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February 21, 2011

Kim Komando answers your Internet questions

OSKALOOSA — Q. I live in a rural area with limited cell reception. But I have a wireless network. Which smart phones can access the Internet over Wi-Fi?

A. Most mobile gadgets now have wireless capabilities. This includes most smart phones. Accessing the Internet over Wi-Fi shouldn’t be a problem. However, you may still have to purchase a cellular data plan. That may be a waste of money in your situation. Consider getting an iPod touch or a tablet computer instead. These are designed primarily to work with Wi-Fi. That means a data plan is often not needed. But they’ll still run the same apps as their smart phone counterparts. And you won’t have any trouble accessing the Internet.

Q. I’m buying a flat-screen HDTV. Should the screen size be influenced by my room size?

A. TV screen size and room size do have a correlation. Sitting too close to a large screen can mean worse image quality. Plus, you will have to move your head to see the whole screen. A screen that’s too small isn’t as immersive. A general guideline for sitting distance is about 2 times the screen’s diagonal measurement. So, for a 40-inch screen, you should sit about six and a half feet away. I recommend measuring the distance from your couch to where you will place the set. Then stand that distance from the TVs while shopping. This will help you get the appropriate size.

Q. Is it possible to create custom keyboard shortcuts on a Mac?

A. Keyboard shortcuts make it faster to perform common tasks. But not every task has a shortcut. Fortunately, you can make your own shortcuts. Open OS X’s System Preferences. Then select Keyboard. On the Keyboard screen, click the Keyboard Shortcuts tab. Now hit the plus button near the center of the screen. Select an application and type in the name of the menu item for which you want a shortcut. You must type the exact command name, including any punctuation. Then enter the desired keyboard shortcut. Once you’re done, hit the Add button.

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