Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Windows 10 Privacy - IOS9 Ad Blockers

After reading this zdnet post on Windows 10 Privacy, I feel better about Microsoft's approach to collecting my data. In particular I love this quote

Unlike some other platforms, no matter what privacy options you choose, neither Windows 10 nor any other Microsoft software scans the content of your email or other communications, or your files, in order to deliver targeted advertising to you. 

From the Apple camp, there is a different approach to socking it to advertising based business models. I looked for these ad blockers on our Ipad2 that is running IOS9 and it was not available. My older son also assures me that these tools in the old days mucked up pages that had embedded video content so he gave up on them. Maybe the new wave of blockers will work better like the story suggests.

On good ol facebook, Sheryl Sandberg says Facebook can do what it wants with adverts on the phone because it owns the app. You the consumer have now been warned by good ol Garry the editor.

Centennial Park Sydney - Advert Free

Friday, September 25, 2015

Whats New In Access 2016

Here is a link to whats new in Access 2016.

Clearly Access didn't make it into the brave new world of multi operating systems and different types of machines as did Word, Excel, Outlook, OneNote and Publisher   But given that all these online solutions seem to be devoid of programming, maybe waiting wont be a bad thing because Access without programming wont be Access anyway. Thats my editorial opinion.


Sunday, September 06, 2015

A Variety Of Windows 10 Power User/Developer Posts

I have rolled two Windows 8 machines up to Windows 10. The most drama free upgrade in my long windows life.  Only thing I can suggest is watch for your anti virus support immediately after the launch.  I would check with your own antivirus company about compatibility before making the switch.

Here are some links that I have been asked to inform readers about. If you click on them, you will get me some credits with the people that decide my MVP award

Many Windows 10 Related Videos at the MS Channel9 site

Developing in Windows 10

Starting with Windows 10 Development

Windows 10 Development in the Microsoft Virtual Acadamy

Enterprise support for Windows Edge and Internet Explorer 11

The Azure September virtual conference 

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

The Way of the Microsoft These Days - Read Cloud - Read Portable

Satya Nadella - the CEO of Microsoft has changed the way Microsoft works and his vision is well described in this article.

Editorial Note: Read that and consider where will Microsoft Access be in 2020. My personal view is that bits and pieces of Access Web Apps will scattered across other Office Apps like Excel Surveys. Beyond that we hope that desktop computing has made a comeback or that the well intentioned Access Web Apps hit the big time. For now, Access desktop lives on and those databases can certainly work with Azure web app databases in the cloud thru linked tables. See the MVP video I recently posted on how this works or the videos I posted last yearGarry

Saturday, August 29, 2015

2015 Microsoft MVP Virtual Conference for Access

Julian Kirkness, Brent Spaulding, Crystal Long, and Pat Wood discuss Access Web Apps on the Microsoft video channel. This also includes demonstrations of linking to SQL Azure from Access, Excel, and SQL Server Management  

NOTES:  This video is ranking no 2 from the conference

and a few more photos from the slide decks



Saturday, August 22, 2015

Digging Deep Into The Past

Many years ago I was very good at persuading Alta Vista and other search tools at the time to visit my Access web sites.  In sub folders on the sites I even had 10,000 pages devoted to getting link fees from CD Rom and book sites. Each of these pages said little more than If You Want to Hear the Music of The Bla Bla Band, Click here. These pages brought in 500$ a month till Mr Google came along and ignored them.

Hippos at Werribee Zoo
In those days I also had many good Access Articles articles organized to attract the search engines (they were called landing pages) across about 3 different domains. I found a few of them the other day and whilst they are a little old, they are worth bringing back from near extinction to my new site  See if these links get you interested.

A nice introduction into Lookup tables by Doug Thatcher called Lookup Tables – Improve data quality in your database

A simple article by Nirmala Sekhar called Track All Changes Made To A Database

and three pieces by your erstwhile editor entitled Exploring Your Data With Subdatasheets
plus SubDatasheets In Access 2000 
and an article that has been part of many of my jobs called    

Cleaning Up An Access Database

Friday, August 21, 2015

Building an Access Database from a Spreadsheet

A number of the Microsoft Access projects that I have been involved with are rescue missions for spreadsheet systems that have outgrown themselves. When I examine these systems they tend to have characteristics such a 12 individual monthly spreadsheets, one yearly spreadsheet that draws the results from the monthly sheets and maybe even another set of weekly report sheets jumbled into the system as well. Once these interlinked spreadsheets hit their second or third year, all the monthly spreadsheets have changed in design and the old information is only accessible by by a lot of manual cutting and pasting.

