Thursday, March 31, 2005

FetchLinks - plugin for NewsGator

OK, Chris Pirillo - you got me.

I complained a few posts ago about missing content. Sure enough, he responded to my blog (see the comments) with two words: Andrew: Fetchlinks. ;)

Now, THAT'S WHY NewsGator has to be the number one News Aggregator around. Congratulations Greg on such a great way of dealing with features and GREAT JOB , Graeme on making good use of it.

Back to Ted's comments, I categorize my blogs into different areas - it makes it easier to use NewsGator's overview pages. Right now, Pirillo falls under "diversions" - but he's in good company (Wil Wheaton, Jan Polet , Grape Radio and more)

We'll see if you get moved after I can actually read your content (via Outlook)) and see if it fits better under Development, FoxPro, Business or just plain Tech Stuff.


FetchLinks plugin for NewsGator | graemef.com

Windows 2003 SP1 Broke My ASP.Net

ARGH!! The saga continues...

Back in December I had this problem before -
Andrew MacNeill - AKSEL Solutions: Reinstalling DotNet/ASPNet on a Windows 2003 Server

Now, after upgrading to Windows 2003 SP1, the problem has returned. Users cannot click on an ASP.Net button and have it work.

Funny thing? It works in Firefox but not in Internet Explorer. Just like the last time. No error, no nothing. And it's only on certain buttons.

Once again to the rescue

Real Checklist for verifying AspNet is working properly on a Windows 2003 server

1. Verify in IIS that ASP.Net web service extension is Allowed. (check)
2. If it is, and something's still not working right, re-register it. Go to the \WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v1.1.4322 folder and run:

aspnet_regiis -i (didn't fix the problem)

aspnet_regiis -r (didn't fix the problem)

aspnet_regiis -c (note the -c didn't seem to work on my version but you can also do it with an -r to reinstall)

This was brilliant - Windows said You Must Have Admin rights to run this tool. I AM the administrator.

So - what to do?

Uinstall ASP.NET 1.1.4322 with
aspnet_regiis -ua

Then reinstall with
aspnet_regiis -i

NOW - go to IIS Web Service Extensions and make sure it's Allowed (by default it was prohibited). STILL not working.

I'm not going to bother trying to repair my Windows 2003 install - for right now, I'm just going to try and uninstall my SP1. This is just crazy. See my next post to find out if it was successful.

Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1 - Can't Find Server and other upgrade woes

It's this kind of thing that makes upgrades so traumatic for users.

When you have your system working properly and you install a Service pack, you at least expect it to respect your settings or at least TELL you that something major has changed and here's where to go to fix it.

I just hate the thought of what else may come back up and haunt me later on. I'm sure I'll hear about it though.

My Story so far ---
OK - so I was the good citizen and immediately installed Windows 2003 SP 1.

I restarted my machine and what happened? First message: Windows Cannot run in this configuration, Windows will use a previously used config.

Did some research. Nope - nothing really tells me what SP1 really did to my system so it's hard to know.

"OK - I'll restart again for good measure. " - Restarted.
Hmm... everything seems ok. Let's try and browse the Internet. No problem there. Maybe I should try my LOCAL server since that's where I have my bug tracking systems, etc.

"Cannot connect to server." - But it's my local server. Let's try Localhost.

Local host worked fine. What happened? Let's see if MS Support has anything.

Hey look! Windows 2003 Service Pack isn't even listed on the Service Pack page. More searching for stuff. Maybe I should try a remote connection.

Hmmm. Server does not exist or is not accepting connections.

This must be a firewall. Look under Network connections.

Ok. So SP1 installed Windows Firewall. Wonder if that has anything to do with anything. I mean, I was previously using ICS so I would expect that the SP1 installer would respect those settings.

Pulled up Windows Firewall. (remember there was NO notice of what SP1 actually did to my system - I just couldn't use my system).

