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How to quit Excel and enter the 21st Century

 
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Kenneth_Smith



Joined: 18 May 2012
Posts: 499
Location: Hamilton, Lanarkshire, Scotland.

PostPosted: Mon Dec 07, 2020 7:05 pm    Post subject: How to quit Excel and enter the 21st Century Reply with quote

This may be of interest to some forum members (Dec 10, 2020 11:00 AM UK time)

https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_2dM5HehMRGuUIxntWDtz-Q
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LitusSaxonicum



Joined: 23 Aug 2005
Posts: 2240
Location: Yateley, Hants, UK

PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ken,

I'm at a loss to know why Python should be of interest to many Fortran users, but I could be wrong. Perhaps I should have watched.

I remember many years ago telling colleagues that teaching Algol-60 to civil engineering students was of little use, as they were unlikely any more to encounter a computer with that breed of Algol anywhere in industry. Fortran or Basic were the choices. They stayed the choices until the PC came along, and did so about the time that the BBC Model B was being touted as both the beginner's and professional's computer. The Head of Department intervened in the discussion, to say that Basic had to be the clear winner, because the Model B was in schools, and sometime quite soon, all the entrants would come in as proficient Basic programmers.

I laughed, and (equipped with the knowledge that my personal Apricot PC had come equipped with not only Basic, but also the Superwriter wordprocessor and Supercalc spreadsheet program) that for the simple listing and tabulating applications that were all the undergrad would normally get round to, both languages were dead. Anyway, a roomful of Model B computers were duly bought, and in the fullness of time they joined the scrapheap with the Commodore Pet and other such experimental purchases.

Which brings me to asking, does anyone know where it is possible to get Algol-60? I note that there are zillions of Basic compilers and interpreters out there, most of which are worth what they cost - especially the free ones.

I do wonder how many of the undergraduates ever programmed anything in their careers apart from in a spreadsheet, which these days almost certainly means Excel. The ones who joined engineering software houses seem to be still using Fortran.

Eddie
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Kenneth_Smith



Joined: 18 May 2012
Posts: 499
Location: Hamilton, Lanarkshire, Scotland.

PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eddie,

My post comes under the “anything that takes your fancy” category.

It’s not too late to register. Some of the items concerning data processing, visualisation, and optimisation may be of interest to some.

I don’t consider Python to be the tool of my choice, but it is very much in fashion, and I have found that small consultancy proposals by others to potential electrical engineering clients to use Python (or Excel) as a programming tool are viewed much more favourably than those I propose using Fortran. I get a bit irritated by this, particularly when there are intensive numerical computations “under the bonnet”, hence my interest in the webinar.

I will be interested to hear what is said for example about linear optimisation / constraint optimisation.

Ken
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Robert



Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Posts: 389
Location: Manchester

PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 4:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is some information here https://jmvdveer.home.xs4all.nl/en.algol-68-genie.html.
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LitusSaxonicum



Joined: 23 Aug 2005
Posts: 2240
Location: Yateley, Hants, UK

PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Robert,

Algol-68 is far too modern. It was on ICL 1900 series, and I cut my teeth on Algol-60 on Elliot 4120 machines.

Someone used to Algol-60 wouldn't necessarily recognise Algol-68 as the same thing. I didn't.

Eddie
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mecej4



Joined: 31 Oct 2006
Posts: 1557

PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2020 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the early 1970s I ran a few Algol-60 programs on a CDC 6600. The source code was elegant, but the compiled code was very slow running. Many great algorithms were published in journal articles, with Algol-60 codes included.
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wahorger



Joined: 13 Oct 2014
Posts: 1003
Location: Morrison, CO, USA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2020 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would be very interested in a course that talked to using the XML Excel interface. With something like that, tailored for my users, I could eliminate the most troublesome of steps in getting Excel data into and out of my software. Excel has its uses and there are a LOT of third-party products that can ingest Excel easily.

If anyone has done that using a "C" interface (ODBC?) with FTN95, I'd be very interested in talking with you!
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JohnCampbell



Joined: 16 Feb 2006
Posts: 2323
Location: Sydney

PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2020 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eddie,

Python has a large user-base, especially in University.
I think I should look at the feed.
My daughter asked if it is streamed so it could be viewed at a more convenient time !
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Kenneth_Smith



Joined: 18 May 2012
Posts: 499
Location: Hamilton, Lanarkshire, Scotland.

PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2020 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John,

"watch on demand" will be available afterwards:-

https://www.tneigroup.com/tnei-insights
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LitusSaxonicum



Joined: 23 Aug 2005
Posts: 2240
Location: Yateley, Hants, UK

PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2020 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John,

I'm sure it has. Lots of people do and believe what other people think are silly things. For example, some people drive on the right!

Life's too short to have a mission to list all the things that other people do that don't conform to someone else's alternative belief.

Perhaps I should have been more polite first time round. After all, I am when the Jehovah's Witnesses come calling.

Eddie
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mecej4



Joined: 31 Oct 2006
Posts: 1557

PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2020 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eddie may be on to something!

Decades ago, there was a tongue-in-cheek recommendation that we should drive on the left in the northern hemisphere (and on the right in the southern hemisphere) to decrease the prevalence of tornadoes, see

https://www.nytimes.com/1975/01/25/archives/4-researchers-link-us-tornadoes-to-driving-on-right-side-of-the.html
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LitusSaxonicum



Joined: 23 Aug 2005
Posts: 2240
Location: Yateley, Hants, UK

PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2020 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mecej4,

The world's great democracies drive on the left: Swedenc changed.

Well, at least the ones that don't believe that US Letter is a world standard paper size. So Canada is the exception that proves the rule.

Eddie
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jalih



Joined: 30 Jul 2012
Posts: 194

PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2020 6:48 pm    Post subject: Re: Reply with quote

wahorger wrote:
I would be very interested in a course that talked to using the XML Excel interface. With something like that, tailored for my users, I could eliminate the most troublesome of steps in getting Excel data into and out of my software. Excel has its uses and there are a LOT of third-party products that can ingest Excel easily.

If anyone has done that using a "C" interface (ODBC?) with FTN95, I'd be very interested in talking with you!


You could interface Excel using COM interop easily. I did that years ago but there was not much interest, so it remained just a experimentation...
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wahorger



Joined: 13 Oct 2014
Posts: 1003
Location: Morrison, CO, USA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2020 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have some users who would benefit from being able to access/import their data more quickly. They have spreadsheets that might be 750K+ records.

Can you provide me more details? I'd like to see if this can be useful for me and my customers.
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John-Silver



Joined: 30 Jul 2013
Posts: 1520
Location: Aerospace Valley

PostPosted: Fri Dec 25, 2020 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eddie wrote:
Perhaps I should have been more polite first time round. After all, I am when the Jehovah's Witnesses come calling.

... ahhhhh, so that's you at 1m33 Eddie ??? ,Smile
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDe9msExUK8
_________________
''Computers (HAL and MARVIN excepted) are incredibly rigid. They question nothing. Especially input data.Human beings are incredibly trusting of computers and don't check input data. Together cocking up even the simplest calculation ... Smile "
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