iPad Or iHype?


Ask Mr. Modem – Q. I have been thinking of getting an iPad. Do you have one and is it everything that it’s cracked up to be?

A. Yes and yes. I do have an iPad 2, with the optional 3G (wireless) service, and it definitely lives up to the hype. Mrs. Modem, who isn’t a big computing enthusiast (she’s 5’ 1”), recently purchased one and her impressions are typical of most users in that she is particularly impressed with how easy it is to use, how simple it is to install programs (called applications, or apps for short) and she loves that she doesn’t have to fuss with anti-virus or anti-malware protection. A free app also allows her to read Kindle and other e-books, so she also saved the price of a Kindle. In fact, her enthusiasm for her iPad is the reason I wrote the new e-book series, Mr. Modem’s Top 50 iPad Tips available on Amazon at http://amzn.to/nw7pjf.

Q. In the upper right-hand corner of my keyboard is a key marked PrtSc/SysRq. I understand the PrintScreen part of it, but what is the SysRq used for?

A.
The SysRq or System Request key is a relic from another era – not unlike Mr. Modem. Unless specifically programmed for a particular application, today the SysRq key is as useless as a Kardashian at a MENSA meeting. In fact, the SysRq key doesn’t appear on most new keyboards.

Q. This may be a silly question, but can you tell me the difference between a CD and DVD?

A. Other than the spelling, there are a number of technological differences between the two, but from a user perspective the primary difference is capacity. A typical CD can hold 700MB (megabytes), while a single-layer DVD can hold 4.7GB (gigabytes), more than six times the amount of data. While CDs are primarily used for data and audio, DVDs are primarily used for video.


Mr. Modem’s Sites Of The Month

Answers.com www.answers.com
This self-described “New Standard in Reference” covers more than a million topics. It’s enough to make your head explode. The site’s editors draw their data from a myriad of sources, including dictionaries, thesauruses (thesaurii?), encyclopedias and atlases.

Bookshare – www.bookshare.org

Provides access to more than 125,000 digital books for the visually impaired. Out of copyright books are available to anyone; works still under copyright are available to Bookshare members. Individual, all-you-can-read, subscriptions are $50 per year and you must provide proof that you have a “print disability” that prevents you from reading regular books.

Compendium of Lost Words – http://phrontistery.info
In order for a word to qualify, it must be found in the Oxford English Dictionary, but it must not appear anywhere on the Internet – except, apparently, on this website. A few minutes perusing Forthright’s Phrontistery will transform visitors from humble wordsmiths to knowledgeable, hypenemious aretalogers – and you can quote me on that.

Mr. Modem’s life-altering e-book series, Mr. Modem’s Top 50 Computing Tips, (only $2.99) is available on amazon.com at http://amzn.to/mUNgAN.


Subscribe to Mr. Modem’s weekly newsletter for easy-to-use computing tips and prompt, personal answers to your computer questions by e-mail. To view a sample issue, visit www.mrmodem.com.

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