advertisement
Forums

The Forum is sponsored by 
 

AAPL stock: Click Here

You are currently viewing the Tips and Deals forum
Rant: Microsof*&^&*(
Posted by: Diana
Date: February 22, 2022 08:53PM
/rant on

Work uses this product (Excel), and the use of much of anything else often times will get questioned, even if it's "equivalent," so I seem to be stuck with it. Today, I worked to change a document--let's make it clearer and easier to follow, because it's rather complicated and it just confuses people--so I worked all day in between my regular job(s) to get this done. Saved it periodically, as this ((**&^&*(O) thing will just crash or whatever and you lose your work. So yeah, I use the little icon at the top marked "Save." Yeah, that should work. Right!!?? "Saved" it prior to putting the laptop to sleep and bringing it home to finish it.

This POS laptop hung up once I got it home and opened it: nothing moved, nothing would work, nada, zilch, zero. So, rebooted it. And guess what???? ALL of the changes I did today, even prior to the "saves," were GONE. GONE. It was saved, right? Right????

This is a Mac, not some POS Windows, and it should be better than this. It was this kind of crap that drove me from a PC to a Mac in grad school, as the periodic hanging, crashing, and losing of work was unacceptable, even though it was more expensive and money was tight. WTF people????

/rant off

Thank you for listening. Back to your normal programming.

Diana

PS for those who are wondering about using LibreOffice: the last time I used the spreadsheet and copied a previously created one to just make a few changes (and keep the original spreadsheet), a rather inexplicable event occurred: The numbers were off. Not a little, but a lot. The formulas were still there, the original numbers that were typed in were there, everything seemed right, but the calculated values were off. I could never figure it out, and as I needed to get my taxes done that year and not spend my time troubleshooting a spreadsheet that didn't seem to have anything wrong with it EXCEPT that the calculated numbers were different from the original, I just rebuilt the spreadsheet.

PSS about the laptop: MBP 15", 2015, bought used a few years ago. As soon as I can reasonably replace it, I will.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Rant: Microsof*&^&*(
Posted by: btfc
Date: February 22, 2022 08:58PM
Maybe?:

[support.microsoft.com]
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Rant: Microsof*&^&*(
Posted by: Diana
Date: February 22, 2022 09:10PM
Thanks for the suggestion.

This is what they say:

"AutoRecover, a feature that is available in some Office applications, attempts to recover files automatically in the event of an application or system crash. It does this by periodically saving a copy of the file in the background. By default, AutoRecover saves a recovery file every 10 minutes.

Important: Do not use AutoRecover as a substitute for regularly saving your files by using AutoSave (see below) or by clicking Save . Saving your files frequently is the best way to preserve your work.

In some cases, you can set how frequently these AutoRecover files are saved. For example, if you set AutoRecover to save every 5 minutes, you may recover more information in the event of unexpected shutdown — such as from a power outage — than if it's set to save every 10 or 15 minutes.

If you manually save your file, the previous AutoRecover files are removed because you've just saved your changes.

AutoSave is a different feature which automatically saves your file as you work - just like if you save the file manually - so that you don't have to worry about saving on the go. On the Mac, AutoSave is available in Excel, Word, and PowerPoint for Microsoft 365 for Mac subscribers. When AutoSave is turned on AutoRecover files are rarely needed."

AutoSave is turned off, as I regularly save my files. I found that AutoSave would pause while it saved, usually at a most inconvenient time, so I manually save the file about every hour or so. Since I saved it, there would be no AutoRecover file (see the above bolding).



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/22/2022 09:11PM by Diana.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Rant: Microsof*&^&*(
Posted by: Tiangou
Date: February 22, 2022 09:13PM
When you crash and force-reboot, there's a chance that your Mac will revert to the last-good journal. This preserves the integrity of most files, but can make your most recent changes vanish.

It's rare, but not so rare that I haven't seen it a bunch of times.

[en.wikipedia.org]

A journaling file system is a file system that keeps track of changes not yet committed to the file system's main part by recording the goal of such changes in a data structure known as a "journal", which is usually a circular log. In the event of a system crash or power failure, such file systems can be brought back online more quickly with a lower likelihood of becoming corrupted...

Updating file systems to reflect changes to files and directories usually requires many separate write operations. This makes it possible for an interruption (like a power failure or system crash) between writes to leave data structures in an invalid intermediate state...