Windows Firewall is ON. Let's look at the Exceptions.
Well, I can see that Remote Desktop is listed but not checked, so I'll reset that. But what about users on my network accessing my server? SURELY, it realized by the fact that I had IIS installed that I was sharing access.

Nope. I had to manually provide access to Port 80.

A VERY little thing but something that I can imagine many techs having to go through as they install this "recommended" update to Windows 2003 server, an otherwise GREAT product.


Frequently Asked Questions About Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 1

Microsoft Releases Windows 2003 SP1

Microsoft Releases Windows 2003 SP1

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Don't Post Them - BUILD THEM!

I just want to say "Got any ideas for a killer Web App? Post ‘em."?

Absolutely not - Got any ideas for a killer web app? Build It. Post It. PodCast It. Whatever. Let a thousand flowers bloom and let people take it.

I say that only as a fellow developer - you want to make money? Don't post your idea - BUILD it first - and THEN post it.

Gnomedex: Why No Real RSS Feeds?

This really bugs me. Chris!!!! Give me FULL RSS Feeds. I use NewsGator and I have your feed on my trail but the fact that I can't read your posts without having to GO to your web site PISSES ME OFF to no extent.

I can appreciate why Robert does it with his link blog but your site should not be "short-cut". Please give me access to the whole content.

Argh!!!

(a dumb user note: if you have a feed link where you DO provide full content, please email it to me at andrew@aksel.com - and hey! if you spam me, I don't care - it's going in the trash) --- Thanks.

Gnomedex Participants: Round Two (Chris Pirillo)

AdJab - Make Popular Ad Get Fired?

Interesting concept --- I never liked the GoDaddy ads. They were silly, they were tired - and I can't believe they would try to defend it (on artistic grounds at least).

Granted, I imagine it got a bunch of bikers/models/large-breasted women looking to register a web site but other sites such as Register.com offer just as much for the same dollars.

AdJab

Simon Arnold - First Steps of Outlook Automation

This is very cool. I know both Tamar and I have done a lot of articles in the past on Outlook automation (Tamar's even written a book on the topic).

Now Simon Arnold has a series of articles on Outlook automation from beginning to end. He's already 3 articles into it and has covered some very useful ideas. It almost looks like he's rebuilding Outlook with the first article where he puts all of Outlook into a TreeView.

Now the real question is - can he make Outlook faster?

Simon Arnold - First Steps of Outlook Automation

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Microsoft the company should big improve Word grammar check

There's always a "wise guy" somewhere. Kind of like when you do a google for Evil Empire, an Anti-MS site immediately shows up.

But this is quite concerning...especially as Sandeep Krishnamurthy notes "If you're a grad student turning in your term paper, and you think grammar check has completely checked your paper, I have news for you - it really hasn't."

ShortNews - the News-Community

Monday, March 28, 2005

New earthquake (8.7) in Sumatra Region: Mainstream Media reacts

I pray the devastation will kept to a minimum this time and very few tsunamis but what I am finding interesting is how the two main news media (MSM) outlets have reacted:

CNN cut to the story in a major way; MSNBC continued their "Coast to Coast" program (without interruption) but did report it on their web site.

I used to find that MSNBC's coverage was better in worldwide things but both networks failed to cover the Dec 26th tsunami with any great urgency (until later - BBC was amazing). Now, it looks like CNN is doing a superior job.

Earthquake Hazards Program: NEIC: Worldwide Earthquake Activity in the Last Seven Days

Move Over Blogs: Here Come Podcasts

Interesting article about the growing popularity of podcasts and how it can apply to marketing.

Their key areas:
1. Interview various authors and leaders in your industry. Hey! Why not take it one step further and interview your customers?

2. Provide a thought-provoking idea or tip of the day.

3. Offer late-breaking podcast industry news compiled from sources across the Web that you monitor on a daily basis.

4. Provide a good mechanism for feedback

5. Sponsor existing, high-quality podcasts.

A great article.


