How to save those sweet cell-phone voice mails

Q. I have some voice mails of my granddaughters that I've saved for two years on my Verizon Wireless cell phone service. I asked Verizon if I can download the voice mails so I can permanently save them, but they said no. I've heard that RadioShack has $75 software that can help, but I'm trying to avoid that cost. Any ideas?

You have several options, but none are free. Verizon refers customers to voice-mail copying firm CBW Productions, or 800-770-8046. Alternatively, RadioShack offers a $20 “Wireless Phone Recording Controller” that connects your cell phone to an audiotape recorder.

Q. The manual for the new appliance we purchased is on a DVD. It's in the PDF format, but my Windows XP computer won't open it. What software do I need?

You just need a free download. PDF, or Portable Document Format, is a file format used by Adobe Systems to create slick-looking electronic pages that resemble pages in a printed brochure or publication. You can read the PDF document by first downloading and installing the free “Adobe Reader 9” software from acrobat/readstep2.html. After you've installed Adobe Reader, double-click the PDF file on the DVD and it should open.