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Old 04-07-2018, 09:09 PM   #1
NauticalGent
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Evolution an the Access User

As is normal to human behavior, I tend to classify people by their attributes and pidgin-hole them (it has gotten me into some minor trouble in the past) accordingly.

Since joining this forum about three years ago I have classified other members of this forum into four groups:

The Heavy Weights - those members whose knowledge of Access and VBA are God-like and awe inspiring . They seem to always have the right answer and provide what the poster really needs and not what they ask for.

The Contenders - lots of experience and able to make things work, but often lacking the efficiency and coding prowess that the Heavyweights have.

The Pretenders - Those of us who are trying to be a Contender (but really want to go straight to HeavyWeight) but just aren’t there yet. We often take on the easy questions in hopes we can help, but often the Contenders and Heavyweights have to step in and clean up the mess we made. I’ve had my hand slapped a few times...

The Bums - those who want a quick answer to their immediate problem and nothing else - or spend all their time in the non-Access threads to see how much doo-doo they can stir up. Yeah...I can be a bum at times too.

I chose to use this intro becuase I had some free time and I thought about one HeavyWeight in particular - amazing skills but has the same people skills as Dr. House, or maybe a Pittbull with a sore arsehole...and wondered what their first post in the forum was. So I went creeping...

I was shocked to find that this person was once NOT the Access Demigod they are now. Which prompted me to creep on all the other Heavyweights and for the most part, the story was the same.

It reassured me that no one is imbued with Access-ninja skills, you have to earn them and just like everything else in life, you have to put in the time and earn your stripes. It also gave me hope that I may one day myself, rise from the lowly ranks of Pretender. The Bum traits are in my DNA and nothing short of an exorcism will change that, sorry.

I did all this creeping while binge-watching season three of Vikings and missed just about everything. Thank God for Netflix...

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Old 04-08-2018, 01:45 AM   #2
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Re: Evolution an the Access User

You raised an interesting point here & having followed your idea for a few experienced members, I see exactly what you mean.
I also looked back at some of my early posts....

I think the reasons are partly that responding to other user's questions can often hone your skills far faster than just working on your own projects.

Doing so also helps put in perspective what your own skill levels really are.
In other words, the realisation there is far more to Access than any of us mere mortals will ever know.
I can't speak for the demigods on this matter.

I think this old but related thread is very informative:How to go from intermediate to advanced

I will also confess to making guesses as to exactly who Dr House & the pitbull are!
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Old 04-08-2018, 03:14 AM   #3
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Re: Evolution an the Access User

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I will also confess to making guesses as to exactly who Dr House & the pitbull are!
I was wondering if anyone was going to address that bit...!

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Old 04-08-2018, 06:07 AM   #4
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Re: Evolution an the Access User

Ah, yes...

for our non-USA friends around the world who haven't run across this particular show, House is a TV series about a brilliant, near- or above-genius level physician and diagnostician with a MAJOR dose of ingrained arrogance. Arrogant to the point of making his patients hate him even though he saved their lives. Dr. House had the bedside manner of a dyspeptic porcupine. The show was popular and ran long enough to be in syndication now and then.

As to the dog, since Colin commented: A pit bull is a breed of dog frequently trained for (illegal) dog fighting. When treated well from puppy-hood, the breed is a typically gentle mid-sized to upper-mid-sized short-haired dog. When badly treated or trained for violence, they are dangerous because they have tremendous, i.e. bone-breaking, jaw strength and they have a flash temper. Some areas in the USA ban the breed out of fear when the truth is they should ban the people who train them for dog fighting. Oh wait, most states HAVE banned dog fighting... but it hasn't stopped the folks who do the training.

I know that I started on this forum with knowledge of databases but not specifically of Access. Back in the late 90s I was asked to take over a departmental database because its original author found a job elsewhere that would be much nearer his family (and paid more money). Can't blame him for leaving, but he left me a MESS, pure plain and simple.

At the time, I was a government contractor systems administrator who was used to cleaning up other people's messes, even signing myself "Senior Systems Janitor" at one point. Later got in trouble for that signature and had to change it because one of agent K's line from Men In Black was applicable: "We're from the government and we don't have a sense of humor." Well, this particular person met that criterion. He was such a screw-up that he later got shuffled to a cubby-hole where he would screw up fewer people due to lesser exposure to them.

