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Two screencasts show how to set up a spreadsheet for computing the power consumption of a resistor in a circuit of four resistors in series and parallel combinations. The first screencast is a narrated set of slides giving the equations used in the analysis. The second screencast shows how to set up an Excel spreadsheet to perform the calculations and make a simple plot.
These screencasts were made in 2010. The Excel demo used Excel 2003 for Windows. There is no difference in basic functionality with Excel 2007 or Excel 2010 for Windows or Excel 2011 for Macintosh. However the user interface is different for each of these versions, which means that you may have to hunt for the commands demonstrated in the screencast. The same commands are in all versions, but the “improved” user interface makes some of those commands harder to find.
If the links to the MP4 version of the screencasts do not work for you, please try the older version of the screencast web page which includes an older flash player format of the screencasts.
These screencasts provide templates for plotting the cyclic variation in duty cycle for the breathing LED problem.
The basic and most useful features of the Excel spreadsheet have not changed much for several years. That has not stopped Microsoft from changing the user interface. The following screencasts only show how to use the versions of Excel for Macintosh and Windows in Fall 2013. If you are using an older (or newer!) version of Excel, trust that the same features are available. You may have to hunt for them.
Basic plot with no “if” statements to select function segments: