DDoE Update

I quit apologizing for lack of posts a long time ago. But this comment

Appreciate this site.

Having probs w/ my computer.

Is Ddoe not D, or is it still me?

got me thinking that I should at least update you on what’s been happening.

First, I had a problem with a plugin called SuperCache (or something like that) and if you included www in the URL, you got one page, omitting it you got another. That plugin is gone now and we should all be seeing the same thing. Supposedly the site is slower without that cache, but obviously slow and accurate is better than the alternative. I don’t know if that comment was related to the caching issue or the general lack of posts. Either way, it prompted this post. And, by the way, thanks to my fellow contributors for continuing to post.

If you’re a regular reader, you are aware of the great data loss of 2011. Sadly, not all archived posts are back up. I thought they were, but as I pull away more layers, I see more layers. I think, finally, I have a handle on the scope of the problem. I believe it’s about 200 posts that are still missing. I have yet to find a nice, automated way to recover those posts and I’ve been too busy/lazy to do it manually. It’s an albatross around my neck. Maybe I should hire someone to do it manually.

OK, on to the good stuff. About eleven weeks ago I gave my notice. I was working for a small manufacturing company in the aerospace and defense market. I gave them four weeks notice, because I’m such a great guy, and they really appreciated the opportunity to have a smooth transition. And smooth it was. I really busted my ass those four weeks between doing my regular job, documenting my regular job, and teaching other people how to do my regular job. It was like three jobs in one. By I worked with some truly terrific people and they couldn’t have made my departure more comfortable and enjoyable.

Then I took two weeks off. Time off in between jobs is the best time off there is. There’s nothing nagging you from the old job. You don’t show up to an overflowing mailbox when you come back. It’s the best. Not every employer is willing to wait six weeks for you to start. Nuts to them, I say. If my success or failure is so tenuous that a few weeks will be a factor, I think we’re better off without each other. I didn’t do much in those two weeks, save a trip to Dallas to play some Winter golf.

Five short weeks ago I started at my new position: Divisional Controller at a mid-size company in the petroleum industry. It’s been challenging and fun so far. It has fueled some posting fodder for me – new industry, new data, new people making new mistakes. Now that things aren’t so hectic, I can start putting out some posts.

In the midst of all that hullabaloo, Mike Alexander and I wrote a book called Access 2013 Bible. I haven’t had great success in the book authoring area in the past. Publishers set unreasonably tight schedules and I have a day job. This one wasn’t too bad, though. Having deadlines in the Winter helps as I have fewer commitments that time of year. And the deadlines were at times that just worked well in my schedule. Overall, it was a good experience and I’m glad Mike talked me into it.

I’m using Excel 2010 at work and home. Previously I was using 2003 at work. I do a lot of work on Excel at home, so I’m no stranger to 2010. But most of what I do at home is VBA. Now that I’m using the UI more extensively, it has been somewhat of a transition. I’m retraining myself to use the Ribbon shortcuts instead of the old 2003 ones. Most notably Alt+d+p+n+n+f is replaced by Alt+n+v+t+enter (do you know what that does without looking?). I don’t have to give up on the 2003 shortcuts, but now that I don’t use it anymore, I may as well.

Another transition is the amount of data I’m dealing with. At a small company, I could download every transaction for the entire year into one workbook. Not so much anymore. For the first time in my life, I am reading Charles Williams’ website with more than just a passing curiosity. I’ve never had to be “efficient” with my formulas before. Now I see how half a million SUMPRODUCT formulas feels and it’s not good.

You might think with larger data sets that you’ll be seeing more PowerPivot posts from me. Nope. I’m not investing time into an add-in that may not be in my next version. I work at a company where I am not the IT department (that’s a new situation for me) and I don’t control what versions we buy. Maybe I could have some influence on IT and get what I need. Or maybe Microsoft can kiss off and I’ll use my IT chips elsewhere. I get it. They want to segment their customers and make more money. I have no problem with that. I’m just not biting.

