My Favorite Shortcuts in Excel

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I love shortcuts a lot. They are the most important tool in my productivity tool belt. Helping me to speed things up immensely. Here are the most important shortcuts that I us in Excel all the time:

The first two shortcuts are for inserting the current time and date when tracking my hours for a client in my contractor work. Previously, I looked up the date and time on the system clock and typed them in. This took only a few seconds, but when you try to leave a busy commuter train every second counts. Today, they are just a shortcut away.

Meeting Heuristics

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This is a collection of heuristics for decinding on meetings. Found it via twitter from Shane Parrish. I subscribed to both of his blog and twitter @farnamstreet. He is putting out incredible content on everyday wisdom.

Filling this for myself for future meetings:

  1. If you wouldn’t do it right now, say no.
  2. Say no to everything outside of work hours you wouldn’t call your partner and bail on dinner for.
  3. Say no to all recurring meetings with the exception of ones from your boss if you have one. Tell people you’ll opt-in on a per-agenda basis.
  4. Cut all meetings in ½
  5. If you’re in a meeting and it’s clearly pointless, politely excuse yourself.
  6. Keep an internal calculation of what your time is worth. Raise this every year.
  7. If you’re going for the drink, don’t go.
  8. If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong meeting.
  9. Even if you can’t get out of a meeting, rather than sit there an be bored or make a grocery list, become a detective and see what you can learn from/about everyone else in the meeting.
  10. If everyone is on their phone or laptop at the meeting, leave. The decision has already been made.
  11. If you’re talking to signal how smart you are just shut up.
  12. If you’re going to “add value” to someone else’s idea, just skip the meeting. That type of stuff is best-done one-on-one and not in a group setting where you reduce the motivation of the other person. (See signally how smart you are (11) and shut up.)

Working Backwards

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What’s your advice for indie hackers who are just starting out?

If you’re struggling to find The Product Idea — start working on shit even before you have one. Work backwards. Come up with a brand name. Start designing a website, then actually launch a website and start blogging about your journey. Build backlinks, work on SEO, build a personal brand, establish yourself as an expert, make connections, speak at conferences… It’s not the lack of ideas that holds you back; it’s procrastination.

So true… :)

Disabling Captive Portal Check in Android

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I recently had an issue with an Android phone that kept disconnecting from the wifi network after a certain period. The wifi was configured to do a captive portal style authentication check, showing me a webpage after connection that asked me to authenticate myself in order to use the network. When not authenticating for a certain period of time the Android phone disconnected from the wireless network causing me to wonder what is happening.

It seems that this is the default behavior of Android and this is how you can disable this behavior:

  • First download and install adb on your machine. SDK Platform Tools from Google
  • Extract the download and navigate the the folder where the adb executable located.
  • Connect your Android phone to your machine with the USB cable
  • Then launch the adb shell
   adb shell
  • Type the following command to turn off captive portal check
settings put global captive_portal_detection_enabled 0

- Type to see if the value of the configuration key is 0

settings get global captive_portal_detection_enabled

Playing With Pandas

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This is the third part of the articles I am writing about my little project I am working on. In part1, I created a web scraper to get the data I needed. In part 2, I added support to save the collected data to a mongodb database. Now in this part, I will look into how to clean up and add new features (columns) to the collected data to make it more suitable for analysis.

My primary motivation here is to learn new technologies as I progress, so my baby steps may not be the state of art in this particular area and all tips and tricks or corrections are welcome.

For this project I am using python and each day I love it more and more. There are some cool libraries for python such as pandas that will be used. There are some col tools such as python notebooks that will be also used.

Getting Started With Handsontable

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I am looking for a way to be able to display and manipulate tabular data on a webpage. For this, I decided to evaluate a few javascript based libraries and see how they can be used.

The first such library is called handsontable. Handsontable is a Javascript/HTML5 Spreadsheet library for developers. It seems that Handsontable is more for building Excel like user interfaces than just simple data grid control.

So let’s look how easy to build a minimal example using with handsontable

Scraping Stackoverflow Careers for Fun and Profit

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When you want to learn something new the best way to do is to come up with a problem that can be useful to you or maybe to others and then solve it. Not so long ago I decided that I want to start learning something data related. So I came up with the idea that I would create a solution that gathers the data from Stackoverflow Jobs. Do some manipulation on it and then present it in a nice format. This is the first step of the journey.

To present something, I need data. To get the data, I need to write a script that gathers data from the web. I decided to use python and Scrapy framework.

Serializing Empty IEnumerable With

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I am recently trying to use for serializing objects for network communication in a .net application. Protobuf is a great format for sending data. Protobuf tries to be very frugal to save bandwidth. However, this causes some unexpected side effects when using it with .NET.