Add a sum calculator to Word

Handy for checking totals in tables when editing/proofreading, amongst other things.

This is for Word 2010, but I’m sure you can make it work for your own version.

  1. In Word, right click on an empty bit of the ribbon  Clicking on empty bit of ribbon
  2. Choose ‘Customize quick access toolbar’
  3. Choose ‘Commands not in the ribbon’
  4. Choose ‘Calculate’
  5. Click ‘Add’ so it appear in the list on the right
  6. Click ‘OK’

This puts the button right at the top in the quick access bar. You can also create a new Tab with its own entries if you like.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Let’s enter a few numbers in a Word document
  2. Select them. The button now changes from being greyed out to being green
  3. We click the button and the sum is shown in the information bar at the bottom (where things like word counts show up)
  4. If you want the number in your document, Ctrl-v or whatever to paste — so note that when you do the sum, it replaces your clipboard!

Seems to just do sums.

Word keyboard short cuts I find particularly useful, and a brief introduction to the spike

Note to self. Skipping really obvious ones like Ctrl+c, Ctrl+v, Ctrl+s, Ctrl+z (Ctrl+z, Ctrl+z, Ctrl+z, Ctrl+z, Ctrl+z, …)

Key combination What it does
Ctrl+Space strip off manual character formatting of highlighted text
Ctrl+q strip off manual paragraph formatting of current paragraph
Ctrl+Shift+n apply the normal style to highlighted text/current paragraph
Ctrl+Shift+8 toggle show/hide hidden characters (like the ¶ button)
Ctrl+Shift+e toggle track changes on/off
Ctrl+h open find/replace dialog (F5 for find only)
Ctrl+y redo
Shift+F5 visit the last 3 insertion points, cyclicly; if used immediately after opening a document, takes you to where you were working when you closed it
Shift+F3 cycle through cases (eg ALL UPPER) for the highlighted text
F8 select word/word/sentence/para/whole document with consecutive presses
Ctrl+F3 cut selected text to the spikea
Ctrl+Shift+F3 paste from the spike
Ctrl+hyphen optional hyphen (for line breaking)
Ctrl+Shift+Hyphen nonbreaking hyphen (for things like X-ray)
Ctrl+Shift+Space nonbreaking space (for things like J Smith) (HTML insiders, think  )
Ctrl + Keypad minus en rule (called an en dash by the vulgar)
Ctrl+Alt+Hyphen /
Keypad minus
might insert an em rule (does not seem reliable)
Ctrl+Shift+c copy formatting (like Format Painter) but does not forget after a single pasting
Ctrl+Shift+v paste formatting (like Format Painter) but does not forget after a single pasting
Alt+F9 toggle visibility of field codes
F4 repeat last action (Vim users, think of ‘.’)

a When you cut to the spike, the text is removed from the page. Let’s say you have 4 paragraphs A, B, C and D (could be other objects, images, tables). You highlight A and Ctrl+F3, then go elsewhere in the document and highlight B (Ctrl+F3) then C and D. The contents of the spike is now all 4 paragraphs.
You go to your insertion point and hit Ctrl+Shift+F3, and each paragraph is pasted on its own line, in the order A, B, C, D.

You can use the spike to make extracts, reorder paragraphs, and so on. It’s not like the copy buffer.

  • You cut, not copy, to the spike — the text is gone from the page(s).
  • When you paste from the spike using Ctrl+Shift+F3, the spike is empty; you can’t past multiple copies of the same contents (of course, once you’ve pasted the spike contents back in, you can Ctrl+c/Ctrl+v all you like). You can paste multiple times using the ‘Insert → Quick Parts → Autotext’ menu. Why? I don’t know.
  • Smart (ie dumb) selection in Word will, unless you are careful, grab the paragraph marker at the end of  paragraph. Because the spike pastes things on their own line it creates new paragraph markers, and, this will cause empty lines between blocks when you paste. You can (i) live with it (ii) turn off smart select (iii) use the keyboard or careful back-and-forth with the mouse to avoid cutting the marker. Of course, if you don’t cut the marker, you’ll have empty lines where the selections were, if they were whole paragraphs…
  • If you can be bothered, you can find out how to view the contents of the spike before pasting. Google is your friend here or, seeing we’re talking Microsoft Word, maybe Bing. The phrase ‘Insert → Quick Parts’ comes to mind, though that might be a euphemism for something…

