Blog Archive

29 May 2008

Loch Fyne, Sheffield

For Suzy’s birthday last Friday, we went to Loch Fyne in Sheffield. I’d passed the restaurant a few weeks ago and liked the idea of having a good seafood restaurant in Sheffield but was worried they’d not know what they were doing. Little did I know – until visiting their website to get their number for booking a table – that Loch Fyne has 40 restaurants all over the country and they’re experts in oysters, shellfish and seafood!

The Sheffield restaurant only opened on 7th April this year but it’s already getting lots of good reviews. Luckily for us, we managed to catch the end of their Seafood Festival which had been going on all week to celebrate their 10th anniversary. This meant we got to enjoy a spectacular seafood platter from their specials board which included:

Their standard menu offers a similar platter but you have to choose between either crab or lobster. (The kitchen actually forgot to include our scallops. I just assumed they’d none left, since everything is dependent on availability, but when I mentioned this to the duty manager during a chat after the meal, he sounded surprised and immediately brought us four to try.)

We washed all that down with a bottle of Pinot Blanc and followed it with a selection of cheeses with oatcakes, a crème brûlée to share and a coffee. The bill came to exactly £100, which isn’t super cheap but is more than reasonable and definitely worth it.

The staff at Loch Fyne are well trained, attentive and extremely polite, the quality of shellfish is excellent and the ambiance of the place is really relaxing. It’s quite easy to forget you’re still on Sheffield’s Glossop Road in what used to be a poorly lit kitsch Irish cocktail bar called Hanrahans (and then Casa, then Hanrahans again and then some American bar and grill).

They open for breakfast at 09:00 (I assume they serve more than just kippers) and their website says they do a two-course set lunch for £11 from 12:00 until 19:00 Monday to Saturday. Sunday lunch is £12 for two courses or £15 for three courses, although the site also says that’s not available at all restaurants, so check with them before visiting.

And there’s not much else I can say about the place except that if you like shellfish, get to Loch Fyne!

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28 May 2008

Google Spreadsheets Macros and List Mode Editing

It seems a bunch of new functionality might be coming to the Google Docs spreadsheets application. By accessing one of Google’s experimental sites (like the one where I found offline access would be coming to Google Docs) I was able to get a sneaky look at some of this functionality, including the ability to record, edit and run macros, edit a shared spreadsheet in something called “List mode” and a few new functions for use in spreadsheet formulas.


For those unfamiliar with advanced features offered by desktop office applications, a macro is a set of instructions that can be used to automate a series of actions in a program. You can usually record the actions as you carry them out in real-time or edit the macro code directly. Here’s a screenshot showing what macro recording in Google Spreadsheets currently looks like:

Since I’ve opted to display the macro code being created, anyone who knows a bit of JavaScript should be able to work out that I’ve basically highlighted a column, made the contents bold and set the background color to green. For more advanced users, there’s the option to edit the code for all the macros directly, giving each one a different function name:

Once again, it’s quite obvious that this functionality is still in the very early stages of development. During my tests, I was unable to actually get any of my saved macros to run! (Each time I selected “Run Macro...” from the menu, I got a “macroNameNotFound” error popping up.)

List mode editing

A new option found under the Share tab currently offers Googlers the ability to allow other Googlers to edit a spreadsheet in List mode, which also allows for filtering and sorting. Since many people only use spreadsheets for storing simple lists, I guess this makes a lot of sense.

Although this feature hasn’t officially been made available in the live version of Google Spreadsheets, it seems the experimental functionality is already there. Try editing this spreadsheet in list mode for an advanced preview of the feature. (This feature does seem a bit temperamental at the moment, so if the spreadsheet doesn’t load, try again in a new browser window.)

New functions

Other new additions include a set of Engineering functions – some of which are already available in Microsoft Excel – to allow for conversions between different numeral systems (i.e. binary, octal, decimal, hexadecimal) and a new GoogleGeocode function (which was actually spotted about 8 months ago in the live version) that will presumably allow you to do a geo-code lookup on a location, for example:

=GoogleGeocode("Sheffield", "Lat")
=GoogleGeocode("Stuttgart", "Long")

Unfortunately, I keep receiving a “Data temporarily unavailable” error when trying to test this function though.

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