PC Chat presents Ask Mr. Modem! 10-9-03 - East Valley Tribune: Business

PC Chat presents Ask Mr. Modem! 10-9-03

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Posted: Thursday, October 9, 2003 11:17 am | Updated: 1:39 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

Q. Is there a way to quickly silence my computer, something like the mute button on a TV remote control?

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A. All telecommuting workers need to know about instant silencing for those awkward moments when the boss calls just as you're about to blast the mutant Xantroid warriors to digital smithereens. To silence the action, click the little yellow speaker icon on your Taskbar. In the Volume window that pops up, place a check in the box "Mute" box.

Q. Recently, I installed a new game on my computer. When I try to open it, it says "this application must be run in 256 color mode." How do I do that?

A. To get to the area where you can change this setting, click My Computer > Control Panel > Display > Settings. In the lower left-hand portion of the Display Properties dialog box you'll see "Colors," with a drop-down menu arrow to the right. Click the drop-down menu to view a variety of color options. Select 256 Colors from the menu, then click OK.

Q. How can I make my CD play automatically when it's inserted in the CD drive?

A. Click Start > Settings > Control Panel > System > Device Manager. Click the plus sign to the left of "CDROM," and right-click the device you want to use.

Next, click Properties and the Settings tab.

Place a check mark in the "Auto insert notification" box to activate it.

Click OK twice to exit, then restart your computer. Your CD will be ready to play as soon as the disc is inserted.

If you ever want to prevent a CD from playing automatically, press your Shift key while inserting the CD or return to the Auto Insert Notification check box and remove the check mark.

Q. The icons on my Desktop are too darned big. Is there a way to make them smaller?

A. You can scale those icons down in size by right-clicking on the Desktop and selecting Properties. Next, click the Appearance tab, then the Item drop-down menu. Select Icon, then try a size such as 16 (the default is 32). Click OK. Bonus Tip: Once you make the icons smaller, you may want to shorten the names that appear under some of the icons to tidy up your Desktop even further. Rename your icons by right-clicking the name that currently appears, then selecting -- what else, Rename.

Mr. Modem's Web Sites of the Week:


Hundreds of literary classics, from Dostoyevsky to Wilde to Mr. Modem. Oh, well, as Mr. Loaf once intoned, "Two out of three ain't bad." Each title has its own search engine and is posted in chapters for easy downloading.


Google Search Engine

My favorite "no frills" search engine at the moment -- but check back with me in an hour. No stock quotes, no weather reports, and no daily pollen counts from Kwangchowan. Google searches in a unique way, by looking at links from other sites to find and rank results to your search queries.


Home Schooling

Explore multiple perspectives on home schooling; learn about different teaching styles, enjoy a virtual field trip to Yellowstone Park, or interact with other home schooling parents.


Ultimate Band List

Links to information about any type or style of music. Whatever your musical interests, from alternative rock to Zydeco, this site will have something for you. Search by artist, find concert info, venues, record labels, musician resources, and more.


(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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