Betelgeuse fainting spell is finally over?

According to a recent update from the Astronomer's Telegram (issue 13512 - http://www.astronomerstelegram.org/?read=13512), it is clear that decrease in brightness of Betelgeuse has stopped, and now it is increasing. This is based on photometry from the last two weeks or so that indicates Betelgeuse's visual magnitude has increased from it's lowest point of ~1.614 back up to ~1.575. [More]

Excel Checking List from Another List

This is similar to my last blog post where I explained how to filter a list in Excel based on another list. This time, the task is more straightforward - we just want to identify if an item in one list is present in another list. I find I use this technique quite often when using Excel (especially during data migrations). [More]

Excel Filtering a List Based on Another List

I've been doing some data migration recently for a customer and I've run into a few situations where I have a big list of Customer ID numbers (plus the other associated fields like Name, Address, Email, Phone, etc) and I have a smaller list of Customer ID number that I'm interested in. Using Advanced Filtering in Excel, I can get to just the records I'm interested in. [More]

D365: Set Customer field to default to Contact

Here's a handy little JavaScript that lets you set a Customer Field in CRM to default to Contact instead of Account. A Customer Field is a "special type" of field in CRM that can either be set to an Account or Contact. When you add a custom one in CRM, it defaults the lookup to go to Accounts first - the user then has to manually (every time!) change it to Contacts if they want to select a Contact record. [More]

Fixing Office 365 Ribbon Toolbars

After a recent update to Microsoft Office 365, I was surprised to see the Office Toolbar/Ribbon behave weirdly when I tried to pin it. Previously, when I pinned it, it would just stay on the screen in the format it was in. However, after the update, pinning the Toolbar resulted in it completely changing - and it became bigger and (in my opinion) less useful. It turns out the issue is related to some Touch settings in Office! [More]

Betelgeuse Is Fainting?!

With a diameter of about 700 times that of our Sun, Betelgeuse would extend out past the orbit of Mars if it was plunked into the middle of our Solar System. It's surface temperature is lower than our Sun's (3500K vs. 5778K) so it glows with a distinctive red colour. It is a semi-regular variable, which means it does dim and brighten over time - so in some respects this fainting (dimming) is normal. [More]

Using LetsEncrypt Certs with IIS without ACME

I use LetsEncrypt for my SSL needs on my websites (including this one!). It works seamlessly with my hosting provider (GoDaddy) but sometimes I generate a certificate to use on a local Windows box for testing purposes. However, the certificates that LetsEncrypt gives you aren't readily importable into IIS. Fortunately, there is a way to do it. [More]

Seeing and Transparency Scales

This is a handy guide as often when I'm observing I want to make a note of the seeing and transparency but I always "gut" feel it as 1-5 for seeing and 1-7 for transparency. This gives me a bit more of an objective way to rate it. [More]

Verifying Active Directory Credentials

If you're like me, you are often configuring servers and services to use service accounts - a service account is a dedicated Active Directory account that is not used by any users, instead it is used by an application to access network resources. Sometimes I am unsure if I have the right password for the service account (for example, configuring SQL Reporting Services to use an AD account), so it is helpful if I can verify that I have the right username and password. [More]