Monday, August 31, 2015



You could tell when Lotus was being taught by the instructor's chants of the multiple keystrokes. "Slash, F, Down arrow, Return, Slash, . . ."
"Another feature that illustrates 1-2-3's human-engineering design is its jargon-free prompts, explanatory messages, and fail-safe mechanisms.

Suppose I want to delete a spreadsheet file. When I type "/F", I get a menu of possible file actions, the first of which is in inverse video. I can execute any action by either moving the inverse video cursor to that action name and hitting the Return key or hitting the key that is the first letter of the action name.

If I hit the right-arrow key until the action name "Delete" is in inverse video, I get an explanatory note immediately below the command line that says, "Delete a worksheet, print, or graph file" ("worksheet" is Lotus's name for a spreadsheet).

That's what I want to do, so I conveniently hit Return. The inverse video cursor is already positioned on the option I want, "Worksheet", so I hit Return again. 1-2-3 now reads the current disk and gives me a menu of all the spreadsheet files by name.
I then move the inverse video cursor to the spreadsheet I want to delete and hit Return again (there's no need to type the file name - just point to it). 1-2-3 displays two options, "No" and "Yes", with the cursor on the "No" option and an explanatory note, "Do not delete the file". By moving the cursor onto the word "Yes" (which includes the note "Delete the file") and pressing Return, I can delete the spreadsheet file.

Wouldn't you like a piece of software that does all that for you?"

First Lotus 1-2-3 Review

Lotus was another application that missed the Windows train.

Here is a video discussing the spreadsheets about twenty years ago:
"Excel now dominates the spreadsheet world, but once upon a time there was actual competition among spreadsheet products. This program looks at Quattro 1.0, Allways 1.0, Lotus 1-2-3 3.0, Ashton-Tate's Full Impact, and Excel 2.1. Guests include Gary Kildall, Jan Lewis, and Jared Taylor of PC Magazine. Originally broadcast in 1988."

Spreadsheet Wars
One of the problems expressed in this program, was that you needed to run Excel on a 286 or 386 machine.
"The rise of Microsoft Windows in the personal computer market was accompanied by the rise in Microsoft's competing spreadsheet, Excel, and it gradually usurped the position of 1-2-3. Being loyal to OS/2, Lotus was slow to embrace Windows. Additionally, several versions of 1-2-3 were available concurrently, each with different set of functionality and slightly different interface."

Lotus 1-2-3

Here is the original PC spreadsheet program. You can download it, play with it, and then run back to Excel.


VisiCalc: Information from its creators, Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston

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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Too Many Slices

More data than the pie will hold

A pie chart displays the per cent of the whole is represented by the component elements. Four salesmen, four slices of pie.

The problem arises when there are 10 or so components that vary in size. The labels begin to overlap and the chart is difficult to read:

One suggestion that Chris Weber offers is to rearrange the order of the slices:

The article uses MS Graph in Access, but the techniques are applicable in all the other applications that can use graphs.

Easy as Pie. . .

"Chris Weber provides you with a generic method to control the data for pie charts that are actually readable."

(A downloadable example file is also provided

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Saturday, August 29, 2015


Information on everything

While the Google search engine can find almost anything (Google Search Tips), there are some other sites that have accumulated data lists on a number of subjects.

Melissa Data


Lookup ZIP Codes, city names, the location of phone numbers or the cities covered by an area code.

Phone Numbers

Enter a phone number or area code and get city, state, county, time zone and more.

Street Name

Enter any street name in the U.S. and get a listing of which states and cities have the street name. Even displays local street address detail.

U.S. Place Names

Get location information on over 1,000,000 geographic places including lakes, streams, populated areas, schools, churches & more.

City, State & County Demographics

The latest data available from the 2000 census on 46,455 counties, states, cities and places in the U.S.

Nearest Mailing House

Find the nearest recommended mailing house in your area.

Business List Counts

Use free list counts to discover new markets. Find more customers like your best customers.

U.S. Addresses

Lookup any U.S. address and get the ZIP+4 code, area code, time zone, county, address type, street detail and more.

