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Author Topic: Fred Langa bows our (and bikes off in to the wide blue yonder ...)  (Read 6833 times)
Carol Haynes
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« on: May 01, 2008, 04:19:59 AM »

Fred has decided to retire. Read his last column here

Quote

Thanks Fred - I for one will miss you!
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Daleus
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2008, 09:27:04 AM »

The LangaList was a major support tool for me, due to it's relevance and it's no-nonsense approach to tech in general.  Fred was an excellent writer!

I knew the end was coming when he joined the group over at Windows Secrets.  I have been patiently waiting for his articles over there to resurface - I guess I can start breathing again.

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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2008, 10:25:16 AM »

I have to confess I much prefered the LangList approach and I subscribed for years - reading just about every word of every newsletter. I also have all his archives somewhere in searchable help file format which was brilliant.

I still have a paid subscription to WindowsSecrets but I won't be renewing now that Fred is departing. I haven't been particularly happy with it anyway - I particularly hate the fact that the paid version is still chocked full of advertising. An advert free paid subscription is what Fred got right and it is a shame WindowsSecrets can't treat paid subscribers in the same way. I find my self looking through WS newsletters in a very cursory manner and only perhaps read one or two items in each issue because of the ad blitz. They don't get archived - just a quick read and delete.
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wraith808
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« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2008, 02:39:11 PM »

I must admit, I'm the same way as you Carol.  I have a paid subscription, but it feels like a non-paid subscription with all of the ads.  When Brian Livingston first started (I didn't know about Langalist) he was the same way- I guess becoming larger meant they had to find another revenue stream.  These days there's less 'secrets' and more general news that you can find anywhere.
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zridling
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« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2008, 08:46:53 AM »

Rumor is, Fred bought a winning lotto ticket at the Kwikie-Mart, and will be buying his own island somewhere off the coast of Newfoundland. Lucky sucka.

Thirty years of writing a tech column or newsletter or articles on deadline is sheer torture. I can't believe Fred held up this long. For example, how he had time every week to research readers' specific tech questions and troubleshoot them, I've no idea. Beyond that, I can attest to the brute fact of boredom. After a while, you just want to do something else, change directions. Thus, I've been neck deep in chess play for the past year and it's been a healthy distraction for my brain.
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- zaine (on Google+)
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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2008, 09:19:19 AM »

Quote
I've been neck deep in chess play for the past year and it's been a healthy distraction for my brain.

For people who might not believe zaine about this, what he forgot to mention is who is has been playing chess against:



And here is the board they have been using:





There is also this page of the real girls of the chess world.  Warning to geeks: You will fall in love and have your heart broken a hundred times over if you visit this page, so please be careful and think twice if you want to click this link.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2008, 09:30:58 AM »

I wanted to make some feminist comment but what the hell .... ROFLMAO!
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2008, 10:50:59 AM »

I wanted to make some feminist comment but what the hell .... ROFLMAO!

Didn't want to be the White Knight?   smiley

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Chris
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« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2008, 12:07:15 PM »

Hey, you know what they say: Smart women are the sexiest ones!
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- zaine (on Google+)
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« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2008, 12:39:11 PM »

Fred's newsletter was my teacher from the beginning when I bought a PC with XP. But after several years subscribing I realized it was so interesting that I had gotten so involved in the computER + systems that I didn't have time for computING (availing the whole of internetting and time-consuming graphics), which was my original goal; then began glossing over the newsletters to the point where I actually stopped reading the final months of my last subscription's issues. It was worth the money just for access to the archives though.

I will miss his stuff like if you lose an old friend you haven't seen for years but took for granted would be around.

P.S. I haven't played any chess in awhile either but I think I might get out the old board and update the pieces. I remember the days when chess pieces were called "chess men" ( as in "he captured my man") -- I know I will like playing with women much better.

  
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zridling
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« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2008, 12:53:33 PM »

I definitely like his advice: chill out, don't sweat the small stuff, and don't fight your software, just patch and roll with it.
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- zaine (on Google+)
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« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2008, 06:57:53 PM »

There is also this page of the real girls of the chess world.  Warning to geeks: You will fall in love and have your heart broken a hundred times over if you visit this page, so please be careful and think twice if you want to click this link.

Hah, I remember stumbling onto that page a few years ago when searching who Arianne Caoilli was. You may remember her from an incident that involved two male chess masters fighting over a dance with her cheesy. Funny enough, the site seems to belong to Alexandra Kosteniuk, the top voted player. I see dirty play Grin

Hey, you know what they say: Smart women are the sexiest ones!

Indeed smiley

Well, going back to schedule, it's kind of sad to see Fred depart, although since the merger with Windows Secrets he was rarely participating in the free edition of the newsletter. Perhaps this fact, and his departure may have something to do with the declining quality of the publication. And I don't think it's too nice to publish such front attack to Mac users in your last article.
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« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2008, 07:34:43 AM »

I agree with Carol and wraith
I could not wait to read my Langalist newsletter each time and always paid my subscription without a 2nd thought
My paid subscription to Windows Secrets would be lapsed if I didn't have the choice to nominate my own figure
I pay $2 per year and frankly given the quality of stuff available for free on the net I think that is fair
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Matt from Australia
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« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2008, 11:53:03 PM »

I have to agree with the sentiments expressed here.

I was a subscriber to LangaList for years, both the free version and the (very reasonable) paid.  Although I didn't always understand everything Fred was writing about I read virtually all his items in each issue simply because he was honest, clear and down to earth in trying to explain computers and help people.

I was apprehensive of his move to Windows Secrets, hoping we wouldn't lose the quality and sheer quantity of his work but my worst fears have been realized.  There is virtually nothing of interest in the current newsletter.  I don't mind ads even though I had contributed money for the paid version but there's just nothing to read of any value, at least to me.  I suppose the security update stuff is important but I can read AskWoody for that.  Otherwise it's how to install Vista without buying the full upgrade or...

Heck, I can't even think of anything they have even run lately, that's how much of an impression the newsletter makes.

But all good things end and so did my paid subscription.  I do wish Fred a great retirement (it's very nice, speaking from personal experience!) and thank him for his amazing contribution to computing over all these years.

And we have the DC newsletter to look forward to and the forum here so there's no dearth of great computing info.
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