Staying Alive

LAST month I talked about developing your competitiveadvantage. The goal in developing a competitive advantage is to take youruniquecharacteristics and combine them to make a contribution that no one elsecan make. Strictly speaking, that’s not the only way to gain a competitiveadvantage. If you owned some resource that no one else had access to (and thatyour customers or clients wanted), then you could also have a competitiveadvantage.

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Start Programming with Class

MAKE no mistake about it—the addition of class modulesis the most significant developer enhancement in Access 97 (and the rest of theOffice applications). What makes class modules so useful? Several benefits cometo mind. Class modules allow you to create your own object models that look andbehave just like Microsoft’s. So, instead of using wrapper functions such asCopyToClipboard and PasteFromClipboard, you can use syntax such asClipboard.SetText and Clipboard.GetText.

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Spam Killers

Back in March, I was annoyed about viruses, worms, andother productions from the lowest level of hackerdom. But I realized thatviruses don’t get me nearly as mad as spam does. What is it about spam thatmakes smoke come out of my ears?

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Sounding Off

Rebecca Riordan’s article Improving Data Entry Feedback with Sound in this month’s issue on using sound made me think of other places wheresound is used effectively. Sound is effective in those situations where youcan’t see what’s going on. Parents and spouses are the most familiar with theseconditions. As a parent, I can’t have eyes everywhere (though my parentsseemingly could) and, as a driver, I can only look in one direction at a time.

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Software stagnation – Doing nothing can cost you money

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

After 5 years has gone by, the customer will befamiliar with what some of the software does but may not be aware of theworkings/specifications for the software, especially if they are new to thecompany. If so then everyone who is going to be involved in the new developmentwill be “somewhat in the dark”.

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