Wednesday, March 24, 2010

PowerPoint Show (*.pps) file copies as a PowerPoint (.ppt) file when downloaded from the internet

Today we had a probelm on our website, where when you try to download a PowerPoint Show (.pps) file, the file was downloading as a PowerPoint Presentation (.ppt) file instead of a .pps file.

I have done some research on google and found the following solution to my problem.

  • In IIS Administrative Console snap-in, right-click the specific Web server where the .pps file is located, and then click Properties.
  • Click the HTTP Headers tab.
  • Click on Mime Types button in IIS 6.0
  • Click the File Types button in older versions of IIS.
  • Click New Type.
  • In the Extension box, type .pps, and then in the Content type (MIME) box, type application/
  • Click OK, and then restart IIS.

To know more click on the link from Microsoft

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Checksum Vs. Hashbytes

What is Checksum?
Checksum is a function available in sql server 2005 and sql server 2008. It is intended to build a hash index based on an expression or column list.

Determining if two rows or expressions are equal can be a difficult and resource intensive process. This can be the case where the update was conditional based on all of the columns being equal or not for a specific row. Without checksums it is a long process of using innerjoins to identify the exact row to update in the update statements.

When is Checksum used?
When you need to compare the unique characteristics of an expression, columns or a table consider using the Checksum function.

When you have to update a row where many columns are compared to determine if the data is unique, use CHECKSUM function to build a unique value using checksum function and then compare the CHECKSUM values.


What is hashbytes function?
HashBytes function was introduced in SQL server 2005 to simplify creating hashes in the database. It can convert values to MD2, MD4, MD5, SHA, or SHA1 formats.

When can you use a hash function?
Hash functions are a useful option to improve the efficiency of particular queries on large volumes of data. For example, on long strings of text, you can build a hash-index to perform efficient lookups or to speed up aggregate operations.

Differences between checksum and Hashbytes

Faster but can produce lot of duplicate values
Slower but efficient than checksum
Returns an int value
Returns a varbinary(8000)
Microsoft does NOT recommend using CHECKSUM for change detection purposes

Use Hashbytes for change detection purposes

Friday, March 19, 2010

Problem problems with Powerpoint

I had problems printing powerpoint slides this morning and here is an excerpt from an article on pptfaq.


If you're willing to accept a slightly smaller slide image, you can print Notes Pages instead of Slides. Modify the Notes Master in your presentation:

  • Choose File, Slide Setup and set Notes pages to print in the same orientation as your slide pages
  • Choose View, Master, Notes Master
  • Select and delete the notes text and any other text placeholders you don't want to appear on your slide printouts.
  • Select and scale the slide image on the notes master to a larger size. NOT full page, but somewhat smaller. You'll need to find out what the trailing margin on your printer is and make the margins on both sides of your notes master at least that large.
  • Print a trial notes page from one of your slides. It will probably be off center. Go back to the notes master and move the slide image accordingly. It'll probably take several trial printouts to get right, but once you've got it nailed down, you should be able to get printouts of just your slides, properly centered on your inkjet printouts.
  • Once you've got it nailed, right click the slide image, choose Format and record the size and position of the slide image so you can use the same info in your other presentations.


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Password protect a workbook in Excel 2007

If you want to password protect your workbook in Excel 2007 the following are the steps that need to be followed.

  • Click on the Office button on the top left hand corner of the workbook
  • click on prepare
  • choose restrict permission
  • choose a pasword
  • you may be asked to reenter the password
That's it your workbook is password protected.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Displaying powerpoint files on a website

I had trouble displaying powerpoint files on the website that I was working on. The problem was the link to the powerpoint file was a powerpoint 2007 show file (.ppsx). But when you clikc on the hyperlink, it was downloading with a .ppt extension

I have done some googling to resolve this problem and found that in order for links to PPTX/PPSX files to work, the two conditions must be met:
  • The user must have PowerPoint 2007, the 2007 Viewer or an older version of PowerPoint with the compatibility pack installed so that they can open PPTX/PPSX files in the first place
  • The web server configuration on your site must have the correct mediatype/MIME settings to serve PPTX/PPSX files as PowerPoint 2007 presentations.

The above is an extract from the article on pptfaq called Control how the browser opens powerpoint files

Monday, March 15, 2010

Disable accessing a hidden sheet in Excel workbook

I had a requirement today to not display the hidden worksheets in an excel workbook when you try to unhide sheets. Here are the steps I have taken to achieve this.

  • Open the VBE (alt-f11)
  • Go to the sheet that you want to disable in the unhide option
  • View properties window
  • Change Visible property to 2 -XlSheetVeryHidden.
  • Save and close

Test the unhide option

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Outlook meeting request response myth busted

In outlook when a meeting request is received from the organiser, I was under the impression that when I accept the request and choose do not sent response, then the meeting request at the organisers end gets updated that the request has been accepted but the organiser will not be sent an email. This is a myth. I am sure most of us are under this impression.

When you choose do not send a response, there is no way outlook updates the request at the organisers end. So if you want to let the organiser know that you have accepted then you need to send the reponse when you have accepted.

The credit for this learning today goes to Vanessa Taylor -- our Executive Assistant to the CEO.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Convert date to text in excel

If you have a date in a cell, when you try to use it as it is for example in concatenation, the date gets converted to a number and does not retain the date format.

In order to retain the date format and still be used as text -- the formula that can be used is TExt(datecell, "dd-mm-yyyy")

Free Databases and Data Visualisations course for kids Weeks 9 to 11 update

It has been quite a while since I have posted about the free databases and data visualisation classes for 9 to 14 year old kids.  So here I...