Move Over Blogs: Here Come Podcasts

How many ways can you say Hello World in Visual FoxPro>

A slightly humourous look on the at least "3 ways" of doing anything in FoxPro.

Hello World - FoxPro Wiki

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger

Robert
rants about the need for MS to provide a better for video capture.

This is where he should check out MS Producer and convince them to make the product more geared towards BlogCasting. Don't know who to talk to? I know that Sheldon Fisher used to be doing some of the work for it at MS back in 2002. Back then, it was critical to get DVD support, etc.

But now? You know, if they made a few minor tweaks in this product, they could set the entire podcasting/blogcasting world on fire! Making it easy for everyone.

What tweaks?

- Automatic RSS Feed
- Automatic Post to MSN Spaces
- Built-in blog post for it
- Remove the dependency on PowerPoint (keep it in because that can make a BlogCast VERY presentable but don't require it)

Robert: "Windows Media Encoder is free, yes, but you almost need a computer science degree to use it. I wish we had a really great compression component and a really great uploading component that we could use in our Web-based apps."

You do - in MS Producer. Check it out.


Hey Scoble - check out MS Producer

Robert
rants about the need for MS to provide a better for video capture.

This is where he should check out MS Producer and convince them to make the product more geared towards BlogCasting. Don't know who to talk to? I know that Sheldon Fisher used to be doing some of the work for it at MS back in 2002. Back then, it was critical to get DVD support, etc.

But now? You know, if they made a few minor tweaks in this product, they could set the entire podcasting/blogcasting world on fire! Making it easy for everyone.

What tweaks?

- Automatic RSS Feed
- Automatic Post to MSN Spaces
- Built-in blog post for it
- Remove the dependency on PowerPoint (keep it in because that can make a BlogCast VERY presentable but don't require it)

Robert: "Windows Media Encoder is free, yes, but you almost need a computer science degree to use it. I wish we had a really great compression component and a really great uploading component that we could use in our Web-based apps."

You do - in MS Producer. Check it out.


99 Reasons to upgrade to vfp 9- #1 Stability

David Anderson noted in his "other" blog that he was going to offer 99 reasons to upgrade to VFP 9. His first one "stability".

While I certainly agree that the Fox team has done their job on improving the stability of the product in VFP 9, I was dismayed recently to get an email from someone who just upgraded from 6 to 9 and found:

" I have been trying to convert my application system from Foxpro 6 to 9. I have noticed that if the system abends during test runs, tables tend to become easily corrupted. In all the times I have worked with Foxpro 5 & 6, I have never run into this problem of table corruption during abends. In Foxpro 9, it happens all too frequently!"

Part of the issue here is the network environment so I recommended he try the SET TABLEVALIDATE command introduced in VFP 8.

But his other comments were interesting as well:

When I tried to open up the Foxpro 6 application using Foxpro 9, it complained that the project table was corrupted. It refused to open it. Only way to fix the problem was to open up the application under Foxpro 6, select PROJECT, then CLEAN UP PROJECT. I was then able to open up the application under Foxpro 9.


Had a syntax error for a LOCAL statement that had multiple variables separated by blanks. New syntax insists variables be separated by commas.
- frustrating yes, but I would be happy that FoxPro is now identifying these little syntax errors.

Updateable tables became corrupted if the application abended. Turned off table validation for each table.

The application toolbar displays differently under Foxpro 9 (larger font?). The toolbar is now too long when the executable is run, truncating the last icon on the toolbar. Fixed by removing some separators, shortening the toolbar.

This is a strange one. A logic bug was introduced that did not exist under Foxpro 6. A table containing a list of years had its record pointer reset from the 1st record to the last record, which we didn't want. What was odd was that this occurred after running a subroutine that does not even access this table! Easy to fix - just added a GO TOP for the year table after this subroutine was called. But I cannot explain why it happened. It worked fine under Foxpro 6.

