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Thread: VB skills advancement

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    VB skills advancement

    I am in a club at school called BPA, which stands for Business Professionals of America. I am in the visual basic .NET division. I made it past division test and now I am going to state. I have no idea what to expect from the state competition, so I have been studying the test I was given at division. The test was pretty easy. The only trouble I had was with the usercontrol and connecting to a MS Access database. I was using VB 2003 (had to do this test at school) so I didn't know how to connect to a DB in 2003. I will be using VB 2008 at state (cause I am bringing my laptop). So I guess my main reason for posting this is that I am looking for some projects that I can build that while help increase my VB proficiency. I am getting tired of just rebuilding the project from division. I am mostly looking for projects that are business like because I think any test I will take for BPA will be related to business. Thank you for suggesting projects it is getting boring doing the same project over and over.

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    PowerPoster stanav's Avatar
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    Re: VB skills advancement

    What is your level of expertise in VB.Net? Do you want something really challenging?
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    Re: VB skills advancement

    I am up for any kind of project. The more challenging the better because I am trying to push myself to the limit.
    Last edited by bagstoper; Feb 26th, 2009 at 05:25 PM.

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    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: VB skills advancement

    From what you state, it sounds like there is actually a competition based around .NET. Is that true? How does it get scored? Is caffeine considered a performance-enhancing drug in that competition?

    On a very slighly more serious note, are you specifically looking for ways to enhance your DB experience?

    The one thing that comes most readily to mind is this very forum. There are loads of questions on here (that's what it's about) that cover all sorts of topics, and there are always people asking how to do something, such as the Roman Numeral converter item that should still be lingering on the first or second page.
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    Re: VB skills advancement

    such as the Roman Numeral converter item that should still be lingering on the first or second page.
    Please, He's gonna be able to figure that out in about five seconds. That's so stupid that could be done with a couple of if then statements and it would work with every roman numeral number.

    You want a challenge then try coming up with and writing a commerical application. It's one thing to code to a contest. But when you code something and expect someone to pay for it... Things change, it better be good.

    Write a new video game, or a kick butt website, new search algorithm give google a run for thier money. What about a better instant messenger or maybe a good CAD program that does what autocad does but the user only needs to spend 10 minutes playing with it and they can do everything! Or come up with your own idea's. Find programs that you use that you can't live without but you think you can do better and then DO IT! Or just find programs that you think can be done better.

    Work on one of the opensource projects to make them better.

    If you wanna keep doing cheesy stuff try http://www.topcoder.com/ They have more contests you can enter.

    Also I thought google had an open test and if you could figure it out you could get a job interview or something, but I can't find it. Anyone know where that is? I ran over it a long time ago I don't know if they still have it. Anyone remember it???? Anyone.... Buler...... Buler....... Buler.....

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    Re: VB skills advancement

    From what you state, it sounds like there is actually a competition based around .NET. Is that true? How does it get scored? Is caffeine considered a performance-enhancing drug in that competition?

    On a very slightly more serious note, are you specifically looking for ways to enhance your DB experience?

    The one thing that comes most readily to mind is this very forum. There are loads of questions on here (that's what it's about) that cover all sorts of topics, and there are always people asking how to do something, such as the Roman Numeral converter item that should still be lingering on the first or second page.
    The tests are done in a closed room with judges in there. you have 90 minutes to finish what ever project is assigned. At least that is what would imagine state is going to be like. I am not just looking at increasing my DB skills i am looking for anything new that i haven't learned. Stuff i haven't learned is enums and classes (kinda know them just not well) i know how to make a custom property, again not all that well but i can.

    Quote Originally Posted by jakkjakk
    Please, He's gonna be able to figure that out in about five seconds. That's so stupid that could be done with a couple of if then statements and it would work with every roman numeral number.

    You want a challenge then try coming up with and writing a commercial application. It's one thing to code to a contest. But when you code something and expect someone to pay for it... Things change, it better be good.

    Write a new video game, or a kick butt website, new search algorithm give Google a run for their money. What about a better instant messenger or maybe a good CAD program that does what autocad does but the user only needs to spend 10 minutes playing with it and they can do everything! Or come up with your own idea's. Find programs that you use that you can't live without but you think you can do better and then DO IT! Or just find programs that you think can be done better.

