Posts for 07/2009

31 July 2009 - 16:30

Delving in the treasure house of Pivot tables: calculated fields with if and more of those jewels

Delving after a solution to use functions, more precisely an IF() function, in calculated fields within Excels' pivot table tool, brought me about a couple of interesting insights and resources.

if() function in calculated fields

Firstly for the use of an if() function in calculated fields: that's a tricky one; I couldn't find a lot of useful links - I did find some descriptions of people struggling with the same issue: http://www.mrexcel.com/archive/Pivot/4588.html is one example of this. The conclusion of my research here was summarized by one of the comments:

PivotTables always apply the summary function to any field used in the calculated item. So effectively, your calculated field is evaluating =IF('Cost per Order'<35,SUM(Cost),0).
Since the Grand Total of Cost of not less than 35 it will return 0. Grand Total always operate on the data list contents not what's displayed in the PivotTable.

Or in other words: avoid the if function in calculated fields, implement it in the data table itself as a separate column, and use those values as column headers in your Pivot table - you can always hide columns which you don't want.

An example please !

Pivottable with prepared if()

To get the illustrated Pivot table, I first added a column to the data table with following code for a simple evaluation whether the line result goes over 1000 or not.

=IF(F2>=1000;"ok";"nok")

I've then used the ok/nok field (column) as a column label/field and filtered on 'ok' values only to get what I wanted - remark that I've added another field, total turnover, and kept the subtotals. By simply hiding the non wanted columns I can then have the number of 'oks' along with the Total Turnover (for all oks and no-oks).

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28 July 2009 - 15:32

HTML 5

There has been a lot of discussion lately on the net regarding the topic of HTML 5 -
As an illustration this post on Jeffrey Zeldman's blog can count: http://www.zeldman.com/2009/07/02/xhtml-wtf/ (see the comments too).

Just two blog links here which made a lot of sense to me and clarified the issue:

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23 July 2009 - 14:28

Mind Map on web development

I've been working lately on a first version of a mind map on web development.
A kind of a blueprint really for some of my courses, based on my experiences, on what I've been reading and studying myself, on all kind of resources and what I happen to process as 'highlights'.
And of course all excuses making me go through the tons of materials spread all over my office are good indeed - so I'm happy too having allocated some time to this as well :-)

The map covers a whole range of fields or themes linked to web development and web design, with all kind of resources - I intend to develop it further when doing my courses, with time, but as I know some people have requested for a download already...here is version 1... as it says a very first version :-)

mind map on web development

Downloads

All feedback, suggestions and input of course more than welcome !

20 July 2009 - 07:11

php in Expression Engine’s Entries

If ever you're an Expression Engine user (great ! me too :-) ) and if ever you wandered if you can actually use php within the blog entries you post, the answer is yes. And yes there are some security issues to consider.

Here is where I found the how: http://expressionengine.com/wiki/PHP_In_Entries/

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19 July 2009 - 05:31

Souls

This is the name of a wonderful and unique exposition with black and white portait photographs (122x162 cm.) from the Danish photographer Søren Solkær Starbird.

He wondered whether the 'soul' - metaphyscial in nature - could nevertheless be 'captured' and decided to work with a group of yogi's he met in India in a lapsus of 4 years time.
I find the result breath-taking.

expo Souls

From his introduction:

Is it possible to take a portrait of the soul? This led to my portrait series, "SOULS".
Before taking each portrait, I asked the yogis if they could pose in a state of "soul consciousness" - in meditation. Contrary to my previous experiences with portraiture, the yogis expressed no ego or vanity.

You'll find the whole series of portraits on his site: http://www.starbirdsouls.dk/

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18 July 2009 - 05:48

Quality resources for web development and web design

During the last past months, my dear web developer friend Jaydev - currently much into the topic of usability - has kept on forwarding me so many links on the topic of web development and web design, that I felt I had to do something with it. Actually I was wondering even at the first place where he keeps on finding the time to go through all these resources !

