Category Archives: Computers

Tech News: Excel 2007 Fix Out But Hefty

Dumb Excel

As always, if it’s from Microsoft, it must have bugs. Reports have circulated that Excel isn’t good at math at all, missing out something as simple as 77.1 x 850. Instead of dishing out the pen-and-paper solvable arithmetic (the answer’s 65,535), it gives out the wrong answer (100,000).

This happens on two instances, particularly:

  • The result of the calculation is a number from 65534.99999999995 to 65535. The calculation is performed correctly. However, the result is incorrectly shown as 100000.
  • The result of the calculation is a number from 65535.99999999995 to 65536. The calculation is performed correctly. However, the result is incorrectly shown as 100001.

Imagine being beaten by a cheap calculator. At least with the the cheap calculator, you can flip it over and laugh at 58008.

I could only imagine how this could have affected business data processed through Excel 2007. Hey, you just might need to review that payslip.

Anyway, at least Microsoft now has a fix for it. Bad news is, it’s a damn 32 MB file. Pretty hefty to fix such a careless programming boo-boo.

Download details about the Excel 2007 fix can be found here.

Download: Microsoft Office 2007 Document Viewers

Microsoft Office 2007 LogoIf you haven’t really been exposed to Microsoft Office 2007, then you still might not know of the new file formats that Word, PowerPoint and Excel use. They’re those file formats with “x” mysteriously added at the end (e.g. .doc of Word now is .docx by default). Don’t be fooled by this, though. Somehow the technology with OpenOffice.org documents are pretty much the same – ZIP files with XML files and directories in then. Go ahead, try renaming a .docx file to .zip and open it.

Anyway, what’s crazy about this new file format is that there’s no way you can open the darned things if you’re using older versions of Office – meaning Office 2003 and more ancient. While you can download Office the Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack, that still means you should have a previous version of Office available with you.

In any case, you get a workaround with online file converters. Still, those need an Internet connection.

The solution then? Well, at least Billy and his boys at Microsoft decided to make life a bit easier for the rest of us with downloadable viewers. We now get this Word Viewer and this PowerPoint Viewer. No Excel viewer yet but I guess that’s where the other options above come in handy.

Via Digital Inspiration

Tech News: Windows XP SP3 to Feature Some Vista Goodies

I envy my friends who are still riding out the Vista wave, comfortable computing with their PCs and lappies still on XP. Quite honestly, save for one guy who’s running on a rig with a 5.7 Windows Experience Index, everyone’s doing just fine. Be it for daily office productivity, gaming, and the Internet, XP seems to be still good enough for the jobs.

Bill and Microsoft will be releasing Service Pack 3 for XP next year (and I really don’t know why since they plan to release Vienna in a few years’ time anyway). The news is that while it will address some much-needed upgrades and hotfixes, it will also include some new features borrowed from Windows Vista.

NeoSmart Technologies just leaked this information based on the SP3 build 3205 released for beta testing. These features include: Network Access Protection (NAP), a kernel module containing several encryption algorithms that can be accessed by third-party developers, and a new Windows activation model that doesn’t require users to enter a product key.

Still, these are all just leaked information unconfirmed by Microsoft.

Source: Computerworld

Firefox Quick Tip: Keep Tabs Permanent with PermaTabs

PermaTabs

I just can’t wait for Firefox 3! Trying to pick some add-on stragglers that I haven’t featured here yet and still finding a few courtesy of my other favorite Firefox sites.

If you’re just like most of us who keep tabs permanently open (I keep my two Gmail tabs and Google Reader), then PermaTabs should be a useful add-on. It lets you lock tabs permanently so that you won’t have the risk of accidentally closing them. And you don’t have to continually launch them either since PermaTabs actually carry them over to your next sessions. Quite handy.

Download PermaTabs here.

Via: Firefox Facts

Download: Foxit Reader 2.2

Foxit LogoOkay, so Adobe Reader is one bloated piece of software and it’s not the type that you can just lug around in a thumb drive. Remember when we featured Foxit reader to control PDFs and tabs better?

