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I don’t work Wednesdays. This morning over a leisurely coffee, I thought I’d download a free calendar from the internet to do some scheduling stuff.

But I didn’t like the look of any of the ones I found, so I decided to download a template and fuss with it.

But none of the templates were laid out exactly the way I wanted (I need the week to start Monday, for example), so I decided to build one from scratch.

I am not good at templates. Fortunately, I’m pretty good at stealing code. I found a calendar tutorial for Libre Office and I was humming along, comprehending stuff fine, until I got to the bit in the picture above.

If you can’t read it, it’s

By knowing the first day of the month we can get the day of the week. In my example it’s a Wednesday. The function that returns the day of week from a date is WEEKDAY. The formula is =WEEKDAY(DATE(G1,MATCH(A1,$Settings.A1:A12,0),1)). You should get a number from 1 to 7.

Yeah, no. Never mind. I pinched it and it worked.

People who understand spreadsheets can make them sing. I don’t think I’m ever going to be that person.


Comment from Pupster
Time: September 8, 2021, 9:28 pm

You don’t want to be that person. Trust me on this.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: September 8, 2021, 11:28 pm

I concluded long ago that spreadsheet and word processor programmers’ highest motivation is showing their fellow nerds how clever they are. As for the real world users customers of their stuff, they’re left with complicated and thus error-prone procedures for doing everyday tasks, and an impossibly large set of “tools” to do convoluted tasks that nobody in their right mind ever does. Except spreadsheet and word processor programmers, (the following is obligatory:) but I repeat myself.

Comment from Mitch
Time: September 8, 2021, 11:36 pm

Comment from Pupster
Time: September 8, 2021, 9:28 pm
You don’t want to be that person. Trust me on this.

I AM that person. Trust Pupster on this.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: September 9, 2021, 1:52 am

I used to be, and now, I sit on the side lines and criticize other programmers

for free.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: September 9, 2021, 1:38 pm

I used to love Excel – I got to where I could make it do everything but whistle, and I am pretty sure it wouldn’t have been too hard to figure that out too… but Uncle Al is right – it just got too elaborate for its own good.

The problem was that math is math, and logic is logic and so Excel was pretty well perfected by about 1995 or so. This left future developers in a quandary. The big bosses wanted “New! Improved!” because otherwise there would be no incentive for consumers to purchase the new Windows Office. So, they started gilding the lily with pointless features and, when desperate for something, anything, just moving the controls around.

Worst of all was the thinking: how would consumers know about these “improvements” unless the new software version came with them all switched on as the default setting? So every time there was a new version, I had to spend about two weeks hunting to find out how to turn that shit off! Remember, they -always- moved the controls around too, so it was no easy task to find the Kill button for any particular change.

For those not familiar with Excel, I will give a parallel-world example from MS Word: remember “Reader View” that split your document in two so that your screen looked like a small open book? Ever tried to compose a business letter with the screen stuck in Reader View? @#$&”!! Who thought THAT was a good idea? The answer is absolutely nobody on the team but they were pretty desperate at that point, and they knew that the boss would only glance at it, not try to use the feature.

Quite seriously, one consideration in my early retirement a decade ago, was that I knew another version of Excel was right around the corner, and I did not feel that I wanted another pointless hassle with it. (Okay, deciding to retire was really all about the money, but I did think about Excel when making my decision).

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 9, 2021, 5:21 pm

I knew there’d be some spreadsheet people in my commenteriat.

Worst is, I have Excel at work but too poor to have it at home, so I use Open Office calc. Meaning, I have to learn two sets of controls.

Comment from Anonymous
Time: September 9, 2021, 8:07 pm

@Stoaty – Have you asked your software panjandrum at work if there are any unused seat licenses so you could use one to install Excel at home?

I remember the good ol’ days of shareware, when I was common for license to say something like, “Treat this software like a book — it’s OK for two people to use it, but not at the same time.”

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 9, 2021, 11:33 pm

We’re still holding on with Office 2007. And the Excel in the office is bugged. Whenever I fire it up, it tries several times to install itself. I’ve tried all the fixes the internet offered, including directly editing the registry, and it’s still boogered.

Comment from durnedyankee
Time: September 10, 2021, 1:30 am

And then there was the famous ‘moonscape’ ‘easter egg’ the asswipes put in Excel (had to be back in the early 90’s because I remember messing with it at work at Everybody Does Suits)

It’s that kind of crap.
They should have shoved kids learning to program into barrels starting in about 1990 and not let them out until they got it into their heads that programming was not about them doing ‘cool shit’ just because, it was about building useable products for people.

Comment from BJM
Time: September 10, 2021, 1:05 pm

They’ve done pretty much the same thing with Acrobat.

Stoaty, can’t they afford the monthly license? It’s a little more than a fancy latte and making you work with Office 2007 is a stupid waste of your time, a far more valuable resource.

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