Ask Mr. Modem! 3-16-07 - East Valley Tribune: Business

Ask Mr. Modem! 3-16-07

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Posted: Sunday, March 18, 2007 10:06 pm | Updated: 6:27 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Q. Can you explain how to set a password for Windows XP? When I leave my computer, I’d like to be sure that nobody else can access it. Thanks very much, Mr. Modem, and thanks for being there for all of us!

Q. Can you explain how to set a password for Windows XP? When I leave my computer, I’d like to be sure that nobody else can access it. Thanks very much, Mr. Modem, and thanks for being there for all of us!

A. To set a password for Windows XP, go to your Control Panel and click User Accounts > Change an Account. Under "Please pick an account to change," click to select your account, then in the next window, click "Create a Password."

You will have to type in your password twice to confirm that you typed it accurately. You can then enter a hint for your password, if you wish. When you’re done, click "Create Password" to accept the password.

Caution: If you forget your password you’re in big trouble. To avoid this possibility, you might want to go back to "User Accounts," select your account, and click "Prevent a forgotten password" on the left. Follow the on-screen prompts to create a “password reset” disk which will allow you to reset the password on your computer.

Q. Windows Media Player changes the modified date of a song every time it is played. How can I prevent this from occurring?"

A. You can prevent any changes to the “Last Modified” date by launching your Windows Media Player, then click Tools > Options > Library tab. Uncheck the box next to “Retrieve additional information from the Internet.” The downside to this is that Media Player will no longer automatically look for album or CD information each time a song is played. So, if you want to maintain the ability to sort by date and have Windows Media Player download CD information, leave the box checked.

Instead, open Windows Explorer (click the Windows Key + E or right-click Start > Explore), and click View > Choose Details. Place a check mark beside Date Created, which will add the Date Created column when you select the Details view (View > Details) using Windows Explorer. Then, when you perform your sort (by clicking the “Date Created” column heading) you will be able to view the date a given file (song) was created and the date it was last modified (played).

Mr. Modem’s Geekspeak of the Week:

Packet Switching

The protocol used to transmit data over the Internet. Think of it as the Popeil DataMatic approach to data transmission. Data is sliced and diced into small units, called packets. Each packet is assigned an address, then blasted out into cyberspace, routed through the labyrinth of Internet routes. Then, using the assigned addresses, the data is reassembled at its final destination. Dial-up users can best observe this effect when Web pages ooze onto their computer monitors. As each line appears on screen, that’s the data being reassembled at its final destination—that computer’s address on the Internet.

Mr. Modem's Sites of the Week:


What do you get when you combine the word power of the dictionary with the fun (or annoyance) of karaoke? Dictionaraoke, of course! Inspired by spoken-word audio clips featured in online and CD-based dictionaries that articulate pronunciations, you just can't help but grin (or wince) when you hear the singing dictionary perform your favorite songs, over-enunciating every word with perfect clarity. Try the Beatles’ “Michelle” and you’ll see what I mean.

Nostalgia Central

Sit back, relax, and enjoy a scroll down memory lane through the 1960s, ‘70s, and ‘80s. Categories include news, pop culture, music, television, movies, and a day-by-day chronology of noteworthy events. Groovy, man!

Slide Puzzles

You may remember these games from your childhood, where you had to slide the little tiles around to create pictures. Well, those games are now available online, as are jigsaw puzzles ( and crossword puzzles (

Let Mr. Modem help you! For personal answers to your questions by email, plus easy-to-understand computer tips, and great Web sites delivered to you each week, subscribe to Mr. Modem’s newsletter. For more information or to view a sample issue, visit

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