Ask Mr. Modem: A Second Chance With CTRL + Z

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Click to read more about Mr. Modem.

Q. Sometimes when I drag a file, I fumble with the mouse and the file winds up in the wrong location. Is there some way I can cancel what I just did so I can start over?
A. Windows does provide a second chance of sorts in the form of an Undo keystroke command for this type of oopsie. (It’s a technical term.) The universal undo command is CTRL + Z, which works just about everywhere within Windows. You can use it when copying or moving objects, pasting and even when editing a document or spreadsheet.

Q. I have been using Windows XP since it came out years ago. Do you have a crystal ball handy so you can tell me how long XP will be around?
A. Technically, Windows XP, which was released in October 2001, is “no longer around” in the sense that it was replaced by Vista (released January 2007), Windows 7 (released October 2009), and Windows 8 (released October 2012). Microsoft support for XP ended on April 8, 2014, which means there will be no future security updates.
None of the above means that XP is going to vaporize or cause any particular problems other than those associated with any aging operating system that might become less cooperative than it was in its youth – something to which I can relate. If that occurs and you have the original XP installation CD, you have the option of having it reinstalled, though I would recommend considering a new computer at that point.
Windows XP is still available for purchase, as is Windows 7. has several retailers who still have Windows XP and 7 for sale. Some new-computer purchasers opt to have Windows 8 removed and Windows 7 installed in its place.

Q. Is there a site for old comic strips, specifically Smokey Stover?

A. Proving definitively that you can find anything online, there is indeed a site where you will find Smokey cartoons, as well as Smokey memorabilia. It also includes lovable Spooky the Cat and Nuts and Jolts. Be sure to also check out where you will find hundreds of comic strips and some of the best editorial cartoons.

Q. Every time I use the Bing search engine, there is a new background image, which I find distracting. Is it possible to disable it?

A. If you want to use without the background, copy the following address into your browser’s address field and click Search or press Enter: (That’s a zero, not the letter O.)

Mr. Modem’s Web Sites Of The Month

Customer Service Scoreboard
Many people believe they receive inadequate or inept customer service today – with good reason: Only 45 out of the 701 companies surveyed on this site have been rated as providing acceptable or better customer service. The ratings on this site take into consideration many criteria, including positive versus negative comments and scoring for specific characteristics such as friendliness and issue resolution.

How to Get Rid of Things
This site is dedicated to helping you banish common annoyances from your life. Everything from allergies to wrinkles, from adware to unsightly static cling, you will learn how to get rid of it here. (Unfortunately, it does not pertain to people. I just checked and Uncle Sid is still in the guest room. Just my luck.)

Physics Games
Online, physics-based games. Need I say more? Perhaps. Here you will find oodles (sometimes technical verbiage is unavoidable) of free, online, physics-related games. There is nothing to install and nothing to download. Just click to select a game and start playing. Instructions for each game are rather sparse, so be prepared for some trial and error gaming.

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