I have been reaching new levels of Geekiness lately – which is something of a statement to those who know me. But I am enjoying the little projects I am taking on, and they work well. Plus it feels good when my very geeky colleagues admit I have out-geeked them.
Excel To Search Directories
The first foray into geekdom was when I had a need to discover which directories in our vast music library didn’t have any MP3 files in them. Unfortunately, when I got the new computer, I didn’t load my programming languages, so I was faced with a choice: load the languages (a 2-3 hour project) or use something else. After searching the Internet for a tool to do what I wanted, I realized I would have to make one of my own. As I prepared to pull out the CDs with the software, I remembered that Excel has a macro language that is a subset of one of my favorite languages. So I wrote the code to parse through the directories, and list them out on a worksheet.
Moving Things Between Notestudio And TrunkNotes
Next up was after I bought my new iPad. I’ve been doing my blog writing in a wiki called Notestudio for as long as I’ve been writing, and I found a wiki for the iPad that worked as well (TrunkNotes). Plus the iPad app also synced to the cloud, so I could work on the files in plain text format — something I could not do in Notestudio. But I missed being able to see the formatting and quickly move through the files, as I could in Notestudio. Plain text wasn’t cutting it.
Notestudio is extensible via Python, and I had written some useful scripts to make working with it faster. So I began to think…what if I could write something that would take the files in and out of Dropbox and put them in Notestudio? A few hours later and I had my solution. I can write on the iPad when I want to be free of my desk, and write in Notestudio when I want the power.
The Girl Scout Tracker
One of the challenges of being a Girl Scout leader is keeping track of the badges. Who has earned what, did they receive, were they at the meetings where we worked on the requirements (because these girls will insist they earned things that they haven’t if I show the least hesitation). I had written an Access database to help me keep track of it all. And it worked, up until the point where I wanted to see what badges the girls hadn’t finished.
If this were a work project, it would be no problem, since I would use the real database. But Access is not known for its power, and I couldn’t make the database do what I wanted. So I went searching, I found a spreadsheet that was set up to do everything from reports to shopping lists to requirement tracking. But it was for a old badge system. So I decided to extend it..but it was password protected.
So out it went into a Open Office, where I unprotected the sheets (no password required), and then back into Excel, where I extended the sheet. This workbook has 39 tabs, so you know how extensive it is!
Any comments from the peanut gallery?
Photo by x-ray delta one