Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

It's time for a year-end round up of Ask Leo!'s most popular articles. I'll present two lists this year: most read and most commented on.

Yep, it's time for yet another year-end round up.

This year's summary actually threw me a couple of surprises as I compiled the numbers. A last minute entry made a huge showing.

Rather than just look at how often a page was visited this year, I'll also take a look at 2012's top 10 most commented-on articles. That's where things get interesting.

Most Visited Articles

I, of course, assume that a "visit" means that the visitor has taken the time to actually read the article, but of course we can't know that for sure (just like knowing whether or not someone's read your email Smile).

  1. I accidentally deleted my Recycle Bin in Vista - how do I get it back? It turns out to be fairly easy to accidentally delete the desktop Recycle Bin in Vista. Getting the Recycle Bin back is easy, just not obvious.

  2. How do I configure my static IP address? Once you've been assigned a static IP address, you'll need to configure the network-connected device manually to use it. We'll look at how.

  3. What's the difference between a hub, a switch, and a router? Hubs, switches, and routers are all computer networking devices with varying capabilities. Unfortunately, the terms are also often misused.

  4. How do I fix a cyclic redundancy check error when I try to copy a file? CRC errors happen when there's a bad spot on the media of your hard disk. Data recovery and disk repair are often possible with the right tools.

  5. My Taskbar is missing and I have no Start button - what do I do? We'll look at solutions for several reasons that could make the Taskbar and Start button disappear.

  6. How do I close my Windows Live Hotmail account? It's easy to close a Windows Live account, including Hotmail. I'll show you the steps, but then ask: why bother closing the account?

  7. How do I recover my Facebook log in password? If you've lost your Facebook login password, there are a couple of ways to recover it or at least recover access to Facebook.

  8. Someone's sending from my email address! How do I stop them?! Email spoofing is rampant. Spammers often send email that looks like it came from you. And there's little that you can do about it.

  9. Where is my Outlook "PST" file located? Outlook's PST or Personal STore is a single file that holds your email, contacts, and more. You can use Outlook itself to find the location of the file.

  10. How do I change my Windows Live Hotmail password? How to change your Hotmail password isn't always obvious, particularly when Windows Live keeps changing. I'll walk through changing your Hotmail password.

The list reads like a top-10 list of common computer-related problems - everything from simple accidental errors to hacked email, lost passwords, and of course, the ubiquitous Hotmail password question. (For those new to Ask Leo!, Hotmail has been at the top of the most-active list for most of the sites nine year history.)

Unlike last year, which had a high number of email-theft related articles making it to the top 10, this year's list is much more varied. The most viewed articles clearly represent people coming to Ask Leo! with a problem in hand and (hopefully) finding their solution here.

Then, there are the folks who share their experiences and opinions...

Most Commented-On Articles

This view on what has people talking is new this year. This is simply based on the raw counts of comments made this year on any of the articles on Ask Leo!.

  1. Why I bought my wife a Mac My wife's computer was struggling and it was time to replace it. After evaluating her usage, her willingness to make a change or two and my own experience, I made a decision that might surprise some.

  2. Is Microsoft Shutting Down Hotmail? No. Well, maybe someday. No, more like kind of. With characteristic confusion, Microsoft has introduced Outlook.com and positioned it to replace Hotmail. Sort of.

  3. Why does my computer turn itself back on from standby? Normally, a computer in standby should remain there until you turn it back on. I'll look at a few of the possible reasons why it might wake up early.

  4. How do I recover my Facebook log in password? If you've lost your Facebook login password, there are a couple of ways to recover it or at least recover access to Facebook.

  5. Email Hacked? 7 Things You Need to do NOW Email account theft is rampant. If it happens to you, there are several steps that you need to take not only to recover your account, but to prevent it from being easily hacked again.

  6. Why I don't like System Restore System Restore is a pretty nifty feature in concept. In practice, I see it have too many problems to feel comfortable relying on it.

  7. Just what are Windows 7's 'Libraries' and how do they work? Libraries are a feature added to Windows 7 that allow multiple folders to viewed as if they are one. It's not new, but it can be very confusing.

  8. One change you should make to Windows Explorer right now to stay safer. Windows Explorer tries to help by hiding some information. Unfortunately, that opens a hole that hackers can use to fool you.

  9. Why you should never blindly trust an online recommendation (even mine) A reader left a snide remark about one of my recommendations, but it actually raised an important point about recommendations you might find online – there are many opportunities for abuse.

  10. The Most Important Skill The most important skill for everything from getting your computer fixed to becoming a highly paid professional may not be what you think it is.

