Google Forms and Excel, part 1

Google Forms is one of the most amazing free tools. You can use its very easy interface to create web forms, and whatever responses you get will be inserted into a worksheet for further use. I have used Google Forms for many purposes, and last time I had a need for it, it was extremely useful.

I was in the Army in 1984-85 (Finland still has a national service), and because it was now 30 years since our Reserve Officer School course, we had a reunion. Of course, finding all 798 members was impossible, but we managed to locate 220 alumni via various channels, such as Facebook, LinkedIn and email. I created an enrollment form for the reunion, and we had a very successful party in early June with 108 people. (more…)

IT Haiku Poetry

According to Wikipedia, a haiku  is a short poem which uses imagistic language to convey the essence of an experience of nature or the season intuitively linked to the human condition.

I have read haikus and as per the definition, they most often relate to nature. However, I think that our constant interaction with information technology sometimes brings out moments of searing clarity and other times a pensive mood, which can best be captured in the haiku format. Therefore I have tried my hand at creating some: (more…)

Word count Excel for authors

I never started writing after a conscious decision. Tulagi Hotel, my 134,000 word novel, came about after I chanced to write the first chapter at the office, over an extended coffee break, and with no intention of making it into a full-fledged book.

But when it was published, I found myself writing short stories. In a span of six months, I wrote 16 stories. At this time, I became interested in tracking the word counts of the stories. This is interesting for two reasons: most short story competitions have word limits, and it is nice to know the progress of your Work in Progress (WIP) files. Of course you can just note the word count and manually copy it to an Excel sheet, but I thought to make that process automatic. I will explain how, and also, share my file under the CC-BY-NC license. (more…)