Excel, Excel, How Do I Love Thee?

Hello!  I have not written in a VERY long time and to the few of you that actually follow this blog, I apologize!  But alas, I am ready to get geeky again!  So, what questions do you have?  I LOVE Excel questions – it’s like trying to figure out a puzzle and really brings out the nerd in me.  LOL  🙂  I developed a really cool file that I use to track hours at work.  I know it sounds easy and you may be thinking – so what’s the big deal?  It’s slick.  I promise.

The thing I love the most about Excel is that if you put the time in, you can create a worksheet that is not only an amazing tool, but also one that can be reused just by changing a few cells (rather then having to re-enter all new information each time/year,etc.).  Back to Excel.  In my job, I am allocated 1027 hours per year (that’s 19.75 hours per week-average).  It is a department that experiences seasonality (summer and fall are busier) so at times I need to work more like 25 hours per week  and so my schedule ebs and flows throughout the year.  BUT – as we enter the 3rd quarter of our fiscal year, I need to watch those hours much more closely.  So I need to know each day, what my average hours are by week based upon the amount of hours I have left.  I could figure this out on a calculator, BUT, with this worksheet, I can guestimate what I’m going to work each week going forward and know if I’m going to hit my target at the end of the year.  It sounds complicated I know but, here’s a few tricks I gleaned from doing this.

The INDIRECT and ARRAY functions work hand in hand and are sooooo cool.  Again, my inner techno-geek is doing the happy dance.

I was on the main worksheet and needed a way to refer to a specific cell on a different worksheet with the total hours for the week (SheetB).  BUT, I wanted the Main sheet to concatonate (bring together) the name of the sheet and the cell and then add 8 to it for each week of the year.  Like this:

“SheetB! & C& (42 +8)”

It doesn’t work.  I knew an array would work if I created a different worksheet that would seperate the elements.  So I tried that.  Still no luck.  A friend told me about INDIRECT.  What a cool function!

In the Main worksheet, this is the function that gives me the total hours entered in SheetB!D10:


The cell “Arrays!D4” is in bold here:

SheetName ColumnName WeekTotalNumber Concatanation
SheeetB! D 10 SheetB!D10

And is the result of this function  =A4&B4&C4.

In the end, the reason to use these is so that year after year, I don’t have to redo this entire worksheet!  In this case, I don’t have to go through and add 8 to each cell over and over again 52 times (once for each week of the year) for each employee.  Boring and annoying!!!!!  I just need an array like the one above for each employee and that does all the work for me.

If I’ve thouroughly confused you I apologize.  I realize now that it’s tough to explain this.  But if you also need to work an average of 19.75 hours a week for the year and your hours ebb and flow seasonally like mine do, and your boss wants to know each pay period, what your average remaining hours are for the year, leave a comment and I’ll send you the file.

I {heart} Excel.


Transferring music from your Ipod back to your computer.

I must admit two things right out of the gate here….one, I don’t own an Ipod (my hubs has a Nano that we share), and two, this is an article from eHow.  But, I thought it was worth blogging.

“Have you ever lost your digital music collection on your PC only to be left with what was on your iPod? Or maybe you just want to transfer the songs from your iPod back to your PC without having to download any tricky or expensive software. Well, you can by just changing a few options in Windows and on your iPod. There is no tricky software to use, just the iTunes software you are already using to load your iPod, and Windows Vista or any older version of Windows.

  1.  Connect the iPod to the cable that you use to transfer music from your PC. Connect the cable to your PC as well and this should automatically launch iTunes if you have it installed. If not, make sure to install the free program, because it’s the only supported software for managing your iPod music. If it does not launch automatically when your iPod is plugged in, launch the iTunes software manually.
  2. Cancel synchronization right away as it will erase the music files on your iPod. Click on the name of your iPod in the Devices section of the left panel. This will take you to a screen that contains the general information about your iPod, such as size, name and available options. Select the checkbox that allows you to manually manage music, as that will keep your iPod from attempting to sync again and potentially erase your music.
  3. Check the option at the bottom called “Enable Disk Use.” This will allow you to browse your iPod as if it is a hard drive or jump drive attached to your computer. Now eject your iPod so these settings will take effect next time you connect your iPod to your PC.
  4. Change the folder options on your PC to be able to view hidden files and folders. Double-click your “My Computer” folder and go to the Tools menu at the top. Select “Folder Options” and go to the View tab along the top. Check the “Show Hidden Files or Folders” checkbox and then click “Apply.”
  5. Reconnect your iPod. In your My Computer folder there will be a removable storage device that was not there before. This is your iPod, and you can now browse it like a hard drive. Navigate to the folder named “iPod_Control” and inside of it will be a folder called Music. This is where your music is stored on your iPod. Copy this folder back to wherever you want on your PC and you are done. “

Top 10 Virtual April Fools

Ok, I’ll admit, I read the Google “Autopilot” and at first they almost had me.  Here’s an excerpt (from after I got the joke :):

What happens if a sender and recipient both have Autopilot on?

