About Time

Friday, 31st August, 2018

EU going to sack off summer time nonsense.

finally, I hope I am still around to see it actually happen, and that local non-EU countries go for it too.

Not sure what those in the far north think, but even when we lived at the top of England the clock change was unhelpful. Especially for young kids.

I could make a (rubbish) joke about Excel 2016 performance here but I won’t. :-)

Which do you prefer: going to bed an hour earlier when you aren’t tired or getting up an hour earlier when you are?

cheers

simon

 

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more perf figures

Wednesday, 22nd August, 2018

WP wouldn’t let me add this as a comment so I made a new post…

 

Microsoft Excel for Office 365 MSO (16.0.10813.20004) 32 bit
Office Insider Program
Grid not visible
0.7578125
0.6953125
0.71875
0.7578125
0.71875
0.7265625
0.7265625
0.703125
0.71875
0.7265625
Grid visible
1.757813
1.710938
1.703125
1.695313
1.710938
1.703125
1.664063
1.6875
1.679688
1.703125

Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-5820K CPU @3.30GHzRam:
32.0 GBWindows 10 Home 64-bit

———————————————————–

Results (c.47 hours since last reboot):
4.015625
4.484375
4.402344
4.324219
4.144531
4.214844
4.441406
4.332031
4.453125
4.351563

Results (after rebooting):
4.738281
5.519531
4.609375
4.527344
4.640625
4.652344
4.640625
4.636719
4.734375
4.667969

Following on from above but gridlines hidden:
5.015625
5.140625
4.988281
5.105469
5.179688
5.238281
5.054688
5.042969
5.050781
5.039063

System:
OS Name Microsoft Windows 10 Pro
Version 10.0.17134 Build 17134
System Model Surface Pro 3
System Type x64-based PC
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-4300U CPU @ 1.90GHz, 2501 Mhz

Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 8.00 GB

Office:
Microsoft Excel 2013 (15.0.5041.1000) MSO (15.0.5031.1000) 32 bit
Part of Microsoft Office 365

Rubberduck Version 2.2.6672.28001 loaded.

———————————————————

Excel 2k3 (11.0.8169)
Windows XP Pro (5.1, Build 2600)
AMD Athlon XP64 Cpu 3200+ 2.8GHz
2048MB RAM

0.15625
0.296875
0.3125
0.3125
0.3125
0.328125
0.296875
0.3125
0.3125
0.3125

——————————————————–

EXCEL 2016

‘i7-3770 3.4GHz 16GB 64-bit OS, SSD & HD

Windows (32-bit) NT 10.00 Excel 16.0 Build 10325
Seed 3.1 Select:True
3.585938
3.4375
3.527344
3.316406
3.390625
Seed 3.1 Select:False
0.078125
0.078125
0.078125
0.0625
0.09375

EXCEL 2010

Windows (32-bit) NT 6.02 Excel 14.0 Build 7212
Seed 3.1 Select:True
0.9453125
0.9140625
0.9179688
0.90625
0.9101563
Seed 3.1 Select:False
2.734375E-02
0.046875
0.03125
0.046875
0.03125

CODE

Option Explicit
‘Simon Murphy

‘i7-3770 3.4GHz 16GB 64-bit OS, SSD & HD

Public Sub multiLoop()

Debug.Print Evaluate(“INFO(“”OSVERSION””)”), “Excel ” & Application.Version & ” Build ” & Application.Build
RepeatCellEntryTest 3.1, True
RepeatCellEntryTest 3.1, False
End Sub

Public Sub RepeatCellEntryTest(seed As Double, bSelect As Boolean)

——————————————————————–

Intel i7-7700HQ @ 2.8 GHz
32 GB RAM
Windows Pro 64 bit V1803
Excel 2016 (O365) Build 10325.20118

1:
1.289063
1.167969
1.152344
1.144531
1.148438
1.140625
1.148438
1.15625
1.167969
1.175781

2:
1.371094
1.308594
1.28125
1.257813
1.269531
1.25
1.210938
1.207031
1.277344
1.238281

Excel 2016 performance – even interestinger

Sunday, 19th August, 2018

I’m on a crusade to understand what is going on with Excel 2016 performance.

