Posts

Showing posts from 2009

Count the number of Rows after Auto-Filter in Excel

When you first apply an Auto-Filter in Excel, the Status Bar indicates the number of records in the filter (e.g. 517 of 8614). In many cases when you start performing other manipulations, the number disappears. Using a simple formula, you can calculate the filtered total.

Assume you want to count all rows that are not empty -- the CountA function -- and assume you want to count the rows in column A. The formula would be SUBTOTAL(103,A:A)-1. The syntax is as follows: subtotal(function_number, reference), where function_number is 1 of many possible options as illustrated below. I included the "-1" to remove the count for the column heading row.
function_num
(includes hidden values)function_num
(ignores hidden values)function1101AVERAGE2102COUNT3103COUNTA4104MAX5105MIN6106PRODUCT7107STDEV8108STDEVP9109SUM10110VAR11111VARP
Note: I used Excel 2003 for this example.

Increase IIS on XP Maximum Connections

With increasingly more complex web pages, I found myself running into a limit in the number of IIS connections allowed for the constrained web server on Windows XP. By default Microsoft has limited the connections to 10. Even when I changed the time to release connections down to 5 minutes, I was still running into problems. With a little Google searching, I found a solution (here, here, and here).

Apparently the hard-coded limitation Microsoft has set is 40 connections. The trick is determining how to raise the level from 10 to 40. There's a script, adsutil, that can do this for you.
Go to the Command Prompt and navigate to C:\Inetpub\AdminScripts.Enter "adsutil set w3svc/MaxConnections 40".If you get an error message, "This script does not work with WScript," click OK and click Yes to make Cscript as the default script for VBscript.When this completes, go back to the Command Prompt and press F3 (repeats last command) and Enter.If you were successful, the comman…

Love @ First Website 2009 notes

Image
For the last five years iSiteDesign has been hosting Love @ First Website (#LFW). It's a half-day event where you get to listen to 3 or 4 speakers share about their business and their website and/or web presence. I've attended 3 of the 5 events and have always taken away a few nuggets. This years theme was "Dare to Delight." My notes follow.

Carri Bugbee
Owner of Big Deal PR; Instructor of Social Media Marketing at Portland State; and ghost tweeter as Mad Men's (AMC) Peggy Olson (@peggyolson) Twitter @peggyolson Lessons:
1. Get there first
2. Stay on message
3. Always listen first
4. Admit when you're wrong; Give credit due
5. Build community; everyone wants to be acknowledge.
6. It's a real job; it's a real tool (i.e. It takes time and effort to have a Twitter/social presence)


Paul Zaengle
Sr. Director of eCommerce, Columbia Sportswear
Columbia Sportswear basics:
1. Make Brand the #1 Focus
2. Be Truly Multi-channel (Zipcar demonstrated this)
3. Think Like a Custom…

Exclude Websites in Your Searches / Custom Searches

Image
I've been doing quite a bit of research lately on technical topics, where the results would frequently include results from a pay site, Expert Exchange. If you;re familiar with Expert Exchange, they've been very successful in getting their pages to return high in the list of Google results. I have found it very frustrating when I inadvertently click-through on one of their pages.

With a little research, I found that Google has a custom search option, where you can include and exclude certain websites. I have created a custom search that includes all Google results with the exception of Expert Exchange. To make it really useful though, I needed it to be in my search bar in Firefox, which I use almost exclusively for new searches. I found a Firefox Add-on to do that too.

Here's how you can make your own custom search.
If you don't already have one, you must have a Google account.Go to the Google Custom Search page and click "Create a Custom Search"

I had to start w…

Clean imported Excel data

Sometimes when I get data from systems in CSV format, it includes a leading apostrophe ('). When viewing the data in a cell, the apostrophe does not appear, but when I look at it in the formula bar, it does. Without removing the leading apostrophe, any comparisons come up false.

I tried removing the first character, but it removed the first displayed character. If you have a numeric field, you can divide the it by 1 (=c2/1), but that doesn't solve the problem for text fields. The solution is a built-in function Clean: =CLEAN(C2).

