January 20th, 2004


The Right Tool For the Job

Two incidents described under this title:

- On Sunday, we were making a double recipe of a Lentil-Barley-Vegetable Skillet for Sunday dinner. I decided to use our big six-quart frying pan, that we bought in the summer and hadn't yet used. When the food nearly filled the pan, I felt an inordinate pleasure that I'd used that pan and not a smaller one.

- Lori needed to average grades last night. For months I'd been suggesting that she should use a spreadsheet for this. She'd demurred, believing that a spreadsheet couldn't handle her needs of not penalizing certain kids for grades that they hadn't been able to receive.
I finally sat down to look at the problem, and it turned out to be easy; Excel provides a SUMIF() function that trivially does the 'sum the elements of those cells that correspond to the cells in this range that meet a certain criterion'. It saved Lori a lot of calculation time.