Canadian Addresses

Lookup any Canadian address and get the Postal Code, time zone and area code.

Home Sales by ZIP Code

Number of home sales and average sell price by ZIP Code.

SIC Code

Get business counts by Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Code and descriptions of SIC codes.

Campaign Contributors

Individuals who have contributed $200 or more to federal campaigns by ZIP Code.

Climate Averages

Monthly low, average and high temperatures by ZIP Code.

People Finder

Locate anyone nationwide. Search billions of public records.

Occupants by ZIP

Generate a count of occupant delivery addresses by ZIP Code. Order your Occupant list online.

ZIP Codes by County

Obtain a list of the ZIP Codes in any county in the United States.

ZIP Distance

Displays the distance between any two 5-digit ZIP Codes in the United States.

ZIPs in a Radius

Displays a listing of the ZIP Codes that fall within a radius.

Area Codes in a Radius

Displays a listing of the Area Code + Prefixes that fall within a radius.

ZIP Code Demographics

Demographics by ZIP Code. Including population, family, housing, race, age and more.

Nearest Post Office

Locate the 10 closest post offices to a ZIP Code that accept bulk mail.

Income Tax Statistics

Income tax information by ZIP Code. Includes average AGI, number of returns, average refund, filing status, age and more.

Worldwide Place Names

Location information on over 5,000,000 geographic names worldwide.

Nonprofit Organizations

Information on a nonprofit organizations by ZIP Code. Includes address, revenue, assets, type of foundation and more.

Other information sites

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Redact That!

Redact that!

Weapon of Mass Obfuscation

"Redaction is the careful editing of a document to remove confidential information.

The Microsoft Office Word 2003 Redaction Add-in makes it easy for you to mark sections of a document for redaction. You can then redact the document so that the sections you specified are blacked out. You can either print the redacted document or use it electronically.

Sensitive government documents, confidential legal documents, insurance contracts, and other sensitive documents are often redacted before being made available to the public. With the Word 2003+ Redaction Add-in, users of Microsoft Office Word 2003+ now have an effective, user-friendly tool to help them redact confidential text in Word documents."

The redacted document can be protected and saved. The add-in creates a copy of the original, so original material is still available.

Word 2003 Redaction download

Word 2007 Redaction Tool

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

What if?

Scenario suggestions

"I wonder how our net profit would be affected if we could reduce our variable cost per unit by just a few cents. How much could we save if we found a lower interest rate? Wouldn't it be nice to be able to play around with some scenarios, do some "what-ifs" — without messing up your current data? It's easy with Microsoft Office Excel . You can set up "scenarios" to experiment with the data and compare the possibilities. Who knows? It could be a road map to better solutions for your business."

Excel "what-if" scenarios

American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (
" To find out how to use what-if functions, follow along as this tutorial takes you step-by-step through several problems. Excel 2000 is used here to illustrate these concepts, but the process is similar in all spreadsheet programs."

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Desktop Alert

Fix the timing

You can set the length of time a desktop alert appears, by going to:
  • Tools>Options menu
  • Email Options
  • Advanced
  • Desktop Alerts Setting

How to Use the Desktop Alert Feature

The maximum time is 30 seconds. If, for some reason, you want the alert to stay up longer, you can edit the registry.

Run Regedit and go to:


Add a TimeOn DWORD key (if not already present) and set a value in milliseconds, up to 4 billion worth (50 days.)
One day is 86,400,000.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Golden Striker

By Ron Carter

ASIN 7243 5 90832 2 3
Blue Note 2003

About the Artist
Ron Carter on bass, Russell Malone on guitar, Mulgrew Miller on piano

"Ron Carter is among the most original, prolific, and influential bassists in jazz. With more than 2,500 albums to his credit, he has recorded with many of music's greats: Tommy Flanagan, Gil Evans, Lena Horne, Bill Evans, B.B. King, the Kronos Quartet, Dexter Gordon, Wes Montgomery, and Bobby Timmons. He later toured Europe with Cannonball Adderley.

