Archive for the ‘Spreadsheet’ Category

Spreadsheets ahead of the game

Monday, 19th March, 2018

I am fairly regularly bombarded with negative news about spreadsheets. Excel in multimillion pound error, Excel causes wrong contract choice, etc etc.

I get it, spreadsheets have errors…like most things.

Anyway, on my quest to understand why something as ridiculous as Object Oriented programming has pervaded our world I came across this, which paints spreadsheets in a much more positive light (IMO) .

A video where Simon P-J, (a Microsoft boffin), points outs something I have been bleating on about for a while – that Excel is the most widely used Functional programming language in the world.

If you don’t know what functional programming is, it’s the future. OO was vaguely useful for one or two specific use cases in the 80’s, but in the modern world, apart from those selling books or consulting on how to make OO less completely shit, most people are recognising Functional approaches as more useful.

Functional programming is what we do in a spreadsheet grid, a key tenant of which is no side effects, which is why UDFs have such limitations on what they can do. Although I notice Ms has opened these up a little in recent times.

So anyway, when all the propeller heads from IT are moaning about spreadsheets, its probably because they are locked into a 1980s paradigm and don’t understand our functional approach.

Bless…

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2018 UK Excel meet up/conference

Sunday, 25th February, 2018

Would anyone be interested in an Excel related conference in the UK this year?

Probably summer time, probably that London, probably one day (with pissups before and after hopefully). Cost – unclear, probably between 50 and 200 gbp depending on numbers and the type of event. (the room I hired in 2012 has gone up in price 1,000%!, for real – 10x more expensive now!!!)

It could be user focused or developer focused (state your preference)

It could be classic Excel, on stuff that works on every version for the past 15/20 years, or it could be on the new stuff in 2013 and 2016 (again state your preference)

No promises, but if there is enough interest a few of us might try to get something organised.

At this stage we are just trying to gauge interest (do we need a phone box or the Albert Hall?)

So if you might be interested please leave a comment. (no commitment (either way))

Venue suggestions welcome too.

ta muchly

 

Instagram

Friday, 9th February, 2018

On a more positive note (one of my teenage kids said I was acting like a stroppy teenager moaning about that recruitment process), one of my teenage kids (a different one) suggested I cross promote my Instagram here.

Bloody teenagers think they know everything!!

Anyway for 2018 I am aiming to post 1 pic per day to my instagram account. I am mainly doing black and white landscapes, if you are interested…

My account is here.

Here are a couple of my favourite images to give you an idea

Birds fly. Vevey. Infrared

A post shared by simon (@simurphyphoto) on

and

More infrared mountains

A post shared by simon (@simurphyphoto) on

Feel free to not bother

(There is no spreadsheet angle to this post at all)

cheers

Agile

Wednesday, 20th December, 2017

If agile is so good, why do we need so many Agile coaches?

I see these roles advertised all the time and it makes me sad. Your development *process* is so involved you need a full time specialist just to show you how to do the *process*. Its mind numbing.

I have never seen a role for a RAD coach, waterfall coach, or an ad-hoc coach, or a slap-dash coach.

You have to be pretty sure your current process is beyond rubbish if you can justify a full-time equivalent overhead to coach your team in the new way. Will they really deliver so much better software so much faster than if you recruited another dev to your current process?

Plus the rates are amazing, nearly as good as SAP job-fer-lifing, another shitfest I aim to avoid.

I won’t mention scum master, or scam master because I just can’t bear to talk about scrum its so retarded. Well maybe it isn’t when properly applied to an appropriate project, I have seen more unicorns. Mind that’s another well paid zero value none job, of which there seems to be more and more.

Shame no one seems to want Rapid Application Development any more, even if it was sometime a bit more slow app dev. Hey ho.

Happy xmas if I can’t be arsed to post again before the big day. :-)

cheers

simon

Unicycle manager

Friday, 15th December, 2017

I REALLY need to update my glasses.

