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  1. #1
    WS Lounge VIP Woody's Avatar
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    Big changes ahead for AskWoody and Windows Secrets

    As of the end of the year, Penton/Informa media group is handing the Windows Secrets Newsletter and Lounge baton over to the people who started Windows Secrets years ago.

    Many of you will remember the original Windows Secrets "dream team" -- Brian Livingston, co-author of 11 Windows Secrets books; Susan Bradley, Patch Watch diva; Fred Langa, author of LangaList, the ultimate tech Q&A; and yours truly with Woody's Windows Watch and a bunch of books. All of us, along with former editor in chief Tracey Capen and many current and former newsletter contributors, are joining forces once again to launch a new AskWoody Plus Newsletter. Those of you who subscribe to the Windows Secrets Newsletter will see your subscriptions carry over, uninterrupted, to the AskWoody Plus moniker.

    We're also merging the AskWoody and Windows Secrets Lounges. The new combined Lounge will sit on a software foundation that's solid and reliable unlike, ahem, what we've had in the past. We're implementing some of the features you've requested -- email Plus Alerts, downloadable Patch Watch files, a reconstituted MS-DEFCON system, and much more. All of the AskWoody and Windows Secrets Admins and MVPs will make the trek. It痴 a massive effort that痴 going to bring all sorts of benefits to AskWoody and Windows Secrets Loungers.

    Both the new Newsletter and the new combined Lounge are tied together with a membership program called AskWoody Plus. If you join AskWoody Plus, you get the new Newsletter, the news Alerts, and full access to everything on the new combined Lounge.

    You値l also get our thanks -- and recognition, via a gold flare on your Lounge avatar -- for helping us keep everything going. We値l continue to hold Microsoft痴 feet to the fire. We値l keep you in the loop on important developments, and help you with palliative care on the demise of Windows 7. We値l give you the straight story on where Windows and Office are headed, without the clickbait and garbled explanations you find on many other sites.

    AskWoody Plus works on the donation model -- you can join for whatever amount you think fair. If you'd rather not join, that's fine. New Loungers are most welcome, and there's no charge.

    Changes in the plumbing are being tested right now. The hardest part of the transition will be merging databases, which won稚 be easy, but we値l take it in steps, and we'll have human support available at all times. We値l let you know if you need to do anything.

    For those of you who already get the Windows Secrets Newsletter, you値l be automatically continued as a subscriber to the AskWoody Plus Newsletter. For those of you who have donated to AskWoody in the past year, we値l set you up with a Plus Membership as well -- no charge, with our thanks. Those of you who haven't contributed are also in good hands -- we're carrying across both the AskWoody Loungers and the Windows Secrets Loungers of various stripes to the new combined Lounge.

    For now, sit tight. We値l let you know if you need to do anything.

    Lisa Schmeiser, editor in chief, Windows Secrets Newsletter
    PKCano and Kirsty, AskWoody MVPs
    JoeP517, JWitalka, Rick Corbett, Satrow, Windows Secrets Admins

    Woody Leonhard, Eponymous Factotum
    Woody

    For Dummies book author, Senior Contributing Editor for InfoWorld, and long-suffering Windows victim. Check out the latest at AskWoody.com.

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  3. #2
    WS Lounge VIP Lugh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody View Post
    Penton/Informa media group is handing the Windows Secrets Newsletter and Lounge baton over to the people who started Windows Secrets years ago … the original Windows Secrets "dream team"
    This is fantastic news! I joined WS because of Fred, Woody & Gizmo, and came to value the other contributors I hadn't known before.

    It’s a massive effort … The hardest part of the transition will be merging databases, which won’t be easy, but we’ll take it in steps
    Best of luck with all that. I've been thru a couple of big moves like this, so I know it'll take expertise, application and perseverance to pull it off and iron out the teething problems.

    Thanks for the info.
    Lugh.
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    Dell Alienware Aurora R6; Win10 Home x64 1803; Office 365 x32
    i7-7700; GeForce GTX 1060; 16GB DDR4 2400; 2 x 256G SSD, 4TB HD

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  5. #3
    Silver Lounger lumpy95's Avatar
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    Question:
    I have different user names on WS and Ask Woody, will I need to choose one over the other for a merge of the 2 sites??

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    Does this mean that Penton makes off with the US$ 25.00 that I (and countless others) paid for lifetime membership way back when (in my case in 2009)?

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    Administrator satrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnFleming View Post
    Does this mean that Penton makes off with the US$ 25.00 that I (and countless others) paid for lifetime membership way back when (in my case in 2009)?
    See Woody's comment on this:

    I intend to honor every promise from Windows Secrets, including lifetime subscriptions.