With good design and a few compromises, you can turn these into database systems that have easier navigation for input for users, report equivalent output and they do not require spreadsheet skills to run. This article tries to capture the techniques that I have used over the years to get these conversion projects up and running smoothly

FYI: I am currently working through my old content that didn't make it into the conversion.   This is one of those stories.  Apologies for lack of content lately, life's deck of cards haven't been so good lately. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Rosetta and New Horizons

Recently man has visited Pluto and tracked a comet  << Fixed link. See if these articles will whet your appetite on these magnificent achievements. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Building using Azure

If you are a little old school and build a website using old ftp technologies, Microsoft's very successful Azure has a  Content Deployment that uses Dropbox and other modern cloud synchronization tools. The interesting thing about this is that you can build a website completely on your desktop and not worry much about the internet at all. And if you were happy hosting content in a site called, you could be off and racing in short period of time.  Anyway to get a feel for what I now do to publish to Azure, look at the pictures on this page.

My Sharepoint Web Site Is Closing

The sharepoint public facing website is almost closed.  This photo describes this short adventure for me. is the new star. It runs on Microsoft Azure websites. It is really fast and I will bet it is one of the few websites that provides not only search but indexed words to find content. Give it a rip, I certainly haven't wasted my recent research time. :)

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Sub Atomic Particle Collider Doubles Down

Here is a really positive story about the restart of the sub atomic particle collider hidden under the mountains of France and Switzerland. Its a 27 km circuit and they are now searching for black matter. By the way, if you are bored with your online newspaper, try RT news, the provider of this story. The have good news and interesting TV documentaries.

Friday, April 03, 2015

In Through The Out Door

In 1979, Led Zeppelin finished their last album called In Through the Out Door. That was the last vinyl record that I ever bought, my tape collection at that stage numbered about 200 and I seemed to be moving house every three months.

In through the out door describes my current dilemma with websites. Last year I did what I thought was the right thing and upgraded from a front-page based website [see old format here] to the "latest thing", an Office 365 public facing website. In January this year Microsoft announced that public facing websites would be phased out in a sliver of time, 2 years.

So now I have to workout a new way to present the 600 articles that makes up This is going to take time and in the meantime you won't see any new content from me.

So what is the plan you may ask ? At the moment I will aim to put the content on site that hosts SQL Server, and probably will need to serve the framework for a WordPress site. A list of these types of hosts can be found here. I also need to find a way that I can edit content and change and drop pages in the website and still reflect those changes elegantly in the website. 

As I value my recently re-awarded MS Access MVP badge far more than my old collection of vinyl, I will attack this project and get back to you as soon as I can.

All the best till then, Garry Robinson

Friday, March 06, 2015

Google Search Engine Pointers - Content is King

Many years ago I ran a database that produced 1000's of html pages that pointed people to well known compact disk sites where I could make a little commission. That fooled search engines like altavista and excite back in the 90's to where I was making 100$s a month.  Google came along and I gave up that pursuit and just concentrated on my own content.  Here is a great article on what google is probably concentrating on. In particular I love this quote

"Google’s biggest threat is that users start going elsewhere (social media, smartphone apps) to find what they’re looking for"  Does that sound familiar Microsoft lovers ?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Cyclones have their good points, a very rare and cute animal and a weird shark

Last week two cyclones/hurricanes hit Australia at the same time and they were really big. Whilst that was bad news for some, surfing on the gold coast was amazing as shown in this photo from the Daily Mail.

The Eastern Australian Quoll is a carnivorous marsupial like the Tasmanian devil and has been totally wiped from mainland Australia because of feral cats mainly. It survives in Tasmanian in reasonable numbers. In the picture is a rare black Quoll that I confess I have never heard about.

The other day I spied one of these wobbegong sharks where I snorkel every other day. Never seen one in Clovelly bay before, unfortunately it was quite murky so I didn't get a great look.  Talk to you again in March.   Garry

2014 - The Three Access Amigos

My most used third party products that helped me with my Access development in 2014 were

  1. MUST - the upsizing tool for turning Access apps into good SQL Server apps
  2. Total Visual Code Tools - Clean up your VBA code and lot more
  3. FindandReplace - find any vba variable or access object or property and change it
Garry Robinson
Access MVP since 2006