How to Convert Text to Date Values in Microsoft Excel

excel logo

Analysis of business data often requires working with date values in Excel to answer questions such as “how much money did we make today” or “how does this compare to the same day last week?” And that can be hard when Excel doesn’t recognize the values as dates.

Unfortunately, this is not unusual, especially when multiple users are typing this information, copying and pasting from other systems and importing from databases.

In this article, we will describe four different scenarios and the solutions to convert the text to date values.

Dates that Contain a Full Stop/Period

Probably one of the most common mistakes beginners make when typing dates into Excel is doing so with the full stop character to separate the day, month, and year.

Excel will not recognize this as a date value and will go ahead and store it as text. However, you can solve this problem with the Find and Replace tool. By replacing the full stops with slashes (/), Excel will automatically identify the values as dates.

Select the columns on which you want to perform the find and replace.

Dates with a full stop separator

Click Home > Find & Select > Replace—or press Ctrl+H.

Read the remaining 41 paragraphs

Daily News Roundup: The Beginning of the End for Huawei?

In a significant blow to Chinese device maker Huawei’s mobile business, Google pulled the company’s Android license over the weekend. Intel, Qualcomm, and other hardware vendors followed suit by ending relationships with Huawei, dealing a potential death blow to the company.

This decision follows last week’s executive order from the White House to block Chinese telecommunications companies from doing business in the US—an order that was mostly directed at Huawei. Google, Intel, Qualcomm, and other vendors were quick to comply, killing all relationships with the Chinese OEM. Microsoft is also said to be considering blocking updates to Huawei laptops.

Huawei has been accused of being an extension of the Chinese government that gives the country a global reach. The fear is that Huawei could install backdoors onto its devices, allowing China to spy on American users, networks, and more. Thus, the decision to effectively remove Huawei from the US is considered a response to a national security threat. It’s worth noting that, up to this point, there’s no evidence that this has ever happened—just heavy speculation.

Google’s removal of Huawei’s Android license means the company can no longer distribute a version of the operating system that allows access to Google services. That means the Play Store, Google Assistant, several notification services, and a lot more will be missing from future Huawei devices. This is similar to how Android devices already work in China (where Google is blocked), but isn’t something the rest of the world is interested in dealing with. Android without Google services loses much of its appeal for everyone outside of China.

Users of existing Huawei (and by extension, its sub-brand Honor) devices in the US need not worry, however, as Google has made it clear those devices will be unaffected by this shift. Still, this leaves a lot of unanswered questions for Huawei’s future—both in the US and beyond. But regardless of how it all plays out, one thing is nearly certain: as long as the blacklist stands, it doesn’t end well for Huawei’s business on any front. [The Verge, Android Police, Engadget, Reuters]

In Other News

  • AMD wants you to know its chips are safe: AMD is taking advantage of ZombieLoad—the latest vulnerability found in Intel chips—to let users know that its chips are unaffected. Since the fix for these flaws affects performance on Intel chips, AMD is quickly catching up to its biggest rival when it comes to speed. It’s a bad look for Intel, but a great opportunity for AMD. [Engadget]
  • Some Pixel 3a devices are randomly shutting down: Users of Google’s new budget-friendly Pixel 3a and 3a XL are reporting random shutdowns when the device is idle. When left unused, the device is becoming unresponsive, requiring a hard reset (pressing the power button for 30 seconds) to get it back up and running. It’s unclear what’s causing the issue or if/when it will get fixed. Oof. [Android Police]
  • Linksys routers have been leaking data: Upwards of 21,000 routers from Linksys were found to be leaking Mac addresses, devices names, and more about connected devices. The company has responded, stating that this flaw was from 2014 and has been patched for some time, which points to one cause: outdated routers. Update your hardware, folks. [TechRadar]
  • Sony’s PlayStation department didn’t know about the Microsoft deal: Last week, Sony and Microsoft announced that they’re working together on cloud gaming initiatives. As it turns out, employees of Sony’s PlayStation branch reportedly knew nothing about the deal and had a bit of a freak out because of the announcement. That’s kind of hilarious. [Bloomberg]

In news that should shock no one, Google tracks purchases you’ve made by leveraging tools in Gmail to store receipt information. The Assistant tie-ins can’t be disregarded here, though the fact that it reaches back for years—long before Assistant existed—is an interesting consideration. Pair that with the fact that this data is hard to delete and some users are uncomfortable with the practice. The good news is that Google says it doesn’t use this data to sell you ads. You can take a look at your purchases here. [CNBC]

How to Share Access to Your Wyze Devices

Wyze cam and Wyze Cam Pan
Wyze

Sometimes you may want to give a friend or family member access to your Wyze videos. Or you may desire individual control of do not disturb settings. Rather than share your account, you should share access to your Wyze devices.

