Q. Is there any way I can take a screen shot of what appears on my iPad screen?
A. You sure can. Just press the Power (Sleep/Wake) and Home buttons simultaneously for a second. You will see the screen flash white and hear a camera clicking sound. If the room begins to spin, call 9-1-1. The image will be automatically saved in the Photos app or gallery.
Q. My employer dictates his email messages to me so that I can type them up and send them out for him. He stands behind me while he's dictating and looks at what I’m typing so he can make changes, which drives me crazy. Can I hook up another monitor for him to look at instead?
A. An easy yet cost-efficient way to accomplish that is with the use of a video splitter. As its name implies, a video splitter will take the video input from your computer and direct it to another monitor. Make sure the device includes a signal booster since dividing a signal will reduce video quality. Radio Shack carries them or you can order one online from IOGear.com.
Q. I try and use ScanDisk and Defrag regularly. Sometimes I run Defrag first and other times I run ScanDisk first. Is it important to run ScanDisk before defragmenting or does it make any difference? I look forward to your newsletter each week, Mr. Modem. Thanks.
A. When you run ScanDisk, you are scanning the hard drive looking for surface errors or defects. If a bad sector is discovered, ScanDisk will attempt to fix it. In the event it cannot be fixed, it will be isolated to prevent your computer from attempting to save data to the defective area in the future.
When you run Disk Defragmenter, your data is rearranged so that it is better organized, which allows faster access to it. If you have a bad sector and it has not been isolated, data written to that area could be lost. Running ScanDisk BEFORE defragging will prevent this from occurring.
ScanDisk is a bit of an archaic term, dating back to the Windows 98 era. What we once knew as ScanDisk is now called Error Checking. In Windows XP it can be accessed via My Computer, then right-clicking the drive you want to check, which will usually be the C: drive. Select Properties, and on the Tools tab, under Error-checking, click the Check Now button. Under Options, select the “Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors” check box.
In Vista and Windows 7, click Computer, then right-click the drive to be checked, and select Properties. On the Tools tab, select Error Checking.
Mr. Modem's Sites of the Week
Put your used books to good use by swapping them for books you want to read. Book Mooch is a free, online community of readers that uses a simple point system to help people trade tomes and find worthy homes for their beloved old books. There are lots of other nifty features, including an option to use earned points to help charities, as well as a tool to create your own personal wish list of books.
When the original Polaroid-Land camera was released in 1965, it introduced a unique photographic style that endures even in today's digital world. Polanoid.net celebrates the magic of Polaroid pictures by featuring more than 270,000 images. Its goal is to be the largest online instant-photo community, with the help of fellow Polaroid partisans. Search the Gallery, vote for your favorite Polaroid, upload personal photos, and check out Polanoid's ongoing creative photography projects.
Mr. Modem publishes "Ask Mr. Modem!” each week, featuring PC tips, tricks, and plain-English answers to your questions by email. For more information, visit www.MrModem.com.