How to create a .ics file?

Whether you use calendars in your Apple products or Microsoft Products or web based systems like Google or Yahoo, the connecting thread is the .ics file. You import/export calendar information using the .ics files.

Traditionally you paid for the software that permitted you to create .ics files. Programs like MS Outlook or iOS. If you didn’t pay for the software, you had to pay for the connectivity to generate an .ics file from a web based calendar service.

I discovered, just today, that Sunbird 1.0 beta1, a standalone free calendar program by Mozilla foundation now lets you work offline and create .ics files. I just want to put in the good word. Does Sunbird handle time zone differences and daylight savings well? Well, I don’t know for sure but I think we have program that fills a sweet spot.

How to : Program a MS Excel Form

If you are trying to make an excel form, chances are you lost at the many objects lying around on your form and are baffled as to how all the pieces fit together.

They key thing in writing a form is understanding how many objects are used and what minimum code must support each object and action. If you are lost and dont know what piece of code to write next, here are some simple guidelines I follow myself in programming my forms for performing engineering calculations.

1. Throw all objects you want on a form. Inputs and Outputs.

2. For an engineering calculation, if any input parameter changes, all outputs must vanish. Otherwise your form risks the possibility of displaying the incorrect value from a previous calculation before the current calculation is performed.

3. Initialize the form using built in “UserForm_Initialize()” function.

4. Initialisation of the form can be performed by a separate macro which pouplates the initial values to be displayed.

5. Use the most common three buttons as set in 6, 7 and 8

6. “Close” button unloads the form

7. “Clear” button can be used to invoke the initialization macro or clear the all input and output fields by making them blank.

8. “Calculate” button begins the calculation sequences.

9. When starting a calculation, first step is to check the inputs.

10. Check the inputs one by one. If inputs are not correct dont perform the calculation. If inputs are correct, read and interpret the inputs alongside.

11. Perform calculations. Use UDFs as necessary.

12. Estimate results. Diplay results as Label Captions.

Have Fun!

How to : Edit Background Graphics in Powerpoint?

Problem:
You have an PPT file from an older version of MS Office that opens in Office 2007. There are images on the master slide that seem to be not  editable. But you can hide them by selecting on “Hide Background graphics”. How do you edit whatever graphics that are controlled by the Background Graphics button?

Solution:
Go to view, slide master then make sure you select the first slide in the list on the left. When you are on that first slide you can select and edit these types of background items.

How to : Multiple login in yahoo messenger

You can have multiple instances of yahoo messenger which can be used to login with different IDs – without any download or patch .
To have multiple instances of yahoo messenger, follow these steps :
1. Go to Start —-> Run . Type regedit, then enter .
2.Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER ——–> Software —>yahoo —–>pager—->Test
3.On the right page, right-click and choose new Dword value .
4.Rename it as Plural.
5.Double click and assign a decimal value of 1.

VBA support in OpenOffice.Org Calc

For many years till yesterday, I knew about OpenOffice.Org Calc. Today, I’m excited about it.

I tried OpenOffice many years ago. It could do few things back then, but I immediately dismissed as inadequate for my needs. I have always been a fan of what VBA could do for Excel.

Last week, I completed the most complex piece of VBA application I’d ever written. I am a VBA newbie and it took me a week  to finish my code that could be printed on 28 A4 pages. My spreadsheet till date works flawlessly on XP/Office 2003 like it is supposed to, but I wrote most of my code in Vista/Office 2007.

When I upgraded to Debian Squeeze, Openoffice.org 3.1.1 came with it. I checked out the new version and was impressed that one could write macros in Python, Javascript, BeanShell in addition to BASIC.

I tried to open my most complex piece of VBA code in Openoffice.org and I was bombarded with hundreds of repetitive error messages that I had to kill the spreadsheet from the command line. I was convinced that VBA and OOoCalc are not compatible, till I discovered this site by accident when trying to learn to write Javascript Macros in OOo.

OK. All I needed to add was “Option VBA Support 1″. That didn’t sound too difficult, so I tried opening my spreadsheet  again and had to again kill everything from command line.

Some thing was not right and I wasn’t being able to run VBA despite the promised compatibility.

So I decided to go slow. No matter how many times, I couldn’t run the macros when I opened the native excel file. So I decided to open the excel file with macros disabled. That let me open the spreadsheet, but nothing was working. I found that OOoCalc automatically had added “Option VBA Support 1″ to my modules.

I saved the file as .ODS and proceeded to debug by enabling macros again. This time, errors didn’t come in a flood.They came one at a time and it was easier to debug.

The first set of errors related to variables which did not have an explicit Dim statement. VBA in Excel seemed more forgiving in handling varaibles without proper Dim statements. But OOo Calc didn’t like it. So I ended up adding a few Dim statements for some variables.

The next set of errors was with Excel UDF names. OOo Calc likes to see Functions being invoked with uppercase letters. So if you’d used lower case letters in Excel, they would show up as errors. This could be easily fixed by use of find and replace feature.

With just these two things, fixed my new .ODS file worked perfectly. I then saved it as .xls and re-opened the .xls and everything was still working. Though OOo Calc  documentation still says that not all VBA features are supported, VBA runs well on OOoCalc for all practical engineering calculations. So now is the time for me to make the switch.

Now if you have difficulties, in getting  your VBA code to work  in OOo Calc, dont give up soon.

WP-Hive upgrade prevents WordPress login

I upgraded the wp-hive plug-in to version 0.5 earlier today. It wasn’t an active plugin for me and I needn’t have upgraded it. But I did it earlier today and didn’t think twice about it.

Later, I found out that I could not login into WordPress as an administrator. Everything else seemed to be working fine. Site was up and running as usual, but I couldn’t access my dashboard.

When I checked the WordPress database through phpMyAdmin the wp_options table was perfect. I was soon able to figure out that this was not a WordPress problem.

So I started troubleshooting by trying to undo my last set of actions, one of which was upgrading the wp-hive plugin. Renaming the wp-hive folder gave an serious error and brought the site down. With that I was able to narrow down the problem to the file

/wp-contents/db.php

I remmed out the line

/*require_once( WP_CONTENT_DIR . ‘/plugins/wp-hive/do-prefix.php’);
*/

Everything is back to normal for me now because I dont use wp-hive.

I didn’t find anything about this problem in Google, so I decided to write this down.

LiberKey applications work on Debian through Wine

There is this beautiful portable suite called LiberKey which is really a collection of hundreds of open source applications for Windows.

For months, I have searched and tried out several portable applications for Windows. None of them even came close to LiberKey in terms of the range, stability and upgrades.

I’ve used LiberKey from the same USB device on both XP and Vista machines with equal ease. You can update LiberKey on XP machine and run it on Vista and viceversa. In fact, I’ve copied LiberKey onto my “C:\Program Files” on Windows drives and I enjoy free updates of all my open source applications.

What was a good Windows solution, has now proven to be a good Linux solution too.

Today, I tried out several LiberKey applications on Debian through the Wine interface and most of them seemed to be working well. The only fall back is that these applications dont work through the Liberkey interface. But rather each application needs to be run from its folder manually. This is not a set back  as all it takes is a link to a application to open it.

Debian users sure wont have to miss their little windows programs on GNOME or KDE.