Answers to Your Questions About the Support Alert / Windows Secrets Newsletter Merger


On July 24, Gizmo's Support Alert Newsletter merged with Brian Livingston's Windows Secrets Newsletter. Full details of the meger can be found here.

Here are the answers to some common subscriber questions regarding the merger:


Does the newsletter merger apply to the Tech Support Alert website?

Definitely not. The freeware wiki is not part of the newsletter merger.  It will continue to be actively developed by myself, our volunteer editors and our user community.   In fact the newsletter merger will free me the time to fully realize the potential of this wonderful collective enterprise.

The Windows Secrets web site is now featuring some of my old freeware reviews sourced from back issues of Support Alert newsletter, rights to which they obtained as part of the merger of my newsletter with theirs.

Many of these reviews are now dated and I cannot necessarily support these old recommendations. All the latest free recommendations can be found on this site.

Why did you merge Support Alert newsletter with Windows Secrets?

Support Alert newsletter has always been a one man operation.  That means I not only wrote it, I did all the research, all the pre-production, distribution and all the subscription administration.

In the end one man can only do so much.  By the time the newsletter reached 100,000 subscribers I was already working 80 hour weeks. As the circulation climbed towards 150,000 it was clear I couldn't cope.

Why didn't just hire some staff rather than merge the newsletter?

I thought about it.  The problem is that once you have staff to pay the whole dynamics change.  The newsletter would inevitably change from been a labor of love to being a business.   Anyone who witnessed the change in LockerGnome newsletter when it made the transition from being a one-man newsletter will know exactly what I mean.

No, I thought it better to bow out on a high.

Will the Tech Support Alert Website Have Premium Content?

No, all content on Tech Support Alert will now be free and that's the way it will stay. 

In fact I'm making all premium content from past premium newsletter issues available for free including a downloadable and searchable archive.

Current premium subscribers to Support Alert newsletter will have full access future premium content from the Windows Secrets Website

In the past the website was financially supported by the paid subscriptions to the premium edition of the newsletter. In the future it will be supported by discrete site advertising.

Will my Support Alert premium subscrition be automatically transfered?

Yes, the unused portion of your subscription will be transfered to the merged newsletter. So if your current Support Alert premium subscription is good until the 31st of December, 2009 then you will receive all premium issues of Windows Secrets up to that time.

Although the transfer of your  subscription is automatic you should however reset your subscription preferences at the Windows Secrets site. Full details here.

You will also be able to access all past Support Alert premium content from the Windows Secrets site. This may take a week or so but it will happen

Will my Support Alert free subscrition be automatically transfered?

Yes but although the transfer of your  subscription is automatic you should however reset your subscription preferences at the Windows Secrets site. Full details here.

Will I still be able access back issues of Support Alert newsletter from

Yes, all issues up to issue #158, June, 2008 will be continue to be available from However all issues published after June 2008 will only be available from the Windows Secrets website.

Will you have editorial control of the merged newsletter?

I will be contributing two articles per month to the merged newsletter.

I will have a high degree of control over my own articles in Windows Secrets newsletter but Brian Livingston is the Editorial Director and has full responsibility for running the newsletter and determining its content.

Can I get a refund of my Support Alert Premium newsletter subscription fees?

Yes, Brian Livingston agreed as part of the merger that he will provide a pro-rata refund on request to any premium Support Alert subscriber.

Who do I write to about my newsletter subscription?

All subscription administration for Support Alert newsletter administration is now being handled by Windows Secrets and you should contact them directly.

Please don't email me as I do not have access to any subscription information. This has all been passed over to Windows Secrets as they have staff dedicated to subscription management.

Are you going to retire like Fred Langa?

One day but not anytime soon. In this next period of my life I'll be throwing my full energy into the Tech Support Alert website. I have a clear vision how to make this great community freeware resource even better and now I have the time available to actually make it happen.

It's already underway: Our site RSS feed is already active and a Gizmo blog will be coming your way soon. And in the next few weeks there will be an exciting new "look" for the site. But that's just the prelude.

So although I will be writing less for the merged newsletter I'll be writing a lot of content for the website. Between the merged newsletter, the website, and the site RSS feed, you'll  be getting more great freebies, security tips, and how-to guides than you ever did in Support Alert newsletter alone.

Nope, there is no retirement in sight here.  I'm determined to make this website something really special so I hope you will join me in this adventure.


July, 2008