bits & bobs

Not really up to much blogging right now, but there’s things I have to share.

One being the fact I recently discovered, that you can’t buy ethanol here without a licence (established through various bizarre phonecalls to pharmacists and chemists).

Also, perhaps more usefully: did you know that if you want to edit a cell in Excel, rather than taking your hands off the keyboard to mouseclick in the bar at the top,  you can just press F2? (Why has it taken in excess of six years of intensive Excel use to discover this?)

Finally, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography today features the life of William Carey – click here, but quickly as I think it might only be accessible for this week. Carey was a Particular Baptist and a pioneering missionary to India at the end of the 18th, early 19th century – he became fluent in a prodigious number of Indian languages (and translated the whole Bible into six of them, including Bengali, Hindi, and Sanskrit). This is a rather good biography of him, edited by Peter Masters.

10 thoughts on “bits & bobs

  1. I check that site daily, as there is a new biography up daily. Yes, each one is up for a week or so. Because I’m an idiot, I didn’t read the biography for the poet Alfred Tennyson while it was up.


  2. Re Tennyson – i read that! Only thing that stuck was that he was one of the first poets to have themselves recorded, intriguing eh.

    actually i’m subscribed to the DNB rss feed, so i should be better informed than i am


  3. If the ethanol is required for cleaning purposes I’ve heard that the isopropyl alcohol you get in Maplin works very well. If that doesn’t do and you still haven’t found ethanol in sufficient quantity for whatever mysterious purpose you have in mind, then I think I know someone who can smuggle some from the continent. But not until October. :-)


  4. Isopropyl won’t do – it has to be safe for human consumption! Or not consumption exactly but intra-oral use. Have been advised to source some vodka, but apparently someone else is going to see to the smuggling for the time being :) Thanks!


  5. F2 also works for renaming files in Windows, and yes I use it frequently every Saturday in Open Office spreadsheets when I do my weekly paperwork and make typos. I used to work with someone without the use of arms back in Windows 95 days, and before we discovered the predecessor of Accessibility Options I learned just about every keyboard shortcut in the book. I also discovered there were some sloppy programs that didn’t have adequate keyboard shortcuts. My pro-keyboard attitude was also strengthened by the fact that my first computer was a totally mouseless Amstrad PCW 8256. My mother still uses it occasionally.


  6. Yes I’ve used F2 for renaming things for ages, but somehow it never occurred to me to try it in Excel.

    I only discovered it when I was hunting/googling for a keyboard shortcut for the Sort function in the new version of Excel – you can get as far as the pop-up box, but in old Excel you could use the up/down arrows to select what to sort by, and I can’t seem to be able to do that in new Excel without using the mouse. (I’m using the new version at work.)

    Basically, I decided, anything that forces you to take your hands off the keyboard is a bad thing. Especially if it’s meant to be an improvement!


  7. You might be able to get rectified spirits, or “Polish pure spirit”, in, e.g., that deli somewhere on the south edge of the Meadows. It’s certainly available on UK websites – 79.9%, not 95%, but even that is stronger that you need for any consumptive purposes I can think of. Any *sane* consumptive purposes I can think of.


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