Tablet Life & Arts

Mr. Modem: Keep this guide in your corner when using Windows 8

Can you explain how the various corners work on the Windows 8 Desktop? I know they are supposed to do certain things, but I can’t figure them out.

The corners on your Windows 8 screen are called hot corners and provide access to a variety of Windows features. Tap, click or swipe each corner as follows:

Bottom left corner — Allows you to access the Start screen. If you are already viewing the Start screen, this corner will open the Desktop. Bonus tip: Right-clicking the left-hand corner will open the Power User menu.

Top-left corner — Moving the mouse to the top-left corner and then in a downward direction will display all currently running apps. Clicking and dragging any of these apps to the left- or right-hand side of the screen will snap that app to that side of the screen. Each of these open app icons can also be right-clicked to close.

Right side — Clicking or tapping the right-hand side of the screen will display Windows Charms, an opaque overlay that appears on the right side of the screen when summoned. Its purpose is to provide fast access to several frequently used features, including Search, Sharing, the Start screen, Hardware Devices and Settings.

When Windows 7 boots up, I see the message “Smartbar has stopped working.” Do I need to get it working? Everything seems to work fine without it.

One would think if the bar is so smart, it wouldn’t have stopped working in the first place. But one would be wrong. Actually, you don’t want to get the Smartbar working again because it is an unwanted plug-in that is typically distributed with other programs. When functioning, the Smartbar changes your browser’s home page and collects information about your computer.

You can get rid of it by going to the Control Panel > Programs > Uninstall a Program. A list of programs will suddenly appear, so don’t be frightened. Type “smartbar” (without the quotes) in the Search box in the upper right. When Smartbar appears in the search results, select it, then choose Uninstall.

I have a 1 GB flash drive with 16 photos on it. Used space shows 752 KB and free space is 959 MB. How many of the same size photos can I put on the remaining free space?

Mr. Modem had to break out his slide rule for this one, so let’s break it down: If you have 16 photos that consume 752 KB (kilobytes) of space, that’s an average of 47 KB per photo (752 divided by 16); 959 MB (megabytes) equals 959,000 KB. So if we divide 959,000 KB by 47 KB per photo, we learn that 20,404 photos can be placed on the remaining 959 MB of free space. Happy snapping!