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What Makes Ask Leo! Different?

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Transcript

So! What makes Ask Leo! Different?

Hi Everyone! I’m Leo Notenboom, and this is askleo.com.

Today’s video is going to be a little bit, I don’t know, self-indulgent, I guess. The reason I say that is, because I want to reflect a little bit about Ask Leo! and what it is I do and why I do it and more importantly how I do it. As you may know, a couple of weeks ago, I celebrated my 12th anniversary doing Ask Leo! – answering questions and writing articles and publishing books out on the internet for people to use – to help make technology work.

Now, there are a lot of other resources out on the internet to get technical help. I’m not alone; I’m certainly not the only one doing this, and I started thinking, “Why me?” What makes me different when I do Ask Leo!, when I publish Ask Leo!? And I came up with what I’ll call three major differences when I take a look at the tech support landscape.

The first is that Ask Leo! is Leo – it’s me – it’s all me. I have assistants that help me with the day-to-day filtering your comments and answering some of your questions and so forth and editing what I write and more, but ultimately, every written article on Ask Leo!, every word in my books, they’ve all been written by me. I don’t have writers; I don’t hire any of that out; I don’t ever accept guests posts on Ask Leo! which is apparently some kind of important thing to do for visibility. I choose not to do that. I want Ask Leo! to be Leo – to be me.

Second, my background, I think, is different than most. I’m not a journalist. I didn’t go to journalism school; I didn’t study writing or anything like that. I have an electrical engineering degree, and I started programming the moment I got my hands on a computer, literally almost the second I was introduced to a computer when I was in college.

It took off and I’ve been writing software or now writing about software ever since, but I’m not a trained journalist. I don’t have that background. What I have is the background of an engineer which I believe gives me a very different perspective on technology, on the kinds of questions that come out, on the kinds of answers that I might provide and on the ways of looking at computers and how they work and thinking about what it is they do and how they about go about doing it.

Like I said, I’m not a journalist and I think I do suffer from that in some other ways, but I think the perspective that I bring to Ask Leo! is something that is unique. It is something that makes Ask Leo! different.

And third, now this is not something I ever, ever would have predicted. Like I said, my background is engineering; I’m fundamentally – I’ve written software. I never expected to be a writer in the traditional sense, and yet, that’s what I am these days. I write more words in English than I do lines of code in software than ever before. And apparently, my style, my approach to explaining answers and questions resonates with a lot of people. That’s fantastic – I love that! I really do, but like I said, it’s not something I expected to do; it’s not something that I set out to do; it’s not something that I trained to do. It’s just something happened along the way.

Doing this now for twelve years seems to have given me some kind of affinity towards writing answers in a way that non-computer people can understand. And yeah, I understand that’s valuable, and I’m very grateful that I’m able to do that for so many people. And it is something that I believe sets me apart from a lot of technical support or resources that are out there. There are a lot of really, really good ones, and I’ll be asking about that in a minute.

But there are also a lot of really, really bad ones. Sometimes these support resources from major companies are just horrific in their template and geeky approach to their responses. Truly, they’re unhelpful. I try not to be that. I try to be someone who can explain things and demonstrate things in ways that are accessible to pretty much anybody.

So my question to you, because I’m always learning; I’m always trying to improve what it is I do, my question to you is this, who else do you look to for your technical support answers? When you’ve got questions about things that are happening on your machine or on your technology, whom do you turn to? Be it another website or a specific person or local assistance? I’d love to hear what kinds of resources in addition to Ask Leo! you’re looking to to help you get by with today’s technology; to help you solve the inevitable problems that come up from using today’s technology.

Ultimately, it boils down to: whom do you trust? I’m grateful, I’m honored, I truly am that you are here reading and watching Ask Leo! but I know I can’t be the only resource. I’d love to find out whom else you trust. Who else can I learn from as I do more this as I look forward to the next twelve years of doing Ask Leo! So let me know what you think. As always if you’re seeing this anywhere but on Ask Leo!, here’s a link. Go there, you’ll find this video on my site with the opportunity to comment down below. I would really love to hear what you think, who you turn to, where you get your answers in addition to Ask Leo and with that I will see you again next week!

Thanks again for being here. Take care, everyone.

86 comments on “What Makes Ask Leo! Different?”

  1. Well, locally, I’m the guy other people go to for help. As for where I go for help, I always start with a search on Ask Leo!, but that’s because since I work for Ask Leo! I, of course, want to point people to an Ask Leo article. The vast majority of times, I find the answer there. If not, I go to Google, and in the search results, I look to see if the links is to a website I already know and trust. To name a few of them:
    support.microsoft.com (not always the easiest to understand, but an answer on that page has good cred)
    sevenforums.com
    7tutorials.com
    howtogeek.com
    windowssecrets.com
    techrepublic.com
    pcworld.com
    sevenforums.com
    techsupportalert.com.
    There are more, but these are the ones that come to mind now. Perhaps I’ll add to this list as more come to mind.

