Archive for May, 2010

Leveraging Microsoft Excel to do More…

Many of my colleagues and clients tend to just *survive* with Microsoft Excel.

What I mean is, many know how to USE the software perfectly well at a fundamental level, but for various reasons avoid pushing a little further, really taking advantage of its features in ways that can really save time, allowing them to  move and benefit beyond conventional methods and approaches.

It’s that kind of thinking that has driven me to focus on teaching courses that do more with less topics.

Many courses try to cram 6 to 8 topics of learning in one day.

And while that’s great, it doesn’t really lend itself well to getting any kind of value in terms of what is covered by the instructor.

For the instructor, this is a bit of a lose-lose situation too.

No matter how much they personally know or feel covering more or less topics, many are driven to make sure they cover all of the relevant items on the outline, lest they get critiqued on the evaluation.

At Building Blocks, we have two such courses that really leverage real-world use of Excel and drive it to the next level, whether it be an all-around course on functions, pivot tables, and charts, or on automating Excel and getting it to do complex things for you faster:

But it doesn’t stop there.  We apply this thinking to ALL of the training we deliver, to wherever you may live in Canada, be it in Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, or in any other major Canadian city.

We would love to be able to show you what dozens of our satisfied clients are already benefiting from, training not only from dedicated, proficient, Microsoft Certified Professionals, but people who LOVE and CARE about what they do and the people they serve.

I don’t know about you, but I would give a LOT to be able to have more training experiences like that.


LaCie’s Rikiki – 500 GBs of Super-Slim, Miniaturized Storage.

Late last year, I purchased a CTO (customized to order) Sony VAIO VGN-FW laptop, roughly comparable to the specs of the VGN-FW590.

As nice as my shiny new Windows 7  laptop is, I only have two complaints about it:

1. There is no Blu-Ray player (opted to hold off until prices dropped)

2. The storage space on the hard disk is only 320 GB.

So with various documents, applications, virtualized systems and other downloads slowly filling up the hard drive, I have been intending to pick up some sort of really HUGE hard drive, possibly for off-loading of data, maybe some limited virtualized state backup.

Plan A was to purchase Western Digital’s MyBook 3.0.  The new USB 3.0 interface would mesh nicely with the USB 3.0 SmartCard I am looking to pick up soon from Amazon.

However, when faced with the immediacy of purchasing LaCie’s new super-slim Rikiki portable hard drive from Future Shop this weekend, that plan soon evaporated.

With 500 GBs of USB 2.0 storage capacity for just under $100 at Future Shop, I had to take the plunge.

I will be setting it up sometime on Monday and will report back with my first impressions.  I have a feeling I am going to be carrying this thing around everywhere.

Hello World!

Hello!  This is my first post on my new WordPress blog.

I am a Microsoft Office 2007 Certified Specialist instructor, with interests in and extensive experience with Excel, Access, Project, Visio, and SQL Server.

My interests revolve around PC hardware and technology, television and radio communications, news media and social media, music, movies, and numerous other interesting and quirky topics.