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Author Topic: Windows Secrets jumps shark  (Read 5498 times)
CWuestefeld
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« on: February 14, 2009, 07:48:06 AM »

We've complained about the quality of the "Windows Secrets" newsletter in the past, and the fact that it's aimed toward much less sophisticated users than the other publications that it's swallowed. I think they've really showed us this in the latest update:


As you can see, they are referring to VNC-derived remote desktop apps as "virtual machine software". I think that anyone claiming to inform the rest of us ought to understand that this label applies to programs like VMware and VirtualPC; VNC is a completely unrelated beast.

As I sit here with my mouse over the "Post" button it occurs to me that this post may be somewhat cruel, so I'm hesitant. On the other hand, I think it really calls into question their real-world experience and their editing. And readers have certainly been offering constructive criticism for some time; they've had every chance to get things in order.

Update: I should specify that this is in reference to their newsletter edition "Windows Secrets NEWS UPDATE • Issue 184a • 2009-02-14".
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bgd77
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« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2009, 08:44:55 AM »

I was a huge fan of "Tech Support Alert" newsletter from Gizmo Richards, until he moved to "Windows Secrets".

Are there any alternatives to "Windows Secrets"?
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Darwin
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« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2009, 09:49:36 AM »

I thought I was the only one... I received the newsletter this morning with its Chicken Little-esque headlines and came away thinking WTF? FUDD...
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"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin
mouser
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« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2009, 12:12:37 PM »

give 'em a break, they made a mistake in terminology.  an embarrassing mistake, but just an honest mistake.
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2009, 01:28:03 PM »

Giving them quarter is one thing, but it would take a complete do-over to forgive/forget/fix that one. Getting an acronym wrong is one thing (like DNS vs DSN), but getting the technology wrong when completely spelled out? Zoiks! That's a kick to the groin credibility dent for sure.

On a side note; I thought they fixed the VNC Man-in-the-Middle vulnerabilities a while ago.
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BigJim
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« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2009, 01:34:16 PM »

Perhaps so, Mouser. But I'm fully on-board with bgd77 and Darwin. I ALWAYS found several things of value and interest in Gizmo's newsletter and often printed it out for valuable 'waiting room reading' when taking my Mom to her various appointments. His annual subscription was a bargain at twice the price. One of the many aspects that I appreciated was that it was (for want of a better term) punchy: brief, on topic articles with plenty of links to follow up when desired. Windows Secrets is first and foremost so laden with advertising that it's a real pain to wade through. This also negates the practicality of doing a print out. More importantly the content is a fraction of the value (to me) as was Gizmo's newsletter. Time for the reset button, IMHO.   Angry
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J-Mac
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« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2009, 01:43:16 PM »

Somehow this is sad and funny at the same time. I still see some value in SOME of the articles in Windows Secrets, but I truly do miss Tech Support Alert.

To be honest, though, even Langa's more recent articles seem to be a bit..  dated?

Jim
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40hz
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« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2009, 02:06:00 PM »

I was a huge fan of "Tech Support Alert" newsletter from Gizmo Richards, until he moved to "Windows Secrets".

Are there any alternatives to "Windows Secrets"?

Do you mean short of sitting down and putting it together yourself? Wink
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Darwin
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« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2009, 02:32:52 PM »

give 'em a break, they made a mistake in terminology.  an embarrassing mistake, but just an honest mistake.

While I agree with that terminology SNAFU was a mistake and that this is forgiveable, I had the overall sense that the newsletter was a bit OTT - as I said, FUDD.
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bgd77
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« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2009, 02:33:46 PM »

What do you mean with "short of", 40hz?
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Ehtyar
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« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2009, 02:43:45 PM »

Windows Secrets newsletter fail. Bet if we uploaded that to failblog it would be published. How can you possibly pen an article about a technology you don't even know the name of? Sorry mouse man, but I'm with the rest of the executioners...

Ehtyar.
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2009, 03:02:54 PM »


Mental slips and typos are easy to make but a human should take on the task of proof reading, especially something destined for wide circulation.


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Chris
40hz
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« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2009, 03:18:36 PM »

What do you mean with "short of", 40hz?


Short of = 'Besides'

Sorry. Trying to cleverly say that IMHO there aren't any newsletters currently out there that can compare to Gizmo Richard's old Tech Support Alert.

So if we do anything less than start our very own newsletter, we're stuck with what's out there.

Hmmm...maybe we should. There's enough talent at Donation Coder to do that. Cool

---

BTW: Typos or not, Windows Secrets still leaves much to be desired for many other reasons.

« Last Edit: February 14, 2009, 03:23:33 PM by 40hz » Logged

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Darwin
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« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2009, 03:23:41 PM »

What do you mean with "short of", 40hz?

"short of" means that "the most drastic/expensive/unpleasant/insert adjective here" solution follows... so, in this case I'd read it as 40hz saying that there really isn't an alternative to Gizmo Richard's TechSupport Newsletter and that if you want one, you'll probably need to write it yourself. Of course, I could be wrong... 40hz?

PS 40hz himself answered while I was typing this, but I'm posting anyway in hopes that defining this idiom can be laid to rest ( Grin)
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BigJim
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« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2009, 03:28:44 PM »

Does Gizmo read here? Can we/should we give him a heads up??   tellme
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40hz
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« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2009, 03:34:01 PM »

Thanks Dar!

You can respond for me anytime you like. Grin

(You write better than I do anyway) Thmbsup

@#$#. gotta shutdown...just lost power here
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2009, 06:24:28 PM »

@#$#. gotta shutdown...just lost power here

See, this is what happens to those who decry WS.
Half-baked they may be but those guys have power!

Meanwhile, I'm preparing to act on my offer (outlined here).
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Chris
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« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2009, 07:55:14 AM »

Thanks, 40Hz and Darwin, for the language lesson.   Wink
In my dictionary the expression had more than one meaning, and I was not sure which one you meant to use. As you probably already guessed, I'm not a native English speaker. Your explanation is very hilarious, Darwin, this is the way to learn a foreign language!   Thmbsup
But to write my own newsletter ... even I wouldn't read it!  cheesy

And you are absolutely right, 40Hz: "BTW: Typos or not, Windows Secrets still leaves much to be desired for many other reasons.".

Your idea, BigJim, is excellent. I hope he reads this forum.




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