I do actually have a unicycle – but I am rubbish on it. Or more accurately near it, as I am rarely on it for long.

Anyway its not that relevant for a LIFEcycle manager role.

Good job I spotted that before sending my application!

as expected

Saturday, 30th September, 2017


and the actual message:

1,000 posts, 10 years (and VBA still going strong).

10 year birthday

Sunday, 12th February, 2017

I missed it obviously but one of the kids pointed out I have been blogging here for 10 years! ken ell!

(as of January just gone)

I can’t imagine dragging it out for another 10, unless some spreadsheet miracle happens and I am sucked back in. I still think spreadsheets are brilliant at a great many things, I have just given up waiting for numb nuts management to realise.

I built a random mental maths test generator for the kids the other day. I looked at doing it as an app, as a web thing,  but in the end I did it in a spreadsheet in about 10 minutes. The kids hate it!

I love it!

(it even has a bit of VBA in it – woo hoo)

cheers

simon

LinkedIn

Friday, 10th February, 2017

just a little FYI. If you are one of the few non-spammers trying to connect with me on LinkedIn, the site has been broken for me for months and months. So sorry for not accepting your invites – I couldn’t get on the site.

I have now fixed this and been on an accepted all the plausible sounding invites.

Bear in mind I don’t really use that site and I am not very active in Spreadsheets or Office dev anymore.

ie so if you read this don’t feel the burning desire to link up…

cheers

simon

Office 365 subscriptions

Sunday, 5th February, 2017

I saw this the other day. Not sure how come as I don’t think I was looking for Office stuff. Anyway the author is suggesting that Office 365 subscriptions fell off a cliff in 2016.

Obviously I have no idea as I have never used it, I have an old 2010 installation that I use occasionally (and a dusty old Classique on an old machine somewhere) and other than that I am on LibreOffice. Except for the odd Google sheets messaround.

Are any of you using Office 365?

I really hate renting software. really. I bought my house (with a little help from the bank of course – spreadsheeting was never THAT lucrative…), I bought my car, my clothes, my phone, my toys. I don’t like renting. Why would I rent software?

I looked at Adobe creative cloud for photos, even did a trial (they allow 7 days – WOW Adobe Generous – not), in the end I decided it was not worth 8 quid a month. Good call – they just put it up to a tenner a month.

The renters (of Adobe CC) seem to be in two clear camps: those that pay it and think its cheap, especially in relation to the thousands spent on camera equipment, and those that resent the lock-in and are just waiting for some viable buyable alternative.

Who rents Office 365 when they can buy a perpetual licence version? or get a web based office for the price of letting Google snoop through all your stuff to sell you shit?

cheers

simon

Google sheets

Monday, 19th December, 2016

We have been using Google sheets a fair bit recently as our spreadsheet of choice. The kids can use their phones for data gathering in the field (eg how many keepy uppyies they do) and then we can fire up the tomputers and do some proper data analysis on it. Again using Google sheets.

This has worked well for trivial stuff but the other day I decided to combine Maths, IT and spreadsheets and it didn’t end well.

In maths we have been doing equations, in IT, programming – so name a couple of variables x and y, create a scary looking equation, loop through a load of numbers and print out x and y, copy and paste into Google sheets and draw a nice chart. Well that’s what happened on the macbook, on the Android tablet the Google sheets app appears so completely hobbled that it does not offer the choice to parse a string into multiple columns. And I could find no way to use the more powerful browser version.

I wouldn’t claim to have done an exhaustive search but initial indications are that the app versions of google apps offer only a fraction of the features of the browser versions (bit weird if you ask me – but hey, I’m old school). And you can’t seem to keep the browser version on android devices. As soon as you click anywhere you are launched into Google drive and its game over, shit versions only. As far as I can tell??

If anyone has a solution to this I would be very interested. I would like to use the more powerful browser versions of google apps on an android tablet please.

ps the Excel app has the same limitation as far as I can tell.

Or if you have a suggestions for a better spreadsheet for Android I’m all ears…

cheers

simon