How to control an unruly mouse

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

Q. I bought a new computer and now I can't control the mouse. Every time I move it even the slightest little bit, the on-screen pointer (cursor) flies across the screen. Is there some way I can slow it down or do I need to buy a new mouse?

A. Pointer speed is easily adjusted by going to your Control Panel and double-clicking the Mouse icon. When your Mouse Properties dialog box appears, using the Pointer Speed slider thingy (technical term) drag the slider to the left, or slower side.

Q. Do you know of a free program that will unzip files? I don't know too much about .ZIP files, but I do know that I don't want to pay $29 just to open the few I receive each year. Thanks, Mr. M.

A. .ZIP files aren't “opened” in the traditional sense. Think of a file as being placed in a container and that container then squished or compressed. When you receive a .ZIP file, that's the compressed container that contains your file, so you need to extract the file from within the container. Depending on the version of Windows you're using, you should be able to right-click a zipped (.ZIP) file and select Extract, then designate a destination. You shouldn't need any third-party applications. I use the Desktop as my extraction destination and in that way the extracted file is easy to find.

Any type of file can be zipped and once compressed, its "container" will display a .ZIP file extension. Once that file is extracted from the container it can then be opened in the traditional manner, by clicking.

Q. Can you explain how I can view email in Outlook Express by date received? My new email is scattered throughout the Inbox and the only way I can view it is by isolating the last seven days. Thank you.

A. In all Windows programs, what appears at the top of each column can be clicked to sort the contents of the column. Column headings in the Outlook Express Inbox include From, Subject, Received, among others. Click the column header Received and your messages will be sorted by date. Click it again and email will sort in reverse order. Try this with the From and Subject columns, then try it in other programs. It's fun, in a geeky kind of way.

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