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  9. #6
    4 Star Lounger tonyl's Avatar
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    Yay!

  10. #7
    WS Lounge VIP Woody's Avatar
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    Excellent question.

    I'm working with the devs on the database merge questions, so I don't know for sure, but I'd be tempted to have you use the AskWoody username in the future.

    The big, painful question is what to do if there's a duplicate username - the same username on both Lounges - and it doesn't appear as if they're the same person. I expect it'll take a lot of human intervention to work those out.
    Woody

    For Dummies book author, Senior Contributing Editor for InfoWorld, and long-suffering Windows victim. Check out the latest at AskWoody.com.

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  12. #8
    WS Lounge VIP Woody's Avatar
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    Nope.

    I agreed to take on all the lifetime memberships. It was part of the deal.
    Woody

    For Dummies book author, Senior Contributing Editor for InfoWorld, and long-suffering Windows victim. Check out the latest at AskWoody.com.

  13. #9
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    Excellent news, and it will be worth more than skimming the newsletter for the first time in many years (although I have noticed more Richard Hay recently who with Lincoln Spector I think are the last pre-Penton contributors). I'd have dropped it by now if I didn't have a lifetime subscription, which I bought for articles by Brian, Susan, Woody, Ryan Russell and Paul Thurrott. I guess those last two won't be part of the new team, having left some time before the Penton takeover

  14. #10
    WS Lounge VIP Woody's Avatar
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    Can you tell that I'm not accustomed to the flat threading on this Lounge? Sorry about that. I promise to Reply with Quote more frequently...
    Woody

    For Dummies book author, Senior Contributing Editor for InfoWorld, and long-suffering Windows victim. Check out the latest at AskWoody.com.

  15. #11
    WS Lounge VIP Woody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Humbug View Post
    I guess those last two won't be part of the new team, having left some time before the Penton takeover
    I lost touch with Ryan. Paul's off doing a tremendous job at thurrott.com. But if he bops me over the head with a guest column, I'd be ecstatic!
    Woody

    For Dummies book author, Senior Contributing Editor for InfoWorld, and long-suffering Windows victim. Check out the latest at AskWoody.com.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody View Post
    Paul's off doing a tremendous job at thurrott.com. But if he bops me over the head with a guest column, I'd be ecstatic!
    Thanks. I knew where Paul had gone because I listen to him and Mary Jo chat with Leo Laporte every week

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  19. #13
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    I almost cannot believe this. The Dream Team is coming back!

    In Today's Windows Secrets newsletter I saw where the operation of the newsletter and lounge is being handed back to the former folks who ran it. Good.

    I almost didn't see this announcement, as most of my recent Windows Secrets newsletters had gone straight in the trash lately. Forgive me, but IMHO under Penton I've considered the newsletter mostly veiled PR for Microsoft, including the swipes at users by some of the current authors about using "hacks" to bypass the otherwise uncontrollable, unstoppable, and broken MS "updates". In the current author's "farewell" in today's newsletter he had to do that again. Pedantic. Prior to today really had no plans to renew. Good riddance.

    Along with the past demise of Susan Bradley's Patch Watch within the newsletter, and Penton's apparent lack of involvement with these forums, I just no longer saw a value proposition.

    But now with the original folks taking back the reigns, I will reconsider that. Hopefully under the "new" old management again, they will hold Microsoft's "feet to the fire", unlike the pliable current regime.

    Time will tell. I'll give it another year to see. Looking forward to New Management.

  20. #14
    Silver Lounger lumpy95's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody View Post
    Excellent question.

    I'm working with the devs on the database merge questions, so I don't know for sure, but I'd be tempted to have you use the AskWoody username in the future.

    The big, painful question is what to do if there's a duplicate username - the same username on both Lounges - and it doesn't appear as if they're the same person. I expect it'll take a lot of human intervention to work those out.
    It's too early to tell (with this being in the early stages) but I would hate to lose my history here. I have been visiting askWoody for quite a long time but just became a member about 1 to 2 years ago so I would probably have to re join askWoody if there are problems with the username.
    Anyway it sounds like a great merger and will look forward to it and see how things work out.

  21. #15
    WS Lounge VIP Woody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lumpy95 View Post
    I would hate to lose my history here. I have been visiting askWoody for quite a long time but just became a member about 1 to 2 years ago so I would probably have to re join askWoody if there are problems with the username.
    The worst-case scenario, I think, is that you'll have posts on the new Lounge that are with two different usernames. Please keep an eye on things as they evolve, though, and yell real loud if it isn't going the way you want.
    Woody

    For Dummies book author, Senior Contributing Editor for InfoWorld, and long-suffering Windows victim. Check out the latest at AskWoody.com.

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