    My immersion in the Ask Leo! website has helped me immensely in my troubleshooting. Just the other day, a friend was unable to get to most websites because of a certificate error. I remembered an article on that (https://askleo.com/why-am-i-getting-security-certificate-errors/) and looked at the time on his computer. It was off be a few years, and fixing this solved his problem. This is only one example of the things I’ve learned from Ask Leo!

  2. Hello Leo,

    Thanks for all you do for your tech readers such as myself.

    “Windows Secrets” is my other major source for computer tech info. I’ve mentioned this to you in a previous correspondence and you agreed that it was a great source of tech info. The third would be “About.com PC Support” by Tim Fisher.

    Sincerely,

    Chris. Moquin

  3. Hello Leo,

    You asked people to provide other resources to them for computer related problems. My main source is the Yahoo group CHAD (Computer Help and Discussion). I know you know of this group since I’ve been told you are a member. I find that most of my questions are answered there and I also learn from other’s questions and the answers to their questions.

    Other resources (in no particular order) include:
    How-to-Geek
    ZD Net
    CNet
    PC World
    PC Mag
    Dummies.com
    and others

    Further, like you I enjoy writing, working with computers (30 years in IT), and helping people. In that Yahoo group I mentioned I answer questions when I can, but I share information with the group from many sources (I subscribe to about 50 newsletters), to include Ask Leo! Of course, I site my sources and I get compliments and thank you’s from people for sharing the information that I do. I would really enjoy doing what you do – I just don’t know how to get started.

    Keep up the good work Leo – you are an inspiration to many people.

    Gil

  4. I use Google and follow the advice given on the sites that I recognize and respect. The list is the same as that of Mark Jacobs.

    I have asked you for help and you answered very quickly and honestly for a very tricky question. You are the only one that gave a very quick and honest answer…thanks.

    Ron

  5. I would throw in TheWindowsClub & MakeUseOf. I turn to AskLeo because Mr. Notenboom answers the questions with a “everyday” approach, as if speaking to a non-tech individual. That is extremely useful since I help people that aren’t computer savvy.

  6. I go to google mostly and read as many opinions as I can to figure something out, IF I don’t get an answer or response from ask leo.On occasion I get good advice from carey holzman.I will tell you the one place I have never gotten any solution and that’s microsoft.they should have all the answers I mean it’s their operating system after all.

  7. You come across as nice, and also ‘real’. No hype, or flash.
    Add to this, that you’re a treasure trove of understandable solutions that work, and you’re somebody I would follow, and have followed, for many years.
    Not sure, but I think I first found your page in ’08.

    I also follow howtogeek. For general tech news, I like ZDNet. For reviews, I still prefer CNET, but I won’t download anything from them.

    Also, I use Google a lot.

  8. Leo – I’ve been a subscriber for many years and always make sure to read each newsletter as it comes to my email. I do also subscribe to Bob Rankin and also Dave’s Computer Tips. When I have a tech problem I start with your site and then go to the other two for answers. If I can’t find satisfaction I then will go to sevenforums and howtogeeks.

  9. I love your site, Leo!! Another site I haven’t seen listed in the comments yet is http://www.askbobrankin.com. You were the one who introduced him to me & other than yours, his is the only tech newsletter I subscribe to. Another source of wonderful, clear, plain talk help is just about anything written by David Pogue. His help comes in the form of books (The Missing Manual series is awesome) & online articles. (Just Google David Pogue & the topic you have a question about.) Happy 12th anniversary!! I’m off to buy Leo some coffee to celebrate! https://store.askleo.com/product/buy-leo-a-latte/

  10. Hello Leo.

    In addition to Ask Leo, I also seek help from two other sources: The Helpful Book Company and Which? Computing magazine.

    Regards, Bryan (UK)

  11. I believe I discovered your site in ’07 and immediately subscribed. I have used many of the sources listed above but only after checking “askleo” first. The fact that when I read askleo I know that I am hearing from Leo greatly increases my confidence in your guidance. Your candor and honesty are obviously apparent and when you “trust” something, I know I can trust that as well.
    Thank you for your years of service.

  12. Hi Leo,

    I have no preconceptions, and read computing articles from a wide range of sources. It just happens that you have the knack of selecting highly relevant topics and then writing more authoritatively than the rest. So Ask Leo is my first port of call. After that it a question of judging the relevance and accuracy of whatever I can turn up on the net. Keep up the good work!

