Friday, September 27, 2013

How to Revert Chrome's New Tab Page

How to Solve It

If you just want to solve this, here you go. If you don't know what the problem is, jump down to Chrome's Bad New Tab Page Update below.


Visit chrome://flags

Ctrl+F for "Instant"

Set both "Instant..." settings to Disabled

Chrome asks you to Relaunch it. Do so.

Chrome's Bad New Tab Page Update

Chrome used to have a great New Tab page: the top 8 sites you visit appeared every time you'd open a new window or tab, with nice big buttons scaled to whatever size screen you were on. For those of us who used it, rather than having as our homepage - Google appears to have decided we must be mistaken, and has turned the New Tab page into the homepage. The top 8 sites are now stuffed into a tiny area below - on small screens they end up below the fold, and on large screens they're miniscule compared to their former selves.

There's also no undo/disable/revert clearly visible. But it turns out there is a way to fix it buried in Chrome.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Getting Formulas to Stick in Google Spreadsheets

I admit I overuse Google Spreadsheets - I use it for all my estimates, tracking tasks, many things I should use much better task-specific tools for.

With that admission out of the way, my overuse leads me to frequently setting up a spreadsheet like this, where some number of columns are being summed into row 2. The obvious way to sum something like that is:


Then hope you never hit 1000 rows. Smart spreadsheeters will note you can do better than hope with a bit of a weirdo syntax:


Which sums everything from B3 down, infinitely. But that still doesn't solve the problem I run into: Someone, sometimes me, adds a row to the top of the spreadsheet, right at row 3, and Google Spreadsheets unhelpfully, silently, "fixes" my formula for me:


My sum is now off by just a little, and if it's a big spreadsheet I am not going to notice. Terrible things have come of this. Strangely Google Spreadsheets even screws up attempts to prevent this, like =sum(B$3:B) - it still "fixes" the range when you add a row, breaking the range. So, to solve it, you basically have to trick Google Spreadsheets into not trying to be smart, with an indirect function:


By stuffing the cell range into a string and then using indirect to pass that to sum, you can add rows to the top all you like, and the B3:B range holds. Take that Spreadsheets.