June 29, 2009
Are Ya Catchin' This, Camera Guy?
Hear that sound? Tick-tock, tick-tock...
That's the countdown clock at the main office of Geek Gatherings and it is getting closer to the super-saver deadline for the 2009 Southwest Fox Conference! July 1st is just a couple of days away and I thought I would pass along a reminder just in case you forgot to type it into your task list or stick it on your monitor on a yellow sticky note.
The Southwest Fox Stimulus Package holds firm on the cost of registration if you register by July 1st. Yes, registration will be the same cost as last year’s conference IF, repeat, IF you take advantage of the new "super-saver registration" deadline. Can you say JULY FIRST, boys and girls?
Southwest Fox 2009 will take place in Mesa, Arizona USA and I strongly suggest, if you are still developing in Visual FoxPro, that you think long and hard about being there. Don’t miss out on the $125 discount, the free pre-conference session, and a chance at the $300 scholarship from White Light Computing.
Already registered? Great! Spread the word (hey, that is what I am doing right now) among your fellow VFP developers (who have been procrastinating) that the deadline is looming nigh?
Read about the registration process and get the registration application here:
OK, that sounded kind of bland, but now I would like to add the emotional/excitement factor. The first half of this blog was the facts, ma’am, just the facts. This second half contains (although not in its entirety) stuff that I am looking forward to doing and experiencing at the conference.
Reviewing and reinforcing all I can about the VFP9 Report Writer and ReportListener. Show of hands, please. Who, among you, has still not explored all of the capabilities of the ReportListener? i h v my h n up in h ir. This is the PERFECT opportunity to do just that.
VFPX – Lots of us have heard about it and maybe even played with it a little bit, but THIS TIME at THIS CONFERENCE, I vow to pick the brains of EVERY speaker who is presenting ANYTHING concerning EXTENDING VFP. It will look like a scene from “Hanibal” (Silence of the Lambs – Part II). Doug Hennig (GDIPlusX), Jody Meyer (Extending the VFP Grid Object), Jim Nelson (FoxCharts), Rick Schummer (Enhancing the VFP IDE using VFPX Tools) all better look out. I wonder which goes best with a nice Chianti? Learn to extend VFP to make it bigger, better, richer, fuller!!! I am ready. How about you?
Christof Wollenhaupt has a session about “Excelporting”. That’s just a fancy word that means “make your data look like a spreadsheet”. Sounds like something I need because my clients are always asking for DATA in a SPREADSHEET (and not just using the COPY TO command).
Those are just some of the session that I plan on attending. Your mileage may vary, but if you go to http://www.swfox.net, you will be able to see the entire list of speakers and a brief description of the sessions. Don’t delay; you just have a couple of days! Hope to see you there (unless you are an obnoxious “know-it-all”, in which case, I will just mosey on over to the bar and order another adult beverage).
June 24, 2009
A Joke Isn't Old If You Haven't Heard It Before
The weather here in Kansas City is going to be very warm today. The prediction is 97 degrees and with the humidity, the heat index will make it feel like it is 110 or more. This allows me to tell my annual “how hot is it?” joke. How hot is it? Coming back to the office today, from lunch, I saw a dog chasing a cat across the parking lot <pause> They were both walking. <insert rim shot here>. Now, some of you laughed and some of you groaned and some of you said, “Geesch, that joke is so old, I heard it when I was in the third grade.” I would counter and say that a joke is not old if you haven’t heard it before.
I learned something “new” yesterday that I know is not new, and in fact, might be known by tons of Widows users. However, since I didn’t know it, perhaps you don’t either and that is why I am passing along this bit of “new” information. I have encountered this situation many times throughout my career, been annoyed by it, and yet, never knew I could do anything about reducing my frustration. Yesterday, I was at a client site and the location of some text files I wished to access was stored somewhere on their server. The folder I wanted to access was about six levels down from the root directory and each level had a minimum of 50 folders. Needless to say, migrating to the desired location using Windows Explorer was tedious. Not very tedious the first couple of times, but since I had to do this about every five minutes, it quickly became very annoying. You know the drill (no pun intended)… Open up Windows explorer, search the list of folders for the first level, click on the folder, locate the next level from among 50 folders, find it, click it, and so forth until you have navigated your way to the final level.
It was when I mumbled something about how frustrating it was having to navigate all the way down to Dante’s seventh level of hell, that my contact at the client site stopped me and showed me his technique. Since I think this is such a cool trick, I have to give credit to Patrick Hansen of Penton Media who showed it too me. I hope I am not blowing it out of proportion, but this is one of those tips that I will use often and now, maybe you will too. Navigate to the desired folder in Windows Explorer. Once there, you can add that “location” to you list of favorites at the top of the screen just like you would do for one of your frequently visited websites. Yep, that’s right. Just click on Favorites|Add to Favorites… and enter a description. The next time you need to get to that folder, just open Windows Explorer, click on Favorites and it will be there. Click on the link and you are immediately transported to the desired location. I think this is the closest I will ever get to “Beam me up, Scotty”.
Now, all of these shortcuts to various folders will show up in your list of favorites when you open up Internet Explorer also. Because of this, I created a new folder in my favorites named “Explorer Folders” and the name of each link is the full path I want to go to. Each level is separated with an underscore for clarity. i.e. G_Departments_BookGroup_MarketingRep_Extracts_Colorado_Aug08. What a time saver! Thanks again, Patrick. You CAN teach an old dog new tricks.