• #LearnMySQLNow,  Articles,  Writing

    A Few Thoughts on the Book Writing Process

    It Seems Like I’ve Been Here Before … People seem fairly impressed when I mention that I’ve written a couple of books on databases and software. I try not to make a big deal of it, just mentioning it in passing as appropriate, because I actually don’t consider it to be a big deal. I’m one of those people who likes to share knowledge, likes to write and has accumulated a decent amount of knowledge on a few things. Occasionally, that knowledge demands to be organized and backed up in article or book form. There’s also been the hope that others will find it useful in their own lives and…

  • Articles,  Database Design,  Microsoft Access,  Programming

    Deploying MS-Access Table Design Changes to Remote Files

    A New Challenge for Access I designed a Microsoft Access database for one of my clients and it’s split into two files – a front-end file with all the forms, reports and code and a back-end file with the tables. That’s pretty standard. During the development process, I needed to make adjustments to the table design – new indexes, fields need to be added and removed, relationships changed. That’s usually no problem if I have remote access to the client’s system and can login and make the changes. In this case, I don’t. Even to deploy a new program version, I have to send it to the client and let…

  • Articles,  Personal

    Unplugging to Reconnect – The Technology Sabbath

    It Started With a Game … By now, you’re probably familiar with Pokemon Go, the game where people search for Pokemon characters around town with their smartphones. In 2015, I played a forerunner of this game called Ingress. The basic idea was the same – run around town accessing game spots, collect digital items, compete with other players for territory, etc.. At first, the game seemed like a great idea. I figured it would get me out for some desperately needed exercise and it did. I found out some of my favorite walking routes had a bunch of game spots I could access while  walking and I was out there at…

  • Articles,  Resources,  Web Design

    ASP.NET for Beginners

    If you’ve been wanting to learn how to design websites with ASP.NET, here’s your chance! Check out my latest three-part series on OcalaITPros.com where I explain the basics of Microsoft’s ASP.NET framework and how it’s used to create dynamic websites. This series will guide you through creating and publishing a sample application completely from scratch. The series is based on my speaking notes from a recent meeting of the Ocala I.T. Professionals. Part I – What is ASP.NET? Learn about the difference between static and dynamic websites and how ASP.NET is used to serve dynamic content. Part II – Getting Started with Visual Studio and ASP.NET Installing Visual Studio 2013 Community…

  • Articles,  Internet

    8 Questions to Ask When Starting Your Meetup Group

    Updated July 29, 2019 Introduction Unlike much of social media, sites such as Meetup.com and EventBrite actually focus on bringing people together in person and helping them find other like-minded people they might never have met otherwise. These sites provide a set of tools that make it easy for you to bring a group of people together and continuously promote that group. For people moving to another area or developing new interests, it’s easier to find new friends by looking up local meetups they might like to join. My Background Several months after joining Meetup.com, I checked out a new programmer’s meetup group in Gainesville, Florida, Frontend Awesome. Ocala had…

  • Articles,  Internet,  Resources

    Learning a New Language Online

    Learning a new language has always been a challenging task whether you’re satisfying a class requirement in school, moving to a new country or adding a new language for work or recreation. The fact is that we take years to become proficient with our first languages from the time we’re learning to recognize language as infants through the time when we’re able to string sentences together as we reach school age. The expectations are much higher with a second or third language as most people would not want to take three or four years to be able to speak basic sentences and longer to communicate effectively in writing.

  • Articles,  Database Design

    SQL Server for Beginners: Part V – Using SQL Server 2012 LocalDB

    In a previous chapter, I described the installation process for SQL Server 2012 Express which included all the bells and whistles of the advanced services package. While it’s great to have all the tools at your disposal to learn from, some people might not want such a large installation on a particular machine or the administration that goes with it but might still want the basic database capabilities of SQL Server on their desktop. In this case, SQL Server 2012 offers a new edition called LocalDB. LocalDB is a minimized version of SQL Server Express specifically for developers who still need all the programming features including the ability to create…

  • Articles,  Database Design

    SQL Server for Beginners: Part IV – The AdventureWorks Database

    In the last part of this series I wrote about SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), the interface that enables you to work with SQL Server objects such as databases and tables. The program enables you to do quite a bit with a SQL Server installation. You can create entire databases and manipulate all the objects within them just through context menus. Having a graphical interface is nice but the real work of SQL Server is done through commands issued to the service which the menu options in a program like SSMS often do for you. If you really want to be knowledgeable about SQL Server, it’s important to learn the…

  • Articles,  Database Design

    SQL Server for Beginners: Part III – SQL Server Management Studio

    Once you have SQL Server and all the necessary updates installed, the next step is to learn how to create databases and work with them. The easiest interface available to the beginner is Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), a graphical environment where you can view and manipulate all of the databases and other objects on your SQL Server instance and perform other advanced functions. If you installed the Express edition with Management Tools or Advanced Tools as detailed in the last chapter, you should have SSMS installed and showing in the Program Menu under whichever version of SQL Server you have installed. Just click on the program to open…

  • Articles,  Database Design

    SQL Server for Beginners: Part II – Installing SQL Server Express

    Just like with any software, SQL Server uses a standard installation program to install its components on your system. Depending on the edition that you’re using, you will be installing it from media that you purchased or from the free install packages that you can download from Microsoft’s website. Unlike other installs, the SQL Server installation can be a long process as there are a number of components, requirements and options to consider, many of which I’ll be detailing in this article.