PC Chat presents Ask Mr. Modem! 10-31-03 - East Valley Tribune: Business

PC Chat presents Ask Mr. Modem! 10-31-03

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Posted: Friday, October 31, 2003 7:52 am | Updated: 2:20 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

Q. Even when I'm not using it, the light on my CD drive blinks every few seconds. Any idea what's going on?

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A. Yes, indeed. Your Auto Insert Notification (I'll bet you didn't know you had one) is working, which causes your computer to check the drive to determine if a CD has been placed in it. You can disable Auto Insert Notification if the occasional flashing CD-ROM drive light is keeping you up at night or creating a groovy disco-like strobe effect in your office. To disable Auto Insert Notification click My Computer > Control Panel > Device Manager tab.

Next, click the plus sign (+) next to CD-ROM and double-click the CD-ROM drive listed below it.

Click the Settings tab and remove the check mark (an action technically referred to as "unchecking") by the Auto Insert Notification option. Click OK to exit, then restart your computer.

Q. I'm using an older version of AOL. How can I hide the email addresses of people I'm copying on a message? There is no BCC feature with what I'm using.

A. If you send email to multiple recipients, but you don't want each person to know who else is receiving your message, you can "blind carbon copy" recipients. Most email programs have a separate BCC: field beneath the To: field for this purpose, but if your older version of AOL doesn't include that option, all you have to do is place your addresses in parentheses in the To: field, with each address separated by a comma. For example: (joeblow@aol.com, johndoe@earthlink.com). This will make the addresses invisible to other recipients.

Q. I'm currently using Windows 98. Should I consider upgrading to Windows XP?

A. If your system is working well, why look for trouble? I've upgraded operating systems a number of times through the years and my experience has been that the upgrade either goes extremely well or it will ruin your life.

During any upgrade you'll be face-to-face with questions that appear on your monitor asking what you'd like to do. This wouldn't be a problem if you had the faintest idea what these messages were talking about. A typical question might be, "Do you want to proceed and convert the Q40-XP.DLL to the R160-14(a) format? CAUTION: If you elect to convert, the results will not be reversible." Isn't that peachy? There have been times when I've spent days staring blankly at the screen, immobilized by fear and anxiety.

As a general proposition, I don't recommend upgrading for the sake of upgrading, but having said that, I did upgrade one of my Windows 98 computers to Windows XP and the process was a breeze. Microsoft did an excellent job with its upgrade protocol, so I would anticipate any upgrade problems to be minimal -- assuming you have a system that's a good candidate for upgrade.

If you want to upgrade, but don't want the challenge of doing it yourself, consider having a reputable computer repair facility in your area perform the upgrade for you. You'll be assured of getting your system back in good working condition and you won't have to make any heart-stopping decisions during the installation process itself.

Mr. Modem's Seasonal Sites of the Week:

Free Halloween Screensavers

Dedicated to providing the best Free Halloween screen savers on the Internet.


Halloween Activities for Kids

Created to provide child care providers and parents with fun activity ideas for young children. Activities for toddlers, pre-schoolers and even older goblins.



Vampires, witches, werewolves, ghosts, scary tales, polyester leisure suits, and other seasonal frights.


Halloween Online

Costumes, decorations, pumpkin carving, recipes, plus Halloween Scream Savers.


Halloween Magazine

A one-stop Halloween resource. If it's Halloween related, you'll find it here, faster than you can say "Boo!"


(For prompt, personal answers to your computer questions, subscribe to Mr. Modem's weekly newsletter at www.MrModem.com. Read Mr. Modem's column each month in "Smart Computing" magazine. For a free issue, visit www.MrModem.com and click the "Smart Computing/Mr. Modem" logo.)

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