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Fri, Nov 15, 2019 7:47 pm

Comparing Excel workbooks in Microsoft Excel for Mac

I needed to compare two Excel workbooks produced with Microsoft Excel for Mac (version 16.29) on my MacBook Pro laptop. Unfortunately, the MAC version of Excel doesn't include a capability to directly compare two workbooks. Since both workbooks only had one worksheet in them, I created a new workbook and then copied the contents of the worksheet in the first workbook to Sheet1 in the new workbook and the contents of the worksheet in the second workbook to Sheet2 in the new workbook. I copied the contents of the worksheets by selecting Edit and then Select All in a worksheet and then pasting the contents into a sheet in the new workbook. I then created a third worksheet, Sheet3 in the new workbook. In cell A1 in that workbook, I put the formula =IF(Sheet1!A1 <> Sheet2!A1, "Sheet1:"&Sheet1!A1&" vs Sheet2:"&Sheet2!A1, ""). I clicked in that cell and then clicked on Edit and then Copy. Since the columns in both of the worksheets I wanted to compare extended to AE with 804 rows, I then selected all of the columns from A to AE and all rows from 1 to 804 and then clicked on Edit and then Paste Special with All selected. I then clicked on OK to copy the formula throughout the new worksheet. Excel automatically updates the references so that B2, for instance, gets the formula =IF(Sheet1!B2 <> Sheet2!B2, "Sheet1:"&Sheet1!B2&" vs Sheet2:"&Sheet2!B2, "").

Excel then showed the differences between Sheet1 and Sheet2 in Sheet3 where I had used a formula to compare cells in the two other sheets. If the contents of a cell differed, Excel showed the differences. E.g. for cell A71, I saw Sheet1:I13-0003 vs Sheet2:I97-0033, since Sheet1 had I13-0003 in that cell whereas Sheet2 had I97-0033 . If the cells matched, the corresponding cell in Sheet3 was empty.

So, even though the Mac version of Excel doesn't include the workbook comparison feature found in Windows versions of the program described at How to compare two Excel files for differences, you still may be able to compare sheets in two Excel files by copying relevant sheets into a new sheet where you can see the differences displayed. In the exmple above, the contents of E71 in Sheet3 showed the values for the other sheets as numeric values, though there were dates in the corresponding cells in Sheet1 and Sheet2.

[ More Info ]

[/software/office/excel] permanent link

Tue, Oct 22, 2019 9:22 pm

Memory for a Gigabyte 970A-DS3P Motherboard

I needed to determine the amount of memory currently in a PC running the Windows 10 operating system and how much more memory could be added to the system in order to improve its performance. To determine how much memory could be added, since it was a custom-built PC, I needed to determine the motherboard in the system. I didn't want to disconnect every device attached to it and open it up, so an option is to use Windows Management Instrumentation Command-line (WMIC) commands to determine the motherboard manufacturer and model number. You can also use WMIC commands to obtain details about the memory already in a system.

[ More Info ]

[/hardware/pc/memory] permanent link

Wed, Jul 24, 2019 10:26 pm

Publishers Clearinghouse Scammer

On Tuesday, July 23, 2019, I received a call from someone pretending to be a representative of Publishers Clearing House (PCH) who identified himself as Tony WIsh and told me I had won 5 1/2 million dollars, a Mercedes Benz, and free petrol for a year for the vehicle - obviously he was not someone who grew up in the U.S. to use "petrol" rather than "gas." He asked me what color car I wanted and whether I wanted the money all at once or in monthly payments and then requested personal information from me to ostensibly fill out a tax form. I asked him for a call back number as an assurance that he wasn't a scammer and he gave me the number 805-399-4139. I asked him where he was located and he told me was at the PCH headquarters in Washington, D.C., though when I immediately looked up the number, I saw it was a California number. When I pointed that out to him, he said that all PCH representatives get 8 numbers, claiming it was so the people they contacted would not have long distance charges, though the number he gave was not a local one for me. When I asked several times what street the headquarters was on in Washington, D.C., he repeated "you are breaking up." I hung up at that point.

For anyone who might receive such a call and think it could be legitimate, Publishers Clearing House states on their Fraud Protection page that "Our major winners are notified by mail or in person (at our option) and we never phone ahead to disclose that someone has won a major prize."

I filed a complaint at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Consumer Complaints website as I usually do when I get calls from such scammers intent on defrauding those they call. I also filed a complaint at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Complaint Assistant site at where you can select the "Rip-offs and Impostor Scams" option.

[/security/scams] permanent link

Mon, Jul 15, 2019 10:53 pm

Scammer calling from 210-361-8678

I received a call from 210-361-8678 on my cellphone today. The call was obviously from a scammer as the message included some statement about my social security number (SSN) and legal action that would be taken against me if I didn't call the number from which I was called - I didn't note the exact message, but I found someone at the site at Phone: 210-361-8678 reporting a message that seemed similar if not the same as what I had heard. The other person reported he or she received the message below on July 16, 2018:

Security number is used for some fraudulent activities and due to that we have in order to suspend your social security number right away from the Law and enforcement Department and also to freeze your bank accounts before we go ahead and do that. If you need any further information about it kindly call back at 210-361-8678. Once again that's 210-361-8678. Thank you.

