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Excel: Delete/remove blank/empty columns #

Or rather, delete columns that are blank or have data in the first/header row only. Tested in Excel 2003 (Windows) and 2011 (Mac).

Windows:

  1. Open spreadsheet in Excel
  2. Tools > Macro > Visual Basic Editor
  3. Paste the macro shown below (created by AnitaPita with a hand from jbeaucaire)
  4. File > Save
  5. File > Close and Return to Microsoft Excel
  6. Tools > Macro > Macros
  7. Click Run (if you have other macros in the spreadsheet, you'll need to select "DeleteROPBlanks" first)

Mac:

  1. If your copy of Office 2011 does not have VBA installed, you can add it by running the installer again, choosing Customize, and then checking only "Visual Basic for Applications"
  2. Open spreadsheet in Excel
  3. Excel > Preferences > Ribbon > check Developer > OK
  4. On the ribbon menu, click Developer > Editor
  5. Insert > Module
  6. Paste VBA code shown above and then close Module window
  7. Macros > Run (if you have other macros in the spreadsheet, you'll need to select "DeleteROPBlanks" first)

/windows | Jul 24, 2014

An ergonomic, mouse-free Mac setup #

Until one of the aforementioned split keyboard/mouse devices becomes available, Shortcat and the Freestyle2 keyboard make a great ergonomic team.

/mac | Jul 13, 2014

Split keyboards that also function as mice #

Hopefully one of these (or something similar) will be available soon:

combimouse - Combination keyboard and mouse:
combimouse

KeMice - Split keyboard that also acts as a mouse:
KeMice

/misc | Jul 13, 2014

Portable Thunderbolt to USB 3.0 adapter #

Kanex delivered on their promise to ship a Thunderbolt to USB 3.0 / eSATA adapter by late June. I received one the other day and ran some benchmarks on a Late 2011 MacBook Pro (2 USB 2.0 ports and 1 Thunderbolt port) running OS X 10.9.4:

USB 3.0 Hard Drive
Interface Read Write
Onboard USB 2.0 port 33 MB/s 26 MB/s
Thunderbolt-USB 3.0 adapter 101 MB/s 100 MB/s

USB 3.0 Solid State Drive
Interface Read Write
Onboard USB 2.0 port 35 MB/s 29 MB/s
Thunderbolt-USB 3.0 adapter 238 MB/s 225 MB/s

Notes:

/mac | Jul 05, 2014

Sitting quietly, doing nothing #

Blaise Pascal, 17th century:
All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.1

Researchers, 21st century:

Most men would rather shock themselves than be alone with their thoughts.2
Footnotes:
  1. From his collection Pensées (Thoughts): "J'ai dit souvent que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre." Another translation from Pascal's Pensées: "I have discovered that all the unhappiness of men arises from one single fact, that they cannot stay quietly in their own chamber."
  2. One way to find more joy in silence than in shocks: 10-day Vipassana Meditation retreat

/misc | Jul 04, 2014

Vintage typewriter-inspired USB mechanical keyboard #

The Qwerkywriter is an 84-key, USB, vintage typewriter-inspired mechanical keyboard. About two days left in its Kickstarter campaign; Bluetooth slated to be added if the stretch goal is reached.

USB typewriter

/misc | Jul 01, 2014

Blocking Facebook, et al. #

Cold Turkey blocks access to undesirable sites and applications based on a schedule you set. Here is a list of what it adds to the hosts file by default:

I dimly recall an issue from long ago with the hosts file not filtering https sites (my memory may be faulty), but the above list blocked access to both the http and https versions of Facebook, etc under Windows 7 even without installing Cold Turkey.

/windows | Jun 30, 2014

Newbie audiophile setup for small spaces #

Hardware

The whole thing (well, everything but the laptop) fits perfectly in the Sennheiser box with the foam removed.

Software

Notes

  1. The last Mac laptop or desktop to include a built-in optical drive. Also the last Mac to be readily accessible and serviceable. The late 2011 model can run Mac OS X 10.6 - 10.9. Includes an Ethernet port.
  2. Review of the Schiit Audio Vali/Modi Stack
  3. Despite claims to the contrary, the Modi (along with all Schiit DACs) does support integer mode according to Nick at Schiit Audio.
  4. Not sure if these cables improve audio quality, but the material quality is better than most. Plus, supporting Schiit feels good.
  5. Mac OS X 10.6 and 10.9 support integer mode (which takes hog mode/exclusive access a step further by sending audio in the DAC's native format) while OS X 10.7 and 10.8 do not. See Integer Mode Is Back!! and Beyond bit-perfect: The importance of the Player Software And MAC OS X Playback Integer Mode for more information.
  6. Reviews at Headfonia and 6moons.

/mac | Jun 17, 2014

The debug menu in Mavericks' Calendar #

can be restored via "defaults write com.apple.iCal CDB 1". Sadly, the hidden options don't fix the UI much; here's what you get:

Conspicuously absent: "Restore Snow Leopard iCal Interface"

/mac | Jun 16, 2014

Browser plugin to highlight and copy text from any image #

"Project Naptha automatically applies state-of-the-art computer vision algorithms on every image you see while browsing the web. The result is a seamless and intuitive experience, where you can highlight as well as copy and paste and even edit and translate the text formerly trapped within an image."

/misc | Jun 09, 2014


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