Don’t Share Your Password; Share Your Devices

Notification videos from the Wyze app

We like Wyze products. Whether you’re looking for a camera, a panning camera, or a sensor system, it’s hard to find another product so good for such a low price. But unless you live alone, adding sensors and video cameras to your living space usually means sharing access to those devices.

You could hand out your username and password, but generally speaking handing out your password is a bad idea. It may be safe to trust your password with a spouse, but what about a teenager, or a house-sitting friend, or an in-law who watches your children? Even if you are comfortable with handing out your password, you’ll run a different issue with Wyze’s sensor systems.

If you have sensors on your doors, depending on your settings, every device gets a notification each time those doors are opened and closed. Everyone will get notifications all day long, and they may not want that. Thankfully, the Wyze app includes a do not disturb function, but it propagates across all phones and tablets using the same account. Everyone is set to do not disturb, or no one is.

Instead of sharing your account, you should set up individual Wyze accounts for everyone who needs to see your video feeds and sensor notifications. And then share access to your Wyze devices.
Just be aware of one downside: Only the primary account can view video stored on the SD card. For everyone else, live stream and alerts videos are the only options.

How To Share Access To Your Wyze Devices

Before you start, create a Wyze account for each person you want to share access with.

Then open the Wyze app with your primary signed in. Tap “Accounts” in the lower right-hand corner.

Wyze app with arrow pointing to account button.

Read the remaining 12 paragraphs

How to Cancel Your HBO Now Account

If you, like many people, picked up an HBO Now account to watch Game of Thrones, your first thought after finishing the series last night might have been “How do I cancel?”

Alright, in fairness, your first thought might have been “What the hell was that?” if the general current of social media is any indicator. And as veteran watchers of shows like LOST with long meandering story arcs that end in disgruntled viewership, you have our sympathy if the finale left you unhappy.

Whether you ended the series on a high note or you’re still reeling from the ending today, if Game of Thrones was the only HBO programming you were tuned in for, it’s time to cancel. To do so, log into your account at play.hbonow.com and click on the “Settings” link in the upper right corner.

Within the “Settings” menu, select “Billing Information.”

You’ll see information about your subscription, including when the next billing date the credit card assigned to the account. Toggle the “Auto-Renew On” switch to the off position.

Read the remaining 7 paragraphs

The Best Nintendo Switch Cases

The Nintendo Switch is a great console for taking out and about with you (or simply from room to room), but it’s also quite vulnerable. It’s thin, lightweight, and has a great screen that’s also easily prone to damage. We’ve looked at the best Nintendo Switch cases for keeping your beloved console safe from harm.

Each of these cases will protect your Nintendo Switch in a multitude of ways, from covering the screen to keeping the exterior of the device safe from scratches and bumps. There’s also typically room for a couple of accessories as well as a few game carts so you can simply pick up the case and go.

Let’s take a look at the best picks.

Best Padded Slim Case: Tomtoc Ultra Slim Carrying Case ($21)

Tomtoc Switch Carrying Case
Tomtoc

The Tomtoc Ultra Slim Carrying Case looks like your typical slim case (albeit a bit more stylish), but the interior hides a superior layer of protection than you’ll find in most slim cases. Under the molded shell is a layer of impact foam that buffers your Switch from taking a hard hit if you drop it.

Despite the extra padding, it’s also a very slim and lightweight case that’s easy to toss into your bag or carry around via the hand strap. It’s splash proof too, and has a heavy-duty zipper so there are no weaknesses in the design.

Unfortunately, there’s no room for extra accessories such as the Switch dock, but there is a compartment for storing 10 game cartridges so you can take much of your game collection with you when you travel.

Best For Carrying Everything: Zadii Hard Carrying Case ($32)

Zadii Hard Carrying Case
Zadii

For those times when you want to carry everything to do with your Nintendo Switch all at once, there’s the Zadii Hard Carrying Case. It’s a chunky attache style case that has enough room for the console, dock, power adaptor, joy-con grips, joy-con straps, HDMI cable, a Nintendo Switch Pro controller, and 21 game cards too. That should be enough for most users, right?

The case is comprised of high-quality pre-cut foam inserts that ensure each part of your Switch is kept safe and secure when in motion. The case itself is of the hard shell variety so you’re safe from drop damage.

Read the remaining 13 paragraphs