Wordy McWordface

a new tree


This is my latest painting project – it’s meant to be a brittle gum, which there are lots of in this area.  The trunk and branches were freehand, and I traced the leaves from ones I picked from trees outside. It didn’t quite come out how I wanted it, but I don’t mind much. The plan is for a wedge-tailed eagle next, circling up high. There are a lot of them around here, and I don’t think I will ever stop finding them extraordinary to watch.    WIN_20200327_17_43_39_Pro

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My top gopher sites

Note: possibly the easiest way to browse gopherspace is to install OverbiteWX Firefox extension.

Gopher via your web browser:

Useful front page, including link to Veronica search engine: gopher://

Go straight to Veronica search: gopher://

News of various kinds (gopher portal to news sites like BBC and CNN): gopher:// This excellent page appears to be dead.

Gopher(wiki)pedia: gopher://

Weather (in Australia) via Floodgap: gopher://

Project Gutenberg: gopher://

CTAN: gopher://

Telefisk (all kinds of stuff — a big Dilbert collection, too): gopher://

Qualitative Idiosyncratic Xenodochium: gopher://

CNN: gopher://

Here’s the link part of .gopherrc (not quite the same as the above list…)

Name=Search the gopherspace using Veronica II
Name=Text News
Name=Weather forecasts for Australian Capital Territory
Name=Gopherpedia, the gopher interface to Wikipedia
Name=Project Gutenberg In Gopherspace
Name=Cocktails Home
Name=Root menu:
Name=Floodgap Gopher Fun and Games
Name=Raspberry Pi of Death Gopherhole

I can’t gopher that (no can do) — Sophos detected a ‘Virus/spyware’

For what it is worth, Sophos detected Malware, Mal/EncPk-NST in a download from — their driver installer, DevID_agent_installer_3130031232.exe.

I’ve always thought these driver installer ‘solutions’ were dodgy, and likely to be vectors for malware and worse.

I have done no more to verify the detection.



197X Remington Ten Forty: meh

Serial number #HY684632

The back panel says made in Holland, the case is made in Western Germany, and inside the plastic body it says made in Italy. so I guess the mechanism is from Holland, the body from Italy and the case from Germany. A true pan-European machine. Cannot give year because the database does not allow Ten Forty serial numbers to begin with HY. I would guess 1973. A$5 (about US$3.40.) Would not have paid $10.

Works all right.

Cream coloured portable typewriter -- rather uninteresting

It’s a pretty basic machine to look at, though it does have tabs and ribbon selector.

The character set — nothing remarkable.

Grey and boxy

The case is large for the size of the machine, rendering it less portable than it might be.

Where do they get the names? ’10-40 little buddy.’

View from the back

Remingtons with the brand name written in this font, with ‘Sperry’ on them — I’ve never met a good one…

Side view

A plastic lump.

On the whole, I have never been impressed by Remingtons, though I get the feeling that the older they get the better they get. I have a couple of Smith-Coronas, a Clipper from the 50s and a SuperSpeed from the 40s, and both are superb. Olympias seem very solid. Hermes too, though I find the 3000 a bit mushy. My little Facit is awesome. But I have decided that Remingtons are, despite their fame, not quite up there. On the other hand, my old Remington was a mess and barely works, and my others are newer, cheaper European productions, so perhaps I don’t really know them yet.

Call me a heretic.

Wheezy to Jessie to Stretch to Buster

Well, my main HDD literally burned. Hot wires, a room full of smoke — a short somewhere. So I found the problem, replaced some cables, and put the old hard drive back in, but it is Debian 7 (Wheezy). I know I probably ought to do a clean install, but this is an experiment. Let’s see what happens.

Step 1 was do an upgrade of existing — first change the repositories to archive.

