Archive for October, 2013

Dynamically Naming Excel Worksheets the Headache Free Way

I’ve got a quickie, but a goodie for you today. I’m going to show you how you can avoid the Run-time Error ‘1004’ : You typed in an  invalid name for a sheet or chart error message by using an extremely simple custom function. Read the rest of this entry »

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Keep Going

I want to use this blog to write about more than just technology. I want to write about life, and maybe sometimes both. Today, I want to talk about life for a moment.

As I’m writing this, I’m sitting in a hospital waiting room with my fiancé. Don’t worry, we’re both okay. It’s nothing life threatening, but it may turn out to be life altering.

About a week ago she hurt herself while horse riding with some friends. She dislocated her shoulder. It took a few seconds to happen, and just like that, she is now questioning if she’ll be able to continue down the life path she’s chosen.

I’m doing my best to help her stay on her path. Results pending, it could be very difficult for her to become a veterinary technician while going through surgery, at worst, or physical therapy, at best. That’s not to mention any medical bills that her insurance doesn’t cover.

If you’ve read any of my writing on The Upsyde, you know that I am always trying to find a silver lining to everything in life. Right now, that’s a difficult thing to do. I think the best I can do is to pass along some good advice.

Life is short, and yours can be utterly and permanently changed in an instant. Don’t ever forget that fact. If you’re young, don’t procrastinate. Go traveling, volunteer, climb a mountain, start a business, make friends, do all of the things that you think you have all the time to do. The fact is, you don’t. If you’re not young, do the same. Life is short, but it’s never too late.

I am also going to encourage you to not give up. Don’t let the people you care about give up. Ever. Life will throw you curveballs. Life will put obstacles in your way. You know what though? Nothing worth doing is easy. Nothing. The best things in life aren’t free. They’re hard earned.

Semper Cogitet
Christopher J. McClellan

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Excel SQLConcat Function

[Update 02/14/14]  

The code contained in this article contains a flaw. I have corrected the issue and explained it here. The new version of the function contains some extra functionality as well, so I encourage you to check it out. 

I do a lot of adhoc querying of SQL Server databases. Often, I find myself given a list of items to base the query on. While it’s simple enough to write a quick

SELECT foo

FROM bar

WHERE foo IN (1,3,27,52)

It quickly becomes down right arduous to type out that IN statement when it needs to be quoted and there are 20 items in the list you’re given. I’m going to show you how to create an custom Excel function that pivots that list into something we can use to query with.

Read the rest of this entry »

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