In summary its bad, like more than 10 times slower than Excel 2010 bad.

ie BAD.

I am only just scratching the surface, so I am sure I’ll find areas where 2016 is better … at least I hope I will…

My little cell selection test gave Excel 2016 2.6secs, Excel 2010 0.14secs.

Which I appreciate is indeed more than 10x, I could calc it exactly but it would take a couple of life times in Excel 2016,

But of course these are different machines so I need to understand how much is due to the machine. so I wrote a C++ console app (so limited windows, or .net influence).

It just adds some (vaguely) random numbers, so a bit dependent on that library, but in principle I don’t see a glaring reason why it can’t give me an approximation of the difference in speed between two machines.

This is it:

for (int n = 0; n < 1000 * 1000 * 1000; ++n) {
result += -70 + (std::rand() % (60 – 25 + 1));
}

It runs 14 seconds on my XP box and 15 on Win 10, so I think you could say the machines are comparable, roughly.

So the 10x slowness is pure Win10/E2016 then?

Well its a bit early to say, I think there is a video/graphics element so I’m going to develop some more tests.

I mean as it stands Excel is so so bad you could develop in VSTO without noticing a performance drop (unless its worse too).

I’ll keep you posted, ping me if you want this console exe to benchmark your machine.

cheers

simon

Excel 2016 perf what the effing eff?

Thursday, 16th August, 2018

Well, I tried to resist, but shocked at the rank day to day performance of my shiny Win10E2016 toy I had to compare performance.

Obviously I haven’t done it properly, what would be the point in that?

But equally obviously I’m going to write about it as if it is indisputable fact.

I wanted a test that mimicked the slow UI response I was seeing so I selected the cells. I am in the throes of writing a more rounded benchmarking tool, but this was my first area of focus. Of course it ignores MTA etc etc, those tests are coming.

I’ll stick the code at the bottom. I would be delighted if you copied it into a new workbook module and ran it on your machine(s) and replied with the results and a hint about machine specs and Excel versions. Preferably in a clean Excel, not one shared with a workbook polluted with a quadzillion volatile VBA UDFs, or a million addins trapping the selectionChange event!

4 core i7 w 16GB RAM – W10E2016 – average of ten results 2.4 seconds

dual core i7 VM (with 500GB ram?(it thinks!)??) WXPE2010 av 0.14 secs

dual core i7 VM (with 500GB ram???) WXPE2003 av 0.12 secs

I ran it on a single screen in all cases, with just the VBA IDE visible. If the Excel grid is visible the performance is much worse.

I expected 2016 to be slower in this single threaded test, but not 10 times slower. What are they doing with all those cycles? (cryptomining???)

cheers

simon

Here is that code, please please take a minute and let me know your results

(if you are using a lapper be sure it does not have some work dodging power/performance reducing profile set)

Public Sub multiLoop()
Dim x As Integer
Dim t As Single

For x = 1 To 10
t = Timer

CellEntryTest 3.1

Debug.Print Timer – t
Next x
End Sub

Public Sub CellEntryTest(seed As Double)
Dim ws As Worksheet
Set ws = ThisWorkbook.Worksheets(1)

ws.Activate

ws.Cells.Clear

Dim x As Long

For x = 1 To 1000
ws.Cells(x, 1).Select
ActiveCell.Value = (seed + x) * 2 * Rnd(2)
Next x

End Sub

Feel free to chip in if you are convinced this is an invalid test.

If you are seeing sub 1 second response you could bump up the loop to 10k, that is what I had it on until I came to test 2016! (mention that in you reply, or just divide by 10)

 

Excel 2016 Performance

Thursday, 2nd August, 2018

What’s your view on Excel 2016 performance and stability?