$ cat /etc/apt/sources.list
deb wheezy main contrib non-free

Then (as root, or [preferred!] using sudo [see commment at end of post by kenunixguy]):

# apt-get update
# apt-get upgrade
# apt-get dist-upgrade
# apt-get autoremove
# dpkg --audit

The following packages are missing the md5sums control file in the
database, they need to be reinstalled:
gcj-jre-headless Java runtime environment using GIJ/classpath (headless ve
latex-cjk-all installs all LaTeX CJK packages

# apt-get --reinstall install gcj-jre-headless latex-cjk-all

Now audit looks good. Backup.

Change /etc/apt/sources.list

$ cat /etc/apt/sources.list
#deb wheezy main contrib non-free

deb jessie main contrib non-free
deb-src jessie main contrib non-free
deb jessie-updates main contrib non-free
deb-src jessie-updates main contrib non-free
# apt-get update

All relevant partitions are r/w — yes.

Since I want to end up with current, which mean going 7 → 10, I am going to remove a whole lot of stuff, then reinstall what I want on a ‘when I need it’ basis, to get a leaner install, once I have a current base system.

# apt-get remove texlive* && apt-get autoremove

That gets rid of most of it!

A few other ones removed and autoremoved and we’ve saved quite a few GB of downloads. Don’t kill anything that’s going to wipe out networking!

Then got it such that everything was up to date and audit looked good.

# apt-get upgrade
# apt-get dist-upgrade
# apt-get autoremove
# dpkg --audit

Worked fine.

Then checked audit again and all nice and clean, so replaced ‘jessie’ with ‘stretch’ in sources.list and

# apt-get update
# apt-get upgrade
# apt-get dist-upgrade

Chucked an error, or maybe more.

# apt-get -f install

Did a bunch more stuff, but ultimately got 5 errors — rsyslog, networkmanager* avahi-daemon

Tried removing rsyslog.

# apt-get remove rsyslog

Ok. But other errors remain. Removed avahi-daemon, but hesitant to remove networkmanager stuff, since I am ignorant of how all that works.

What the hell.

# apt-get remove [remaining offending packages]

Audit looks good.

# apt dist-upgrade

Changed from apt-get to apt. Worked fine but on reboot I did not have networking. I was not surprised by this! The infrastructure is there, it is just not being automatically managed by networkmanager, but I can start it up myself — note, I have a wired connection.

# ifconfig -a
# ifconfig eth0 up
# dhclient eth0
# ping

All good.

Then checked audit again and all nice and clean, so replaced ‘stretch’ with ‘buster’ in sources.list and…

# apt update

And away we go again.

# apt upgrade
# apt autoremove
# dpkg --audit
# apt dist-upgrade

Well, that seemed to work!

Using UNIX ‘find’ to search for files — the absolute basics

Friend, colleague, Mac user, complains Mac file search is broken. Put this together to help them use the command line instead. They are essentially a GUI user.

The find command can do very many things, some quite complicated. For our purposes, we just want to use it to search for files in a tree of directories. find will search all directories that are within a specified directory.
Here is a suggested procedure.

(1) Open a terminal – this is left as an exercise for the reader.

(2) Type pwd at the prompt (I will use $ to represent the prompt) and hit Enter. pwd tells you where you are now in the file tree. For example, if I do it now on my computer, I get this:

$ pwd

You will get something different.

(3) Use the cd (change directory) command to move to the region of the file tree you want to search. For example, I can move to /home and then check that I am there:

$ cd /home
$ pwd

(4) Now, you can search for the files. The form of a find command is:

$ find <directory> <flag> <pattern>

We have fixed the <directory> part by cding to where we want to search. On the command line ‘.’ means ‘current directory’. We want to find files by name, so we use the ‑name flag, and then our search text. So:

$ find . -name zmc

will find all files in the current file tree that are called ‘zmc’, and show me their paths (it turns out there are none). It will not find ‘ZMC’, ‘Zmc’, ‘zmcd’ etc. It will find an exact match. If I want ‘ZMC’ I search for ‘ZMC’ not ‘zmc’.

