More ....

01 December 2009 - 05:25

Copy an Outlook folder structure

To copy an Outlook folder structure, e.g. for back-up and filing purposes, do the following:

  1. Export the folder with subfolders and content to an pst file (file > import/export to pst file)
  2. Load the file (File open/ outlook data file)
  3. Archive the folder (right click - Auto archive) by setting the condition to 'items older than today, or one day' and by ticking the remove permanently box
  4. compact the pst file to reduce it's size to normal proportions again

For more details see: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook/HA011166031033.aspx.

(0) Comments ·
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
(0) Comments ·
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...]
(2) Comments ·

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 ·
30 October 2009 - 14:11

Datepicker in Access

One of the newnesses in Access 2007 is the fact that a datepicker functionality has been integrated for date/time fields.

If you don't use this version of Access and/or if you're after something with just a bit more functionalities (like an option for easy scrolling through years | months asper the need), then you're still bound to use some VBA coding.
You'll find a nice module with code over here at: glump.net.

(0) Comments ·
13 October 2009 - 14:41

The Titanic Syndrome

In the logic and spirit of the film documentary 'Home', which came out earlier this year, there's now also 'Le Syndrome du Titanic' - the Titanic syndrome.

Le Syndrome du Titanic

It's the newest documentary film from Nicolas Hulot, the famous French nature film maker and & Jean-Albert Lièvre - for the moment in French only I think.
Yet another call for a change of direction, based on a shift in consciousness.

A good sample of what's going on in people's minds these days - or with Reuters' quotes:

The titular syndrome is simple: Our planet is the doomed oceanliner, and we -- in the West, at least -- are all busy leading our more-or-less luxurious lives as we sail toward cataclysm. It's obviously not the first film in recent times to put forward the case for safeguarding Earth, but it promises to look at the issue from a bold perspective.

"We're at a crossroads of crises: An energy crisis, a food crisis, an economic crisis," Hulot observes. "We have to look at ourselves as we really are. Our model is not sustainable. It's this model, based on competition and accumulation, which is the source of much disorder. We have to change and everyone has to be part of that, including those in the developing world."

There are definitely things we can do right now however - for some inspirations:

(0) Comments ·
12 October 2009 - 12:03

Vegetarian days for world change

pumpkins

Since quite some years now the benefits of being vegetarian have become mainstream knowledge - and because of all kind of reasons more and more people worldwide have actually taken up vegetarian food in various degrees as well.

Rather new has been the linking of the idea that not eating meat actually is a significant step to reduce harmful effects on climate and the environment.
It's exactly this which inspired vegetarian organisations to promote meatless or veggie-days once a week.

In Belgian, it is the EVA vegetarian association, the biggest of its kind in the country, which started promoting a veggie day on Thursday for over a year.

The idea was actually taken up by the Municipality, and led to Ghent being the first West-European city officially promoting and sustaining its inhabitants to take up the vegetarian life style for one day a week and thus helping the planet.
support Meat for Monday Ghent's veggie day was born in May this year and actually got world wide coverage.

In the US and the UK a similar project has led to so-called 'Meatless Mondays' -
that project also got into mainstream this summer thanks to several celebrities, and especially also Paul McCartney officially endorsing Meat free Mondays -
you'll find his launching video on his website: http://www.paulmccartney.com/news.php#/1634/2009-06.

So you too can change the world ! :-)

(1) Comments ·
10 October 2009 - 15:35

Customizing the Ribbon in Access 2007 and Office 2007

If you wondered how to customize the ribbons in either Office 2007 or especially also Access 2007, here are some links which could be clarifying.
Ribbons are based on XML now, and so that makes the process more technical then e.g. customizing a toolbar before.

Access

Resources

(0) Comments ·
28 September 2009 - 13:46

Limitations in MS Project

There are a couple of limitations in MS Project which probably will never 'limit' you, till the day of course you really need to go beyond.

