Mr. Modem: Set up preferred wireless network to avoid multiple-choice question

Posted Tuesday, Jul. 15, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

Mr. Modem’s Sites of the Week

Names of Animals

Have you ever wondered what you call a gathering of goats? Is it a herd? A flock? A goatee? I think about such things frequently. Probably too much. And what about elephants or aardvarks? This site will end your torment by providing a chart with a listing of animal names — not only for groups of animals, but also what the male and female of each species is called. As it turns out, a group of goats can be called a herd, a tribe or even a trip. And the next time you see an assemblage of elephants at the mall, you will impress your friends if you shout, “Hey, what’s that parade of elephants doing at Starbucks?”


World’s Ten Tallest Buildings

This site shows the 10 tallest buildings in the world as of June 2014. The world’s tallest is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai at 2,716 feet, which is more than a half mile. Holy vertigo! The buildings are organized on a graph by their official height. Use the scroll bar at the bottom of the page to move to the right so you can check out all of the skyscrapers.

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How can I designate my preferred wireless network?

When you connect wirelessly to the Internet, you will typically be presented with a list of several available wireless networks from which to choose.

If you want to avoid having to make a selection each time, you can designate your home or business network as your default or preferred wireless connection.

Near the time display in the lower right-hand corner of the screen you will see a series of bars that look like the signal-strength bars on a cellphone. Click these and you will see a list of the wireless connections within range of your computer.

As you click each one, you will see its signal strength and whether it is secured or unsecured. Click the box that says “Connect automatically” for the one that you want to designate as your default and remove any check marks beside the others.

Next, right-click each of the ones that you do NOT want to be your preferred network, click Properties, and on the Connection tab, click “Connect to a more preferred network, if available.” After completing the above, your computer should default to your preferred connection.

Is it OK to delete $$ files? Will it cause any problems if I delete them?

If you look at the files on your computer using Windows Explorer, for example, you may see some that have $$ in front of the file name.

Generally speaking, those files are fine to delete, but why settle for a succinct answer when yammering endlessly is such a long-standing tradition of mine?

Let’s begin with an explanation: Those $$ files are Temporary or Temp files. Many times they will display .TMP as the file extension. Temp files have nothing to do with the temperature.

Various programs will create Temporary files while you are working in order to hold auto-save files or other data a program may be called upon to provide.

When you close a program, it should automatically tidy up after itself and delete all Temporary files, but that doesn’t always happen for a variety of reasons. Computer crashes, improper shutdowns and general program issues often cause these files to be left behind.

When it comes to Temporary files, they are safe to delete as long as they do not display the current date. In other words, if I am deleting .TMP or $$ files today, I can safely delete files dated yesterday or older, avoiding anything displaying the current date.

Be sure to close the program that created the Temporary file(s) before attempting to delete them.

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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