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Google Spreadsheets is a new on-line program similar to MS Excel. The program is in beta and you have to get on a waiting list. ...

  1. #1
    Old Hillbilly Connie's Avatar
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    Google Spreadsheets Beta

    Google Spreadsheets is a new on-line program similar to MS Excel. The program is in beta and you have to get on a waiting list.

    Read more about it at Spreadsheet Help Center.

  2. #2
    Community Leader jason's Avatar
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    Interesting...combined with their recent acquisition of Writely (online word processor), it looks like they're planning an online office suite to compete with M$.

    --Jason
    Jason Pitoniak
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    Old Hillbilly Connie's Avatar
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    I think your right Jason.

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    || $name ne 'R.Stiltskin'
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    As much as I appreciate competition, this is one circumstance where I'll remain loyal to MS Excel.

    Best program I've ever used. Lotus created the monster and MS gave it steroids. Except for "Clippy" which I mock regularly, it's as close to perfect as I've ever seen given its power and versatility.

    This ad brought to you by a regular MS critic and basher.

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    Ron
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    Ahhh Lotus 123...

    Then Javelin
    Then Excel

    Excel was LOUSY when it first stole, er I mean was innovated by M$.

    I actually STILL use in MS-DOS mode a program called Zen-Calc. Has some of my records in it going back about 15 years I guess.

  6. #6
    || $name ne 'R.Stiltskin'
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron
    I actually STILL use in MS-DOS mode a program called Zen-Calc...
    Yeah, but aren't you one of those guys who invented binary and vacuum tubes?

    I'm a foolish newbie working with base 10 and 16, and you work in base 13. Let me exalt in my ignorance.

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    Community Leader jason's Avatar
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    I just noticed that we still have the text-based WordPerfect 5.1+ available on our old Vax cluster. There's a balst from the past.

    I remember Zen-Calc, although I don't think I've ever used it.

    --Jason
    Jason Pitoniak
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    Ron
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    When I first read HitchikersGTTG, I thought about the stupid ending for a bit. WHY would he end it with what is six times nine?

    Then I figured it out, it was base 13.

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    While I use Excel on a regular basis, the vast majority of my data ends up in some visual form, typically in charts or graphs of some sort. This is where Excel blows, at least when it comes to serious statistics and 3D plots. For that I use SigmaPlot.

    But for general business stuff, and some minor data tracking, it is very easy to learn. I just wish the math implementation was better. Perhaps a real equation editor could help?

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    || $name ne 'R.Stiltskin'
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    Quote Originally Posted by lokki
    ...charts or graphs of some sort. This is where Excel blows, at least when it comes to serious statistics and 3D plots. For that I use SigmaPlot.
    Interesting. Yes, Excel's graphics leave something to be desired though it is tweakable if one is creative. I recall using Excel as an architectural tool when we expanded our lab. I used the cells as dimensional blocks to do floorplan layouts, border formatting to mark walls and doors, and textboxes to designate furniture/assets/instruments. I don't imagine the MS people figured their product for such use. I also used it as a DNA sequence marker for riboprobe and DNAse matching, and as an experimental design templating system where multiwell culture plates were recreated.

    Oh yeah, I also used it for math and simple databasing. Go figure.

    At any rate, SigmaPlot is OK, but it had its own quirks and annoyances that required constant readjustments. Everyone in our department managed to create graphs differently though our general presentations were rather uniform. Also, getting them converted into PowerPoint from SigmaPlot was a tedious exporting exercise and oh-so-annoying when prepping for conferences. Graphics ALWAYS needed to be proofread or the final product was reproduced improperly. We wasted a lot of time due to the conversion filters.

    Such is the nature of software. Idiosyncratic.

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    Don't get me wrong... I use Excel several times per week, and not just for typical stuff. I've used it for decision tree analysis, presentation layout, making tabular reference cards, laying out databases, and some digital imaging demonstrations. Of course, I've also used PowerPoint for taking notes, outlining/mapping websites (excel, too), engineering drawings when a CAD application isn't available or appropriate, etc...

    My main problem with SigmaPlot is the live data visualization is very, very slow. I've considered using 3ds max or Blender for doing some of this stuff once the math is squared away, especially for surface drawings and other complex visualizations. This has the advantage of being able to export the 3D image as a U3D file and sticking it into a PDF via Acrobat3D. That allows the viewer the luxury of watching the graph be animated, being able to rotate it by dragging, and saving thier own custom view.

    While I'd love to do all kinds of things within one application, I am more interested in getting different applications to talk with eachother properly. For example, I tried using Acrobat to send form information via email directly to an Access database. No dice... the information has to be entered piecemeal, unless you are willing to give up some serious amounts of flexibility in the XML schema.

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    I got my invite - I'll start playing this weekend. Already it looks pretty trim, but may be good for the online/access aspect.

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    Community Leader jason's Avatar
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    I got my invite yesterday. I took a quick look and I like the interface, but I don't know how useful it will really be--although I like the online aspect, I am so rarely at a computer where I need Excel and it isn't installed. We'll see...I may find a good use for it.

    --Jason
    Jason Pitoniak
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    Old Hillbilly Connie's Avatar
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    I think the main advantage would be a situation, where several people would need access to the same spreadsheet.

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    At work, I've been using network storage for a couple of years, saving most of my stuff to a private share. This has been very helpful in situations where I need to show someone a document, but haven't printed it out... I can just log in and show them on thier machine (WIN domain accounts).

    I can see doing something similar with Google's thing, but it is of limited value to me since I don't travel to see clients much. The nice thing would be to have access to it from a terminal somewhere (conference, airport, etc) that may not have *anything* except a browser/kiosk setup.

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