OVER 2 YOU 241 (26/07/05)
I am a keen writer and spend several hours each day at my PC. For
various reasons this has to be in the living room and my husband says the noise
of the clattering keys is really getting on his nerves. Can anyone recommend a
quiet keyboard, suitable for a reasonably fast typist, with well-cushioned
keys, so I don’t end up with aching fingers?
Margaret Keene, via email
I bought a MCK-600W from Ortek Technology and found it very quiet and
although I am not a typist I would say it seems to have a light touch. I found
details via Google: www.ortek.com and www.excite.co.uk
John Edwards, via email
I recently purchased a roll up keyboard for a laptop. The keyboard is
flexible and appears to be made of rubber. I learned to type on the old strike
key typewriters and also have the same
problem with noise. There are more details at: www.thinkgeek.com/interests/favorites/5a7f/zoom/
Gary Langton, via email
I don't know about a quiet keyboard but on my office desk I've placed a
spare mouse mat underneath the keyboard, with the foam side upwards, and this
greatly reduces the noise of the clattering on a wooden desk. I type at 70+ wpm and I had to find
something to quieten the noise because it was annoying me...!
Alison Monckton, via email
I want to set up a Spreadsheet/Database so that I can call up the rows
presented in random fashion. Excel would be my preference but it appears that
one can only call up cells in a column in random fashion: this apparently
cannot be done for rows. I prefer to set up the database in Excel but would
consider setting up in a database package if random selection of fields in a
row were possible.
Jim Nolan, via email
Your correspondent might find the following meets his requirements.
Using Excel, insert a new column in the appropriate worksheet and fill each
cell in that column with the formula “=RAND()*100000” (without the quotes),
this will generate within each cell a random number greater than or equal to 0
but less than 100,000 (This column can later be hidden if required.)
To prevent the value in each cell being automatically re-generated
every time the Enter key is pressed, he could go to Tools then to Options,
select the Calculation tab and change Calculation from Automatic to Manual.
Pressing F9 at any time will instantly re-generate all the random numbers, when
required. Sorting the table (or selected rows) can now be performed by going to
Data, then to Sort and setting Sorting By to the column that contains the
Tony Kerr, via email
Mr Nolan can create a list of records, which are presented in a random
order fairly easily using Microsoft Access. In Access first create a table,
which contains the data he wants to use, make one field an AutoNumber field
called ID (Access normally does this automatically). Now create a new module
(or use an existing one if there is one) by selecting the Modules option in the
Database window and clicking on New. When the module code window opens click
Save and give the module a name (i.e. modRandom or whatever). Now click Insert
> Procedure and enter FetchNumber in the Name: field. Set the Type option to
Function and click OK. Enter the code below and save again.
Public Function FetchNumber(vRef) As Long
FetchNumber = Int((100000) *
Exit the module and select the Query window, click New and then OK to
start a new query. Add the table containing the data and select all the fields
that you want to display in the results. Then add a new column and enter 'RN:
FetchNumber([ID])' without the quotes in the Field: row and set the Sort: row
to Ascending. Save the query as qrySort (for example). Each
time you run the query the rows will be displayed in a different order.
You can attach the query to a list box on a form or to a report to display the
Peter Hibbs, via email
Try this: Randbetween(x,y) will produce a random number between x and
y. Index(am,bn,X,Y) will select cell X (row), Y (column) from array am, bn where a and b are the array columns and m and n are the rows.
Substituting Randbetween(x,y) for X or Y or both will select a cell in a random row
(or column or the whole array).
If you type =Randbetween(x,y) in
some cell outside the range of rows or columns you are using and substituting
numbers for x and y and then typing:
in some other cell (also outside the cell range) and substituting your column
range for X and Y this will give Xn:Yn were n is a random row. If this is in
(for example) A4 then typing =
average(indirect(A4)) in some other cell will give the average for the values
in columns X to Y row n.
Graham Revell, via email
Selecting random rows in Excel is done in two parts. First select a
cell (say A1) and use the function RANDBETWEEN (2,X) where X is the number of
rows in your spreadsheet. The next element is to insert the following small
macro in the Visual Basic Editor:
Dim Y, X As Integer
Y = Selection
X = Y
By clicking the function key F9 the value in cell A1 will change
randomly. Then by running the macro the
value in the cell A1 will be used to select the row.
Mike Horlock, Swindon, Wilts
CAN YOU HELP?
My wife and I flew on Concorde on the 31 May 1997. It was a flight that
commenced at Heathrow flying out over the North Sea. The flight was not only
memorable but a present from our son-in-law and daughter. Unfortunately I did
not record the Registration letters but seem to recall that the aircraft had
the name "Emma" painted below the cockpit on the port side, if my
recollection is correct. Is there anyway I can find out where this Concorde is
now at rest, be it the United States or elsewhere.
David C. Pattison, via email
I play guitar for my own pleasure but I can only play reading notation
or guitar tab. Is there a program that will enable me to insert a CD into my PC
which will then read that tune and convert it to either notation or guitar tab.
I know this is asking a lot but can anyone help?
A. L. Allen, via email