Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Speed and Performance of Excel Office 2008 on the Apple Mac

Mouse likes to be at the leading edge of technology. This goes back to his early days when he used to shoot the breeze with the Bill’s, and the Steve’s over a jam scone and a good hot mug of tea. Recently Mouse started playing with Office 2008 on a PowerPC computer. Mouse uses databases to store information on his collection, but also for elaborate esoteric calculations involving cheese in imaginary space. He spends long periods imagining new types of cheese. Having read of the speed increases ‘08 can provide on Intel, and seeing moans about performance from others, he thought he would take a look. He plotted a simple quadratic, without smoothing, and compared the outputs of Excel 2004 and 2008. He also compared the outputs with Kaleidagraph (a graph package he rather likes).

Well what do you think I ask Mouse, to me, the outputs seem really poor from the new version of Excel. He nods. ‘It is not looking very good,’ comments Mouse, ‘the output is clunky and the package is terribly slow compared to 2004. I like the 2008 versions of PowerPoint and Word, but... I think I’ll stick to Excel 2004 on a PowerPC rather than change for the moment’. His interest soon wanes, he wanders away with a distant look in his eye, ‘imagining cheeses’ no doubt.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

The Antique Mouse Cooks Delia

Mouse has been trying out the latest Delia Smith How to Cheat recipes. Apparently this new book has been dividing people the length and breadth of the country. He recons that people have been cheating all the time, but have not been owning up to it. What a smart idea to get ready cooked mince out of a can! And if it is a good quality can of mince from Waitrose (the Mouse does not go anywhere else to shop than Waitrose) it is even smarter. He does not have time to shop more than once a week, and with such a busy lifestyle, sometimes he likes to make things on different days instead of the ones he originally planned. He thoroughly recommends the Soupe de Possion, but it must be with ‘the works’ – good Gruyere and croutons, a side relish and a little bit of brandy and dressed lobster. Also the crab cakes with the special mayo are wonderful. All that he knows is that the recipes taste delicious (well, he knew they would) and that there is very little washing up, which is a really good thing. He is going to try some chocolate cake later……he says try the recipes then decide! (You know Delia's in Wikipedia).

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Chocolate, Antiques and Collectibles Buying and Selling Trends

Mouse likes maths. Lately he has been studying the trends on the web of his favorite things, antiques, collectibles and chocolate. He has been investigating Google Labs and Google Trends. This lets you know the volume of traffic in Google searches (right hand axis) per year (bottom axis). It is normalised which will allow for the increase in human and mouse users with time. It is not perfect but an interesting guide. He looked over the period from 2004 to the start of 2008.

He was very happy to note that chocolate had not shown any decline, ‘whilst there’s chocolate there’s life’ is one of his favorite sayings. Collectibles has declined a bit but not as much as antiques in general. Is this because fewer people are clicking, or, newer users are not so interested in antiques? Mouse is smart, he thinks a bit of both. A number of his investigations have suggested a roughly 50% decline in activity in a number of traditional areas, even digital photography, his favorite hobby, has fallen. The antiques field is a little worse.
Mouse cannot decide whether he likes a collectible or an antique for Christmas. He notes that fellow mice tend to prefer collectibles for Christmas and antiques in the New Year, chocolate is good anytime. With a thoughtful look he indicates, ‘that too much blogging makes you hungry’, not enough chocolate he murmurs, he’s off now, bye.