Saturday, February 28, 2015

Click to Trigger

Make it so



A trigger is an object on your PowerPoint slide - a picture, a shape, a button, or even a paragraph or text box. When you click on it an action is initiated. The action might be a sound, a movie, an animation, or text becoming visible on the slide.

Microsoft Office Online has a tutorial:
Use triggers to create an interactive slide show in PowerPoint

"Here's a Power User column for teachers. Want to involve your students more in a presentation? Set up "triggers" for them to click as they go through the show. Triggers (related to animations) lets you add surprise to your slides while inviting your viewer to take part and have fun."

Indezine.com:
Trigger Animations

All 'Bout Computers:
Trigger Happy Animations in PowerPoint



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Friday, February 27, 2015

Canadian/US Postal Codes

Automatic Input masks



If you have a mix of Canadian and US postal codes, you might play with the following code inserted as a Country control "After Update" Event property.

Private Sub Country_AfterUpdate()
Dim strCountry As String
strCountry = Me.Country

Select Case strCountry
Case "Canada"
Me.[PostalCode].InputMask = ">L0L\ 0L0;;_"
Case "USA"
Me.[PostalCode].InputMask = "00000-9999;;_"
Case Else
'If the country is not Canada or USA no input mask will be used
Me.[PostalCode].InputMask = ""
End Select
End Sub



As a rule, if you won't be performing numeric calculations on the data, entries should be stored as text. Social Security numbers, Phone numbers and postal codes should be stored as text.


You can use alphabetic characters in an input mask. For example, one of the sample input masks is >L0L\ 0L0 used to represent a Canadian postal code.

The ">" character in the input mask converts all the characters that follow to uppercase.

The "L" character requires an alpha entry; the "0" (zero) requires a numeric entry.

A "\"character causes the following character to be displayed as a literal character rather than a mask character.

A space appears between the three character pairs.
For example, V5P 2G1 is one valid postal code that the user could enter. The mask would prevent the user from entering two sequential alphabetic characters or numbers.
See:
Trinity University - San Antonio, Texas:
Input mask

Definition characters used to create an input mask
Some validation rules

You can manipulate postal codes in Access by changing the data type, input mask, or format of a postal code field.

Microsoft KB 207829:
ACC2000: How to Manipulate ZIP Codes in Microsoft Access.

Also see:
Postal Codes



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Thursday, February 26, 2015

Alphabetize Your Keyboard

Eat your heart out Dvorak


The Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator


Ever wanted to quickly and easily define your own keyboard layout for a language Microsoft doesn't support? Or define your own keyboard layout so you can quickly and easily enter your favorite symbols with a simple keystroke? Well, want no more: the Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator is here!

The Microsoft Keyboard Layout Creator (MSKLC) extends the international functionality of Windows 2000+, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 or Windows Vista (MSKLC will not run on Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME or Windows NT4) by allowing users to:
  • Create new keyboard layouts from scratch
  • Base a new layout on an existing one
  • Modify an existing keyboard layout and build a new layout from it
  • Multilingual input locales within edit control fields.
  • Package the resulting keyboard layouts for subsequent delivery and installation.
Global Development and Computing Portal:
Windows Keyboard Layouts
(many different language keyboards)


Belarusian keyboard

Also see: Dvorak anyone?



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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

I'll Let You See Mine

Share it nicely


"Many home users and small businesses don't use Exchange. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to share your e-mail, appointments, contacts, tasks, and notes with other Outlook users."

Here is one of the clearest expositions of multiple users' cooperative use of Outlook, even in a very small environment.

Sharing your Outlook information
By Crabby Office Lady


For up to date information on Outlook, SharePoint, and very little about waffles, see
Eric Legault My Eggo - Making Office Rock blog.

