Articles in Category: Leo’s blog

Leo’s less formal, more random and occasional commentary on all things technology, business and Ask Leo! related, along with some philosophy at times as well.

Five Resolutions for the Holidays and New Year

The end of the year is a great opportunity to make our computing and on-line worlds safer, more secure and above all – more amazing!

‘Tis the Season … to Unsubscribe!

The holiday season brings with it a flood of email. That’s a great opportunity to evaluate, and unsubscribe from things you no longer need.

Why SSL?

I recently switched Ask Leo! to SSL, partly as a statement and partly for fun. I’ll explain a little of what goes on behind the scenes.

My initial reactions to Windows 10 backup

I took a look at the Windows 10 technical preview, and walked away very disappointed with Windows 10 backup. It’s just as broken as Windows 8.1’s, with no fix in sight.

Another story of data loss, and what could have been

I repaired a friend’s machine’s hard disk failure, only to discover something much, much worse: data loss.

An Abundance of Cloud Storage

It seems like every online service provider is now including some kind of online cloud storage as a perk. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed. I’ll look at my personal cloud storage landscape.

8 Reasons Email is Wonderful

Some have said that email is dead. My take is completely opposite: email is one of the most effective communication methods we have.

The return of the podcast – kind of

The Ask Leo! Podcast returns in its third incarnation. Here’s what I’m up to …

External Hard Disk Not Recognized? A Story of Data Loss.

I hear from people with inaccessible external drives frequently. The frustrating part is how often those drives contain the only copy of important data.

My Flood of Auto-Responses

I made a minor change to the newsletter and as a result was flooded with auto-responses when it sent. What I learned about auto-responses is important to know.

Dislike a Service’s Recent Change? Remember, You are Not the Customer

When free services seem to change arbitrarily it’s easy to wonder if they’re paying attention to their customers. They probably are.

Amazement and Wonder? Really?

After a week of random problems I felt the need to remind myself of how how amazing and wonderful technology can really be.

How Fragile Things Can Seem

As regular readers know, I’m an advocate – often an annoyingly persistent advocate – for backing up. As I write this, it’s been kind of a rough week here at Ask Leo! world headquarters – not for me, but for some of the organizations and people that I support in my spare time. While the … Read more

Why do things that aren’t broken keep changing?

Online change is inevitable. The problem is, of course, when a service’s ‘improvements’ are viewed as just the opposite by some.

Hey! The World Didn’t End!

I reflect a little on the sudden realization that Windows XP’s end-of-support date came and went and … nothing happened.

Get Better, Faster Answers by Reading What’s in Front of You

I vent a little about people missing what’s right in front of them (including myself), and then discuss why taking the time to read what your machine is telling you is so important to a less frustrating experience with your technology.

Are We at Risk of Losing our Digital Information Over Time?

Technologies change, media wears out, hardware that we once took for granted becomes difficult to find. How does all this impact the archives of our digital lives?

Windows 8 Backup: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Windows 8.1 changed its included backup program. A tiny bit for the better, and a lot for the worse. I wrote a book on Windows 8.1 backup, but I’d rather you did something else.

Why Don’t Companies Answer My Email?

It’s not uncommon to feel like email messages to some companies just go into a black hole. I’ll look at some of the reasons that might be, and steps you can take to reduce the odds of it happening to you.

Is LastPass Still Secure?

LastPass recently disclosed a couple of already-fixed vulnerabilities. It appears that the vulnerabilities affected exactly no one. In my opinion LastPass remains secure. And in fact, the company should be lauded for its openness.

About that Facebook test…

Facebook did some testing. It’s made some people upset. What’s important to realize is that testing is ubiquitous on the web and happens in many different ways.

What’s the Technology Behind Ask Leo!?

Over the years the technology on which Ask Leo! is based has changed a little. I’ll give you an overview of the current state of affairs.

You Speak, I Listen

Over the past several weeks I’ve surveyed my newsletter readers. The response has been overwhelming, and it’s time to share some of the results and a few of my take-aways.

500 and change

As I mark the newsletter #500 milestone, I’ve elected to make a couple of minor changes to Ask Leo!. I’ll tell you what’s up, what’s changing, and why. I think you’ll like it.

Do We Really Need to “Get Used” to Things?

“Getting used to it” might not always be ideal, but being open to it can result in sometimes surprising improvements. Besides, you’re doing it already, almost every day.

Giving Away Our Privacy

We rail against intrusions into our private affairs and private information; and then post our private information publicly. Where’s the logic in that?

How I Deal With Inexplicable Change

Yes, I deal with frustrating changes as well. It’s not that I never get frustrated; it’s what I choose next that makes for a much happier experience.

Is There Room in the World for New Software Engineers?

Not just yes … hell yes! A question from a high school student has me talking about directions and opportunities in software engineering.

I Don’t Claim to be a Journalist

My background is most assuredly not journalism. I bring something else entirely to the table: experience.

Why I Don’t Do Negative Reviews

It’s exceptionally easy to go negative when things don’t work. I’ll discuss my philosophy about what I say about software and my recommendations.

My new toy

No, not my Mac. That’s a topic for another day. :-) I don’t normally talk much about  mobile technology because I tend to feel that I’m nowhere near an expert on the topic. Besides, there are plenty of other resources on the web for getting more qualified help. That being said, I recently upgraded my … Read more

Will April 9, 2014 be a Very Bad Day for Windows XP Users?

Prior to the end of support for Windows XP some are concerned that malware authors are sitting on a pile of malware ready to be unleashed that targets it.

I Know Less than You Think I Do

I know less than you think I do … but I make up for it with a very important skill. And it’s a skill anyone can benefit from improving.

Is Windows 8 a Disaster?

Windows 8 a disaster? I don’t think so. I react to running across that phrase and point out where I think Microsoft really did blow it.

The Problem with Online Reviews

Online review sites seem like a fantastic way to find out what restaurants and services others are having good experiences with. Unfortunately there’s a dark side, and accuracy could be suffering.

Windows XP Must Die! Long Live Windows XP!

Windows XP’s time is coming to an end. Like it or not, it’s time to move on. If you can’t (or won’t), I have some advice for you.

Auto-play Is Evil

Auto-play auto and video on the web annoys website visitors and forces them to download things that they don’t need or want. Why do so many sites insist that they know better?

Technical Support is Hard

I was thinking about it the other day and realized that Ask Leo! places me in the role of technical support engineer. Doing that has given me some insight into what it takes, how technical support can succeed, and why it fails so often.

Net Neutrality

I wasn’t going to talk about last week’s defeat of Net Neutrality mostly because everyone in the tech press seems to be doing it for me. I had a friend ask if I was going to say anything and my response was, “Probably not.” I tend to shy away from politics and it’s well beyond … Read more

Changes for the New Year

And… we’re back. Today’s newsletter is really the first of the year as the one from last week – The Top 10 of 2013 – was put together before the holidays. It’s somewhat ironic. I chose Embracing the Most Important Attitude, the article on change, as the one to run on New Year’s Eve not because … Read more

Pulling Fence Posts Using the Internet

So what does the internet really have to do with fence posts? It’s a great example that, among the twerking celebrities and cat memes, we have an incredible wealth of information right at our finger tips. I had a problem, and the internet helped me solve it.