Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Web: Stories not for the nervous

Copyright A Hitchcock
The other day I was reading about the denial of service attacks that knocked the stuffing out of Netflix and Twitter and others on a Friday night. As the story went, the bad people had taken over everyone's fridges and internet ready coloured lights and caused them to smash the internet.  I found a more informed version of that story here   Before your read my next article, go and check if you still have your wireless router usernames and passwords set to Admin Admin.

The second story is your classic Government doesn't really know how to deliver a service so it employs an expensive contractor. The only thing that is guaranteed in these encounters is that the contractor makes a lot of money, everything else is a matter of chance. In an Australian classic, the government decides that the Census can easily be delivered by asking 20 million people to log in after work into a brand new website. By eight pm, 19 million people were unhappily experiencing crashing forms and spinning hour glasses. Read this classic rotten tomato piece here

The final scary story comes from the land where Lord of the Rings was filmed, good old New Zealand. Many moons ago a research group discovered that they could hoover up data and give it to the people who look after us. Television New Zealand and The Intercept unearthed this rather sad story.


Next week I travel across the world to Seattle to the Microsoft MVP conference. There I will be entertained with the latest and greatest things that the still strong Microsoft Access team have been upto and more-so the successes of Microsoft as a whole. Whilst I will not be able to divulge anything that is NDA, I can guarantee you that there will be a room full of Access MVP's that will pass on a users perspective of the world to the Access team. I have always enjoyed this long trip, I doubt this one will be any different.  Enjoy your weekend.  

Garry Robinson
Access MVP since 2006.

Here is a group of links for Excel Online that will get you started

Lately I have written a couple of articles about Excel Online for LinkedIn. Those articles were geared for the programmer who is just getting started in this new area.

In this piece I am going to give you a list of good references about Excel Online and to a lessor extent, Word, Outlook and Powerpoint Online. For example, this Microsoft page will direct you to a number of videos to help you open Excel files online, something you will work out but will your users ? Very good concise videos  

and if you are still in the unsure camp, this article at PCMag shows you pictures of the completely free Ipad version of Excel and gives you mini descriptions underneath.

And if that has whetted your appetite for Online Excel/Office, check out all the rest of the Excel Online hyperlinks on this LinkedIn article I wrote.

Friday, October 21, 2016

The vba answer to my Excel Automation "Homework" from a few weeks ago

A few weeks ago I outlined how you create smarter Excel spreadsheets if they just so happened to be populated with data. Now I have finally created a sample code page that shows how that can be done here

The result will be a spreadsheet where the data filters shown in the picture below are open when your reader opens the file for the first time.

Enjoy   Garry

If you are into LinkedIn, I am publishing more in that environment. Check the same article here

Monday, October 10, 2016

Software stagnation - Doing nothing can cost you money

I have been writing Microsoft Access software now for nearly 25 years. In that time I have occasionally had software projects that have not had any development or support for 5 years or more. If the project was small, starting again is no trouble. If the project was big, getting back on top of the project is either costly to me or the customer.

After 5 years has gone by, the customer will be familiar with what some of the software does but may not be aware of the workings/specifications for the software, especially if they are new to the company. If so then everyone who is going to be involved in the new development will be "somewhat in the dark".

Things can get start to get a lot darker when the programmer of the software leaves town. Given that there has been no action (read money) for five years, there is every likelihood that they will have left town. This particularly applies to contract programmers who are working on the next project the minute the current contract is completed. My company doesn’t do contract jobs for that very reason.

 What is the solution to this stagnation dilemma ?

  Read the full editorial on Linked-In here

A potted plant in the lovely Fiesole near Florence, Italy