How To: Get Average of Variable Range in Excel

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Have you ever needed to get an average of a group of numbers in an Excel spreadsheet? And have you ever needed to do so with a range that is variable? In other words, “I need to get an average of Column B, but I don’t know upfront how many rows are going to be in Column B.”

Well, it turns out to be fairly simple in Excel. I’m partly sharing this with the world to be a help to others, but also because I forget things… and I needed a place to keep it!

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Dilbert Day: Still Waiting…

Ever have one of those days when you feel like you’re in a Dilbert comic? I love it when somebody arranges a meeting for, say, 9:30 AM. It’s a phone conference because I work from home most of the time. 9:30 comes and goes. No call. I reach out back to the co-worker who arranged said meeting around 9:45 and find out we’re waiting on “the boss.” Ok.

Lunch comes and goes. No call. No IM. No email. No communication.

End of day. Time to shut down ye old computer. No call. No IM. No email. No communication.

Thanks guys!

I can’t really blame anyone, though. I mean it’s hard to communicate in this digital age, what with all the technology getting in your way.

Photo Credit: KennethMoyle via Compfight cc

My Entire Ebook Library Online

Oh… you didn’t think that title meant I was providing my entire ebook library to the public, did you? Sorry. Thar be no pirates here, maties. This is more of a tutorial on how I make my ebook library available to me. Onward, hoe!

I love using Calibre to maintain my ebook collection. If you have not heard of it and would like more control over your ebooks, then you should take a look. Calibre also has a built in server that you can access via a web browser. This allows you to browse your ebook collection and download them if you like. This is a really neat feature, except that the software has to be running in order to access it.

What I really want is to be able to publish this library and be able to access it from anywhere without any dependence on my computer and the Calibre software running.

This is my solution.

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New Blog Design

It has been a while since I’ve changed the layout of this blog. I’ve got some plans for more upcoming posts on software engineering, but I wanted to freshen up the feel first. One of my goals was to use the Bootstrap framework to create a responsive layout. In other words, it looks good (or at least decent) on smaller devices like iPads and mobile phones. I made a feeble attempt at this a couple months back, but was not satisfied with the results. This current layout, however, is something that I like. I’ve also styled my online About page (really an online resume) to use the same theme. Well, I hope you like it. If you see anything amiss, please leave a comment and tell me about it so I can fix it. Here’s to a new year of blogging! Cheers!

Counting Messages in IMAP Folders in Python

Continuing on my last post (), I wanted to show a snippet of Python code that will list a set of IMAP folders and count the number of messages in them. You give it a starting folder and it lists that folder plus all/any sub-folders and their message counts. At the very end it prints a total message count.

Listing IMAP Mailboxes with Python

I’ve been working on some Python scripts recently to manage my IMAP mailboxes and the information I found on the internet was fairly good, but lacked a completeness that my newbie Python skills required. So, I figured I’d post a complete example to list mailboxes (folders) for your IMAP account. This was developed using Python 3.3.

I hope this code snippet help you on your way to Python IMAP goodness. If not, it will at least server as a reminder to myself the next time I need to do something like this.

The Gunslinger

The Dark Tower I: The GunslingerI just finished listening to The Gunslinger, the first book in the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. This series made it onto my potential reading list because of the suggestion of Scott Johnson, a web cartoonist who also has several podcasts which I enjoy (The Instance, Film Sack!) I am currently training for a marathon, so my weekend runs are fairly long (in the multiple hour range) and I decided it would be a good opportunity to listen to some audiobooks. I just picked The Gunslinger from my list because I had the audiobook and it seemed like a good place to start.

So how did I like it? It was really good. You can look it up and read all about it, so I won’t rehash the details of the novel and what it is about. The thing I liked was that it mixed so many different genres. It is a cowboy western with some sorcery/magic mixed in. There is also a “knights of the round table” feel and some modern day sci fi. Throw in some religion (a somewhat blasphemous take on Christianity no less – not my favorite part) and multiple/parallel universe thinking and you have yourself a mixed up jumble of interesting reading (or listening in my case).

Hey Microsoft, Where Are My Keyboard Shortcuts!?

Delete KeyI recently upgraded to Microsoft Office 2010. I really like the way the design team is going on their newer versions. It is really sleek and nice feeling, but I’ve noticed something missing… my keyboard shortcuts! I’m a Linux guy at heart (I install cygwin on every Windows machine I own and/or use) so performing tasks quickly from the keyboard are a part of my computing lifestyle. For instance in Outlook I could always type ALT-T, Y to permanently delete items in my Recycle Bin. Not anymore! The new interfaces are very mouse-centric and while they look good they leave out the ole shortcuts that have become second nature to me.

Wait a minute, you say! You can still use keyboard shortcuts. That’s true. Now to perform the same task in Outlook I can simply type ALT-F, I, T, Y. That just rolls off the tongue (or fingers), doesn’t it? Maybe in the next version I’ll be able to type “P-L-E-A-S-E E-M-P-T-Y M-Y R-E-C-Y-C-L-E B-I-N, Y-E-S I A-M S-U-R-E, T-H-A-N-K Y-O-U”.

Hackety-Hack, Don’t Come Back

Well, this has been a first for me. I was recently hacked on this very blog; or at least it was brought to my attention recently. I suppose it could have taken place a while ago. My hosting provider started sending me notices that my webspace account was generating large amounts of spam mail while I was away on vacation. So naturally by the time I got back home, they had shut down all of my websites. Of course, that was a good thing because they actually researched and found the offending scripts inside a WordPress theme that I had installed. Thus the reason that my blog is somewhat out of sorts now.

So a big thanks goes out to 1&1 Web Hosting for finding the problem and dealing with it in a reasonably quick fashion. Naturally I’ll be scrutinizing my WordPress themes a bit more closely from now on.