From 1963 to 1968, he was a member of the classic and acclaimed Miles Davis Quintet. He was named Outstanding Bassist of the Decade by the Detroit News, Jazz Bassist of the Year by Downbeat magazine, and Most Valuable Player by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

In 1993 Ron Carter earned a Grammy award for Best Jazz Instrumental Group, the Miles Davis Tribute Band and another Grammy in 1998 for Call 'Sheet Blues', an instrumental composition from the film 'Round Midnight."

Recording Description
"Tasteful" jazz

1. The Golden Striker
2. On And On
3. N.Y. Slick
4. Concierto De Aranjuez (Adagio Theme)
5. Cedar Tree
6. A Quick Sketch
7. Parade
8. A Theme In 3/4
9. Autumn Leaves

See (and hear):
(If you want some jazz to fill in the spaces while you work, you can have continuous sounds from this site)

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Process Mapping by Tube

London Underground

"This is a method for documenting business processes, based on the design elements of the London Underground diagram. We have used this technique in place of standard flowcharts, for all kinds of process-related documents including quality systems, to give a fresh and user-friendly look to what can be rather boring material. If you want to give your company processes a new lease of life and get staff using them regularly, this really will help."

Kay Initiatives Ltd.

Instructions include a guide book and PowerPoint Template. This used to be free, but now there is a charge for the materials. (About $27 for the PowerPoint Template).

Underground Map as Wallpaper.
Click on this link and then Right-click on the image and choose "Set as Background."

Also see:

Sometimes it's quicker to walk:
London Tube Map with Walklines

Edward Tufte:
London Underground Map.

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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Normalization Model

Excel Mock-up

Normalization, simplistically, is setting up tables of data so that information is entered only one time. Access is not as malleable as Excel, so for demonstration purposes, spreadsheet entries can be used to show the concept.
"This article explains how to use Microsoft Excel to create prototypes of your Access databases and how to make sure your data adheres to a set of rules called normal forms. Normal forms aren't hard to understand, and they're critical to designing useful databases."

Design Access databases with normal forms and Excel

Also see:
An Introduction to Database Normalization

Also see:
Building and using a relational database in Excel

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Saturday, August 22, 2015

HTML Character References

Display codes

Alan Wood's Web Site provides a lot of reference material. From over 1400 ingredients of pesticides¹ to Unicode and HTML resources.

In HTML, fonts and symbols can be generated from the numeric character reference or from the character entity reference.

–  or en dash

(– or –)

— or em dash

(— or —)

‡ or double dagger

(‡ or ‡)

™ or trade mark

(™ or ™)

∑ or n-ary summation, sum of

(∑ or ∑)

√ or square root, radical sign

(√ or √)
HTML 4.0 Character Entity References

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Friday, August 21, 2015


Seek and find

When you are looking for a particular word or file, wildcards can be used to refine the search.

An asterisk (*) can be used to represent any number of characters. A search for pop* would return popsicle, popcorn, pop1, pop2, pop37, pop29, and pop's favorite chair.

A question mark (?) is a stand-in for a single character. Popc??? would bring back only the word popcorn. Pop? searches for pop1 and pop2, but not pop37 etc.

That's a simple look at wildcards. Word has a rich variety of symbols that can do quite complex search and replace operations.

Here are some links to more detailed discussions:

Word MVP:
Using Wildcards

Felgall Pty Ltd:
Sydney, AustraliaWildcard information

Graham Mayor:
Find and Replace

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Fix the PST

Free toolkit

"If you can't open your Personal Folders file (.pst) or your Offline Folder file (.ost), or you suspect that your .pst or .ost data file is corrupt, you can use the Inbox Repair tool (Scanpst.exe), to diagnose and repair errors in the file.

  1. Quit Microsoft Outlook if it's running.
  2. Double-click Scanpst.exe, located at drive:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\LocaleID folder - where LocaleID is the locale identifier (LCID) for the installation of Microsoft Office. The LCID for English - United States is 1033.
  3. In the Enter the name of the file you want to scan box, enter the name of the .pst or .ost file that you want to check, or click Browse to look for the file.
  4. To specify scan log options, click Options, and then click the option you want.
  5. Click Start.
  6. When the scanning is completed, and if errors were found, you will be prompted to start the repair process.
  7. To change the name or location of the backup file created during the repair process, in the Enter name of backup file box, enter a new name, or click Browse to look for the file.
  8. Click Repair.
  9. Start Outlook using the profile that contains the .pst file that you tried to repair.
  10. On the Go menu, click Folder List.

