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.

Faster Drives, For Free!

There’s a good chance you can speed up your hard drives and your CDs, CDRs and
DVDs— for free— via Windows’ almost-hidden DMA setting. Doing so can make
your drives as much as 15% faster, and reduce the load on your CPU by as much as

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LangaList Plus! Edition Now Available

Some LangaList readers are seeing
a longer, expanded version of this newsletter (ie one with more items), and
they’re seeing it in their choice of text or HTML email. Others are seeing a
"digest" format that carries just the headlines and a very brief,
easy-to-skim description of each item in the newsletter, along with a link that
allows them to jump to the full text of any item that interests them. And none
of them are seeing any ads at all.

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More Reformat Time- and Step-Savers

In "Avoid The
Reformat/Reinstall Two-Step" (
) we discussed an "in-place reinstall" where you just layer a new copy
of the OS over the copy that’s gone bad. With some kinds of problems— missing
or overwritten system, files, for example— this kind of reinstall may
completely cure what’s wrong, and can do so without losing your data, your
installed apps, or any customizations or alterations you’ve made.

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Miss Your OS CDs? Me, Too!

Canadian reader Derrick Kearney
expressed an increasingly-common frustration recently:

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Host Files: You Be The Judge

Last issue’s item on the
potential evils of using the "Hosts" file to block ads (
) brought some interesting replies. 

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Surface Vs Deep Web 

We recently discussed search
engines (
, ,
), and that prompted reader Rod Padrick to write about an amazing  site he

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PuterGeek Strikes Again

Peter Crockett, the webmaster at
PuterGeek, is at it again, and has produced another lively, useful resource page
aimed at helping novice and intermediate users get up to speed on some of the
arcana of computing. He writes:

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