Windmill Software Ltd
Data Acquisition Intelligence

December 2008

The Newsletter for PC-Based Data Acquisition and Control
Issue 125      December 2008
--------------------ISSN 1472-0221----------------------

All at Windmill Software wish you a happy and peaceful 
New Year, and send our best wishes for 2009.  I hope you 
find this 125th newsletter useful, but should you want 
to remove yourself from our mailing list please go to 

* Excel Corner
* DAQ News Roundup
* Data acquisition exhibitions

Excel Corner: Working with Alternate Rows

Using the MOD and ROW functions, you can tell Excel to 
perform tasks on data in every other row.

MOD returns the remainder after a number is divided.  
It takes the form MOD(number,divisor).  Using the 
divisor "2", you can tell whether a number is odd or 

ROW returns the row number of a cell reference. It 
takes the form ROW(reference). If no reference is given 
it uses the current row.

You could, for example, shade alternate rows using 
conditional formatting and the MOD and the 
ROW functions. 

1. Select your data.
2. On the Format menu, click Conditional Formatting.
3. Under Condition 1, select Formula Is.
4. In the data entry box, type =MOD(ROW(),2)=0.
5. Click the Format button. In the Format Cells 
   dialogue box, click the Patterns tab.
6. Select a colour then click OK.
7. Click OK again in the Conditional Formatting box.

The formula in step 4: =MOD(ROW(),2)=0, checks 
whether the row number divided by 2 has a remainder of 
0. If this is true, the row is coloured in.  If false 
the row is left as it is.

You can use the MOD function to perform other tasks.  
You could add every other cell in a column for instance.  
To do this you could use the DSUM function.  This adds 
a column of numbers in a "database".  A database in 
Excel is like a range but the first row of each column 
must contain a column heading.  DSUM is written as 
DSUM(database,field,criteria).  Database is the range 
of cells making up the list or database.  Field is the 
column being used: 1 for the first column, 2 for the 
second, etc.  Criteria are the cells containing the 
conditions you specify.  Criteria cannot be just the 
condition cell, but should also have a column 

In this example, we want to add every other cell in 
column A. The Criteria column is column C.  Cell 
C1 contains the heading "Criteria" (or any text you 
like). C2 contains the criteria itself, namely 
This will give TRUE if the row is an even number and 
FALSE if an odd number. 

Column B is where the result will be written. It 
contains this DSUM:
DSUM will add up all the rows where the criteria 
specified gives a true result. That is, all the 
even rows. 

You could use this method to add up every nth row, by 
changing the 2 to a different number.

You could achieve the same result by using an array 
formula, but this may slow the spreadsheet down. If one 
of the cells referenced in the formula changes: all the 
cells referenced will be recalculated. 

Related Topics:
Data Acquisition in Excel

Working with Collections of Data in Excel

DAQ News Roundup

Welcome to our roundup of the data acquisition and 
control news.  If you would like to receive more 
timely DAQ news updates then grab our RSS newsfeed 
at  Read for notes
on how to display the news on your own web site, 
read it via e-mail, mobile phone or in your browser.

Dolphin speed sorted
  There was something peculiar about dolphins that 
  stumped zoologist Sir James Gray in 1936. He had 
  observed the sea mammals swimming at a swift rate 
  of more than 20 miles per hour, but his studies had 
  concluded that the muscles of dolphins simply 
  weren't strong enough to support those kinds of 
  speeds. The conundrum came to be known as "Gray's 
  Paradox." Now, using flow measurement technology, 
  researchers have solved Gray's Paradox.
  Source: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Self-sufficient sensors 
  Researchers at the Fraunhofer Technology Group  
  have successfully developed a transducer capable 
  of creating electricity from the fluid movement 
  of surrounding air or water. The technology could 
  enable pressure monitor sensors to supply themselves 
  with energy rather than rely on batteries or wiring.
  Source: Process Engineering

Painted on micro sensors
  Tiny radios embedded in paint could be used to pick 
  up sound, detect whether wine or ice cream has been 
  stored properly or even be painted on the heart to 
  prevent arrhythmias.  BAE Systems researchers 
  have developed miniature wireless sensors that are 
  powered by scavenging ambient radiation from 
  the atmosphere.
  Source: The Engineer

Marine mammal detector
  There is increasing interest in the effect of man-made 
  noise on marine life and consequently environmental 
  impact assessments for offshore operations typically 
  require both monitoring of radiated noise and passive 
  acoustic monitoring. Ecologic Ltd have deployed a towed 
  array sensor and a sophisticated suite of software, at 
  a number of wind farm construction sites and, although 
  primarily used to listen for vocalising mammals, the 
  recordings made have also captured the noise radiated 
  by the construction work. Characterisation of the 
  Ecologic system for quantitative measurements over the 
  range of frequencies generated by the piling operations 
  has enabled these recordings to make a valuable 
  contribution to the overall assessment of the 
  radiated noise.
  Source: NPL

Data Acquisition Exhibitions and Conferences

Every four months we list the forthcoming exhibitions 
around the world related to data acquisition and control.

28-30 January
Tokyo Japan
Asia's largest exhibition of Electronics Manufacturing 
and SMT (surface mount technology).

Int'l Automotive Electronics Technology Expo
28-30 January
Tokyo Japan
International exhibition in Japan specialised in all 
kinds of automotive electronics technology.

PWB EXPO : Printed Wiring Boards Expo
28-30 January
Tokyo Japan
Exbibition featuring PCBs/PWBs, PCB materials, design 
tools and design and development services.

aqua-therm Moscow
3-6 February
Moscow Russia
International exhibition for heating, ventilation, 
air-conditioning, water supply, sanitary equipment 
and environmental technology.

EIS Exhibition
24 February
Silverstone Race Track UK
Instrumentation, analysis and testing exhibition.

Advanced Manufacturing UK 2009
25-26 March
Birmingham UK
Includes Mtec, machine building, automation and
green manufacturing.

* Copyright Windmill Software Ltd
* Reprinting permitted with this notice included
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Windmill Software Ltd, PO Box 58, North District Office,
Manchester, M8 8QR, UK
Telephone: +44 (0)161 833 2782
Facsimile: +44 (0)161 833 2190
E-mail: [email protected]


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