  13. Hi Leo,
    Been using your site and advice for several years now and have learned quite a bit. Other sites I use are PC World, Bob Rankin (whom I think you recommended in one of your articles) and Kim Komando. I also search thru Google.
    Thanks for all you do…you are appreciated!
    Tony

    • The nice thing about Kim Komodo is that one can send her questions. They either respond by email or if it’s interesting enough – they will ask you to call them to talk about it. Nice!

      • One thing I like about Kim Komando is that her newsletters (of which there are, admittedly, too many) remind you when it’s time to upgrade your software, especially browsers and operating systems. She isn’t as much fun as Leo, though.

  14. Leo: I’ve been a follower and user of your suggestions (i.e., Macrium) for about 4 years. I am a now retired double E with my feet into the computer industry in 1983. A very successful career with computers to the last day of employment. Now I try to keep up with the industry as I have many friends that assume I will always be the fountain of knowledge with computers. Of course unless you work ‘under the hood’ continuously, the industry leaves one behind with a rather large cloud of dust. You are my source of information and when I help someone, I always give your site address and suggest they go to you in the future. Of course they don’t but I will continue to do so as long as you are out there. My only other source of information is CNet but they have strayed far away from the site I trusted and believed in from the late 90’s on. They are more bottom-lined now than ever. I hope you will be here until my friends realize my advice is ancient and move on. Keep up all you do and how you do it. It is just what myself and all your other followers need.

  15. The other resources I use have already been mentioned but, in case you’re looking for trends, they are: (1) the Windows Secrets newsletter (premium edition and I particularly read columns written by Fred Langa and Susan Bradley) and forums and (2) Bob Rankin. I can’t remember when I started using these resources, but I do know Woody Leonhard’s newsletter didn’t include Fred Langa and wasn’t called “Windows Secrets” back then. Fred had his own “Langalist” in those days.

  16. If I have encountered an error code or other form of gibberish notification, I use google and bing searches. Actually, this is where I usually start. My results with consulting my hardware suppliers is very spotty. Sometimes they seem too know what they are doing but frequently they don’t. Some of the forums san seem like the blind leading the blind. It is a slow process. I review and number of articles and try to get some idea of what may be happening with my machine. Windows has lots of logs and settings, etc. which can be very confusing and cloud one’s understanding. Persistence usually helps me get onto the right track but if the matter is not really that important to me, I move on to other matters. I look forward to the weekly information on PC Pitstop (where I first learned of Ask Leo). I also receive daily news items from ZDnet and Kim Komando but this is more for staying current rather than to fix problems. Your information (news letters, articles, etc) is, by far, the most comprehensive and has been most helpful. You have helped me to understand and weigh options and to decide and implement strategies that will work for me.
    I really appreciate all your help…

  17. For sources other than Ask-Leo.com I tend to use Google searches and go to sites I have learned to trust over the years. Primarily those would be manufacturer/developer support sites, How-to-Geek, ZD Net, Cnet and PC mag. For security questions I will also check out Steve Gibson’s site at GRC.com.

    Thank you for your years of support to the community, through this site, and your books. All greatly appreciated.

  18. I am always looking forward to “Ask Leo” Thanks for your time and effort.
    Second I post on google with questions.
    Third I post questions on Sensig, senior computer club in Maryland.

    But thanks always for your time with all of us.

    Karl

  19. I have been a keen reader of Ask Leo for about 10 years. It was not too long after, that I decided Ask leo was my first place to go to with my question, not the last. I have no doubt that the main reason your Ask Leo site has continued to grow in popularity is through your straight forward answers (you were never a Nerd) to the cutting edge issues posed. In addition, your advice over the past while on Windows 10 has been first class and has caused me to wait for a couple more months before moving up from 8.1.
    I also consult the maker of any software I am having a problem with as well as following PC World. However, my problems are few these days due perhaps to software makers paying more attention to the quality of their products or my subscribing to a top tune-up software product plus my staying safe by following your often stated Internet safety rules.
    Keep up your good work Leo and thanks. Colin

  20. Ask Leo
    Ask Bob
    Groovypost
    Windows secrets
    Techrepublic
    Pcworld
    In that order. I like to figure out how to fix stuff myself so I check those resources first and do a broader search if I can’t find what I’m looking for. I’ve unintentionally become the de facto “help, my internet is broken” fixer among my group of friends & family.

  21. Other than Ask Leo, I receive:
    The daily comments from Bob Rankin,
    the premium weekly Windows Secrets Newsletter with emphasis on Susan Bradley and Fred Langa, plus
    PC Pitstop
    Thanks for all your efforts. They are appreciated

  22. I use Ask Leo and a number of other sites in order to learn about computing in general but for specific problems I usually start off with the forums in “Thinkbroadband” and in my ISP. Both of these sources have a number of knolegeable and patiently helpful people.