Anyway, back to database evolution: There is NOTHING like having to clean up someone else's mess but yet NOT discard it entirely. The boss wanted the database to work. Let's not even talk about implementation and appearance issues. Those, I could clean up quickly. However, I found that it had suffered from so many design flaws that it became impossible to manage as it was. The advent of virtual machine technology meant that we had two new types of system - the virtual host and the hosted virtual server. It took me a couple of years to get that thing updated and restructured. We started that monster using Access 95 and ended up with Access 2003.

Shortly after that, I was approached by the government because they liked it so much, they wanted to take it over and make it run on SQL Server or ORACLE or something, I don't recall which product was their happy place then. So I gave it over to a guy who didn't speak English very well and he promptly screwed the pooch trying to get it to work. Of course, I had to bite back some comments that would have been nasty and would have gotten me fired. The guy (whom I shall not name) was a near-perfect example of the Peter Principle - rising to the level of one's incompetence. He was very much the perfect example of one of Gent's "bums."

When enough time had passed, my second big database for the Navy was requested by my boss, who was drowning in paperwork and needed a centralized reporting system for security activities. The last upgrade I had for that was to Access 2010. We had 2013 but with typical inability to decide, the powers-that-be waited until 2016 to decide to migrate to 2013. That one was integrated with Office and had many features. It could, under user control, import new data from spreadsheets and export certain types of visual summary reports from spreadsheets. It could open Word documents as Help files using GoTo Bookmark functions. It used Outlook to send notifications and appointments for due dates of various events, and it even could send status letters to our end customers. I learned more about Office with that beast than I EVER wanted to know.
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Old 04-08-2018, 11:35 AM   #5
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Re: Evolution an the Access User

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all not name) He was very much the perfect example of one of Gent's "bums."
Well Doc, since you took the time to explain the Dr House and Pittbull references, I feel compelled to explain the “bum” label, especially since our UK brethren use bum to refer to a certain part of the anatomy.

The other labels are all boxing terms, as is bum. It doesn’t necessarily describe them as low-lifes, but no-skill fighters who are there to assure the other fighter gets an easy win. At any rate, hope I didn’t offend anyone with my terms.

Those of you who took the time to read it and then respond and/or gave me a “thumbs-up” obviously get what I was trying to say and it goes without saying which group they belong too...
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Old 04-10-2018, 01:07 AM   #6
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Re: Evolution an the Access User

NG - really great idea

I try to practice humility not because I enjoy it but because I selfishly believe that it is the best way of getting better. I am a strong believer in the idea of Categorical Imperative - ie that there is an optimal solution or group of solutions that are independent of your moral stance or personal enrichment that is somewhat unchangeable and if you simply deny it you are likely to make sub optimal decisions. As such you have to always be prepared to change your mind on anything.

In the workplace there are a steady stream of individuals who will take a technical stance based usually on what is best for them irrespective of evidence which might suggest its deeply sub optimal more widely, this is VERY frustrating and a situation which everyone seems to face. This position never ends well leading to poor moral and low productivity sometimes such individuals opinions are increasingly ignored and never are these people are the go to people to solve new issues.

I also think you can't trust anyone trying to sell you anything be it ideas or physical things. And that includes your Wife / Sister / Mother / Father or yourself. People get on board with ideas and they love those ideas me included. Kick yourself kick yourself hard investigate even the truly cynical views and thoroughly satisfy yourself that they hold no value and then move on. Forums represent non partisan completely independent opinion from individuals that while having unknown and sometimes questionable mental stability are at least NOT trying to sell you anything and therein lies there incredible value. Additionally within a relatively short amount of time you quickly come to know who the real heavyweights really are.

I 100% believe this is the correct approach and cannot see myself ever being convinced otherwise.

By the way thanks to all those that contribute I really have learnt some semblance of programming (I still don't exactly know what a programmer really is) from this forum.
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Old 04-10-2018, 02:08 AM   #7
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Re: Evolution an the Access User

The heavy-weights are not gods but magicians who know how to apply the laws of the universe to achieve things that are not obviously possible.

The likeness to House should be no great surprise. This industry is heavily populated with people on the Autism Spectrum. It is a very common trait among innovators because, as I heard it put once, "they don't let practicality stand in the way of pursuing an idea". In fact some technological development employers seek out highly functioning autistics for this very trait. It works if they are backed by a team with a sense of attention to process.

I was about to turn 40 and at a high school reunion when one of my former teachers (who had later had an autistic son) told me I was clearly on the spectrum. My school teacher wife backed it up shortly afterwards while doing training on "Special Needs" teaching when she realised I ticked a lot of the boxes.

I have no doubt that are many others on this forum who don't realise it of themselves. Remember it is a spectrum, not a threshold.