Detecting and recovering from such inconsistencies normally requires a complete walk of its data structures, for example by a tool such as fsck (the file system checker). This must typically be done before the file system is next mounted for read-write access. If the file system is large and if there is relatively little I/O bandwidth, this can take a long time and result in longer downtimes if it blocks the rest of the system from coming back online.

To prevent this, a journaled file system allocates a special area—the journal—in which it records the changes it will make ahead of time. After a crash, recovery simply involves reading the journal from the file system and replaying changes from this journal until the file system is consistent again. The changes are thus said to be atomic (not divisible) in that they either succeed (succeeded originally or are replayed completely during recovery), or are not replayed at all (are skipped because they had not yet been completely written to the journal before the crash occurred).




Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Rant: Microsof*&^&*(
Posted by: btfc
Date: February 22, 2022 09:20PM
Right.

I’d still check /Users/<username>/Library/Containers/com.microsoft.Excel/Data/Library/Application Support/Microsoft
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Rant: Microsof*&^&*(
Posted by: Diana
Date: February 22, 2022 09:57PM
Thanks guys. I'm a little calmer than before.

This makes little sense to me. According to everything I read at Microsoft's site, I should NOT have that file; but there it was as a "binary workbook" file (extension .xlsb) in a location similar to what btfc listed. Additionally, when I had the laptop launch the programs that were open at the time it crashed, it should have updated/repaired the open file, and I assume presented it to me, as it was the most recently still-open (and worked on) file. It didn't.

There was not a "com.microsoft.Excel" located under Containers. The path is:

/Users/<username>/Library/Containers/Microsoft Excel/Data/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/name of my file with a bunch of numbers after it/ and then an alias file, as well as 5 different files listed: (my filename with a (bunch of numbers).xlsb

They all had different timestamps associated with them, and I grabbed the one closest to the time I left work. It appears to have most all the changes I made.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Rant: Microsof*&^&*(
Posted by: btfc
Date: February 22, 2022 10:08PM
“ This makes little sense to me. According to everything I read at Microsoft's site, I should NOT have that file; but there it was “

Yes; I’ve run into similar oddness in the past.

Microsof*&^&*(
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Rant: Microsof*&^&*(
Posted by: mattkime
Date: February 22, 2022 10:09PM
Is that thing holding scientific data??



Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Rant: Microsof*&^&*(
Posted by: Diana
Date: February 22, 2022 10:38PM
Quote
mattkime
Is that thing holding scientific data??

Yes. It is.

It's a spreadsheet containing measurements from a flow cytometer (gain, %rCV, and laser delay) for a year. This is usually calculated and posted in the reports from the cytometer after one has run the calibration beads as Levey Jennings plots; if it is out of specifications, it will flag the user. HOWEVER, most users will just go "Huh?" and just keep on going.

I have to take the attitude that "it's not my data" and try to help as much as I can. We cannot look over their shoulders and make them do what they don't want to do, however. As I've been told, the researchers won't stand for it.

Recently we have started moving towards "full spectrum" cytometry: instead of photomultiplier tubes, we now use APDs which are much smaller and thus cover much more of the spectrum than PMTs can. With the increase in spectral capabilities comes an increase in the sheer amount of data: files that used to be a few hundred KB are now in the GB range. We have had to resort to double-sided BR disks to archive the data (data archival is another can of worms). The old ways of doing the experiments need to be updated when you use this system. Recently, we were told that we really should have a "universal" negative. That's fine if you have a mouse model that you can pretty much fix the genetic lines, but not so much when you work with human samples. I'm working on linking their controls that they HAVE run with the daily experiments to the calibration beads (that supposedly HAVE been QC'd, but to what value I don't know. I have an email out to the company to see if I can get any answers.

If I lose the spreadsheet, I won't lose the data. Just all the work that went into it, and the brainstorming that produced it. As some of you know, once you lose the idea of something, you rarely get it back. Since I'm coming back from surgery, my old brain is coming back on-line (to the best that it can) and I'd rather not lose any more than necessary.

