Sign Up: Writer | Buyer
Contact Us

Empire State Building
350 Fifth Ave, Suite 7313
New York, NY 10118
phone: (800) 704-6512

Price: $25.00
Minor modifications of this article are permitted to adjust to the available space or to the publication’s editorial style.
03-02-12 Ask Mr. Modem! Weekly Column
by Mr. Modem

Eliminate Duplicate Files

Q. I back up my important data to two external drives, but the files and total space used do not match. Is there any way to compare the two drives so I can determine which files are missing or duplicated so I can make both drives the same?

A. Yes, there are programs that will compare files and folders as you describe. Two of the most popular are FolderMatch (, which is $24.95, and WinMerge (, which is free. Tough decision.

Q. I am thinking about buying a Kindle eBook reader, in part because I would like to read your eBooks, but I have a few questions that I was hoping you could answer for me. First, what formats are supported by eReaders? How often does it need to be recharged? Does using an eReader hurt one's eyesight? Thanks, Mr. M.

A. .TXT and .PDF files are supported by all eReaders, as are basic image files such as .GIF and .JPG. Beyond these fundamental formats, supported formats vary depending on the eReader.

As far as recharging an eReader, displaying pages of a book in an eReader uses very little power. The most power is used when actually turning pages. It varies widely, depending on the device and how it's used, of course. Amazon is continually bickering with Barnes & Noble (Kindle vs Nook), but it ranges anywhere from a couple of weeks to a month or longer between charges, and anywhere from 7,000 to 25,000 page turns, which is a lot of reading for the average reader, but about two hours if you're Evelyn Wood. eReaders that have access to a wireless network or utilize touchscreens tend to drain power faster than other models. However, these models require much less recharge time than other similar models.

Regarding any harm to one's eyesight, that's an excellent question. According to my ophthalmologist, Dr. Jerry “Squinty” Anderson, “absolutely not.” In fact, compared to reading a computer screen, there is less eyestrain with an eBook reader because they generally have higher contrast and no flicker, which reminds me of the old TV show, “My Friend Flicker?” Ah, those were the days.

Q. I recently read that Google's Chrome browser has added a PDF reader in the latest version. Does this mean I do not have to use Adobe Reader or Foxit anymore?

A. That is correct; however, if you use Chrome, make sure it's working properly by opening several PDF files before you uninstall it or any other PDF readers you have. In the alternative, I would suggest leaving one of your other PDF readers installed as a backup. It's not going to hurt anything to simply leave it alone.

Mr. Modem's Sites of the Week

If you have a Web site and you are concerned that others might be using your content without permission, this site will help you fight online plagiarism and content theft. Enter a Web address and Copyscape will identify sites that may have copied that page without permission. Creeps!

The 2-Variable Intuition Test
This alternative IQ Test presents a series of questions designed to determine levels of Scientific and Emotional Intuition. Caution: Some of the questions may be perceived as a bit coarse or inappropriate, so if you are easily offended, it would be best not to participate. The test can be completed in approximately five minutes.

Screenwriting Primer
If you’ve been harboring thoughts of writing an Academy Award winning screenplay, but just haven’t gotten around to jotting it down, this will be right up your alley. Aspiring screenwriters will enjoy this site, created by veteran screenwriter John August. John’s credits include “Charlie’s Angels,” but let’s not hold that against him. A large portion of the site consists of Mr. August answering screenwriting-related questions submitted by readers and fans. The site is a bit on the quirky side, but interesting nonetheless.


For plain-English answers to your questions by email, plus great computing and technology tips, subscribe to Mr. Modem’s award-winning WEEKLY newsletter. Subscribe using Promo Code MODEM and receive a free month (four weekly issues!) with your six-month subscription. To view a sample issue or subscribe, visit

Published: Mar 5,2012 18:45
Bookmark and Share
You may flag this article with care.


Featured Authors
Andy Cowan
Andy Cowan, an award-winning writer, whose credits include Cheers and Seinfeld, regularly contributes humor pieces to the Los Angeles Times and the CBS Jack FM Radio Network.
Paul M. J. Suchecki
Paul M. J. Suchecki has more than 30 years of experience as an award winning writer, producer, and cameraman. He's written numerous newspaper and magazine articles. Currently he writes, produces and shoots for LA CityView Channel 35 and his more than 250 articles for are approaching half a million readers.
Coby Kindles
Coby Kindles is a freelance journalist, screenplay writer and essayist. She has been a staff writer at Knight Ridder and a regular contributor to The Associated Press.
Debbie Milam
Debbie Milam is a syndicated columnist for United Press International, an occupational therapist, family success consultant, and motivational speaker with more than 20 years experience. Her work on stress management, spirituality, parenting, and special-needs children has been featured in over 300 media outlets including First for Women, The Miami Herald, Elle, Ladies Home Journal, The Hallmark Channel, PBS and WebMD.
Dan Rafter
Dan Rafter has covered the residential real estate industry for more than 15 years. He has contributed real estate stories to the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Business 2.0 Magazine, Home Magazine, Smart HomeOwner Magazine and many others.
Jack Nargundkar
Jack Nargundkar has been repeatedly published in Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The New York Times. He is also an author of "The Bush Diaries" published in July 2005.