VBA: Unicode Strings and the Windows API

In this post, we talk about Unicode, about Strings, about how they sometimes become unexpectedly mangled when you pass them around the system and what we can do about it. We’ll see some Chinese ideograms, peek into memory and display some nonsense on screen in the process. VBA likes Unicode Internally, VBA handles strings in... » read more

Access: using .Net strings in VBA for fun and profit

Well, maybe the profit part is a bit of an exaggeration, but it will be fun, I promise, unless you’re not a geek in which case I really wonder why you are reading this blog. I’m not going to shock you if I say that strings manipulations and formatting are really ugly in VBA. Who... » read more

VBA for 32 and 64 bit systems

I’ve put off writing about x64 MS Office because I was a bit lazy and hadn’t build the necessary environment to test it properly. In my day-to-day job -as far as Access is concerned-, I have so far targeted the 32 bit (x86) version of Office 2010 but the 64 bit version is bound to... » read more

Programming podcasts

Podcasts are a great way to get educated and entertained. As a developer we are lucky to have a choice of some fine podcasts from industry leaders. If you commute, jog, travel, you can easily use that time away from the computer to get better informed and reflect about our field.

Office 2010 SP1 and Access 2010 Runtime SP1 are broken

(__Updated Saturday 10DEC2011.__) On 28th of June 2011, Microsoft Office 2010 Service Pack 1 and the Access 2010 Runtime Service Pack 1 were issued. After upgrading my development machine (Win7 x64) and a few clients (Windows 2008R2 x64) to SP1 (x86), I started to get strange issues: * I use .Net libraries from my Access... » read more

Admin: Linux file server performance boost (ext4 version)

In the previous article, I showed how to improve the performance of an existing file server by tweaking ext3 and mount settings. We can also take advantage of the availability of the now stable ext4 file system to further improve our file server performance. Some distribution, in particular RedHat/CentOS 5, do not allow us to... » read more

Admin: Linux file server performance boost (ext3 version)

Using a Linux for an office file server is a no-brainer: it’s cheap, you don’t have to worry about unmanageable license costs and it just works. Default settings of most Linux distributions are however not optimal: they are meant to be as standard compliant and as general as possible so that everything works well enough... » read more

Access: checking blank variables

I often have to test String, Variant or Object variables that have no content and could be considered ‘blank’. The problem is that testing for “blankness” [can mean many different things to different types][1]: * For an `Object` type, the variable can be `Nothing`. * For a `String` type, the string can have no content... » read more

A story about exceptional service

Recently I found myself constrained by the puny 200GB of my Mac Book Pro and I bought a [500GB Seagate drive][3] to replace it (a fast 7200 rpm one). The Macbook Pro has no easy access for the drive so you have to resort to dismantling the case to access it. This put me off... » read more