Windows 7 is (finally) here

Congratulations to Microsoft for their delivery of Windows 7! You can search about anywhere and read stories from all the news outlets. Of course the industry experts have been talking about it for longer, and have reported good things. I think it's worth mentioning a couple good practices when considering new software, particularly when it's an OS.
Unless you have a compelling need, don't be first. In the case of Win7, I think we can be fast followers, but give it a few weeks to be sure there are no significant, unforeseen problems.Wait and get the OS on a new machine. Why?
You're likely running XP, which means there's no clear upgrade path -- you need to re-install.It's possible your machine is 3 or more years old -- you bought one just before Vista came out, because you knew it had problems, so it's likely underpowered for Win7.Benefits include:Drivers will (should) work on the new hardware.You wont have to go through the painful install yourself. (All OS …

IE Only - Invalid Argument

I adopted some older code that I think had been working for some time. This code is part of an admin screen, and as I was testing some improvements I noticed an error with Internet Explorer. Since I predominately use Firefox, I'd never detected the error as a user of the admin screen. Internet Explorer reported the first character as having an Invalid Argument.

The simple code was opening a new browser window. The problem was a hyphen in the window name (Help-Venues).
window.open("venue_all.php","Help-Venues","height=800, width=720,scrollbars=yes")

Firefox 3.5 is embarrassed -- not as stable as Firefox 3

Image
I had tweeted shortly after Firefox 3.5 was released that it was too unstable for day-to-day work use, and I had to rollback to version 3. Finally after successfully using Firefox 3.5 for about 3 weeks at home I thought I'd give it a go again and upgraded late last week. Today (Monday, 12-Oct-09), I've had two crashes. I suspect it is related to memory usage, as I've had many tabs opened and closed as I do some data cleanup in our CRM system.

Below is the last message upon restarting Firefox. While I'm disappointed and a bit frustrated, Firefox is embarrassed.

We'll see whether this is a consistent problem, forcing me back again, or if other daily tasks workout.

Manage your Contacts

Most of us have Contacts spread among many systems and it takes a lot of effort to keep them in sync or they're not in sync and you find yourself re-entering contacts in each system. With the help of Outlook (2003), LinkedIn, Gmail, My Digital Life, and Contact Scrubber for Outlook, I was able to sync a majority of my Contacts.

Here are the steps I used:
I downloaded and installed the LinkedInToolbar for Outlook. With the toolbar app, I was able to add Contacts from LinkedIn into my Outlook Contacts -- the master list.Then I used TeamScope'sContact Scrubber for Outlook to merge any duplicates that Outlook hadn't already picked up.Next with the help of My Digital Life blog, I exported my Gmail Contacts and imported them into Outlook.Again I used Contact Scrubber for Outlook to merge duplicates.Then with the help of My Digital Life again, I exported my Outlook Contacts and imported them into Gmail.Notes:
Contact Scrubber for Outlook is a Trial that works with 1000 contacts or l…

New Survey on Privacy and Tailored Advertising

The NY Times has posted a recent survey on tailored advertising (“Contrary to what marketers say, Americans Reject Tailored Advertising and Three Activities that Enable It”) released by professors from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California, Berkley. It was not a surprised to learn that 2/3 (66%) of Americans do not want online tracking. It was a surprise to learn how many did not understand our privacy laws – most assumed they provided more protection.

First I want to dig into the perceptions of our privacy laws as reported in the survey. If a website had a privacy policy, 62% of the respondents thought that meant that your collected data couldn’t be share with other companies. Another 16% didn’t know. Therefore, only 22% knew that a privacy policy was information the website provides on how they may or may not be using collected data about you. Other misconceptions in regards to privacy policies were as follows.
If a website has a privacy policy…
54% assumed th…

Create Hyperlinks in Excel Cells

Here's a simple trick. Some times I have data results in Excel, if combined with other URL data, it would take me to a specific record. For example, if I extracted Contact Record IDs from Salesforce.com and combined it with the URL prefix, I could view the record that corresponds to the ID.

