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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!

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This is how to draw a curve in Adobe Acrobat

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry170627-023056

For everyone out there who’s been searching for the answer to The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and how to draw a curve in Adobe Acrobat, then this is for you.

Of course, Acrobat is not a vector drawing program so there is no actual curve tool included in all the versions I’ve encountered, so how did I do this?

Needs curves!  Nice curves!

Yes, there IS a bit of trickery involved but the above curves were drawn very quickly, and using the normal drawing tools which you’ll find in Acrobat Professional/X. [Read More…]

Eleven years ago

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry170618-132536

Duke Gildenberg was on television…

Duke Gildenberg on British TV 10th June 2006 at 18:37 GMT

So, why was Mr Gildenberg on TV? Where does he fit in to world history?

image When Joe Kittinger made his world-record jump from 102,800 feet on Aug. 16, 1960, as part of Project Excelsior, launch couldn’t even take place until one man gave thumbs up. “Our forecasts were provided by one of the best meteorologists in the Air Force…: Bernard ‘Duke’ Gildenberg,” Kittinger wrote in “Come Up and Get Me” (UNM Press/2010, with Craig Ryan). “If Duke said go, you went, or you’d wonder why you hadn’t.”

http://www.spacesafetymagazine.com/aerospace-engineering/red-bull-stratos/balloon-go-no-go-gildenbergs-call-part-1/

Bernard David Gildenberg or “Duke,” as he was known in New Mexico and at NASA, was born in Hazelton, Pa., in 1925. He was brought up in Brooklyn, N.Y., and had lived in La Luz and Tularosa for the last 60 years of his life. He was a graduate of New York University and was in the Air Force during World War II, stationed in the Aleutian Islands in Alaska.

Mr Gildenberg died on the 2nd April, 2013, of natural causes.

Food Mixer and Back Door - June 2006

3D - Here come the pirates!

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry170617-212815

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How to make a Facebook Cover VIDEO

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry170616-010936

For the lucky few (guinea pigs) Facebook have enabled a feature which allows users to upload a video to be used instead of a regular (static) cover photo.

This feature is still very much in its infancy but it was worthy of a little bit of experimentation, so this is how I created a short video animation for the Darlington FC Supporters Group Facebook page. [Read More…]

The earth moved for me last night…

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry170608-064346

…and a few other people in the office said they also felt the little earthquake which hit Georgia last night.

Not much to report - it caused a few things we had hanging up on the wall to rock to and fro for a while afterwards - but if you weren’t looking at them you’d probably miss them. My Darlo bottle opener makes for a great earthquake detector!

https://www.emsc-csem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=596947

A Spring Storm in Tbilisi

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry170519-174209

It just got very very dark outside my office, with a fair bit of lightning.

I took about 150 photos and this was the best I could do!

A Spring Storm in Tbilisi

How to create an alphabetical list in Excel

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry170331-151659

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.

=SUBSTITUTE(ADDRESS(ROW(),COLUMN()+ROW()-COLUMN(),4),ROW(),”")

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.

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Formulae for Roots & Powers in Excel

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry170304-003048

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.

Here’s how to use that in a formula. [Read More…]

Give anonymously

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry170201-175934

imageI 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.

Fate

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry170131-133010

View from my new office…

View from my office

Hardly identical to one of my favourite Van Gogh paintings, but at least I’ve got some cypress trees in there.

Wheat Field With Cypresses, 1889 by Van Gogh

Knife… Fork… Sparklers

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry170103-111707

Happy New Year! S Novim Godam! I hope for world peace in 2017 (not that we’ll ever get it in my lifetime but, as the song goes, “things can only get better”.

Knife... Fork... Sparklers

3D Coaster Plate

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry161226-170824

It works for me!

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Cures ALL Windows problems since Vista

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry161224-201602

winxpsp3packaging.jpg

Just saying…

TP-Link MR3420 3G/3.75G Wireless Router

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry161210-182923

TP-Link TR-MR3420I 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…]

Excel Functions - Version Compatibility

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry161117-162809

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.

http://www.professionalexcel.com/2011/06/replace-iferror-with-ifiserror/

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..

