Quick! Don't miss a great shot with your iPhone

I know how to use my iPhone's camera, but it takes me about 15 seconds to unlock the iPhone, tap Camera, and check to see whether it's the front or back lens being used and whether I'm taking video or still photos. By the time I check all that, I often miss the shot I wanted to take. Is it just me, or is there a faster way to do this?

There is, indeed, a way to be a bit faster on the digital draw.

First, unless you frequently take pictures of yourself or video conference, keep the camera set on the lens that faces away from you. Right off the bat, that's one less thing to check. If you primarily take still photos, leave that setting as your default as opposed to video. Then, when you see something you want to shoot, even though your phone is locked, press the Home button twice fast, then tap the camera icon that appears and you will be ready to shoot. This quick-draw technique is perfect for those occasions when you spot Bigfoot, a UFO or a unicorn.

I'm using Windows 7 and I read somewhere that I should create a system repair disk. What is it and how do I create one?

Windows 7 is very stable, but any operating system can crash for any number of reasons. The worst-case scenario involves a crash after which you cannot boot back into Windows. In that situation, a recovery disk can save the day.

Click Start > Control Panel. In the default view, click System and Security > Backup and Restore. In the Classic view, click Backup and Restore. In the left pane, click Create a System Repair Disk, then select the CD/DVD drive you want to use, insert a blank disk, and click the Create Disk button.

It may take a few minutes for Windows to check the validity of your operating system (no bootlegged versions, please) and write the disk, so be patient.

When it is done, you will be able to use it to boot to your system for troubleshooting purposes, or bring the repair disk to your reputable computer repair person, who will use it to jump-start your computer.

The pop-up captions that appear when I hover my mouse over buttons and toolbar items in Word 2007 get in the way. Can I turn them off or disable them?

Although they are intended to be helpful, Word's ScreenTips can be annoying, especially if you are familiar with the program and don't need them. To turn them off, click the round Office button in the top corner of the screen and choose Word Options at the bottom. Click Popular in the left pane, and in the ScreenTips Style area, select Don't Show Screen Tips, followed by OK.

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