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Jim Dettman (EE MVE)Flag for United States of America

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Access Experts: General discussion thread for Access Zone (9-Sept-2013)

This thread is intended for general discussion among Experts participating in the Access zones.  

Discussion topics can include (but are not limited to) Access and zone related issues, tips, tricks, news, events etc.

This thread is publically visible, so please keep comments professional.  If you do have topics that should be handled off-line, please contact myself, mbizup, or IrogSinta at our email addresses (i.e.

Jim Dettman
MS Access Topic Advisor

Previous Discussion Thread:
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How do I follow a question without actually posting inane things, like this post, to it

Click the "Monitor" button in the left-hand sidebar.

(although it probably looks like an 'Unmonitor' button to you now that you have posted  :-)  )

You should see a "Monitor" button either on the left side of your screen, or along the bottom of your screen.  That will add it to your "My monitored Questions" list.  It will also change the caption to "Unmonitor" so if you get bored with the thread, you can "unmonitor" it.
Originally posted in the Access Expert Notify thread (i.e. bat signal)

Here is a helpful hint for queries and VBA code when dealing with null-able columns.
When you want to check that the column has a non-zero (or zero) length, use the following syntax.
Where Len([mycolname] & "") <> 0    'non-zero length and Not Null
Where Len([mycolname] & "") = 0      'zero length and Not Null

Open in new window

If Len([mycolname] & vbNullString) <> 0 Then    'non-zero length and Not Null
End If
If Len([mycolname] & vbNullString) = 0 Then      'zero length and Not Null
End If

Open in new window

It makes for simpler query syntax and code than checking for both Null values and the Length of the text in the column.

In a VB6 environment with unbound controls, you might avoid the problem of assigning a null value to a textbox by concatenating the vbNullString constant during your assignments.

I keep forgetting this and hope that posting it would help me remember.  Also, it isn't sufficiently long enough to constitute an article.

IrogSinta commented that he uses
If [mycolname] & "" = "" Then        'zero length

Open in new window


I explained that the Len() function is more efficient than string comparisons:

Strings are complex data structures that include both the text and the length of the text.  If you compare strings (<, <=, =, <> , >=, >) code has to first find the string with the lesser length and set up a comparison iteration for the characters in the strings.

If you use the Len() function, it gets the readily available datum out of the data structure.  Also, numeric comparisons, especially integers, are usually handled in registers and do not involve any floating point operations/circuitry.  This is why they are faster.

Way back in the 90s, I did some testing of common VB statements and demonstrated the string versus number performance differences to the local VB/Access user group.  This difference extends into If...Then and Select Case statements.  Although your code might be easier to understand if string comparisons are made, you will pay a performance penalty in high volume and critical situations.
Anyone else experiencing problems with EE rendering its pages properly.  I've tried both IE and Firefox and neither is rendering properly?
Same for me - IE, Firefox and Chrome all rendering incorrectly. Hopefully just a glitch ...
IE 10 good but mobile onSamsumh SII has lost  its mind
Started working again about 30 mins after I posted.
The mobile site is still shot on my Galaxy SII

"how long are your procedures"
Sub Questions:
  " how long is this question?"
  " how long are the posts?"

You ain't seen nothin'
Just noticed today that if I view an image posted to a Q, once I close the browser tab it opened in, I become logged out of EE and have to log back in to access the Q in the original browser tab.  I believe this is new but can't remember the last time I opened/viewed an image posted in a Q.  I'm using iE10.
OM Gang
Just wondering what happened to the post titled:

Looking for Access expert to upgrade DB from Access 97

I know there is a "job board" feature in the current version of EE, but never figured out how to advertise my availability since they took the "Hire Me" button off of the user profile.
Posted a new article "Sorting data in forms and lists" last night.  

Editor reviewed and approved it, but would appreciate any comments you guys might have as well.
Has anyone seen this issue (or have the tools to test it)?

The OP's problem seems to be limited to Access 2013/Windows 8.1:
Something's wonky with the date stamping in this Q

We weren't working on it two+ years ago :)
Anybody noticed any others with wonky posting dates?

Was it possibly a stray email that prompted you to ask that?  The file that Dale posted in the question looks like it WAS created  2+ years ago.

I haven't seen anything odd with dates that appear in questions, but I do see the occasional odd email alert for questions that have seen no activity in a very long time.
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Only thing odd I've noticed is that I've gotten a slew of "Your article was used in a solution" e-mails in last day or so.

I didn't have time to check them out.

"Only thing odd I've noticed is that I've gotten a slew of "Your article was used in a solution" e-mails in last day or so."


I could have sworn it wasn't that long ago I chimed in on that question -- but it really was August 2011.  At the time, I got the 500 point article bonus, and then on 27-Nov-13 I got the bonus again.

Articles and the points you get for them are funny things!
<<Only thing odd I've noticed is that I've gotten a slew of "Your article was used in a solution" e-mails in last day or so.>>

I received on Friday 11/29 a 'New Rank' notification email.  I was a bit confused (not necessarily abnormal) as I didn't have any answered questions and didn't think I was anywhere near a new rank.
OM Gang
Thank you.

Are you playing with the "name" feature on the personal profile as well?

I wonder whether if you change that now, whether the posts you made as "Someone you  know" will still show up with that name, or whether it would show up with the new name?
<< interesting >>

In a good or bad way?
Eric,  I could see how that could be confusing.  Especially with Miriam trying to decide whether she is "Someone you know" or "Da Man"!