One such example could be the latest day till which you can schedule. That hasn't changed in MS Project 2007 and still is 31 dec 2049 (and indeed people who need such days for good reasons exist, as I discovered today through a course participant working on dismantling nuclear power stations !).

A limitation which I always found, well .. limiting, is the maximum space of about 10 to 12cm you can code for the legend text box, or the limitation of using 3 lines in this text box.
Just another example... so if ever you want a nice overview of some limitations in MS Project 2003, you'll find them at Microsoft Office Online. Luka Gospodnetic lists simular, but not always matching figures on his blog for MS Project 2007.

(0) Comments ·
20 September 2009 - 12:12

Centering horizontal menu in CSS

Rob Glazebrook recently posted a sample of a super simple horizontal navigation bar with CSS.
It's always great to have simplicity - something which isn't always the case, especially with CSS - so I'm just promoting the approach here as well :-)

Along the post someone asked for a solution to center the horizontal menu in CSS.
Well centering in CSS is also something simple generally; you basically put the object to center in a container which you style with auto-left and right margins. Something like

#menuHolder {margin:0 auto;}

Of course with menus you can always expect 'unexpected' behavior; so for some robust techniques on the matter Stu Nicholls is your man - he has been tireless in publishing huge amounts of code on his site; You'll find two very simple implementations of this technique over here:

(0) Comments ·
14 September 2009 - 12:07

Shared mode in an Access database - who’s in?

If you're using Access in shared mode, you might be wondering who's currently using the database.

Well this information is actually stored in the *.ldb file (pre Access 2007) or *.laccdb file (Access 2007).
This file automatically opens when you open your Access database in shared mode (this is the default - you can open a database in Exclusive Mode, through the options of the File/Open window) - it manages users and record locking in shared mode.
And you can actually read this file, you only need a more advanced text editor. However, Microsoft offers a special tool, called Jet utilities, containing a LDB viewer which withdraws more exact information about your connected users; you can download it here : http://support.microsoft.com/kb/176670. It also seems to working under Access 2007.

For any problems with the lockfile, you might go through this article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/299373/EN-US/

And if you want to list users and access through VBA code, this is possible to; for a nice module on this topic go here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/285822/

(1) Comments ·
09 September 2009 - 04:39

Default database & templates in Access 2007

When you'd like to create a default database in Access 2007, containing your preferences, settings, tables, forms, modules and so on of your choice, you can do so more or less as before in previous versions of the program.
Basically you'll have to create a new database, save it in the system's or your profiles' Templates folder for Access and just make sure you've made all changes in preferences and imported all objects you want by default.

You'll find the procedure nicely described on the Office Online Section for Access or also at Allen Brown's pages: http://allenbrowne.com/ser-43.html#dbtemplate.

templates folder and database in Access

But new in Access and a really cool feature is the possibility to use Database Templates (accdt files). Those Templates files are available from the Access Getting Started Page and are presented in different Template categories in the left navigation area.
To create such Database Templates files you'll need the Access Developer Extension tools (ADE), which is not included in the default install files. You can download this package at the Microsoft Download center.

Once installed you'll find a link on the Office Button at the bottom: Developers / Save As Template - once you've saved your template in one of the dedicated Templates folders (see previous section), your templates become automatically available from the Getting Started window.

(1) Comments ·
07 September 2009 - 04:03

Deploy Trusted Locations in Office 2007 system

If ever you need to deploy Trusted Locations in one of the Office 2007 programs and / or want to understand a bit more about the 'Group Policy Object Editor' here's the official Technet link: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc178948.aspx.

And following discussion might throw some light as well: http://www.access-programmers.co.uk/forums/archive/index.php/t-136411.html
(0) Comments ·
09 August 2009 - 15:38

Using wildcards in IIf() statements in Access objects

If you want to use criteria against one or more fields, depending on different scenarios, be it in queries or forms, the most logical step is of course to think in terms of using the IIf() function in Access.

This might be a solution, but it's not always necessary or the best solution. One thing and pitfall is definitely NOT to use any operators like 'Like' or 'Is not null' inside the arguments of your function.

