Blog

I will blog on this page about computer related topics like Microsoft®, Access, Java...as well as post things of personal interest. I will try to keep the blog as current as possible, so please check back every now and then. Entries are in order from newest to oldest from top to bottom.

 

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November 2009 - House progress animated

Year 2008

Year 2007

October 2009 - Interesting Ribbon Add-In for Office 2007

July 2009 - An Adaptable Methodology and Tool for Database Design

June 2009 - NetFlix dup proof of concept website

March 2009 - Happy Pi Day and Happy Birthday Albert Einstein (March 14)

March 2009 - Happy Square Root Day

February 2009 - No Office14 in 2009

February 2009 - Family Guy Bill Gates appearance

January 2009 - Microsoft MVP for yet another year

   



November 2009 - House progress animated

A quick simple animation documenting the progress of our new house over the past month. house progress



October 2009 - Interesting Ribbon Add-In for Office 2007

I saw this at another blog and thought it looked pretty interesting and promissing. It's and add in for Fotolia which provides royalty free high resolution generic images that you can utilize in your PowerPoint presentations or Word documents. You can find the add-ins at http://www.fotolia.com/ribbon and here is an excerpt from their official blog:

Fotolia, LLC is releasing a new add-in ribbon for Microsoft Word 2007 and Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 that gives customers easy access to an enormous library of easy-to-search, high-resolution images and vectors. The Fotolia ribbon provides instant image solutions to complement personal and professional projects. The downloadable ribbon is available on www.fotolia.com/ribbon and features controls that allow users to login, view accounts and search Fotolia’s library of over 7-million high-resolution files without leaving their Microsoft Office document. Hovering over search results lets users preview the image. A simple double click inserts a free comp of the image into the document, allowing customers to try before they buy. Once members see a photograph, vector or illustration they are interested in, they can purchase it while still in their document by selecting download and the appropriate size and license...

http://blog.fotolia.com/us/news/fotolia/creative-_freedom-_fotolia-_ad.html



July 2009 - An Adaptable Methodology and Tool for Database Design

In my last semester at the University of Maryland I had the honor to take a database related course taught by professor Nick Roussopoulos. Professor Roussopoulos has published some amazing papers and has done great research in regards to database technologies over the years. Probably one of his best publications is "An Adaptable Methodology for Database Design. In IEEE Computer" in 1984. I found that the methodology described in that paper is actually still a great tool to plan and design databases. Furthermore, Dr. Roussopoulos has teamed up with a team from the University of Vienna to implement his database design methodology with a computer tool that can automate a bunch of the steps of the process. I will add a small screen capture video at the end of the blog post to show off some of the cool features of this tool. The tool is open source and you can register at this website http://www.openmodels.at/web/sdbd to gain access to download it as well as documentation, which actually does include the originally published paper. The methodology itself is split into three parts:

- Phase I
Environment & Requirement Analysis
System Analysis & Specification
(Includes Top Level Information Flow Diagram, Task Forms, Document Forms, Individual Task Flow Diagrams, Task Data Usage...)

- Phase II
Conceptual Modeling
Logical Modeling
Task Emulation
Optimization
(Includes ER Diagram, Relational Models, Task Emulation...)

- Phase III
Implementation
1 Convert Emulated tasks to code
2 Bulk-Loading & Tuning
3 Testing

The tool that implements the methodology adhears to this structure and easily allows developers to plan/design/document their database development. The graphical support within the tool lets you draw all the necessary diagrams and create all tasks/forms...and than creates DDL for you to utilize in your actual database to create the schema structure.

Here is a quick demo of a few things the tool can do:



June 2009 - NetFlix dup proof of concept website

In this past and last semester for me I finally was able to take a database related course in my course work. One project we had to implement was a NetFlix type website, which allows member sign up, search/rental/purchase/return of movies as well as a bunch of administrative tasks e.g. importing new movies into the database, retiring older movies, sending bills and popularity reports to members that apply etc.