(5) Let’s say we wanted to search for InDesign files. That is, files whose names end in (lower case) ‘indd’. We run:

$ find . -name "*indd"

(Note the double quotes – this is a good habit). The ‘*’ means ‘anything’, so this will find all files that end in ‘indd’. For example, if I change my ‘zmc’ search to ‘zmc*’ I get more results:

$ find . -name "zmc*"

(6) I can specify more detail to narrow my search. For example:

$ find . -name "zmc*mod"

So now I have found files starting with ‘zmc’ and ending in ‘mod’.

(7) A ‘?’ stands for any 1 character, so for example:

$ find . -name "fr?d"

The leading ‘./’ means they are in my current directory – the one I cded into.

The ‘?’ demands a character.

$ find . -name "fr?d?"

finds nothing because none of the file names has a fifth character. On the other hand, ‘*’ matches any number of characters, including none:

$ find . -name "fr?d*"

(8) I can use as many ‘?’ as I like:

$ find . -name "?r?d"

All of ‘Grid’, ‘fred’, ‘frad’ and ‘frod’ match the pattern. ‘????’ would match all four-character file names. Similarly:

$ find . -name "fr?d????"

The four ‘?’ match ‘.icn’ but nothing else.

(9) I can change the flag ‘-name’ to ‘-iname’ where you can think of the ‘i’ as meaning ‘insensitive’. This is not a search done by a man, but one that is case insensitive. So I can repeat an earlier search but with this flag:

$ find . -iname "zmc*"
(etc etc etc!)

Note that find also matches paths (that is, directory names). ‘./username/installs/ZMC’ is a directory.

(10) You can replace the ‘.’ in the find command with the path to the directory you want to search, rather than cding into the directory. For example:

$ find /home -iname "*.docx"

This will find anything within /home ending in ‘.docx’, ‘.DOCX’, ‘.dOCx’, ‘DoCx’, etc.

(11) If you get too many results, you can deal with this in several ways. Making the search more specific is one. One is by adding ‘| more’ to the end of your command (‘|’ is the vertical bar character, called a pipe):

$ find /home -iname "*.docx" | more

You can pipe the output of find through the grep command. It will pick out results that match another criterion.

$ find /home -iname "*.docx" | grep -i "draft"

(again, ‘i’ means insensitive). This will find results that have ‘.docx’ on the end and ‘draft’ somewhere else. This is handy because you can use it to select based on directory rather than file name. It would find files ending in ‘.docx’ that either have ‘draft’ in the name of the file or in the name of the path (or both).


Thus endeth the lesson.

Stones — good songs on ordinary albums

Whether the last great Stones album was Blue & Lonesome, Tattoo You, Some Girls or Exile, one thing can be agreed upon; most of the records since Exile have been uneven, and a few are pretty ordinary. For sure, at least they have Charlie’s drums on them, but sometimes even that’s not enough. So — that’s what this random post is about, good (or at least interesting) songs on the lesser albums since 1972. And not the singles! They crop up on innumerable ‘best of’s … nobody needs to have ‘Angie’ mentioned to them.

Let’s go chronologically through the post-Exile era.

Goats Head Soup

I’ve made my comments on this record. A Stones fan really can’t be without ‘Star star’. ‘Winter’ and ‘Coming down again’ are good ballads, though the latter drags a bit too much to make the cut. I kind of like ‘Silver train’, mainly for some vocal hooks and some honking geetar; kind of like Exile-lite.

OK, three tracks for our deep cuts anthology — ‘Star star’ and ‘Silver train’.

It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll

‘Fingerprint file’ is the lay down misere here. Everything else is OK but not notable enough to pick out.

Black and Blue

The singles were ‘Fool to cry’ and ‘Hot stuff’ which means my selections here are ‘Hand of fate’ and ‘Memory motel’.

Some Girls — does not qualify as an ‘ordinary’ album.