    Work on one of the opensource projects to make them better.

    If you wanna keep doing cheesy stuff try http://www.topcoder.com/ They have more contests you can enter.

    Also I thought google had an open test and if you could figure it out you could get a job interview or something, but I can't find it. Anyone know where that is? I ran over it a long time ago I don't know if they still have it. Anyone remember it???? Anyone.... Buler...... Buler....... Buler.....
    Well i am not doing this just as a contest to sue if i can do it. i am doing this because if i place at State then i get to go to nationals. I would like to place at nationals or at least go there because there are schools that offer free rides to people who place at nationals. You know what is kinda funny, earlier today i was thinking "hmm i wonder if i can make a website like Google." What open test are you talking about from google? i have never heard of them having any kind of tests. But i know a little about server management and system troubleshooting. (that is the other test i am taking for BPA "PC servicing and troubleshooting" going to state for that one too) About a year ago i tried making my own media player. i just used the windows media player control. it was kinda nice i got it all working and i tried to get a custom UI (by DLing some third party controls) It looked pretty spiffy until the trial ran out.

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    Re: VB skills advancement

    Quote Originally Posted by jakkjakk
    Please, He's gonna be able to figure that out in about five seconds. That's so stupid that could be done with a couple of if then statements and it would work with every roman numeral number.

    You want a challenge then try coming up with and writing a commerical application. It's one thing to code to a contest. But when you code something and expect someone to pay for it... Things change, it better be good.

    Write a new video game, or a kick butt website, new search algorithm give google a run for thier money. What about a better instant messenger or maybe a good CAD program that does what autocad does but the user only needs to spend 10 minutes playing with it and they can do everything! Or come up with your own idea's. Find programs that you use that you can't live without but you think you can do better and then DO IT! Or just find programs that you think can be done better.

    Work on one of the opensource projects to make them better.

    If you wanna keep doing cheesy stuff try http://www.topcoder.com/ They have more contests you can enter.

    Also I thought google had an open test and if you could figure it out you could get a job interview or something, but I can't find it. Anyone know where that is? I ran over it a long time ago I don't know if they still have it. Anyone remember it???? Anyone.... Buler...... Buler....... Buler.....

    what is your deal? you are very opinionated and critical. some of the code that you have posted, like using Convert.ToInt32 on a TextBox indicates, IMHO, that you might want to be less critical.
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    Re: VB skills advancement

    at first i didn't see who you had quoted and thought you were talking about me for a sec.

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    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: VB skills advancement

    Quote Originally Posted by jakkjakk
    Please, He's gonna be able to figure that out in about five seconds. That's so stupid that could be done with a couple of if then statements and it would work with every roman numeral number.
    Funny that you should say that...
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    Re: VB skills advancement

    what is your deal? you are very opinionated and critical. some of the code that you have posted, like using Convert.ToInt32 on a TextBox indicates, IMHO, that you might want to be less critical.
    First off, When I post code, usually I'm not sitting on a machine that has Visual Studio on it, and I can't verify it works. Second. I don't usually code to have it actually work. It's more pseudo code than actual code. I'm just trying to say "this is what I would try" across.

    I'm not trying to be a jerk or anything but for the roman numeral problem people are introducing lists and other data types that take up a lot more system resources than is required to solve the problem.

    We all write inefficient code. Our first priority is to get the code to work. The second priority is to make it work well. I understand that and it makes sense. With large scale projects the second priority becomes difficult to do. Since time is money it's just easier to just go on to other money making code. But still, that makes the product suck.

    What really annoys me when people do write inefficient code just becauase it's the easiest way to solve the problem. We as coders should always try and write the most efficient code we can at the time. It's because of this reason why a lot of commercial software require faster CPU's and more memory. But if they stopped and thought about it, and said "Is there a better way to do this?" You wouldn't need 16 gigs to install windows 7. It's also the reason why a lot of cool programs started out small and then became crap.

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    Re: VB skills advancement

    i am just trying to understand your point of view.