  23. My 46 years with the Dept of Defense (DoD) always involved some phase of “communications” – from operating, maintaining, deploying various equipments, to managing major communications upgrade programs throughout the world for the DoD. I had the good fortune to worked with many professionals who readily shared their knowledge and talents of whatever systems they worked with. For the last ten years of my career is when computers became so important to our daily business and again I was fortunate to attend schools and learn from these experts. I have been a reader of your weekly newsletters for years and appreciate the fine details and do to earth approach you always give. As I’ve read the previous comments, I can only echo that I’ve used many of the references already given, so no need to repeat them. I do some computer maintenance/repair work for our local community in New York – primarily my clients are folks in my age group and just enjoy some of the basics with computer, emails, web browsing, etc. Please continue with your fine newsletters, books, and videos – they are a tremendous help to all of us who are continuing to learn with each passing day! Warm regards!

  24. For instant gratification and help with my problems, I call the Geek Squad. I found out about them when I bought a computer at Best Buy a few years ago and have had really excellent help. They are not free, but the price is well worth it. I can’t say enough about the service I’ve had. Many of the general sites, some listed in previous comments, seem to have blanks after questions I’m looking for answers for, or the questions date to 2013 and still haven’t been “solved.” Another problem from general sites is that the “solution” is way beyond what I am comfortable doing to my computer (eg. rooting around in my registry.)

  25. Well, first I look in myself if I can solve a problem. If not then I prefer going to parent website. For example if its a question about Windows I look in Microsoft.com or If I am looking for some simple to understand answer I look into ASKLEO.Com AskBobRankin.Com, eHow.com, Howtogeek.com, Geek.com, LinuxFoundation. Wikipedia, Techcrunch.com etc. It depends on the type of question to which I am seeking answer. However, for a windows question, I refer askleo to my acquaintances.

  26. In the first place I try to figure it out myself when I run into an error or a problem. I have given myself a limit of three days on that since a while, otherwise it takes easily more than a week before I give up. I can imagine it is recognisable to anyone here :P……….isn’t it?

    Besides all the sources mentioned above I would also like to mention these three sites, very helpfull and easy te use/understand;

    SchoonePC
    Tweaking.com
    Tom’s Hardware

    With kind regards,

    Marloes

  27. Leo,

    You ask an honest question and you deserve an honest answer. You get the questions because people recognise that you are human. You answer in a human way – no tricks, no technojargon – just plain, honest answers.

    That is why I have directed my brother in NC to subscribe – I live in Spain – but he still comes to me first, despite my saying, “Have you tried AskLeo?”

    If I cannot resolve his problem (most of which we in the Royal Air Force identified as “finger trouble”) I then turn to you and your website.

    An ever-present help in times of trouble.

    Please – keep up the good work

  28. Where else do I go? Mostly Microsoft, Firefox and the community forums. Sometimes the computer manufacturer (rarely, not really trusted, sometimes directly to the software supplier, odd times to magazines like PCWorld and even more rarely to download sites like CNET (both of these with prodigious quantities of salt to temper). Cheers

  29. YOU have been the only one I can understand what and how to do for problems with my computer ability. Other sites I check out to see if I am on the right track are microsoft, google, cnet, windows secrets, winpatrol. I appreciate the effort what you do for all of us in helping solve problems and understanding the workings of the software. Thanks again for all you do…just don’t stop!

  30. Leo
    I use Kim Kommando who sends out daily emails as well as a local young man who used to be a high school student and is now in college for Chem Engineering. Also use the internet for specific problems.
    They keep me going.
    I find your articles very well written and most useful.
    Keep up the good work
    Tom

  31. Dear Leo,
    I have looked to you to help me for many years. I am 93 years old and my family gave me a PC and later gave me an IPad and between the two of them I get myself into one jam after another. I have had spells with vertigo and I am having trouble with my short term memory so I have had to keep relearning as I CK IN with about 90 friends every morning. You are my only help and I have a son who comes to visit at times and he is a great help to get me out of some of the jams I get myself into. I am learning again by repetition. Thank you for keeping me in your list of faithful followers. You have been a great help to me. Thanks again,
    Miss Doris.

  32. I don’t remember who first told me about Ask Leo, but I do trust your advice. I used Acronis and now Macrium for back ups. I am a salesperson that has been responsible for my own IT support for almost 10 years. I work from a home office and use some proprietary software (Sage Act! CRM) to manage my customer contacts. I also use Microsoft Outlook 2003 and CompanionLink and DejaOffice via Google to make the data available on my Samsung Galaxie 3 phone. When I need help I also turn to Bob Rankin and Gizmo’s http://www.techsupportalert.com/. Also sometimes my son-in-law who is computer security tech guy. Thank you for all you do to make our lives a bit easier.

