October 30, 2012

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

Also, the surprising cost of all that electronic communication, and more

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

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

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