Elisa's Blog
Friday, May 27, 2005
Blech. Today at work I had to use Excel. I hate that program. First of all, I never learned how to use it correctly, so I always have to look up the help section to do the simplest things such as adding a series of numbers together. I hate its plotting capabilities, and I hate that you have to input data onto the cells little by little, and change the font colors, and all these ugly little things that accountant types find fascinating.

Anyway, today I discovered that Excel doesn't do sums in hex. Or at least, that I couldn't get it to do it. So this required me to go looking around the office and appearing like a doofus asking my coworkers--"Do you know how to do sums in Excel?" and being all embarassed after getting the expected looks of supressed laughter.

I started feeling a little bit better, however, when two people I asked did not know the answer off the top of their heads (one even suggested what I had already thought after the first 30 seconds of frustration--"Why don't you export the data onto Matlab and hex sum it there and then import it back to Excel if necessary...but anyway, why do you bother with Excel if you can do your stuff in Matlab anyway, Excel sucks, you know?", etc.) and even better when the one person that does use Excel fairly regularly around here didn't know either.

As it turns out, to do hex sums in Excel, you need to first convert via a formula/macro thingy into a decimal, then add in decimal, then convert back to hex.

Blech, even your generic 5 dollar calculator can do this directly. It is such a basic function, adding in hex.

My friend to whom I complained of my adding number troubles pointed out when I said this: "Excel is a spreadsheet program for financial types. If you ask them to do hex numbers, they'd probably think you wanted them to curse them."

Well, for you non-hex financial types (and the people who poorly design programs for you), here's my message to you:

0xec5e15feeb1e like 0xdead5eaf00d

Not all financial types are critically challenged in the area of hex that, after applying the appropriate base transformations, conjuring up the correct helping ghoul, and mesmerizingly glossolalia-ize the relevant spell, cannot, minutes after performing the apropos rituals, figure out for the life of them that the message reads:

Junky qoph-flags vext crwd zimb
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