Tag Archives: simple tools

Using spreadsheets for home economics.

I love spreadsheets.  With a few formulas you can calculate your budget, right down to the earth’s gravitational field.

They can also help you calculate the TOC of an operation, in realtime, and make more accurate analysis when doing logistics.

This is especially useful when you’re moving to another city. Especially if you’re someone who travels light, is a practitioner of simple living and just want to know just how much you have and how that will affect your personal economy.

Well for me, since I am currently moving to another city, I wanted to know how much moving in my new  place would cost.

So I did a new workbook and divided it into three sections. The first is belongings, the second is groceries and installation fees and the last is “Grand total”.

In the “belongings” sheet I put the item name, the quantity and the Cost and if I had already acquired it or not. In “groceries” I had put the same.

The two, I linked their totals to the Grand total sheet, that way each time I changed a value on either of the pages, I would be able to quickly know how much money it had cost .

While simplistic, this can help one to be organized and really help you erase the stress of moving, or at the very least see how much this is costing you and what adjustments you will need to make financially.

The very same can be applied to all kinds of home economic projects, I will include these links to other useful excel workbook templates;

http://christianpf.com/10-free-household-budget-spreadsheets/

http://exceltemplates.net/

http://www.spreadsheetzone.com/

And for the libre-office/Open-office calc fans

http://templates.libreoffice.org/template-center

http://www.kaaredyret.dk/openoffice_links.html

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The Cat’s Meow – Raspberry PI

I have a fascination with small things. I like small vehicles, I salivate over micro-housing and well, last but not least, I got a sweet spot for tiny computers.

Enter Raspberry PI, the smallest computer you could own for 25$-35$. The Raspberry Pi is a single-board computer developed in the UK by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. The Foundation’s goal is to offer two versions, priced at US$25 and $35 (plus local taxes). The Foundation started accepting orders for the higher priced model on 29 February 2012 The Raspberry Pi is intended to stimulate the teaching of basic computer science in schools.


And it’s powered with Linux. No Microsoft here, and there is talk of Android support!! Of course, It’s not rocket science to figure out the other applications what this brilliant little device could bring. Considering it’s got HDMI built-in, this is the most inexpensive upgrade for your big screen TV (And finally have a browser that doesn’t suck ass!!). Just throw in a wireless USB adapter and a wireless keyboard/mouse combo and voila!! You have a smart TV.

And considering it’s small size and low voltage, its perfect for a robot’s brain too. It would be neat if someone who revamp an old HERO-1 robot with the Raspberry PI as the brains. Toss in VNC , a webcam and wireless and you have your own very robotic drone on the cheap. This could open a lot of opportunities for home made CNC’s as well.

Want to buy one? Go to Premier Farnel or RS Components, although you may want to wait a bit, they have a hard time keeping the supply up, since so many are interested.

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Old ideas with new tools

 

As an IT professional, I am often confronted with the question of productivity not only at work but also at home. With the trend of telecommuting coming into play, and the advancements in technology, it’s all in seeing the computer as a set of tools and not as “just a magic box that gives us the internet”.

Let’s use an analogy;

If you think of your computer as your “workshop/workbench” the tools you will have at your disposal are near identical to what you’d find in scrapbooking or even your basic arts and crafts;


SCRAPBOOKING

COMPUTER EQUIVALENT

Table

Computer

Scissors

DESKTOP PUBLISHING SOFTWARE

Glue

Photos

 CONTENT

(pictures, videos, mp3, i.e MEDIA!!)

News articles

Keepsakes

 

Now from there, we can easily see the computer as not only the tools, but also the receptacle of media. This in turn can help you in your day to day life. How? Here are some examples;

1) You can have your home computer email you some documents to your smartphone. You’re on your way home and members of your family need you to do a stop at a grocery store? Presto! Here’s the shopping list!

2) You can create some spreadsheets for home use, such as for planning meals, personal finances and sport pools

3) Use QR codes to track your home inventory (especially useful if you’re moving)

And those are only a few examples. People have computers at home, but they have no idea how they can enhance their lives with it, with a few simple tools.

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