Saturday, May 30, 2009

Google Adding Macros to Online Apps

Google is testing a significant new function in their online office apps. See here for a YouTube video. I've been writing/using/evolving MS Excel macros in Windows quite a bit lately and this feature in the Google spreadsheet apps will be interesting to try out. MS Office "macros" are actually VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) scripts and the Google spreadsheet version is Javascript. Parenthetically, I've been using the Google apps word processor quite a bit over the past year or so for my genealogy notebooks. I do have MS Office and on my home computer (Mac Excel doesn't haven't VBA, alas) but they're not getting much use. And, because I'm paranoid about backing up my work, I've been using a Greasemonkey script to periodically download my Google word processing docs to my home computer in both PDF and MS Office format.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Star Trek

No, I didn't go see Star Trek this weekend. There's only one Star Trek and that ain't it. The real Star Trek was the one that ran in syndication when I was in junior high school. It came on a half-hour after school let out and it enthralled my friends and me and we had a great time discussing the minutiae. We were in our early teens, for crying out loud. Then I grew up. The original series was still loved but I could see that it really wasn't very good. And, as an adult, I could tell that all the followup television series and movies were... dumb. They were pretentious ("It was the best of times, it was worst of times" -- Star Trek II) and hackneyed. My problem was compounded by the fact that nearly all of the science fiction I was trying to read then really wasn't very good either, whereas it had been great when I was younger. As an adolescent, SF was truly mind-expanding, if you'll permit the cliché. And it really was a great adolescence, with my friends and Star Trek and SF and my paper route and junior/senior high school and marching band and not having to worry about the stuff that grownups have to worry about.