Mr. Modem offers sound advice

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

Q. Where can I locate sound files on the Internet? I'm working on a presentation and I'd like to incorporate some sound effects.

A. You’ll find one of the most comprehensive collections of sounds at Sounds are segregated into categories which you can access by clicking the Sound Types link at the bottom of the page. Categories include animals, birds, holidays, musical instruments, nature, and many others. As an alternative, you can enter a specific sound (such as locomotive under a full moon) in the site's Search field.

Q. I have several messages in Outlook that I want to save to CD for future reference. How can I do that, Mr. M?

A. What I do to save selected messages is so easy, even a trained chimp could do it -- which is exactly how I learned it, as a matter of fact. Using a free Gmail ( account that I keep exclusively for this purpose, I simply forward to myself any message I want to save. In this way, there are no formatting issues to contend with, my saved messages are searchable, they are accessible any time, from any location, they're safe, and no additional storage media is required.

If, however, you prefer a more labor-intensive, time-consuming method of saving your messages, you can do that by exporting your message folder to what Outlook calls a Personal Storage Table or .PST format, then copy (burn) the .PST file to a CD or DVD.

To do this, open Outlook and click File > Import and Export > Export to a file > Next. In the list of file types, click Personal Folder File (.PST), then click Next. Select the folder that contains the messages you want to back up. If the folder contains a subfolder that you want to include, select the Include Subfolders check box, then click Next.

Under Save Exported File As, click the Browse button. In the Save In: field, select a location for your backup. In the File name: field, give your new file a clever name such as “Outlook Backup.” Once you click Finish, you can then use your CD-burning software to copy your newly exported file to CD.

Q. I love my iPad, but sometimes I'm frustrated using its touchscreen keyboard. Is there any faster way to capitalize words than by pressing the SHIFT key and then having to type a letter?

A. Most iPad users do exactly what you described, but there is a faster way: Tap the SHIFT key, then without removing your finger from the screen, drag it to the letter you want to capitalize and release in a single tap, slide, release motion. You can also do this with numbers and punctuation by tapping the .?123 key.

Mr. Modem's Sites of the Week

How to Clean Anything
This site lives up to its name by providing more than 1300 useful tips about cleaning pretty much anything you could possibly get dirty. Also included is a Product Review section in which cleaning products are reviewed by stained and soiled test families retained by the site.

The Diaries of John Quincy Adams
This might sound like a snoozer, but it’s not. Here you can learn about the fascinating life of America's sixth President, John Quincy Adams. Hosted by The Massachusetts Historical Society, the site contains a complete digital collection of JQA's personal diaries which he began writing in 1779, when he was 12. Diaries can be searched by volume, date, virtual time line, or by selected passages in any of his 51 volumes, comprising 14,000 pages -- which begs the question: When did he have time to do anything else?

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