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.

And *Another* Code Load Success Story!

After his site was listed in the last "Load The Code" section, this
code-loader wrote:

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Setting Up An Online Store, Pt 2

(continued from above)

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VPN Not The Only Way To Connect

Our recent piece on setting up a Remote Desktop
connection via "virtual private networking" (VPN) sparked some very good reader
advice and information on alternatives to this approach.

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Can’t Find Perfect Search Utility

Fred: It might be useful to your subscribers to
mention desktop search programs. I have tried three (Google, Microsoft,
Copernic) and found all to be flawed. Is there a perfect one out there? Google
is cluttered and keeps pushing you to the Google search screen but it does
locate everything on the computer. It does not index it so well, though, I guess
because it does not have the underlying cross-references the Web search engine
uses. Microsoft was polite, fast and well organized, but it ignored
non-Microsoft files like WordPerfect and Thunderbird (the plug-ins they offer do
NOT work). Copernic was non-intrusive and organized things well, but it missed a
lot. Unpredictably it would find some E-mails from Thunderbird and not others;
some documents and not others. My two cents. A loyal subscriber, —Paul DeLeeuw

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Two Ways To Put Windows On A Diet

Dear Fred, I was curious if you’ve heard
about nLite. if you haven’t, here’s a generic description: nLite lets you choose
which components to remove from Windows 2000, XP or 2003 before installation. By
removing unneeded components you gain on your system speed and security. It
supports removal of almost any component and few services. You can make a
bootable ISO and easily slipstream Service packs with a click of a button. Use
the easy cd-key implementation so you don’t need to enter it during setup. If
you have heard of it or even tried it, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.
I’ve been using it for several months now and I find it to be a interesting and
powerful utility. Installing Windows is much faster and I don’t have to spend
time entering my name, key or other info. My favorite feature is Component
Removal. I can trim Windows of its bloat and it will only use 40-50% of its
default installation size. Sincerely, Kevin

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IncrediMail Upgrade Tactics Incredibly Bad

Dear Fred, I thought I should write to
you so that you can warn any unsuspecting people of an unscrupulous scam being
perpetrated by the nasty people at Incredimail. I received a newsletter from
them on 12th/08/05 saying that they listen and respect their subscribers and
they have a great surprise for us. When you click to the link, you are
re-directed to a web page that downloads ( you assume) an upgraded version of
Incredimail. When it is installed, I found, where Junk & Unapproved folder had
been, was a new folder, Advanced Junk filter is turned off, click here. When the
link is clicked you are taken to a site offering Advanced Junk filter for
$29.99. Since Incredimail is a paid for service whose on-board filter works
perfectly well, I declined and went back to what I was doing. The following day,
when I opened my e-mail, I found in my inbox (which had previously been
configured to only accept mail from addresses in my Address book) 6 of the usual
rubbish junk mails that are sent out daily. When I went to Tools to check junk
mail filter, it had been grayed out, thus preventing me from adjusting anything.
I have since used System Restore to get previous installation back, but what I
would like to know is : Is it illegal for Incredimail to take off my system, a
service that I have paid for ,in order to force me to buy a programme that I
don’t need. You can guess who has been put into my junk mail folder after this
episode. Yours Angrily, Phil Bevan

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Inside Svchost.exe

Fred: I was pleased to find the
command shell command: tasklist /svc to finally actually see what the heck
service host was running. Up until now service host was a back hole that could
have been running anything and I had no idea how to find out what; of concern
obviously was malware cloaked by the cryptic cover "svchost". Are you aware of
any programs out there that take this a step further, internally breaking down
all of the svchost services running, looking at them, perhaps checking their
checksums or some other process to identify if each is the appropriate service
and warning if any are either out of the ordinary or an ordinary named service
that does not properly match the identifying characteristics for that service?

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Another “Expanded” Issue

Yes, it’s another longer-than-usual
expanded issue, as Mike and I work to backfill some of the content we couldn’t
send you while I was unavoidably offline. (More info: and )

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How To Shrink Sound Files

Thanks for a great newsletter! I have
a lot of MP3 voice-only recordings that were originally made at 64 Kbps. In
order to maximize storage, I was wondering if it was possible to reduce the bit
rate from 64 Kbps to, say 32 or 40 Kbps. Are there utilities that do this kind
of downward conversion?

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Windows File Protection Gets In The Way

I’ve been doing this for many, many
years. I use a geezer technique: a batch file! I use Map Network Drive to map by
laptop’s C: drive to L: (for laptop) and then the batch file copies things from
C: to L:. For the actual copying, I used to use the XCOPY command; now I use

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