Sysadmin: Macbook Pro, after the honeymoon

I’ve been using the MacBook Pro I introduced in my [previous blog entry][0] for a few weeks now. Between love and frustration I hang… Here is a review of our relationship so far. ##The Great## ###Hardware delight### Whether running OS/X or Windows 2008 I’ve got no major complaint about the performance of the machine. It’s... » read more

Linux: AutoCAD DWG to SVG preview conversion.

Years ago I did a [small utility][cad2svg] to convert [DWG][DWG] or [DXF][DXF] files into a vector-graphic, zoomable, [SVG][SVG] preview. The Linux command-line utility was used in a larger drawing management application that I had built before I left that company for greener pastures. The Linux server-based application would scan the vast (100,000s of [CAD drawings][CAD])... » read more

MS Access: checking network paths without freezing your application

Access programming is inherently single-threaded. That’s usually OK as most operations are sequential anyway and it keeps things simple at the programming level. There are times though where the lack of ability to run code on another thread is sorely missing: anything that takes a long time to run will just freeze the application, making... » read more

Linux sysadmin: a short RAID trouble-shooting story

I recently had an issue at a remote location (12000km away) where the old multi-purpose Linux server that had been working for the past 5 years wouldn’t boot again after a nasty power failure. The server was used as a firewall, a local email store, a file server and a backup server, so its failure... » read more

MS Access: Enhanced Message Box Replacement

This project provides a custom and enhanced message box replacement for the default `MsgBox`found in Access. A Test database containing all the code for Access 2007/2010/2013 is available at the bottom of this post. (__UPDATED Saturday 21OCT2014 to VERSION 1.10.__) ###What’s wrong with the default MsgBox### The default message box in Access is sometimes useful... » read more

MS Access: Restarting and compacting the database programmatically

In my previous article about changing the MS Access colour scheme I had the need to allow the user to restart the database after the colour scheme was changed. (__Article and Code Updated 13FEB2009.__) Being able to cleanly restart and compact the application is also useful in other instances: * Changes made to the environment... » read more

MS Access: Changing the Color Scheme programmatically

Microsoft Office 2007/2010 comes with 3 colour (color) schemes. Users can easily change it but when you deploy an Access application under the [Runtime][runtime] your users have no way to set the colour scheme as the application’s options are not available. (__Article and Code Updated 01DEC2014.__) Luckily for us, the global colour scheme setting in... » read more

“Apple’s OS Edge Is a Threat to Microsoft”. Really?

Business Week has a recent article where the author foresee the demise of Windows in favour of Apple’s OS. Reading it, I couldn’t help thinking I was reading one of these overenthusiastic 1925 popular-science article promising us that within just a few years we would all use our own flying car to get to work.... » read more