ThreeWave About The Web Site

This page provides some background information about the web site.

Thank you for your interest in this web site. I started the site in 1997 primarily as a way to learn Microsoft FrontPage and some HTML. I remember in the early days getting upwards of 100 readers a day, and I thought I was king of the world. At present (September, 2012), the site gets about 40,000 unique readers each day, pulling up about 70,000 individual HTML and ASPX pages. In the early days, the site consisted of all of three pages: Welcome, Excel Formulas, and Excel Macros. That was it. The Excel Formulas page is still around, and that page is the TOP link in ALL of Google for a search on Excel Formulas, so I dare not change the page for fear of losing the ranking. Today, the site contains about 500 aspx and html files, with about 300 downloadable zip files, and traffic is about a million readers each month.

I welcome feedback of any sort: topic suggestions, bug fixes, and even the occasional thank you. You can email me at I do read all the email I receive, even if I don't respond to all of it. The volume of mail precludes an individual reply to every email. Please read Read This Before Emailing Me before sending me an email.


Legal Information

For information regarding Copyrights, Trademarks, and liability, please read the Legal Page


The web site has gone through several design iterations over the years. At present (September, 2012), I am concluding the largest reconfiguration so far. The entire site is being converted from crude and simple HTML (not well formed, just good enough to work) to fully W3C compliant XHTML Version 1.1 Strict. The whole site will be written for ASP.NET 3.5 and the NET 3.5 Framework. In order to make the transition as smooth as possible and to ensure that all the pages on the site have a consistent look and feel, I am using the ASP.NET Master/Content model. In this model, a Master page acts as a template and container for content pages. The master provides the page banner and all the navigation controls within the frame at the bottom of the page, and designates a region in which the content is placed. To change the structure of the pages, only the Master page need be updated, and IIS (Internet Information Server) on the server will automatically rebuild the pages with the modified Master. Thus, only the single Master page needs to be changed in order to restructure all the pages.

I am also making use of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to control the appearance of the content. Instead of using <font> tags all over the text (which made formatting difficult), all text presentation is defined by CSS classes, all stored in a single CSS file. Thus, any type of text presentation(narrative, code, XML, etc) can be changed simply by changing the class attributes in the single CSS file. This will ensure that text in all pages has a consistent format. That is, all narrative will be one style, code samples will have another style, and so on.

As navigation aids for the web site, the ASP pages (the conversion from HTML to ASP.NET will take some time -- there are over 400 pages to convert -- as of August, 2010, about 300 page have been converted) have a set of buttons to navigate to common pages. Also, there is control to select and go to any page on the site. The pages also have a list of related pages. Thus, if you are reading one page, you will have links to other pages related to that page.  I also added a "Rate This Page" control. This is for you, the reader, to indicate how helpful a particular page is. I review these results and if a page is consistently rate low, I know then that I need to rewrite the page. I strongly encourage you to use the page rating feature. It is the only way I know whether a page is useful or not.

So what kind of computer do I have? Several have asked.
My main computer is one I built myself. It is based on the GigaByte GA-X58-UD5 motherboard with an Intel Core i7 CPU. I have 18 GB RAM plus 2 two terabyte discs in the machine an another 4 terabyte connected by an ESATA interface. For backup purposes, I have another 4TB of network attached storage. I'm tempted to max out the board with 24 GB (6 x 4GB) DDR3 RAM memory. I use 4 monitors (one 28", two 24", one 22") connected to a pair of NVidia-based PNY 1GB video cards. Via USB hubs, I have 25 USB 2.0 ports and 3 USB 3.0 parts. I use an Adesso Tru-Form Pro keyboard. I've been using ergonomic keyboard ergonomic keyboards (usually Microsoft Natural keyboards) since Microsoft introduced the MS Natural keyboard back in 1991. I cannot type on a conventional straight keyboard. When I go out to client site, I always bring my own keyboard.

On the software side, I have all versions of Office from 2002 Professional up through 2013 Ultimate, so I can develop applications on whatever platform a client is using. I also have Visual Studio Version 6 Enterprise for VB6 and VC++ programming, and Visual Studio Professional 2008 Professional, and Visual Studio 2010 Premium, and Visual Studion 2012 Pro. For NET add-ins for Office, I use and strongly recommend Add-In Express (www.add-in-express) For NET. If you are serious about developing commercial quality NET-based add-ins for Office, I would strongly recommend the AddIn Express tools. For XML development, I use Altova's XML Spy 2009 Professional, which is the best XML editor I've ever used, especially for schema development. I have exactly one game on the computer: SimCity 3000, and, yes, I've built up some pretty cool cities.

Aside from the Microsoft family of products (Windows, SQL Server, Office versions, and Visual Studio versions), I rely on the following programs.

The site was initially developed using Microsoft FrontPage, from 97 through 2003, and is presently written and maintained using Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Professional.


The site has benefited from the generosity of some other authors:

The "Cells Within Ranges" page is © Copyright 1997, Alan Beban and is used with his kind permission.

The "Call Function" and "Hidden Name Space" were written by © Copyright 1998, Laurent Longre and used with permission.

The "Introduction To Pivot Tables" page was contributed by Harald Staff.

The "Direct Connections To MSNEWS" was written by Len Meads.

All the VB/VBA procedures and Excel formulas are explicitly granted to the Public Domain and may be used in any manner without permission, although an acknowledgement is nice. The narrative on all the pages is © Copyright, 1997 - 2010 by Charles H Pearson.

This page last modified: 1-October-2012.