Replace windows and Access with Mac and?

An Access nostalgia story:

In the mid 90ies, during my mandatory military service, I was approached by a NCO because he heard I was “pretty handy with computers”. A response to such a question was either yes/no. Yes: some kind of work. No: less or popular work might be the option. I chose yes. :smiley: I was told to report at the batallion’s HQ.

Private L.: Sir, reporting as ordered.
Lt K.: Report to the captain!
Private L.: Sir, reporting as ordered.
Captain H.: Do you know about computers?
Private L.: Yes Sir, I had computer science, learned…
Captain H.: Not interesed in your life`s story. Yes or no?
Private L.: Yes.

There I was told they wanted to use “those new computers” for the yearly shooting competition. Those were evaluated by hand from paper slips and the results were done after 3-4 hours, which led to complaints (as in: the general tells the colonel he doesn’t like waiting that long, who tells the captain it’s too slow, who makes his lieutenant have a bady day and reminds him of computers, who yells at his NCO, who runs around the barracks looking for “somebody who is handy with computers”).
The computer was a PC, Windows for Workgroups 3.11, MS Office (or was it single products back then? But Excel and Access 1.1) were installed). No programming language.

And I started to write a “Shooting Competition Manager” in Access. My company commander was ordered to send my over to the HQ during “every non-essential training/duty”. So, Access saved me from “cleaning friday” and other crap. I wrote a pretty nifty application. Participant data was preregistered, they got slips with unique IDs, they handed them in after shooting, were quickly typed in and we constantly could print result sheets (assault rifle/pistol/combined, active duty/reserve/overall, by unit, by age group…). 10 minutes after the last shot was fired we were done. I went to the colonel and reported it. He stared at me in disbelief, but after the initial shock was quite pleased. End result: I got a 2-day pass.

I liked the army, stayed for a while. 20 years later I went to one of those shooting competitions, where I am invited as a reserve officer. And I couldn’t resist taking a look into the “results office”…and there it was, my Access application still at work! :smiley:


That’s great. :slight_smile:

I played with Access a bit on my dad’s laptop but my first big experience was a brief college job. The company did lawn and snow service and was using Access to build software to sell to similar companies. I’d never seen so many tables, queries and form views before. Unfortunately, they made me work on a desktop bogged down with porn popups and if it was snowing they’d all leave to plow and lock the door so I couldn’t work, so I quit before I could have much impact on the software. I’m sure it failed.

At an asset manager I was able to use Access to solve a lot of small internal problems. The most significant managed financial course attendance, printed material and followup. I of course build apps differently today, but it was a good experience discovering and meeting business requirements and I learned a lot about SQL.

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I finally got around to writing up a post about switching from FileMaker to Numbers for invoicing for anyone that might be interested.

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