Simple data validation or enum fields in Excel

Excel is still often used for simple time tracking or roadmap planning in small IT projects. It is good to know that with a simple steps you can create a basic data validation for certain fields in your sheets.

Kind of validation, as discussed here, focuses on forcing user to select or enter only values that are found in some reference list (dictionary). A classing enum / enumerator field well known in databases. If user provided an incorrect (out of scope) value then an error is displayed:

Unfortunately, due to nature of Microsoft Excel, this fails completely when data is pasted.

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Fix small HDD surface errors using low-level format

Anyone out there still using a non-SSD disks or hard disks at all? :) While I do believe in cloud data storage, I am an old dinosaur that wishes to have some off-line copy of my most important data. For this reason, I am using (for past 12+ years) a NAS and a number of 4-5 TB disks (I have a lot of important data).

Two days ago one of my disks started to get wako with me being unable to copy certain files. My diagnosis was quick and only confirmed by designated software — surface error, years ago known as “bac blocks”.

Since the disk was one month after five years long warranty, I had to try to fix it myself. For this reason I used two free pieces of software — HDD Low Level Format Tool 4.40 and HD Tune 2.55 Free to confirm.

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Get rid of “Pick up where you left off” from Word — three methods

Microsoft loves to “enrich” our lives with a wonderful (in their opinion) yet totally useless and pissing off (in our opinions) features. The “Pick up where you left off” is one of them.

This tiny little thing wouldn’t be so irritating and could be easily ignored, if it wouldn’t be for a single fact. It blocks keyboard shortcuts completely, until it hides itself (so for approx. 3-5 seconds)! Preventing you from pressing Ctrl+F to do an ultra-fast-searching-millisecond-after-opening-a-document (my beloved feature).

There’s a fairly easy solution to this problem (my own article) that requires you to do some dirty tricks in the Windows Registry. One and a half month after writing that article it turned out that a method described there simply isn’t working at all on one of my computers. So I came out with the following post.

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Randomize background of a webpage

Suppose that you have a landing page (or just a cool background) and you have some many versions of it, and all so beautiful, that you can’t decide which one to show. Some kind of weird solution is to show them all in a random manner.

If you wish to achieve something similar to this then all you need is a really short piece of HTML, JavaScript and CSS. All can be put to a single file.

Since I like a clean and easy solution, this one use pure-JavaScript. No jQuery stuff etc. included.

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