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Professional Working Methodology

I liked it very much J


Employee "A" in a company walked up to his manager and asked what my job is for the day?  The manager took "A" to the bank of a river and asked him to cross the river and reach the other side of the bank. "A" completed this task successfully and reported back to the manager about the completion of the task assigned. The manager smiled and said "GOOD JOB"


Next day Employee "B" reported to the same manager and asked him the job for the day. The manager assigned the same task as above to this person also. The Employee "B' before starting the task saw Employee "C" struggling in the river to reach the other side of the bank. He realized "C" has the same task. Now "B" not only crossed the river but also helped "C" to cross the river. "B" reported back to the manager and the manager smiled and said "VERY GOOD JOB"


The following day Employee "Q" reported to the same manager and asked him the job for the day. The manager assigned the same task again.  Employee "Q" before starting the work did some home work and realized "A", "B" & "C" all has done this task before. He met them and understood how they performed. He realized that there is a need for a guide and training for doing this task. He sat first and wrote down the procedure for crossing the river, he documented the common mistakes people made, and tricks to do the task efficiently and effortlessly. Using the methodology he had written down he crossed the river and reported back to the manager along with documented procedure and training material.  The manger said "Q" you have done an "EXCELLENT JOB".


The following day Employee "O' reported to the manager and asked him the job for the day. The manager assigned the same task again. "O" studied the procedure written down by "Q" and sat and thought about the whole task. He realized company is spending lot of money in getting this task completed. He decided not to cross the river, but sat and designed and implemented a bridge across the river and went back to his manager and said, "You no longer need to assign this task to any one". The manager smiled and said "Outstanding job 'O'. I am very proud of you."


What is the difference between A, B, Q & O?  Many a times in life we get tasks to be done at home, at office, at play.,

Most of us end up doing what is expected out of us. Do we feel happy? Most probably yes. We would be often disappointed when the recognition is not meeting our expectation. Let us compare ourselves with "B". Helping someone else the problem often improves our own skills. There is an old proverb (I do not know the author) "learn to teach and teach to learn". From a company point of view "B" has demonstrated much better skills than "A" since one more task for the company is completed.


"Q" created knowledge base for the team. More often than not, we do the task assigned to us without checking history. Learning from other's mistake is the best way to improve efficiency. This knowledge creation for the team is of immense help. Re-usability reduces cost there by increases productivity of the team. "Q" demonstrated good "team-player" skills,


Now to the outstanding person, "O" made the task irrelevant; he created a Permanent Asset to the team.

If you notice B, Q and O all have demonstrated "team performance" over and above individual performance; they have also demonstrated a very invaluable characteristic known as "INITIATIVE".


Initiative pays of everywhere whether at work or at personal life. If you have initiative you will succeed. Initiative is a continual process and it never ends. This is because this year's achievement is next year's task. You cannot use the same success story every year. The story provides an instance of performance, where as measurement needs to be spread across at least 6-12 months. Consequently performance should be consistent and evenly spread.  Out-of-Box thinkers are always premium and that is what everyone constantly looks out for. Initiative, Out-of-Box thinking and commitment are the stepping stone to success.

Initiative should be lifelong. Think of out of the box…..Happy Working.


Excel Tip: Merge Cells without Loosing Data

Merge cells without loosing values - ExcelMany of us face this problem. Can you tell me how to merge rows without losing the data in the format given below.
given data:
row 1: abcd
row 2: xyz

required format :
row 1: abcd xyz
It would save a great amount of my time if i could get a solution to this !
That got me thinking, there should be a way to merge cells without loosing data?!?
Of course there is. You can use simple features in Excel to do this with ease.
  1. Merge cells without loosing data - how to in Excel Select all the cells where your data is. (All the cells need to be in one area in one column).
  2. Adjust the column width so that you can fit all contents in one cell. (basically make it wide enough)
  3. Select Home Ribbon > Fill > Justify
  4. Merge cells now.
That is all. The text from selected cells will be magically re-arranged in top-most cell. If you see the text spreading 2 rows, just make the column wider and repeat the process.
See this simple animation aside to understand how it works.
But wait, this technique has some limitations,
  1. It doesnt work if the selected cells have numbers or formulas
  2. It only works for cells in a single column, if the cells are spread across several columns, justify will not work.
  3. It requires a lot of steps.
Shouldn't there be a better way to merge cells without loosing data?!?
Of course there is, You can write a simple macro to do this job for you.
For eg. here is the JoinAndMerge() macro I have written that works for pretty much all types of data.
Sub JoinAndMerge()
'joins all the content in selected cells
'and puts the resulting text in top most cell
'then merges all cells

Dim outputText As String
Const delim = " "

On Error Resume Next
For Each cell In Selection
outputText = outputText & cell.Value & delim
Next cell
With Selection
.Cells(1).Value = outputText
.HorizontalAlignment = xlGeneral
.VerticalAlignment = xlCenter
.WrapText = True
End With
End Sub
Just copy this code in to a new module or add it your personal macros workbook. And you can use it to quickly merge cells without loosing data. Simple.
The code is easy to figure out if you know basic VBA. So I will not go in to detail.