Emotional Rescue

‘Down in the hole’ is a kind of dirty bluesy growl of a song, and all the better for it. ‘All about you’ is effective if you’re patient — it’s Keith getting snarky at Mick — pretty unfairly, I’ve always thought, since Mick carried the band through the 70s when Keith’s heroin habit made him a liability. The whole first side is pretty ordinary.

Tattoo you — too strong an album for this list.


With ‘Undercover’, ‘She was hot’ and ‘Too much blood’ as the singles, there’s not much left. Nothing makes the cut.

Dirty Work

I like this album more than I should. So… ‘Sleep tonight’ and ‘Had it with you’, with close-calls for ‘Too rude’ (Keith reggae) and the title track.

Steel Wheels

There’s a a bit of rather generic stuff on here. As a result, the less rocky tracks jump out. ‘Blinded by love’ with its harmonium and snide lyrics, ‘Break the spell’ is filler, but has a good feel, with some nice dobro, and ‘Continental drift’ with Brian’s Moroccan pipes. Best rockers (remember, we’re ignoring singles) are ‘Sad sad sad’ and ‘Hold on to your hat’, but they’re a bit too generic, so we just pick one.

Voodoo Lounge

Too many tracks — the curse of the 80 minute CD. I like ‘The worst’, ‘Moon is up’, and maybe ‘Blinded by rainbows’ on the extended version. ‘Baby break it down’ seems to be a comment on the Jagger/Richards conflict. The best rockers were singles, so don’t make this list.

Bridges to Babylon

Extremely uneven. I cannot listen to ‘Might as well get juiced’ but I really would not want to be without ‘You don’t have to mean it’, ‘How can I stop’ and ‘Flip the switch’. All these sound like Keith tracks to me.

A Bigger Bang

I find this album dull. I don’t think it is as good as the reviews have it. I quite like the bluesy ‘Back of my hand’, and of the other non-singles, ‘Let me down slow’ is a nice tune with some decent lyrics — Jagger has been pretty lazy with lyrics for a long time.

Blue and lonesome — too strong an album for this list.

My list betrays a liking for the tuneful rather than riff-ful — hence few tracks from It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll, which has plenty of riffage, right from the opener. I like a good rocker, but not one that chugs, one that swings.

Keith is overrepresented on vocals, probably because he valued his few contributions and so wanted them to count. Even the lesser Keith songs have a sense of him meaning them that is missing from a lot of the Stones’ output.


  1. ‘Star star’
  2. ‘Silver train’
  3. ‘Fingerprint file’
  4. ‘Hand of fate’
  5. ‘Memory motel’
  6. ‘Down in the hole’
  7. ‘All about you’
  8. ‘Sleep tonight’
  9. ‘Had it with you’
  10. ‘Blinded by love’
  11. ‘Break the spell’
  12. ‘Sad sad sad’
  13. ‘Continental drift’
  14. ‘The worst’
  15. ‘Moon is up’
  16. ‘You don’t have to mean it’
  17. ‘How can I stop’
  18. ‘Flip the switch’
  19. ‘Back of my hand’
  20. ‘Let me down slow’

What the running order might be I don’t know. Chronology does not seem to quite cut it. Anyway, that’s an exercise for the reader, especially in the age of ‘shuffle’. But you’d have to end with ‘How can I stop’, I reckon.


Gopher on Cygwin

Searching for ‘gopher’ in Cygwin setup.exe gives nothing.

We’ll start with gopherus

(1) $ apt-cyg install libSDL2-devel libSDL2_2.0_0
(2) Download source from
(3) $ tar xvzf gopherus-1.1.tar.gz
(4) $ cd gopherus-1.1
(5) $ cp Makefile.lin Makefile
(6) $ make
(7) ./gopherus-sdl or ./gopherus
(8) More usefully:
$ ./gopherus-sdl gopher://

Left: reading the Guardian; right: Gopherus home page

Left: gopherus-sdl, right: gopherus in the terminal

Comments: The only real problem I have with gopherus is the lack of bookmarking. Otherwise, it seems very simple and effective, and extremely easily compiled for a range of systems. ‘make install’ does nothing, but use ln to make a link in your ~/bin directory and all is well.

But it is a quick solution