Archive for August, 2009

Firefox on the beeb

Monday, 31st August, 2009

You don’t get much more mainstream than that.

So if IE can only manage 50-60% marketshare whilst it is the only browser installed on 90 odd % of machines sold, how will it get on when the ballot thingy comes in in Windows 7? (Ballot screen is Europe only I think?).

Now they have lost the browser wars so emphatically perhaps we can get back to ‘smart client’ development.

Excel 2007 hotfix list

Wednesday, 26th August, 2009

Just spotted this V useful list of links to the various Excel and Office 2007 hotfix issues etc. (its for 2009 only. but I’m sure you can work out other years from the URL)

I’m subscribed to the feed too, but somehow this seemed a bit easier to find what I was looking for.



Holidays over

Wednesday, 26th August, 2009

Had a great holiday, remade the aquaintance of an old friend:


If you had a break this summer I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

Back to work I guess!




Tuesday, 11th August, 2009

I’m going to take a couple of weeks break from posting

Should be back on stream before the end of August. I have lots of posts half finished.

I’ll also need to start preparing for the next Excel User Conf which is 8-9 Oct at MS London.



Ubuntu Hibernation

Monday, 10th August, 2009

I have never had much success with hibernation in Linux. I just assumed it was one of those things that didn’t always work. (As Windows XP in fact)

Anyway I just noticed that my main Linux box only has 200Mb of hard drive space on the Linux partition – that might be a factor hey?

I only noticed because it stopped doing anything as it completely ran out of space.

Running out of space on laptop hard drives is the bane of my life – makes me think that a triple boot macbook with no option to swap the hard drive may be a bad move.

In fact I may just stick a 500GB drive in my Sony and forget about a new machine (I want one that comes with Linux – but they are a bit thin on ground since netbooks appeared and Dell quietly stopped selling proper lappers with Ubuntu.)

Anyone got a recommendation for a Linux compatible notebooks (13″ screen, fast, big hardrive, trackpaad not joystick)?



Fix Corrupt Excel files

Sunday, 9th August, 2009

I just had an offer/request from a mate to ask people to upload any corrupt Excel or other MS Office files to his site for automatic/manual recovery.

[EDIT: OOOOoops – seems I jumped the gun a little – the service is not actually live until Tue or Wed next week – so the success rate is just tumbling.


No guarantees, and no charge currently.

The file rescue site is here.

They are currently quoting a 75% success rate, let us know how you get on.

(I am currently scouring my hard drives for crashers)

I have to say, I haven’t really seen much real corruption recently – Excel 2007 gives up a little easy if the extension doesn’t agree to the internal file format, but that’s not really corruption. Do you see much?



No No and NO!

Wednesday, 5th August, 2009

I am not the Ribbons number one fan, but I have to say I think I prefer it to this.

Please OOo, Noh!

Why can’t we have UIs like firefox themes? You can change the size and shape of buttons with ff (I have little round blue buttons – neat – and not too screen greedy for the AA1).

I’d also love to have the option to have buttons all the way around the app (like excel classique, but perhaps smaller and colour coded for major area (eg Red = file operations, blue = formatting etc.))

On a positive note if OOo do implement this it will save me needing to bother migrating my tools over

Its a funny old world – Google wants to be Microsoft, Microsoft wants to be Apple (and Google), and now Sun wants to be Microsoft. Odd.

What do you think of the proposed new OOo UI?



Dumb Windows 7 question

Saturday, 1st August, 2009

Sorry, I haven’t just crawled out of my cave or anything, but I seem to have totally missed the part where we got told of the benefits of Windows 7 and the justification to migrate.

Please enlighten me.

We mainly use Linux here, there is one Windows XP internet machine for those odd little things that need Windows. (which I noticed the other day has Works on it – never used of course (it has OOo 3)). I have my dev box which is XP and doesn’t go on the internet, Eveything else is Linux, except possibly my next lapper which may well be a MacBook Pro.

I have never had the misfortune to need to use Vista, and as it is the new Win ME I don’t think I even need a copy for testing stuff.

So why would I want to move to Windows 7? what are the must have features? From a happy XP user (with the classic theme of course!) POV.

If there is something compelling I may hold off on the MacBook and get a Win7 box instead, but I havent seen anything yet. Have you?

And what would I do with all the money I saved from choosing a Win box over a MacBook? – Well actually when you look into it the prices are similar, so I wouldn’t even have enough for my bus fare home, well maybe, but certainly not enough for a bag of chips as well.