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

The results of my reader survey of popular tech newsletters that you might be interested in.

I recently asked the readers of the Ask Leo! newsletter this question:

What other tech, email newsletters do you subscribe to, or find valuable?

Here are the most popular responses, as mentioned by my readers.

First, I do have to say "Thank You!" to everyone who said "just Ask Leo!", and variations there of. I'm glad you're finding what I do helpful.

Here are the top five vote getters:

  1. Windows Secrets is a very popular newsletter in its own right, and it's grown in recent years by acquiring or merging with Fred Langa's "LangaList", and Ian "Gizmo" Richards' "Support Alert" newsletter. Windows Secrets tends to be just a tad more techie in general, though Fred Langa's and Gizmo's sections are often better targeted at the average computer user. Windows Secrets has both a paid and free version, and online archives.

  2. The Internet Tourbus, by my friend Bob Rankin, is a twice-weekly newsletter that's been publishing since ... well, since a long, long time ago in internet terms: 1995. Bob also runs Ask Bob Rankin (gee, that sounds like a familiar concept! Smile), and the articles he writes there also appear in the Tourbus.

  3. Kim Komando has a popular national radio show (not surprisingly, "The Kim Komando Show") where she answers technical questions on the air. Naturally, I'd heard of her long ago (and it seems only recently that her show reappeared in my radio market), but I didn't realize that she'd branched out into email newsletters to the degree she has. Hers is a daily newsletter with lots of tips and tricks that I assume both come from, and compliment her radio show. (She actually has several newsletters with a single sign-up.)

  4. Tech Bite by former PC World columnist Steve Bass, who, to quote his site: "writes weekly commentary on the technology products he loves, the strategies for getting the most out of them, and the gotchas that can cause computing misery plus a couple of weekly laughs." Steve always has a number of good tips and tricks (though personally I think his "time wasters" section probably gets the most hits, and might even be his true passion - and darn it if I didn't waste some more time myself after just visiting the most recent issue. Smile)

  5. Tech Republic is actually a blog/forum/publication site, owned and operated by the tech publishing powerhouse ZDNet. It shows up in this list because they offer a fairly wide variety of different topical email newsletters. While most are targeted at tech professionals ("The Web's largest community of IT leaders"), publications aimed at Windows XP or Windows Vista and 7 can still include a fair amount of interesting information for a lot of people.

I found it interesting to note that I'd already subscribed to three of the top 5, but as is always the case, I get to learn things from my readers and have subscribed to the other two as well.

In no particular order, I wanted to throw out a few "honorable mentions" that were also high ranking responses from the list of around 200 different publications (and websites):

  • Ask The Computer Lady is published by Elizabeth Boston. She targets the average computer user with helpful answers and tips.

  • Neat Net Tricks is an interesting publication that includes a few tricks, but is perhaps most valuable for the list of useful software and utilities it presents each week.

  • PC Pitstop's Tech Talk newsletter combines a blend of their own articles and content with that from other newsletters, including my own, for an interesting mix of topics. (Disclaimer: PC Pitstop is a regular advertiser in the Ask Leo! newsletter. No product endorsement express or implied, yadda, yadda, lawyers.)

  • And I'd be completely remiss if I didn't mention Word Tips and Excel Tips by my good friend Allen Wyatt. Focusing on these two Microsoft Office products, these publications - both free and premium - offer a wealth of information about what are two incredibly complex pieces of software.

Thanks again everyone for the input! If you happen to run across a valuable resource that you're convinced everyone must see, drop me a line and I'll have peek.

Article C4122 - January 17, 2010 « »

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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?

28 Comments
Kevin Savetz
January 17, 2010 11:18 AM

For MacOS users, you can't beat TidBITS, which has been publishing weekly for 20(!) years. Subscribe to the newsletter mailing list at http://emperor.tidbits.com/manageListSubs

James
January 18, 2010 5:05 AM

I like this site:
[email address removed] worldstart.com
They send me an interesting newsletter about once a week. It contains lots of tips and good links.

Les Millgate
January 19, 2010 12:08 PM

http://www.pctoptips.co.uk/

John Williams
January 19, 2010 12:34 PM

and of course ask leo

Robert
January 19, 2010 12:38 PM

onlinesubscriptions<at>computoredge.com (replace the <at> with @) I have been reading this publication since about 2000 when I was in school for my AA in Network Enginnering. Back then it was on paper. Great resource for parts and articles. Many of the articles are aimed at current working Professionals but there are many articles that will appeal to the layman as well.

Karen McCain
January 19, 2010 12:49 PM

Protonic.com has been an absolute lifesaver for me. Unlike many "forums", you don't have to sift through the opinions of several "techs". ONE of many techs will take your question & keep e-mailing back & forth til your problem is solved. It is free but asks for a rating of each tech and will certainly appreciate donations. It is a very well run site. Also they keep a record of what equipment you are using so you don't have to input all that every time you ask a question. Very user friendly.

Steve Richard Zimmett
January 19, 2010 1:58 PM

CNET TechSpecials (newsletters@cnet.online.com)

John Lindsay
January 19, 2010 2:30 PM

I get a news letter called 'Spreadsheet Tips From An Excel Addict' Very helpful for people who use excel alot.

K Hughes
January 19, 2010 2:38 PM

The best computer forum in Australia is www.whirlpool.net.au. Covers all aspects of computers inc networking, hardware, software VoIP, internet etc. Aimed at the Australian computer environment, but would be useful for all computer users.

Ron
January 19, 2010 3:09 PM

I subscribed to most of the newsletters mentioned. I got a query back from Steve Bass asking where i heard about his newsletter. I sent a link to this article. Here is his reply:
{snip}
Thanks, Ron. That's some glowing endorsement. Best $100 I ever spent. {/snip}

Hey Leo, if all you got was $100 (grin) I have a bridge you might be interested in.

