Monday, February 27, 2012

Liking February

I am liking this February.

It's not like you get something to troubleshoot or something new to see on a daily basis.

Quite a nice month to play with technologies!

Embed Google earth in your blog

Had this genius idea today, which turned out to be a dumb one for the specific set of pictures I had in mind, "I want to show the pictures I took by the ruin of St. Paul by using google earth in my blog!"

The reason why it is a dumb idea is because the pictures were all taken around the same place, which is not suitable for the google earth or google earth plug-in interface.  Too crowded.

Regardless, since I finally got it out, might as well share with you some lessons I learned embedded in the instructional guide below:  lol

Creating a KML file

Granted, all ways lead to Rome and there are many ways to get the KML file that matched the image files to specific geographic locations.  Since my pictures have already been uploaded to picasaweb, my KML file was created by simply clicking on the "View in Google Earth" link.

Because I had not give "meaningful" file names to each picture before they were uploaded, the file names were shown when mouse-over the little picture icons in google earth.  Not very meaningful...  The following pix showed you an example of what a bad file name looks like.... IMG_2693, IMG_2618... 

A workaround for this problem, in this case, is to add captions to pictures to the picasaweb album and download the KML file again- since... ain't no nothing wrong adding captions to the pictures, I guess. 8-O lol

Add captions to your pictures and click on "Save Caption"

After you have captions added to all pictures, click on "View in Google Earth" to download the KML file again.
Once the KML files is downloaded, which should be to the "downloads" folder defined by your browser, open it up with google earth.  Now you should be able to see the captions shown when mouseovering the images or pair-associated with the images.

Creating the KMZ file.

The next thing you have to do is to create the KMZ file by simply clicking on save->"Save Place As" inside of Google Earth.  When the "Save As" window pops up, give it a meaningful filename and save it as a "KMZ" file.  (By the way, KMZ file is the zipped format of KML file.)

Uploading your KMZ file.  

I tried both google docs and google sites, maybe it is simply me stupid or simply didn't have the heart to play with it.  They didn't work for me.  (Let me know if you it out.)  Ended up, I uploaded the file to another server somewhere else so that the file could be accessed on the Internet.

Getting the embed code created.  

I used the "Embed KML Gadget" powered by google to get the embed code out.  Please find following the screenshots for the Embed KML Gadget interface.

One thing I need to remind you about this interface is that you have to put in the complete URL for the KMZ file in the textbox next to KML or My Maps URL.  It would be something like "http://ratology.rt/ratprincess/Macau.kmz".

Embeding the embed code into your blog.

Now that you get the script copied to the clipboard, switch to the HTML editor and paste the code in.

Voila! C'est ça!  Bon chance!

Hope this help and hope your project suits this presentation better!

(P.S., If the google earth plug-in kept on loading and loading without showing anything-- can't quite be my fault since it works at times and stalls, other. 8-O lol)

Friday, February 24, 2012

How to automatically update MS word table numbers

Encountered this really stupid problem today...  first time I tried to do it in Word 2010..

I had, say, many tables with the table numbers dynamically created by Word with da Insert Caption feature.

So I decided to delete a table.. only to find out that there was no place to click on to update the table numbers automatically.  All things with the "update" word attached to were greyed out.

Ended up, the solutions were simple...

One way to do it is to switch to the print preview and come back to the ordinary view.

Another way to do it is by selecting all texts and press the F9 key.

Voila. My problem solved.

Hope this help you, too!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Vevo The page you are looking for is not available in your region.

Tried to clicked on the vevo ads on youtube...

Two different ads...
Same result...
First time in my life seeing the above screen on Feb. 12.... and... speaking of region, in Taiwan.

This video contains content from WMG, who has blocked...

There surely are always something new to see in life everyday... first time seeing this screen.

The youtube video can not be viewed when embedded in blogger although you can view it directly on youtube. Thought it's all google unless google is turning like da girl? 8-O lol


BTW, WMG stands for Warner Brothers Group.

Also, shall you come across something like this and you really want to see it, go with the proxy option.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Importing multiple Excel columns of var names and values into SPSS

This gotta be the worst post title I have ever created in my life so far.

So, after the last posting, I moved on to the task of trying to import the dataset into SPSS with the problem in mind... on this spreadsheet, the values of column G, I, K, M are variable names while numerical values in column H, J, L, N alike are the values the respective variables associated a specific participant.  In total, there are something like 20 participants.... (See image below)

I was just gonna go and do that copying, transposing and pasting etc.

Yes, giving lazy buns a task to complete, they often spend more time trying to find the short-cut than if they had just done things the KISS (keep it simple and stupid) way.

Yet, I tried to find the most efficient way-- though did explore a bit with different software.

The million-dollar question is: "How do you convert an Excel spreadsheet looking like the above into an SPSS file like below with all 941 variable names accurately created and data associated with each id imported?"

This one I had to figure out myself since, shame on my, my SQL skills are rusty and hadn't done much of VB script stuffs etc in my entire life.  In addition, it is difficult to google up solutions for a problem when I am not even quite sure how to put the problem in words.

Ended up, the solution I found was simple though exploration did take a little time.

Essentially, use the Pivot table function to turn your data to look like the following.  I had to create five sets of Pivot tables to get all data printed out. 

Since you can not get rid of the first 3 rows in the Pivot table, what I did was to copy everything I need from the fourth row down to a different spreadsheet and used SPSS to import that new spreadsheet with the first row as the variable names.