Currently, the only way I can get data out of our accounting system is by printing a fixed-width report and importing into Excel. Expect to see some posts on that topic in the near future.

Finally, you can expect to hear me complaining about how IT is thwarting my productivity. I can’t even install Jimmy’s Amazon link generator because I don’t have admin rights. It’s just desserts though. I’ve been making a modest side-job living creating VBA solutions that end-around IT departments for over a decade.

17 thoughts on “DDoE Update

  1. > I can’t even install Jimmy’s Amazon link generator because I don’t have admin rights.

    If it makes you feel better, neither can I.

  2. Congratulations on the new job, Dick, and the great blog too.

    The old ALT-D-P_N-N-F doesn’t need the Ns. Just ALT-D-P-F

    SUMPRODUCT & similar are overused & no good in large doses. Put that Access bible to work and things will speed up. Or some queries in Excel. A bit of SQL. Plenty of scope for fun.

  3. It’s true that mid-sized company IT is more painful then at small firms. But try working for a giant enterprise and see how you like it. Worse still, make it a bank. Then you’re in a world where IT is actively trying to prevent you doing anything at all. Not that I’m bitter or anything. I suppose when I moved out of “enterprise” IT I became part of the “problem”, not the “solution”. So it must be my fault.

    Hope the new job works out in all other aspects!

  4. Spent a quite a while re-learning all my Excel shortcuts when transitioning to 2010 (bad wrists – can’t use a mouse for any length of time…) but for some reason Alt+d,p,n,n,f is one I haven’t replaced. Like you said – it still works but one day it’s going to catch me out… =]

  5. @John
    PowerPivot download is only for 2010(any version), for 2013 it is bundled only with Pro Plus and above. It is not available as a separate download for 2013

  6. Couldn’t agree more with your comment on time off between jobs.

    On a somewhat-related Day After Daylight Savings Switch in the Good Old USA note, I heard a suggestion this weekend that instead of moving our clocks forward in the middle of Saturday night and losing precious weekend sleep, we move them forward Monday at noon and work a little less.

    I see you’ve still had time to produce several quality SO Excel answers: http://stackoverflow.com/users/4280/dick-kusleika.

  7. @Doug – I like SO. It’s the latest place where I can still answer an Excel question. Eventually there will be a Tom Ogilvy or Jim Rech or Dave Peterson that answer questions so fast and so well that I’ll have to move on to the next forum. I’m generally ecstatic when I search for something and SO is in the results because I know I’ll get a decently worded question and answer and not some crappy nntp scraping site.

    As for DST, I signed a petition at we-the-people yesterday to get rid of it. It’s the first petition I’ve had an opinion about.

    @Charles – SpeedTools is definitely in my future. Once I have the trial installed, can upgrade to the licensed copy without IT intervention?

  8. @Dick, I especially like it when I google something and my own SO answer comes up :). Back in the days of microsoft.public.excel.programming, if I’d see Tom’s name after an answer of mine I’d know I was about to get schooled.

    And congrats on the new job!

  9. Dick –

    Is it DST or the time change? I personally would love to stay on DST and trash standard time. :roll: Don’t like driving home in the dark.

    Good timing on leaving the defense biz! Congratulations.

    … mrt

  10. Oh, I definitely want DST all the time. I figure if it ever gets close to being removed, I’ll join the lobby to get rid of standard time. Just a first step, this.

  11. Congrats on the new job, Dick! Now you’ve got to figure out how to get MZ-Tools for VBA installed… perhaps it’s time to chat up the helpdesk?

  12. No disrespect or insult was intended in my comment.

    Still having probs w/ my computer. Unsure what’s causing it, but erratic and intermittent are way too nice to describe it. Currently, unable to do anything about it, but I will as soon as possible.

    I enjoy this site, and all the other Excel sites i can visit.

    Hope you enjoy your new job.

    Again, I meant no disrespect or insult to you or any of the readers.

  13. None taken. I had a lot going on, so it was a nice reminder that I should keep everyone up to date.

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