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Learning am hard!

Man, my brain hurts from cramming it so full of knowledge this week. In reality, my learning process probably best resembles someone trying to put toothpaste back in the tube. But don't worry, most of it gets in there!

So... here are some of the fascinating things I tinkered with this week.


Microsoft PowerApps - in Office 365, almost everything is broken out into apps. It seemed like everything I tried to do, the advice I gleaned from the web suggested doing it in PowerApps. My original intent was to migrate an Access Database into a web-app for SharePoint. But it seems like that is a dying practice as (again) all advice from the interwebz kept point me to PowerApps.

After a lot of banging my head on the desk, I was finally able to export some tables to SharePoint and develop a basic app to view and edit data. Nothing to elaborate, but enough to convince me I can do it when I'm ready. I also began working on a simple project tracking App that I'm building from scratch. Pretty cool to see your work pop up and work on your cell phone,


Microsoft Access database for project tracking - this one wasn't such a stretch, since I've built these types of databases before. The struggle with this one is designing it for a business that I'm not in - so I have to think from someone else's perspective. And that someone is not a computer guy, so I'm trying to make it super intuitive.


Email Migration from GoDaddy - I've ranted in a couple other posts about GoDaddy's stripped down version of Office 365 as their email offering. But I managed to migrate my client's service and learned some important steps about how to capture not only emails, but calendars, contacts and more. Stage two was learning how to help them setup on their iPhones - in a way that was comfortable to them (versus the way I would set it up for myself).

It was an adventurous undertaking, and somewhat entertaining - when my son in-law thought we had lost all of his contacts from the last year or so. (due to an ill-advised setting on his iPhone). At first I felt bad, thinking I screwed something up. After a smoke and some time for my brain to process things - I realized the reason for the missing contacts was because his iPhone setting was set to store contacts and calendars to his IMAP account instead of his iCloud account. Which is just as well since his most recent iCloud backup was months ago. Once I sorted out why his contacts went missing and where they were, It was a simple matter of extracting them from the backups I made.


Microsoft Flow - now here's an app that has some cool potential. Like everything from Microsoft, you have to play with it for a few days, ignore your instincts that tell you the concept is total crap and written by aliens, and wait for that Ah-ha moment when you finally build something that works successfully.

Flow basically lets you set up automated tasks for different events. I've barely scratched the surface, but so far I've managed to build a flow that emails a delivery schedule (as a file attachment) to a list of people, anytime I update it and save it to OneDrive.

I also built one that - anytime I add a file to DropBox, sends a copy of it to my OneDrive for Business folder. To be fair, the framework for those Flows were offered in template form. I just had to tweak them to do it the way I wanted.


I also learned that cotton absorbs the iron out of swimming pool water better than the cheap paper filters that the pool uses. After filling the pool with our town's iron rich water, I shocked the pool to establish the initial chlorine level. When you do this, it also frees up the iron in the water. If you move your pool ladder on front of your pump outlet and drape a cotton towel over it (directly in front of the flow) it will grab and hang onto the iron (rust) and your pool water will be noticeably clearer over the course of a few hours. 24 hours should result in capturing most of the "free" iron - and totally destroy your towel!


One thing I haven't learned yet - how to get to bed at a decent hour. Goodnight!

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