In particular Excel 2016 32bit on Win10 63 bit?

I’m talking about 365, so bang up to date, and what I am seeing is:

  • Excel or other Office apps freeze for around 4 minutes, once or twice most days
  • Too many styles will cause a workbook that would have dropped all formatting in 2010 will be unopenable and unrecoverable in 2016
  • Too many conditional format will crash 2016 completely, where 2010 would be bearable, but stable.
  • General calc speed seems slower
  • UI is laggy, even with all Win10 bullshit turned off
  • Excel VBA can completely freeze every running office application
  • Opening everything in the same Excel instance is a monumental ball ache
    • Opening everything in its own one is not much better
    • Why can’t we have the 2003 behaviour of opening in last activate instance??
    • debuggering from VS is pants, I don’t want all my dodgy xlls loading into my working Excel.  So back to run excel /e
  • Did YOU ask for cell selection change to be animated????????????
  • Can’t paste charts as live links any more?

So the intermittent freezes and the instability are my main issues, I’m back to saving my work every 2 to 3 minutes like in Excel 2000. And spending a fair chunk of my life waiting for stuff to calculate.

Overall I’m thoroughly underwhelmed, 2003 is still the best ever, but 2010 is starting to feel like a not too shabby vintage too (I never tried 2013, was it any good?). I reckon 2003 would utterly fly on my 16gb i7, well apart from the single threadedness.

(the 63 bit was a typo, but somehow seems appropriate as the odd bit seems to get dropped here and there on this combo.) Sadly I see Office gradually choking Excel, or as its new name Word(tables edition).

What are your experiences?

Which is your favourite Excel?

Is 64 bit more stable?

cheers

simon

lets discuss it at DevelopExcel in October!

Excel Developer Conference 18th October 2018 London

Monday, 23rd July, 2018

Woo Hoo

There is going to be a major, major Excel extensibility conference in that London on 18th October 2018. This is THE big one. All the big guns from the main Excel extensibility tools and frameworks are going to be there speaking.

There will no better time in your lifetime to hear from the horses mouth the how and why of ExcelDNA, PyXLL, XLL + and the new Excel javascript APIs. Also sessions covering Power Query and VSTO and Add-in Express.

This is a community driven event, driven by a desire to get the top minds in the Excel extensibility space together.

The Date? Thursday 18th October 2018

The Location? Microsoft Reactor, 70 Wilson St, London EC2A 2DB

More info here

Bookings here

See you there…

(please reblog… and if you do, and you are coming, let us know we will link to you on the sponsors page for helping to spread the word.)

cheers

simon

Eusprig Conference

Saturday, 30th June, 2018

Its nearly time for the Eusprig conference on spreadsheet risk etc. (Thursday 5th July, glad you asked)

Here is the link, if you can make it and are involved in spreadsheet development, modelling or management its well worth a few hours of your time. Its at Imperial this year.

I’m a bit out of that world these days, I am waiting for the Excel extensibility conf in October.

But I would recommend Eusprig to anyone, lots of valuable info and contacts.

cheers

simon

new lapper

Monday, 25th June, 2018

In an alarming and uncharacteristic case of actually doing what I said I would I just pulled the trigger on a new(ish) lapper.

I went for a Dell xps, I got a windas one rather than linux cos I can just partition it anyway. That way if I need to work slooowly or pick up viruses I can use windas.

Theoretically it should be smaller lighter and faster than this cackbook, we’ll see… It would be nice also if it didn’t run so hot, and maybe if the battery lasted more than 20 mins – one can but hope…

I was mainly persuaded to update my Microsoft world as I am back doing a decent amount of ExcelDNA development. And I am currently working on a big 2010-2016 migration and my spidey senses tell me that might not be a bad career move for the next 12m or so.

