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Wise Owl's monthly (ish) news tweet  |  Issue 45 - May 2021

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

Install ZoomIt to enable zooming and drawing on-screen for any Windows application

How did we not know about this Windows utility?  Forget PowerPoint: ZoomIt lets you zoom in and out in any Windows application, draw on top of the screen and even show a rest timer.  ZoomIt replaces the Windows magnifier, whiteboard and PowerPoint presentation manager, and you can invoke it with a single short-cut key.  Oh, and it's free!

Do pythons eat owls? Find out on our new three-day Python programming course

We're finally seizing Python by the tail!  Our first three-day Introduction to Python programming course runs online in early September, with classroom courses following shortly afterwards (it takes a long time to write our course manuals, notes and exercises).  We're determined that you'll learn not just how to program in Python, but how to achieve things (including working with databases, analysing data and scraping websites). You can see details of all of our Python courses here.

Two new bugs to catch you out in SQL and Power BI, and their solutions

We've come up against two horrible new bugs in the last month.  In SQL Server Management Studio we've had Intellisense fail and red squiggly lines appear under columns - here's the solution - and Power BI keeps coming up with a message about failing to decrypt credentials, which can be removed like this.

The April Power BI update makes it easier to load data from Excel and text files, and to use shapes!

This month's Power BI update is worth installing.  You can train Power BI in how to load text or CSV files, take suggestions for loading data from Excel and add a range of new shapes (and even add text, glow, shadow and rotation effects to them).

This month's competition - write a film synopsis to compete with existing Wise Owl movie reviews

Many readers of this newsletter will be familiar with Andy Gould's movies database, and the amusing - if slightly cynical - film synopses it contains.  For this month's competition, we're inviting you to submit your own humorous review for one of the 2000+ films in our list.  The review received by the end(ish) of May which we consider best will win a £50 Amazon voucher.  Trigger your inner Mark Kermode here!

Last month's competition

Last month's Easter quiz was harder than previous ones, with people getting an average of about 13 out of 20 questions correct.  You can see the winner plus some analysis of the questions here.

Fancy a modular laptop whose parts you can replace? Or a laptop which doubles as a fish tank?

Continuing our series of eccentric laptops, a company called Framework are launching a modular laptop, each of whose parts you can swap in and out (it even comes with its own screwdriver).  Too sensible?  How about a laptop which doubles as a fishtank?

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