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Abandoned …

A quiet drive through the suburban Frankston can reveal a few unusual sights. But this takes the cake! I just hope that the current affairs shows don’t get hold of this story – Tiger lion’ around Frankston childcare centre.

Abandoned TigerAbandoned Tiger 2

Say Something

Just a little note of something that I need to remember:

“If people are choosing between saying something and saying nothing, they’re almost always better off saying something.”
Emily McDowell via The Art of Non-Conformity.

Emily has created around 2,000 cards that aren’t full of platitudes, and realise that there isn’t always a good way to say hard things.

No good card

Resume Excel 2013 Open Workspace

Okay, so the last post about partially regaining the Save Workspace function in Excel 2013 didn’t set the world on fire.

There was one thing missing though. In order to get your collection of Excel files open again you had to have a file open, even if it was just a blank workbook. I found this a little annoying once I got over the jubilation of getting the Save Workspace function back.

A solution was found in the form of a bit of VB Script, in effect a Windows batch file (.vbs rather than .bat).

set objExcel = CreateObject(“Excel.Application”)
objExcel.visible = true
objExcel.Application.DisplayAlerts = true
myStartUp = objExcel.Application.StartupPath
objExcel.workbooks.Open myStartup & “\PERSONAL.XLS”
objExcel.Run “personal.xls!OpenWorkSpace2013
set objExcel = nothing

Open Notepad and paste in the code above. Then save the file with a “.vbs” extension somewhere easy to get to, like your Desktop. When you click on the file Excel will open with your saved workbooks. You may need to update the name that you gave the macro that Opens the Workspace file; “OpenWorkSpace2013” in this case

Excel 2013 – Save Workspace

With the leap up to MS Office 2013 at work I have discovered the “joys” of the ribbon. After a while I have decided that I can live with it, everything just takes more time – where was that; and, where can they have hidden it now.

One thing that did stick out though was that Microsoft had discontinued the Save Workspace function in the Office 2013. Save Workspace would create a file (*.xlw) based on the currently open workbooks and their layout. This is useful if you are in the middle of something and are interrupted. When you get back just click of the workspace file and everything is back to the way it was. (more…)


A lot has been written lately about passwords, and about big hacks on websites that have revealed passwords. I won’t link out to them because the problem isn’t going anywhere and there will be a fresh batch before you know it!

There are a lot of different points of view about what a password should look like and contain. The general consensus is that they should contain upper and lower case, numbers and special characters, and the same password should not be used across all websites. There should be a segregation of passwords across types of website; banking and news site passwords should be very different.

Once you get past signing in to a couple of websites things have got pretty unmanageable, especially as each one has its own rules about what sort of characters you can have in that password. How do you remember which password belongs to that site? Normally this question isn’t answered. The best thing that I have read on the subject is Password Security: Why the horse battery staple is not correct [^] – head over and read it, I’ll wait. In that article, Diogo Mónica says that our passwords should be unique and strong, but we should not be trying to remember all of them.

This is a solved problem, we should be using a password manager instead. Put a good strong password on the file and encrypt it, and remember that one password, then no-one except you can get to those passwords. There is usually space to store other details for each sign-on as well, like the email address or mobile number that you used when you created the account. Another good thing about password managers is that they will generate strong passwords for you based on the selectable criteria – upper and lower case, spaces, numbers, special characters and length. Once you have tried a password manager you won’t want to go back to the way you are doing it now.

Choose a Strong Password

There are password managers for all of the operating systems that you are likely to be using, and some integrate into your browser as well. If you are using many devices (computer, laptop, mobile, tablet …) combine the password manager with a free online syncing service like Dropbox (Referral Link, help me earn more free space) [^], then all of your passwords are up-to-date and available all of the time.