Also see:

Slipstick.com:
Sharing Microsoft Outlook Calendar and Contacts

Sharing Microsoft Outlook on One PC



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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Useable Ultimate Utensils

Great Gear


Kevin Kelly:
Cool Tools
"Cool tools really work. A cool tool can be any book, gadget, software, video, map, hardware, material, or website that is tried and true. I am chiefly interested in stuff that is extraordinary, better than similar products, little-known, and reliably useful for an individual or small group. There are plenty of places to read about stuff that should be cool, or that looks new and cool, and that might be useful. The recommendations here, on the other hand, are based on people who have used this item and have come to see its superiority. I post things I like and I ignore the rest."


Here are a few of the tools mentioned:
Disposable Suture Set
Micro tools
"The next time you or a friend are in the ER getting stitched up, ask your provider if you can have the suture set when he or she is done. Most places will hand them over if they are the disposable type. Hospitals use disposable suture sets since they are fairly inexpensive and decontamination of the reusable ones can be costly. The curved hemostat, the toothless needle driver, small surgical scissors and the pickups (tweezers) come in handy around the house." -- Fritz Araya
Ikea Tote Bag
Cheap huge tote bag
"Ikea sells these near the cash register. They are large -- about 4 feet by 2 by 2, with two clever lengthened (short & long) handles, made of some nearly indestructible nylon-plasticy mesh fabric in Ikea blue. For a buck, they're amazing. We put a mess at home, in the car, garden, garage. Great for dragging stuff from Sam's Club, or dirt in the garden, hauling firewood or just whenever you've a lot of loose stuff to move." -- Vince Crisci
NoTubes
Puncture-proof bike tires
"Stan's NoTubes system. In the NoTubes system you remove your inner tube from your tire. No tubes! You add a rim strip that seals your spoke holes. Since there is no tube you need a filling stem to put air into the tire.....this is built into the NoTubes rim strip. Then you add some white liquid inside the tire that seals it airtight. It's one of those things that seems like it would never work, but it works amazingly well. I will never go back to tubes." -- Alexander Rose




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Monday, February 23, 2015

Guide to Outlook

Tutorials and hints

Avidain Guide to Outlook 
 Things you might not have known before:

"To minimize the Ribbon and use it while minimized, follow these steps: Click “Ribbon Display Options” in the top right corner. Select “Show Tabs” from the dropdown. This removes most of the icons from the Ribbon view, leaving only the tabs above it. To perform a function with the Ribbon minimized, click the tab that houses the function, and then select the appropriate command. You’ll only see the parts of the Ribbon relevant to the command. Tip: To minimize the Ribbon for a short period, just double-click the active tab. It’ll disappear. You can double-click any tab to restore the Ribbon. Minimizing the Ribbon is a great way to remove clutter and provide a bigger work area for emails and calendars etc."


Plus more

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Date and Time Entry

Month Day, Day Month



QDE An Excel Date Entry Add-In
Ron de Bruin

"QDE is a fully-functional Excel Add-in that provides quick input of dates, in all international formats. It handles quick data entry interpretation and reflects the three interacting issues of Date System, Day, Month Year ordering, and number of digits used in the quick date entry. With QDE you enter just as many digits as needed to clearly identify the date, QDE will do the rest."

Also see:

Chip Pearson:
Date and Time Entry

MathTools.net:
Time and Date

And:
Date Arithmetic




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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Cheerios Stops Itches

And other stuff


Joey Green has written a book about other uses for everyday products like:

  • "Relieve itching from chicken pox, poison ivy, poison oak, or pain from sunburn. Pour two cups Cheerios in a blender and blend into a fine powder on medium-high speed. Put the powdered Cheerios into a warm bath and soak in the oats for thirty minutes. It's a soothing oatmeal bath.