There were numerous other people reporting similar calls where someone was referencing a problem with the person's SSN and advising the person to call 210-361-8678. The call is obviously an attempt to defraud those called. I went to the FCC Consumer Complaint webpage and filed a complaint. I received an email response to the form I submitted with a ticket number. The email response from the FCC stated "The FCC is committed to doing what we can to protect you from these unwelcome interruptions to your day. Unwanted calls, including illegal and spoofed robocalls, are the largest category of complaints the FCC receives." It is troubling, though, that some fraudster has been engaged in this activity using the 210-361-8678 number for a year with no action taken against him. The first report I saw on the site was on July 16, 2018, but I saw others reporting the same issue on that webpage from that date through July 15, 2019. The site allows one to search for reports filed by other people on calls from telemarkers and scammers. The site describes itself thusly: is a consumer complaints board used to report telemarketers, robocallers, scammers, and debt collectors that violate the law. We receive more than 6,000 complaints each month, which helps potential victims identify and avoid answering calls from problematic phone numbers. Our global phone book of numbers is powered by crowdsourcing and online data sources.

The site's homepage advises users of the site to also report the calls to relevant government agencies, which it lists. For the number that called me, the site listed the following information:

San Benito, Texas
Its exchange 361 is managed by SOUTHWESTERN BELL - TX
The number is currently on switch number SNBNTXSBDS0 (switch is a technical specification, provided here for phone hobbyists)
Around 20% of people reported it as "Recorded Message"
You are the 2nd person to search for it here.
There has been a total of 30 comments left about the number.
Latest people reported the number as that of "SCAM, "Social Security'"

I registed an account at the site and posted a note about the call I received today.

[/security/scams] permanent link

Fri, Apr 19, 2019 10:01 pm

Extract images from a PDF file with Python

You can use the PyMuPDF module with Python to extract images from a PDF file. You can install PyMuPDF using the pip package manager with the command pip install PyMuPDF . You can determine if it is already installed with the command pip list | grep PyMuPDF or pip freeze | grep PyMuPDF.

# pip list | grep PyMuPDF
DEPRECATION: Python 2.7 will reach the end of its life on January 1st, 2020. Ple
ase upgrade your Python as Python 2.7 won't be maintained after that date. A fut
ure version of pip will drop support for Python 2.7.
PyMuPDF                          1.14.13
# pip freeze | grep PyMuPDF
DEPRECATION: Python 2.7 will reach the end of its life on January 1st, 2020. Ple
ase upgrade your Python as Python 2.7 won't be maintained after that date. A fut
ure version of pip will drop support for Python 2.7.

The code for the file is in

[ More Info ]

[/languages/python] permanent link

Mon, Mar 25, 2019 11:07 pm

Determining which process has a file open with Process Explorer

When I attempted to copy an Outlook .ost file to an external USB flash drive, I saw the message below:

An unexpected error is keeping you from copying the file. If you continue to receive this error, you can use the error code to search for help with this problem.

Error 0x80070021: The process cannot access the file because another process has locked a portion of the file.

I didn't have Outlook open and didn't know what other process was using the file. One way to find out which process has a lock on a file is to use the Process Explorer utility provided by Microsoft. The program is free and you don't need administrator rights on a system to use it. To determine a process that is using the file, you can hit the Ctrl and F keys simultaneously, which will bring up a search box where you can type the name of the relevant file. When you click on the Search button, you should be able to see the name of the process that has a lock on the file as well as the process ID (PID) for that process. E.g., in this case I could see that lync.exe was using the file.

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[/os/windows/processes] permanent link

Mon, Mar 18, 2019 9:20 pm

Website unavailable after upgrade to High Sierra

I upgraded a MacBook Pro laptop that was running OS X El Capitan to macOS High Sierra (10.13.6) this week. The laptop was running Apache webserver software. After the upgrade, the system wasn't listening on port 80 for HTTP connections, but I was able to start it listening again with sudo apachectl start.

$ netstat -a | grep http | grep LISTEN
$ sudo apachectl start
Enter PIN for 'Certificate For PIV Authentication (JAMES CAMERON)': 
$ netstat -a | grep http | grep LISTEN
tcp46      0      0  *.http                 *.*                    LISTEN     

I was then able to access the default webpage at http://localhost which displayed the page contained in index.html.en file in the DocumentRoot directory at /Library/WebServer/Documents, but whenever I attempted to display pages I had created elsewhere, I kept getting a "404 Not Found" page indicating the requested URL was not found on the server. When I checked /private/etc/apache2/extra/httpd-vhosts.conf, I found it had a April 4, 2018 timestamp, but no longer had the virtual host information I had previously put in the file.