There are a few different approaches, but it all ends up using the same function: Hyperlink. Hyperlink takes two parameters: link_location and friendly_name (optional). Here are some examples:
=HYPERLINK("https://na2.salesforce.com/" & B2)=HYPERLINK(CONCATENATE(A2, B2))
=HYPERLINK(CONCATENATE("https://na2.salesforce.com/", B2, C2))=HYPERLINK("https://na2.salesforce.com/" & B2,"Joe Smith")The link location, in addition to being a URL could be a drive path (c:\foo\), a UNC path (\\Server1\folder1\), or even a "mailto:" (=HYPERLINK("mailto:" & H2)).

CADNA reports on House Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing on New TLDs

In a CADNA newsletter released today, they shared with us the results of the House Judiciary Committee Holds Hearing on New TLDs. In addition, CADNA has called for a full-scale audit of ICANN. For history on this issue, see my two prior blog posts here and here.)
Congressional members who were in attendance expressed skepticism about the benefits that the potential TLD rollout...ICANN held their position that by adding the new, "potentially unlimited" TLDs, will promote innovation and competition. Further they stated that "protection mechanisms are being actively considered." If protection mechanisms are being considered, doesn't that indicate that even ICANN knows there's a problem with this? And if protection mechanisms are needed, wouldn't they wait and finish the work to have appropriate protection BEFORE rolling this out?
Members of Congress pressed witnesses with questions about ICANN’s operations—many raised doubts regarding the benefits of rolli…

Tech Support Cheat Sheet

Image
Courtesy of xkcd.com

Lawmakers asking for information from ICANN

In July 2009 I wrote about ICANN's plans to expand the Internet's top-level domains (TLDs), and how I and others believes this will have a significant negative impact on companies, big and small. [TLDs are the .COMs, .ORGs, etc at the end of URLs.]
"...companies are already losing over $1 billion annually due to cybersquatters misrepresenting and redirecting traffic on the Internet through taking advantage of URLs not purchased by companies. The proposal being made by ICANN can skyrocket those losses and increase expenses..."As reported by nextgov.com, 'Judiciary ranking member Lamar Smith and Courts and Competition Subcommittee ranking member Howard Coble, R-N.C., said they are worried that a vast expansion of domains will carry "serious negative consequences"...' in a letter to ICANN CEO Rod Beckstrom. Smith and Coble have reiterated the concerns over ICANNs plans for the additional TLDs and have asked for a reponse by September 22, 2009.

While ICAN…

How Safe Is Your Data?

Yesterday I worked on a project where I needed to export many of our company contacts. I also expect to be out on medical leave soon, and suspect that there may be a need for someone else to access my computer while I'm away. This made me think about how secure is my sensitive data -- whether my own or the companies.

After reviewing my files, it turns out I've been a bit sloppy -- there were definitely some files on my hard drive that if my laptop was stolen, customer data could be harvested. Mind you it would take some effort, but all the same, the data was accessible. So, I moved those files to my TrueCrypt volume or I deleted them.

As you may recall from a March 2008 blog post, TrueCrypt is a free open-source software that you can run on your computer to provide encryption for your files. The nice thing about TrueCrypt is that the encrypted volume looks and feels just like another hard drive -- anyone can use it.

The other security practice I was already using was keeping my p…

New "Cookies" and your Privacy

Image
On Monday this week (Sep 14, 2009), the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) released the first article of a three part series on how we're being tracked on the web today. After a review of cookie technology as originally designed, the EFF article discusses new forms of cookies. The article is rich with links to more detailed sources.

What I would consider the most concerning of technologies is the use of Adobe Flash cookies. Unlike the traditional browser cookie, there is no easy way to delete cookies that are stored by websites using Flash as their storage mechanism (more on this below). I'll also add that all the new "Privacy Browsing" features in the current release of browsers apparently do not always clear all your tracks. If you found this feature helpful in your web browsing, its worth digging deeper into the limitations, and not take the vendors claim of privacy without investigating yourself.

I'm not anti-cookie. In fact I think it's extremely importa…

What Firefox Add-ins are you still using?

