2005.10.04 03:16 PM

Westward Ho!

We're moving to Seattle. Well, to Sammamish, just east of Seattle and south of Redmond.

I'm not going to work for Microsoft (not that I wouldn't, I haven't asked and they haven't offered), we've just always wanted to live in the Northwest. We've got some friends there and have traveled there numerous times over the years for one of my clients. It's a wonderful place. And, we knew we wanted to get out of Chicago before our daughter started school next year. So, rather than put it off, we decided to clean the place up, get a realtor, and start thinking about how to make it happen. Before any serious thinking could get started, though, we sold. In three days. To some folks displaced by Katrina and living in a hotel. Of course, they wanted a 30 day close.

Thus did the thinking phase end and the scrambling phase begin. So, for two weeks we've been frantically paring down, packing up, and peeling out in an effort to find, secure, provision, and move ourselves into a new home 2,100 miles away. As of today, I can report that the effort is mostly complete. We're tying up some loose ends this week, the movers are here early next week, the new owners will be sitting on our (now their) toilets on the 14th, and we'll be in Washington for good on the 17th.

I still haven't reported these events to all my family, friends, and clients. I did get a chance to catch up with the ChiDotNet gang last week to say goodbye. It was a moving, meandering, drunk kind of farewell. Perfect. Unfortunately, longtime pal Eric G. Harrison wasn't there, so I'll have to catch up with him before next week (call me!). I've also got to grab some lunch with my favorite Magenic consultant and pal Dan (sans a blog) Akers.

One sad (and sort of ironic) side-effect of the short close, which was precipitated by the buyers being Katrina relo's, was that I had to terminate (at least for a while) my volunteer work for the Katrina Data Project. The great volunteers on this project, led by John Galloway, are all working double-time to match the Katrina missing with folks wanting to find them. If you've got some time and want to make a difference, I urge you to contact John. I'm sure they would love to hear from you.

One last thought, then I've got to get back to packing. We choose Bekins to handle our move and were surprised to discover that the cost of the move is based entirely on weight (packing costs are based on boxes, but the move itself is calculated entirely on weight and distance). Anyway, it's surprising how one's view of one's accumulated stuff changes when that stuff takes on a $.50/lb premium. For instance, a 40 lb set of hand weights no longer seems indispensible. Neither do a half dozen old 17" monitors.

So it was that I was made to re-evaluate my collection of computing history artifacts chronicling over 20 years of software development. The hardware was pretty easily jettisoned (monitors, switches, routers, network and harddrive adapters, cables, fans, ZIP drives, external CD readers, etc.) - the pounds-to-memories ratio made this a no-brainer. The same was true of many of the books. I kept a number of favorites, though, and ran into some I'd forgotten. For instance, I re-discovered my "Visual Basic 4.0 Internet Programming" by Carl Franklin, with foreword by Dan Appleman. Fun book. Upon opening it, I was delighted to recall that it was signed by Mr. Franklin at VBits in New York back in '96:


Go and DoEvents!

Carl Franklin

Ah, the good old days. Were things really so simple then?

For the magazines, I mostly just saved charter issues and an occasional special interest issue (for instance, I saved the VBPJ's introducing each of the versions of Visual Basic). It was great to thumb through all those old rags remembering the things that were so important so long ago. The September '95 issue of Pinnacle's Smart Access caught my eye, in part because it was exactly 10 years old, but also because of the name on the lead story: Mike Gunderloy. In that issue, Mr. Gunderloy wrote "Move Up to SQL Server", which included this insightful note:

The [Access] Upsizing Tools are no panacea. If you don't know at least a little about SQL Server, you're unlikely to be able to use them at all, since they presuppose a running server and the ability to create a new database. And don't assume that the Upsizing Tools will convert an Access database to an efficient SQL Server database and Access front-end application. Ironically, the Upsizing Tools are most useful in the hands of developers who already understand the difference between a desktop file server environment and a client/server one.

Just to be clear, Mr. Gunderloy is talking about SQL Server version 4.21! There's a sidebar that discusses a hack for targeting the recently released SQL Server 6.0, whose changes to the list of reserved words broke the Access Upsizing Tools. Here are a couple of other articles from the same issue: "Windows 95: A First Look for Access Developers" by Mike Gunderloy and Pam Hazelrigg, and "Use Windows 95 to Build ADT Applications that Run on Windows 3.1 Machines" by Robert Divine. By the way, Mr. Gunderloy could be reached at CompuServe 72271,275. Anyone else remember their CompuServe account number?

All told, I trimmed about 1,800 lbs off my history collection. Which should give me just enough headroom for the next 20 years!

See you out West.


Well, *I* still remember that CompuServe ID - and miss it, for that matter. For all the advances the Internet has brought, the intimacy and fun of the old MS Access support forums there still occupy a fond place in my memory (and not just because Microsoft picked up my whole CompuServe bill as part of the original MVP program).

Wave on your way by - if you're driving from Chicago to Sammamish you'll go within 70 miles or so of our place :)

Mike Gunderloy | 2005.10.04 09:44 PM

I have fond memories of CompuServe, too. The Revelation support forum there was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, I can't remember my ID - 74721,271, maybe? I'll have to dig out some old files to find it.

Anyway, I'll wave at periodic intervals along the way so as not to miss you. I'm taking the northern route, as I've already seen the Black Hills, plus I hear N. Dakota's really nice this time of year. ;)

ewbi.develops | 2005.10.04 09:54 PM


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