Database Development

Access 2013I design and develop a wide range of database systems. These range from desktop Access systems to enterprise/internet wide SQL and MySql. These databases are customised 100% for my clients. They are never static and can be developed to grow with your business / organisational needs. Databases are far superior to spreadsheets – with databases you enter the data once and then you can get unlimited views and turn that raw data into information. I also specialise in recovering data from corrupt Access databases.

The five main reasons why people commission one of my databases are:

• Improve Operational Efficiencies
• Reduce Costs
• Generate New Revenues
• Deliver Improved Customer Services
• Adhere to good business practices

Information = Organised Data + Typical Database include:

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Sales and Sales Analysis Databases
  • Stock / Inventory Systems
  • Point of Sale (POS) Systems
  • Time and Billing Systems
  • Financial Consultancy Systems
  • Banking Databases
  • Order Management Systems
  • Equipment Hire and Timed Based Invoicing
  • Marketing Campaign System
  • Customer Questionnaire / Feedback
  • Health/Safety and Social Welfare Databases
  • Research Databases
  • Hospital Department Databases
  • Accounts Customisation
  • Legal Databases
  • Booking Systems
  • Databases for Solicitors
  • Pension Databases
  • Schools Databases

I also recover data from corrupt Access databases .

Preventing Enterprise Data Loss – 6 Best Practices

There is an excellent Article on ZD Net 15th June 2010 about the 6 Best Practices for Preventing Enterprise Data Loss. These include:

#1: Understand what data is most sensitive to your business.

#2: Know where your most sensitive data resides.

#3: Understand the origin and nature of your risks.

#4: Select the appropriate controls based on policy risk  and where sensitive data resides.

#5: Manage security centrally

#6: Audit security to constantly improve.

Apple and Adobe clash over Flash

In this months Web Designer (issue 171) there is good coverage  of the battle between Apple and Adobe. Basically Apple will not allow Flash to work on either its iPhone or iPad.

“Old rivalries continue to colour the battle between Adobe and Apple when it comes to getting Flash onto iPhone.

Back in October last year we reported from the MAX event in Los Angeles, when Adobe’s Kevin Lynch attempted to convince the crowds that Flash was in fact on the iPhone. As it turned out, this related merely to the ability to export apps built with the forthcoming Flash Professional CS5 into native Cocoa/Objective-C code. So in basic principle, designers could build with familiar Flash tools but effectively publish to a platform non-supportive of Flash Player, as we wrote in issue 164:

Adobe instead attempted something of a quick-change act (during MAX keynote) by suggesting that Flash was already on the iPhone, with a selection of commercial apps listed and available. In fact, what we were shown was a beta version of Flash CS5 professional compiling Flash content as Cocoa applications – the native language for Apple’s coveted device. Agencies such as BlueSkyNorth, Bowler Hat Games and South Park Digital Studios have already started publishing apps using this very method.

Fast forward to April and the scheduled launch of Creative Suite 5, and Apple decide to drop a pretty hefty bombshell. It transpires, at Apple’s April 8th keynote that the new iPhone OS 4.0 would come with it the SDK caveat prohibiting any such third-party tool from being used in the app development process. In other words, you can’t use anything other than Apple’s own tools provided as part of the official iPhone Developer Program… Cue some anxious Adobe faces suddenly flushing as red as their logo.

The response? Well, Adobe ploughed on with the worldwide online launch last Monday with the ‘Flash CS5 Packager for iPhone’ demo intact and the spokesmen quoted in various sources seemed to suggest that they would “look for loopholes” in order to prevent the feature being rendered useless. It now transpires that Adobe is contemplating legal action, along the lines of anti-competition most can only guess, while its product evangelist’s prefer (unofficially) to tell Jobs and Co. where to stick it.

Scam – Phone call to fix your PC

There is a scam where you will receive a call to fix your non existent PC problem. Just hang up and never give out details over the phone to someone you don’t know.

If you have time on your hands and want to annoy the scammers you could folow this example from one that I pick up off Boards.ie

“First there was music. Then a heavily accented voice from a call centre in India. This minion’s job was to get me to turn on my PC so they could achieve something. So, three mistakes there:

1. I don’t have a PC that I use for anything except specialist purposes
2. This was a silent call, music notwithstanding. If they had been a UK company this would have been illegal
3. I am not the idiot they think I am

So I told the very nice and heavily accented gentleman that my PC takes ten minutes to boot. And that I would put him on hold. I explained he would hear music.

Then I turned the radio on and put the handset by the radio.

After 5 minutes I apologised that it would be another five minutes. He was still on the line!

After ten minutes I apologised that the machine had just crashed, and that it would be another ten minutes. He was still on the line!

After 20 minutes I told him that the machine had booted successfully!

Not only was he still on the line, he put me on hold then so I could speak to his supervisor. I decided to hold.

A much less accented lady came onto the line and asked me to look at my keyboard, so I did.

She told me where the Alt key was. Interestingly it is there! Bottom left hand side. Oh joy. Next to that she told me was the Windows key.

Ah yes, the windows key. That is very hard to find on a Mac. I explained that I couldn’t see it.

She asked me to look at the bottom left hand corner of the screen and told me that there was a little button marked “Start”. I told her there wasn’t. What I have is “Finder’, which has a smiley face.

When she asked what was there I told her that I had a smiley face. I believe in letting cold calling idiots hang themselves.

Instructed to click the smiley face, I did. She didn’t believe me when I told her that a list of files opened.

At that point she got a bit upset and accused me of not having turned my PC on. I was waiting for the old customer service joke of being told to take the machine back to the store and to ask for a refund because I’m too stupid to own one!

Instead she actually decided to hang up!

Go me!

Another glorious way to annoy an unethical telesales company!

The thing about this lot is that I really can’t see where the scam is. I suppose at some point they ask for payment for whatever it is they pretend they can do to your PC. Unless, of course, they deploy some sort of Trojan onto it and create some form of unpleasant botnet.

Whatever it is I don’t want it.

This call is just like those guys who turn up in an old Ford Transit with a load old asphalt on the back and ask if you want your drive resurfaced, and then rip you off rotten by doing a bad job. You do not give access to your PC with your personal data, your bank details, on it to any old Tom, Dick or Harry. Instead you take up references.

I went to their web site at onlinepccare.com (and no, I will not dignify it with a link!):

Look! Top right. The satisfaction rating.

Of every 100 people, seven are dissatisfied! That’s pretty poor!

No, that’s awful!

That’s apart from the silent call, and telling me that I had been contacted because I filled out a form when I bought my PC!

Scam artists!

Oh yes. Total call time was 24 minutes 51 seconds. I think that’s a new record!”

Tech Update June 11 2010

In today’s Irish Times (June 11, 2010) there is a good review of iPhone 4, HTC Desire and iPhone 3GS.

The iPhone still has no support for Flash and the battle between Apple and Adobe will continue to rage on.

The HTC Desire uses Google’s Android os and supports Flash.

Microsoft has released free online versions of Word, Excel PowerPoint and OneLine which will allow users to view, edit and share Office documents online.

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