After all 5 spreadsheets were imported into SPSS, the next was simple.  Use the Merge file option under Data to add variables.  Once the add variable window is open, make sure that you assign a key variable, which is correctly sorted, so that values of the added variables would be linked to the correct id.  It was not an issue for me since the values were already in ascending order.

Select "Add Variables under "Merge Files"
Make sure you define the key variable (e.g., Id) and make sure the values are sorted.
One last question, how did someone like me who had never used Pivot table to get it set up so fast?

If you are like me, well, I actually a detour by going through MS Access 2010 since I know how to pull the Pivot Table view out in Access.  So I imported the spreadsheet containing all data as a table in an access database, get to the pivot table view, get the data printed out in the table correctly and export it back to Excel.

Though stupid... it surely was much faster than me having to update myself on the entire Excel Pivot Table chapter... 8-O lol

Though nothing elegant, now that I got it out once, would be no sweat next time....

Hope it helps you, too!

BTW, please let me know if you need help playing with them pivot tables... put up out some tutorial kinda thing upon request.

(Messed up on one set of values and finally got the complete file compiled... with a total of 1176 variables. 8-X)

Counting character number in text in excel

Been working hard on refreshing my excel memory because I am trying I am trying to get some data processed so as to import it all to SPSS.

The first step I took was the calculate the number of times specific characters occurred in the original texts.  After googling around, I found some experts' smart solutions as follow... though... unfortunately, I forgot which source it was that I learned it from.

Essentially, this task can be easily accomplished by the combination of the LEN (i.e.,length) and SUBSTITUTE (i.e., word substitution) functions.

For instance, the formula used to count how many times the character "R" occurs in the text string in cell I2 is LEN(I2)-LEN(SUBSTITUTE(I2,"R","")).

LEN(I2) counts the total number of characters in the cell.

SUBSTITUTE(I2,"R","") replaces all "R" in the string with "" or, essentially deletes "R" from the String.

LEN(SUBSTITUTE(I2,"R","")) part of the formula calculates the length of the string after the character R is removed.

= (the numbers of characters in the text string with R(s))-(the numbers of characters in the text string without R(s))
=the number of R in the string.

I have gotten rid of the spaces between the characters in advance.  In case you want to do character count without taking spaces into account and not wanting to get rid of the spaces, you can use the trim function.

Moving on to my next missing... trying to figure out the best way to import the data into SPSS with the problem in mind... on this spreadsheet, texts such as pre-wd14R OR PRE-WD14P are variable names while numerical values in K and P columns alike are the values the respective variables for a specific participant.  In total, there are something like 20 participants....

That's gotta be something smarter than doing the copying and pasting thing.... but... what I am stuck with for now.

Should've learned my SQL better in my much younger years.

(UPDATE: Resolution to my issue: Importing multiple Excel columns of var names and values into SPSS)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Skype video call not working?

Was talking to my bosses in New York earlier... somehow, skype video refused to work.

As they were busy trying to figure it out on their end, I thought how I had made the voice call in the beginning and turned the video on later.  I had not done the video call from the beginning because skype signals used to drop before... might have something to do with the limited upload speed of my internet connection at home.

Turning the video off and on again didn't work... leaving me the only one seeing my own video while facing the profile icon of my boss.

So we hang up and called again...

Voila... that solved my problem this time.

Hope this helps and hope you are as lucky as we were!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Short cut to Task Manager

For years, when trying to get to the task manager, I have to go through the CTRL+ALT+DELETE routine to bring the task manager up.

So, yesterday afternoon, when I was trying to show my boss an excel file and the excel program won't come up, I did the old CTRL+ALT+DELETE to bring the task manager up.

It was then when my boss asked this question... "What are you doing?"

Then, I thought of the question of "What are you doing?" and decided to figure out the direct shortcut to Task Manager.

Also... CTRL+SHIFT+ESC it is.

Never knew this shortcut existed cuz the old way seemed to be working fine.

So it is-- saving me a click from now on. 8-O lol

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

SPSS Error: text value unmappable in the current server locale

Had this problem earlier today when trying to use SPSS to open some files that belonged to someone else.

The error message was: "Text value unmappable in the current server locale."

It didn't occur when I tried to open the example files that came with SPSS though and I had no problem creating my own file.

Then, after googling around apparently, I realized that it has something to do with the Character setting.  All that you have to do is to go under "Edit," select "Option" and change the character coding to unicode.  You will have some problems changing this setting because the options will be greyed out if an old file is opened.  Thus, start a new SPSS file, close all other files and go from there.

Voila, c'est ça. Bon chance.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Turn off onscreen keyboard on Windows 7 x64

Turned on the onscreen keyboard last year because the computer didn't like the external keyboard.  Since the problem cease to occur, I decided to turn off the onsceen keyboard today and this is what I had to do.

Bring up the Ease of Access Center:

Control Panel->Ease of Access->Ease of Access Center or by pressing down Windows key+u.

Once you get the Ease of Use Center up, click on "Use the computer without a mouse or keyboard."

When the window pops up, uncheck the "Use Onscreen Keyboard" and click "Apply."

Voila, c'est ça.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Back to Technoratology

Had this thought today... before RatologyTech was Technoratology, which was taken down almost 4 years ago now- the same time I took down Down with Meds-- A revelation of Ratology.

After realizing the technoratology is free fro grab now, I decided to bring it back to Ratology associations...

Reminding me of this quote:
"I have had to bury my real self-and now realize that bringing back that real self is going to be even more difficult than it was to bury it."(Sarton, 1988 cited in Charmaz, 1991)

Could have done a redirect but decided to keep it this way for, I guess, there is no means to redirect the past.  At least me ain't got that talent... lol

(This is cross-posted in