Six (6) Android Games You Should Play Now not Tomorrow

Got a new device? You need to get some new games. Here are some quick recommendations for great Android games. Some are familiar from other platforms. Some are free. Some are paid, and some have specific hardware requirements. All are listed here.
1.  Minecraft Pocket Edition
Why it is great: Minecraft is an entertaining block-building and survival game. You can play either in creative mode where you build and invent things in your own randomly generated world or you can play in survival mode where you use your wits and resources to survive against the creepers who come out at night.
Note – this does not connect with your main Minecraft account if you play the computer version of the game.
Play for yourself or keep it around to entertain kids. (Turn off in-app purchases if you do this.)
Minecraft is a paid app ($6.99) but you can find occasional sales, in-app purchases run from $0.50 to $1.99.   More »
2.  Lara Croft Go
Based on the popular Tomb Raider series and developed by Square Enix, Lara Craft Go is a relatively simple but very addictive puzzle game you can take with you. The puzzles are designed for short bursts of play, so pull it out in the doctor’s office waiting room or while riding the bus home.
Lara Croft Go sells for $4.99 but is occasionally on sale for $0.99. It allows in-app purchases. If you like this game, you can also check out Hitman Go, which is also from Square Enix.  More »
3.  Buttons and Scissors
This is a free puzzle game where you try to cut matching color buttons off of a square of denim. Mechanically this feels similar to Bejeweled, but not completely the same. The logic puzzles offer great challenges for players of all ages.
The other big advantage to this game is that it does not require any connectivity. You can play this game on devices that aren’t connected to Wi-Fi or in that signal dead spot.
Buttons and Scissors is a free download but allows in-app purchases.  More »
 Did you want to try out the new trend in adult coloring books, but you don’t want to carry around coloring pencil and a coloringb book? Try out this app instead. It’s appropriate for kids or adults, and while it’s not the same as coloring in an actual coloring book, it is still very satisfying.
Mandala Coloring Pages is free (with ads) but also allows in-app purchases.  More »
Yes. You can play an Android version of Portal. This is a real console game. As such, it requires a real console. This version will only work on the Nvidia Shield version of Android TV.  The Nvidia Shield starts at around $199 but allows you to stream movies and play Android games on your TV.
Portal starts at $1.99 but this is “introductory pricing.”  More »
If you have a phone with a fast processor and terrific screen display, you can take it for a ride with this virtual reality game. This is a first-person shooter where you aim at balloons. You’ll need Google Cardboard. This is an inexpensive accessory that you can either make or buy for around $15 and will turn your phone into a virtual reality device. Obviously not a game you can play while waiting in a doctor’s office (unless your doctor is awesome) but a fun novelty game to play by yourself or after having one of your friends try on the headset.
VR Cardboard Shooter 3D is a free download.  More »

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Micro Soft Excel: 4 more tips to help you

Microsoft® Excel® [1] can do so much in terms of features, commands and functions. Some of those are complex while others – which are actually very simple – are not known by all users. Want to easily sort and organize the data in a worksheet? Or protect your file from unauthorized viewing and changes? Hide rows or check for duplicate entries? All of these are possible.

Sorting groups of data and information
Excel can sort groups of data and information according to the criteria you tell it to follow, and in the order you desire – for example, alphabetical or chronological. Let’s say you have data entered as First name, Last name and Age: you can sort according to any of the three and then choose subsequent levels.

Highlight the group of cells you want to sort. If there is a header (title) row of cells, you can highlight those, too. Now, from the “Data” tab, choose “Sort” from the “Sort & Filter” group. If you have highlighted the header row, make sure “My data has headers” in the top-right corner is ticked off. Now choose the column you want to sort by and in which order (ascending/descending). Using our example of First name, Last name and Age, you can choose additional levels of sorting if, say, more than one person has the same “value” for either First name, Last name or Age.

No matter how complex the data, the same sorting rules, functions and features are applicable.

Password protecting an Excel workbook
Information security issues are on the rise and Excel is here to accommodate. For documents with sensitive information such as sales figures, you can add a password to prevent unauthorized opening of an Excel workbook.

From “File” or the “Office” button, choose “Save As”. In the “Save As” window, click on “Tools” in the bottom-left corner then “General Options”. Now enter your desired password and continue saving as normal. That document is now for authorized viewing only.

Hiding rows or columns
when it’s time to print your Excel worksheet, you may prefer some information not to be printed – for example, confidential information such as employee salaries or sales figures. To avoid printing specific rows or columns, just hide them before printing. (Hiding rows or columns can also simplify working with a complicated spreadsheet.)

To hide rows, select them by clicking the row numbers (left click and drag to select a block of rows; and remember, hold down “Ctrl” while clicking to select non-adjacent rows). Then right click one of the highlighted border row numbers and select “Hide”. Use the same procedure to hide columns, simply by right clicking a highlighted column letter and selecting “Hide”.

“Unhidden” is just as simple. To unhide rows or columns, highlight the entire spreadsheet by left clicking the box formed at the intersection of the row and column borders at the top left corner of the spreadsheet. Then right click a row or column border and select “Unhide”.

Spotting duplicate entries
Similar to how Word® can detect repeated words, Excel can spot repeated cell entries, but you have to tell it to. It’s a simple command.

Excel 2007 – which should be the norm by now – makes it simple. Select and highlight the cell range you want to check. In the “Home” tab and part of the “Styles” group, you’ll find “Conditional Formatting”. Click “Highlight Cells Rules” from its drop-down menu and then select “Duplicate Values”. Choose your desired formatting for how you want to identify duplicate entries – and you’re done!

[1] This article refers to the English version of Excel 2007.

Microsoft, Excel and Word are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies.

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 a commission if you choose to purchase said product. The opinions on this page are our own.
 We do not receive payment for positive reviews.

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