Thursday, November 30, 2006


I love Microsoft Access. It is so easy to use, and makes smaller data manipulation projects go ever-so quickly! Somebody gives you a bunch of line items in ASCII format with vague instructions to ‘merge this with that and get it back to me’, and Access stands ready to assist you.

I also hate it, because sometimes it refuses to open a simple ASCII file without telling you why. ‘Invalid argument’ is not helpful, Access. You old cow!

But I love it, because it’s easy to just open a new table and copy the data straight into it from, say, Excel – which has no problem opening the ASCII file. I’ll just Create table by entering data and…

I hate Access. Invalid argument my great grandma’s penny loafers!

No problem, though. I can just link the tables. Don’t really have to import them, you see how cool Access is? Link…OK, works fine. Now I’ll hook the two sources together and output the…invalid argument.

Whaaaaaaat? @*^&@ing Access!!

OK. OK. I can get around this. I’ll…I’ll make a new, blank table, and I’ll parse the data in line by line through a visual basic routine (she said, confidently – visual basic and I are actually not very good friends). That way, when I hit whatever it’s choking on, I’ll know the precise line. Create table in design view…invalid argument.

What the…(try again, and again, and again, because I know I’m not passing any arguments so obviously if I just keep repeating the same, exact action eventually it will do what I expect it to do instead of giving me this inane error) (no, it doesn’t actually work…but for some reason, I keep having faith that someday, it will)

And then, about the fifth time I’m hitting CREATE @*^&@*ING TABLE IN @*^&@*^ING DESIGN VIEW!!!!!!, it occurs to Your Faithful Correspondent in a bolt of light from above that she is being a twit. Something is obviously pooched in this database. Some handler somewhere didn’t unhand the handle it was handling, and the dumb thing is…confused.

Time for a little trick I like to call, Compact and Repair Database.

Tools…Database Utilities…Compact and Repair Database.

Invalid argument.

You. Old. Witch. **sigh** Click OK.

…database status bar fills, database briefly closes and triumphantly reopens.

Your Faithful Correspondent hesitates a moment, and then…clicks on Create table in design view…

Behold, the glory which is the design view. And the glory which is not having to use it, because now the import function has no issue at all with my source file, even if it is just a lowly ASCII file.

I love Access.

That is, when I don’t hate it…

1 comment:

buffi said...

I saw this shirt the other day and it made me think of you. ;)