Monthly Archive for October, 2021

10 Reasons November Is THE Best Month

Many people dismiss November as just ‘that month between Halloween and Christmas’ when nothing much happens, but they are wrong. November was the ninth month of the year under the Roman calendar and got its name from the Latin word novem, meaning nine. Now it’s the 11th month and it might just be the best. Here are ten reasons why:

1. Back to Greenwich Meantime

The clocks go back at the end of October and we get back the hour that was cruelly stole from us in Spring. The mornings are lighter, so every day feels like a lie in. Evenings are darker and it feels like it’s properly winter.

2. Colourful Leaves

Some people would argue that trees are at their most beautiful in Autumn, when their leaves turn spectacular colours. The leaves change because of changes in the length of daylight and temperature that causes chlorophyll breakdown. Green leaves are replaced by yellows, oranges and even reds.  

3. It’s Movember

Men everywhere are suddenly sporting a moustache, whether it’s a mighty handlebar, or barely visible pencil moustache. Movember seems to get bigger every year. It is all in good fun and for a great cause. It started off in a bar in Australia and has grown into one of the biggest charities promoting men’s health in the world.

4. You can select your Advent Calendar

Advent Calendars need to be ready for the 1st of  December. With everything ranging from the ones you can pick up from Poundland to the ridiculously expensive, containing beauty products, beer, cheese, chocolate, Harry Potter and tea, and everything in between, there’s an Advent Calendar for you.

5 Bonfire Night

Remember, Remember, the fifth of November. These days the UK’s own celebration seems to take second place to Halloween. Perhaps that’s a good thing, as the event commemorates the brutal execution of someone, (even if that person was someone who attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament.) There are still many organised displays on, or around the 5th November for those who enjoy fireworks.

 6. Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Thankfully, the scenes of fighting in shops over bargains seem to be a thing of the past, but you may still be able to get some good deals in the Black Friday sales held on the High Street and online. Or maybe you should wait until Cyber Monday, the Monday after Black Friday, when much of the buying is done online. Black Friday is said to be a better time to buy newer, big-ticket items and to visit stores physically. Cyber Monday is a better day to shop for tech deals and smaller gifts.

7. St Andrew’s Day

This happens every year on the 30th November and in Scotland is a Bank Holiday. Celebrate if you are Scottish or have Scottish connections, or just like Scotland. Break out some 15-year-old whiskey and raise a glass, listen to the Bay City Rollers or Big Country, or watch Billy Connelly.

8. Tins of Sweets

The supermarkets are full of walls of tins (alright plastic tubs) of sweets; Quality Street, Celebrations, Heroes and many more. At this point, they are so ridiculously cheap that it’s the best time to pick some up for Christmas. Pity you’ll have to buy some more next week after finishing them off watching a Marvel movie marathon.

9. Christmas Lights Go On

All up and down the country, in cities and Towns, Christmas lights are switched on in late November, many with Countdowns and, in some cases, the switching on is done by an actress that was once in Eastenders, back in the 90s. Ignore the turning on and just go and enjoy the spectacular sight of the lights in the darkness.

10. … And you can prepare for Christmas (A little)

Even though Christmas belongs in December, you can start your Christmas shopping, to avoid the rush. (Run out and buy that Christmas Pudding, definitely, because there won’t be any left on Christmas Eve!) You might need to think about sending the present that will take a while to get to its recipient and, if you really really have to, you can sneak a listen to some Christmas music. (Just a little, to give you the taste for when December begins!)

November is perfect for cosy nights in, moving to comfortable winter clothes and so much more.  Enjoy November. It’s a better month than you think! 


What is Visio?

MS Visio is, basically, software for drawing diagrams; a very, very wide variety of diagrams. Along with the flowcharts, org charts, building plans and process flow diagrams that you would normally expect in a diagramming app, there are floor plans, network diagrams, mind maps, infographics, data flow diagrams, business process modelling, swim lane diagrams, 3D maps, and many more.

Visio is part of the Microsoft Office software suite, but is not included in standard editions as Excel, Word and PowerPoint are. It is sold as a stand-alone program, which is why it is much less well known. Despite this, it integrates seamlessly with all of the other Office Applications, using the same Ribbon interface and shares functionality with MS Office Word and Excel. Visio also has a large library of templates and shapes for various types of charts and there are even whole websites that have collections of Visio templates developed by third parties.

Another feature that Visio has is pulling live information from an external source. It can, for example use data dynamically from Excel and Access, making diagrams functional and current. And along with the very wide variety of built-in shapes, objects, and stencils to work with, it is possible to create your own shapes and import these for use in Visio.

How Visio is Used

It is possible to create very professional-looking diagrams relatively easily with Visio and these can be as simple or as complicated as required. Some of the most used Diagram Types in Visio include:

Flowcharts

Flowcharts are a visual sequence of steps and decisions for a particular process, using shapes to show the steps and arrows to show progression between steps. Flowcharts can include process flows, process maps, work flows and flow diagrams.

Organizational Charts

Organizational charts, show reporting relationships and the hierarchies within organisations. They can show the detail of who reports to who and/or the overall hierarchy of a company.

Floor Plans

Visio can create scaled diagrams like floor so that a room can be modelled using exact measurements. Tables, chairs and equipment can be moved around to find the best layout, relative to one another, within the space of a room.

Network Diagrams

A computer network diagram depicts nodes and connections in a computer network. Network diagrams use symbols to represent common network devices and diagrams can be made at the LAN (Local Area Network) or WAN (Wide Area Network) level. Visio is used extensively by IT professionals to design network diagrams.

MS Visio is so popular for creating Network Diagrams that many network equipment manufacturers supply downloadable Visio network drawings on their websites. There is an extensive collection of stencils to help aid in making network diagrams at the VisioCafe website.

Gantt Charts

Used extensively in Project Management and the default view in MS Project, a Gantt chart shows individual tasks in a project, their start and end dates, the people assigned to the tasks and other information.

Mind Maps

Mind maps, also known as concept maps, are diagrams showing the connections between ideas. Related ideas can be grouped and connected to the overall topic. Mind maps are effective planning tools.

Charts & Graphs

Although more commonly used and seen in Excel, Visio also includes charts and graphs. Used to visually represent data in a way that makes the information simpler to understand. Visio can create bar charts, line charts and pie charts amongst others.

There is a lot more to Visio and Infero Training offers courses at all levels. Contact us today to find out more.

Festival of light – Diwali

November 2nd  marks the start of the 5-day Diwali celebration with the main events and celebrations taking place on the 4th dubbed the day of Diwali.

The five days are named, in order, Dhanteras, Choti Diwali, Diwali, Padwa and Bhai Duj, to find out more information on the specific celebrations of each day click here.

Although there are many festivals of light , Divali is possibly the original Festival of Lights and is also a major celebration for many religions including Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and some Buddhists. It involves gift giving, feasts, lights, sweets and prayers and represents new beginnings.

Central to Diwali is the lighting of oil lamps and divas/diyas, both at places of worship and in homes, alongside fireworks and candles. These represent enlightenment, wisdom and knowledge.

After Covid-19 cancelled a lot of the in person celebrations last year, it will be exciting to see communities gather for such a beautiful event.

Many major, multicultural cities around the UK, most notably London, Leicester, Birmingham, Belfast and Edinburgh, with large south Asian communities, hold major Diwali celebrations, with spectacular light displays.

Why not check for Diwali festivities near you and take part in the celebrations this year, whether you have celebrated before or are new to this festival.