first, a picture

this is a view of the indian ocean with the tide out as seen from the sea cliff. i’ve marked with an arrow where i believe i was standing when i took this photo. perhaps this more aptly conveys what i meant by “i got in the ocean”.

view from sea cliff

how bout a little on what i’ve been up to?

the piece de resistance came today: i made access (vba actually) copy some data from a query into the windows clipboard in a tab-separated format so that if you pasted it into excel or powerpoint, you can very easily create a graph!

which only took an hour this morning after i found this, but getting there required a super heightened awareness of the process of getting any manner of data from the database into a very specific “graph-able” format in excel. and that required a complete rethinking of how my database describes the data it stores. and that of course required a complete redesign of all the interfaces required for this data’s entry, review, retrieval, etc etc.

in other words, the database had to be completely redesigned in time for a 3:30pm meeting-cum-romp today (Tuesday!) with the health office chief who will be out for the rest of the week. (perhaps this is a good place to remind my dear readers that i arrived in tanzania last tuesday after traveling for three days)

it occurred to me today that this has been a lot like outward bound, except with laptops.

well, the meeting went well, the copy to clipboard feature is so cool that it’s almost underwhelming in its shear simplicity and effectiveness. my old user-interface paradigm is now no longer “mode-ed”, making it less like vi and more like word. there are still too many buttons, but that’s a usability dilemma for another day. here’s a not so interactive glimpse at what this all means:

indicator form

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