Excel dorkiness

Posted in Art, Hacking, Random thoughts at 11:44 pm by ducky

I stumbled across this old post by Anil Dash where he mentioned that almost all of his geeky friends have at some point made an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of something really obsessive:

Perhaps the ultimate example of this sort of dorkiness is the fact that almost every one of my friends has, at one point or another, made at least one Excel spreadsheet to document some arcane aspect of their lives. The number of consecutive sunny days, the types and prices of the cups of coffee they drink, or just straightforward charts about their boss’s mood. There’s no end to the ways one can misuse desktop applications in one’s personal life.

I read that and thought, “Huh. I certainly haven’t done anything like that.”

Um. But then I remembered that I had generated a list of the world’s writing systems, with the likeliest start/stop usage dates, the lat/long of where it was first used, how many people currently use it, who created it (if known), and samples of characters in that system (if I could find them, and I usually could). Oh.

And then my husband pointed out that I also have enumerated various California prisons, their lat/long, the type of facility (state pen, federal pen, county jail, etc.), and how many inmates it has. Oh.

But I can honestly say that I have never used Excel to keep track of these obsessions.

I used gnumeric and oocalc.

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