In the Folder List, you may see a Recovered Personal Folders folder containing default Outlook folders or a Lost and Found folder. The recovered folders are usually empty, because this is a rebuilt .pst file. The Lost and Found folder contains folders and items that the Inbox Repair tool recovered. Items that are missing from the Lost and Found folder cannot be repaired.

If you see a Recovered Personal Folders folder, you can create a new .pst file, and then drag the items in the Lost and Found folder into the new .pst file. When you have finished moving all items, you can remove the Recovered Personal Folders (.pst) file, including the Lost and Found folder, from your profile."

Use the Inbox Repair tool

Recover e-mail messages in Outlook
To repair a damaged Personal Folders PST file

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Security and the Net

Is any place safe?

This from
"One of the biggest misconceptions is that hackers will target only large companies. The truth is computers get attacked for a variety of reasons. Some of these include the following:

  • Snooping: Reading private mail and other personal files.
  • Destroying or corrupting computer data: Making files unusable, or making a whole computer unusable.
  • Stealing computer data: Taking credit card numbers, e-mail addresses, company information and so on.
  • Stopping computers from functioning properly: Blocking incoming traffic so that intended users cannot get access, etc.
  • Misusing computer resources: Sending spam without you knowing it, etc.
  • Pranks: practical jokes, breaking in just because it's a challenge.

The bottom line, don't think your network is safe just because you're not that important or well-known. Assuming that you aren't personally targeted, moderately secure networks usually cause hackers to attack elsewhere. Yet attacks can come from many different sources and your computer should be equipped to deal with each of these types of attacks."


Check out your computers vulnerability at
(Gibson Research Corporation)

Also see:

See all Topics

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Monday, August 17, 2015

InputMask Characters

Change data display


Digit (0 through 9 entry required; plus [+] and minus [-] signs not allowed).

Digit or space (entry not required; plus and minus signs not allowed).

Digit or space (entry not required; blank positions converted to spaces, plus and minus signs allowed).

Letter (A through Z, entry required).

Letter (A through Z, entry not required).

Letter or digit (entry required).

Letter or digit (entry not required).

Any character or a space (entry required).

Any character or a space (entry not required).

, : ; - /
Decimal placeholder and thousands, date, and time separators.
(The actual character used depends on the regional settings specified in Microsoft Windows Control Panel.)

Causes all characters that follow to be converted to lowercase.

Causes all characters that follow to be converted to uppercase.

Causes the input mask to display from right to left, rather than from left to right. Characters typed into the mask always fill it from left to right. You can include the exclamation point anywhere in the input mask.

Causes the character that follows to be displayed as a literal character. Used to display any of the characters listed in this table as literal characters.
(For example, \A is displayed as just A.)

You can also enclose any literal string in double quotation marks.

Setting the InputMask property to the word Password creates a password entry text box. Any character typed in the text box is stored as the character but is displayed as an asterisk (*).

If you don't like the error message that appears by default i.e.:
"The value you entered isn't appropriate for the input mask '!\(999") "000\-0000;;_' specified for this field"

How to Replace the Default Input Mask Error Message

Also see:
Using an input mask to restrict data

Hidden Passwords

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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Survey Forms

Questionnaires and queries

You don't necessarily need special survey software to put out inquires.
These add-ins will let you produce an email survey. :
"RSVME is a free application that integrates with Outlook and other email packages, and makes obtaining feedback from people a snap! You can quickly and easily put together a questionnaire on any subject, from the best time for soccer practice to who's bringing what food to a party. Then select names out of your address book you want to send the questionnaire to, and send. It's that simple! As your friends get your email and answer your questionnaire, you get the response back in one simple-to-read report"
Survey Sample Form
"This Microsoft Outlook sample message form by Scott Bradley makes it easy to create surveys. Instead of building a different form for each survey you need to conduct, you can use this single form to create many different types of surveys. It supports five different types of questions:
  • Simple text
  • Yes/No
  • Five-level agree scale from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree
  • 1 to 10 (user enters a number)
  • Multiple choice (up to five choices)

When the user receives the survey, the form uses a wizard-like format to display the questions one at a time and allow the user to go back and change answers. The form returns responses to the sender in both Q&A and comma-delimited formats and then deletes the survey item."

