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Showing posts from June, 2009

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.