Saturday, January 29, 2011
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Not that I disliked my Somerset, but it’s just not cool to drive a car named after a retirement village in Florida when you’re in high school. In all honesty, I’d have traded my nice Somerset for my friend’s Monte with its dents, torn seats, dash cracks, stained carpets, and odd smells in a second. Why? Because when you grow up in a village of 200 (196 people, 4 llamas) surrounded by acres of cornfield, you make your own fun. And an old beater of a car was especially fun because such a vehicle was perfect for making “enhancements”.
Case in point, my friend made one such enhancement by tearing apart his fuzz-buster, burying the sensor in the dash behind the windshield, and tying the output to the seatbelt light. Not only was this a smart move (radar detectors were greatly frowned upon by the local law enforcement), but it was a lot of fun watching his seatbelt light go berserk every time we passed a cop on the road. Not surprisingly, my friend went on to co-found a company that specialized in reprogramming your average four-door grocery getter to humiliate a stock Camaro off-the-line. He’s done things with cars we couldn’t have dreamt of then.
So what’s this got to do with VBA?
Only that I have learned that some of the most useful and valuable things I own are things that I’ve repurposed. That’s why I love VBA. I’ve used it to find unique ways to solve problems, work around software limitations, and otherwise get Microsoft Office to do things that I very much suspect it’s not supposed to do. In short, VBA is how I repurpose Office, particularly Access.
For example, I recently had a post on the Microsoft Access Team Blog on creating dynamic callbacks for controls. That code opened up some possibilities with VBA that I’d never explored. So, I tinkered a bit.
However, I’ve reached a point where I can’t really take it much farther. That is, I don’t have enough uses for it to make it really useful. That’s why I’ve started a CodePlex site for it.
Anyway, download the demo. Tear it apart. Use it to repurpose a seatbelt light or two… Whatever.
Just let me know what you think.