Mr. Modem: Website gets checking your credit score off your ‘to do’ list

Posted Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

Mr. Modem’s sites of the week

8-Track Heaven

Forget iPods, iTunes, downloadable MP3 files, CDs and DVDs. They are all just passing fads. Groovy hipsters like Mr. Modem know that the only truly worthwhile musical format is the almighty 8-track tape. Visit this happy hunting ground for all things 8-track, including sound clips. My favorite: The unmistakable sound of an 8-track tape clunkily changing tracks. Now where did I leave my Turtles Greatest Hits tape?

Fuel Cost Calculator

Find out how much you will spend on gas for your next road trip. Select a starting city and a destination, plug in your year, make and model of car and click the “calculate” button. This AAA-hosted site will compute the fuel cost for both one-way and round-trip excursions. You might want to have some smelling salts handy, just in case.

Rainy Mood

If you have trouble sleeping, or you are just seeking something that is relaxing that doesn’t involve either alcohol or narcotics, head on over to this site. When you arrive, you will hear a gentle rainfall with the sound of occasional distant thunder. Ahhh … Each day, the site features a different aural atmosphere, which you can find below the Rainy Mood logo. Click the “Today’s Music” link and a video will play the selected sound. As I write this, the daily audio features Chinese bamboo flutes. (If you haven’t had them, try Chinese bamboo flutes served in a delicate garlic sauce. It’s to die for.)

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Is there any way I can check my credit report on the Web? is a centralized service consumers can use to request free annual credit reports. It was created by the three major consumer credit reporting companies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Through this site, you can request and obtain a free credit report once every 12 months from each of the three companies. — yes, the one with the annoying TV commercials — is an Experian company that also provides consumers access to their Experian credit histories. 24/7 credit monitoring services for Experian, Equifax and TransUnion are also available, but be sure to check any applicable costs because some monitoring services can cost upwards of $20 per month.

I am highly annoyed that one of my favorite magazines is going all electronic. What will I read in bed or at the pool? Maybe it’s time for me to think about getting a Kindle. But if I do, how do I get WiFi in my home so I can get books on the Kindle? Will WiFi cost me even more money? Thanks, Mr. M.

The good news is that Kindle has its own WiFi (WhisperNet) that is used to download books and magazines, so you do not need your own wireless network. Once you download a publication, it resides on your device so you can read it anywhere, any time.

If you go to, you will find a wealth of information about the various Kindle products, FAQ files, forums, videos — amazon has done an amazing job providing information online for new and prospective users. Also, if you go to YouTube, there are demonstration videos galore for any device you could possibly want.

Tablets (Kindle, iPad, Galaxy, etc.) are extremely popular for reading eBooks. Yes, there are a few trade-offs from printed books, but the single most popular feature that I — and so many of my visually challenged peers — appreciate is the ability to make the font larger while reading an eBook. (Note: The free Kindle app for iPad, Android or PC/Mac allows you to read Kindle books on non-Kindle devices.)

Most people — even those who are reluctant at first — enjoy their eBook reader once they settle in.

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

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