MadMod Computing The MadMod Computing Newsletter

Vol. 2001d

Welcome to the fourth issue of The MadMod Computing Newsletter.   We hope that you enjoy the features of each issue and learn some computing skills along the way.

First, a reminder to make backups of your important files, and to use Scandisk and Disk Defragmenter -- at least monthly.

Featured in This Issue
1.     Using Charts Inside of Microsoft Excel
2.     Zipping and Unzipping Files
3.     Taking a Ride on Tourbus (website)

1.    Using Charts Inside of Microsoft Excel
Suppose you have a Microsoft Excel file that contains the following information in two columns:
  Month   Income
  Jan   $8200
  Feb   $8700
  Mar   $8300
We'd like to display the information in a column graph with labels for Month and Income.  Next, select all the cells from A1 to B4.  Using the "Insert" menu choose "Chart" and "On This Sheet".  Then holding the left-mouse button down, open a rectangle on the page.  Choose "Next" and you will then be told to select a chart format.  Select the "Column" chart and on the next screen choose "2".  Continue clicking "Next" until you reach a screen for the chart title and axis labels.   Write what you like and click "Finish".  You can then resize the graph and move it.  Experiments with graphs of your data inside of Microsoft Excel can produce amazing results.

2.    Zipping and Unzipping Files
A .zip file is a file of files that is packed to reduce the sizes of a number of files and to collect them together as a unit.  The zip file can contain programs, photos, text, whatever.  Zipping can sometimes greatly compress files.  Zipped files can also help you to save hard disk space when you're running low.

Begin by running WinZip from the program menu.  Click on "New" for new archive.  Choose the destination folder and the archive name you want such as  A box will now open for you to find and select the files you want.  Click the "Add" button for each one.  "File Action" also contains the "Add" option.  When done, under "File" select "Close Archive".  Now is packed and can be sent to a floppy if small enough or as an attachment in an e-mail.  (Be sure that your e-mail recipient knows how to unzip an attached

To retrieve the original files, run WinZip and "Open" the archive  What displays are all the separate compressed files.  They have to be decompressed or "extracted".  Under "Actions" choose "Select All".  Next under "Actions" select "Extract".  The box that opens will require you to choose the folder where the extracted files belong.  The files are then inflated (decompressed) and put into the folder, where they are now back to their original format.

3.    Taking a Ride on Tourbus (website)
Tourbus at is a "must visit website" that contains a treasure of information on how to search and use the web, solve problems with your computer, understand security and anti-virus issues, and numerous topics of general interest to all persons who use the Internet.  It is possible to receive regular issues of Tourbus via a free or paid e-mail subscription.   Be sure to check out their archives.

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E-mail to the editor: David Mawdsley

Copyright © 2001, The MadMod Computing Newsletter