Maybe they need to allow you to modify your site options to display the UserID or the Display name.  It will also make it harder to lookup answers posted by mBizup, or will the search feature allow you to search by either UserID or Display Name?
Not quite seeing the point of changing your user name. For years peeps know you as DatabaseMX (example) and suddenly you are ImWayCool ... huh ?  Seems like a bad idea.
Just sayin' ...
I say the username should not be allowed to change (if you want to do that, go to Instead, retain the original UserName ... with an *option* of ... AKA

(aka  Jammin Joe)

The note on the edit feature explains the intent...
 We recommend using your real name so that everyone can know how awesome you are.

I've seen a lot of people starting to use it in that spirit.

(Not my cup of tea, though... )
It could be a bit confusing, but you will continue to see the users UserName or ID, or whatever EE calls it in the Profile.  Note that Miriam is now "not my real name".
One of the potential perks for a lot of people is that it instantly and dramatically reduces internet 'footprints' for people who might have regrets about choosing a username too close to their own.
Well that would be interesting, I could change my Display Name to netminder and really confuse some people.  I'm leaning towards a 2 on a scale of 1-to-10 on the good idea scale.
As I noted above - if anyone noticed:

I say the username should not be allowed to change (if you want to do that, go to Instead, retain the original UserName ... with an *option* of ... AKA

(aka  Jammin Joe)
People who want to be anonymous will choose a "username" while others may well choose their real name.

That's pretty obvious.

And others still will want to protect their real identity, or maybe cash in on history of blog and or twitter names. Being already fully awesome as that identity...

But whatever the "show me as <this name>" option is, it must be unique or have a right of ownership. Which is why usernames were invented in the first place - right ?

I guess this new feature is the opportunity to change your username so people no longer see the unawesome name of an otherwise fully awesome expert.

might change mine to Rose Byanyothername Stillstinksgreat.
Actually, it provides me with an opportunity to change my display name when I need to ask one of those questions that an 2nd year Access developer should know but which I just cannot resolve during one of those over 50 "brain fart" moments.
High time for the changes (real names and pictures).

I think it was a great idea.  Raises the bar so to speak.   People like to know who their dealing with.

<<Well that would be interesting, I could change my Display Name to netminder and really confuse some people>>

 While in the short term it might cause confusion, you could also bet your a$$ that you'd be out of here real quick if you did.

 And it is an AKA type thing.  I've caught a couple of places where my member name is displayed right along with my display name.

 Most forums have this and it's never been a problem on any that I've seen.  Most will change their avatar (picture) on whims, but wanting to change a handle is rare.

 In fact more often then not, in places where they can't, they usually express a very valid reason for wanting to change.  In fact I've wanted to change 'JDettman' to 'Jim Dettman' for many years now.


I'm not encouraging anyone to do that, just saying there is potential for abuse.
Well for years I've been known around the tech sites as jimpen or Jim P. with the login still being jimpen.

So I'm glad EE finally implemented it. But it doesn't really matter to me.
Does anyone know:

1)  If there is a limit to how many times you can change it?

2)  Will there be a public record of formerly used 'Usernames' like Steam (Valve) allows their users to do?
I don't see anywhere I can enter a Display Name or a profile picture on my profile. Am I missing something?

Just above your userID you should see an "add your name" hyperlink
I don't see that on my profile:User generated image
<<I don't see that on my profile:>>

 Your not in the right place, your editing your account, not your profile.   Just click on your memeber name to get to your profile.

I found it ... thanks ..
For everyone else, here's what you should see:

User generated image
Also as an FYI, a webinar is in the works covering all the new features with profiles.

The Achievements listing is badly out of whack in terms of time-frame.  A zealot is defined as earning 500K point in a month.  I am currently listed as a zealot--but I am just shy of 600K points lifetime, certainly not in a month.

And then there's the workspace, which shows me as only having participated in 42 questions, which is not accurate by a long shot either.  A lot of things have been tweaked, reset and recalibrated in the last almost two years.  Change is inevitable.  I'm not certain that it is always good, though.  I don't know if the decision process to truncate things like question history was made -- or it was unintentional.

And, @netminder, it has been almost 2 years, and we are still staring at this lightbulb-bright white background.  It is what it is, but it would be nice if long-standing issues got dealt with first, before tweaks and new features roll out.
Is anyone else annoyed by the excessive white space around code blocks in questions and articles?  If so, you might want to pile on my feedback.
I tried to edit the question and can't tell if the extra line feeds were typed in for sure or not, but it looks like they were.

Not sure what you guys are seeing in regards to color scheme, but my background is fairly dark.  Certainly not white or light-bulb bright.  You might want to adjust your monitors.  Your contrast may be off or the "temp" of your monitor may be a bit too vivid.

Beyond that,  I think it's pretty obvious at this point is that they have no plans to change it.

Not sure what you guys are seeing in regards to color scheme, but my background is fairly dark.
+1 for me. I have absolutely no issue with the color scheme, but then I use f.lux to modify my settings dependent on the time of day (my office has quite a few windows, and can get very bright at times) so may have different settings than most.

Plus, I have 4 monitors. 2 of them are quite different in terms of color/brightness.
Scott, does F.lux allow you to customize all 4 monitors independently?
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Jim Dettman (EE MVE)
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