Improving readability of worksheet data in Excel

It can be a big help if your data in Excel is easy to read (avoiding errors in calculations and or data analysis). I know there are more ways than one to achieve that goal, in this article I’ll show you some code that handles the solution without using conditional formatting. It’s a rough and simple solution…

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Convert MAC address in MS Access

Sometime ago I wrote an article about updating MAC Addresses before (Convert MAC address in MS Excel or OO Spreadsheet) so the subject is not new :-). But this time I’ll try to explain how to Convert MAC addresses in MS Access. The standard format for printing MAC addresses in human-friendly form is six groups of two hexadecimal digits, separated by hyphens (-) or colons (:), in transmission order, e.g. 01-23-45-67-89-ab, 01:23:45:67:89:ab. In this article I’ll give you examples of how to add, remove or change the separator for MAC addresses in MS Access.

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Using Wiican makes gaming easier in Linux

A month ago I stumbled upon a program called Wiican. Wiican is a fantastic program, or to put it more correctly it’s a bunch of extremely powerful scripts, that makes your life easier using your Wii Mote in Linux.

Having my holidays within sight, I really didn’t have time to give it a close look before I took of to France. “Luckily” I had some time during my holidays (read: I had some rainy days) to experiment and discover the power of Wiican.

So after a bit of fiddling I came up with a script that to use your Wiimote in First Person Shooter (FPS) games like Assaultcube, Sauerbraten, Warsow), etc.

Prerequisites (what you need to get it working):

  • Hardware
    • Computer running Ubuntu
    • Network connection
  • Software
    • Wiican installed (I’ll describe the installation of Wiican in a different article, because at this moment the installation struggles with some dependencies issues)


  • Download and unzip the Wiican script I wrote
  • Import the script within Wiican (details will follow when I’m back from my holidays)
  • Start the script
  • Hookup your WiiMote
  • Start fragging some bots


Or you can try to write your own script within Wiican…

Script contents:

Name : CUBE Game Gamepad
Comment : Control CUBE games using the Wiimote
Authors : Winko Erades
Version : 0.3# Wiimote accelerometer as mouse XY axis
Plugin.acc.X = REL_Y
Plugin.acc.Y = – REL_X# Wiimote buttons for movement
Wiimote.Up = KEY_LEFT
Wiimote.Down = KEY_RIGHT
Wiimote.Left = KEY_DOWN
Wiimote.Right = KEY_UP

# Wiimote buttons for shooting and jumping
Wiimote.1 = BTN_LEFT
Wiimote.2 = KEY_SPACE

And now start fragging!!! 🙂


Suggestions for improving this article are welcome, please let me know and drop me a line.

A poor man’s dynamic DNS on a Raspberry Pi

If you want to connect to your Digital Video Recorder (DVR) or ownCloud installation from the internet, you need to know to which IP address you need to connect (See this DVR article as well). The bad thing however is that the most of us don’t have a fixed IP address on the internet (this might change in the future with IPv6). This means your IP address can change in time. There are several payed services to solve this problem like DynDNS, DuckDNS, DtDNS, No-IP, etc. Most of the time you are the only user of the services you are hosting at home, if so than there is a cheap solution.

As described above the whole thing is, that you need to know which IP address your Raspberry Pi has. The solution is to write a script that checks your external IP address and that sends you an email in case the external IP address has changed.

Login on your Raspberry Pi with SSH:

ssh pi@your IP address
cd ~
nano ./


Now copy and paste the following code to nano (of course you need to change username@domain.ext to your own email address):

curl -o ~/newip
cmp ~/newip ~/oldip >/dev/null || {
mv ~/newip ~/oldip
mailx -s “I – IP ${HOSTNAME} changed” username@domain.ext < ~/oldip

Use Ctrl O to save the file
Use Ctrl X to exit the nano editor


Make let’s make the script executable:

sudo chmod +x ./


Let me roughly explain what the script does:
It’s a bash script that checks the external IP address by using curl and writes the results to a file called newip.
After that it checks whether the IP address has changed by comparing the files newip and oldip, in case the two files are not the same it sends you an email.


Now we need to install the necessary packages to sent mail:

sudo apt-get install ssmtp heirloom-mailx


The next thing is to configure your Raspberry Pi so it’s able to send mail. Therefore you need to add the following lines, at the end of the file /etc/nail.rc :

sudo nano /etc/nail.rc


Now copy and paste the following code to nano (of course you need to change: smtp.domain.ext, username@domain.ext, password and email sender’s nice name to your own email settings):

# Smtp server
set smtp-use-starttls
set ssl-verify=ignore
set smtp=smtp://smtp.domain.ext
set smtp-auth=login
set smtp-auth-user=” username@domain.ext
set smtp-auth-password=”password”
set from=”email sender’s nice name”

Use Ctrl O to save the file
Use Ctrl X to exit the nano editor


Now we need schedule and execute the script by using crontab:

crontab -e


Add the following line, at the end of the file (it schedules the every hour):

0 * * * * /home/pi/

Use Ctrl O to save the file
Use Ctrl X to exit the nano editor


You can check the date and time stamp of the file ~/newip to see whether your script ran.

Changing the IP address in ~/oldip enables you to check whether emailing works, as it should send you an email the next time the sript runs.


PS. if mailing yourself doesn’t work, try editing the /etc/ssmtp/ssmtp.conf file (as it heavily depends on your mailserver configuration).


Suggestions for improving this article are welcome, please let me know and drop me a line .