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Google Sheets Tips

Google Sheets Tips

To sort a row of columns:
Define the following formula on a blank row:
Then just copy the sorted row and copy...special..values only
Delete all but the copied row

To sort column of addresses that contain street numbers [1]:
Create a blank column next to the address column. Select a blank cell adjacent to the address list, and type this formula =MID(A1,FIND(” “,A1)+1,255) (A1 is the cell of your address list), and press Enter button, then drag the fill handle to fill the range you want. After that, you can see all addresses are extracted to the help column except the street numbers.

grep tips

grep tips

The following will create a new file with lines removed containing given pattern:

cat file.txt | grep -v "pattern" >filtered.txt

Match two words:
grep -E -i -w 'word1|word2' sourcefile.txt
grep -rl "string" /path // -r recurse, -l output filenames only

Impossible Creatures

Impossible Creatures


Still, one of my favorites games of all time.  I usually fire up an old Windows box and play the campaign over Christmas break.

I managed to network 4 stations and the cousins came over for an afternoon of Impossible Creatures frenzy!



Level 6
This is a hard level.
Enemy will attack quickly so need to fend off with 1 or 2 level animals
In the mean time try to level up to 5 as soon as reasonably possible
Gather coal at all 3 areas along West and South border.
Take Rex to right side of map and collect Crocodile to make Lobster Crocs. You will need to use them to fend off the very tough turtle eels that come through the tunnel.
Once area is cleared of enemy in Part 1, setup base near copter pad, protecting it with 2 anti-air, collect coal, and add an air-chamber.
Create Dragonfly Crocs to help protect Lobster crocs against flying enemies and to fly over to right bottom side to protect new base.
Leave some range animals back at base as enemy may send whales from water to attack.
Build water chamber back at base and send some Lobster Crocs around south near new base so they can quickly be air lifted out of water onto land near base. Leave 2-3 Lobster Crocks at water chamber in case enemy sends whales around to attack from water.
Once you have the enemy coming from tunnel under control, send several Lobster Crocks to southern end of east side to be picked up by helicopter and placed on land. Once you’ve placed 2-3 of them, bring over fleat of Dragon Crocks (8?) to help protect new base, bring 2 henchman over and build 2 anti-air towers and establish coal camp. Bring more henchman over when you can as you defend the new base.
Level 9
This level has enemy generators that can be taken down for the win. The one at 1:00 near 2nd base can be taken down by dropping a range animal on plateau using helicopter. This this first, it will take 1 animal a while to destroy it. The one in water about 4:00 is undefended. The 3rd found around 7:00 can be attacked from 1st base with about 8 Lobster crocks. The last one around 4:00 can be attacked with around 10 Lobster crocks. The main base can actually be attacked with a full army of lobster crocks. I would attack from North, West and South so they don’t get bottle-necked at defenses.
Level 10
You have several enemy bases to destroy. You will need lots of animals so locate and setup a bunch of coal collection. Build helicopter and drop henchman on plateau at around 4:00 to collect coal. Try to get to center area with coal quickly and then to around 2:00 coal area. Build up your army just before 12:00 enemies and just before army at 2:00. Attack 2:00 before 12:00. You will need anti-air towers to attack 12:00 army. Place at least 2 anti-air at all coal collection sites. Bring small contingency of range animals to help defend from air-attack when attacking bases. Maybe bring 4 henchman to create air-towers as well.
Level 14
Need lots of coal this. level. Get to level 4 quickly and send army to reach 3:00 area with Level 5 in progress. Get there as soon as possible, don’t worry about animals or defenses along way, just survive, beat animals at end and setup base with Lobster Crocks. Create 3 air-defenses between 2 sets of coal piles. Should have stable base there with about 5:00 left. Build up army of about 10-15 Lobster Crocks and attack lab with Rex (need to cure him immediately) no later than 1 min left. Place 3 creature chambers in spilled antidote so creatures created are immune. Add at least 2 anti-air towers. Leave 3 range animals to take out single animals that may attack send all others forward.
Level 15
Killer Whale Lobster
KW: Head, Tail. L: Body
Health: 717 Defense: 60, Speed: 10/30, Sight Radius: 25, Size: 9