Image
I really like the extensibility that Firefox Add-ins provides for browsing -- it is the only reason I have not switched to using Google Chrome as my primary browser. (Google Chrome is compelling due to it being faster.) With that in mind, I though it would be a good time to review the Add-ins I currently have active in Firefox. These are the Add-ins on my home pc, using Firefox 3.5.
AI Roboform Toolbar for Firefox: An absolute requirement for any browser I use on a regular basis. Roboform stores all my usernames and passwords, making it extremely easy to login to all my favorite websites. Roboform has a single master password that must be entered only the first time used during a computing session.
Clear Cache Button: Very convenient way to clear the browser cache when I'm working on new code.
ColorZilla: Perhaps my newest productivity saver. Using ColorZilla, I can sample any color on a webpage and immediately determine its value in hex and rgb.
CoLT: Makes it easy to copy link text…

Word, "This file contains macros with an expired..."

Image
I started getting this error message when I opened Word, "This file contains macros with an expired or revoked signature." In my case, this was due to a Global Template Add-in that had an expired certificate. Word behaves differently depending on the Macro Security level.
Very High: You only get a message that macros are disable for this project.High: You get an initial error message of "This file contains macros with an expired or revoked signature," before the prompt of macros being disabled.Medium: You get the option to Disable or Enable the specific macro. This dialog box will also provide some clues as to the source of the problem.Low: No warning or disabling of any macros.To change the Macro Security, go to Tools >> Macro >> Security...

With an expired Certificate, if you still want to use the macro or template, you either need to set the Macro Security to Medium or Low. A Low setting can open you up for other problems, while Medium requires a click…

MS Access -- Run-time error '3464'

Being that I don't use MS Access often, I always look for examples of my prior work to assist me with my new problem. Today I ran into this error, Run-time error '3464': Data type mismatch in criteria expression, which was a good reminder. When writing a VBA query, Text needs wrapping in quotes, Dates need wrapping in hashes, and numbers need neither of these. If you get it wrong, you'll get the 3464 error message.

Has ICANN Gone Too Far?

ICANN was formed in 1998. It is a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with participants from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable. It promotes competition and develops policy on the Internet’s unique identifiers.ICANN is pushing to expand the Internet's Top Level Domains (TLD or gTLD) from its current 21 to some staggering, unspecified new number. TLDs are the .COMs, .ORGs, etc at the end of URLs. "The advantage of all this is there will be many more ways for sites to be described. The question is whether it will really help Internet users or confuse them." asks Saul Hansell in a recent NY Times article. But that's just scratching the surface of the issue.

According to CADNA (Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse), companies are already losing over $1 billion annually due to cybersquatters misrepresenting and redirecting traffic on the Internet through taking advantage of URLs not purchased by companies. The proposa…

You're Only Borrowing That Digital Content

With Amazon's most recent removal of content off of the Kindle, we're reminded that you're only borrowing digital content; not buying it. Farhad Manjoo of Slate wrote a great article, Why 2024 Will Be Like Nineteen Eighty-Four, that reviews the limitations and dangers of having digital content.
Most of the e-books, videos, video games, and mobile apps that we buy these days day aren't really ours. They come to us with digital strings that stretch back to a single decider—Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, or whomever else.For me, I'm still buying CDs and paperback books because I like the physical item. I also look for low cost and garage sale DVDs. One day I might not have the choice, but while I do, I choose to own over borrow.

Browser Wars III - Revenge of the ...?

Since Microsoft killed off Netscape (Browser Wars, the original), most users were not aware of any alternatives until Firefox (FF) came on the scene (Mozilla vs. Godzilla - Browser Wars II). Actually, there was a 3rd browser that was and is quite good, Opera. More recently, Google announce their own web browser, Chrome, while Mozilla had released Firefox 3 (now FF 3.5 is available) and Apple released Safari 4.

Since Microsoft released Internet Explorer 5 (IE5), I've been quite unhappy with the browser. It has suffered from security holes (predominately due to ActiveX), proprietary solutions (ActiveX again raises its ugly head), and slowness. I've also come to really like Firefox due to its extensibility with Add-ons.