Edit: forgot to add as an FYI:

A cytometer is an instrument that uses lasers to excite a fluorescent probe attached to the surface of a cell. These are chosen based on the proteins found on the cell surface (or even interior) and therefore can tell the researcher the type of cell present. So if someone is looking at B-cells or T-cells from a COVID patient, you can label the cell with the appropriate probe, and then count them; a sorter takes it a bit further by sorting the cells of interest; the rest is trashed. The researcher is then presented with a purified/pure sample of the type of cells s/he is wanting, all to be taken to the next step in their project. A lot of the investigation of the immune system has been done using cytometry.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/22/2022 10:44PM by Diana.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Rant: Microsof*&^&*(
Posted by: mattkime
Date: February 22, 2022 11:18PM
I know its probably okay to use excel for this sort of thing, but the programmer in me can't accept it.

Also, a friend of mine pointed out that I'd probably have an easy time moving into a number of fields since I'd have the computational stuff down. I don't know if thats true but I wouldn't be dumping data into spreadsheets except to pass it on to someone else.



Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Rant: Microsof*&^&*(
Posted by: gadje
Date: February 23, 2022 05:44AM
wrong thread



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/23/2022 06:28AM by gadje.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Rant: Microsof*&^&*(
Posted by: C(-)ris
Date: February 23, 2022 07:43AM
Quote
mattkime
I know its probably okay to use excel for this sort of thing, but the programmer in me can't accept it.

Also, a friend of mine pointed out that I'd probably have an easy time moving into a number of fields since I'd have the computational stuff down. I don't know if thats true but I wouldn't be dumping data into spreadsheets except to pass it on to someone else.

The problem is you need to be a programmer with good technical skills if you want to be able to do that. As well as being able to write database queries and/or reports you would need to be able to install and configure whatever that database is and troubleshoot issues, create tables, etc.

That would either require 2 people, one to manage the database and the researcher that knows what they need it to do. Or one VERY talented individual that most likely has better things to do than this.



C(-)ris
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Rant: Microsof*&^&*(
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: February 23, 2022 10:35AM
Hooo... yeah.. nightmare scenario with shared Excel files as a long standing database system.

Oddly.. Office 365 (Cloud Office) may be a possible solution for that.

In addition, you can set up regular save VBA in the spreadsheet. You can also use the validation tools and cell locking tools to keep users from 'breaking' the spreadsheet. I've done all that crap in the past. Fortunately now I just get to use big 'ol database engines and don't use Excel as a database / application environment any more.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Re: Rant: Microsof*&^&*(
Posted by: Diana
Date: February 23, 2022 12:56PM
For those thinking I'm trying to set up a database in Excel, been there and done that. Not fun.

As far as programming it, if this was something that was to be used on a regular basis it would be programmed and not done in Excel. However, you can use it to sketch out what needs done and in what order it needs done in. It allows for a bit more flexibility, and errors are immediately seen.

The Excel file itself will not ever reach the GB range, as I'm working with a small subset of possible data. This is only what the instrument reports that it is using, not what the researcher is actually seeing from the biological samples. The biological data is indeed in a database of sorts, with specialized and recognized software to analyze it (which is the next step after I determine whether or not the instrument performed correctly for that day). The software the instrument uses to examine the instrumental data (as opposed from the biological data) was confusing and difficult to read; I tried to pick it apart in Excel, and I now have a better understanding of what it was doing. My confidence in what I'm seeing has increased.

The biological data is often a million data points (particles it counted), with each point (particle) having additional data from each of the detectors that were in use. So, ten detectors each giving data for each of the million data points, gives ten million so far. And that is a small file. Excel will choke and die on this. Again, there is software to analyze the biological data, and it works very well. Any questions I have had regarding how it works have been answered quickly, and any pertinent sources cited. I'm not asking to "steal" their stuff (frankly don't care to even try), but only to increase my understanding of what is going on.

Personal rant regarding instrumentation/data:

Unfortunately, it appears that many manufacturers tend to think that the target audience for instrumentation happens to be homogeneous: if you are targeting toward immunologists, then they all are biologists and giving them the technical aspects of the instrument is a waste of time. Don't give them physics or chemistry as they're not going to understand it (thus, it becomes a black box and I thoroughly loathe black boxes). I have asked at seminars where they were demonstrating an instrument various things, and the talk-around and not-answers I got led me to believe the sales folks didn't really know their product. And in some cases, others noticed it as well.

I live for data. The more data the better. Instrumentation is my "jam" as they used to say. But I'm not a biologist, much less an immunologist, and treating me as if I am only annoys me.
Options:  Reply • Quote
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login

Online Users

Guests: 111
Record Number of Users: 186 on February 20, 2020
Record Number of Guests: 5122 on October 03, 2020