Coincidence or … ?


I use Microsoft Money 2002 to manage a number of financial accounts locally on my laptop. It is no longer supported by Microsoft, but still works the way I like. I run it in a compatibility mode as if it is running on a Windows XP machine. There has been a number or rumours that the next update to Windows may disable some compatibility modes in order to force customers to purchase newer products. These rumours, whilst not being confirmed or denied by Microsoft tend to flare up now and again and there has been rather more this year than previous years.

In order to ensure that I have some kind of continuity, I have started to look at maybe using Excel to do the job. I had encountered a few problems with formatting and a couple of formulas. Nothing I tried seemed to work, so I posted a question on an Excel forum that I used when I working for the council. After about 30 minutes or so, I got a reply. I followed the instructions, but only partly did what I wanted. I thanked the responder and gave a bit more detail. The next reply came back within 5 minutes. Once applied, everything worked as I wanted.

Now for the coincidence. This morning I received an email from Microsoft. I get regular updates as I have a Microsoft account that came with Office 365. This email was advising me that the new Microsoft Budget Template was now available in Excel. Prior to today, the template was only available in America. First impression is that it is something that I can work with if Money 2002 is blocked.

Was it just a coincidence ?

** Update … it appears that the Money in Excel is still not available in the UK. Microsoft are (supposedly) looking into why I received the email **

So annoying …


I’m still on my quest to find the best blog editor for me. Open Live Writer was my BlogDeskpersonal favourite but it seems to have been forgotten. The last release was back in 2017 and even the copyright statement has not been updated since 2020. I have been tempted by reviews (some of them a year or two old) that BlogDesk is a very good editor and is actually used by at least one of the “Happiness Engineers”.

However (and these days, there is always a “However”) I am having real problems setting the thing up. I can get part way, then the set-up ask for my “Blog ID” with a button to automatically find the ID. This doesn’t work. So I can manually enter the ID. But where is the Blog ID on my WordPress blog? I have been through all of the settings I can find and there doesn’t appear to be anything that relates to a Blog ID. 

FrustratedI have searched the Internet and have had a few ideas thrown at me but all seem to fail. I have logged a topic on the WP support forum, but have had nothing from there. So I’m stuck.

** An update from WordPress, I am told that my site needs to be on a Business Plan to use a third party editor. Which doesn’t seem quite right as I have used third party editors before. **

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Now I’m not anti-cyclist, in fact for many years I was extremely pro-cyclist. I used always cycle to work when we lived in our previous house. Even after passing my driving test and buying a car, I often cycled to work. I have a greatcyclists deal of respect for the whole ethos that surrounds cycling. But I was really annoyed by a cyclist today, who seemed to have either no knowledge of the Highway Code or thought that it didn’t apply to him. I was driving back from the supermarket today and was approaching a bend in the road when a cyclist in front of me moved from the left-hand side of the road to the centre, indicating he was turning right. All very good you may think. but no! The road he was turning into had a No Entry sign as it is one way. He seemed oblivious of the sign and the rules. Which really winds me up. It was lucky that I have driven that way many times as it is a favourite route for horse riders, so I wasn’t going at the maximum speed limit.

Tech woes part the third …


I suppose one of the most baffling problems I had over the past couple of weeks was with Windows TaskTS Scheduler. I needed to run a task to open and run an Excel spreadsheet. Excel would open a specific sheet and then a macro would update the sheet and save it in one of my cloud storage areas. 

Error 1I have done this every six months over the past four years, without any problems, until now. The task is a “one time” task as the file name changes each time it is saved. So I opened up Task Scheduler, and immediately received  one of two similar error messages. These seem to point to some problem with updating some software. I closed each message and set up a random test task to see if it was still working and all seemed to be good. The test ran fine which I took to mean that the issue might not be as problematic as I first thought. But it was annoying and I needed to stop it happening.

I began to trawl through the various tasks that were set to run, and to be honest there wasn’t that many and I could not find any that related to any kind of update. I did find a number of tasks that related to software I no longer use such as Adobe Acrobat Reader and Photoshop Express, which should have been removed when I uninstalled them.

So it was back to the forum that I use, to ask the question and see what came up. Like most help forums it wasWoody a couple of hours before anybody came up with anything. When help arrived, unfortunately it didn’t help much.  But then I got a message from an old colleague. FoxThey seemed to think that it may be some software that was new or had recently been updated. There were two programmes that had a recent file date. Firefox browser was one and an application called PyCharm that is an IDE (Pythonintegrated development environment) that I was using as a front end for my learning the Python programming language.