  33. I worked with computers since the 70’s, but saw the writing on the wall in 1981 when IBM launched its Personal Computer. In those days: “No IT manger ever got sacked for buying IBM”! So I bought one, and have been hooked on PCs ever since. I’m not sure when I discovered “Ask Leo”. but he rapidly became my mentor. Thank you Leo!! For the rest… I check How-to-Geek, and AskBob, and CNet. But I pay the most attention to Leo.

  34. Thanks for all that you do Leo,

    As an ancient computer user dating to the 1954 SAGE computer –
    I too find many of the sites mentioned useful.
    My some of my favorites are:
    Sysinternals web site
    Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird Forums
    Windows 10 Forums including the tutorials
    Microsoft Community Answers
    Spybot Safer Networking Forums
    HP Support Forums
    Computer Hope Forums – Very Useful if one wishes to use DOS

    Regards
    Frank Camp

  35. Hello Leo;
    One of the reasons I subscribe to your emails is that you take your time to explain pc stuff in detail,and I think that super.You provide loads of info,and I often take your advice,as do my friends.The other reason is I happen to trust your judgement.
    The other site that I used to go was:

    http://www.learnthenet.com/index.php

    However,they do not seem to update their site often.

    Thank you for doing what you do,alot of us appreciate it! 🙂

    –James,Kitchener Ontario-

  36. Your website and newsletter are great. I very much appreciate the information and answers to questions that you provide. I recommend your website and newsletter to friends who are tech enthusiasts. The answers and information made available by you Leo are excellent. I would recommend that you start charging for access to your newsletter. I realize that this is very tricky because you do not want to lose your readership clientele. However, give some thought to starting the revenue stream with a model something like the Windows Secrets model. I send those individuals $45 US each and every year. This allows me to read their paid content section and that is okay. In terms of the resources I use to keep up to date with technology the list is as follows:
    Ask Leo
    Experts Exchange
    Windows Secrets
    How to Geek
    About.com PC support by Tom Fisher
    Bob Rankin
    Google…with specific questions
    I am a retired chemistry teacher and have been doing computer tech support for the past 8 years. One other thing Leo…thanks for the tips re Macrium Reflect. I have now started to use it and I find that it is excellent.
    Best regards,
    Richard Christensen
    Toronto, Ontario

  37. Leo,

    I turned to my IT specialist son, who was the one who told me about Ask Leo. You have a rare gift for being able to explain technobabel. I also am humbled. I have a post graduate degree, but know what it feels like to be illiterate when it comes to reading about computer concepts via google searches! You help with that.

    It is interesting that you mention that you never intended this direction for your life. This is often the case, and I suspect there are other forces at play which help us get to where we are intended to be, depending on your belief system of choice. For example, my son, the IT guy, was completing a Master’s in English, teaching, and working in a bar. He meets an owner of a computer firm who hires him because he can write and relate with people. Now he uses his writing and people skills to help explain computer concepts to people in small organizations for his firm’s clients. Who would have guessed?

    Looks like you have found your niche. I wouldn’t worry about not being a journalist. You are able to communicate well, both in written format, and in video. Also a more hard to define characteristic is one of honesty, and you give evidence of how you think about issues to arrive at your conclusions. That is, your “teachings” are not hanging in mid-air, but are grounded. So, in short, Ask Leo works, and works well.

  38. I don’t agree with your attitude towards internet privacy. However I believe you’re saying what you think, and not just spouting what someone has paid you to say. That’s pretty close to trusting you, and as a hardened cynic it makes you special to me.
    I do check Howtogeek, BleepingComputer and Windows Secrets as well as the forums
    but I would truly miss Ask Leo if you went away. You write nicely too, for an engineer.

    William

    • I don’t want everyone to agree with me. I don’t claim to be 100% right … or perhaps more importantly, 100% right for everyone. I love when people leave well thought out comments that take a different position. I learn, and my readers benefit greatly.

  39. Some resources I use occasionally include:

    arstechnica.com
    tomshardware.com
    anandtech.com
    sharkyextreme.com
    windowssecrets.com
    askbobrankin.com
    infopackets.com

    Often though, I start by googling the error message or symptom, and just click on the links that look the most promising. That can lead me to some of the sites above, or to any number of other internet fora where people discuss these kinds of things at various levels of technical expertise.

  40. Ask Leo is my first choice for asking a question and has always been so for some years now, but I do subscribe to Dave’s Computer Tips and Windows Secrets.
    There have been a number of others, but from time to time I simply have to cull the flow of emails arriving daily, so yours and those two are the ‘survivors’ !
    I am not even confident that I have actually submitted any question to anyone other than Leo, and am delighted to say there has always been a response.
    Keep up the good work.
    Ken

  41. I always look to Ask Leo for help and trust your information. I also go to Kim Komando and World Start Tech Tips and Computer Helps.

