Ask Mr. Modem: Another tip to make iPad use easier

Posted Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012  comments  Print Reprints

Topics: Mr. Modem, iPad


Mr. Modem's

sites of the week

New England


Founded in 1969, the New England Aquarium welcomes more than 1.3 million visitors a year. Easily accessible, it is nestled among Boston's many outstanding seafood restaurants. (Oh, the irony.) Click the Animals and Exhibits tab for a nose-to-nose video look at sharks, stingrays, eels and other creatures of the deep. If you visit the museum, don't miss the world-famous Touch Tank, where visitors are invited to stick their arms and hands in the water and pet the friendly piranha. "Here, fishy fishy."

Northwest Waterfall Survey

If you enjoy waterfalls -- and who among us doesn't? -- this site will explain how waterfalls are named, the icons used on the site and the rating system. It also features photographs, mapping, directions, how to locate nearby waterfalls and an FAQ. You can browse by state, selecting Washington, Oregon or Idaho from the navigational strip at the top of the page. Mousing over each state will cause a drop-down list to appear, which you can then click on to visit each state's information.

Magnificent & Weird Trees

Trees are as varied as anything in nature, and this site will introduce you to some of the most bizarre yet oddly beautiful species, along with barkground (oh, the wit!) information about the trees themselves.

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

When I'm reading lengthy articles on my iPad, because there is no Home button that will take me back to the top, I have to repeatedly do the swiping motion to move through the screens. Is there a faster way to jump to the top?

I feel your pain. All that swiping can be exhausting, not to mention the additional wear and tear it places on one's fingertips. If you're at the bottom of a Web page and suddenly have an urgent need to rocket back to the top of the page, tap the Title bar once.

This is an oddball question, but is there any way to assess the overall cost of e-mail?

According to John Freeman's book The Tyranny of E-mail, the average worker sends, receives or otherwise interacts with approximately 200 e-mail messages each day. The disruption caused by e-mail consumes 28 percent of a typical worker's day, resulting in a $650 billion loss of productivity on the U.S. economy each year. Factor in Facebook, Twitter, text messages, YouTube and heaven knows what else, and it's a wonder that anybody gets anything accomplished.

I can't figure out how to determine which version of Firefox I am using. Can you point me in the right direction?

Determining the version number of any Windows program is mercifully the same, whether it's Firefox, Quicken, Internet Explorer or any other application. From the main Menu toolbar, click Help > About. The version number will be displayed.

I work with Excel spreadsheets in my job. Among the data that I have to enter numerous times each day is the date and time. Is there any way to automate this process?

Using keystroke combinations to enter the date or time into an Excel spreadsheet can expedite the process and eliminate typos. After you click to select a cell, press CTRL+; (the CTRL key and the semicolon) to insert the date, or CTRL + SHIFT + : (the CTRL key, the SHIFT key and the colon) to enter the time. The date and time that appear are based on your PC's current clock settings.

Mr. Modem publishes "Ask Mr. Modem!" each week, featuring PC tips, tricks and plain-English answers to your questions by e-mail. For more information, visit

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?