So as I'm into the preparation of some web development courses, I grabbed the occasion and went through them once again, categorized them a bit and so for whoever may take benefit from or find them useful too: a nice collection of quality resources to improve the quality of your web development and web design works...

ps now who knows when I'll take or find the time to add all those nice ones hidden in my own bookmarks... but then also : who would have the time and the need to go through them anyway :-)

ps2 Well i've started adding some of my own resources too I noticed... :-)

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17 July 2009 - 13:23

One & Other

An interesting art experiment is captivating more than one these days in the UK.

Under the working title "One & Other" artist Antony Gormley is inviting about 2400 people to stand for one hour on one of the empty plinths on Trafalgar Square in London, the so-called empty 'Fourth Plinth'.
Each hour, non stop 24h/24h, from July till October 2009, one person becomes the master of the Fourth Plinth and can do with the space and time slot as he or she likes.

one and other

The aim is to create a kind of a living representation and monument of the UK population and to "reflect on the diversity, vulnerability and particularity of the individual in contemporary society".

It"s definitely also an expression of our internet / blog/ twitter generation, as many camera's, blogs, internet exchanges and an internet site focus on the happening and allow massive participation of people in the UK and in the world. Quite an interesting 'curiosum' already only because of the use of the internet medium as such

Is it really art?
And isn't there a hidden but explicit message referring to the need people have for attention? - the 15' of individual glory?
Also: Big brother is watching you again, isn't he?
And many more questions could come up...

But from the other side: isn't it giving art something 'accessible' again?
Isn't the idea alone already a marvelous expression of genius creativity?
And of the most wonderful melting pot of expression we really represent?

And above all, isn't life art after all - continuous creation?

So judge for yourself and have a look - not without some reflection of course as to whether you've discovered your self already as the artist and creator of your life, and if your creation is in the 'doing' or in the 'being' :-)

Fourth Plinth

For more photos - click through...

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16 July 2009 - 12:09

Arrange USB sticks - drive letters

The drive letters of the hard disks in my PC sometimes change after a reboot ... DVD drives then take priorities. Althought there's many articles and comments on the topic on the net (link this one) haven't really come to terms fully, but so far I come to the conclusion that it's probably linked to the way the cables have been connected into the motherboard (as DVD drives come first in the link as masters)

As often whilst looking for something you then find somethings else which is really interesting. Like these links explaining how to get rid of the fact that USB sticks get drive letters allocated (also a possible input for drive letter switching): http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleid=1676&page=9

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09 July 2009 - 16:21

How To Extract Flash or SWF from Office files

If ever you're after a nice procedure, here it I've found one: http://www.walkernews.net/2008/03/22/how-to-extract-swf-flash-from-excel-or-word/#VBASC

And the other way round: to embed SWF in Microsoft Office documents: Excel - Word

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03 July 2009 - 16:53

Should I or should I not …. install IE8 of course !

The beginning of July brought an interesting choice when logging on to my PC: windows update apparently wanted to install Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) !

IE8 logo

Ha ! There it was - as of course I had been following the topic since a couple of months and witnessed the problems with the upgrades to IE8 - and, of course, I didn't allow automatic installation. Luckily we're still offered the choice - after all :-)

Now I must say immediately I can only be in favor of IE8, as in terms of CSS, it's definitely adhering standards better than all the earlier versions all together. So I can only be happy with its venue.
Nevertheless some care is definitely on its place here, as there seem to be all kind of possible pitfalls during the installation process, there are performance issues to consider too, but most importantly I have to consider testing, as I basically use IE for testing only - and yes indeed: we now have this wonderful transition period of IE6, IE7 and IE8.

So this is what I've decided to do: nothing basically, that is on my main PC with Windows XP - I'll give IE8 a tryout a bit later this summer on my Vista driven portable.
And I'll use IE Tester for my (CSS) development, along with Multiple IE.

If ever you're after some materials to make up your strategy:

Some experiences and/or tips

Tools

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