  42. Leo, I’ve been following you for a few years now. Reading about you opens up more info. Seems that you have found a new line of work so to say. I have forgotten so much about DOS since windows, and since laptops I have not built a work station since 2005. Started building computers from parts in 1988. My background,
    musician, Bass player, retired after a bad recording deal and all bands had the same thinking, “Lets make Records” so I became a machinist, mechanical electrical engineer till that job went to Mexico, then helped a friend of the family out, was to be a 6 month deal selling Allen Bradley products, well 20 years later being a Motor Control Specialist, AC/DC Drives specialist, helping engineers engineer systems at the desk level, then a PLC specialist, and on and on with the titles. Finally 20 years later I had to get back in the dirt and quit. Worked for a small electrical contractor but needed an OEM, found Elco Motor Yachts. Started building electric boats in 1893, so I discovered electric boats in 2006 and now we design 3 phase AC electric inboard and outboards for the commercial, recreational boaters, fisherman and NYS Canal Corp for their Tug boats. As to who I go to for computer issues, well I read your blogs, past info since I have forgotten so much and now only use lap tops. By the way I am still using XP SP3, I upgraded to win7Pro in 2009, spent 4 hours on an electrical infrastructure for a fish farm an all of their electrical services including the MCC and Switch gear. My CAD program I was using was NOT Win7 compatible, It had to reload XP and locate all the drivers with a new HDD and took me 4 days to recover from that to get the drawings redone. I will run XP till I die. I have Win7Pro at work, I an still running XP Mode virtually with my CAD programs and that works just fine. I will never upgrade to Win10. I am done with MS at this point of my life. I like Win31, forced to Win95, refused all other upgrades till forced to XP, LOVE XP SP3. SO when SHTF I will be pestering you for help to keep my CAD programs working with what ever system I need to virtually deal with. You have been a very valuable resource for me. I hope you keep doing this for a long time to come for us that either have forgotten everything, and those that are starting and the ones in the middle. So Thank you for having this and making yourself available for us all!!

    Thank you!!!

    Jim & Judy

  43. Who I trust? I type my issue into Google, and evaluate and usually try several solutions.

    You ask what interests users. I am fascinated hearing a computer issue because I may be a hero (fix it). Equally fascinating- watching a line-up of computers at your workshop entrance, and me viewing your questioning & thought process towards resolving issues. Both fun and a free education!

  44. The places I go to immediately are my computer assistant, Google, your books and sheets and just about all of the named resources that others have listed, although I have gleaned a couple of new ones. What are my interests? Learning new things! It was passed on to me by my dad, learn something new each day and the day is complete. For me the computer and it’s operational capabilities provide me with an endless supply of “something new”.
    Thank you Leo, I’ve offered you more than one question over the years, they were all answered quickly, (MS or no one else can boast of that achievement) and in easy to understand terms although back in 09 during that blizzard…..lol.

  45. Hi Leo

    I live in England and read your articles everyweek, as you say I find them clear and informative.

    If I have a problem with my computing I will search, using Google for an answer and also use your excellent resource to see of you have answered my particular problem. The most recent help I’ve got from you is how to use Macrium Reflect prior to installing Windows 10 and boy I’m glad I did.

    So keep up the good work and I hope we’ll see out the next 12 years together.

  46. Hi Leo,
    I’ve been a subscriber of your’s for a bunch of years. Sorry, I do not keep track of such information like others do. I will say that on the occasions when I do write to you, you or somebody has returned a reply in what I would think is a timely manner. I’m very grateful. So please don’t change anything. Do what you do best. The old says still stands, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

    However, having said the above, I do subscribe to “Ask Bob.com”. He or someone from his site has also been helpful.

    And as someone else said I do use Google for answers, but am cautious of answers found on that medium. I do check out Microsoft’s site for answers as well.

    I’m quite old and computer challenged so I really do need your and the others mentioned answers.

  47. First of all- thank you Leo and to all your wonderful assistants for keeping this blog page up to date.

    Since I am working at a major University as an Information Systems Engineer I have the luxury of getting help (computer related topics) from the help desk staff should this be necessary. My other option is to call my buddies from work and discuss the problems/issues during times when the help desk is not available. But there is a limit of what they can help me as these people are there to help students, faculty and staff on computer issues affecting their daily work and not on a personal basis.

    I also seek help on the internet and from various web sites such as How-to-geek.com, Window Secrets.com, PC World.com, Dummies.com & many times attend meetings held by computer user groups such as the WADBUG (Washington Area DataBase Users Group) & many others. Although this is more geared towards DataBase users, one will get a lot of wealthy information by attending their monthly meetings.

    I hate web sites that ask you to post your question(s) to their forum BUT never seems to get a reply from any viewers.