    "First off, When I post code, usually I'm not sitting on a machine that has Visual Studio on it, and I can't verify it works. Second. I don't usually code to have it actually work. It's more pseudo code than actual code. I'm just trying to say "this is what I would try" across."

    you should make that clear

    "I'm not trying to be a jerk or anything but for the roman numeral problem people are introducing lists and other data types that take up a lot more system resources than is required to solve the problem."

    really? you know this because you tested it, wrote your own, or just made an observation. sometimes what gets posted here is for education. And if you want to go looking for resource hog's look no further than most of the string fucntions.

    "We all write inefficient code. Our first priority is to get the code to work. The second priority is to make it work well. I understand that and it makes sense. With large scale projects the second priority becomes difficult to do. Since time is money it's just easier to just go on to other money making code. But still, that makes the product suck.

    What really annoys me when people do write inefficient code just becauase it's the easiest way to solve the problem. We as coders should always try and write the most efficient code we can at the time. It's because of this reason why a lot of commercial software require faster CPU's and more memory. But if they stopped and thought about it, and said "Is there a better way to do this?" You wouldn't need 16 gigs to install windows 7. It's also the reason why a lot of cool programs started out small and then became crap.
    "

    there is an old adage that says something like 10% of the code takes up 90% of the resources.

    i hope that when you post in the future that you can be less critical. if you have a better way, all you need to do is say "Try this" and post your code. you don't need to use words like stupid.
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    Re: VB skills advancement

    really? you know this because you tested it, wrote your own, or just made an observation. sometimes what gets posted here is for education. And if you want to go looking for resource hog's look no further than most of the string fucntions.
    I know because just by knowing that an list is an array on steroids. Now an array of anything takes up more space than just one integer.

    there is an old adage that says something like 10% of the code takes up 90% of the resources.

    i hope that when you post in the future that you can be less critical. if you have a better way, all you need to do is say "Try this" and post your code. you don't need to use words like stupid.
    If you use the code you use then your and you use lists and things like that they are large and they take up more system resources than just strings and integers.

    I'm sorry I offended you, I just don't like your idea and I think its inefficient.

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    Re: VB skills advancement

    Quote Originally Posted by jakkjakk
    I know because just by knowing that an list is an array on steroids. Now an array of anything takes up more space than just one integer.



    If you use the code you use then your and you use lists and things like that they are large and they take up more system resources than just strings and integers.

    I'm sorry I offended you, I just don't like your idea and I think its inefficient.
    Then you are probably programming in the wrong language - code efficiency is really built around such objects. Trying to squeeze out a 'few extra kilobytes by using an array of integers', or whatever is a futile attempt, and an expensive one.

    Unless you understand the objects in question (an 'integer' is an object - do you know the overhead of boxing and unboxing an integer?) saying one piece of code is more 'efficient' than another is impossible.

    Line count is irellevant, and I can assure you, programming with arrays 'because it's more efficient' is short-sighted, to say the least. We aren't working on 8086 processors with a few K of memory. This isn't an argument to make wild use of every available computer resource, but saying a list is inefficient compared to an array is ludicrous.

    Do you understand the inner workings of a list object? Have you experience with using it? Has it proven (to oneself) to be inefficient? Can you demonstrate why this is the case? How did you test it? Is it repeatable? How would someone else get different or similar results? These are all very, very, difficult questions to answer but if you do make a statement, expect to be able to give demonstrable answers to these questions supporting your hypothesis. And when such statements are made, it is probably a good idea to provide working and tested code, rather than pseudo-code.

    We've all been bitten - or will be: we produce a piece of code which we believe is a miracle in the making and posted it, only to have it rejected, shredded and fed to a flea-bitten emaciated dog, because that's the only thing that is desperate enough to try and digest it.
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    Re: VB skills advancement

    so, yes, not using arrays might be faster, but... what if instead of 5 numbers it was 10,000? @jak - if you stopped assuming you might actually learn something here, i have, and i am gonna' go out on a limb and guess that i wrote my first program before you were born.