Chameleon Hippo
CH: Head, H: Front legs, body, back legs, tail
Health: 264, Defense 46, Speed 16/22, Sight Radious 30, Size 6

Setup coal collection just north of base, and left of base and then above to left of that one. Place water chamber to right of base and leave about 3-4 KillLobsters a little up from base near coal collection as attacks will come from water. Setup 2-3 air-towers at each coal collection.
Once these coal collections are establish establish last one at far end of map around 1:00

Max out abilities of the two 5 Animals and defend as animals are sent down from Ganglians base. Use Rex heavily. If you can defend the waves eventually you will starve Ganglian. Between waves send Chamatamus up a bit to take out defense towers. Try to save injured animals so they can regenerate. Once the attacks slow you can go up and take out Ganglian then keep going and take out Julius

Password Myths

Password Myths

Update May 9, 2020: Another good article about passwords: Why jK8v!ge4D isn’t a good password

You can find plenty of arguments to counter the points made in the article linked below, but I happen to agree with many of the points made.
I password is useless if you can’t remember it and these days, we all have tons we have to remember.

At work I had to write a password validator to use in a mobile app’s enrollment screen.  I chose to only allow the special characters found on a standard keyboard. No extended ascii characters allowed.   Limiting support calls was my main motivation.

Myth #2. Dj#wP3M$c is a Great Password

A common myth is that totally random passwords spit out by password generators are the best passwords. This is not true. While they may in fact be strong passwords, they are usually difficult to remember, slow to type, and sometimes vulnerable to attacks against the password generating algorithm. It is easy to create passwords that are just as strong but much easier to remember by using a few simple techniques. For example, consider the password “”. This password utilizes upper and lower-case letters, two numbers, and two symbols. The password is 20 characters long and can be memorized with very little effort; perhaps even by the time you finish this article. Moreover, this password can be typed very fast. The portion “Makeit20” alternates between left and right-handed keys on the keyboard, improving speed, decreasing typos, and decreasing the chances of someone being able to discover your password by watching you (for a list of nearly eight thousand English words that alternate between left and right-handed keys, see

The best technique for creating complex passwords that are easier to remember is to use data structures that we are accustomed to remembering. Such structures also make it easy to include punctuation characters in the password, as in the e-mail address example used above. Other data structures that are easy to remember are phone numbers, addresses, names, file paths, etc. Consider also that certain elements make things more memorable for us. For example, patterns, repetition, rhymes, humor, and even offensive words all make passwords that we will never forget.

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How to refresh Facebook cache

How to refresh Facebook cache

When creating a Facebook post, if you include a url to a website, Facebook will preview the website in your post.  Facebook looks in a cached version of the home page so if it has changed since Facebook cached it, it may not preview correctly.  To force Facebook to fetch a fresh version, go here:


Google Maps vs Apple Maps

Google Maps vs Apple Maps

Great analysis of the differences between Google Maps and Apple Maps

Here is there summary:

We looked at 54 pairs of maps across three cities (New York, San Francisco, and London) and found several significant differences:

  • Apple Maps, on average, labels more citiesthan Google at every zoom.
  • Google Maps, on average, labels more roadsthan Apple on nearly every zoom.
  • For two-thirds of zooms, both maps generallyshow the same number of roads. For the remaining third, Apple almost always shows more roads.
  • Both maps, on average, label a similar number of POIs—but have only 15% of their POIs in common on an average zoom.
  • Both maps also prioritize different kinds of POIs: Google Maps heavily prioritizes transit, while Apple prioritizes landmarks. Apple also generally shows a greater number of POI categories on a given zoom—and shows twice as many restaurants and shops as Google.