Monday, August 25, 2008

Let Me Tell You How Much I Hate Excel: Mac 2008

This is not a review for Excel, but it is an expression of my frustration.

I hate Excel for Mac 2008 not because of what it does, but because of what it does not do. I hate it because of how it failed to be the program that it could have been. Excel X was a fine program with all the functionality of the Excel 2002 for XP product and somewhat more style. This latest version is a reason to buy a PC. I can't believe it how poorly it handles Macros and it does not even have the "statistics toolpack."

There should be a law against companies taking good software labels and putting out diluted lite versions in their place. This is like movie sequels: Clone Wars of software. You can't stop them.

Quicken Online is the same story.

I want to close with an anti-commercial for OpenOffice. Yes OpenOffice works OK, and it does kinda run Excel Macros, but its not ready for prime time either. Having plunked down my money for this castrated version of Excel, I see no reason to run OpenOffice -- except perhaps residual frustration with Bill Gates.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Debut of Depth of Processing: Movies

I have been reviewing all the movies that I see since 2001. I do it because it helps me remember them more slearly, and I suppose I enjoy it more.

I appreciate that few people ever read my reviews, and that my reviews are mostly for me. If you look at the traffic to my site, you can see that it is mostly me. Of course my opinions about movies are as valid as anyone's.

Anyway, I created a new Blogspot site, and I am going to try to link them together pretty well. Blogspot is far easier than my old movie blog that I hosted on Although .mac was a good server, the upload rate was not good. The last straw was when I lost about six months of reviews during a service outage. (See my Heavy Lifting Post below.)

It took some time to import the html from the old site, but Blogspot does not support a lot of tags, so I ended up editing in simpler and simpler styles. For example, I couldn't paste the tables into Blogspot, and then the Blogspot importer inserted lots of redundant tags.

An upgrade that I want to do, is links to movie art - that is movie posters. I can't seem to find a good source for that. IMDB pictures are embedded in some active code, and I can't extract the image only.

Leave me a link if you know how to do that.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Heavy Lifting Delivers Faster Comcast Service

Our internet is working again after a multi-week battle with Comcast. Our cable TV worked the whole time, but the upload portion of the internet service was barely working. That means we lost about 40% of outgoing packets on a Ping test. Speeds were fast and slow, but the packet loss on uploads meant the internet did not work well. I run a Mac, and if you do too, then use Network Utility in the Utility Folder. 

I talked to the Comcast people three times, but they took me seriously when I had some speed test results. (I like CNET and SpeedTest.Net (Columbus, OH.)) I had the Comcast field tech out twice and he replaced every cable wire in the house. After talking to his boss twice, they agreed the problem was elsewhere. The following Monday I got a call saying that yes, others in my neighborhood were also having slow service, and then suddenly it was faster. I don't know if it was a problem with a buried cable or a problem with a Comcast Server. 

The Comcast people were all friendly, although not always helpful. 

We are now up to 23,000-24,000 kbps upload and 2100-2200 kbps download, which is somewhat faster than the service we are signed up for. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

US Bungles Georgia Crisis

This article is critical of the State Department during the crisis, and some of this is a cheap shot because the Georgians turned out to be cowards. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Link to My Movie Site

I have been blogging on movies for almost 6 years now. This is a link to the page for 2008, which has more links going back. 

Depth Of Processing

Depth of Processing is deep thinking that people do when they learn something. This blog is called that because I learn about what I am doing by writing about it. The ideas crystalize the thoughts in my mind.