Problem

E.g. these are some examples which are NOT going to work if used as Query criteria:

IIf([Forms]![Simple Selector]![OptGrpMemType]=1;"MRD";
IIf([Forms]![Simple Selector]![OptGrpMemType]=2;"NRD";Like "?RD" ))

The last argument has the Like operator

IIf([strPassedFunder] Is Null;Is Not Null;[strPassedFunder])

Is Not Null as a standalone argument is not going to work

IIf (checkbox=true;listbox value; "Like *")

Again the Like operator, moreover in between quotes

IIf([Forms]![frmLookup]![TypeSelect]=1;[Security TypeID]; 
IIf([Forms]![frmLookup]![TypeSelect]=2;3;<>3))

'<>3' is the problem here

[Read more on Using wildcards in IIf() statements in Access objects...]
(0) Comments ·
06 August 2009 - 16:25

Abraham-Hicks

Through a friend who sent me a couple of CDs from Abraham-Hicks on the Law of Attraction, I got to listen to one of the better speakers and teachers on Consciousness I've heard already.
To the point, practical spirituality brought in a freeing, humorous and inviting way.
Actually Esther Hicks, who gets her "inspirations" from "Abraham", also appeared on the first version of the famous The Secret project, so you might, as I did, remember her from there.

How exactly 'the machinery' behind this phenomenon of "mediation", "inspiration" or "channeling" (or whatever you want to call it) works, is another pair of scissors - but the message definitely stands.
The teachings are a good example of how cultural translated, clear, understandable, non-dogmatic explanations can truly be enlightening and inspiring towards the wonderful path of self-discovery and self-management.

I intend to consciously create my own reality

Yes, of course they have a site , which is commercial and thoroughly marketeered, but you can find some broadening views and answers to questions people have through some free video clips made during the multifold of conferences they have and are doing. These alone already are quite a dose perhaps :-)

So offer yourself a break and browse to some of these highlights and insights, which are build up around the "universal laws" (and especially the "law of attraction") which got summarized as follows on their site:

  1. You Are a Physical Extension of That Which is Non-physical.
  2. You Are Here in This Body Because You Chose to Be Here.
  3. The Basis of Your Life is Freedom; the Purpose of Your Life is Joy.
  4. You Are a Creator; You Create With Your Every Thought.
  5. Anything That You Can Imagine is Yours to Be or Do or Have.
  6. As You Are Choosing Your Thoughts, Your Emotions Are Guiding You.
  7. The Universe Adores You for it Knows Your Broadest Intentions.
  8. Relax into Your Natural Well-Being. All is Well. (Really It Is!)
  9. You Are a Creator of Thoughtways on Your Unique Path of Joy.
  10. Actions to Be Taken and Possessions to Be Exchanged Are
  11. You May Appropriately Depart Your Body Without Illness or Pain.
  12. You Can Not Die; You Are Everlasting Life.

Cheers !

(0) Comments ·
03 August 2009 - 03:13

playing with 22, 7, 142857 and precision

In a reflection and research on Excels precision handling, I came across this magic number 142857. From the Wikipedia definition (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/142857_(number)):

142857 is the six repeating digits of 1/7, 0.142857, and is the best-known cyclic number in base 10.
If you multiply the number by 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6, the answer will be a cyclic permutation of itself, and equivalent to 2/7, 3/7, 4/7 ,5/7 , or 6/7, respectively.

So in other words try this:
142857 * 2
142857 * 3
142857 * 4
142857 * 5
142857 * 6

But also this:
1/7
2/7
3/7
4/7
5/7
6/7

I hadn't realized that pi, or the famous 22/7 has this exact cyclic number too as decimals: 3,1428571428571428571428571428571...

22 and 7 being numbers which for all kind of reasons have always been predominant to me.
Makes you wonder ...
about the matrix of life e.g.

Oh, I almost forgot the point where it all started, the 'floating point', the maximum precision Excel can handle.

ps you'll find a 142857 calculator at Douglas Twitchell blog.