    Code:
    One - Using Integers
    Two - Using Array of Integers
    2/27/2009 4:12:29 PM  Outer Loops=7  Inner Loops=262,144
     ( times in ticks.  1 ms.=10,000 ticks )
    >> One faster, 0.0684 ticks/loop
     Ticks / Loop
    0.0141        	0.0715        	0.1399        	-0.0684
    Base          	One           	Two           	 One - Two
    3,763         	18,769        	36,657        	-17,888
    3,759         	18,786        	36,771        	-17,985
    3,759         	18,762        	36,678        	-17,916
    3,668         	18,697        	36,704        	-18,007
    3,668         	18,722        	36,642        	-17,920
    3,668         	18,698        	36,618        	-17,920
    3,668         	18,758        	36,743        	-17,985
    
     Average
    3,707         	18,741        	36,687        	-17,946
     Variance
    2,089.7       	1,097.9       	2,606.9       
     Standard Deviation
    45.7          	33.1          	51.1          
    2/27/2009 4:12:29 PM
    Code:
        Dim num1, num2, num3, num4, num5 As Integer
        Dim nums(4) As Integer
        Private Function TestCase1() As Boolean
            'Test 1 Code Here
            num1 = 1
            num2 = 2
            num3 = 3
            num4 = 4
            num5 = 5
            'end test code
            Return True
        End Function
        Private Function TestCase2() As Boolean
            'Test 2 Code Here
            For nCT As Integer = 1 To 5
                nums(nCT - 1) = nCT
            Next
            'end test code
            Return True
        End Function
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    Re: VB skills advancement

    I'm not talking about the speed. I'm talking about the foot print in memory between an array and a list.
    Last edited by jakkjakk; Feb 27th, 2009 at 05:22 PM. Reason: changed Idea

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    Re: VB skills advancement

    Not that this isn't a very interesting argument, but could you move this to another thread because i am still trying to get my question answered. this isn't a thread about comparing the effectiveness of lists versus arrays

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    Re: VB skills advancement

    i believe there are samples in the SDK.

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/libr...56(VS.71).aspx
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    Re: VB skills advancement

    very true bagstoper. We need to get a hold of an op and move it... Sorry bagstoper.

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    Re: VB skills advancement

    I have looked through a lot of those samples and i have found them useful at the time but I ave learned almost all i can from the samples. I am really looking for more of a challenge. I would like to hear what Stanav's project idea was.

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    Re: VB skills advancement

    "You want a challenge then try coming up with and writing a commerical application. It's one thing to code to a contest. But when you code something and expect someone to pay for it... Things change, it better be good.

    Write a new video game, or a kick butt website, new search algorithm give google a run for thier money. What about a better instant messenger or maybe a good CAD program that does what autocad does but the user only needs to spend 10 minutes playing with it and they can do everything! Or come up with your own idea's. Find programs that you use that you can't live without but you think you can do better and then DO IT! Or just find programs that you think can be done better.

    Work on one of the opensource projects to make them better. "


    ^I Liked his idea^

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    Re: VB skills advancement

    *sigh*
    I wish someone would find a way to get the text from java applets...
    VB 2005, Win Xp Pro sp2

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    Re: VB skills advancement

    What do you mean?

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    Re: VB skills advancement

    Well for example you can get the text currently shown in Notepad in a string variable. The text shown in a java applet cannot be 'gotten'...at least I don't know how and would be interested to find a way.
    VB 2005, Win Xp Pro sp2

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    Re: VB skills advancement

    I have never played around in Java.

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    Frenzied Member toecutter's Avatar
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    Re: VB skills advancement

    A CAD like app sounds good, it would need a DB so you can call up a drawing created previously.

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    Re: VB skills advancement

    Wouldn't a CAD program require some sort of 3D drawing area? i have heard that 3d stuff is hard to implement in VB using directX. i bet it sounds like i am just rejecting every idea thrown at me. I am looking for more of a business oriented app because i believe that is what i will be tested over.

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    Re: VB skills advancement

    You can have a 3D or a 2D CAD program. I suppose it depends on how difficult you would like it to be.

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    Re: VB skills advancement

    yeah i guess i forgot about 2d cad.