PyChI removed both and the problem disappeared. So I reinstalled Firefox and checked Task Scheduler. Still no problem which led me to believe that PyCharm was the culprit. It was confirmed when I reinstalled PyCharm and the errors returned. That has gone for now with some feedback to the software house. I now need to look for another free IDE to work with Python.

Do I have the time …?


… and more to the point, do I have the both the skills and commitment?

I’m thinking of starting an online community forum!

Early last year, I was looking for the answer to a particular problem I had with a piece of knitting I was working on. I won’t bore you with all the details, but suffice to say the pattern I was working with was not too clear. After a couple of Bing/Google searches, I found a web forum Phoenixcalled Phoenix Knitting Forum (so called as it had ‘risen up from the ashes’ of a previous forum), that had the answer. Well it showed me part of the answer and invited me to become a member if I wanted to see it all. I quickly signed up and within a few weeks, I had progressed to being a quite active participant.  It was a great community and I enjoyed the help I received and the bits of advice I was able to offer.

Then, just around the end of February there was suddenly a bit of problem. One of the moderators had said that there had been a few issues with the forum and the administrator was looking into the Not workingpossible causes. Although you could get to the site, users were not able to login. A few days later actually getting to the site failed. I Googled the error code that had been generated in the Opera browser, but it turned out to be just a general error code that gets created when there is a problem accessing a server, so no real help. I had no way of contacting the administrator or any of the moderators outside of the forum as all contact was either through the forum message boards or by a direct message. All this had gone.

I had been a member of the Ravelry knitting and crochet social networking community for some time and I knew they had a “Q&A” section and I soon discovered that the Phoenix Knitting Forum had its area on Ravelry. I signed up and quickly found that one ofRavelry Logo the moderators was the same person on both sites. I had a feeling that things may just start to get better.  However, It’s not the same as a real forum and nowhere as user-friendly as the previous one, but with nothing else and no sign of the Phoenix rising again it was a case of make use of what we’ve got.

Then last week a friend, who I’d not spoken to for a while, asked me about the forum because they were getting an error message. I explained that the forum had gone down at the end of February and it had not recovered. I told them they should use Ravelry as a lot of the forum members were on there too. They then suggested that I should start up a new forum and quantified this by saying that I both the skills and time, just need the commitment. That got me thinking. When it became apparent that the forum was not going to reappear, I was asked if I would or could start a new one. I used the argument at the start of this post … no time, not skilled and no commitment. I hadn’t really taken the time to think it through and I was now wondering how hard could it be.

So I’m now in the early research stages of considering if I could do it. I would of course have to use forum screensone of the many free forum hosting sites. I have identified two such sites, Pro Boards and Create A Forum. There are others, but my initial research has led me to think that one these two maybe the best option. Of course, both are financed by banner ads, but then so was the previous forum so that should not be an issue.

I’m still at the “could I?” stage, but as the time and researching goes on, I’m getting closer to the “yes I could” stage. I would need to find one or two people to be moderators and set up some board names and categories, but that is still way in the future. I am not going to mention this to the group on Ravelry until I completely sure.

 

A bit of a rant …


Well, a couple of rants really. Firstly, this UK Government seems to be obsessed with tax. It’s recently announced that it ‘may’ be looking at a tax on take-away coffee cups and other non-recyclable plastics. Now at first glance, this might seem a good thing. Force manufacturers to abandon non-recyclable plastics in favour of the recyclable types. But wait, this will cost them money to change. It always does. Any change costs. And who do you think will pay this cost? Well it will end up being you and me. The costs will be passed on to the consumer so that the shareholders and the company bosses don’t lose out. It is the same with ‘junk’ food. How do we deal with an increasingly obese nation? The Governments idea is to increase the tax on fast food. That will stop people eating the stuff. Will it? Do they think that by putting an extra 50p on a burger and fries meal will stop people from buying it? To me, a more sensible idea would be to subsidise real fresh food and make that best alternative. The same with non-recyclable plastics. Subsidise the fully recyclable stuff to make that the best option. Once  the mindset is changed, then increase the taxes to help with costs.

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I said a ‘couple of rants’ and here’s the second one. I’m currently a member of a forum. It is not important to say which forum but just to say, I’m a fairly active member. People post their questions and queries and members of the forum will attempt to answer them, if they can. I’ve done both on occasions and whilst I’m not after praise, a simple thanks would suffice. It winds me up a little when you go the trouble of attempting to answer someone, and they don’t have the decency to answer or even acknowledge the respondent. Make me think twice about answering sometimes.

