Saturday, July 26, 2014

Avoiding Conversation Mode in Outlook

One time ago I'd been using Lotus Notes in the office, but we moved to Outlook, which I consider is much better that the other tool, however I looked into the web version and I found something that for me is very annoying.




When you select a mail you have to display the conversation tree, and when you see it you don't understand very well what this is about (at least I can't), I know that the tree show the conversation flow but I still can't get it.




Fortunately, If you want to get back to the old-style mail you have to click on "Conversations by Date" that is located in the right superior corner and select "Off" under the "Conversations" label.




After doing so you will have your mail as usual.




I think that it's interesting the conversation view of mails but as I don't get used to it, I don't wan to use it.


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Resizing Images Without Distortion

I work a lot with PowerPoint and this tool is perfect when you want to make a presentation because it's very useful to put images inside with ease. But many times when you copy an image an paste it in a slide it's not in the ideal size.

Then you try to resize the image to get it ready for the presentation, for example, I copy this image, a print screen.




After that this image is pasted in the presentation.




If you try to resize this image in PowerPoint you will realize that this application gives you free control about it, so if you are not careful with your movements you can distort the image.




Ok, to avoid this it's better to not have much control of the image so you need to lock the ratio aspect. To reach this just right-click on the image and select "Size and Position...".




And click on "Lock aspect ratio".




Once you set that value you will notice that you can resize the image but maintaining the ratio between height and width and keeping the good aspect of the image.




This is absolutely useful, fixing images size sometimes can drive you crazy and even more when you have many images to resize, as a shortcut you can avoid navigating into the menu by just keeping "Shift" key pressed while resizing.


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Creating a Quick Survey with Lync

In these days when we have more ways to communicate each other, an instant messaging application is very useful to get in contact with many persons. In this situation Microsoft Lync helps us to create a group chat, but sometimes we need just a closed answer rather than an open opinion of the participants of this chat.

This is the moment when Lync gives us a feature that allows us to create a poll to obtain a simple answer, to do so when you have a group chat get into "Share" option, inside of it click in "New Poll".




A window will appear to complete the title, question and options to show, click on "Create".




Immediately the poll will be created and showed to all the participants of the chat, they will be able to respond the poll.




You will see in real time how the answers are marked in the poll until you decide the end of it.




In this way you will have the answers of all the participants of the chat about an specific topic.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Obtaining All the Information of Computers

When we buy a computer this one is ready to be used so we don't have to worry about having the network card, mouse or touchpad ready, to mention a few examples.

However, what happens if you need or have to format your computer? Well, you can use your Windows disk to make a new installation and get the disk formatted. But you will notice that after this process some of your devices won't work correctly. When this happens it's probably because you don't have the required drivers of your devices.

What a problem! how can I fix that? Very simple, I'll introduce you a tool named HWiNFO, install it and execute it with an account with admin privileges, this application allows you to choice the type of report it's going to generate.




After that, you will be in front of a summary of your system, you can review it but for this post just click on "Close".





Once you close the system summary you'll see a window like this, giving you all the information of each component of you computer, here is where you have to navigate to find the characteristics of the devices that are not working (brand and model for example).





With this information you can search on the internet the appropiate driver for you device, when I have to do this I prefer to go to the driver's manufacturer site for being the most reliable source. Remember that having the correct drivers will help you to harness all their functionality.


Friday, January 3, 2014

Getting the Max Value with Condition in Excel

Happy new year my friends!! It's time for the first post of 2014!. As usual, I was working at a floor where working with Excel it's very important, so I was working by myself until a friend that was close to me just asked me something that I couldn't answer at that moment.

She needed to get the max value from a huge list in Excel, but this value had to be obtained according to a condition, in this case this was a product. Let's do this with an example, supose that the list is about three products (A, B and C) and the months that they were sold expressed in numbers. Thereby, the task is to know what was the last month each product was sold.




To make it very clear let's start with the condition function, we use "IF" to show that it's required a condition, which is going to be searched on "Product" column from "Data" section and the condition is product "A", if true it's going to return the value associated to "Months" column. I know that I'm comparing ranges but this is because it'll be useful later.




Ok, the result of this is "1", meaning that I got just the first value of the comparison. And this happened just because "IF" function when receives a range of cells only takes the first one to evaluate, having A=A then it returns the range of cells specified but in a cell is only allowed one value, the first.




Well, let's try to embrace that function with another one, "MAX" function.




Doing so we get as result "9", which is the max value in the "Data" table, because it's the range returned by "IF" function, then all the calculation is wrong and this is because we are using ordinary functions to make operations over an array.




Then, the trick to fix this is to edit again the calculation and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter keys at the same time, with this you will notice that the result is "4" rathen than "9" being now the correct answer, also see that the all formula is embraced in "{}" which is the notation to operate functions over arrays.




Now, just copy the formula from product "A" to the other products to get the max value for each one.




Remember, using ordinary functions like "IF" with a range of cells just returns the first value, therefore when "MAX" function receives the result of "IF" it jus take the max value of the list returned by this function. To avoid this, it's necessary to apply array functions with Ctrl + Shift + Enter.


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Obtaining Computer Name From an IP Address

In this world all the computers that are connected to a network have to be identified in some way, hence, the IP (Internet Protocol) address exists and gives each computer a unique identification number by which we can find them.

However, when you work with a computer that is in a local network it's always necessary to get connected to it, what is more, sometimes you need to access to it without being physically there. Thanks to god that we have a mechanism to see our machine remotely, and this requires obviously the IP address or the computer name.

Yes, a computer name, because remember that the IP address is composed by many numbers that are not easy to remember, even more, sometimes the name of the machine gives you a clue about what kind of computer is, for example, where I work a name beginning with "PE" means that the computer is located at Peru meanwhile starting with "CO" means that it's in Colombia.

Perhaps it happened that you only have the IP address but no idea if the computer is the one you need, if the name can help you to be sure you can use the "nbtstat" command in Windows using the parameter "-a" with the IP address of the computer.




Execute the command and wait for results.




You will notice that there are four names, this is because there are two different names the first one is the domain name and the second one is the computer name (the final goal). The another two names are the same but they have other codes because of the names clasification.


Monday, December 23, 2013

Making Excel VLOOKUP Function to Work


I have seen many times that there are some scenaries where the Excel VLOOKUP function is not able to calculate the value we are looking for. For example, let's search the amount for the ID 16 according to a little table with this value.




This is something really easy to do, we need only to use VLOOKUP function selecting the ID, the matrix and the column to be search.




However, when you see the result of this function you notice that there's an error despite the values are fine.




The reason of this error is that the searched ID value is stored as text, so you can convert it in number in this case because it's only one value, but what if it were a thousand of them?.




To avoid worrying about format issues just embraces the key value in the VALUE function inside the VLOOKUP function.




Once you use the function you are going to get the value that corresponds to the ID.




Consider that this is an example where the VLOOKUP function won't work as we want, I helped many people with this to solve another kind of problems with this function.