Fortunately ASD isn't so much a Disorder for me as some because and I learnt to harness my abilities to deal with it most of the time. I can go off the deep end if I get too far down a path and some aspects can be a troubling but I am who I am, so be it.

At its extremes it can become debilitating creativity or destructive negativity and can sometimes onset very quickly. Best to stay in the middle and try to carefully harness the positives.

I am very fortunate that my wife saw the best me or my life could have been a disaster. Truth known, she is on the spectrum too though females are generally less affected than males. She is probably the most intelligent and capable woman I have ever met.

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Old 04-10-2018, 04:39 AM   #8
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Re: Evolution an the Access User

Well, not everyone who gave you a thumbs-up for this post (despite our recent differences *cough*) is a heavyweight. :P Doesn't mean it wasn't a helluva post though.
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Old 04-10-2018, 04:48 AM   #9
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Re: Evolution an the Access User

I'm afraid I'm only a heavyweight due to pies and beer.
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Old 04-10-2018, 05:16 AM   #10
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Re: Evolution an the Access User

Suggest this thread is made into a 'sticky' ... and not just to soak up all the pies and beer
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Old 04-10-2018, 05:16 AM   #11
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Re: Evolution an the Access User

I used to be a heavyweight but my doctor put me on a diet.
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Old 04-10-2018, 07:38 AM   #12
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Re: Evolution an the Access User

"Diet" is just "Die" with a T.

Also, to give anyone not familiar with the show an idea of what Dr. Gregory House was like, here are some quotes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Gregroy House
"I'm the doctor who's trying to save your son; you're the mom who's letting him die. Clarity, it's a beautiful thing."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Gregory House
House: "How old are you?"
Boy: "Eight."
House: "And he swallowed something stuck to a fridge. Darwin says let him die."
In response to a woman telling him she refuses to vaccinate her kid because she thinks vaccines are a scam, he grabs a plush frog and says this:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Gregory House
All natural, no dyes. It's a good business - all-natural children's toys. Those toy companies, they don't arbitrarily mark up their frogs. They don't lie about how much they spend on research and development. And the worst that a toy company can be accused of is making a really boring frog. Gribbit, gribbit, gribbit.

You know another really good business? Teeny tiny baby coffins. You can get 'em in frog green, fire engine red. Really. The antibodies in yummy mummy only protect the kid for six months, which is why these companies think they can gouge you. They think that you'll spend whatever they ask to keep your kid alive. Want to change things? Prove 'em wrong. A few hundred parents like you decide they'd rather let their kid die then cough up forty bucks for a vaccination, believe me, prices will drop REALLY fast.

Gribbit, gribbit, gribbit, gribbit, gribbit, gribbit.
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Old 04-10-2018, 11:46 AM   #13
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Re: Evolution an the Access User

Quote:
The heavy-weights are not gods but magicians who know how to apply the laws of the universe to achieve things that are not obviously possible.
Now that is a profound statement from a magician of the first order!

Quote:
I'm afraid I'm only a heavyweight due to pies and beer.
And I am a card-carrying member of that club, not fun looking in the mirror but it sure is a hoot earning my membership!

Quote:
Well, not everyone who gave you a thumbs-up for this post (despite our recent differences *cough*) is a heavyweight. :P Doesn't mean it wasn't a helluva post though.
Well now Frothy, coming from you that means a lot. And for the record, I for one considered you in that weight class. You may not be as prolific as some but you have earned your place with your contributions. That progress bar class module you shared was nothing short of brilliant - the bit where it creates the form just in case one didn't exist is genius. (1) It would have never occurred to me to do that, (2) I didn't know it could be done with VBA code and (3) even if I did I would not have known how to even begin to do it.

In regards to our differences...although it takes two to tango, I went "ugly" first and for that I apologize as well as for the personal attacks on your character.

I was going to say as much on the thread but I figured we gave the forum enough of a show already. Thanks for being a grown-up about the whole thing.

Lightwave, Ridders and Doc, always great to read your contributions.
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Old 04-10-2018, 01:55 PM   #14
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Re: Evolution an the Access User

No worries, man, and apology is accepted. You have mine as well, especially for baiting you at the height of the argument. And honestly, I think I started the whole thing with that throwaway comment at the end of my first post there, since I'm sure that's what actually set you off. I should be better than that, and that final comment wasn't necessary, no matter how upset I was.

Also, had you said it on the thread, I wouldn't have seen it. I unsubbed shortly after my last post there, and haven't looked at it since.

Finally....

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