Tablet Life & Arts

Ask Mr. Modem: Put flash drives into a rotation

I use a flash drive to back up all my data, and I leave it plugged in all the time. Does leaving it plugged in wear it out quicker, or should I be plugging it in only when I need to copy something to it?

Leaving a flash drive plugged in will have no adverse effect on the drive. Wear and tear occurs during the read/write process, not from a flash drive sitting idly in a USB port.

I use a rotational flash-drive backup system, which results in one or more backup flash drives NOT residing in a computer at all times. (Insert “Huh?” here.) In other words, I have two flash drives for each computer and each time I back up data, I remove one drive and insert the other. So at any time, my flash drives are either current or one backup behind. I also keep my most important data backed up within a free Gmail ( account I maintain for that specific purpose. To do this, I simply mail (as an attachment) any important files I want to keep safely off-site.

Why do I keep getting a message that my Windows 7 is not genuine? It came installed on my computer that I bought in December 2012?

Windows 7 includes a Windows Genuine Advantage checker that verifies that your copy of Windows is legally licensed. However, sometimes an error may occur that causes Windows to forget it is registered. (How helpful is that?) Fortunately, there is an easy fix for this so you can stay ahead of the software police.

The first step is to look on the back or bottom of your computer for the Windows Authenticity Label. This label will display your Windows Product Key or serial number. Write it down.

Next, click the Start button and in the Search box type Activate Windows. In the window that appears you will be able to enter your Product Key and proceed with activation. You may need to click the Change Product Key button and type the Product Key again.

Once activated, you will receive a message confirming activation and you will no longer be pestered by an impertinent message that dares to suggest your copy of Windows is not genuine. (Of all the nerve!)



This site is an online oasis, a quiet refuge that provides an opportunity to relax in increments such as two, 10 or 20 minutes. Click to select the amount of time then — well, relax. You can customize your relaxation experience by selecting a background image and sound, type of music you want to hear and whether or not you want guidance on your journey to relaxation — assuming making all these decisions doesn’t stress you out even more. To select your background image and sound, mouse over the bottom of the page. There you will observe six images that have sounds to match. My favorite was the waterfall, but my relaxation didn’t last long because the waterfall reminded me that I’ve got a leaking faucet that I need to have repaired.

History of Rock ’n’ Roll in 100 Riffs

This is a remarkable demonstration by guitar-player Alex, who plays 100 of the most famous riffs in rock ’n’ roll history — and he does it all in a single take. The video is 12 minutes in length, so crank up the volume, sit back and enjoy. If you want to add a little fun to the experience, don’t watch the screen as each song is identified, but instead try to jot down the name of each of the 100 riffs he plays, then match them up with the list that appears below the video. Put your rock ’n’ roll recollection to the test!