Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Clear Excel styles and solve the "Too Many Different Cell Formats" error

It may have happened to you.

You are working with Excel for hours and then, maybe after a big paste, maybe after inserting a row, you get the error "Too many different cell formats". Sometimes Excel crashes, sometimes you just can't format the spreadsheet the way you want.


There's a simple tool that clears the unused styles from your file, at XL Geek. I was working on a 5MB file that was crashing rather frequently. I know enough to clean a lot of common things and ended up with 500Kb and a bunch of corrupted styles (see picture above - the 386 grabber is a common one). I used the tool and got to 17Kb. It cleaned more than 6000 unused styles.

It's simple to use and it uses .NET 4.0. If you use Excel frequently and occasionally see the "386 grabber" style, give it a try.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Supply and Demand

The supply and demand slides that I use in the quiz session at UW Foster School of Business. This is the Spring 2011 version. There are two good things about them:

  • They have a table for simultaneous shifts in supply and demand that can be handy for undergrads that are short on time

  • They have some exercises with answers

Download B ECON 300 - Quiz Session - April 12-15

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Do you want to work at Google? Your GPA is not that important.

I keep telling my students that the GPA doesn't matter. Some students get super stressed when they get a 3.4 in a test or a 3.7 in homework, and many cheat - and sometimes covertly admit they have cheated - just to improve their GPA.

So I'll quote the CNN article "So you want to work at Google":

You'll be heartened to hear that a 3.0 GPA doesn't necessarily wreck your prospects at Google. McDowell acknowledges that the 3.7-or-higher-GPA myth is widespread, but she discounts it. "When I joined Google, my team of eight people included three who didn't have college degrees at all," recalls McDowell. "And our next college hire had a GPA that wasn't so hot."

She adds: "Academia is merely one way to distinguish yourself, and there are plenty of others. So if your GPA, or your school, doesn't stand out, look for additional avenues. Besides, you'll need to excel in multiple areas to get your resume selected."

The last piece is very important. Academia is only one way to distinguish yourself. Having a 3.0 GPA and winning the entepreneurial competition could be much better than getting a 4.0 GPA by being the teachers pet and having no other passion than getting a 4.0 GPA. On its own, a 4.0 GPA means nothing.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Snooki Versus Toni Morrison, Round One -- Vulture

Snooki Versus Toni Morrison, Round One -- Vulture

Who gets paid more to speak at an university? Snooki from Jersey Shore or a Nobel-Prize winning novelist?

It's fun to think that the assumption of a lot of microeconomics is that people are rational.