Excel Pivot Table Missing a Column from Source Data?

I have a large spreadsheet I’ve gotten from a colleague.  To help categorize it for a pivot table, I added a column which is “group”.  I then added a table in a different sheet that mapped people to groups – and used the VLOOKUP function in the “Group” column to lookup the group from the…

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Bruce Springsteen and Fred Brooks on Design

I’ve just been listening to Ed Norton interviewing Bruce Springsteen at the Toronto Film Festival earlier this fall at the premiere of the movie “The Promise: The Making of ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town’”.  One of the comments Springsteen made in the interview reminded me of a point that Fred Brooks made at the…

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Windows 7 Homegroup and Domain

For a consulting project, I recently had to join my laptop to an Active Directory domain at a client’s workplace.  Suddenly, my home computers can no longer see the computer.  I found that the laptop could see shared items on my home network, though. I went to the “Network and Sharing Center” to see if…

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Outlook 2010 Always Trying to Send Messages

I noticed a while ago that my Outlook 2010 connected over IMAP to my company email and Outlook Connector for MSN to my personal Hotmail account was always in the process of trying to send messages – even when I hadn’t written a message.  This started causing more problems as things would sit in my…

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Serializing to XML

I’m doing some performance testing on Azure tracing to figure out the overhead of trace statements in code, especially when the tracing level is such that the statement does nothing – but clearly it has to do something to figure out to do nothing.  So I have a simple Worker Role that calculates the 10,000th…

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Virtual Memory and Performance

There’s an interesting article about performance of server apps in the July 2010 Communications of the ACM somewhat provocatively titled “You’re Doing It Wrong”.  In it, Poul-Henning Kamp, the architect of an HTTP cache called Varnish, describes the “ah ha!” moment (on a night train to Amsterdam, no less) where he realized that traditional data…

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Outlook Mailing Addresses

To fix a problem with a corrupted Outlook profile, I created a new profile which caused all my Contacts to be initialized from my Windows Live account.  Pretty much everything came in OK, but one of the annoying things is that the “default mailing address” isn’t set right.  For whatever reason, Outlook doesn’t just do…

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Help With Outlook Connector Errors (80004005 and 4350)

I use the Outlook Connector for MSN to access my MSN mail, calendar and contacts in Outlook 2010.  I also have a separate SMTP/POP account for my business which I read in Outlook.  It’s nice to have all the email in one place so I don’t miss things.  Windows Live Mail is a good program…

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Distributed Development, or Working Remotely

I’ve come across a good new blog, Coding Horror, written by Jeff Atwood, one of the founders of one of my favorite coding sites, Stack Overflow.  In reading through some of the older posts, I came across one that is close to my heart which is on working remotely, or what we at Microsoft called…

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Using Custom Performance Counters with Windows Azure Services

Windows makes available a wide variety of performance counters which of course are available to your Azure roles and can be accessed using the Azure Diagnostics APIs as I described in my recent MSDN article on Windows Azure Diagnostics. However, it can be useful to create custom performance counters for things specific to your role…

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