    That is why I like AskLeo because the questions posted will get answered in a reasonable time which assures me that somebody is reading your post and taking it seriously!

    *************************************************************************************************************
    >>>>> there is a viewer Karl Menzei whose post is Sept 1 @ 9:51 am mentioning a senior computer club in Maryland. I wonder if he can let me know more info on how I can join their activities such as attending their meetings, monthly dues, etc? You can contact me at my email address {email removed] AND does this club meet in Bethesda, Md?
    ***********************************************************************************************************+

    Thanks a bunch

  48. I discovered your work through my subscription to Randy Cassingham’s “This is True” newsletter. In addition, I have trusted Fred Langa since he was publishing his “LangaList” independently, and now follow him on the “Windows Secrets” newsletter. I appreciate all the other resources on “Windows Secrets” as well. Further, I regularly read the “Lifehacker” blog and find a lot of useful information there. Thanks so much for YOUR work, Leo!

  49. “I write more words in English than I do lines of code in software than ever before. ” I worked in this crazy racket for 38 years – – starting with punched cards but I never wired boards or could run tab equipment!

    My simple rule when hiring someone was if they cannot communicate with people using the written word then I’m not going to hire them. In my area, 10 percent was coding, 50 percent was testing (programmers never have been good at that), 30 percent managing and scheduling and finally 10 percent begging for authorization to hire people that were better than me. I think my first sentence in this paragraph states clearly why I enjoy your column.

    Want to come and work at my museum as a volunteer to the volunteer curator(that’s me) who had 2 computers and all the wifi he can borrow from the neighbors? I get a 100% increase every year and I could guarantee you the same thing (RIGHT!).

  50. For my technical support answers I do a Google search first and usually find what I need.
    Other news letters that I read regularly, apart from Ask Leo, are Bob Rankin, MakeUseOf, Linuxquestions, and How-to Geek.
    I am a retired Electronics Technologist and like to keep abreast with new technology. If it weren’t for these news letters, I would not know what problems others are facing; especially problem I do not come across. One example is Windows 10. No, I do not intend to upgrade as yet! I am a happy Ubuntu man!!!
    Thank you, Leo, for your news letters. Keep them coming.

  51. Here’s my list (purely alphabetical order–except for my #1 source: AskLeo!):
    AskLeo
    7Tutorials.com
    AskBobRankin.com
    Bleeping Computer
    Fred Langa
    How-to-Geek
    Majorgeeks
    NirSoft
    PC Magazine
    Sevenforums.com
    Susan Bradley
    Sysinternals web site
    Techrepublic.com
    Windows Secrets
    ZD Net

  52. Hi Leo
    I read just Ask Leo.
    I don’t want to go through the process of finding out if another website is as good unless I can’t find what I want here.
    Well I can. It’s that simple.
    Dave

  53. I’m late with this–away from computers for a few days–but perhaps I can add a little, beside agreeing with the high praise everyone has for Ask Leo. An 83-yr-old retired cardiologist whose feeble attempt to achieve geekdom peeked with Basic and MSDOS batch programming back in the 1980’s, my sources of help are my geeky son (who, unfortunately is a Mac and Linux chauvinist), software tech support (I agree it is rarely helpful, but Macrium has proved to be a happy exception on two occasions), books by David Pogue and a few others, and, primarily, since I discovered your website two years ago, Ask Leo. When those sources can’t help, I hunt for ideas by Googling very specific problems such as error messages (e.g., “Windows Not Genuine error 0x8004fe21”) and then carefully evaluating the many hits, which range from off-the-wall (mostly) to heaven-sent, like the following example.

    About a week after I cloned my Windows 7 system to a new hard drive, Windows Activation Technologies messages began to appear, saying “This computer is not running genuine Windows.” Among the many crackpot recommendations my Googling found a handful of posts whose sources seemed to know their stuff. I chose one, a Brit by the name of Noel D Paton at https://social.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/home, who had solved several similar problems as shown by transcripts of dialogues with other supplicants like me. There proved to be several possible causes, but, after he read the report of MGADiag which he told me to run, his very first diagnosis proved to be correct: during the cloning process Intel Rapid Storage Technology drivers had become corrupted, and reinstalling them cured my problem. (Why the heck did bad drivers make Microsoft accuse me of piracy and try to sell me another copy of Windows? Just to make me appreciate geeks even more, I suppose.)

  54. Hi Leo,

    I allready learned a lot just by reading your solutions and recommendations.

    I must confirm : you are indeed unique in the way you do it.
    I have indeed some other sources where I’m looking for support.

    Tech Guy in the USA also

    Menno Schoone in the Netherlands who is writing incredible good handbooks on every windows coming out.
    (also on Windows 10.)