Info: CAT 5, CAT5e, CAT6 Ethernet cables

CAT 6 VS. CAT 5e

[Q] What is the difference between CAT 6 and CAT 5e cable?
[A] Currently there is a great deal of confusion among Ethernet cable buyers concerning whether to purchase Cat5e, or to use Cat6. Most of this confusion comes from a misunderstanding by the buyer that buying Cat6 cable will give them an "all gigabit" network. This is not the case. Unless every single component in the network is gigabit rated, then you will never have a gigabit network, because your network will always run at the speed of your slowest device. Cat5e cable of good quality can run near or at gigabit speeds, it just cannot be "certified" for this use. By comparison, Cat6 is designed especially for gigabit use, and is certified to operate at said speed. It becomes a matter of whether or not you want to pay all that extra money, for little or no noticeable improvement in the performance of you network. In most cases, it makes more sense to go with Cat5e. It is for this reason that most of your new installations in the private sector are going with Cat5e. It is more economical, performs well, and is readily available in many colors. Many IT professionals when asked about why they specified Cat6 for a specific job, often responded stated that they "wanted the best they could get." This is the line of thought behind many purchases of cable. The average consumer often times is not aware that there is no real benefit to them to use Cat6, so they let someone talk them in to buying it. CAT 5 Cable Company is committed to helping people make good decisions about cable purchases and we are always standing by to help you.

CAT 5 v. CAT 5e

[Q] What's the difference between CAT 5 cable and CAT 5e cable?
[A] CAT 5 cable and CAT 5e cable have several differences, the most important are as follows:
  • Network support - CAT 5 cable will support 10/100 Ethernet. That is, Ethernet and Fast Ethernet. CAT 5e cable will support Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, and Gigabit Ethernet. CAT 5e Cable is completely backwards compatible, and can be used in any application in which you would normally use CAT 5 cable.
  • Less cross talk - Cross talk is the electrical interference that results when one wire's signal effects another wire's signal. CAT 5e cable has been improved over CAT 5 cable in this respect, and cross talk has been greatly reduced.
  • Bandwidth - This is directly related to network support, in the sense that the bandwidth is the information-carrying capacity of a system. The greater the bandwidth, the greater the information-carrying capacity in a given period of time. CAT 5e cable is rated at 350 megahertz, and it is this increased bandwidth (compared to CAT 5 cable) that allows it to support Gigabit Ethernet.
If you are unsure whether to order CAT 5 OR CAT 5e, we recommend ordering CAT 5e. CAT 5e is completely backwards compatible and we do not charge any additional amount for it. The improvements made in CAT 5e over the original CAT 5 Cable are astonishing, so it will always be the right choice between the two.
CAT 5 Cable will still be sufficient for many applications. In fact, there are still companies operating today that have special requirements for CAT 5. These will be the exceptions of course, because almost all new installations are being done with CAT 5e. The improved signal carrying capacity of the cable is the primary reason.
CAT 5e Cable also has improved durability, due to improvements in the quality and thickness of the PVC

6 Surprisingly Dirty Places in Your Home

By Mary Anne Dunkin
WebMD Feature
If you dropped a piece of fruit in your kitchen sink while rinsing it, would you think twice about popping it in your mouth? What if you dropped it in the toilet?
Germs like cold viruses and bacteria can live in some unexpected spots. Here are six surprisingly dirty places in your home -- like your kitchen sink -- and what you can do to protect yourself.

Dirty Places: The Kitchen Sink

Although the mere thought of retrieving anything from your toilet bowl may be enough to make you sick, your toilet may be cleaner than your kitchen sink, says Eileen Abruzzo, director of infection control at Long Island College Hospital of Brooklyn, New York. Food particles from plates left to soak or rinsed from dishes on their way to the dishwasher can serve as a breeding ground for illness-causing bacteria, including E. coli and salmonella. They can get on your hands or spread to foods.
Although most people take steps to disinfect their toilet bowls, few give their kitchen sink the same consideration, Abruzzo tells WebMD. "They rinse their sinks with water and assume they are clean -- but they're not."
Quick fix to banish bacteria:
To sanitize your sink and prevent the spread of bacteria, Abruzzo recommends washing it with a solution of bleach and water once a day and then letting the solution run down the drain. Remember to remove the drain plug and clean it, too, she says. Then wash your hands.