Given that the #1 most commented on article was posted on December 23rd, eight days before the end of the year, it seems to have struck quite a chord with many, many people. Apparently, I'm not the only one who thinks that language skills matter.

Article C6190 - December 29, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

14 Comments
Ray B
January 1, 2013 8:38 AM

I read "The Most Important Skill" and I agree completely. When I was in college, my English teacher told me I could be a great technical writer; I eventually settled on repairing medical equipment, which is a fascinating field in and of itself. My 20-year-old son is taking college classes and he flunked his latest English class. He also thinks he needs to know only enough to "get by". Phooey! He is going to read your article today.

Kevin
January 1, 2013 10:12 AM

Think I read all your articles in 2012 and think I have learned a lot. Best wishes for 2013.

Mark J
January 1, 2013 10:34 AM

The Most Important Attitude which was posted only six days before the end of the year has ended the year in second place.

Rod
January 1, 2013 1:50 PM

During his lifetime, my father was an educator (he taught high school English, Speech & Social Studies) and an ordained Baptist minister. He was my teacher in English & Speech. If I learned nothing else, he taught me the importance of the ability to converse and write in my native language (English). Therefore, I agree with everything you discuss in your article "The Most Important Skill" 110%. I discovered your website through a link in the website of a friend of yours "Big Geek Daddy". I have thoroughly enjoyed your News Letters. The have been both informative and entertaining. Keep up the good work and I'll be looking forward to 2013. I have a feeling it's gping to be a good year.

Lucy
January 1, 2013 1:58 PM

Leo .... Thanks for all the great articles throughout another year.

I have often wondered if you read all the comments that are posted on your articles.

I guess I'll find out today by whether you add an Editor's Note to this comment.

A Happy and Prosperous 2013 to you and yours.

Well, not "today", but certainly within a few days. Smile
Leo
03-Jan-2013

Mark J
January 1, 2013 3:16 PM

@Lucy
As one of Leo's assistants, I can assure you that Leo reads all of the comments on every article and every question that gets sent. Unfortunately, he doesn't have time to respond to all of them.

Snert
January 1, 2013 7:29 PM

Thank's Mr. Leo, for doing this. You help a lot more people than you know

You read ALL the comment on EVERY article? Makes me wonder if there's two of you to get done all you do.

James
January 2, 2013 6:47 AM

Being a numbers person, it would have been interesting to see the numbers that go with these top 10 lists.

Elizabeth
January 2, 2013 9:14 AM

What a great service you provide!! Just wish you had a REALLY simple site for us "old ladies" who need help, but not able to decipher the basic computer language. But, on the whole, you are to be commended for having such a site and being able to help so many people. Insert Big Bear hug here.

Robert
January 2, 2013 9:46 AM

Hi Leo,

Thanks for the dual list - most visited as well as most commented. I knew from the moment I read the intro that the #1 commented article would be the one about English. Talk about striking a nerve!

Happy New Year to you & yours!

BTW, I really enjoyed your blog about the soldering iron :^)

Alex Rozy
January 2, 2013 8:11 PM

Leo ... You ROCK!!!

The MOST Important THING You give US is : Inclusiveness - if that is even a word ... but I hope you get my point.

From Almost Geeks to Wah ... you have US all covered.

3rd Most Important Skill? ... Ability to Simplify?
If that is even a word ... you get it!

So Yes you can write a NOVEL ... If you can Simplify to such an extent so as to appeal to a broad spectrum of people ... then you can WRITE!! And that is a Compliment Sir!!

BTW what about this skill - Ability to generate NEW Ideas?

Neways, where do I stand ... I read your stuff and I am like yeah I know that and that and THAT and .... Wait-a-Minute WHAT? I DID not Know That? Holy WTF ... how come I did not know THAT?

A Very Happy New Year!!

I Hope This Year is Better and Brighter for You and Your Family!!

Thanks,
Alex

Joseph
January 2, 2013 9:49 PM

Thank you Leo. Happy New Year to you, your family, and all your readers. Keep up the good work.

Burt Tyrell
January 3, 2013 7:23 AM

Yet another year passes us by, gosh how do you keep pace with time .Yiur articles are so good , and i personally thank you for all that you have done for us during 2012,cured many folks problems , answered many questions , let us hope that the coming year will be the same from Leo.
So my personal thanks for your excellent writing , and I am sure that all your fans wish you and family , also your helping hands (if any)a very HAPPY and healthy NEW_YEAR. Burt3rd Jan 2013

Tom
January 7, 2013 11:47 AM

Just wanted to say THANKS for sharing your knowledge with us less fortunate :-) Your patience is amazing. Here's to a happy new year of continuing to learn things about these machines in order to have fun on them instead of wanting to toss 'em out the window.

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