    Just 1 thing : how do I get some of your books and how do I pay for it. Is it possible to pay with a Visa card?

    Thanks for all the info I get from you .
    Best regards

    Louis.

    • Leo book are available through The Ask Leo! Store. Payment is possible via Visa, Master Card, Discover, American Express and PayPal. There is also a link on that page to get the book through Amazon if you prefer a hard copy (physical book).

  55. Dear Leo, I’m a regular, long-time, subscriber reader (and now listener) of Ask Leo. I really appreciate and thank you for your concise, helpful, clear, easy to understand, and professional tips, tricks and help articles … so I turn to you first when I have a question. If my question or dilemma has not been addressed by you, I turn to Ask Bob (Rankin) and if not there, I turn to the internet (Google or Bing) for help. THANKS for your wonderful help and your site . Tommy

  56. When I found you, I realized that you too were helpful – others for me are (1) local people although when I ask them a question, it’s usually something they too don’t know; (2) Gizmo’s – LO as well – which checks programs for what they do, whether they are clean & allows others to comment with pros, cons, & alternatives.

  57. Hi Leo:

    Ask Leo is #1 followed by Bob “Tourbus” Rankin. I also use Macrium Reflect and am now running Windows 10.

    Gene Cote

  58. Numero Uno is ask Leo!
    My other three primary resources are Experts Exchange, Windows Secrets, and bleeping computers. There are a small handful of others but that really covers the bases for me most of the time. I love the way you write, and as one who also has a talent for explaining geeky things in non geeky ways, I love your clear simple methods of describing causes and solutions. I have been working with computers for over 30 years and have a small consulting business providing computer support to a small handful of local clients. Keep up the great work!

  59. Unquestionably Ask Leo is different and for the best. I can’t be more grateful for all your teachings .. I bought your books also and they are superb also and I follow your advice regularly; and I am glad I do! I have been reading your newsletter for now 5+ years.

    This day and age, newsletter like yours are very very rare. They are accurate, genuine, and full of real usable info. Best of all info is no BS and no nonsense crap.

    Also, you explain concepts very well and writing is not an easy skill. You do well with that also.

    Thanks again and very grateful again.\

    kirit dave

  60. I echo all that the rest have said but would like to add emphasis to the “honest” part mentioned by one post. I initially found leo when Googled a problem I had, and that was over 10 years ago. I have received every mail out since and always read the whole lot. Leo has been instrumental in my transition from a “dummy” to a proficient computer user today. Often times when reading fixes online you have to wonder how trustworthy the info is and if there are any hidden motives. I would like to say I have always had a “gut” feeling about Leo from the start, and this has been backed up by many years of the best generous advice out there on all facets of computering. So apart from all the rest, I say his honesty is his greatest asset of character. I must confess though; I dont tell others about Leo, because if I do, then they will become as smart as I am on the computer lol and take my glory. Sorry leo but thanks mate… mike from Oz.

  61. I use two sources for computer problems, other than Ask Leo: Worldstart and Tech Support Forums. Otherwise, I just do a search using Google. Those results can be the least helpful, either because I give up too soon or that the information just doesn’t fit.

    I had a problem with a Word document, and I used Tech Support Forums, forgetting about Ask Leo. I was on a time table, and I didn’t have time to really wait for a response from either of the other sites.

  62. Hello Leo,
    What I appreciate the most in your newsletters is understandable answers to what many times are complex problems or questions. More importantly is that you do not attempt to “sell” a product with each answer. I feel that the products that you occasionally recommend are well researched and have been used by you personally. I only use the Ask Leo website as I respect your professionalism and trust your answers.
    Thanks for all you do, Bob

  63. I use Kim Komando and receive daily emails. Some of the material is very helpful much is worthless stuff about non tech issues. Because of that I am about to fire her.
    I love Leo because it is easy to review and select the item of interest. Material is answered in straight forward way.
    Keep up the good work.

  64. Hi Leo ,

    I kept this video saved for when I could listen to it without other things being on my mind and then I forgot about it .
    I wrote to you a week or so ago in two other places because I couldn’t get thru to you on Ask Leo . I had a terrible
    experience with AVG . It put a virus on my computer and I had to take my computer to the repair shop to have Windows
    re-installed . I will now repeat what I said before that I feel that you are the best . You are human and we , your
    subscribers can feel that . And there is also something cozy about you . Those other people out there whose names
    I will not mention are more concerned about their egos and their qualifications . I am sure you get the picture .

    I still want to see your face on the cover of Time Magazine one day .

    Peggy

  65. I got a lot of advice on Compuserve, but not lately. After reading a lot of AskLeo advice, I now know everything. You have created a genius. I still read all your tips. I could have used your advice when I started working on computers in 1969, but you were probably focusing on diapers at the time. cecil

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