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Tembo is coming

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What’s the easiest way to build relational database applications for the web? Answer: so far, there is no easy way. If you want to build a database application for the desktop – well, there’s Microsoft Access. Access gets no respect. Developers tend to treat it as grandpa technology. (Why is that? Excel is even older,… (read more)

REDWrap Questions and Comments


REDWrap is a utility that converts data from REDCap projects into a more normalized, relational form in Microsoft Access. More info here: Please use this page for any questions or comments regarding REDWrap.


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Updated 9/12/23 REDWrap is a free utility for converting REDCap data exports to a normalized relational data format. It runs in Microsoft Access and converts the flat-file REDCap export into Access tables, created with a more logical (normalized) structure. It’s available in version 1.22. Download here. Requirements Since REDWrap uses Microsoft Access, it can only… (read more)

Online statistical calculators

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How many test subjects does it take to nail down a hypothesis? When clinical researchers are planning a study, a least-favorite task is figuring out how many subjects are needed. The calculations get a bit esoteric, especially when “treatment” and “control” groups are of different sizes. Dr. Michael Kohn of UCSF had a vision for… (read more)

New phototherapy calculator

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It’s very common for newborns to have (or develop) a touch of jaundice before their livers are functioning at full speed. (One of my daughters went through a lovely lemonish phase during her first week on Earth.) This is caused by a build-up of the yellow pigment bilirubin. Usually it’s harmless, but exceptionally high levels… (read more)

mySQL: on duplicate key update

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mySQL has a proprietary extension to the “insert” statement which is really handy in certain situations. It’s called ON DUPLICATE KEY UPDATE. If you want to update a table from a similar table, when there are possible duplicates, it updates just the way you’d want. For example. Take a simple table “test” with five records:… (read more)

Safe end-user querying for Access

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When developing a new database, smart practice is to start from the reports and work backwards from there. It’s easy to get excited about all the interesting data that we want to put into the thing. But at the end of the day, what really matters is the data that somebody, someday, will need to… (read more)

Custom software tips for NPOs

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(This article was originally published as “The (mostly painless) guide to getting the custom software your nonprofit needs” at Tech Underground) What could drive your nonprofit organization to consider custom software? Maybe you need a new database application to manage your clients and services. Maybe you’ve got a great idea for a mobile app to… (read more)

Paper! (with an SVG gauge from QS)

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Just found out that I was named as a co-author on a new paper, published in the online journal Cureus in January: A Web-based Decision Tool to Estimate Subarachnoid Hemorrhage Risk in Emergency Department Patients This “web-based decision tool” was an online calculator that I built to the specifications of Dr. Prasanthi Govindarajan of Stanford… (read more)

New look for our website

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You’ll notice a new look for the Quicksilver website, including a brand new custom theme (“Quiet Arcanum”) and a couple of neat custom plug-ins. The animated image on the home page is all done with Javascript… just for fun. Hoping to make the theme and plug-ins available for free in coming months. How does it… (read more)