Also see:

Custom Forms

How to Simulate More Than Two Form Interfaces

One free web based survey site is

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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Stop Programs from Appearing

MFU list

To remove items from the Most Frequently Used Programs list, right-click Remove from this list. However, when you run the program again, it may reappear on the list.

You can stop a program from appearing on the Most Frequently Used Programs list. No mater how often you use the program it will never appear on this list.
  1. Click Start and select Run.
  2. Type regedit and click OK.
  3. Look for the registry key:
  4. Under this key are a series of sub-keys representing the installed applications.
  5. Choose the executable you do not want to appear on the list. (for instance Excel.exe)
  6. Click Edit, point to New, and select String Value.
  7. Type NoStartPage for the value name.
  8. Close the Registry Editor.
  9. Restart the computer.

Microsoft Support:
Prevent a Program from Being Displayed in the Most Frequently Used Programs List

and:Start Menu (MFU) list is empty

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Friday, August 14, 2015


One day at a time

Here are some links with downloadable examples, and some code that can be used to create calendars in Excel:

Andrew Engwirda's Excel tips:

Excel Calendar

Calendar Toolbar

He also suggests:
"Tushar Mehta has a very nice calendar too which can be found here:


Erlandsen Data Consulting:
"Create a Create a simple calendar for each month or a small calendar (pocket) for a whole year.

The calendar automatically formats some holidays (included Easter Sunday etc.), you might need to customize the workbook to suit your needs."

(Evelyn Woolston scroll down to entry #5)

Microsoft Templates:

Calendar templates

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Pigeon/Slug Power

One if by air. Two if by slime

"Never underestimate a pigeon carrying a memory card, hovering above your head, ready to download"-yossi vardi

Pigeons' Data Transfer Rate:

"Calculating the bandwidth by dividing the amount of data by the flying time of the last pigeon, show that the bandwidth achieved by the pigeons was significantly larger that that available through commercially available ADSL broadband Internet connections: about 2.27 Mbps (Mega bit per second) as compared to 0.75 - 1.5 Mbps. [Please note that all measured times are of an observer on the ground. If measured by the moving pigeon it self, times are a bit shorter, according to Einstein's relativity theory].

Yet the Wi-Fly TCP (Transmission by Pigeons) protocol of wireless internet has had its limitations. First, pigeons cannot fly through Windows. Second, since they don't fly in darkness either, this method's bandwidth drops to zero 50 percent of the time. Finally, there's the problem of droppings download."

Google Pigeon ranking


"The use of snails as data communications agents was not considered before now. As we show in this paper, the negative attitude towards using snails in communications networks is an example of bounded rationality2 impeding bold and creative engineering.

Snails are widely assumed to be slow animals. Yet the literature on sluggish speed is surprisingly limited, and few have actually bothered to measure and record it formally. Further, reported gastropod speeds vary widely with species and circumstance, ranging from 0.0000233 to 0.00284 meters per second.

. . . a certain segment of the network's backbone was implemented by shuffling magnetic tapes in a station wagon in the Australian outback. This has prompted Andrew Tanenbaum to note that one should "never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes."

Sluggish Data.PDF

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

PowerPoint Magic

Tutorials and downloads

Glenna Raye Shaw is the PowerPoint Magician.

Here are some of the files that can be downloaded from her site:

PowerPak for PowerPoint Demo
the shareware version of PowerPak, an innovative collection of PowerPoint lesson and game templates.

PowerPak for PowerPoint Sampler
a larger file, but includes a fun custom show as well as the shareware.

Control the Heat Mouse Over Template (ppt file)
a PowerPoint template with a thermometer which can raise the temperature by moving the mouse over it.

