Ms. Compy Fix-It’s Disappeared Row…..

Ms. Compy Fix-It here, bringing you another episode of computer frustration resolution.  Today’s topic will be the random row that just won’t unhide.  You may have intentionally hid it, and now it’s causing you trouble because it’s just that shy.  Here’s what you can do:

  • If you’re like me and accidentally Froze Panes before freezing the actual panes you intended to, no combination of scrolling or resizing will work.  You’ll just need to go to Unfreeze Panes and you’re set.
  • In researching online I found a site that discribed a similar problem, but their cells actually wouldn’t resize….. check out here if that’s your problem.  Chances are you’ll need to hit F5 and go to the cell in the row that’s the problem (or just type it into the cell name field up top by your menus), Format Row Height (it’s under the Cells tab in 2007), and type 12.75.

That’s all folks.  Let me know if you have other instances where this happens, or if you have another problem altogether!  I’m all about the detective-iness.

Hope that helps!  🙂

PowerPoint Just Wants to Hurt Your Feelings

Hi all, Ms. Compy Fix-It here.

Today, I found a new suggested solution to my PowerPoint constantly crashing.  I had the problem where any editing of embedded charts/graphs using Excel would often cause it to freeze and require the computer to shut down PowerPoint and “try to recover data”.  Sometimes, it recovered all of it; other times, barely any.  I used to have this problem frequently with a computer that ended up having a hardware issue, so I used to blame that.  Then, I got a second-hand laptop to try, and boy, still a lot of crashes.  Finally, I get this, a barely-used HP beaut with big screen and presumably better system.  Well, guess what?

SO!  I figured I couldn’t be the only one, and did some more digging online….. my spec-i-al-i-ty!  (Wow, I just realized that was quoting one of my favourite childhood movies, The Neverending Story….. I heard the professor’s voice saying that, so I tried to spell it out accordingly.  haha I am a true geek.)

Sure enough, I found this site.  Again, thanks to Microsoft Answers, someone suggested getting this HotFix.  So far, so good.  I’ll report back if it’s junk, though  😉

One thing to note: if you do download this fix, make sure that your problem is exactly what is written in their description.  I don’t want you installing unnecessary patches for problems you may not have….. and also, be sure to follow their instructions (including backing up stuff).  I don’t want people to say I didn’t warn them in case it doesn’t work quite right.  I also did a System Restore point, though I don’t know what the difference is between that and a Backup, to be honest.  I just didn’t have any DVDs/time to run the backup, so I thought that was an okay alternative!  haha hey I never said I knew everything about computers….. heck, why do you think I’m Ms. Compy Fix-It?!

Anyways.  One other thing to note: for me, when I installed the fix, I got scared because when I went to my folder to retrieve a file I’d been working on, it was in PowerPoint Viewer!  I thought it did something to my program/deleted it or something, but all you need to do is right-click your file and go to “Open with…..” and it should give you a choice to select the Default Program, and your regular PowerPoint program should be there as an option.  Make sure to check the box, “Always use the selected program to open this kind of file” to ensure all the rest of your PowerPoint documents open as they normally did.

Happy PowerPointing!

Ms. Compy Fix-It: Adding Labels to Scatter (or any) Charts in Excel

Hi all, Ms. Compy Fix-It here, with another gem of a trick to help you.

So, I was working on some scatter plot charts in Excel, and needed to add labels.  As it is, when you click “Show Data Labels” in Excel, it gives you the two pieces of data in the form of coordinates.  Now, maybe that’s helpful for some people, but it is a lot more useful to me to actually describe each point in the form of a variable name.  I knew someone out there must have had the same thought, so I did a quick search which proved I was not alone.

Thanks to this site, I was referred to the program XY Chart Labeler, which did exactly what I was hoping: added labels to my data points.  You even have the option of where to place the labels, which I’m sure will be quite helpful too.

Hope this helps!

— Ms. Compy Fix-It

An Open (Passive-Aggressive) Letter to SPSS

Dear SPSS,

I just want to thank you.  Through your use, I have become more patient with humans, more sympathetic to other SPSS users, and more tolerant of my computer’s own delinquencies.

Thank you for being so essential in the workplace, yet being so difficult to use, decipher, and repair.  I am sure this makes me a more analytical and intelligent human being.

I appreciate your encouraging my independence by ensuring the only help I receive is via other posters on the internet desperately writing into the World Wide Abyss hoping by chance someone else a.) also had that problem, b.) was not still rocking back and forth in the fetal position, and c.) cared enough to post the solution.  Thank you for requiring a SPSS Survival Manual, SPSS for Dummies, and step-by-step books because you are too difficult to figure out by pure logic.

Thank you for preventing me from seeing the light of day.  Really, melanoma should not be taken lightly.

