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March 2009 Archives

Data Analysis Pack Gone in Excel 2008 - Solver To The Rescue

Just in case you haven't already heard, Excel 2008 lost a great deal of functionality with the removal the Data Analysis Pack as a result of Microsoft's decision to drop VBA scripting in it's latest versions of Office for Mac.  

Academia was outraged and rightly so. Many universities and individual faculty rolled their Office 2008 installations back to Office 2004, to regain the critical, lost functionality or put upgrading on-hold until a solution could be developed. 

Fortunately, Microsoft's Mac Business Unit heard the message - loud and clear.  Frontline Systems, working with the Mac BU's support has created an AppleScript-based solution named "Solver" to return the missing functionality to Excel 2008 and released it last fall.

The best news, is that Solver works great and is available as a free download from Frontline Systems' website.  If you rolled back or stayed on Office 2004 or have been frustrated with Excel 2008's data analysis functionality, Solver for Excel 2008 is just what the doctor ordered.

Many thanks to Eastern's Dr. Ross Koning (Biology) for discovering this solution and bringing it to our attention.

Killer iPhone App - Kindle for iPhone

Got an iPhone or iPod Touch? Get Kindle for iPhone! Amazon's Kindle for the iPhone is now available free from Apple's App Store. In simple terms, Amazon's Kindle, recently upgraded to version 2, is a wireless electronic reading device. Over 240,000 electronic books for the Kindle are available from Amazon by download - no computer required.  The Kindle can connect, download and store over 1,500 books.  For a complete description, browse to the Kindle Overview on Amazon's website

The Kindle for iPhone app allows iPhone and iPod touch owners to read Amazon Kindle books purchased from a Mac, PC or IPhone using a web browser and then wirelessly transferred to the iPhone. As with the Kindle, you can read the first chapter of any book for free. In addition, your iPhone, through the Kindle App can sync with your Kindle seamlessly. That includes annotations and your bookmarks. Checkout Amazon's Frequently Asked Questions about Kindle for iPhone for more information.

Apple Releases Safari 4 Browser Beta

Apple released Safari 4 as a public beta today. Safari 4 has over 150 new features, many of which are unique, even ground-breaking.  Apple's browser comes in both Windows and Mac flavors which are nearly identical in both form and function.  Check out the Safari 4 features page on Apple's website for details and links to the free download.  

As with any beta, use extreme caution on and expect issues to arise.  For every day use, be sure you have another browser like FireFox, Opera, Camino or another proven, supported browser.

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