Dutch Gemini's Weblog Pages


Hi to everyone!

I have started this blog not for putting my personal live on the Internet, although in the event some of my private stuff may find its way to this site anyway, but for leaving a trace of my professional experience and the things that I have learned on the job.

I am an IT professional who has a lot of fun programming. I have worked with many different programming languages. It all started at school with BASIC first on a green monitored Commodore PET with an embedded cassette recorder for saving programs, then on a Sinclair Spectrum of which I rember the weird sequence of keys to write statements, and finally the Sinclair QL. Later I had a chance to play with Pascal on the Atari ST and Pr1me computers during my studies to become automotive engineer.

During and after my studies I focussed my interest more and more on programming on the so-called IBM-PC Personal Computers. That was the first time I encountered the language that would change my life and would clearly indicate that I was not born for automotive but for information technology: Nantucket’s Clipper. Since then, a lot of water has found its way to the seas, IT has dramatically evolved and what looked to be a solid standard has been replaced. So was Clipper. So is life.

Actually, the challenges I face come from Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), the programming language embedded into Microsoft Office products. Likely, I will drop posts addressing solutions, tips, tricks and remarks on VBA.

I use VBA in my job at the European Commission, working on a project that has its focus on safety in civil aviation. During my daily duties, I develop tools and utilities with and for Word and for Excel. My last effort consists in developing an Add-In for Excel (XLA) that allows creating custom data entry forms using ActiveX controls (such as text boxes, lists, drop downs). Quite a challenge if you work with a non-cooperative Excel, on-line help from Microsoft that is an exact replica of the internal help file (which does not help if you are looking for additional support, especially on ActiveX objects) but with an enthusiastic Internet community offering high-quality solutions that really pull you out of the mud.



  1. Dear Dutch Gemini

    I realize that this might be a bit up front, but I’m looking for someone able to make an installer for a VBA Excel Add-in. It is a very specialized product (T cell immunology) with a fairly small and generally well-trained set of clients. If you are interested in this challenge please write me back. I think you have all the expertise needed, and maybe even the software ready to simply change filenames and text-strings to fit my software.

    Martin Larsen, Ph.D.
    Paris, France

    Comment by Martin Larsen — June 5, 2012 @ 9:39 am | Reply

    • No problem, I’ve sent you an e-mail with details.

      Comment by dutchgemini — June 5, 2012 @ 2:19 pm | Reply

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