MadMod Computing The MadMod Computing Newsletter

September, 2010 - Vol. 2010c

Welcome to this edition of The MadMod Computing Newsletter.   We hope that you enjoy the features of each issue and learn some computing skills along the way. For more topics on other newsletters, check out MadMod Computing Newsletters.

First, a reminder to make backups of your important files, and to keep your anti-virus software up-to-date.   Second use a software firewall and/or a router if using broadband.   Last, obtain all the critical Windows updates.

Featured in This Issue
1.     Capture the Current Screen
2.     Microsoft Document Compatibility
3. (website)

1.    Capture the Current Screen
On a computer keyboard when using Windows, you may discover a key "Prnt Scrn" or with similar labeling that means "Print Screen." Hold down the shift or function key and press the "Prnt Scrn" to capture an image of the current window on your screen. The image is thus saved to the internal clipboard used by Windows. Next open Microsoft Word to a new document and paste in the image. From there you can now truly print the screen to your printer.

When using a computer with the Linux distribution Ubuntu, use Applications | Accessories and then choose "Take Screenshot" to get an image that can be saved to the desktop. From there it can be copied and pasted into a document.

Both of the screen capture techniques are particularly useful to show directory listings or special windows displayed by applications. They may not work well with action graphics however--depending upon the intensity of the graphics used.

2.    Microsoft Document Compatibility
If you've been using a computer for awhile, a friend or colleague may send you document in a file format of .docx or .xlsx that you can't open with Microsoft Word 2003 or 2003. You've just encountered what I call the "Wrong Parent Syndrome." File formats such as .docx or .xlsx belong to a parent called Microsoft Office 2007 that Word or Excel respectively use by default. Your version of Microsoft Office is the wrong "parent."

At least three solutions exist to solve this problem--short of purchasing a newer Microsoft Office version. They include:
1. Have your friend first save the document in an older format such as .doc or .xls before sending it on to you.
2. Visit and search for "Microsoft Office File Converter Pack" which show up with a link to a page that offers a download. The download will update your Microsoft Office (versions 97 through 2003) so it can read the more recent formats.
3. Visit to download and install's complete office suite. This suite of applications is good at reading and saving files in numerous formats that include those used by Microsoft's Office. The OpenOffice suite is available for the computer worlds of Windows, Apple and Linux.

3. (website)  Outside of solitaire and soduku I'm basically not one to play games on my computer. However, is a game a real purpose: research in the field of genetics originated at the University of Washington. The game can be used the computer worlds of Windows, Apple or Linux with a simple download and install.

After establishing a login and password, the user is presented with a sequence of 29 puzzles folding proteins. Each is a lesson on how to use the variety of tools to modify the protein's shape and composition. Tools to rotate, stretch, move, reflect parts of the protein and to insert, delete or substitute its amino acids. With a minimum of learning and practice, the backyard scientist can be taught what to do. The game includes chat capability with other gamers.

After the training period of the 29 introductory puzzles, a problem protein is presented. With time, patience and luck, a successful folding may be achieved which then helps researchers to fashion pharmaceuticals to cure disease, reduce poisons or toxins or to fashion an improved agricultural product.

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