  • Make "Cheerios Chicken." Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a jelly-roll pan (15.5 inches by 10.5 inches by 1 inch) with aluminum foil. Mix two cups finely crushed Cheerios (from the yellow box), one-quarter teaspoon pepper, one teaspoon parsley flakes, one-quarter teaspoon garlic powder, one-quarter teaspoon dried oregano leaves, and one-half teaspoon salt. Dip four chicken-breast halves (skinned and boned) into one-quarter cup milk, then roll in cereal mix until well coated. Place chicken in pan and drizzle with two tablespoons melted margarine. Bake until done, about twenty to twenty-five minutes. (Above 3,500 feet elevation, bake about thirty minutes.) Makes four servings."
Wacky Uses



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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Add a Table

Drag drop trick



While working with a query in Design view, you may find that you need to add a table or query. The "book" way to do it is to click the Show Table toolbar button, drag the appropriate objects from the list, and then close the dialog box.
There is another way to do this.

Drag the table or query object's icon from the Database window/Navigation pane directly to the top half of the query design grid.

You can also use this technique in Access's Relationships window



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Friday, February 20, 2015

'Tis the Template

Free Holiday templates


This can be considered a jumping off point for many holiday themed templates.
Here are some sources for holiday backgrounds and clipart for PowerPoint. These sites also have material for the rest of the year.

All 'Bout Computers:
Holiday AutoShapes in PowerPoint
by Kathy Jacobs
Template Ready:
Christmas FREE PowerPoint Template

Powered Templates

Brainy Betty:
Christmas and Holiday Themed Templates

Sonia Coleman:
Free PowerPoint Templates



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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Organizing your Favorites

Order in chaos



Basic stuff that bares repeating.
(IE7 is not that much different)

Microsoft:
Use Favorites to Get Around the Web


History and Favorites
  • Add a Web Page to Your Favorites
  • Go to a Web Page on Your Favorites List
  • Alphabetize Your Favorites
  • Remove a Web Page from the Favorites List
  • Organize Your Favorite Web Pages in a New Folder
  • Remove a Web Page from a Folder in the Favorites List
Move Favorites from an earlier version



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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

List your Addresses

When I find the time


Here's a simple suggestion that sounds silly to begin with, but may come in handy in the future.
Write down your email addresses!
How many do you have?
  • Created by an ISP when setting up an Internet connection.
  • Work email accounts
  • Club or hobby related
  • From any domain you’ve purchased
  • Email aliases created on your behalf.
  • Web based email addresses with Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail or many others.
Remember your old AOL/CompuServe addresses?



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Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Minton Sparks

Could the air be any fresher . . .





"Sparks talks like Lucinda Williams sings; low, bed-headed and husky with sin, either remembered or imagined. In the syncopated monologues on her new spoken-word album, THIS DRESS, your gas-pumping mama, your fellow Baptists and your unmentionable relatives occupy every slot on the Waffle House jukebox, and when musical guests like Keb'Mos' and Maura O'Connell chime in, you can even dance to 'em.

---Jim Ridley Nashville Scene

With a voice born for gospel and a word artistry that makes you laugh and weep by turns, Sparks offers poems sorrowful and hilarious about the land of the double-wides.

---SANTA BARBARA INDEPENDENT-June 2005



Minton Sparks.com

RARWriter.com



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Monday, February 16, 2015

How Google Works

Fact and not



The magic that makes Google tick
  • Over four billion Web pages, each an average of 10KB, all fully indexed
  • Up to 2,000 PCs in a cluster
  • Over 30 clusters
  • 104 interface languages including Klingon and Tagalog
  • One petabyte of data in a cluster - so much that hard disk error rates of 10-15 begin to be a real issue
  • Sustained transfer rates of 2Gbps in a cluster
  • An expectation that two machines will fail every day in each of the larger clusters
  • No complete system failure since February 2000
Stanford University: The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine  

Sergey Brin and Lawrence Page Google.com:
How Google Works
 
How Stuff/Google Works

The Economist: Case History
 
Or
 

It's all done with pigeons



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Sunday, February 15, 2015

100% is not Enough

Slow machine


Here are a couple of areas to look at if your machine slows down for no obvious reason.

Do the three finger Vulcan salute (Ctrl+Alt+Delete) to bring up the Windows Task manager.

If you see a level 100% on the performance tab try these possible solutions.