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    Re: VB skills advancement

    One thing you have to keep in mind is there isn't a quick way to get really good at coding. It takes time and lots of practice. Large programs are good to work on because you can see how all the pieces fit together. You'll even see how the artwork and the documentation fit in with writing the source code. You'll have to either get good at other things than coding to get a good app or you'll have to find ways around it.

    If your just trying to do well on some contest then you should find out what kind of programming the contest is going to do and if you can't then well your just out of luck. There's way to much stuff to cover and you won't know. Just think fast and do your best.

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    Re: VB skills advancement

    Thanks I will do my best. I also picked up an old project i was working on. It is a little RPG. was going to be an mmorpg but then i had to take my server down. so that is what i am working on now.

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    Re: VB skills advancement

    Hope that' not a little "rocket propelled grenade"


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    Re: VB skills advancement

    I know this thread is kinda old now but I thought you all might like to know that i made it to nationals. I placed 3rd in the state as a freshmen and i got $500 in scholarship money so i am kinda proud of myself.

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    Re: VB skills advancement

    That's pretty cool!

    However, I'm a bit curious about what you had to do to achieve 3rd place and get the scholarship money. What did the 1st place winner do?
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    Re: VB skills advancement

    what I want to know, is where was this competition when I was going through school.... sheesh...

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    Re: VB skills advancement

    Quote Originally Posted by SJWhiteley
    That's pretty cool!

    However, I'm a bit curious about what you had to do to achieve 3rd place and get the scholarship money. What did the 1st place winner do?
    We had to build a program that kept track of stock tickers using an array and a structure and a label for displaying the results. Part of the reason i came in third is i didn't make my stock amount only accept numerical data. (ie you could still type 1w23 and it would "buy" 1w23 stocks) that and if i had finished faster (89/90mins was my time) i could have come in first. the guy who cam in first got a $2000 scholarship to IUPUI. Also if i place in nationals then i have the chance to get a full ride depending on what you place in. BPA has been around for 42 years. this was the 42nd annual state conference.

  36. #36
    Junior Member Gwen203's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
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    Danville, IN
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    Re: VB skills advancement

    Congrats! (im so tired after that conference) now i can sleep!!!
    (hopefully i will be able to do 4 contests next year if i can!)

  37. #37
    PowerPoster stanav's Avatar
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    Providence, RI - USA
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    Re: VB skills advancement

    Try one of these ideas:

    1. Games: Tower of Hanoi (my favorite one). Allow user to choose level of difficulty (more disks = harder to solve). Allow both computer and human playing modes. In computer playing mode, display the animation of the disks being moved and the text showing steps taken. In human playing mode, allow user to drag and drop the disks to the peg of their choice, and show the text of the step taken. Should have a stop watch to time how long it take to get the puzzle solved. May also store historical scores.

    2. Bussiness software: An IT asset management software. Should use a database to store equipment info (make, model, serial number, cost, type, location, assign to whom, ip address...), user info (id, last, first name, dept, email...), locations (location id, address, building, dept, floor, cubicle/lot number...). The front end GUI should allow users to "plug-in" their location maps (blue prints) and/or draw/define their own locations. At each lot, user can assign/move equipment from on lot to another using drag and drop. Each type of equipment is represented by a different icon/image, and should show status either online or offline (use 2 different icons for this, 1 for online, one for off line). Double click on an equipment icon brings up the detailed view of that piece. Allow add/edit/delete of equipments, users, locations... Alow search for equipment/user/location by various criteria chosen the user.
    Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.
    - Abraham Lincoln -

  38. #38
    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Aug 2002
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    Idaho
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    Re: VB skills advancement

    IUPUI??? I hope the guys name is Adam, so that he can say: "Madam, I'm Adam." That would go with the palindromic nature of the place.

    Congrats on the placing, though. Every little bit helps with college.
    My usual boring signature: Nothing

  39. #39

    Thread Starter
    Hyperactive Member
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    indiana
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    341

    Re: VB skills advancement

    thank you. I have never been good with palindromes but that is the real name of the school.

  40. #40
    Junior Member Gwen203's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Danville, IN
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    31

    Re: VB skills advancement

    Ah i loved being downtown Indy, I can't wait to get to college (IUPUI)

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