Category Archives: How To

Excel Tip: Paste Picture Link

imageThis is a trick in Excel that will definitely come in handy.  I imagine a good many power users of Excel are familiar with this, but as it was new to me and pretty darn cool, I thought I’d share.

Situation: Working along in a spreadsheet and you have the format all set just they way you like it, columns and rows merged, widths perfectly adjusted and you want to insert a table of information.  What you could do is just re-align everything that you just spent hours, if not days, getting just so.  You could make new columns, new rows, adjusting everything.

New Solution: Create the table somewhere out of the way, either on another sheet in the workbook or somewhere way off to the side.  Then copy the region and paste it as a “Picture Link”. 

In Microsoft Excel 2007, after copying the desired region, on the Home tab of the ribbon, click the down arrow just below Paste and select As Picture > Paste Picture Link.

In Microsoft Excel 2003, copy as usual, then while holding shift, select Edit .. Paste Picture Link. 

Now you have an image that you can move around on the spreadsheet anywhere.  By using the Picture Link  you can also update the “out-of-the-way” table and it will update in this picture, as well.

By the way, there is a “Camera” tool in Excel that will also allow you to do the same thing.  Here’s a demo video of the Paste Picture Link tool.


HT: Joel (Father-in-law)


Extracting Broken Headphone Jack

Headphone Jack 002The HTC8125 (Wizard) brought another adventure (see previous adventure).  This time around the cradle that we use for charging managed to break off a piece inside the headphone jack.  This cradle is also a speaker so in addition to a charging plug, there is also a headphone plug that inserts into the phone.  Unfortunately, Lori (now the proud owner of my old smartphone) has had some difficulty docking the phone into the cradle.  Unbeknownst to her, the headphone plug broke this morning as she grabbed the phone and headed to Lubbock.

She realized there was a problem when the only sound the phone would make was when it rang.  It would not make any noises and she could not talk to anyone over the phone.  Luckily, she could still communicate with the world through text messaging, so I knew that she wasn’t laying in a ditch somewhere unable to speak when she called me.

We diagnosed the problem when she got home:

How to removed a broken headphone plug from the headphone jack?

Solution:  Cut a piece of a straw about 1 1/2 inches long, then cut it length wise in half.  It is important to note that the phone jack is not a standard headphone plug, but smaller so if you are attempting to use this technique to extract a plug in your mp3 player or other phone, you may need to use more of the straw than just half.  Also, if you use this technique, I take no responsibility for the outcome.  It worked for us, but try it at your own risk.

Now, roll up the straw and insert into the jack to protect the internal parts from the super glue.  Take a tooth pick and douse it in super glue and insert into the jack.  I actually tried this whole technique a couple of times and didn’t get it to work until I used a significant amount of super glue.  Once inserted, I allowed it to set and yanked it out.  Ouila!!

Headphone Jack 001      

EXTRACTED!!  Woohoo!  It now works like a charm.

Installing Linux in VirtualBox

A friend of mine saw me running a distribution of Linux from within Vista and asked that I post how I set it up so here it goes:

  1. Download and install Virtual Box (see
  2. Download your favorite distribution of Linux. Download an install disk image (*.iso file). Here are a couple suggestions

Be sure to note where you save the *.iso file.

  1. Launch Virtual Box:
  2. Create a new Virtual Machine, by clicking Machine .. New (or just New on the toolbar). Then click “Next >”
  3. Give your Virtual Machine a name and then select the operation system you intend to install. Then click Next…
  4. Now, select the amount of memory (RAM) to dedicate to this machine when it is running. You don’t want to use all of your available memory since your system will still be running. I have 2 GB on my laptop so I dedicate anywhere from 512 – 1024 MB of RAM. Then, click next.
  5. Next, VirtualBox will create a virtual hard disk so you can set up how much hard disk space your virtual machine will have available. Click New to set up a new virtual hard disk, go through the steps to set one up. I used the settings below:
    Dynamically Expanding Image.
    20 GB
    Click Next.
  6. Now you can click finish to finalize the setting up of the Virtual Machine. Click Finish.

Installing Linux

  1. In VirtualBox, right-click on the machine you just created and select Settings. Click on CD/DVD-ROM in left hand window of the Setting dialogue box. Select Mount CD/DVD Drive and click ISO Image File. Browse for the ISE image you downloaded. Then click OK.
  2. Now, click Start and go through the Setup procedure for the Linux distribution.

Good Luck!