Reader Feedback

Johnathan comments:

I know that you are a little busy, but could you at least have some of your CO-MVP posted some new materials. For the last few days, this site has become as stale as a fish.

No. I can’t get those lazy sons of a… Just kidding. The deal is: I get the brightest Excel minds in the world to write here and I don’t tell them what to do. That’s not a deal I’m willing to break. What I am willing to do is get off my ass and put some content up, which I will do.

Bill comments:

Will you be blogging about Excel on the clock at your new job as well?

You bet. If my employers want the best, they have to allow me to learn. I think it’s pretty clear from the comments on this blog that I learn at least as much as I teach here.

JKP asks:

Is your old box too slow for a VPC setup?

P4, 384K. Le pathetique. Good enough for a beta, though. The new D810 came yesterday: PM, 1G. That’s nice. I’ve heard that the key to VPC is to give it plenty of RAM. I think if I’m running the beta in VPC and it’s the only thing on that machine, it will be fine. But it clearly would not be fine with all the other crap I run. By the by, learning from JWalk, I bought my laptop through the business side of Dell and it has virtually no crapware that needs to be uninstalled. I assumed I would be formatting and re-installing Windows to get rid of all that stuff, but it’s not necessary. I thought a laptop as my primary machine would be a good idea, but there are a few annoyances that I need to fix. First, I need a number pad peripheral. Putting a “number pad” on the letter keys is a pretty dumb idea. I doubt anyone uses them in that configuration, ever. On wifey’s thinkpad, there is a third button for scrolling. I can hold down the button and use the pencil eraser to scroll like a mouse wheel. The Dell doesn’t have that, but I’ve grown accustomed to it and I need to find an alternative. It might be that a wireless mouse is the best solution to that problem. So I’ll have a number pad and a mouse. Next I’ll be hooking up a monitor. I might as well have gotten a desktop and a cheaper laptop – the whole package would have been cheaper.

ross comments:

Good luck with the new Job Dick, I hope it allows plent of excel and golf time!!!!!!!!!

My new office is on a golf course. It’s a nice view, but productivity will stink in the summer.

As for the new gig, I start January 3rd. My last day here will be December 9th, giving me about three weeks of vacation. I’ll be spending that time un-pissing off my Excel consulting clients that I’ve been pissing off for the last couple of weeks. I also plan to clean the basement. Finally, I’ll be checking the last minute super saver air fares for a few days of golf somewhere warm.

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16 thoughts on “Reader Feedback

  1. Dick,

    On my laptop I can scroll by sliding my finger up and down the left edge of the touchpad. I think that is available even without the touchpad driver/software installed, but I recommend installing it and checking out all the navigation options. Hours of entertainment and might even wean you away from some of those cumbersome keyboard shortcuts you’re so fond of (insert smiley thing here).

  2. My guess is that all the MVPs are busy to evaluate Excel 2006 ;)

    While we other non-MVPs contributors are setting up new forums and solve other issues :)

    Except for that I doubt that my latest “toy”, FireBird, will be of any interest yet as I still trying to solve some basic stuff.

    Kind regards,

  3. I guess I’m one of those lazy MVP SOBs. I hardly have time to add a page to my own web site every month or so. And now with the beta…

    Simon’s right, the ergo keyboard is a must. I also always have an optical mouse with me, a full size one, because the miniature ones are too dainty for my stubby fingers.

  4. I’m another one of those lazy MVP SOBs. My Excel attention these days is on Excel 12 beta. Unfortunately, I can’t say anything about it. Too bad, because I have a lot to say.

  5. Dick, one more thing about the touchpad. Scrolling even works inside the VBE, although I don’t think it did until after I installed the driver.

    Re: Excel 12, I’ve been unable to find any info on how it’s going to work with programming custom menus, e.g., menus created when addins are loaded. Is there any publicly available info on how this will work in xl 12 yet? For example, one addin creates a new drop-down menu, adds to existing drop-downs (Edit and Insert) and adds and redirects buttons on various right-click menus. I’m curious how hard this is going to be to update and get to work in xl 12 and previous versions.

  6. I have been thinking about a FrogPad but can’t bring my self to waste all that money on a left handed gymic. It seems to be designed without the shortcut keys in mind, like Ctrl + Shft + Alt etc….

    To bad innovation no longer has a place in Keyboard design.

    Oh and “Dear John,”
    The Gainer blog is full of comments from the masses. Can’t you comment on that now? Does the NDA still apply if the subject is already being discussed by David?

  7. Doug: No such feature of my touchpad that I can find. I can program one of the corners to turn on AutoScroll when I tap it, but it’s not as good as the ThinkPad.

  8. This is merely a driver thing. I have a very unknown brand of laptop, but it has a synaptics touchpad with the same scrolling option described here.

    Maybe you could search for a different driver?

  9. Mine is a Synaptics also, and it has many more options with their driver installed. I actually looked up Dick’s model and saw that is has some kind of Dell touchpad. Don’t know if that’s really a Synaptics in disguise or what.

    One more scrolling feature I love is what Synaptics calls “coasting”. To quote “Virtual Scrolling continues after you have lifted your finger from the TouchPad. To use Coasting, move and lift your finger in one smooth motion. To stop the Coasting motion, place your finger back on the TouchPad surface.” I use it all the time in long docs, web pages, etc.

  10. I downloaded the synaptics driver from and it gave me a ton of options – all disabled. I downloaded it from and it gave me almost no options. I re-installed the alps driver and was resetting my previous options when I noticed a “use scroll function” checkbox. I checked it an it works just like you say. I love it.

  11. Hey Dick, I’m glad that worked for you. BTW, I’m also a fan of single-clicking in Windows Explorer (Tools –> Folder Options). Do you use that?

  12. Doug: No. I don’t usually use the mouse, so all this is new to me. I haven’t decided if I want to click using the touchpad or the buttons. It’s a whole new world opening up to me.

    One thing I don’t like about the touchpad is that it doesn’t scroll faster when my finger moves faster. Shame.

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