Contextures is having a contest. There are some great prizes, so go enter. If I win the VSTO book, I’ll assume it’s a divine sign and actually learn something .NET.
Recently, I changed a program that I substantially completed a year ago. There was a lot of Excel and Access integration and I used class modules to obfuscate the Access interactions. That is, instead of dealing with Connections and Recordsets in the main code, I dealt with custom class modules. Beyond just that, it was significant to me because I forced myself to use classes to an extent I never had. I employed the “heavy class/light sub” method of coding. The vast, vast, vast majority of the code is in class modules. The subs in standard modules exist only to call properties and methods of classes. That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but I really went to extremes that I hadn’t before. The benefit came with the recent changes I made to the code. The code is so clean and readable and self-documenting, that it took me no time at all to get my bearings. I was able to find where the changes needed to be made, change a property, add a new property and I was done. I know I pimp class modules too much, but this project got me over a class module hump when I was doing it. Now that I go back and look at it a year later, I’m more convinced that HCLS is the methodology for me.
I’m training a new accountant. She’s pretty proficient in Excel, which is nice. As we work through processes together, I notice keyboard shortcuts that I use and don’t even think about. The one that stick out the most is Cntl+- to delete a row or column. If I want to delete a row, I use Shift+Space followed by Cntl+-. I haven’t been using that one long, but I took to it pretty quickly. Watching someone else reminds me that there are different ways to do things (and that my way is truly the best :) )
In October 2006, I bought a tablet PC and it didn’t work out too well. Gosh, was that really almost three years ago? Since then, I’ve struggled with buying another one. Not because of the experience I had, mind you, only because it is such an obviously extravagant purchase that I couldn’t justify it. I finally broke down and bought Ed Bott’s old Asus machine. Aside from the fact that I can’t get iTunes moved from another machine to this one, it’s been a lot of fun playing with the tablet. I’m genuinely shocked at how well the handwriting recognition does. We’ve come a long way from the Newton. I used to own a Palm and I got pretty proficient with the block lettering. For those of you who’ve used block lettering, you’ll appreciate that I keep writing a ‘7’ expecting a capital T. In fact, I’ve trained the table to recognize that quirk and to only recognize a seven with I put a horizontal line through the middle. I haven’t put Office on it yet and I’m not sure that I will. Maybe OpenOffice.