With the popularity of Firefox and now the additions of Chrome and Safari, you could say that Netscape is finally getting their revenge, sort of. Since Firefox came out of the aftermath of Nestcape and the additional fire power of Google and Apple, Microsoft is in f…

Internet Strategy Forum Summit 2009

This is not my typical post, but interesting for many of us all the same...
I had the opportunity to attend the Internet Strategy Forum Summit on Thursday July 23rd, 2009, and these are from my notes and some relevant and related links. Don't take the gaps in my notes as a sign of unimportant content -- rather I volunteered at the event, which distracted me some times, and of course I networked with friends and colleagues, which created other distractions. For only $200, this is an event was and has always been well worth the cost.
(Speaker list: http://www.internetstrategyforum.org/events/Internet_Strategy_Forum_Summit_2009_Agenda_as_of_07-14-09.pdf.)

Katherine Durham, HP, VP of Marketing, Imaging & Printing Group

Shifting the Digital Marketing Mindset to Harness the power of an Integrated Approach

"Flat is the new up."

"If content is king, context is queen"

Marketing Mix by Stage in Funnel: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeremiah_owyang/3749801824/.

See n…

Online Discounts with Coupons

Here's a little tip to save a bit.

When you purchase online, and you see the box for "coupon" or "coupon (if available)", this is your clue to search for a coupon and get yourself a discount. In most cases you can enter "[company name] coupon code" into Google, and you will find a site with a coupon code.

A coupon code for my most recent online purchase saved me 6% off the total price.

Adobe Photoshop CS Hangs on Load

One day when I tried to load Photoshop CS on my Windows XP box, it hung. I don't recall having it crashed on my prior usage. I tried killing the app, closing my other apps, and loading again. Still no help. I next tried rebooting; again no help.

After searching a bit, I found a solution within a thread on Photoshop 911. I removed all ".psp" files from the "Adobe Photoshop CS Settings" folder -- I just moved the files into a temporary folder. Photoshop recreate 3 files when I launched it:
Adobe Photoshop CS Prefs.pspFavorites.pspPluginCache.pspDepending on your specific XP installation, you may or may not find the "Adobe Photoshop CS Settings" folder in this location:
C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data\Adobe\Photoshop\8.0\Adobe Photoshop CS SettingsWhere [username] is your login username.

Excel displays formula instead of calculating

Here's a new one I just ran into. I entered a new formula into a cell, and it just displayed the formula, instead of calculating the results. It turns out the problem was due to the field being formatted as a Text field. Unfortunately, just by changing the field to a Number does not solve the problem. You must change the field to a Number and then re-enter the formula.

Concatenate and Combine Access Rows

I was working with a dataset in Access, where I had a single field that was different to an otherwise exact data row. I wanted to merge these rows, so I had a unique record; I wanted the single field of different data to be concatenated together, as to not lose the data.

I was able to create a VBA function that I then called from a query to perform the merging of rows. It does have one shortcoming -- if you have duplicated data in the field you are concatenating, it may miss it and add it again. Here's what I mean:
Removed Duplicates: Data order a, a, a, b, c -- output = a, b, c
Creates Duplicates: Data order a, b, a, c, a -- output = a, b, a, c, aNote that given the time/effort, you could improve my function to remove all duplicates.
Here's the function. Press Alt-F11 to get to the VBA Editor.
Public Function Concat(email As String) As String
Dim rs As DAO.Recordset
Dim strSQL As String
Concat = ""
strSQL = "SELECT [Some ID] FROM MyTable WHERE [Email Address] = '&qu…

My Experience Using Blogger with My Own Domain

UPDATE June 25, 09:I heard back from GoDaddy Support this morning, we clear and accurate instructions. I think by the time you see this, you will be able to once again get to my blog at www.CHRISdotTODD.com -- now I just need to get CHRISdotTODD.com to work.

I thought I knew my way around the web, how to develop and post content and apps, etc. One area I've not spent time with is domain registration and management. When I started CHRISdotTODD.com, it took about 3 clicks and $10 to get setup on Blogger (part of the Google family). I was led to believe that Blogger would make sure I had a chance to renew, and never lose my domain -- very similar to how they remind me annually to pay an extra $10 for extra space I use. This seemed like a great way to have my own domain, and not have to learn any more about the real guts that keep the Internet working for us.

