Wise Owl's quarterly (ish) news tweet  |  Issue 12 - January 2014

The items included in this newsletter are listed below. Our newsletter go out about 3 times a year - if you'd like to subscribe, just let us know!

Access 2013 reviewed

Using Access 2013 is a bit like finding out that your spouse has been leading a double-life all these years.  While you thought s/he was a loyal, faithful partner, you suddenly find out s/he's been two-timing you with a master/mistress holed up in an apartment in London. 

You thought Access was all about creating databases with pretty forms and reports to run in Windows?  Us too. Or at least, we did until Access 2013 came out, when we suddenly realised that Access was really meant for publishing databases on websites.  Find out more about the double life of Access, and the reason why Microsoft are investing so much in web apps for Access.

Power View for Excel

Power View has been introduced as an integral part of Excel 2013.  It allows you to create a worksheet tab onto which you can put tables, charts, maps and matrices (pivot tables by any other name).  The clever thing about it is that drill-down is built in, so that when you click on a slice in a pie chart (for example) the table on its right will automatically show only those items of data which feed into that slice.  The less-clever part is that the user interface is still a bit primitive.  We've put much more detail on Power View in this review.

One Wise Owl's experience of trolls

When we wrote an article for Simple Talk on why we believe VB to be a better language than C#, we didn't expect what followed.  The article has received over 200 comments to date, a substantial portion of them from C# trolls.  Read more on why Andy Brown "writes articles while drunk, stoned or both", "doesn't know anything about C#" (except "anything" wasn't the word used) and is "essentially unemployable", or have a look at the comments on the original article if you want to see the darker (or at least, weirder) side of online forums.

New Wise Owl logo/website

Wise Owl have only ever had 3 logos.  Our original owl was drawn on Freelance for DOS (you'd have to be at least 45 to even understand that sentence!) by founding director Jenny, while the current logo was created about 10 years ago by a company called Branches Internet.  We're now midway through a revamp of our website, which includes a new logo and branding.  You can see a preview here!

Oculus Rift

Oculus Rift sounds like a character in a Lemony Snicket novel, but is in fact the name for a virtual reality headset being developed by a company called Oculus VR in the States (where else?).  You'll have heard of Google Glasses perhaps, but Oculus Rift's Crystal Cove prototype is happening now (it was wowing them at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this month).  Geeks have been talking about virtual reality for many years now, but it appears that the technology is finally there to make it achievable.   As with driverless cars (the other technology to get lots of publicity at the CES show), it's hard to see just how big an impact VR will have on our lives, but driving instructors, tour guides, pilots, teachers and many others should be nervous. 

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