August 21, 2012

Ask Mr. Modem: The best way to share an online find

Also, very low-tech solutions for a too-hot laptop

Rants, raves, reviews and resources for Dallas-Fort Worth parents

I occasionally find articles online that I would like to share with friends. The problem I'm having is that I cannot always copy them. The things I want to share are from free sites that are accessible by the general public. Is there some trick to this that I'm not aware of? Many thanks for your help.

Some items -- even those accessible by the general public -- may be created in a manner to prevent copying. In those instances, the easiest thing to do is forward the article's Web address so it can be read on the website itself by your intended recipient(s).

I always recommend providing a link directly to a website rather than trying to copy and paste material to share with others, which often presents formatting challenges. In fairness to the good folks who provide the information that you would like to share with others, their objective is to generate traffic to their website, so they would be most appreciative if you would direct people to the content, as opposed to taking the content and sharing or distributing it to others.

I've noticed that my laptop gets quite hot, and I suspect it is because there is limited clearance between the laptop and my desk. I seem to recall you mentioned a device that elevates the laptop to provide more clearance for increased air flow, so it runs cooler. Am I remembering that correctly, and if so, what is that device, please?

There are a number of those types of devices, or you can simply slide a magazine or DVD plastic case under the back edge of the laptop to allow for greater air flow. There are also little adhesive "feet" you can attach to the bottom of a laptop or little felt pads that are intended for furniture.

If you prefer something store-bought, LapWorks ( has an assortment of products that will provide improved air flow to a laptop. I purchased several of them myself.

I have some bookmarks in my Internet Explorer Favorites file that I would like to remove. I tried to delete them, to no avail. Could you tell me how I should go about removing them?

For better or worse -- mostly worse -- there are multiple versions of Internet Explorer in use today, so without knowing what version you are using, this is how it is generally accomplished. Even if this isn't precise for your version, it should be very close.

Click Favorites on the Menu bar at the top of the IE screen, then click Organize Favorites. Click to select a Favorite -- or if you have them arranged in folders, click to open a folder, then select (highlight) a Favorite, and click the Delete button to remove it. Click the Close button when you are done.

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

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