years — on a wide variety of technology subjects. But the old site had been experiencing problems with an overloaded server and antiquated software.
After we upgraded the server and revealed the existence of the Lounge to our newsletter subscribers, the discussion board quickly reached new heights of activity. At one point, more than 1,750 visitors were online at the same moment. Prior to December 2009, the maximum number online simultaneously had been 73.
Since that time, the WS developers have tweaked the server so it can handle even more than our last peak. With the knowledge that the server can handle surges of demand, the newsletter will now feature each week the best topics and questions posted in the Lounge, without fear that we’ll overload the site.
The most-useful new threads posted by members
With 2,000 or so new posts being submitted each week, choosing the “best” is a thankless job. But let’s check out a few that the WS editors and I think are good candidates:
- How to edit a GIF in Photoshop
This thread starts out with a giant map of the Paris subway system, so it made me think I was reading a travel tip. In reality, the Lounger who started the topic couldn’t find a way to add text in Photoshop to an original .gif file of the Paris Metro. The solution suggested by another Lounge member was to pull down Photoshop’s Image menu and use its Mode option to change the color mode to RGB. All fixed! More»
- Styles keep changing indents in Word 2007
Don’t you hate it when your formatting works in one version of Microsoft Office but not in another? In this thread, Robin Anson reported some detailed information about the way Word 2007 indentation was giving weird results. Lounger Pam Caswell answered back that numbering indents have their own formatting styles that override paragraph indents. More»
- Memory question with nVidia drivers
Sheila Caim was suffering from the dreaded “display driver not responding” error, which is a known nVidia graphics board behavior. Fortunately, other Loungers were able to help by suggesting an upgrade to the latest nVidia driver and a downgrade to DirectX9 from DX11. After that, the problem practically vanished. More»
The most interesting questions raised this week
Not every Lounge thread has an immediate resolution, unfortunately. Windows Secrets readers tend to push the envelope and hit a variety of limitations. Take a look at the following questions, and if you have a suggestion, please sign in and post a reply:
- How to automatically fill in a name using a PDF certificate
- How to make objects visible in Draft View in Word 2007
- How to install Office Enterprise 2007 over Access 2000
- How to handle orphan sections in Crystal Reports, Excel, Access
- Which Mac maintenance utilities are similar to PC?
- How to remove the “Welcome to Office 2007″ screen
If the above topics don’t grab you, I’m sure you’ll find something else that’s right up your alley in the Lounge this week. I reported on the 20 most-popular Lounge forums in my Jan. 7 column. The top level of any one of those forums would be a great place to start.
If you’re not already a Lounge member, you should register now, so you can post and take advantage of other Lounge features that are available only to those who are signed in. It’s free! Just use our quick registration form.
To be sure, our rewrite of the Lounge software is still a beta, and there are a few bugs that we’re swatting here and there. But we’re very proud of the attention we’ve been able to bring to this long-time treasure trove of tech information. I’ll see you in the Lounge!
The Lounge Life column is a digest of the best of the WS Lounge discussion board. Brian Livingston is editorial director of WindowsSecrets.com and co-author of Windows Vista Secrets and 10 other books.