Posts for 11/2009

21 November 2009 - 02:54

Birds on the Wires

The simplest of ideas sometimes (often?) give the most wonderful outcome.

birds make music

Jarbas Agnelli has become known worldwide instantly after having published his film showing how he transformed a scenery with birds sitting on wires into a music composition.< /br> Indeed, birds sitting on wires do trigger off the image of sheet music, and so why not take their positions literally, translate it into a music sheet and see (well... listen) what music comes out of it.

That's exactly what Jarbas Agnelli did - as a fanatic Adobe After Effects user, he composed the music and a film out of the birds materials which you can appreciate on Vimeo: http://www.vimeo.com/6428069. A larger interview on the process he went through is also available.

birds make music
(0) Comments ·
13 November 2009 - 15:17

Newness in MS Project 2007 and Task driver issue

MS Project 2007 hasn't "ribonized" yet and hasn't really fundamental newness. The concepts of this software have been outlined since many years now.

Amongst the new features I can appreciate though in this version are:

task drivers
  • Highlighting changes: the program highlights any changing values instantaneously as you type
  • Multiple Edit Undo: long time awaited for and finally implemented, this option is a real relief
  • Visual reports: the old 'reports' are still available and have only been lightly adapted, however MS Project now comes with a nice feature to create pivot table reports and charts with the click of the mouse
  • Task drivers : a task pane showing you the driving factors or tasks for any selected tasks, especially handy in larger and complexer projects - there is a kind of bug though which can result in task drivers become unavailable - through this forum thread I discovered the solution is to simply delete the global.mpt (it is automatically recreated when the program restarts)

You'll find a full list of the new features on Microsoft's Tech site.

visual reports
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12 November 2009 - 06:21

Money as Debt

Just digged this up today : a simple no-nonsense and to the point analysis and explanation on Money. And how it's created.
Or actually it is on Debt . And how it's created.
There are some hints too on how a different approach could work out.

money as debt

Clearly an great lesson in not only basic Economy, but also in the art of asking the right questions.

This 5 series video from the hand of Paul Grignon is on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVkFb26u9g8.
There's a site linked to it as well.
The docu has been made for a US-public, but that's very much irrelevant in the light of it's educational purpose.

PS: French equivalent exists too:http://pattyardillaparga.blogspot.com/2008/10/largent-dette.html

PS: Of course that these materials are debated and some simplification happened during the production - the author was so open to put some of them online.

(0) Comments ·
10 November 2009 - 15:13

Connection speed between front-end and back-end in Access

If you're experiencing connection speed issues or weird behaviour between your Access front-end and the back-end system, be it an Access, SQL-server or another database, here are some basic points to check out:

  • Is there a primary key set on all tables in BE?
  • Aren't there too many indexes set on some of the tables used ?
  • Can the number of queries and requests be reduced? Comboboxes & listboxes are a good place to start from.
  • Have main and subforms been linked through the master - child link interface from the form builder ? If so you try making the linking directly through SQL / recordset in the subform data source property
  • Did you try to Compact & Repair?
  • Has the autocorrect feature been disabled?
  • Have all service packs been installed?
  • Did you try it out with materialized tables in stead of (sub) queries?
  • Have you tried to see the difference when you remove subdatasheets feature in tabels?
  • Have you checked latest ODBC driver and/or some configuration options
  • Did you use Option Explicit in the VBA modules?

Just to warm up really :-)
As usual this is just the beginning, you'll find more tips and hints over here:

(6) Comments ·
08 November 2009 - 15:10

Soul Story

soulstory

Last month, I've been giving a friend from Paris some help in launching her new online multimedia project on "an unknown story of humanity, the soul story ".
Getting the flash to properly flash on all DSL bandwiths, even those with moderate speed and keeping the level of quality envisaged.
A challenge indeed.

Well, have a look yourself at your own Soul Story - perhaps a challenge of a different kind, but definitely worth the trip :-)

(0) Comments ·
04 November 2009 - 10:23

Including null values in Access

If ever you've used the 'not' operator (also '<>') in Access you might have realised you'll get unaccepted results if you're not including a specific search for 'null' values.
So always include 'OR Null' as follows:

<> "beverages" OR null

You'll find some screenshots on following site.

For certain expressions where you want to include null values, you bump against issues triggered off by these null values. In that case you can use the Nz () function.
From the Microsoft support site - you 'll find some examples there too.

The Nz function is useful for expressions that may include Null values. To force an expression to evaluate to a non-Null value even when it contains a Null value, use the Nz function to return zero, a zero-length string, or a custom return value.

Click here for another example.

And if you're after some VBA code to evaluate for Null values, here you go.

(0) Comments ·
02 November 2009 - 15:38

Refresh ODBC Linked Tables in Access

For an Access development job, I needed some code to make sure the linked tables in the backend should be updated automatically - and if the back-end or front-end had been moved, the users could then be prompted for a new location.

This is the code I used from Stackoverflow, the question and answer site for programmers, where Renaud Bompuis proposed a couple of solutions.

Here is the link : http://stackoverflow.com/questions/564265/how-to-refresh-linked-tables-in-an-access-mdb-when-odbc-changes. I just had to add some coding to exclude some funny temporary system table which triggered the code into an error and thus debuggin mode.

Function fGetLinkedTables() As Collection 'Returns all linked tables
    Dim collTables As New Collection
    Dim tdf As TableDef, db As Database
    Set db = CurrentDb
    db.TableDefs.Refresh
    For Each tdf In db.TableDefs
        With tdf
             ' exlude wrong SysTable SYSObjects ~TMPCLP322681
             If Len(.Connect) > 0 And Left$(.Name, 1) <> "~" Then
               If Left$(.Connect, 4) = "ODBC" Then
                'collTables.Add Item:=.Name & ";" & .Connect, KEY:=.Name
                'ODBC Reconnect handled separately
                Else
                    collTables.Add Item:=.Name & .Connect, Key:=.Name
                End If
            End If
        End With
    Next
    Set fGetLinkedTables = collTables
    Set collTables = Nothing
    Set tdf = Nothing
    Set db = Nothing
End Function
Read on if you want more solutions. [Read more on Refresh ODBC Linked Tables in Access...]
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Mail merge with Word and Access 2007 issue

Recently I bumped into weird problem with Office 2007, whereby Word didn't recognize data from an Access database during a mailmerge.
Fairly basic but... no way.

What would we do without the exchange on the internet ?
Peter Jamieson from http://tips.pjmsn.me.uk published the answer on eggheadcafe.com, a free online training platform I consult regularly:

There are several types of query that Word 2007 cannot "see", or does not execute as you might expect, when you try to use them as a Mail Merge data source using the default connection method for Access (which is OLE DB), including:

  • a. parameter queries
  • b. queries that invoke user-defined Access VBA functions
  • c. queries that invoke some of the financial series functions and one or two other "non-user defined" VBA functions such as replace()
  • d. queries that use LIKE and wildcards

In most cases, the quickest way to get around these problems is to change the connection method of the connection to DDE - in Word 2007 - check Office button->Word options->Advanced->Confirm file format conversion on open (near the bottom), go through the connection process again, and you should see an additional Confirm Data Source dialog box. If you see an entry like "MS Access databases via DDE", select it. If you only see "OLE DB database files" (typically if you are using a .accdb rather than a .mdb source), check Show all, then locate and select that DDE option, and continue.

(3) Comments ·
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