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Technology Q&A

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1. You Gantt do that  

BY J. Carlton Collins, CPA
Q: Does Excel 2013 provide the option to produce Gantt charts?A: No, Excel does not produce Gantt charts out of the box, but you can create one with a bit of Excel trickery, as illustrated in the following example.1. List your tasks. Start by entering a list of tasks including start dates, duration of each task, and end dates, an example of which is pictured below.

2. Office-sharing arrangement  

BY J. Carlton Collins, CPA
Q: I subscribe to Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus, which includes five product licenses. I’ve installed three of those licenses on my office, home, and mobile laptop computers, and I am wondering if I can allow other family members to use my remaining two unused licenses. I don’t want to do anything illegal, but I also don’t want those two licenses to go unused.

3. Tech-less-ness  

BY J. Carlton Collins, CPA
Q: How should I deal with people who don’t have a clue what they are doing with their computer but constantly want me to help them resolve their petty computer issues?A: Being known as a tech-savvy professional has its drawbacks. Specifically, we are frequently expected to help novice computer users fix their computer, printer, and internet problems.

4. Press Alt+P for pizza  

BY J. Carlton Collins, CPA
Q: What technology would you like to see more of?A: I expect technology to make my life more convenient, and I find that Amazon’s 1-Click Ordering option does just that—by clicking a single button, my order is placed, payment is tendered, and the product arrives the next day on my doorstep.

5. What's the text?  

BY J. Carlton Collins, CPA
Q: We provide smartphones to our 120 sales reps, who primarily use them to send and receive thousands of text messages to and from their overseas customers. However, these customers often use other carriers, and, as a result, the text messages exceeding a relatively low messaging-plan threshold cost us a few cents each.

6. Sweeping formats under the rug  

BY J. Carlton Collins, CPA
Q: I received an error message in Excel stating that my workbook had “Too many cell formats, Excel encountered an error and had to remove some formatting to avoid corrupting the workbook.” What would cause this type of error, and how do I avoid it in the future?A: Copying and pasting data between Excel workbooks with multiple formats and styles duplicates these formats, so they can accumulate over time.

7. I'm happy you asked  

BY J. Carlton Collins, CPA
Q: What type of technology should I give my employees to keep them happy? A: It’s been my experience that if you want happy employees, then hire happy people. I discovered this simple concept as a Little League baseball coach. While all the other coaches were evaluating the kids’ speed, bat, and glove, I simply kept track of which kids smiled the most.

8. Renewed reasons to change names  

BY J. Carlton Collins, CPA
Q: Our two website domain names are coming up for renewal soon, and our current domain-name-hosting company charges a renewal fee of $37.99 per year per domain name. (We use another company for web hosting.) This seems high compared with other advertised domain-name-hosting fees I see, so we are considering switching to another agent.

9. Five techie TED Talks  

BY J. Carlton Collins, CPA
To further feed your tech-savvy appetite, you may want to check out these five interesting TED Talks featuring various technology topics:“Fighting Viruses, Defending the Net” (Mikko Hypponen, 2011) (17:35).“All Your Devices Can Be Hacked” (Avi Rubin, 2011) (16:56).“Tracking Our Online Trackers” (Gary Kovacs, 2012) (6:39).“Welcome to the Age of the Industrial Internet” (Marco Annunziata, 2013) (12:36).“Technology’s Long Tail” (Chris Anderson, 2004) (14:18).

10. The hidden scrolls  

BY J. Carlton Collins, CPA
Q: A colleague sent me an Excel 2013 workbook, but when I open it in Excel 2007, the scroll bars do not properly display. Is this a backward compatibility issue, and if so, is there a solution?A: Excel allows you to suppress the scroll bars in a given workbook; to restore them, select the Office Orb (or File tab in later editions of Excel), Excel Options (or Options), Advanced, and under Display options for this workbook, check the boxes labeled Show horizontal scroll bar and Show vertical scroll bar, as pictured below.
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