Going to be a looong day …


So, today is the day we are getting our new bathroom. R*** went gone off on respite at 9 am, and the fitters arrived a few minutes later. A combination of good planning and timing I think. The estimate is 7 to 10 working days, but from what I can see of the bathroom, 7 days is probably the more nearer timescale.

It comes though, at a time when lots of things seem to be going wrong. Eldest son, is splitting up from his girlfriend, which is a big issue in itself, but that’s compounded by the fact that they are buying a house together. He is on quite a low salary, but feels as we do that he needs to keep the house. Selling it would not realise the finance needed to pay off the mortgage, and would leave him in a financial hole that would be difficult to climb out of. K*** and her sister are with him this morning, talking to a mortgage adviser about his options. It has been a very stressful few days. He was hoping that it could be resolved quite amicably, but that does not seem to be happening. Then to cap it all, whilst he was taking his neighbours to the airport on Saturday, he managed to get himself a speeding ticket. That old adage of “It never rains, but it pours” seems more truer by the day.

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One of the things that annoys me on forums and similar websites, is some peoples lack of gratefulness. I mean when you help someone, surely the proper thing to do is at least acknowledge the helper if not thank them. Recently on one such forum, a member was having a problem. Another member had looked at it and could not help much. I felt I knew what the problem was and thought I knew how to solve it. I posted my views, feeling rather pleased with myself. The member that tried to help gave a virtual ‘pat on the back’ and told me that it looked like I had solved it. The original poster …nothing. I’ve just answered another post for another member. See what happens this time

And now for something completely different …..


   Firstly, may I apologise if I offended any non-spammers with my last post, but I get a little annoyed sometimes. I have been told, that it’s my fault, because of the the tags I use, but I do not remember using any tags that could invite some of the spam I have been getting. Rant over !!!

   It rained a bit today, didn’t it !!! First time I’ve travelled down the M1, in the outside lane, only doing 50 !!! A little hairy to say the least. Of course, you still had the HGV drivers, who think it is great fun to try and overtake other HGV’s whilst going uphill !!!! I don’t think, some of them, realise what problems they can make. Then you come to a downhill slope, and they try to overtake again, and that’s when their speed limiters kick in, and you see the overtakers going slower than the vehicles they are overtaking. I’m convinced, that their sat-navs must say something like “Hill approaching!!!! Move into centre lane immediately”, because that is exactly what they seem to do. Rant two over.

   Blogging from email seemed to work quite well yesterday. I managed to find out, how to add tags, in the email, which is good. Thanks go to the WordPress Forums and WordPress Support. Now I need to see if there is a ‘short code’ for setting categories. I don’t imagine there is for a moment, but if there is, someone will know.

Friday part 2 ……


I was checking whether I could upgrade my phone contract, before the 18 months is up. It would appear that I can do this, so long as it is not a cheaper contract, but I need to do it at least 24 hours before the date of my bill. Anyway, that is not the whole story. Whilst I had it in mind, I decided to check S****’s account. Horror !! His account was showing a spend of over £17.00. Now to say, at the beginning of the week he had a £4.50 credit, this was a hell of a shock. It would appear that he ‘accidentally’ subscribed to something he did not intend to. I don’t believe it. Mrs H rang him tonight, which I don’t think was a good idea. It left her feeling more down that she was before. They are both going to have to learn. Him to ring more often, for now at least 3 times a week. For her, just to wait for him to ring.

R*** has been fine again today, up until about half past six. Then as per usual we had an episode. Then another one around nine o’clock, and another one just around quarter past ten. As usual, no apparent reason.

Well the week is now over, and I haven’t been tempted to log into the work network. That’s not entirely true. I was tempted … but I did not relent. I’m dreading seeing the mess that will be left on my desk. I did check my mobile though. There only seemed to be the usual network problems.

No lottery win again. I seem doomed to fail at this. Neither ‘lucky-dip’ or my so called system works. I think for tomorrow, I will pick some significant numbers and try that for a week or two.

The problem I am having with Windows recycle bin has not been resolved. The ‘Ask Leo’ site has not come up with anything yet. Not that I expected it to. This is the second question I have asked and got no reply. I think I will post it on ‘The Elder Geek’ forum page. That usually elicits a reply of some kind.

Why do I get weirdo’s following me on Twitter. I can go for days without any new followers, then just buses, they all come at once. Three tonight. All of them trying to ‘help’ me make money on the internet. Go Away Spammers !!!!