Ask Mr. Modem!
Q. How do I make a Desktop shortcut to a Web page that I frequently visit? For example, I use the Google search engine several times a day so it would be convenient to have one-click access to it from my Desktop. I know how to create a Favorite in Internet Explorer, but how do I put a link to a page on my Desktop?
A. When you want to place a shortcut to a specific Web site or Web page on your Desktop, if youre using Internet Explorer, start by going to the Web page itself. In your case, with Google displayed on screen, click File > Send > Shortcut to Desktop. Thats all there is to it. You can press F2 to rename the new shortcut, if you wish.
If youre using Firefox, with the Web page on screen, click the Restore button, which is the middle button in the top, right-hand corner between the Minimize and Maximize buttons. When you can see your Desktop surface behind your browser window, place your mouse pointer on the little icon to the left of the Web site address in the Firefox Address bar. When the icon turns into a little hand, wave back to be friendly, then hold down the left mouse button, drag the icon to your Desktop and release it. Instantly, a Desktop shortcut to that Web page will be created. This drag-and-drop method works with all browsers.
Q. I am unable to open links in my emails and I cant figure out why. It just started happening. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Im using Internet Explorer and Outlook Express, if that matters.
A. Don't shoot the messenger, but keep in mind that Outlook Express is now two generations old, having been replaced by Windows Mail, when Vista was released, which was in turn replaced by Windows Live Mail, when Windows 7 made its debut. With the passage of time, Outlook Express will become increasingly problematic, which happens with older software. I don't like it either, but that's the way technology tends to work. In short, Outlook Express is long past its prime -- something to which I can relate.
You certainly do not have to do anything at this point, but it is ultimately going to be in all OE users' best interests to consider alternatives. Many former Outlook Express users have taken this opportunity to free themselves from email software forever and make the switch to Web-based Gmail (www.gmail.com) or Yahoo! Mail (http://mail.yahoo.com), which makes a lot of sense. I use Gmail and Thunderbird.
Turning to your question, Outlook Express was, at one time, the email component of Internet Explorer, so to resolve the problem you are experiencing, open Internet Explorer and click Tools > Internet Options > Advanced tab. Click the Restore Defaults button located near the bottom, followed by OK. Restart your computer and links will be clickable once again. Oh, happy day!
Mr. Modem's Sites of the Week
Celebrity Real Names
Have you ever wondered about the real names of celebrities? Me neither, but this site lists the birth names of celebrities before they got all uppity and changed them. Ruby Stevens, Camile Javal, Doris Von Kappelhoff, Mr. Module -- yes, theyre all here.
Dressed to the Nines
Explore the evolution of the baseball uniform, from its humble New York City origins in 1849, to the sleek synthetic outfits worn by today's grotesquely over-compensated superstar athletes and occasional felons.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Northern California's Monterey Bay Aquarium comes to life tanks to this excellent Web site. Its the next best thing to actually visiting the aquarium. (Caution: You will never think the same way about seafood again. Flipper burger anyone?)
Mr. Modem publishes "Ask Mr. Modem! each week, featuring PC tips, tricks, and plain-English answers to your questions by email. For more information, visit MrModem.com.