Wise Owl's quarterly (ish) news tweet  |  Issue 13 - May 2014

The items included in this newsletter are listed below. Our newsletter go out about 3 times a year - if you'd like to subscribe, just let us know!

How Excel workbooks really work

Excel workbooks must be complicated, mustn't they?  Actually, no: they're just zipped XML files, as this blog proves.  It's a bit disillusioning - like finding that IPhones are really just made of cardboard, or that UKIP is just a collection of reactionaries ...

New ASP.NET MVC training course

We're developing our new website entirely using ASP.NET MVC, and love it so much that we thought it was time that we provided training in MVC too (the MVC stands for Model-View-Controller, if you're wondering).  We've finally accepted that C# is beating VB hands down in the marketplace, and so will be running this course using C# only.  The first course is published for September, and if you don't know C# you could always attend our two-day introduction to C# course beforehand.

Play Flappy Owl in VBA

Perhaps you were one of the millions of people who got addicted to Flappy Bird, and led to developer Dong Nguyen pulling the app?  If you're suffering from withdrawal symptoms, you might consider playing Flappy Owl, developed by senior Wise Owl trainer Andy Gould.  The graphics aren't as slick, but given that it was developed entirely within Excel using VBA it's remarkable that it works at all.  Download the app and find out how it works at Andy's blog page, or watch a video on YouTube giving more details.

A warm welcome to Shaun

It's a tad late (he's been working at Wise Owl for over 3 months now), but we'd like to officially introduce Shaun to the world (Shaun has filled the vacancy left by Michael's departure).  You can see a thumbnail sketch of Shaun - both literally and figuratively - here.

Quora: a pleasant way to waste time

You're probably familiar with Yahoo Answers, with slightly iffy answers to not-very-interesting questions.  Quora is a different kettle of fish altogether (that's assuming that people still use that expression).  What myths do we most commonly realize are false in our 20s?  How do people work 80-100 hours a week and not get burnt out?  What can I learn right now in just 10 minutes that could be useful for the rest of my life?  The answers are all there on Quora, and pretty good they are too: you get the impression that there are philosophers, mathematicians and psychologists just waiting to share their wisdom!

What would the lift say?

If you haven't already seen it yet, the Intellivator is a video worth watching.  Made by Ylvis (the Norwegian duo who gave us "What does the fox say?"), this is MUCH funnier.  The video features a voice-activated lift which talks back, confuses answers and delivers people to random floors - and on one occasion asks a passenger to complete a quiz before it will deliver her to the floor of her choice. 

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