(0) Comments ·
01 August 2009 - 06:00

Dynamically sorting and filtering html tabular data on the client side

Now that javascript has re-incarnated into all kind of libraries and frameworks like Ajax and JQuery, It's amazing what can be done today on the client (browser) side when it comes to dynamic web pages.

I've been looking into a couple of solutions for a client who needs to provide web pages with sorting and filtering possibilities for html tables basically, but all triggered from the client's browser. In case you want to experiment too, have a look a the following.

sample of dynamic data filtering from client side
  • Firstly there's the use of the Spry, Adobe's open source javascript framework. Nicely embedded into Dreamweaver now (since CS3), it allows you to nicely access structured data, be it e.g. xml but also html tables !
    There's a whole bunch of possibilities and samples demonstrated on this page: http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/spry/samples/
  • Then there are all these wonderful programmers and developers making all kind of solutions available. Matt Kruse proposes his Javascript Toolbox with all kind of libraries and the one to sort and filter tabular data is really very nice: http://www.javascripttoolbox.com/lib/table/
  • Toby Von Loesch is another one. He developed a very simple but powerful Javascript to filter a standard html table: http://www.vonloesch.de/node/23

Amazing evolutions indeed ! And although limited (JavaScript, no database, functionalities etc.) really worth looking into as they bring speed and versatility to the client side of the application.

(1) Comments ·
31 July 2009 - 16:30

Delving in the treasure house of Pivot tables: calculated fields with if and more of those jewels

Delving after a solution to use functions, more precisely an IF() function, in calculated fields within Excels' pivot table tool, brought me about a couple of interesting insights and resources.

if() function in calculated fields

Firstly for the use of an if() function in calculated fields: that's a tricky one; I couldn't find a lot of useful links - I did find some descriptions of people struggling with the same issue: http://www.mrexcel.com/archive/Pivot/4588.html is one example of this. The conclusion of my research here was summarized by one of the comments:

PivotTables always apply the summary function to any field used in the calculated item. So effectively, your calculated field is evaluating =IF('Cost per Order'<35,SUM(Cost),0).
Since the Grand Total of Cost of not less than 35 it will return 0. Grand Total always operate on the data list contents not what's displayed in the PivotTable.

Or in other words: avoid the if function in calculated fields, implement it in the data table itself as a separate column, and use those values as column headers in your Pivot table - you can always hide columns which you don't want.

An example please !

Pivottable with prepared if()

To get the illustrated Pivot table, I first added a column to the data table with following code for a simple evaluation whether the line result goes over 1000 or not.

=IF(F2>=1000;"ok";"nok")

I've then used the ok/nok field (column) as a column label/field and filtered on 'ok' values only to get what I wanted - remark that I've added another field, total turnover, and kept the subtotals. By simply hiding the non wanted columns I can then have the number of 'oks' along with the Total Turnover (for all oks and no-oks).

[Read more on Delving in the treasure house of Pivot tables: calculated fields with if and more of those jewels...]
(0) Comments ·
28 July 2009 - 15:32

HTML 5

There has been a lot of discussion lately on the net regarding the topic of HTML 5 -
As an illustration this post on Jeffrey Zeldman's blog can count: http://www.zeldman.com/2009/07/02/xhtml-wtf/ (see the comments too).

Just two blog links here which made a lot of sense to me and clarified the issue:

(0) Comments ·
23 July 2009 - 14:28

Mind Map on web development

I've been working lately on a first version of a mind map on web development.
A kind of a blueprint really for some of my courses, based on my experiences, on what I've been reading and studying myself, on all kind of resources and what I happen to process as 'highlights'.
And of course all excuses making me go through the tons of materials spread all over my office are good indeed - so I'm happy too having allocated some time to this as well :-)

The map covers a whole range of fields or themes linked to web development and web design, with all kind of resources - I intend to develop it further when doing my courses, with time, but as I know some people have requested for a download already...here is version 1... as it says a very first version :-)

mind map on web development

Downloads

All feedback, suggestions and input of course more than welcome !

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