Time Machine Mouse Over Template
ia PowerPoint template with a clock that can be moved forward and backward in time by moving the mouse over it.

Shadow Techniques
shows some fun techniques with shadows in PowerPoint.

Origins of PowerPoint
the illustrated version of Austin Meyer's irreverent story.

Mouse Over Magic
shows stupid mouse tricks.

music to go with the stupid mouse tricks.

Downloads and Resources

Vizinsight Blog

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Custom Dictionary

Spell it the way you want to!

Although Office has its own dictionary, it probably does not contain all the words and jargon that you use. If this is the case, you can add your own frequently used terms, and names to the dictionary.
  1. Open Word
  2. From the Tools menu, click Options
    (See link below for 2007)
  3. Select the Spelling and Grammar tab
  4. Click the Custom Dictionaries button
  5. Place a check beside the dictionary you want to modify
  6. Click the Modify button
  7. In the Word field, type in the word you want to add to the dictionary and click the Add button Click OK
  8. Click OK to close the Custom Dictionaries dialog box
  9. Click OK to close the Options dialog box
If you want to remove a word from the dictionary, complete steps 1 through 7. Select the word you want to remove and click the Delete button.
The Custom.dic file is a text file. You can create it or edit it using notepad.
Multiple dictionaries can be created for special purposes, like a list of employee names.
The Custom.dic file is used by all of the Office applications that do Spell checking.
How to add a custom dictionary in Word Working With Dictionaries in Word How to create an exclude dictionary in Word

Copy the Custom Dictionary to a Floppy Disk and Use It on Other Computers

Error when you add a word to the custom dictionary

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Monday, August 10, 2015

Design Patterns

More suggestions

Martijn van Welie of, has a collection of designs for web sites, GUI designs, and MobileUI designs.


Some topics covered are:
  • Site Types
  • Ecommerce
  • Navigation
  • Basic Page Types
  • Managing Collections
  • Page Elements
  • Visual Design

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Sunday, August 09, 2015

Attachment Virus

Get over the attachment

"Many of the most common computer viruses and other malicious software are spread through e-mail attachments. If a file attached to an e-mail message contains a virus, it's often launched when you open the file attachment. No matter what e-mail program you use or what version of Windows you're running, you can help avoid some viruses by following a few basic rules. If you use the latest version of Outlook or Outlook Express and if you use the latest version of Windows, there are a few unique enhancements and default settings to help keep you from accidentally infecting your computer with a virus.
  • 5 tips for dealing with e-mail attachments
  • Dealing with e-mail attachments in Microsoft Outlook
  • Dealing with e-mail attachments in Outlook Express"
Help avoid computer viruses that spread through e-mail

Protecting Microsoft Outlook against Viruses
Viruses Affecting Microsoft Outlook

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Saturday, August 08, 2015

Google FedEx Numbers

Location digits

Parcel tracking IDs, patents and other specialized numbers can be entered into Google's search box for quick access to information about them. For example, typing "fedex" followed by a space and a FedEx tracking number will return the latest information on your package.
FedEx tracking numbers
example search: "fedex 999999999999" Remember to put the word "fedex" before your tracking number

Other special search by number types include:
UPS tracking numbers
example search: "1Z9999W999999999"
USPS tracking numbers

Vehicle ID (VIN) numbers
Patent numbers
example search: "patent 5123123" Remember to put the word "patent" before your patent number
FAA airplane registration numbers
example search: "n199ua" An airplane's FAA registration number is typically printed on its tail
FCC equipment IDs
example search: "fcc B4Z-34009-PIR" Remember to put the word "fcc" before the equipment ID
Telephone area codes

UPC codes
Enter "upc" and then the numbers under the bar code

Google Numbers


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Friday, August 07, 2015

Stock Answer

Built in service

You can easily insert an automatically updated stock quote for a specific company in a spreadsheet.

