My Word program has inserted a symbol between paragraphs and dots between words that I do not want. How can I get rid of these things? Thanks, Mr. M.Those are formatting or editing marks and can be quite useful. I keep them enabled so I can see if extra spaces creep in between words, for example, but you can enable or disable individual marks, as needed.To do that, click the Office button > Display > then remove the check from beside the marks you do not want to display. Click OK when you're done. You can experiment, if need be, to determine which ones you want to appear and which ones you would prefer not to appear.OpenOffice has the same feature, which can be accessed via Tools > Options > Writer > Formatting Aids. OpenOffice (www.openoffice.org) is a fully compatible alternative to Microsoft Office and one that I have used for years. It's also free.Why do I sometimes see gibberishlike text in messages or on a website? Can I prevent it?While visiting websites, you will occasionally encounter strange-looking text that is instantly recognizable as gibberish. Fortunately, I am fluent in gibberish, so I can help. The gibberish is called Mojibake (pronounced modge-ee-BAHK-ee, which in Japanese means either "character transformation" or "airborne banana" -- I'll have to get back to you on that). This gibberish occurs when a computer program such as your browser, word processor or email client attempts to interpret and display characters that have a different character encoding than what is available in the program that is attempting to read the characters.Character encoding, in its most basic form, is a code that pairs letters, numbers and symbols with a second descriptive set of characters that act as interpreters. A good example of character encoding is the Braille system, which is made up of raised dots arranged in varying patterns that correspond to letters in the alphabet.Just as Braille with too many or too few dots would be unreadable, gibberish characters (Mojibake) will appear when your browser attempts to display characters on a Web page containing incompatible character encoding. This is frequently the result of the page or document being written in another language originally.Methods for resolving incompatible character encoding usually involve changing the encoding defaults and/or installing a language pack that will allow your program to correctly translate the gibberish.In most instances, the easiest thing to do is simply ignore it, or if it's a document or Web page you MUST read, try a different browser. If Mojibake appears while you're using Internet Explorer, for example, try viewing the same Web page using Firefox or Chrome. The text will usually appear correctly, simply by switching browsers.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 www.MrModem.com.
Mr. Modem's sites of the week
"What's it going to take to put you in this little honey?" Find out what really goes on at car dealerships and learn what you need to know about dealers, new and used car prices, car payments and sticker prices, so you can avoid becoming a stickee.
Oldest Currently-Registered .COM Domains
If you're thinking that some of the earliest registered domain names must include IBM.com, Xerox.com and HP.com, you would be correct, though the earliest currently registered domain trophy goes to Symbolics.com, registered on March 15, 1985. That's right, 1985. This site provides an interesting glimpse into those pioneering companies that jumped on the band wagon in the very, very early days of the Interwebs.
Thanks to Dr. David Alciatore of Colorado State University, we can now view his collection of slow-motion videos of everyday events. Among the many clips, take a look at the computer hard drive (filed under Mechatronics). It will leave you wondering how these things manage to work at all.