Archive for June 2011
Ever come across an extremely useful Microsoft Excel function, and wonder why you haven't heard about it before?
Do you need to calculate time in Excel? Like the difference between two dates?
Maybe you're trying to calculate how much time has gone by so that you can calculate interest payments, or you have a roster of people and want to have an interactive way to know who's the oldest, etc.
Excel's DateDif is perfect for you.
There's only one problem, and cpearson.com put's it perfectly: "For some reason, Microsoft has decided not to document this function in any other versions. DATEDIF is treated as the drunk cousin of the Formula family. Excel knows it lives a happy and useful life, but will not speak of it in polite conversation. "
How do you use DateDif?
Simple, imagine the following... you have a roster, and you're trying to calculate each person's age the day they joined your group:
Column A, Column B, Column C
Row 1, Birthdate, Start Date, =datedif(A1, B1,"Y")
This will give you the results measured in YEARS
If you're getting errors with DateDif ... then make sure that: 1. Your dates are entered in the same syntax
2. Check the formatting of the cells - if you see that it's set to 'words' than Excel won't calculate the difference... it will assume it's looking at a word (controlled in the cell formatting options area (right click on the cell, select formatting))
3. Check that the formatting of the cell matches the formatting you've selected in the cell formatting options area (right click on the cell, select formatting)
4. Make sure that you're computer is turned on
Another reason it's not working is your writing VBA script and using an Excel command - this is NOT datediff.
Finally, I'd love your best guess as to why it's only mentioned in Microsoft Excel 2000 - and if you search the Microsoft Excel help online manual you can't find it.
There's nothing wrong at all with being a quiet kid who wants to create their own artificial world ... and I'm trying to find out more about it.
I read this interesting article (which is trying to generate Google Adword hits for money) ... which details a lot. It was well written - and thought provoking.
Not so great for those of us not living in the USA - but still.
This guy's site has some interesting comments - but also is selling adspace ... He wrote:
Should kids have their own programming environment as an introduction to the world of engineering? Mark Verber considered these languages for his 10 year old and has a great write up on research he did:
- Logo: good for simple projects (and younger kids). Once scratch is released, use it instead.
- Squeak (smalltalk) for older kids whose focus is building artifacts more than programming
- Scheme for kids focusing on learning computer science
- Java, Python, or KPL for kids that want a quick path to vocational program
Perhaps what's needed to help Johnny learn to program is a connection to the physical world like Mindstorms Kits or a Viper Robot and PowerShell (video) or the creation of games using tools like BlitzBasic. Maybe Supercard (remember Hypercard?)
In the end, I suppose it depends on the kid's personality and natural thirst for learning. I plan to let Zenzo know there is a nearly infinite number of cool things to do. The trick will be explaining it without overwhelming him (or myself.)
Once I check out what he has written - I'll update this site.... Me - I keep seeing MIT's SCRATCH, the LOGO language from Logo, and KPL ... but I'm trying to find the freeware game which was PC based which required you to program a robot to walk a maze filled with dead ends. It was awesome for logic.
ULTIMATELY, this - not surprisingly - was the best site I found. I mean, isn't it always?
So ... you've really got to review its logic and data ... there is a lot there... but basically it says SCRATCH (from MIT) and LOGO ... then figure it out as you go.
While trying to deal with the fact that it was 3:30 am (again)... I set off to find the (WP) wordpress plug-ins that I didn't know I needed ...
Some how that reminds me of Donald Rumsfeld's "unknowns". . . you know ... his infamously funny, and Saturday Night Live - like quote "... because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know." - Donald "The Unknown" Rumsfeld
Anyway, so while searching, I came across a great site which lists some killer WP plug-ins.
I'd love to hear about your success in using them ... I've installed a few of them already - and will let you know about how it goes.
Peace and Sleep Be unto you.
PAF (4:24am Monday)
Samsung Galaxy Tab II will be renamed ... as they'll release multiple new sizes. My love of the GT continues. Now, I'll be psyched to buy the 2nd version... which is named Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.
The point of interest for the upcoming Samsung Galaxy TAB 7 is the CPU, upgraded from the 1GHz single core ARM A8 to a modern 1.2 GHz dual core model helped by 1 GB RAM (double the previous amount). I can't wait to have a dual core CPU supported by double the ram. Now that's adding some guts. Interesting comment found on the same site.
It was what I consider a "challenging" day in China:
IMO, 4 Chinese cities in 1 day (plus an airplane ride after the 3rd city) is WORK
I woke up in Guangzhou, drove 2.5hrs to Huizhou (countryside and dirty - like maybe mining areas of WV might be); there are ZERO coffee shops, let alone anything else.
Had a 4 hr meeting at a 'normal' factory for China
Then 2.5 hrs drive to Shenzhen.
Dealt with the idiots at the airport that don't know that a bus and an airplane are different.
After boarding the plane, there was an immediate 1 hr delay. Why load the plane if you know there is going to be a delay? Shrug.
Not to mention the people on the plane that are walking the plane's aisle 3 seconds after it touches down ...
After I arrived Shanghai for meeting, I found out that the damn hotel my has no meeting room ... and DOES NOT let black people up into the hotel - without showing ID and signing some form. (The 2 white guys got through the lobby fine, the black guy ... not so much.)
Thank god customer was cool with the rampant discrimnation
I didn't wanna bore you with the lack of AC - as 28C isn't warm enough for the hotel to turn it on; 82.4F is TOO hot
My FAVORITE part of the day was the bs that the WHOLE 8 story hotel has only 4 irons - and even though I asked for one at 7pm ... they said "we'll get one for you".
At midnight I reminded them it still hadn't arrived ... so they said "sorry, we're out". So i threatened to beat on many doors to find one before they went and got one for me.
Yup, remember the next time that you complain about some minor 2 minute screw up ... you're lucky you live in the 10% of the world where people care about 2 minutes.
What were they thinking when they named this one? Love it.
Apparently, great white sharks love to eat jackass penguins - due to the fatty content of the penguins.
And trust me, you don't wanna play too much with these guys! Especially if you look like a seal.
I watched a great video on Nat Geo Adventure (in HD by the way) ... where several members of a tribe on a TINY island go to the UK
It was hysterical. But the best part of the show was when they explained that the UK's Prince Philip is their god ... Read more about it here.
When the grup appears in front of 20+ Brits solely wearing their "penis gourds" ... and start dancing ... now that's good TV.