Well, turns out on May 1st my domain registration had expired and Blogger never bothered to notify me. Since I've been busy w…

Common Reasons Why You Can't View a Video

One thing I've had to deal with in my last two (day) jobs is helping solve why some customers are unable to view our support and/or training videos. A recent problem for one customer led me to document what I know about the problems and likely solutions. Your feedback is welcome!
Missing or out-dated codec. This applies to video files such as WMV, AVI, and MPG. These formats are all containers that can use various different codecs depending on the tool that was used to create. For example, GoToMeeting/GotToWebinar, WebEx, and TechSmith's Camtasia could all put out WMVs and AVIs, which have the same extension, but would not play unless you had their specific codec.Out-dated or missing player. This applies to MOV and RM. Since MOV is QuickTime, controlled by Apple, I don't often see problems because Apple pushes updates with iTunes. RM from Real Media is just not found much any more. When it is, most likely their is no player at all, so the download gets you the latest versio…

Unable to Edit GoToWebinar Screen Captures

I recently for the first time recorded a GoToWebinar presentation. GoToWebinar, from Citrix, provides the option for their own proprietary output or WMV. I took the WMV option, to make it easier for my viewers, and give me the option to clean up any errors in the presentation.

Upon completion of the recording, I brought the WMV file into Windows Movie Maker. The source was 80MB (1 hr), and Windows Movie Maker split it into 8 pieces of various lengths. I performed normal edits, chopping out some dead space at two points, increasing the overall audio level, and adding intro and exit info. So far, so good.

Upon trying to save my project is where I ran into troubles. Trying several different settings, closing other programs to free memory, and rebooting -- nothing worked; it would not output. I then decided to try another computer, and realized I needed GoToWebinars own codec -- this was my first clue that I may not be able to solve this problem.

I tried two different encoders and importing …

Enhanced Copy and Paste

First, sorry for the large gap in posts. In addition to having problems with losing my domain -- which I should have back soon -- I've been busy on another project.

I found a slick little utility to enhances copy and paste on Windows. As you know, once you copy new text, the previous is lost. With CopyPasteTool, if you continue to press V as you hold down the Ctrl key, it will scroll through prior copies.

I've used utilities in the past where you could view prior copies in a little window, manage, and save them. This is much simpler. Just keep pressing V as you hold Ctrl, and release Ctrl when you find the text you want.

Google Analytics on the Desktop

Image
Polaris is a cross-platform Google Analytics desktop widget with Adobe Air. With Polaris, you have easy access to your Dashboard, Map Overlay, Top Content, and more. With 8 simple reports, the interface is easy to use and puts data right on your desktop whether using Windows, a Mac, or Linux (Fedora 8, Ubuntu 7.10, openSUSE 10.3).
A single-site version is free while the full multi-site version is only $15 annually. This is just the first of 4 announced products coming from a new company, Desktop Reporting.

Botnets and their interworkings

Ars technica has posted an article about a recent University of California Santa Barbara paper on findings after hijacking the Torpig botnet for 10 days. The headline is 56,000 passwords in an hour. The botnet (research) users were also able to gather 70GB of data.

The goal of this particular botnet (and probably most of them) is to gather financial information. "In just ten days, Torpig apparently obtained credentials of 8,310 accounts at 410 financial institutions..."

Concerned that you may be a target? "The researchers concluded that victims of botnets are usually those with poorly maintained machines and who choose 'easily guessable' passwords."

I've posted many blogs on how to improve your security. Some of the basics I know people are still not getting include an up-to-date virus scanner. Those bundled, out-of-date virus scanners from McAfee and Norton have mislead many consumers. This does not have to be difficult! Go to Avast and get their free hom…

SSL Inventor Taher Elgamal Interview

Vivian Yeo of CNet has published a greater interview with Taher Elgamal, the inventor of SSL and recent winner of the RSA Conference Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. Taher responds to these subjects:
SSL man-in-the-middle attacks and the ability to intercept session cookiesLogging into sites that have expired SSL certificatesHow do browser makers keep users and protect them?How different do you think SSL would be if it had been invented in the current security landscape?What are you most dissatisfied about in the current security landscape?Mr. Taher also points out, "The biggest issue with Internet security today is that there are databases with a lot of important info that are available from the Internet, from the outside." I tend to agree as we hear many stories of database break-ins from stolen laptops, to guessed passwords, to poor network security.

