This blog is a cross between a scrapbook and a diary. I hope you find something here of interest. If you’d like to keep up with things as I see them then you can subscribe to my news feed by clicking the icon below:
Please note that any reviews/recommendations are based solely on my own experience and does not constitute a guarantee that you will have the same experience. Please do your own research before parting with any money - the risk is all yours!
Looking for my world famous US to GB English spelling converter?
There didn’t seem to be a way to create a custom list in Excel which would allow you to put letters of the alphabet down one column (unless you typed one in by hand for however many letters you want to go down to) so here’s a formula I dreamt up to do just that.
This will work in any column and will keep incrementing the lettering well past “Z” (which is a limitation of some other formulae I found to do the same job).
My formula will only work if you start the sequence in the first row because it works by setting the column number as the current row number - so row 1 will be “A”, row 26 will be “Z”, row 5000 will be “GJH”, and so on.
If you need to start your list in any row other than row 1 then you’ll either need to adapt the formula somehow (good luck with that - but please let me know if you have any success) or simply create a list starting in row 1 on a new blank worksheet then the list and paste it as values (so you just get A, B, C, etc. instead of the formula) in the cell where you want your list to start. The keyboard shortcut I use to paste values is Alt-E,S,V., or you can do it the standard way - see the help section for your version of Excel for instructions if you get stuck.
The beauty of this is that the exact same fomula work in any cell and in any column.
If you’ve ever wondered what the little “hat” symbol (^) is for, generally above the number 6 on your keyboard, then your further enlightenment is at hand.
It has a number of uses, for instance you can use ^p in the search & replace function in MS Word to find and replace paragraph markers - useful when you need to remove extraneous line breaks when you paste a block of text in which doesn’t format correctly.
However the ^ symbol in Excel is used to denote powers so, if you want to find the square or cube of a number, rather than use the more cumbersome POWER worksheet function you can just use n^2 or n^3 to find the square or cube of a number.
There’s a lot to be said for the idea that the earth’s oil pockets are self-replenishing. It wouldn’t do a great deal for the price of oil if word got out that there are trillions of gallons of the stuff sloshing about way down deep in the Earth’s mantle, ready to slowly seep back up and fill the voids which we’ve so far managed to suck dry.
I put it to you that the main reason people give to charity is to boost their own ego. We all know their type “does a lot of good work for cherridy and don’t like to talk about it (but want everyone to know about it, otherwise… what’s the point?).
If you see someone who needs help, and you can help, do it! No need to make a song and dance about it, and it feels much better.
It seems odd that trees, if you observe them closely, only sporadically drop their leaves, and do so in unison with all the other trees around them… almost in symphony with one another - even when there is no wind at all.
Perhaps some highly expensive apparatus could detect, record, and analyse the precise barometric and climatic conditions in fine enough detail in order to determine any correlation with the trees dropping their leaves.
If not, then there is something else going on.
Stanley Oliver 1841
The Collected Works of Stanley Oliver - The Partridge Press 1945
There was an interesting article on the BBC website today about a guy who has turned his home into one which watches who is in the building and alerts the owner if there is someone there which it doesn’t recognise. It also adjusts the heating etc. if someone turns up who prefers the house a little warmer or cooler, and the developer expects to be able to expand his system to allow him to “talk” to the house and just issue whatever commands he wants.
It may all sound a bit geeky and even a bit sinister from a privacy point of view, but this is exactly the kind of system which I am surprised hasn’t been developed by a big company such as Amazon or Google because it could open up the possibility of affording a much greater degree of independence for disabled people.
Couple this with a few robots for specialist operations such as getting someone in and out of bed, or to the bathroom, and it would be just brilliant for someone like Georgi to be able to live more or less on his own, yet still be monitored in case he needs help with something.
Posted by Paul
at 21:32 on 28 Dec 2016
Sorry comments are disabled because I don't have time to deal with spam. Please use my contact form if you have any comments to make about anything on this blog.
I bought a TP-Link TR-MR3420 to replace my aging D-Link DIR-300 router which was beginning to play up.
I’d been looking at the Unifi wireless modems which seem very good (from a first hand account I received) but a bit more expensive than this model, which has the added bonus of allowing you to use it to beam the internet signal from an EVDO USB modem around the house. As we have one of these sticks (we use it as back-up in case we lose our normal connection, and also to access the internet if any of us goes away somewhere) this seemed to fit our needs perfectly… and so it proved. [Read More…]
While working on a spreadsheet today I was using the ISERROR function to test if a VLOOKUP formula returned a value and, if it did, return the value otherwise display nothing - instead of the usual #N/A error notification.
The usual syntax for this formula begins “=IF(ISERROR(VLOOKUP(…”.
I happened to notice that Excel 2010 (the version I use at work) offered up “IFERROR” as a possible function as soon as I typed the “IF” and, indeed, this allows me to write slightly shorter formula. However this is not backwards compatible with Excel 2003 which I use elsewhere so I avoided using it.
For anyone faced with a situation where they have a spreadsheet containing lots of instances where the a formula contains “IFERROR” then help is at hand at the following link - untested, but I’m sure it’ll work. I’ve bookmarked it here because it looks like quite a useful site.
There are obviously a few more functions which were added in later versions of Excel which you should avoid using if you don’t want your spreadsheet to fail when someone opens it in Excel 2003 (which I much prefer!). The other one I avoid for this reason is “SUMIFS” (I use “SUMPRODUCT” instead) but here’s a useful list of all Excel functions showing which versions they are compatible with - plus a useful description of each..
When a monster update came through and installed itself on our Windows 10 laptop, aside from suddenly getting annoyed to death by “Cortana” (some stupid Microsoft “help thing”, I think - not asked for nor desired, anyway) the laptop - a Dell - just started freezing up after a few minutes of use.
If this happens to you (and you could care less about ditching Cortana) then try this first before tearing your hair out. [Read More…]
I think the title above is descriptive enough to answer the question which I’ve seen many people asking about this printer. We bought one for the office today along with a wireless print server not knowing whether we could get them to work together or not, but the answer is a resounding YES! [Read More…]
I was working on a monster spreadsheet which contained over 2000 rows of data spread across 54 columns when I discovered that the spreadsheet I’d been given had about 1000 items (i.e. 1000 rows) missing. I eventually received a revised spreadsheet with the missing items so I was now faced with the task of transferring all of the data which I’d meticulously entered in the original sheet, into the new one.
While it was quite simple to select all of the rows and columns in the original sheet and give it a name (using “Define Name” on the Formulas Toolbar), then use this in a VLOOKUP formula to fill in the cells on the new sheet which had corresponding cells with data on the old sheet, because I had 54 columns of data this would have meant manually changing the column number each time I used the formula in the next column along.
If you found anything on this site of use, interesting, or even mildly amusing please consider tipping a few pennies in the jar to help look after our son, Georgi, to whom this blog is shamelessly dedicated.
Georgi contracted encephalitis and fell into a coma in the summer of 2007. He’s a strong boy and survived, but he suffered brain damage and still can’t walk or talk (well, not very well - but he does try). He’s growing all the time and every penny we collect goes towards his upkeep, and towards his future care requirements.