Q. I know a certain amount of storage comes with my Gmail account, but how do I know if I'm running out of space?
A. With each free Gmail account, Google generously provides more than 7GB (gigabytes, which is more than 7,000 MB or megabytes) of storage space, so if you ever need to tuck a few files away for a rainy day, send them to yourself as an attachment. It's like having a free 7GB hard drive. By way of comparison, a typical two-hour movie is approximately 1.5GB.
While having lots of space is great, you may on occasion want to know how much free space you have remaining. To do that, log into your Gmail account, then scroll down to the bottom of any Gmail screen and you will see some statistics, such as
“0% full. Using 68 MB of your 7647 MB.”
You can get 20 GB of additional space can be purchased for $5 per year, or simply create another free Gmail account.
Q. Because of my work, I need to use military or 24-hour time, but I can't figure out how to change my computer to show that. Can you help me with this, Mr. M?
A. By default, computers manufactured in the U.S. use a 12-hour format, but you can easily change that to 24-hour or military time. How that's accomplished varies depending on the version of Windows being used. Since you didn't mention which version you're using, I'll explain how to make that change using Windows 7, but press F1 to display your version's Help where you can obtain this information.
Click Start and in the Search field type “time format.” From the search results, click “Change the date, time, or number format" or “Change the way time is displayed,” either of which will display the Region and Language settings. Click the Formats tab and you will have a choice of Short Time or Long Time.
To change to military time in the system clock, modify the value inside the Long Time drop-down menu from its current setting to HH:mm:ss. If you want to use military time throughout Windows 7, change the option under the Short Time drop-down menu to one of the two 24-hour formats. Click the OK button to apply your new setting and return to Windows.
Q. I have trouble reading the small icons and text on my iPad. Is there any way to increase the size of that lettering?
A. The iPad Zoom feature is just what the eye doctor ordered and will magnify the entire screen. To enable it, go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Zoom and move the Zoom button to the ON position.
Once enabled, you can zoom in and out by double-tapping with three fingers. To move items around the screen while zoomed in, drag or swipe with three fingers.
I've got lots of additional, easy-to-use iPad tips waiting for you on amazon.com at http://amzn.to/nw7pjf, or simply search for “Mr. Modem.”
Mr. Modem's Sites of the Week
Paper Plate Education
Let’s face it, is there anything that can't be explained with a paper plate? This site reduces complex concepts to simple hands-on activities, using paper plates to teach science, math, history, and geography. Some activities include designing a plate for practicing addition and multiplication tables, making a rotating window that segues from day to night, and creating a functional, portable sundial.
The most comprehensive stadium database on the Internet, this site includes more than 10,000 stadiums in 223 countries. Use the map to navigate from country to state to city. Each stadium lists capacity, year built and provides a link to each respective stadium’s Web site. My road manager uses this site to book larger international venues when the “Mr. Modem Road Show” goes on tour.
Mr. Modem publishes the weekly "Ask Mr. Modem!” computer-help newsletter at www.MrModem.com and “Mr. Modem's Top 50 Computing Tips” series at www.amazon.com.