Here are the instructions:

  1. On the Tools menu, click AutoCorrect options.
    (Use the Office button and Excel Options in 2007+)
  2. Click the Smart Tags tab and place a check beside Label data with smart tags.
  3. Click OK.
  4. Type in a Stock symbol (such as MSFT) in a cell.
    (The symbol must be in all caps)
  5. Click outside of the cell.
  6. Place your mouse cursor over the purple triangle in the lower-right corner of the cell.
    Click the arrow.
  7. Click Insert refreshable stock price.
  8. Select whether to insert the stock price on a new worksheet or in a specific area on your current worksheet.
You can refresh a stock quote price at any time by right clicking anywhere within your worksheet and selecting Data Range Properties. Enter a value for how often the stock quote price should be refreshed.

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Thursday, August 06, 2015

Hidden Passwords

Format to mask entry

You can easily set up a text box to mask entries with asterisks, allowing you to hide entries like passwords from prying eyes.

To do so, in Design view, display the properties for the text box and change the Input Mask property to Password.

Passwords can then be displayed as ******

Also see:

Add Simple Security

How to create a User Login Form in Microsoft Access

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Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Animal High Tech

Even rodents can use some help

"James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau have been collaborating on projects since the concept of the audio tooth implant was first conceived in October 2000."

Night-vision survival goggles

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Monday, August 03, 2015

Free Templates

Can't have too many

Microsoft provides a lot of free templates for Office applications.

For PowerPoint here are one hundred that can be feely used:

Free PowerPoint Templates

BTW: here's a Blog:
Brainy Betty PowerPoint Tips and Tricks

Also see:
Sonia Coleman:
Free PowerPoint Templates

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Sunday, August 02, 2015

Freddy the Pig

Pre-Orwell Porcine

By Walter R. Brooks

As a kid I used to devour (read a lot of) Freddy the Pig books.

One of the remembered disappointments was when I found that I had read all 26 of the books and that there would not be any more.

Freddy came before "Animal Farm" and had much more satisfying adventures.

The New York Times:
..." loyalists have claimed Freddy as the ancestor of more famous literary pigs such as those in George Orwell's "Animal Farm" (1945). In fact, in "Freddy the Politician" (first published in 1939 as "Wiggins for President" ), the animals foil a crafty gang of woodpeckers who try to seize control of the Bean Farm by making extravagant promises - a revolving door for the henhouses, cat-proof apartments for the rats and so on. In his book "Fairy Tales and After," the critic Roger Sale pointed out that :Freddy the Politician: "not only preceded Orwell's work but is a good deal more careful with its materials and, for that matter, shrewder about its politics... The actions emerge much less mechanically than do Orwell's."

Freddy's readers have called him a porcine prince, a pig of many parts, a paragon of porkers, a Renaissance pig. As the problems he faces require, he is by turns a cowboy, a balloonist, a magician, a campaign manager, a pilot, and a detective. But he is the most unheroic of heroes: he oversleeps, daydreams, eats too much and, when not suffering from writer's block, writes flowery poetry for all occasions. His tail uncurls when he gets scared. Although lazy, he accomplishes a lot, because "when a lazy person once really gets started doing things, it's easier to keep on than it is to stop."


Freddy's books

Teacher's guide to Freddy the Pig

Freddy's Bookstore

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Saturday, August 01, 2015

Good Dog, Bad Dog

Which side are you on? is an online magazine.
"Boxes and Arrows is the definitive source for the complex task of bringing architecture and design to the digital landscape. There are various titles and professions associated with this undertaking — information architecture, information design, interaction design, interface design"

They published an critique of PowerPoint starting with this bulleted (naturally) list of events:

  • Seth Godin writing a self-published how-to article called "Really Bad PowerPoint"?
  • Scott McNealy of Sun Microsystems banning its use?
  • Peter Norvig parodying PowerPoint with the Gettysburg Address (or is it vice versa)?
  • The New Yorker profiling a working mother who uses PowerPoint to "pitch" cleanliness to her two kids?
  • Fortune Magazine calling it an "epidemic that threatens the cerebrums of business more than bovine spongiform encephalopathy"?
  • Visualization guru Edward Tufte practically having fits?
  • Leslie Harpold and Michael Sippey duking it out to create attractive presentations?
Understanding PowerPoint by Dan Brown

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