Seattle Memories

I’m back from Redmond and the MVP Summit. It ended Saturday and you may be wondering where I’ve been. Which brings me to my first memory:

The guy behind me on the Phoenix-Omaha leg was hacking up a lung for about two hours and ten minutes. It was as annoying a flight as I’ve ever had. Whatever he had, I now have. It started with a little tickle in the back of my throat and it’s finally to the point where I can go to work. In addition to Hacky McSick behind me, the teenage girl in the middle seat next to me was under the impression that her ticket included exclusive access to the shared arm rest. It was quite a battle there for a while, but she made the rookie mistake of falling asleep. The moral is that I need to start flying first class or not at all.

It was another good time at the summit, flight home notwithstanding. We spent some time in my favorite Seattle bar, the Rock Bottom, and various other bars including one night at Zeek’s, a hole-in-the-wall pizza place. Good pie, though. I got to see a lot of old friends from around the world and met some new ones. Hanging out with the other Excel MVPs is definitely the highlight of the summit.

I met Nick Hodge for the first time. He and Colo made the late-night trek to the IHOP, thereby helping to extend a fine summit tradition. I also met Bob Phillips, who is the only person I’ve met that knows more worthless classic rock trivia than me. He admitted that he was there (London, late ’60s) when it happened, so that may give him a leg up.

I picked up a copy of Bob Umlas’ new book, This isn’t Excel, it’s Magic. I was honestly surprised at how much of that book I didn’t already know. Bob really knows how to push Excel to the limits. Mr. Excel signed a copy of The Spreadsheet at 25 for me. It’s an interesting little coffee table book that is an enjoyable read for techies and non-techies alike. I had him make the inscription out to my cousin, eBay, so it’s worth far too much to be sitting on my coffee table.

I packed the wife’s T22 hoping to get some work done during the down times/boring presentations. Well, there weren’t many boring presentations, but that’s not what kept me from being semi-productive. Microsoft didn’t have any wireless access points available. You would think they would set some up just for the summit. With 1500 geeks in your conference center, one or two might want to check their email.

And finally, we got to see a whole bunch of Excel12. I don’t know much about the other Office apps, but I think MS really hit a home run with this version of Excel. They’re going to get people like me (still using XL2000) to upgrade. There is a ton of really good stuff. It’s not all sunshine and lollipops, though. And as soon as certain new features, or lack thereof, are public information, you can be sure I will be panning them here. Until then, mums the word.

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14 thoughts on “Seattle Memories

  1. I have Excel 2000 installed on my laptop and the only thing I probably use it for is simple list and managing lottery numbers. Is there any reason for me to upgrade to Excel 12?

  2. Well Andre, I’d think you don’t have a real reason to use Excel in the first place :-D

  3. VBA will be there in Excel 12. Your old code will work. (Given that it works now, that is…)

  4. Hi Dick, Zack Barresse here. Met you at the Friday night MVP party at the Sci-Fi museum downtown Seattle. Was very nice to meet the man behind Daily Dose of Excel. Met a lot of nice people and had a good time.

    Take care. :)

  5. I just heard that the new version of Excel will have like 8 billion rows and 1 million columns (ok, more line 1 million and 16,000 respectively).

    Does anybody really need that? I mean I love Excel to death, but if your data gets that big, then you need to be using Access.

    What kind of resources would you need for a spreadsheet that big?

  6. I also heard that I’m gonna have to learn some XML since Excel will be saving files in XML format (or something like that).

    Don’t they realize I’ve lost too many brain cells to Jack Daniels to learn much more?

  7. >Your old code will work


    We use a lot of custom menu-bar items (that have worked well for years).

    Hasn’t M$ decided *for us* we need to do it all differently? To employ a skool leaver or two to design some Cheesy new buttons for the ribbon to make it LOOK like there has been progress and all that …

    At least they have not changed the VBA to VB.NET style (have they? :o)


  8. Menu bar VBA code also should still work. Your entries will appear in a different location, given that the menu structure has changed. But your code will continue to work.

  9. Harald –

    That reminds me…

    Guy’s talking to his surgeon. “Doc, after the operation, will I be able to play the violin?”

    The doctor says, “Of course you will.”

    Guy says, “That’s great! I never could play before.”

    – Jon

  10. I know how you feel Dick. When I get on a plane I fear sitting next to someone annoying more than I fear sitting next to someone who looks like a terrorist.

    I look around the gate area and I see 500 lb. people, people hacking up lungs, crying babies, and people who look like terrorists…. I’m thinking in my mind “please let the terrorists looking dude sit next to me… PLEASE!”

    First class is definitely worth it lol

  11. I tried to locate Bob Umlas’ new book on
    So I searched the Books category confidently with “Umlas Bob Excel”

    I got 20 results, sorted by relevance. Item number 17 was:
    A lifetime of Sex: The ultimate manual on Sex, Women and Relationships for every Stage of Man’s Life

    This in’t excel, it’s Magic indeed!

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