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BarretTime for October 13, 2010

All right – I’m sure you’re all familiar with the quote, “In this world, nothing is certain but death and Spyware”? Actually, that’s Jay Lee’s version; Benjamin Frankin’s version was death and taxes. Now, either the good folks at the Houston Area Apple Users Group haven’t realized that Jay has added some Apple to his arsenal or they’re just wholly unconcerned with Spyware.

Whatever the case, they’ve chosen to take the tax route in this Saturday’s main presentation featuring 2011 QuickBooks Pro, given by Clair Jascske, at the Bellaire Civic Center located at 7008 South Rice Avenue in Bellaire, Texas. Special interest groups get going at nine AM with the main presentation at 11:15. Things wrap up by 1:00, allowing all the attendees to go balance their books with their new found accounting prowess.

Actually, when QuickBooks was first released, it found huge favor with small business owners who had *no* formal accounting training. It soon ate up 80% of the small business market, even though professional accountants balked at its lack of audit tools and its poor security controls. As early as 2000, these issues were addressed by Intuit, the software’s publisher, and the product was forked into two versions: Basic and Pro. Now, a full decade later, Intuit is ready to roll out its latest offering for Mac and PC. So, whether you’ve got an interest in accounting, own a small business, or just want to be in the same room with people interested in accounting or small business owners, this Saturday is for you. Hit www.haaug.org for more details.

With the October Geek Gathering falling on 38 (that’s 10-01-10 in binary), you’ll have to go five full weeks until you can gather with like-minded geeks again at the November installment of the Tech Bytes meetup. That is, unless you decide to attend the Houston Hacker Space open house this Friday night at the Caroline Collective, hosted by Tx/Rx labs. They’re the ones who were passing out stickers at the last Geek Gathering and they popped up on KPFT’s live journal earlier in the month. Tx/Rx labs is a project-based team of makers with backgrounds in the creative arts: electronic circuitry, music composition, 3D printing, computer science and security, screenprinting, fashion design and even haute cuisine. You are all welcome to attend their open house this Friday at 8:00 PM to visit with their members, share your own projects, enjoy some home cooking, or just hang out with a friendly crowd of technology and craft enthusiasts. The Caroline Collective is located at 4820 Caroline Street near the Museum of Fine Arts. Hit www.txrxlabs.org for info on the group and their Open House or carolinecollective.cc for a list of upcoming community events, not all of which are techy.

I’m going to abstain from my quasi-techy segueue and just jump to:

If you’re a Visual Basic programmer tired of being abused by your C-sharp counterparts, maybe you should ditch that crowd in favor of a pro-VB vibe at HAL-PC this Saturday at ten in the morning. The Visual Basic Special Interest Group is led by Tom Baehr and addresses all things related to the event-driven programming language and integrated development environment from Microsoft. The language itself is very venerable, at least in computer years: VB 1.0 was released in May of 1991, and borrowed much of its syntax and style from the original BASIC desinged in 1964 by John George Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz. A bit of trivia: does anyone remember what BASIC stands for? Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code! So if your only programming experience is: 10: Print “Hello”; 20: GOTO 10;”, leave your line numbers at home at home and go see what all this event-driven fuss is about at the HAL-PC Headquarters, located at 4543 Post Oak Place Drive, suite 200. Surf to www.hal-pc.org for driving directions and a full list of monthly meetings.

That’s it for your QB/VB CV and that’s that for BT.

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