Two Gmail accounts can happily converse with each other for up to three messages each. Beyond that, our experiments have shown a significant decline in the quality ranking of Autopilot’s responses and further messages may commit you to dinner parties or baby namings in which you have no interest.

Enjoy the rest of them…especially the Opera video from YouTube.


Happy April Fooling!

No Joking – April Fool’s Worm

I REALLY wish I could write more right now, but I can’t; however, I suggest going to this link and following the instructions to protect your computer from the Conflicker worm.  This could do some very nasty things to your computer, so please be sure you are protected.  Tonight!


Where are my favorites??

My friend Heidi has been telling me that she has not  been able to “get on the internet” for a week.  I’ve put that in quotes because I think that can have many different meanings.  For example, it could be a problem with:

  • their wireless network
  • their internet service provider
  • their modem
  • their web browser

After talking to her hubs, I realize that there are many things going on, one of which makes for a great post.  Geoff, Heidi’s hubs, can’t find his yahoo toolbar, music, and for our purposes, his favorites.  So, how do you find yours’ if they suddenly disappear?

You can look in your user profile:

  1. Click on the “My Computer”  My Computer icon on your desktop
  2. Click on the hard drive (C)
  3. Click on the “Documents and Settings”
  4. Your “Favorites” folder should be there
  5. Click on the folder to make sure your favorite websites are really there

If, you can’t find them there, you can do a search

  1. Click on the “My Computer” icon on your desktop
  2. Click on the hard drive (c)
  3. At the top of the page is a “Search” icon, click on it
  4. Click on “All Files and Folders”
  5. Type in “Favorites” under the file name and click search

I’m going to be heading over to do this and find the ellusive favorites that are causing angst for Geoff and Heidi.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

By the way, your favorites should be under your user profile in documents and settings (see first example).  If they are not in that folder, your favorites may not be accessible from your internet browser (just like Geoff).


Hello Ravelry

I was recently looking for a baby bootie pattern for my sisters  and sis-in-laws (Jenny, Dana and Korina) new babies coming soon so I went to ravelry.com to look. Lo and behold, there it was…a job posting that had my name written all over it.  So, here’s the cover letter I’m wrote.  I hope you all enjoy! 

BTW, if you like to knit or crochet and you haven’t checked this site out, it’s great.  Click on over.


I could tell you so many reasons why I want to work for Ravelry. Why this would be a great position for me as a stay at home Mom. How much I love your site, the patterns, the community and the design. But, it’s really about so much more then why it’s a great job for me. It’s about serving the community of designers, yarnies, advertisers, members and others not yet identified of a craft that is growing in popularity every day.


So you may be wondering, what qualifies me over the other many applicants you’ve received? I’m a list person, I like things that are linear (a great thing when reading patterns), so I’ll give you the bullet points:


  • I think Ravelry is a fantastic site and I love to knit and crochet, so of course I want to spend the time I don’t have sticks in my hands helping others learn about its functionality.

  • I have many (over 8 ) years of experience developing, designing and implementing Intranet and Internet sites both independently and on teams.

  • In my previous jobs, I have supported many different applications, including: forums, web site launches and development, and product launches, via both email and phone support; in some cases, internationally.

  • As you may be able to tell from my resume, I also am a bit of a techie and love to teach people how to make life easier on line and with their computer programs.

  • I have worked in the resort industry (more specifically, Keystone Resort in Colorado ) as a Customer Service Agent, Concierge, Front Desk Agent, Golf Course Office Manager, Ski Instructor and even a Gondola Operator, all while getting my MBA, so, I’ve helped people from all over the world.

  • Knitting and crocheting projects have refined my self-motivation and tenacity. I am not afraid to try new stitches or patterns and am completely self-taught.


You also asked what yarn-producing fiber would best represent me and why. I would have to say I would be a cotton/poly blend, because cotton is low maintenance and poly just blends well with lots of other fibers.




CONGRATULATIONS to the Bargain Shopper Lady

Way to go Lori – she won a YEAR’s worth of FREE GROCERIES for her video on saving money. 

I’m looking for ideas…your technology questions are what drive this blog.  I haven’t written much lately because time was stolen from me with – well – life’s happenings!  It seems that I just couldn’t get time in for writing.  Then, the holidays came and it got worse.

But, I just got a new computer with Vista on it, so I have a new operating system to learn.  This should lend to some tips for you, but I’d love to know what your questions are. 

Happy New Year to all and if your in the North East or anywhere like it — by this I mean — bitter cold…stay warm out there!

Nikki, The Techie Tutor.