Dirty Places: Your Toothbrush

You put it in your mouth twice a day, but do you ever think of all the germs lurking on it? "You rinse it off after using it and put it away damp," says Abruzzo. "Bacteria like the moist area and grow on it."
If the germs from your own mouth weren't enough to contaminate your toothbrush, the germs from your toilet certainly are. Research in the 1970s by Charles P. Gerba, PhD, of the University of Arizona Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science, found that flushing the toilet sends a spray of bacteria- and virus-contaminated water droplets into air. These germs, he found, can float around in the bathroom for at least two hours after each flush before landing on surfaces -- including your toothbrush.
Quick fix to banish bacteria:
 Abruzzo recommends placing your toothbrush where it can air out and dry between uses -- but not too close to the toilet. Also, replace your toothbrush often, particularly after you've been sick, and close your toilet lid before flushing.

Dirty Places: Your Salt and Pepper Shaker

Could one of the dirtiest places in your home be right on the table where you eat?
Unfortunately, yes, according to a 2008 study by researchers at the University of Virginia. In the study, researchers asked 30 adults who were beginning to show signs of a cold, to name 10 places they'd touched in their homes over the previous 18 hours. The researchers then tested those areas for cold viruses. The tests found viruses on 41% of the surfaces tested, and every one of the salt and pepper shakers tested were positive for cold viruses. 
Quick fix to banish bacteria:  
When you wipe the kitchen table after eating, wipe off the salt and pepper shaker too. But your best protection against spreading or picking up germs when you reach for seasonings is to wash your hands -- before and after.

Dirty Places: Your TV Remote Control

It's dropped on the floor, stuffed between the sofa cushions, coughed on and sneezed at. Everyone in the house handles it.
"Anything people touch a lot has germs on it," Abruzzo tells WebMD. A University of Virginia study of cold viruses on household surfaces showed the remote control's surface is among the germiest. Researchers found that half of the remote controls tested were positive for cold viruses.
Quick fix to banish bacteria:
Abruzzo wipes her remote with a bleach or alcohol wipe -- "that is, if I can ever find it or get it out my husband's hands," she says. Aside from that, regular hand-washing is the best way to protect yourself against these germs.

Dirty Places: Your Computer Keyboard

If you eat at your computer, sneeze on your keyboard, or sit down to surf the Internet without first washing your hands, your computer keyboard could be a health hazard. In a recent study by a British consumer group, researchers swabbed keyboards for germs and found a host of potentially harmful bacteria, including E. coli and staph. Four of 33 sampled keyboards had enough germs to be considered health hazards. One had levels of germs five times higher than that found on a toilet seat.
Quick fix to banish bacteria:
Wash your hands before and after using your computer. If you must eat at your desk, don't drop crumbs into your keyboard. To clean your keyboard, gently shake out the crumbs or vacuum it. Abruzzo recommends wiping the keys with alcohol or bleach wipes, but "nothing too wet," she says. "And don't forget to wipe the mouse."

Dirty Places: Your Bathtub

The place where you clean yourself is not so clean itself. A recent study found staphylococcus bacteria in 26% of the tubs tested. A separate study had even worse findings for whirlpool tubs. When Texas A&M University microbiologist Rita Moyes, PhD tested 43 water samples from whirlpools, she found that all 43 had mild to dangerous bacterial growth. Almost all showed bacteria from fecal matter; 81% had fungi, and 34% contained staph bacteria.
According to Moyes, the main reason whirlpool tubs are so dirty has to do with the lining of the pipes. Water tends to get trapped in the pipes, providing a breeding ground for bacteria. When you turn on the jets, the germy water spouts out into the tub where you're soaking.
Quick fix to banish bacteria:
Experts recommend cleaning and disinfecting your tub with bleach or bathroom cleaner after bathing, then dry with a clean towel. For whirlpool tubs, the best way to prevent bacteria from accumulating is to clean out the pipes.