[ More Info ]

[/os/macOS] permanent link

Sat, Mar 09, 2019 4:25 pm

Installing and using cdparanoia to rip CDs on a CentOS Linux system

If you need to rip a CD from a command-line interface (CLI) on a CentOS Linux system, cdparanoia will allow you to do so. The cdparanoia CD ripper program will allow you to produce Waveform Audio File Format, i.e., .WAV, files from the tracks on a CD. You can use the yum package management software to install the software with by issuing the command yum install cdparanoia from the root account.

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[/os/unix/linux/centos/music] permanent link

Fri, Mar 08, 2019 9:12 pm

Accessing the RPM Fusion repository from a CentOS system

Sometimes you may find that a software package that you would like to use on a CentOS Linux system is unavailable from the default software repositories, aka "repos." In such cases adding alternative repos, such as Extra Packages for Enterprise Linux (EPEL) or RPM Fusion may allow you to locate the desired package. E.g., the VLC media player is available in the RPM Fusion repository, but not the default ones nor in EPEL. RPM Fusion has two separate software repositories, one that contains free and open-source software (FOSS) and another named "nonfree". Packages in the "nonfree" repository still won't cost you anything, but there may be restrictions on the use of the software, e.g., you may be forbidden from using the software for commercial use. The RPM Fusion site defines the nonfree repo as being 'for redistributable software that is not Open Source Software (as defined by the Fedora Licensing Guidelines); this includes software with publicly available source-code that has "no commercial use"-like restrictions.'

[ More Info ]

[/os/unix/linux/centos] permanent link

Fri, Mar 01, 2019 10:33 pm

Installing the Pale Moon Web Browser on CentOS 7

I wanted to try the Pale Moon web browser, which is free and open-source software (FOSS) on a CentOS 7 Linux system, but when I tried installing it with yum, the package was not found.

# yum install palemoon
Loaded plugins: fastestmirror, langpacks
Loading mirror speeds from cached hostfile
 * base:
 * epel:
 * extras:
 * updates:
No package palemoon available.
Error: Nothing to do

I was able to resolve the problem, by adding the Pale Moon repository.

[ More Info ]

[/network/web/browser] permanent link

Tue, Feb 26, 2019 9:28 pm

Monitoring directory changes with fswatch on OS X/macOS

If you want to monitor file changes in a directory on an Apple OS X/macOS system, one way to do so is using fswatch, a cross-platform file change monitor. The utility will allow you to monitor which files in the directory have been changed, though it doesn't report on the particular changes made to the content of the files. You can track the addition and deletion of files or whether files in the monitored directory are modified. On a Mac OS X system, you can install the software using the Homebrew package management system - see Installing Homebrew on Mac OS X for instructions on installing the software. Once Homebrew is installed, you can install fswatch using the command brew install fswatch in a Terminal window, which provides a command-line interface (CLI). The program will be installed in /usr/local/bin. Once it is installed, you can view help information by typing fswatch -h at a Terminal window shell prompt.

[ More Info ]

[/os/os-x/homebrew] permanent link

Tue, Jan 01, 2019 10:42 pm

Creating new directories for a new year

I have a number of log directories where I store log files where the directory name is the current year. On the last day of the old year, I want to create new directories named for the upcoming year. I use the following Bash script to create those directories. Since I have several email log directories, I use a for loop to create a directory named after the upcoming year in each one.

# Create a new directory corresponding to the upcoming year on December 31 of
# every year

newyear=$(date --date=tomorrow +%Y)
echo $newyear

# Apache logs

# Check on whether the directory for the current year exists and, if it doesn't,
# create it.
if [ ! -d /home/jdoe/www/logs/apache/"$newyear" ]; then
   mkdir /home/jdoe/www/logs/apache/"$newyear"
   chown apache /home/jdoe/www/logs/apache/"$newyear"
   chgrp apache /home/jdoe/www/logs/apache/"$newyear"

# Email logs 

# Create an array holding the names of the 4 directories within which
# subdirectories will be created using the name of the new year. E.g.,
# /home/jdoe/www/logs/mail/sendmail_stats/2019

logdirs=( "dnsbl_count" "sendmail_stats" "smlogstats" "smreject"  )

for i in "${logdirs[@]}"
do :
   # Check on whether the directory for the current year exists and, if it 
   # doesn't, create it.
   if [ ! -d /home/jdoe/www/logs/mail/$i/"$newyear" ]; then
      mkdir /home/jdoe/www/logs/mail/$i/"$newyear"
      chown jdoe /home/jdoe/www/logs/mail/$i/"$newyear"
      chgrp jdoe /home/jdoe/www/logs/mail/$i/"$newyear"

I then have a crontab entry containing the following line that will result in the Bash script above, named end-of-year-dirs, being run at 7;00 AM on December 31 of each year.

0 7 31 DEC * /root/bin/end-of-year-dirs

Related articles:

  1. Loop through an array in Bash
  3. crontab -e
  4. smlogstats

[/os/unix/bash] permanent link

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