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Carbonite – customer service very poor

Carbonite does have its positives – phone calls always answered in America. However, be darned cautious in knowing what will or will not be restored. I was misled about what was backed up – considerable data stored in a root directory (C:) not backed up and am severely inconvenienced. it will take me about 20 hours to FTP some files that are online. In addition, data files dating back 20 years are gone forever.

If any of my subscribers have advice on where I should go to in the future, please advise. I thank you!


Access – queries/reports with calculations

Videos shown are in version 2016 which also applies to those using 2013.  One of the many powerful features in Access is the ability to do calculations.  Working with the “Santa” database, we can calculate raises for the elves in a query.  After the query is completed, we are creating a report for Santa which will show the results in a more professional fashion.  In addition, additional formulas are created such as the average salary.  Formatting is more than bold, italic, we can see themes.  In addition, graphics can be added to create customized report.

The videos are in 2 parts.

Queries with calculations

Reports with calculations

Excel – linked data types

If you have the current version of Excel, this may be a game changer for you with linked data types – this link goes into more detail.

The New data Types are technically Linked Data Types. This means they pull data from an Online Source. Right now, there are two New Data Types in Excel, Stocks and Geography.

But for Understanding, you can think of the New Data Types in Excel as Entities. Every Cell contains a “hidden lookup row” that turns the text within a Cell into a “record” with properties.

This is definitely worth checking out!



Use social media to enhance your business’s online presence

If you have a business with an online presence, you may wish to improve its online effectiveness (or educate yourself a bit more!) with this online video is a short snippet of topics being covered in significant detail

The class is May 24, 7 – 9:30  at Greenwich Continuing Education (Greenwich High School) – go to to register.  

Excel on the Apple/Mac computer

if you’re a power user of Excel,  you’ll most likely prefer a Windows based computer as it is easier to navigate through thousands of rows or hundreds of columns.

However, most of us work with smaller worksheets.  With version 2016 available for the Mac, there are more similarities between the 2 operating systems.  Functions work the same with visual differences – these two videos show them.  They also include a few formula basics.  Keyboard shortcuts are different between the two operating systems.

If statement

Statistics (average, min, max, median)

Planning an Excel spreadsheet

Many users know the formulas basics yet when challenged to create something, we can draw a blank.  One of the best methods is to draw the basics out on a sheet of paper – in this project, I could be making jewelry to sell at craft shows or online.

This involves specifying raw material costs, markups, time to make the article of jewelry.  If I’m selling on Etsy, I also have to factor in commissions, postage, fulfillment costs, managing inventory, possibly salaries of those working for me.  Or I could be wholesaling these to another store – that means something that I make for $5 could wholesale for $10 which in turn will be sold for $25 to the consumer.  As long as the item being sold has an intrinsic value to the buyer, it will sell (think of Nike sneakers that cost about $10 to manufacture yet can retail at the store for $250!

This 16 minute video goes through an oral discussion of what is being planned and the attempt(s) to visualize as well as do the calculations.  Once completed, it can be used to develop costs for many different items being sold.

Is there a difference between studying & learning?

Studying and learning are two different concepts – we study when we have an exam or test.  Learning is something we do while on the job.  Of course, we have to learn while studying so that we can both remember concepts and pass the test.

I cannot give advice on how to study – if you’re reading this blog, I am assuming you’re intelligent and want some useful tips on skill improvement.  Those who subscribe to this blog also know that most of my writings are about technology.  These concepts can apply to mastering nearly anything.

Why do we want to learn?

We want to learn for a few reasons:  a) to improve or grow our careers which means more money, fulfillment, or other reasons; b) personal enrichment (a hobby such as music, art which could possibly lead to additional income, yet typically for the pleasure), c) social interaction (we meet like-minded people in classes).

Best learning techniques

This depends on the person – a) by doing (trial and error), b) in a classroom (feedback from instructor or fellow students),   c) reading a book/going online – kind of like correspondence school not so many years ago), d) on the go – from a colleague or friend who either shows a simple shortcut or spends a bit of time explaining, e) a combination of any or all of the above.

From personal experience, I’d have to say it was E.  Another thing I’ll say is that having written notes – either in a notebook or electronically that you’ve created is the best way to reinforce what is learned.  I often refer to notes.  Things done daily are rote; we know what to do.  However, if it is something done rarely, I refer to notes (like going to a cook book to find the recipe).


We all need to realize we cannot master everything – I know I’ll never be a carpenter or Olympic athlete – neither of those have been my goal yet I am capable of very minor home repairs and can swim a mile (albeit rather slowly!).  We need to enjoy what we’re learning and to connect with the task or skill both mentally and emotionally.  If you love gardening, eventually you’ll have a green thumb (unless you’re all thumbs).  Don’t kick yourself if it takes time – you will eventually master that skill.

Remember, we’re all tomato plants that ripen at a different time.