Don’t take it as a vote of approval for the latest Microsoft creations. I think Windows 10 and Office 2016 are utterly shit. But they are still popular. Whenever I am working in this new stuff I just feel like I am using something a 13 year old ‘designed’. All valueless whistles and bells no core features or performance. I am astounded every day by just how slow and unresponsive it is, for simple stuff like opening a file. Often I have forgotten what I was doing by the time the dialog has deigned to appear. (I am knocking on though I guess..)

One (begrudging ;-) ) positive for MS though is the quality and amount of stuff they are finally giving away these days. A usable Visual studio – free, SQL server Express – a proper database – free, SQL Server Management Studio – free. Just need to put me hand in me pocket for Office, not bad at all. If Visual studio was as good as intelliJ I could almost convert. not. (Well maybe if they brought back the MSDN roadshows with those lovely little danish pastries)

Still chipping away at the Android too, I wasted a whole day not being able to find a completely stupid mistake I made the other day. It would be funny if I didn’t have so many better things to do with that wasted time. And I know I’ll do the same again (soon), perhaps with a different tech though.

cheers

simon

Office Headshaker

Tuesday, 19th June, 2018

I’m working on Win10/Office 2016 these days, well I spend most of my time waiting for it. And shaking my head…

I was on the beta programs for Office 2007 and 2010 and those early betas were more reliable and performant than this ‘production’ 2016.

I have a feeling its a lot to do with Windows rather than Office, but my god its slow.

Alt tf to get options – 3 second wait before the dialog come up. Alt f11 for VBA, 5 seconds before the editor lethargically appears.

I know I am not on a super computer, but its not a total lemon either, a perfectly serviceable corporate machine. Or it would be without this combo.

10 seconds to open Excel, but its all forgiven because they have animated the activecell movement when you change selections.

10 seconds to open Word but its all ok, they animate the carriage return…

for real…

In ye olden days I had a dumb terminal onto a mainframe across a phone line that was more responsive.

All the animations made me sick, and not just because of the wasted cycles, so I turned it off in Windoze settings. Does some Microsoft UX expertidiot really fucking think people want to watch the computer slooowly respond to basic commands, slooowly???

Its like back in the day when we didn’t turn screenupdating off so it looked like we were doing the work manually instead of tossing it off in a little netscape window to geocities and alta vista.

Today alone I had five 10 minute plus application freezes, Excel, SQL Server Management studio, notepad++, and some other stuff. And Windoze Explorer crashed. This is what makes me think its at least as much a Windows problem as Office.

I was thinking I might consider a wondows lapper next now macbooks are shit, but it looks like it would be unusably slow or uncarriably heavy and bulky (and probably too powerful for a battery so coming with a 50m power cable on a reel). Never mind their ridiculous intrusive prove you’re not a pirate, frequently, features.

So maybe it will be a linux Dell finally, as system 76 only offer US keyboards (and sticker sets for johnny foreigners (like me)).

Unless you have a better suggestion for a (non wonkdoze) laptop?

How is your win10 Office 2016 experience?

cheers

simon

Ageism

Tuesday, 5th June, 2018

is real

well I bet that’s what those lawyers hope anyway.

I bet you thought it was just me being a grumpy bad loser, but no, its true, no one wants to employ unmanageable grumpy old farts who won’t do what they are told by inexperienced buzzword bingoistas. Or maybe that’s just me??

Talking of which is anyone having issues with pivot table refreshes being slooooow in Excel 2016?

Excel 2016 is breathtakingly slow, I keep having to remind myself it is actually meant to be production code, not alpha. Or maybe my new lapper is not up to the job.

I heard Cray were the only ones certified ‘Ready for Office 2016’, and maybe Big Blue?(The IBM tompooter not the epic Blackpool big dipper ride). Its a big investment just to manage shopping lists…

btw – today I have mainly been doing doing XLM in Excel 2016. Get in!

(Thank you Excel team for your consistently epic backwards compatibility story)

You know you are on the long tail when Google insists on ‘correcting’ your technology.

XML my arse

Cheers

simon