If you see near 100% CPU activity on the Processes tab by an "Image name" of Cisvc.exe, you might want to turn that service off.

Description: Microsoft Index Service Helper, a service that monitors the memory usage of Microsoft Indexing Service (cidaemon.exe) and automatically re-starts cidaemon.exe if it uses more than 40 MB of memory.

It's needed if you've set up any of your drives or directories to be indexed. Without it running, you could potentially invite a memory "hole", as the indexing service would not clear its RAM usage, as it goes.

If you are not indexing anything, there's no need for it to run

1. Go to Control Panel Administrative Tools > Services
2. Click on the "Standard" tab at the bottom of the box
3. Click on the Name label to sort by Name. Locate "Indexing Service". Double click.
4. Change the "Startup type" to 'Disabled'
5. Click on "Apply"
6. click on "Stop"

Another suggestion:

100 Percent CPU Usage Occurs When You Print on an LPT Printer Port


SYMPTOMS

When you print on an LPT printer port, 100 percent CPU usage occurs until the print job is completed. This slows down other programs until the print job is completed. In some case, other programs may slow down enough that they seem completely unresponsive. This behavior affects all power users who have many programs running at one time.

CAUSE

This behavior occurs because Windows 2000/XP does not have interrupt support for LPT printers.

WORKAROUND

To work around this behavior, print to a Universal Serial Bus (USB) printer port. If the printer does not have this capability, use a parallel-USB cable.

STATUS

This behavior is by design.


Also see What Slows Windows Down



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Friday, February 13, 2015

Week Numbers

Who's counting?


For most purposes, weeks are numbered with Sunday considered the first day of the week. This works most of the time, but it can be a little confusing certain years.

2004 had 53 weeks. January 1 is the only day in the first week of 2005. Week 2 starts on Sunday 1/2/2005.

Chip Pearson is the Date and Time guy:
Week Numbers In Excel

"Under the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard 8601, a week always begins on a Monday, and ends on a Sunday. The first week of a year is that week which contains the first Thursday of the year, or, equivalently, contains Jan-4.

While this provides some standardization, it can lead to unexpected results - namely that the first few days of a year may not be in week 1 at all. Instead, they will be in week 52 of the preceding year! For example, the year 2000 began on Saturday. Under the ISO standard, weeks always begin on a Monday. In 2000, the first Thursday was Jan-6, so week 1 begins the preceding Monday, or Jan-3. Therefore, the first two days of 2000, Jan-1 and Jan-2, fall into week 52 of 1999.

An ISO week number may be between 1 and 53. Under the ISO standard, week 1 will always have at least 4 days. If 1-Jan falls on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, the first few days of the year are defined as being in the last (52nd or 53rd) week of the previous year.

Unlike absolute week numbers, not every year will have a week 53. For example, the year 2000 does not have a week 53. Week 52 begins on Monday, 25-Dec, and ends on Sunday, 31-Dec. But the year 2004 does have a week 53, from Monday, 27-Dec , through Friday, 31-Dec."

The first week of 2005 should start on January 3. The first and second would be part of week 53 of 2004.

Wikipedia:
Week Dates

If your week starts on a different day, you can use the Analysis ToolPac function:
=WEEKNUM(A1, 2) for a week that starts on Monday, =WEEKNUM(A1) if it starts on Sunday.

Also this from ExcelTip.com:
Weeknumbers using VBA in Microsoft Excel

"The function WEEKNUM() in the Analysis Toolpack addin calculates the correct week number for a given date, if you are in the U.S. The user defined function shown here will calculate the correct week number depending on the national language settings on your computer."

In Access:
DatePart Function

If your work week is always Saturday through Friday then
datepart("ww",[DateField],7,1)

will return 1 for 1/1/2005 through 1/7/2005, 2 for January 8-14/2005, etc.
Otherwise use 1 for Sunday through 7 for Saturday.

The last number sets these parameters:

1, Start with week in which January 1 occurs (default).
2, Start with the first week that has at least four days in the new year.
3, Start with first full week of the year.



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