Gods Own County

Wednesday, 31st July, 2019

Take care if you are in Gods Own County at the moment. Its raining like its Cumbria!!

I’ve (mis) spent lots of time in Swaledale, especially Gunnerside, so to see the bridges washed out is quite shocking.

Hailstones the size of pickled onions. (proper English ones, not the tiny ones from t’continent.)


Self Spreadsheet Saboteur risks 10 years porridge

Tuesday, 23rd July, 2019

I used to put a little support contact details messagebox  in some of my more complex spreadsheets in the hope I may get a lucrative support gig.

This guy went a bit further.

He time bombed his VBA and locked the projects. Now its in court and it could be 10 years in prison and/or 250kUSD fine. Oops!

I wouldn’t accept a contractor keeping passwords, a proper external supplier maintaining their IP ok, but a contractor working on company files? no. And I personally wouldn’t lock my VBA either, if the client wants to do that fine, until they lose the password and I have to hack it…



Eusprig 2019

Monday, 17th June, 2019

If you are interested in Excel, and therefore spreadsheets you could do a lot worse then spend a day immersed in the risks and challenges associated with them.

That’s where the European Spreadsheet Risk Group comes in with their annual conference, this year in that London.

The European Spreadsheet Risk Interest Group Conference (EuSpRIG 2019)
will be held at Browns Courtrooms, Browns Covent Garden, London, on
Thursday 11th and Friday 12th July 2019.


Real life case studies of EUC control, deep dive into data analysis,
experience with skills transfer, and two tutorials on new features.


I can’t be there this year, but I’ve been a few times and would heartily recommend it to anyone with more than a passing interest in spreadsheets.

Even if the content does not seem immediately, directly relevant, a day in that environment will raise your awareness of the risks and dangers and have you thinking more cautiously next time you are building or changing a spreadsheet. Which is a very good thing.



Old VB6 books

Thursday, 2nd May, 2019

What did you do with yours??

I am having a tidy out and I am thinking it might be time to say goodbye to my Excel 5 books and maybe some VB6 stuff. Maybe even that Access 97 one too. Bit early to bin the Access 2000 stuff, but I’m not even sure anything I built with my old VB6 machine would run on Win 10.

(I am keeping all my COM stuff, that’s bound to come in at some point.)

So what do you do with your old IT books? (I have some iOS 5 ones too…)(and Android 2…)



most spreadsheets

Thursday, 31st January, 2019

I don’t have any media but I do have a working lapper with win 3.11 and Excel 5, and most versions since somewhere. But this guy beats me by a million miles.

Fair play, the world record for most spreadsheet applications, including media and instruction manuals. (around 800 !!)

I never used Visicalc commercially but I did have an exe that ran on Windows at one point.

When I started we were using paper spreadsheets and gradually introducing Lotus 123 on dos. Dunno what version but the upgrade to the one with the : shortcut to all the formatting stuff was eye popping.

What is the oldest working spreadsheet you have access to?

Spreadsheet modelling competition

Thursday, 15th November, 2018

Dunno if anyone fancies it but there is a spreadsheet modelling  compo going on at the moment.

info here.

I’d like to have the time to do it but I don’t at the moment, being a busy boy looking for my next contract.

I have been doing so much SQL Server recently I have finally decided (about 10 years after first being advised to…) to bite the bullet and go for SQL dev/DBA roles.

So expect a bit more SQL related content here. And heavens forbid perhaps some Power BI as I have finally used that in anger too.

But anyway back on topic if you do do the spreadsheet challenge do let us know how it went. (I think its mainly for glory rather than prizes)




DevelopExcel conf almost sold out

Wednesday, 3rd October, 2018

Yep, you read that right, if you want to see me and some proper developers talking about advanced Excel mischief your time is fast running out.

Details are here

be there or be square

Spaces are limited and we already have about 100 people coming, so if you are umming and ahhing, get booked on quick sharp.

By the same token, if you are booked on and can’t make it please let us know as we are on the verge of running a waiting list.

ta muchly


Office 2019 released

Tuesday, 25th September, 2018

Does anyone care?

It sounds like it is pretty much just a freeze of the current Office 365.

Which as we know contains xlSlow, so I assume that’s not getting its performance fixed, ever.

Has anyone got it?

Is it any good?

I only just picked up a cheap 2016, so I can’t see me ‘upgrading’ to 2019 any time soon, if ever.

I’m doing a lot of SQL Server at the moment which is a nice change, and SSIS, which is less nice. But still better than the Access I was doing. I like the Access visual designer (a bit), but the rubbish SQL editor is frustrating. In the end I had all the SQL in notepad++ (colour coded key words, indenting and new lines (MS Access team take note – how hard can it be?). And looking at the visual designer for the joins. Not a bad way of working actually…

And I have been messing with RubberduckVBA, it seems that’s currently the best way to indent other peoples shitty VBA, to make it at least semi-readable. (Smart Indenter seems to be pining for the fjords with a combo of lack of VB6 love at MS and increased ‘security’.). (I am sure I used to have a VBA version of that somewhere).

Anyway, another shout out for the developExcel conf in a few weeks. I have been busy messing with VSTO and Addin Express in preparation. It looks like there are going to be quite a few of us (100 ish I believe).

Rach from the 2013 conf

said she would come if her sock drawer was in order.




Bluetooth mice

Friday, 21st September, 2018

Any of you using them?

Any good?

I have just swapped out the one I had at work because it randomly ignored me for 30 seconds every now and then.

Now I have one with the thickest most inflexible cable ever. Its doing my RSI no end of bad.

Initially I really like the bluetooth rodent, but after changing the batteries didnt improve its obedience it had to go. It also sometimes would not release like dragging and dropping but without the drop

I dunno what brand it was, but I am very underwhelmed. I am thinking I may have to go back to a track ball.

Anyone had good experiences with them? maybe I need to upgrade..



ps don’t forget the amazing brilliant and excellent DevelopExcel conf is coming soon to that London. If you have not booked on yet, why the bloody hell not? linky.


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?