How to Change Times into Decimal Hours in Excel

Today, I decided to change the way that I did my billing. I wanted to record different classes and have an Excel spreadsheet calculate the difference between the start time and end time of the class to get the duration. Great! But billing works on decimals, not necessarily hours and minutes. So I went in search of a way to take a time, such as 9 hours and 30 minutes and change it to 9.5 hours. You’d think this was an easy task. Not so! I found the solution here. Maybe Microsoft will consider making this a function of itself in its future versions. The real trick is to make sure that the destination cell is in General Format. Worked like a charm.

How to Change Times into Decimal Hours in Excel.

External Hard Drive Problems

So, I’m pretty good at solving most technical difficulties. And, like most I turn to Google and have done a pretty extensive search. However, here are so many forums out there, I don’t know where to post it, so, I’m hoping that I can get some assistance here.

I am running Windows 7. I have an external portable hard drive from Transcend (500 GB). I also have a Western Digital external hard drive (2 TB). I’m quite sure that none of this is hardware related, but could be handled through disk management. I’ve done something to the smaller drive and don’t know how to reverse it. There are no partitions on either drive.

Here’s a screen shot of what I see in Disk Management:

Disk 0 is the drive in question. Disk 1 is the internal and Disk 2 is the working external drive. The problem is that the capacity (not the partition) is stated incorrectly. I honestly don’t remember what I did, but I was essentially trying to start from scratch and format the drive. Some how, it’s stating that the size of the drive is approximately 500 MB not the actual 500 GB.

I’ve tried taking it offline, but that doesn’t do anything. I’ve tried making it a healthy partition, but that won’t work either. Extending only works with partitions upto the maximum capacity. What happens when the capacity is wrong? Would love to hear any suggestions on how I can reset this.

UPDATE: I finally took the drive in to get looked at since I can’t get it to even load. It turns out that something has mechanically gone wrong with it so it is getting replaced for a small fee. Never did figure this one out.

Creating Your Own MP3 Ringtones with iTunes

This was something that drove me nuts! I have over 60 GB of music on my computer and yet, I can’t seem to make 30 second clips to use as my ringtones. What’s the point of having a phone that can play MP3’s if I can’t pick my song? What if I can’t find that specific ringtone anywhere on the internet? I have a pretty weird choice of music. (No comments from the peanut gallery, thank you!)

I found this post: which describes how to make them out of your music library through iTunes. Now, I didn’t make my files into an AAC format, but into an MP3 format, but the methodology is the same. In addition, I keep my files on an external hard drive and not in the iTunes directory. My new file was saved under the iTunes directory, with the same directory as the original file. In my case, it saves it under the artist name/album name.

Now, I’ll spend the rest of my evening making up new tones that I can use on my phone, especially for particular contacts. What to chose for….?

Rogers Cable Volume Too Low

I have one of those really simple digital boxes from Rogers Cable. (Model: Explorer E940). When I play a DVD through my TV, the volume doesn’t need to be much higher than about 14 out of a range of 0-63 (I don’t know either…just go with it). When I watch anything through Rogers, I almost always have to have it up to the max. So, I decided to do what any technically minded person would do…I Googled it.

I should note that I have already programmed my remote to control my TV’s volume control.

I found a great discussion here: One of the first things it suggests is under the Audio Range in Settings, change it to “Narrow”. Turns out, mine is already there. Still not very good. Further down, it talks about Audio Control = “Fixed”. Turns out mine was set to “Variable” and as soon as I changed it, I had to turn down the volume! Not much mind you, but I noticed a difference right away. It’s not as good as when I watch the DVD, it’s still better than having it all the way up and not being able to hear anything.

So even though the post was almost 2 years old, it was still relevant. Thought this might help some of you out there without Netflix. 😉

Changing the Default Folder for saving attachments in Outlook 2010

My father just asked me how to do this and though I don’t typically enjoy or advise making changes to the registry, I thought this was pretty easy.

Upon doing a Google search, I found this article: My father is currently using Outlook 2010, so instead of drilling down to 11.o, you must use 14.0. After making the change, we tested out both right-clicking on the attachment as well as “Save As…” from the menu and both were successful. You can probably do this for many more options, but figured it was a good little post. Enjoy!

Make Word 2007 Always Save in Word 2003 Format – How-To Geek

This seems like a very simple task, but it escapes many people. This article describes it nicely: Make Word 2007 Always Save in Word 2003 Format – How-To Geek.

Websites Described

My father is in the real estate business and so when I had to explain websites to him, I had to relate it to what he knew. Many providers of internet service package it all together in different ways, so it’s important to know what all the pieces are.


This is the road system or network on which all traffic runs, whether it be email, web requests, instant messaging, etc. All kinds of vehicles travel on roads, but you need to have one to travel on it, such as a bike or car. This is similar to having the right software, such as an email program (i.e., Outlook) or web browser (i.e., Internet Explorer or Firefox).

Domain name

This is your address, like 123 Main Street. It’s only a name, no matter where it is or who your provider is. It belongs to you even if you change providers, much like you port your mobile phone number to another company.


This is probably the easiest one to describe. It works just like the regular mail, also referred to as snail mail. You can put pictures, documents and more in an email, but be careful of the file size. Usually, 5 MB is about the limit. Anything more than that, you might want to look at posting them somewhere, like a file share.

Internet Service Provider (ISP)

This is the service to your location. This might be over a wired connection, like cable or DSL. The internet connecting to your house (for example) is like the street connecting to your driveway.


A company that provides web hosting can be different than your Internet Service Provider (ISP). They used to commonly be one and the same, but now, most people use them independently. If your internet service goes down at your house, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your website has gone down. The website is kept on the hosting company’s servers. Their connection to the internet is usually more reliable and faster than the one to your home. They host many sites, so they need more space. The hosting company is like your cottage (if you’re lucky enough to have one). It’s remote and self-contained.

I hope this clears a few things up. It’s been a while, but I hope to write at least once a week. I have a tonne of ideas, but now just need to dedicate some time. Enjoy and happy surfing!


If you’ve ever had to call a technical support or help desk line for your computer, raise your hand…I thought so. Almost everyone.

Most of you have at one time or another have had to make such a call for a computer either at work or at home. One thing that not only helps the people supporting you, but also is great tool for gathering info for you to refer to in a second is the Print Screen button (PrtScrn) in Windows environments. It’s fast and easy to use, and you don’t have to install anything. What could be better?

When I worked on a help desk and I was unable to connect to a client’s computer, I would have them do a screen capture using this key and then put it into a document and send it to me. Keep in mind, this wasn’t always possible, but at least in some cases, I could then see what the client was seeing, even if it was delayed.

Set up your screen the way you want it, i.e., with everything in the place you need it. Press the PrtScrn button on your keyboard. This saves a screenshot image to your clipboard. Now open a program that can hold an image. I usually suggest Microsoft Word since most users that I deal with have it. Then simply use the “Paste” command. Save the file and send it off.

This feature will capture the entire screen. But what if you don’t want everything? What if you only want to capture the active window? Click on the window that you want to capture and then use ALT + PRTSCN. This will just copy that window or dialogue box, which is great for error messages.

I was surprised how many students that I deal with at my university don’t know how to use this wonderful feature, so forgive me if you already know how to use this.