Tuesday, 20 March 2012

How to worry about everything (and nothing)




Worry - To feel uneasy or concerned about something.
In my last post I wrote about managing your e-mail inbox (in the narrow sense) and, more broadly, managing your work and commitments. I ended that last post with this quote: "If you worry about everything, then you don't have to worry about anything." At least one reader suggested that I owed them an explanation and so here it is.

You'll recall that I challenged you (and me) to get our e-mail inboxes empty at least once per week in a systematic way, as follows:
Go through you inbox one message at a time and ask yourself "Is there an action required?"

If the answer is "No", then either delete as trash, file it elsewhere for later reference or file it in your "great things I'd like to do someday but don't know when" folder. Be ruthless.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Adding functionality to Excel using the NAG Library for .NET

Much of our work at NAG is devoted to creating new implementations of our numerical libraries and attempting to make their algorithms available from as many languages and packages as possible, so that our users have access to them from whichever environment they're working in. Thus, users of packages such as MATLAB® (and similar packages such Octave), LabVIEW and Maple, and programmers working in languages like Java, Python and Visual Basic (along with, of course, more traditional languages such as C and Fortran) have all been making use of NAG algorithms to enhance their applications and solve numerical problems for a long time.

Microsoft Excel® users can easily access NAG routines from both the NAG Fortran Library and the NAG C Library, because they are distributed as Dynamic Link Libraries (DLLs). For example, my colleague Marcin Krzysztofik has recently described how to solve a nonlinear least-squares problem in Excel using the nag_opt_nlin_lsq (e04unc) routine from the NAG C Library.