At some point, you may have wondered if there is any end to those seemingly infinite Microsoft Excel rows and columns.
Sure, you could just look it up on Google or consult the Excel manual. You could even just open Excel and push Ctrl and the down arrow. But what would be the fun in that?
Motherboard reports that YouTuber Hunter Hobbs decided to turn the idea of getting to the bottom of Excel into a challenge.
Hobbs, a true hero of 2017, took it upon himself to sit at the computer for over nine hours pressing the down-arrow key. According to rules that he made, he wasn’t allowed to take any breaks or ‘cheat’ by using the control key.
To chronicle his incredible feat, Hobbs made a time-lapse video showing how he passed the time.
Nine hours is a long time to push a single key, and he mainly survived by eating pizza, listening to music, watching TV, chatting on his phone, reading, and playing the odd bit of paddleball. Judging by the video, the brave lad didn’t even take a bathroom break.
After 9 hours and 36 minutes of hardcore pressing, Hobbs makes it to the bottom. Row 1,048,576 – the Excel Holy Grail. Oh, and in case you are wondering, there are 16,384 columns. I guess the column scroll would have been too easy for him.
Hobbs’ channel only has one other video on it – a compilation of some videos he made on the now-defunct Vine app. It’s unclear which direction he wants to take his channel, but he is certainly racking up some views and subscribers with the ‘Excel Challenge’.
If you would like the thoroughly nerdy answer to why there are this many rows and columns in Excel, check out this post on the Microsoft forums. It is apparently to do with the fact that Excel uses base 26. You will also find out why the last column is labelled XFD. Yay!
This is not the first time that someone has tried to have fun with Excel.
One poor sucker spent hours meticulously recreating the first level of Super Mario Bros in OpenOffice, a free Excel alternative. And another YouTuber made a version of Zelda using Visual Basic and Microsoft Excel. Why you ask? Because his friend said he couldn’t.
On top of this, there are the legendary Easter eggs of Excel – games that were hidden within the program over the years. Excel ’95 had a creepy Doom-esque game, ’97 had a flight simulator and 2000 had a Spy Hunter-style car game.
Hobbs concluded his feat by saying, “I’m tired, I’m hungry and my hands really hurt, which is pretty sad. That was the Excel Challenge. Don’t do it.”
The hive-mind intelligence of the internet often resembles a teenager, so the power of reverse psychology is strong. “Is he telling us not to do his stupid challenge? We’ll show him!” I imagine people saying.
So what next in the world of boring challenges?
I made the mistake of reading the YouTube comments to Hobbs’ video, and I am still recovering. Aside from the hate, random Russian comments and doubt of Hobbs’ authenticity, one user suggested that Hobbs try the same thing with Microsoft Word “to know how many sheets we can create in a single document.”
This was met with the single-line reply of another Tuber: “do with your self”.
So nice to see democracy is alive and well on YouTube.