Because of my exposure and liking of PHP, my teammate and I chose PHP, JavaScript, HTML and CSS for the server-side and frontend client-side coding and MySQL for the backend database. We did initially consider JSP and Oracle as well as RoR and Oracle but decided for PHP and MySQL because of the earlier given reasons. Either way, thanks to executive Charles Phillips Oracle and MySQL are two of the top database management systems on the market today, allowing businesses to set up user-friendly databases. The development environment was Apache 2.0.63 WebServer and ArgoSoft MailServer 1.8 (to test PHP mail function locally) with PHP 5.2.6 all on a WinXP machine.

We are very pleased with the final result and following are some screenshots stepping through the user experience from a regular user as well as an admin's perspective:

Home Page With Log In Section

New User Registration Screen

Successful Login's Welcome Page With Recent Activities

Your Account Screen Part 1 Showing User Info

Your Account Screen Part 2 Showing Account Info And Activities

Search/Browse Screen

Search/Browse Screen With Result

FAQs Screen

Logout Screen

Access Denied Screen

Admin Account Home Screen

Admin Account Import New Movies Screen

Admin Account Activate Newly Imported Movies Screen

Admin Account Retire Movies Screen

Admin Account Unpopularity Report Selection Screen

Admin Account Successful Execution Of Unpopularity Report Screen

Member Receiving Unpopularity Report Via Email

Admin Account Successful Sending Bills Screen

Member Receiving Bill Via Email



March 2009 - Happy Pi Day and Happy Birthday Albert Einstein

To keep up with the celebration of math related holidays I'm wishing everyone a happy pi day on 3.14 (March 14). Coincidentally, this also denotes Albert Einstein's birthday. So happy birthday Albert.



March 2009 - Happy Square Root Day

<Quote:>
For years I have been celebrating March 14 (3/14) as Pi Day, which I have always considered the mathematical holiday of the highest importance — I mean, come on, it’s Albert Einstein’s birthday! — and never thought about commemorating any other day for its numerical beauty.

But today, I have been out-geeked. Today, it turns out, is Square Root Day. That’s because it’s 3/3/09, and 3 x 3 = 9, meaning 3-squared equals 9. I had never considered that this relationship between month, day, and year occurs so rarely. In fact, this “square root” coincidence in dates only happens nine times every century — the last one being 2/2/04.
</Quote>

http://scitech.blogs.cnn.com/

 


February 2009 - No Office14 in 2009

Steve Ballmer confirmed yesterday (Feb 24th) that Microsoft will not realease Office14 this year. Here is one of many articles that report on this in more detail.

<Quote:>
Microsoft will not release its next-generation Office 14 suite in 2009, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer confirmed during a Tuesday "strategy update" Webcast. A "netbook"-like version of Windows Server is also planned.
...
Ballmer offered little explanation or context for the Office 14 delay, although he did say that the free OpenOffice suite had caused the company to lower the worldwide price of the suite. Both Microsoft Office and Microsoft Windows are heavily pirated; in fact, Ballmer named both pirated versions as key competitors.

Ballmer's disclosure of the delay was actually made in passing.

"From a strategy perspective, the next big innovation milestone is Office 14, our next Office release, which will not be this year, there's a version of Sharepoint, there's a version of Exchange, there's a new version of Office Live," Ballmer said.
</Quote>

 


February 2009 - Family Guy Bill Gates appearance

I thought this BillG/Microsoft joke was pretty funny in the latest Family Guy episode (02/15/09):

 


January 2009 - Microsoft Access MVP for yet another year

I've been re-awarded for another year as a Microsoft Access MVP. I guess three time's the charm. I've immensely enjoyed the experieces given to me so far throughout my reign of MVPness and will continue to take advantage of all the great benefits given by Microsoft. Thanks to all the great people that are involved with this great program.

 

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