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Showing posts from January, 2008

RPG Game of the Year for $10

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I have always waited for prices to drop on computer games before I buy them -- not only is it easier on the pocketbook, but I can be sure my system will run them (see requirements below). I typically look at what Target and Fry's has to offer, and I recently found a great RPG, Sacred. Not only was it just $10, but PC Gamer named it RPG of the Year in 2004.

Sacred is a Diablo style RPG with three ways to play:
Hack and Slash (1 player)Cooperative multi-player (up to 4 players)LAN & Internet play (up to 16 players)Now I have just played the Hack and Slash, but then again I want a game that has an ending. Sacred is divided into 4 Acts (see the Sacred website for descriptions of each Act), with about 15 hours of game play each. That number can go up or down depending on how much time you spend on the 200+ side-quests.

I am now in the middle of my second time playing, with my second character. Sacred offers a total of six different characters to choose from:
Dark Elf: Using either pois…

Are you ready for digital broadcast TV?

We're just a little more than a year away from the end to analog TV broadcasts. After February 17, 2009, your old analog TV will no longer be able to pickup analog TV broadcasts, as the government is freeing this bandwidth up for new usage. There are many options for your old TVs, if you're not ready to replace it.

You can apply for a $40 coupon from the government to go towards a digital tuner. Go to the TV Converter Box Program website, ran by the Department of Commerce and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to find out more -- you have until March 31, 2009, or until coupons run out (the site does not list how many coupons are available).

The TV Converter Box Program website is full of good information (try the FAQs), as well as there are many other sites with good information. You might start with the Dallas Morning News' Tech Writer, Andrew D. Smith and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association.

If you have cable or satellite TV, …

Create a List of Values to Pick from in Excel

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I was working through some what-if analysis in Excel, and I wanted a simple way to adjust some values within my calculations based on input from my colleagues. I did my typical spreadsheet creation, section for input values and sections for outputs, and a graph of the output.

Now I wanted my graph to update whenever I changed the input values. I could easily type in a new value, but that quickly got tedious. Using Data Validation, I was able to create drop-downs for the inputs that frequently might change.

Here's how to do it.
Create your worksheet, with a section that lists your input values
In a new column, list the values you want in the drop-down (it must be on the same worksheet)Put your cursor in the field where you want the drop-down and go to Data | Validation...
On the Settings tab, select List from the list labeled AllowAlso on the Settings tab, click the table icon next to the Source field and highlight your list (step 2)
Press Enter to acceptClick OKWith the new drop-down ar…