Protecting Yourself from Germs

Lots of germs are harmless, many are even good for your health. But you can help protect yourself from those that aren't by keeping your hands clean. Your hands transfer bacteria and viruses to your eyes, nose, and mouth. They can also transfer germs to others.
The CDC recommends regular hand washing with soap and water, washing your hands for 20 seconds -- the time it takes you to sing Happy Birthday twice. "It doesn't matter how warm the water is, what's important is that you use friction," says Abruzzo.
Hand sanitizer gels can be used to kill germs, but they should not replace hand washing. Hand sanitizers can build up on the hands, so you should wash your hands the regular way after every fourth use, Abruzzo advises.

Excel Animation without Macros

Excel Animation without Macros! (

Link to - Learn Excel & Charting Online

Posted: 30 Nov 2010 01:03 AM PST
Today we will learn an interesting animation technique that ONLY uses, … wait for it …, Excel Formulas. That is right, we will use simple formulas to animate values in Excel.
Intrigued? Confused? Interested?

First see these Excel animation demos:

Animated icons & fill-color

Animated Icons & Cell Fill Color in Excel - Demo

Animated In-cell Charts

Animated Incell charts - Excel

Click here to download the workbook with these examples.

What is the secret sauce behind this animation?

Take 1 portion of crushed basil leaves, 2 portions of  grounded roasted coffee beans and mix them with hot water. Add enough sugar and throw it away. :P
Now, come back to your excel workbook and use circular references to generate the animation effect.

Understanding how Circular References & Iterative Calculation Mode work

In order to get this animation, you should be familiar with two excel magic spells – Circular References & Iterative Calculations. In simple terms,
Circular Reference: is when a cell refers to itself in the formula. For eg. in cell A1, if you write =A1+1, it is a circular reference. The reference can be both direct or in-direct (ie you can refer to cell B1, which refers to A1 again).
Iterative Calculation: If a cell has circular reference, excel can quickly go in to infinite loop (not the place where Apple is head-quartered). To avoid this, we use iterative calculation mode. When you enable this mode, excel solves the cell references only a certain number of times.
Here is an excellent guide on circular references.

How to enable iterative calculation mode?

Simple, go to Excel options > Formulas and then select iterative mode. Change the number of iterations to a large value (so that we can see some animation). Like this:Enable Iterative Calculation mode to get Circular References work

How to use Circular References & Iterative Mode for Animation?

It doesn't take a lot of coffee to conclude that using circular references & iterative mode of calculation, we can increment a cell value from 1 to 100 (or 4000, if you fancy).
Assuming you want to increment the value in A1 from 0 to 100, and A2 is used to control the animation (ie if you type "Yes" in a2, only then we increment the values).
In cell A1, we write =IF(A2="yes",IF(A1>=100,A1,A1+1),0)
If iterative mode is enabled, when you enter yes in cell A2, you can see the value in A1 going from 0 to 100, very fast.
Now, if you change the formula to =IF(A2="yes",IF(A1>=4000,A1,A1+1),0), you can see the cell value in A1 going up from 0 to 4,000 in a few seconds.

But, what about animation?!?

Now that we have the cell A1 changing its value when we want, we just need to link this with conditional formatting to get some magic.
For eg. you  can apply conditional formatting on A1 with the following rule to change cell color as the value increases.
Conditional Formatting Color Scale Settings for Animation
Similarly, you can use the value in A1 to draw in-cell charts that grow as the value changes in A1.
Just let your imagination run wild.

Where can you use such animation?

Animation is a powerful attention grabber. I think you can use this type of animation in dashboards to display alerts. For eg. you can highlight portions of dashboard that changed when a different product (or month) is selected.
That said, I strongly recommend against overuse of animation effects. They can quickly become annoying. Not to mention, they are cumbersome to maintain (and add little value).

What are the limitations of Circular Reference based animation?

  • You must enable iterative mode of calculation.
  • This doesn't work with charts. Excel charts do not pick up cell values unless the calculation is finished. So you cannot plug values in to charts to expect animated charts. If you are curious to build one, see Daniel's animated business charts example.
  • This can slowdown your workbook: Whenever you run the animation, excel is going to do thousands of calculations and this will slowdown your workbook.

Download Excel Animation Workbook

I have put together a simple workbook showcasing several examples of this technique. Download and play with it.
Excel 2007 link | Excel 2003 link
(Make sure you have turned on the iterative mode.)

Do you find this technique interesting?

To be frank, I find this technique more amusing than useful. But I wrote about it anyway as it shows what is possible with excel. It can be useful in situations where there is too much information and you need to call users attention to something.
What about you? Do you see any practical applications for this technique? Share your ideas and opinions thru comments.

More Excel Magic

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