Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Copying? That's fine for reports.

OK, so you have a report which you want to use for more than one query.

You could make the report several times, but that's complex and time consuming and boring. And they probably won't end up looking the same because reports are a bit of a pig.

So, the easy thing to do is to copy the report
  1. Copy and paste the report, renaming it as you go

  2. Opening the report shows you that the same data is attached to it. Easy enough to solve if you know how - so open it in design view first.

  3. Now click on the properties button on the toolbar
  1. Make sure the All tab is selected and click on the name of the Data source in the first row.
  1. Use the drop down at the end of the box to choose the name of the query you want to attach the new report to.

  2. Close it all down, saving as you go and test it out.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Who can't read this?

People without access to the web of course - who are also, as it happens, missing out on cheap rail fares.

But who is that? Who isn't online in this shiny, nearly brand new 21st Century?

Official statistics seem to show that the group of people who don't have web access include:
  • the elderly
  • the less educated
  • women (no, really)
  • possibly the more remote
In particular, the over 65s have less web access than anyone. Around 70% of this group have never accessed the web. That drops rapidly when you get to 55-65 year olds, but at present the retired element of the population - the group which is increasing, has more leisure time and an increasingly disposable income - is the worst off in terms of accessing that "so called information superhighway" (quote TM BBC news circa 1995...).
And not all the internet "have nots" are unwillingly so. When asked why they didn't have the internet almost 60% said they didn't need it or want. Twenty-seven percent cited the cost of equipment or internet access as too high while 15% thought they didn't have the requisite skills.

From Who doesn't have the internet?, from the BBC Magazine
The less educated is interesting. It seems that 93% of university graduates have home internet access, but that figure drops to 56% of those with no qualifications. I suppose this could be related to income and not having access at home doesn't have to cause an issue for people nowadays (libraries, schools etc...), but it is an interesting disparity. Interestingly we know from our own research at work that about 95% of Year 9 children have some form of internet access at home.

Ah, women. Really. 29% have never used the interwebz, compared to 20% of men. Honest. It says so.

The remote group is also interesting - probably it's because of a lack of infrastructure (the wires and whathaveyou) which slows or limits access to people who live in really, really remote areas (even more remote than Eastbridge, put it that way).

The numbers come from Who doesn't have the internet from the BBC.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

"You may take your laptop into the exam"? Imagine...

You can in Norway.

Well, in parts of Norway they're trying the idea out anyway. Every 16-19 year old gets given a special laptop which allows them to work effectively (well, that's the idea anyway) in school and at home - and now to experiment with using them in exams.

The secondary students are given a laptop by the government when they turn 16 to help them with schoolwork.

During exams the specially-tailored software springs into life to block and record any attempt at cheating.

From: BBC Website - Norway tests laptop scheme

The idea is that the laptops come preloaded with software that's needed by the individual - so other than standard word processing and spreadsheet packages, art or design students would get specialist software. Then the machines can be used in exams.

The principal is that because students are used to using specific machines and software, they won't have the difficulties that tend to be experienced when special software packages are used just for exams (i.e. working out how to do something in the "new" software).

The difficulty of "cheating" through communication and Internet access seems to have been dealt with by the system, although papers can be downloaded at the start of the exam:
When an exam starts, students go to a website to download the papers for their particular test. However, said the official in charge of the scheme, in some schools answers were completed on computer from paper-based questions.

"That's also why we have to monitor the laptops during the exams, because they are not supposed to have internet access and not supposed to communicate with other students," the official added.

From: BBC Website - Norway tests laptop scheme
I can foresee other problems as well mind you - what happens if a machine locks up or crashes? What about one of those oh so handy "Software has to close now. Do you want to send an error report?" messages?

And can you imagine how many extension leads you'd need to sort out the battery running out issues?!

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

What's the password?

First off, be careful using passwords on your work.

If you forget the password you won't (and that means won't!) be able to access your work. At all. I can't, network managers can't, noone can. So don't forget it...

So, you have a database and you need to password protect it. Seems easy, but there's a crucial step that's more important than sneezing into a clean hankie. Here's how you go about it.
  1. Open Access. Not a database, just Access.
  2. Go File > Open and click once on the database you want to open. This will select the database rather than open it
  3. Now, find the Open button at the bottom right of the dialogue box. There's a little arrow next to it - click the arrow. Yes, the arrow.
  1. Choose Open Exclusive. The database opens.
  2. Now, go Tools > Security and set a password.
Hurrah, it works!