Patty Goes Geeky

A techno odyssey

Archive for December 2011

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Because my theme (as opposed to “resolution”) for 2012 is “experiment,” I reckon I may be posting more diligently to Patty Goes Geeky in the new year. Or not. Maybe experimentation will lead me in non-tech directions, instead.

In any case, there’s still an item left for 2011. As new secretary (somebody forgot her resolution to cycle off boards) of the Puget Sound Beekeepers Association, I needed to create a board mailing list for my Gmail account. After confirming preferred contact info for those who’d been emailed under multiple addresses (and tracking down through Facebook the last name for a new member I knew only by first name “Barnaby” — how many beekeeping Barnabys can there be in Seattle?), I had what I hope is a clean list to send to other board members.

Using my low-tech skills, I planned just to copy and paste my contact list. Nope, Gmail decreed. After consulting Help, I learned I had to create and export in CSV format. (CSV is comma separated values, a factoid of no relevance to getting this task done.) The instructions were useful only to a point (I was not saving to a disk), and then I had to muddle the rest.

I saw that Excel was an option, so created a spreadsheet and labeled the fields. Turns out I didn’t have ┬áto label the fields to export into; labeling was automatic. All I had to do was delete my first attempt (I exported all my contacts instead of the group I needed) and then hide the unneeded columns in my second attempt. After a couple tries at saving (the instructions about losing information depending on save-format were only moderately useful), my experiment was a success! I had an Excel spreadsheet I could email to my fellow bee-loving boardies.

Why “experiment” for my 2012 theme? The unformed desire to be at my age at-least-non-stuck-if-not-crazy-risky crystallized during this vacation time spent with my chef son. Will, whose Christmas list included both singing and welding lessons, coached me through home projects (e.g., a substitute for Diet Coke syrup being one) saying, “we’ll try it and then we can tinker with it.” His desire to learn and his fearlessness (singing lessons? when all of his genes would wail “lost cause”?) were inspiring to me.

Both my children are brave, smart, funny and passionate about their beliefs. They are my teachers.

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Written by geekypatty

December 29, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Posted in Misc Tech, Software