This is the 400th issue of Windows Secrets. For nearly a decade, the Windows Secrets Newsletter has provided news and tips on the world’s most popular operating system.
The success of this newsletter and site is due in large part to the ongoing, loyal support of its subscribers. A big thanks to all those readers who have made financial contributions — large and small — and sent in tips and suggestions for stories. Keep them coming.
Windows Secrets also relies on a dedicated team of contributors. The newsletter wouldn’t be the same without Fred Langa’s weekly Q&A, Woody’s sometimes controversial perspectives on personal computing, Susan’s regular updates on Windows security — or without Lincoln Spector’s and Michael Lasky’s coverage of networking and the best hardware and software.
Windows Secrets has never been just about Windows. Katherine Murray provides help for MS Office users, Patrick Marshall keeps us safe on social-networking sites, Tony Bradley (no relation to Susan Bradley) covers Windows in business, and Ryan Pierson writes about digital entertainment and other topics.
All of our contributors work extremely hard for relatively little compensation to give Windows Secrets readers the latest in computing information. I thank them all.
Coming back from our annual summer break
This issue is smaller than usual. Traditionally, we take some time off in August — and Sept. 2 was Labor Day in the U.S. That left only two days to edit, assemble, and ship the newsletter. (As astute WS readers know, there was no issue last week because we do not publish on any fifth Thursday of the month.)
So this week, all subscribers — paid and free — will see a special edition of Fred Langa’s LangaList Plus. Next week, we’ll be back to our regular rotation, including the monthly Patch Tuesday coverage in the twice-monthly Patch Watch column.
My vacation was a digital counterpoint to Susan Bradley’s, discussed in the July 25 Top Story, “Traveling with tech: A geek goes to Rome.”
While she cruised the Mediterranean and strolled the streets of Rome, I traveled with my truck-based camper and photographed a few remote areas of the Canadian Rockies. (Associate editor/customer-support manager Kathleen Atkins kept the office lights on, helping subscribers.) With limited cell-phone coverage, staying in touch with family and the dog-sitters was sometimes challenging. Occasionally, we saw a few bars on our devices when high on a mountain; most of the time, our digital connection happened when we rolled into a small town, gassed up the truck, checked email, and made quick calls before heading out again.
Before crossing into Canada, I added international coverage to my AT&T cell-phone plan. For limited additional coverage, it was an extra U.S. $30 for minutes, another $30 for data, and $10 for messaging — all of which I added directly from my phone. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised that my Internet connection seemed much faster in Canada than in the U.S.
The trip proved that there is life (almost) without the Internet. I took my laptop computer — mostly to store the hundred or more digital photos I took nearly every day. But it was also nice to watch a couple of DVD movies in the camper at night. To keep the laptop charged, my camper has a rooftop solar panel that’s attached to a Goal Zero Yeti 150 Solar Generator (site), a combination of rechargeable battery and AC inverter.
It will take me months to process all the images from the trip.
As mentioned above, next week we are back to our usual schedule. Many thanks to all who have supported the newsletter for the past nine years.
Happy Windows computing.
— Tracey Capen, Editor in chiefEditor in chief Tracey Capen was the executive editor of reviews at PC World magazine for 10 years, from 1995 to 2005. He was InfoWorld's managing editor of reviews from 1993 to 1995 and worked in the magazine's test center and as networking editor from 1989 to 1992. Between his stints at InfoWorld, he was senior labs editor at Corporate Computing magazine.