Ask Mr. Modem! 6-29-07 - East Valley Tribune: Business

Ask Mr. Modem! 6-29-07

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Posted: Monday, July 2, 2007 10:07 am | Updated: 7:50 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Q. When I download files from the Internet, I can never find them after the download box closes in Internet Explorer. I’m sure I’m doing something wrong, but if you could straighten me out on this, I would appreciate it, Mr. M.

A. When you click a link to download an item, you are presented with a little download window, called a dialog box. In this first window, you are given a choice whether to “Open" or "Save" the item you are about to download.

If you choose "Open," the file that you download will be opened and/or run (in the case of programs). There are a variety of security-related reasons not to do this. Instead, I suggest always selecting “Save.”

Once Save is selected, you will be presented with a new window in which you can direct where you want to save the file. My recommendation is to click the drop-down arrow next to Save in: and select Desktop.

Next, click the Save button and the file you download will be saved on your Windows Desktop. By saving downloaded files to the Windows Desktop, you will never have to go looking for them because they will always be right in front of you, on the Desktop.

Hint: If you download a software program, the file you download will be named something like setup.exe or some other .exe file. Once you install the program by double-clicking the .exe file, you can then delete the file you downloaded to the Desktop.

Q. Whenever I open Microsoft Word, my computer's floppy drive starts making a noise like it’s being accessed. Why is it doing that and how can I stop it?

A. It sounds like your Word program is configured to use the floppy drive as its default file location. Normally, the default location for documents is the My Documents folder, but there are occasions when some companies, for example, will change that location in a network situation so employees back up documents to a centralized network location rather than to individual computers or work stations.

To check it out, open Word and click Tools > Options > File Locations. Look at the file locations and see if any of them show "A:\" Be sure to take a close look at the "Documents" category. Usually My Documents is the designated location. If yours is configured to another location, just use the Modify button to select your preferred location or My Documents. Click OK after making your selection.

One other thing to check -- and this is a bit of a long shot -- but take a look at your anti-virus program’s settings to determine if it's configured to automatically check your A: drive. This may be the result of an auto-protect feature of your anti-virus program and if so, you should be able to disable it. If you rarely use your floppy drive, you can always manually check a disk for viruses when you do have occasion to use it.

Mr. Modem's Sites of the Week:

Company Name Etymologies

Have you ever wondered why Nike is called Nike or how companies like Qantas Airlines, Starbucks or Google got their names? The answers to these corporate mysteries can be found within Wikipedia, a wonderful free online encyclopedia. Links are provided to profiles of companies from ABN (Algemene Bank Nederland) to Zuse. This site is teeming with trivia tidbits. For example, did you know that Taco Bell was named after its founder, Glen Taco? Oh, wait. It was Glen Bell. Sorry.

Nick's Mathematical Puzzles

Math geniuses and bored office workers will find hours of entertainment here. Test your problem-solving skills on Nick's arsenal of puzzles from the disciplines of algebra, geometry, number theory, calculus and logic. Sample question: “P is a polynomial with integer coefficients. If a, b, c are distinct integers, show that P(a)=b, P(b)=c, and P(c)=a cannot be satisfied simultaneously.” Whatever happened to, “If Mary has three apples and gives one to John, how many apples does Mary have left?” Now that’s my kind of math puzzle.

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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