And finally, thank you SPSS creators, for ensuring that everyone who has not used your program will not possibly understand the difficulties and inexplicable behaviour which your program guarantees, thereby increasing our opportunities to develop ridiculously complicated work-arounds just to “find a way to get it done”.  This, I’m sure, has made me more in touch with my creative side.  I also have to wash less of my hair.

In all, thank you SPSS, for making me a better human being.  Now, with all due respect, please interpret my passive-aggressive letter as an upwardly-aimed central manual appendage displayed in your general direction.


Custom Tables in SPSS

Hi all, Ms. Compy Fix-It here to ask for some assistance.

When creating a Custom Table, I would like to select a variable for the column, Column N %, and a question for the rows.  Such a seemingly simple task works for other users, but when I run it, it stays at “Processing” eternally.  One difference I had compaired to someone whose SPSS was working properly, was that when I select Column N % in the Summary Statistics segment, he had the option “Apply to All” available, whereas mine is greyed out.


Any ideas?

Ms. Compy Fix-It: 1, HP Photosmart C4280 All-in-One.. machine thing: 0

Today’s episode comes at an opportune time with the holidays coming up and lots of pictures ready to be taken and uploaded. If you receive hard copies of pictures you’d like to scan, but are getting an error like “USB not connected”, read on.

So today I wanted to scan a page. Rare occurrence indeed! I press my Scan button. “USB not connected”. Really? I check; it is connected as I thought.

I investigate in my Control Panel Scanners and Cameras menu. No HP. I think maybe it’s a driver issue, so I move the USB to another port on my computer. It installs new hardware. I investigate in my Control Panel Scanners and Cameras menu again. Yay! — it’s there.

I press the Scan button again; “USB not connected”. Bastard.

This is where I use my wonderfully-toned research skills to scour the internet for other saps with the same problem…… seems like I’m not alone — not by a long shot.

Thanks to this support forum’s comments, I’ve found a way to scan in the meantime, just by opening Paint. Didn’t even occur to me to try it!   Click here if you want to read other people complain about this:

If you’re having the same issue as me, don’t worry if HP’s programming doesn’t let you scan….. just use a regular photo program to access the scanner.

Happy Holidays friends!

Ms. Compy Fix-It Needs a Better Compy

Ms. Compy Fix-It here, with another post of computer awareness.

The last few weeks have been stressful indeed, with multiple problems on my work computer creating suspicions that ranged from simple Anti-Virus issues to core hardware malfunctions. I don’t even want to admit the number of hours both my boyfriend and I have logged trying to fix this jerk (no offense compy, I mean no harm). Here is a list of some of the things we did to give you an idea:

  • uninstall Windows Defender.  Didn’t seem to help, so just deleted it.
  • uninstall McAfee entirely.  No subscription, so would only be good for scans, and I had other programs to do that.
  • made sure SpyBot and MalwareBytes didn’t have any resident applications running.  I had Avast, so decided to commit and keep those guys as scanners.  Besides, for some reason, SpyBot’s TeaTimer always used approximately 84,000K of Memory on this computer and I always had to Task Manager End Task it to oblivion.
  • checked all video drivers to make sure they were up-to-date.
  • uninstalled the video drivers and re-installed them just to make sure.
  • uninstalled Avast because at one point it said it wasn’t running, but when I clicked “start program” it didn’t do anything.  Re-installed Avast because frankly it’s worth it.
  • tried to use Internet Explorer in case it was a Firefox issue.  Seemed to have the same problems.
  • re-formatted.  Twice.
  • allocated nearly an entire 10 Gig partition to paging file.

So, the issues were as follows:

  • every few seconds, whenever I’m typing, the web browser (both Firefox and Internet Explorer) pauses, like it’s doing right now, and a few seconds later it catches up to what I’ve been typing.
  • sometimes when it does this, the whole browser goes non-responsive and a few seconds later usually comes back.
  • in other programs, like PowerPoint, certain things would cause the program to do the same thing.  For example, I remember specifically trying to change the colour of one bar in a chart and this happened.  That’s what made us wonder if it was a video driver issue.
  • scrolling would often pause the web browser and cause it to go non-responsive.

These may not seem like big issues, but a couple of times the non-responsive didn’t go away and had it not been for auto-recovery and auto-saving, I would have lost a whole heckuva lot of data.  Also, I can’t look when I’m typing or I’ll confuse myself as to what’s been typed (since it crashes and I can’t see what I’m actually typing in real-time).  That wouldn’t matter so much if I were writing posts all the time, or essays, or just typing a lot.  The problem is I’m often doing minor edits in presentations and I’m not sure if the program’s noticed my change or not, and it totally slows down my ability to work.  Also, it’s frustrating as heck.

Anyway, I started typing this because I found a site that claimed to have a solution that I wanted to test out and give kudos to, if it worked.  It did not.  No kudos to give today.  😦  Ms. Compy Fix-It needs your help.