Windows gives you a second chance with Control + Z

Ask Mr Modem

Q. Sometimes when I drag a file from one location with the intention of placing it in another location, I fumble with the mouse and it winds up in the wrong spot. When that happens, is there some way I can cancel what I just did so I can start over?

A. Windows does provide a second chance of sorts in the form of an Undo keystroke command for this type of oopsie. (It’s a technical term.) The universal Undo command is CTRL + Z, which works just about everywhere within Windows. You can use it copying or moving objects, pasting and even when editing a document or spreadsheet. (If only life had an Undo command.)

Q. They say you can’t teach old dogs new tricks and I am definitely an older dog. I have been using Windows XP since it came out years ago. Do you have a crystal ball handy so you can tell me how long XP will be around?

A. Technically, Windows XP, which was released on October 25, 2001, is “no longer around” in the sense that it was replaced by Vista (released January 30, 2007), Windows 7 (released October 22, 2009), and Windows 8 (released October 26, 2012).

The fact that XP is no longer the new kid on the block doesn’t mean that it’s going to disappear from your computer or cause any particular problems other than those associated with any aging operating system. Sometimes older operating systems become less cooperative than they were in their youth -- something to which I can relate. If that occurs and you have the original XP installation CD, you have the option of having it reinstalled. XP newly installed today is the same as XP newly installed in 2001.

If you don’t have the original XP installation disk, you’re not out of luck. Windows XP is still available for purchase. Look on and you will find several retailers who still have it in its original shrink-wrapped box. Some new PC purchasers opt to have Windows 8 removed and Windows 7 or XP installed in its place.

Q. I know this is a strange question, but I didn’t know who else I could ask: Is there a site for old comic strips, specifically Smokey Stover?

A. Proving definitively that you can find anything online, there is indeed a site where you will find Smokey cartoons, as well as Smokey memorabilia. It also includes artist Bill Holman’s other creations, Spooky the Cat and Nuts and Jolts.

If you are a funny-papers enthusiast, you might also enjoy where you will find hundreds of comic strips and some of the best editorial cartoons. Click the Political Slant link and you will find left-leaning, right-leaning and middle-of-the-road editorial cartoons. The site is free, but you can upgrade to the Pro version ( for $.99 per month which, among other benefits, eliminates advertising.

Q. I have been using Microsoft’s Bing search engine and I like it very much. Every time I use it, there is always a new background image, which is nice, but I find it rather distracting. Is it possible to disable or turn it off in some manner?

A. You sure can. If you want to use Bing ( without the background, simply copy the following address, exactly as it appears, into your browser’s Address field and click Search or press Enter: (That’s a zero, not the letter O.)

If you are satisfied with the no-frills appearance of Bing, bookmark the above URL and you will never have to see a Bing background image again. Badda bing, badda boom.

Mr. Modem's DME (Don't Miss 'Em) sites of the month

Customer Service Scoreboard

Many people believe they receive inadequate or inept customer service today -- with good reason: Only 46 out of the 604 companies found on this site have been rated as providing acceptable or better customer service, which translates to an anemic 8 percent. The ratings on this site, provided by consumers, are calculated using an algorithm which considers many criteria, including positive versus negative comments, as well as scoring for specific characteristics such as friendliness and issue resolution.

How to Get Rid of Things

This site is dedicated to helping you banish common annoyances from your life. Everything from allergies to wrinkles, from adware to unsightly static cling – you will learn how to get rid of it here. (Unfortunately, it does not pertain to people. I just checked and Uncle Rudy is still here. Just my luck.)

Physics Games

Online, physics-based games. Need I say more? Perhaps. Here you will find 99 free, online, physics-related games. There is nothing to install and nothing to download. Just click to select a game and start playing. Instructions for each game are rather sparse, so be prepared for some trial and error gaming.

Roar Online Publication Software and content management solution. Lions Light offers cutting edge software for newspaper and magazine websites.