Q. When I use a search engine and then visit one of the sites that appears as a search result, sometimes it seems like the site has nothing to do with what I was searching for. Why does the site come up? Jose, Buckeye.
A. If you located the site by entering a keyword as your search term, that word appears somewhere on the Web page displayed. Rather than reading through screens full of text to find your search word, try your browser's Find command, located on the Edit menu or by pressing Ctrl + F. It will quickly search the page and highlight your keyword.
Here's a searching tip: When entering a search phrase, surround it with quotation marks to further narrow your search. For example, using Mr. Modem's favorite search engine Google (www.google.com), a search for pancakes and sausages (without quotation marks) will return 18,600 results. Break out the Alka Seltzer! The same search for "pancakes and sausages" (with quotation marks) will return a more digestable 863 results.
Why the difference? Searching without using quotation marks searches for any of your search words; using quotation marks searches for an exact match of the words or phrase entered.
Q. How do I include the message I received in my reply? I get e-mail from other people that includes my e-mail to them, but my outgoing e-mail doesn’t do that. I’m using Outlook Express. Do I need a different version of Outlook, perhaps? Ellen, Scottsdale.
A. No, you just need to turn on the option to include the previous e-mail in your reply. In Outlook Express, click Tools > Options and select the Send tab. Under Sending, click the "Include Message in Reply" box, then Apply > OK. The next time you reply to an e-mail, the “parent” message will be included. Your reply should appear above the previous e-mail so the recipient doesn’t have to scroll through a bunch of messages to get to your reply.
Mr. Modem's Geekspeak of the Week: Gigaflop
A Japanese supercomputer holds the record as the world's fastest computer, processing data at a speed of 35,600 gigaflops. So what's a gigaflop? I'm glad you asked! A gigaflop equals one billion mathematical operations per second -- which is approximately what I do when Mrs. Modem asks me how much money is in the checkbook?
A "flop" in the giga context doesn't refer to the flop-on-the-couch type of "flop" with which most of us are intimately familiar. No, a flop in this context is an acronym for FLoating-point OPerations per second, a common measurement for rating the speed of microprocessors.
Sadly, the flop is not without controversy. Anti-flopites feel that the flop -- technically, FLOP -- is not a relevant measurement because it fails to take into account factors such as the condition under which the microprocessor is running and which operations are included as floating-point operations.
It's times like these that make me appreciate what a gift apathy is.
Mr. Modem's Web Sites of the Week:
Garden Bragging Labels
Be proud of your produce! Personalized labels permit you to place your name on your fruits and veggies. Now everyone will know that corpulent cuke, elegant eggplant, or perfectly picked pepper came from YOUR garden! 72 labels for $8.95.
Mr. Ed's E-mail Stripper
Finally, an easy way to get rid of those annoying little >>>> symbols that appear in quoted or frequently forwarded e-mail. No software to download and it's free! Just copy and paste the text into this Web-based form and you'll clean up those pesky marks faster than you can say, "Thank you, Mr. Modem! You've changed my life forever!"
The American West
If you love the American West -- and who in Arizona couldn't love it? -- you'll find information and links to ghost towns, Western art and artifacts, cowboys, gunslingers, and more if you mosey on over to this Web site. Includes clip art, images from the National Archives, and lots of links to related sites.
Tune in to Mr. Modem on the PC Chat Computer Show, Saturdays 2:00 PM, KXAM 1310-AM or Webcast at www.pcchatshow.com. Join thousands of subscribers worldwide who receive prompt, personal answers to their computer questions, plus tips, virus alerts, hoax warnings and more in Mr. Modem's Weekly Newsletter. For more information, visit www.MrModem.com. Please use the promotional code TRIB when subscribing.