I too was pleased to see that I was already subscribed to a few of your reader's top picks.

I'm actually not sure what $100 he might be referring to (perhaps he advertised with me at some point, but that would be so long ago that I've clearly forgotten about it.) The Top 5 results in article above were 100% the result of the votes of my newsletter readers. :-)
Leo
20-Jan-2010

James Hillier
January 19, 2010 3:28 PM

Surprised that DavesComputerTips news letters didn't rate a mention. They are the best, way better than Windows Secrets.

Dave's news letters include; computer tips & advice, security news & advice, freeware reviews, intro to new freeware, digital photography help & advice, tips and tricks for all MS Office components plus more. It's excellent value for free.

JIM

For the record, it was mentioned - just not often enough to make the top 5.
Leo
20-Jan-2010

Jennie
January 19, 2010 4:59 PM

Hi Leo:

I find your newsletters very helpful as I'm not a computer grgu if you know what I mean. I also get some tips from a website which I find very helpful. It is internetfixes.com.

Posted by Jennie
January 19/2010 4:58 P.M.

Jeanette Gonzales
January 19, 2010 7:53 PM

Hi Leo, I am not a computer guru, but I would also like to mention Protonic,s website they mail a news letter occasionally, and they have some very knowledgeable technicians that provide fast, friendly and free service to any problem you might encounter with your computer!

Norman Ogier
January 19, 2010 9:26 PM

Greetings from Australia,
I have subscribed to a newsletter called "Cloud Eight"for past 6 years (USA)which has a premium edition weekly (I pay for a lifetime subscription.)Also offer a free smaller weekly edition.very trustworthy site.
www.thundercloud.net

Kevin Cramer
January 20, 2010 7:06 AM

Electricalfun.com - the main page has lots of tech news links.

Gerard Donofry
January 20, 2010 10:30 AM

Lockergnome is another excellent newsletter operated by Chris Pirillo. Thanks Leo, I really enjoy your work.

George Weir
January 20, 2010 12:11 PM

I have found this site from the u.k. to be useful
http://www.rickmaybury.com/index.html

Mark Jacobs
January 20, 2010 1:33 PM

Kim Kommando has some great unique stuff but be prepared to receive 4-5 emails from her a day (I guess she needs to earn a living)

Steve Bass
January 20, 2010 3:02 PM

@K.Hughes: LOL -- I wish you'd have sent the entire quote:

I just went to his site -- and that's some glowing endorsement. Best $100 I ever spent. [kidding and ducking].

--Steve
TechBite

Diana
January 20, 2010 3:38 PM

I'm really, really surprised that the Nerdy Buffalo newsletter (which is a Yahoo Groups newsletter) didn't come in near the top! This is a group I absolutely rely upon, and the first one I go to, when I have a hardware or software issue, or when I just plain don't understand something. Members are encouraged to help answer each others' questions, and they do with great enthusiasm and knowledge. There is an extensive searchable archive of articles going back to 2003. The newsletter comes out daily, but the owner is currently undergoing cancer treatment, so a couple of issues are missing here and there, but not very many.

David Lindsay
January 21, 2010 4:36 AM

I subscribe to CNet which sends out lists of new products, that are updated frequently ... and readers' participation and advice on common Windows products ... I found a free program to do many system tasks - Advanced System care, Their Forum has a new question every week to solve problems ... it does surveys on their offered products and you can find a missing driver or an update ..

You get to test updates to the programs

overall i would rate this site as an 8 out of 10 ... because it also includes stuff most of us are not interested in ... such as Wallpaper screen pictures and walpaper changers ...

To the best of my knowledge, I have had no viruses/spyware/spam coming from their website.

They do include a number of products which they offer to as sale items.

David

Jou Baur
March 22, 2011 10:12 AM

I was really glad to see this list and realize that I subscribe to every one of these.

I have recently tried to unsubscribe from the enormous amount of ZDNet alerts that I was receiving EVERY SINGLE DAY, but I want to keep their Downloads Digest.

However, it is only fair to point out that I consider Ask Leo to to be the BEST OF THE BUNCH, no two ways about it!!!

Keep up the great work!!!

Jou Baur
March 22, 2011 10:15 AM

P.S. Don't forget PC Pitstop.

It is actually a kind of composite of several of these, (including you,) and is great for an overview.

More people should check it out, too.

Ron Legro
March 22, 2011 10:52 AM

Annoyances.org is a good quick-hit site for a database of common Windows-based problems, sorted by version number.

Carl
March 23, 2011 8:57 AM

I'm glad to see Kim Kommando listed. I've been a member of Kim's Club for a few years and have gotten a lot of help from other members.
I also get a lot of help from Ask Leo, Thanks Leo.

Ray H
March 23, 2011 11:10 AM

I tried to visit your friend Allen Wyatt's page but his color scheme on both his pages killed my eyes. Was it just me or are the colors a little difficult.

I don't see a problem with it, but you didn't indicate what colors you see. Seems ok to me.
Leo
24-Mar-2011

GREG JACKSON
March 23, 2011 3:31 PM

I've been using ComputerHope(com) recently to diagnose computer problems. This site has "everything" related to diagnosis and repair for newbies/non-geeks. From their log analyzing tool to on-site info to make repairs (or direct links to mfg's site for updates, etc). Great resources incl. an excellent dictionary for every PC term (incl "slang") in easy to understand definition. I almost cried when I found this site.

sirpaul2
March 24, 2011 4:41 AM

Alas, Ian "Gizmo" Richards' "Support Alert" is no longer with 'Windows Secrets'. He's back at 'techsupportalert'.

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