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Sunday, October 28, 2007

Bring you Macs

Last week's News Brief had a little tidbit that surprised me: the System Requirements for USAC's online forms includes Mac OS 9. Last I knew, USAC didn't support Macs. What a welcome change. The online forms just keep getting better. Except, ironically, the "Submit a Question" application. I still get an error about half the time I use that dog.

And all the tips for completing forms were useful, too. One editing suggestion: they should have added spaces to the list of things to avoid when entering costs. Here's my tale of woe. When you copy and paste an Excel cell, depending on the formatting of the cell, the number sometimes goes in with spaces before and after the number. In the online BEAR, if you paste such a number into the Pre-Discount total field, then hit the "Tab" key, the discount amount calculates correctly. But then when you finish the rest of the form and hit the Submit button, you get an error message saying that the pre-discount amount has to be a number. And since you can't see spaces, the number looks just fine. I confess to saying unkind things about Mr. Kraft and the Solix development team until I figured that one out. But now I just delete the spaces and all is well.

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