Well, with the release of Foxit Reader 2.2, we just have to say that it is, by far, the best PDF reader out there. Slim and streamlined for the purpose of letting you open and read PDF files with a few more added features with this release. Features like:

  • Capture words via mouse
  • Search within and across files
  • Minimize Foxit Reader to the system tray
  • Bookmark highlighting
  • Remove all evaluation marks at once
  • Easy text selection

Version 2.2 of the free reader also contains some of the features like form-filling, annotation and measurement tools that were previously available only to the pro version. One catch though, using them in the free version will leave an evaluation mark.

Download Foxit Software

Via: CyberNet News

Windows Tip: Find the Old Display Properties Options in Vista

Windows Vista PersonalizationWindows Vista changed a lot of things from XP making the new Vista user quite in the dark when it comes to finding features and options that he/she has gotten used to in older Windows versions. One such feature is the Display Properties. If you right-click on your desktop wallpaper, you might confused where that old Display Properties went.

For Vista, you get the “Personalize” option in the context menu. This replaces the Display Properties of old and here’s the lowdown on the options:

  • Window Color and Appearance – Change the color of windows. Has a nice collection of color sets to choose from. Even has a color intensity slider.
  • Desktop Background – Default wallpapers can be boring so customize your look with this.
  • Screen Saver - Pretty much self-explanatory. I’m not a big fan of screen savers so the default works nicely for me.
  • Sounds – Previously hidden with Control Panel, now you can easily change the way emptying the Recycle Bin sounds through this option. Still pretty much the same, though except for its availability in the Personalize window.
  • Mouse Pointers – If you want to change your how your mouse pointer looks, this is your menu. Again, I’ve a default fan.
  • Themes – Lets you switch between Windows Vista Basic, Standard (Aero), and Classic. So if you miss the old Windows 98 look, fire up Windows Classic by all means.
  • Display Settings – The same old display settings that lets you tweak the resolution, DPI and monitor/desktop layout.

Show Your PC Some Love

Computer

You say it’s your best friend but by the looks of it, you don’t really know how to take good care of your PC. The only time it looked shiny was the day you bought it, and it was dusty ever since. Here are some basic cleaning and educating information on being a responsible PC owner. Here are some basic tender loving care tips for your rig.

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Firefox Quick Tip: Stumble without the StumbleUpon Toolbar

StumbleUpon!

Firefox getting swamped with all the add-ons and toolbars? Then why not get rid of the StumbleUpon toolbar. If your primary use of StumbleUpon is that magical Stumble! button, then you might consider uninstalling the toolbar. While I love stumbling and voting myself. There are a lot of buttons and drop-downs that I don’t use at all.

So what then, if you get rid of the toolbar? No more Stumbling? Well, not exactly since you can just use a bookmarklet to rate and review. Just click and drag this bookmarklet to your Firefox bookmarks toolbar:

Stumble This!

Doesn’t give you the random Stumble though. For more bookmarklets, click here.

UPDATE: Here’s a great edit shared by an anonymous commenter:

Even *better* is edit out your toolbar, so that you only have the “SU” stumble button.

Then close the toolbar entirely.

Right-click your existing (ie, Navigation) toolbar, and click “Customize…”

Then drag the “SU” icon to wherever you’d like it placed on your toolbar, and *poof* – Stumbleupon without the extra toolbar and unnecessary stuff.

This is also good because if you do want any of those options back, you still have the toolbar installed (it’s just not showing now), and it’s only a couple of clicks away!

Via: Firefox Facts

Download: Get Vista’s Flip-3D Effect on XP

Flip-3D Shock AeroI won’t take it against anyone if he has decided to stand firm with Windows XP. Nearly four months into Windows Vista and I have yet to find a really good reason to convince someone to shift. Well, probably it’s because I’m running on Home Basic which really doesn’t have much to offer.

I’d have to admit that one of the draws of Vista is the Aero interface and the amazing Flip-3D effect. Windows XP’s look definitely looks lame compared to Aero. But who says that you have to shell out big bucks just to get that smooth window effects that the Mac has been sporting a long time ago.

Here’s Shock Aero, a Flip-3D effect simulator that you can use in Windows XP. Installing Shock Aero assigns the Alt-Tab command (which, unfortunately, is non-customizable) to initiate the Flip-3D effect mimicking the same effect that you have in Windows Vista. While doesn’t offer anything more than just that, a portable version makes it a worthwhile download.

Download Shock Aero here.