Head over to CNet and read this article for yourself.

Vintage Computer Ads and Photos

Check out 141 vintage computer ads and photos on flickr by SA_Steve. While you're there, you might also want to view Signs of All Kinds from Sa_Steve, too.

Copy a Formula down all the rows

Image
When working with large spreadsheets in Excel, it's very inefficient to copy the same formula down all the rows. Many of us already know that once we have our formula in our first row, we can drag the handle down to populate the remaining rows. But when we have 100s or even 1000s of rows, even this is not efficient. To allow Excel to do this for you, instead of dragging the handle, just double-click the handle. Here's the steps:
Create formula in top cellMove cursor top lower-right corner of cell -- cursor should change to a plus (+) signDouble-click

Time Warner wants to put restrictive usage caps on your Internet access

The cable providers are scared of losing their cash cow by people watching TV over the Internet. In the latest volley from the cable companies, Time Warner is rolling out restrictive caps that are high priced, and extremely high if you go over.

Sure, $15 a month for Internet sounds good, until you realize it's for 1 GB of data and an additional $2 for each gig you go over. As Wired points out (in "Congressman Wants to Ban Download Caps"), that's 3 hours of Hulu video or half a standard definition movie delivered online. For a mere (cough, cough) $75 per month, you can get 100 GB per month, and only pay $1 penalty for each gig over. It sure makes Comcasts 250 MB cap at $50 - $55 per month look good.

I've heard some folks defend the caps, claiming we don't need that much bandwidth, but each argument has been based on 1 user. The typical claim has been from 50 to 90 GB average usage. Multiply that by a family of 4 and now you're at 200 to 360 GBs. And if that…

Word 2003 slowly launches

I had experienced problems with Word 2003 taking a long time to launch. I'm not sure when it occurred, though I suspect it was when I tested it as the email editing client for Outlook. Even though I disabled Outlook from using Word 2003, Word continued to launch slowly.

I searched Google, but couldn't find much that would help. I resorted to using the Detect and Repair feature contained in the Help menu. After some processing, the Detect and Repair process asked me for my install disk. Since this is a company computer, Office was installed from a shared drive that I don't have access to, so I canceled the process.

When I returned to Word, it acted as though it was the first time launching, and it now seems to open faster. Unfortunately, when I opened Outlook, it also acted like it was the first time launching. My profile was gone with my settings to access my email and the pointer to my email archives. Fortunately I keep all most of my email on the server, so I can access it…

CorelDRAW X4 Crash on Startup

I had a fresh install of CorelDRAW X4, and each time I tried to start it, it would crash. After some searching through Google, I found the following fix.
Open the folder C:\Program Files\Corel\CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X4\Programs\UIConfig\CorelDRAWEdit DrawUI.xmlFind the line <dockpage guidref="bc1e2f70-3b58-41cd-8406-aaa550482972" visible="true" selected="true">
Change visible="false" and remove selected="true"
<dockpage guidref="bc1e2f70-3b58-41cd-8406-aaa550482972" visible="false">Save and close DrawUI.xmlFold down F8 and restart CorelDRAW X4When prompted to update settings, select OKThat did the trick for me. Apparently it is caused by a conflict with MFC dlls that are installed (version 1833) with SQL2008.

Listen to iPhone videos while using other iPhone functions

The iPhone's iPod player works great with audio. Start your favorite song or podcast, and while it plays, you can use other functions on the phone. This is one of the few background processes that works with the iPhone. If you try the same thing with a video, perhaps all you really care about is the audio portion, you're out of luck. As soon as you navigate away from the video player screen, the video stops playing.

I have found a work-around, so you can listen to the video while you use other iPhone functions. Here are the steps:
Find and start the videoNavigate away from the video player by pressing the Home buttonPut the iPhone to sleep (press the top sleep/wake button)Wake the iPhone (press the top sleep/wake button, again)Double-click the Home button
This will bring up the video, with the phone lockedPress the play buttonSlide the slider to unlock the iPhoneNow you will be able to listen to the video while you use other features of the iPhone. Have fun!