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ztUAhgAghKn2wNih7-QgMbSAKfux4w_qkAcJdD82bLU/edit

Here’s the same thing downloaded for posterity as an XLSX file

Epson ITS L1300 A3+ USB Printer works with TP-Link TL-WPS510U Wireless Print Server

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry161028-041004

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…]

Using the current row or column number in a lookup formula

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry161017-131301

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.

Here’s how to avoid having to do that. [Read More…]

Diadora Shin Guards - they’re not just for sports!

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry161015-014520

Diadora shin guards helped Georgi to stand upA pair of Diadora shin guards proved to be the perfect solution to help Georgi use his standing wheelchair without having the leg restraint cut into his skin.

After Georgi had his operation we needed to buy him something to let him stand upright. A standing table would have been the cheapest option but that would have been static and quite a problem to lift him up and get him strapped in - and probably quite boring for him too!

A sit-to-stand chair would have been and improvement but, again, quite a static option.

So we splashed the cash and bought him a motorised standing wheelchair which, while we still need to lift him into it, allows him to sit or stand and motor around the house destroying the furniture at the flick of a joystick.

However, due to his contractures, he can’t straighten his legs sufficiently well to allow him to stand up straight and although the machine we bought came with a foam restraint to keep his legs together and allow him to stand, because his knees are always bent this restraint actually pressed into his shins and caused terrible sores… and sometimes bleeding too.

The solution was one which Georgi himself thought of - a pair of football shin guards (or shin pads, as I’ve always known them) proved to be perfect for stopping the restraint from cutting into his legs.

The result is that Georgi can now stay standing for much longer and until he gets tired, instead of when his legs start hurting.

Thank you Diadora!

“The only model that works” does not mean that it is the right model

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry161013-134934

I have a particular bee in my bonnet about for-profit charity donation sites - Just Giving is a prime example and a 2011 Evening Standard interview with co-founder Zarine Kharas ended with her saying that so-called soft capitalism is the only model that works when it comes to raising much needed funds for charities and special causes.

But this doesn’t make it right and I find it very sad that thousands of people feel a need to turn to these sites for help because they only address the symptoms of a problem which is deeply rooted in society as a whole.

I wonder, too, whether sites like Just Giving are just making things worse by vacuuming up donations for a plethora of non-urgent causes at the expense of those charities who are fighting to help people around the world whose situations are really desperate (and, in many case, caused by the governments who we elect and allow to wreak misery on their lives in our name).

People who are in greater need of care than the rest of us should be identified, assessed, managed, and given full reassurance that they will be looked after and will have no need to worry for the rest of their lives.

Where is the model which can accomplish this, because there is one - but not one which will be acceptable to the vast majority of First Worlders for whom charity is something they see as a tax-loss, or a highly commendable attribute which they can add to their CV.

Most people “give to charity” for all the wrong reasons - while they may kid themselves that they are feeding the poor they are, more often than not, feeding their own ego but this is just another symptom of the underlying problem of the world we have created between us.

Greed and consumerism aside I do believe that most people in the world wish there was a model for more utopian world - well, the Venus Project is one such model but we are at least several generations away from even getting to the point where people’s attitudes will change enough for us to set foot on that road. Maybe a big war will come and reset things so we just end up making the same mistakes again.

3D - Election Day

Permalink: http://paul.us2uk.eu/?x=entry:entry161008-130647

It’s time for the media circus which masquerades as the Parliamentary Elections in Georgia today - always entertaining, no matter which side you support. It’s a nice day for it so I hope there’s a big turnout.

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Support our caregiving

If you found anything on this site of use, interesting, or even mildly amusing then please consider dropping a few pennies in the jar to help us to take care of our disabled son who contracted encephalitis in 2007 at the age of 6 and who is now confined to a wheelchair. He is getting bigger as his mother and I get older, imagine that, please. Every penny we collect goes towards his upkeep, and towards his future care requirements.

Thank you.

Support our caregiving

Support our caregiving

If you found anything on this site of use, interesting, or even mildly amusing then please consider dropping a few pennies in the jar to help us to take care of our disabled son who contracted encephalitis in 2007 at the age of 6 and who is now confined to a wheelchair. He is getting bigger as his mother and I get older, imagine that, please. Every penny we collect goes towards his upkeep, and towards his future care requirements.

Thank you.