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.

Ms. Compy Fix-It’s PowerPoint Oddity

Hi, it’s Ms. Compy Fix-It again.

About a week ago, I discovered an oddity in PowerPoint 2007. I received a file from my boss that I was to work on that had many text boxes with bulleted points in them. Sometimes when I would hit Enter to get a new bullet, and tab to make it a sub-bullet, when I went to type, it shifted me to a blue-background off-screen, where my typing was now one letter per line, typing vertically. I have no idea what made it do this, but my traditional methods of fixing it (format painting from a text box that was working; backspacing and trying again; backspacing, deleting, and trying again; moving the tab stop over manually; removing all formatting; clearing all indents; centering, then re-left-justified-ing to reset the paragraph format; creating a new text box and copy-pasting the current text and trying again…..) ….. did not work.

My boss has acknowledged she is not great with computers, but I find it hard to believe she did this — it seems more like an incompatibility of something to me. It’s possible she was using a file from one of the partners who have Macs.

Does this sound familiar to anyone? Does anyone know how to fix it without just creating a brand new text box and re-writing the text?

Ms. Compy Fix-It Needs Help

My issue: Windows 7 computer (for work) often stalls when I’m typing. I can continue to type even though I don’t see anything showing up, and a couple of seconds later it catches up. Sometimes when this is happening, my web browser (Firefox, updated) goes non-responsive for a few seconds, then clears up. Occasionally, it will crash entirely. Other problems include when I’m working on a PowerPoint presentation, I will be doing a non-difficult task, like changing the colour of a bar on a chart, and it will freeze. Sometimes it will crash my program; other times it just takes a while.

I have 3GB of RAM, have a decent-sized paging file, and have run multiple diagnostics tests on it. I reduced my number of anti-virus programs so only one is running at a time (Avast is running, and I have McAfee, SpyBot, and MalwareBytes installed). I have done an msconfig and unchecked all non-Microsoft programs to run at Startup, and I still have the same problem.

I am at the point where I have to look away from the screen as I’m typing, because I don’t see my words coming up and don’t want to wait every few seconds for it to catch up. Seriously, it happens every few seconds.

Any advice?

The Sweetest Geek Dedication Ever

I have used SpyBot software for many years.  I generally like the product, and it’s saved my computers from many problems.  But the one thing that’s always touched me was the dedication in the License Agreement:

I. Freeware
First of all, the reasons why Spybot-S&D is free:

I.a. Dedication
Spybot-S&D is dedicated to the most wonderful girl on earth 🙂

I.b. Binary
What do you get if you buy software? Lots of ones and zeros, nothing more. If they were distributed as art, I could understand paying it. But if the main goal of their order is to earn money – by fees or ads – I don’t like it!

I.c. Conclusion
This means that I grant you the license to use Spybot-S&D as much as you like. But if you like it, I ask two things of you: say a prayer for me (and the most wonderful girl while you’re at it 😉 ) to your god – or whatever you believe – and wish us some luck.

So kudos to them, and all the best 🙂

Solution for “SPSS Error Code 2063 Getting Data”

Hello all.

Just troubleshot (haha) my way out of an SPSS issue, and since the Interwebs couldn’t help me out, I’ll post it here for anyone else who might need it.

I was trying to import an Excel file that was basically a copy and paste from a different file.  So the file itself was pretty new, not like it’d been worked over a lot.  I tried to import it, however, and got the following error message:

/SHEET=name ‘RawData’
>Error.  Command name: GET DATA
>(2063) Error reading information for sheet.
>* Sheet Name: “RawData”
>This command not executed.

The error, as I could figure out, was probably due to me having calculations lower down in my sheet.  I copied and pasted values into a brand new sheet, and that imported just fine.  If you’re having the same issue, try copy and pasting Values only into a new sheet and see if that helps.

The More You Know…..  😉