The Fox team has done a great job on VFP 9 but as seen above, there are little minor "irritations" that older devs may find when moving to the newer environment. Certainly these can be dealt with with minor code fixes.

There are many times that something that is FIXED in a newer version BREAKS the workarounds that users have been using for years.

In many cases, these can be resolved by RTFM (Read the Fine Manual) or at least Read What's New in VFP 9 in the help file. The challenge for many programmers, though, is that time is not on their side. I know the SET TABLEVALIDATE caused MAJOR problems for one of my clients who distribute a fairly wide application. As a result, they had to patch their code to turn off or lower the table corruption checks. Argh!?!?! Why take it away?

Because many networks sadly aren't as robust as they should be and the level of corruption checks that VFP does by default, caused more end user complaints than areas where corruption was actually occurring.

99 Reasons - #1

99 Reasons to upgrade to Visual FoxPro - #1 Stability

David Anderson noted in his "other" blog that he was going to offer 99 reasons to upgrade to VFP 9. His first one "stability".

While I certainly agree that the Fox team has done their job on improving the stability of the product in VFP 9, I was dismayed recently to get an email from someone who just upgraded from 6 to 9 and found:

" I have been trying to convert my application system from Foxpro 6 to 9. I have noticed that if the system abends during test runs, tables tend to become easily corrupted. In all the times I have worked with Foxpro 5 & 6, I have never run into this problem of table corruption during abends. In Foxpro 9, it happens all too frequently!"

Part of the issue here is the network environment so I recommended he try the SET TABLEVALIDATE command introduced in VFP 8.

But his other comments were interesting as well:

When I tried to open up the Foxpro 6 application using Foxpro 9, it complained that the project table was corrupted. It refused to open it. Only way to fix the problem was to open up the application under Foxpro 6, select PROJECT, then CLEAN UP PROJECT. I was then able to open up the application under Foxpro 9.


Had a syntax error for a LOCAL statement that had multiple variables separated by blanks. New syntax insists variables be separated by commas.
- frustrating yes, but I would be happy that FoxPro is now identifying these little syntax errors.

Updateable tables became corrupted if the application abended. Turned off table validation for each table.

The application toolbar displays differently under Foxpro 9 (larger font?). The toolbar is now too long when the executable is run, truncating the last icon on the toolbar. Fixed by removing some separators, shortening the toolbar.

This is a strange one. A logic bug was introduced that did not exist under Foxpro 6. A table containing a list of years had its record pointer reset from the 1st record to the last record, which we didn't want. What was odd was that this occurred after running a subroutine that does not even access this table! Easy to fix - just added a GO TOP for the year table after this subroutine was called. But I cannot explain why it happened. It worked fine under Foxpro 6.

The Fox team has done a great job on VFP 9 but as seen above, there are little minor "irritations" that older devs may find when moving to the newer environment. Certainly these can be dealt with with minor code fixes.

There are many times that something that is FIXED in a newer version BREAKS the workarounds that users have been using for years.

In many cases, these can be resolved by RTFM (Read the Fine Manual) or at least Read What's New in VFP 9 in the help file. The challenge for many programmers, though, is that time is not on their side. I know the SET TABLEVALIDATE caused MAJOR problems for one of my clients who distribute a fairly wide application. As a result, they had to patch their code to turn off or lower the table corruption checks. Argh!?!?! Why take it away?

Because many networks sadly aren't as robust as they should be and the level of corruption checks that VFP does by default, caused more end user complaints than areas where corruption was actually occurring.

99 Reasons - #1

99 Reasons to upgrade to Visual FoxPro - #1 Stability

David Anderson noted in his "other" blog that he was going to offer 99 reasons to upgrade to VFP 9. His first one "stability".

While I certainly agree that the Fox team has done their job on improving the stability of the product in VFP 9, I was dismayed recently to get an email from someone who just upgraded from 6 to 9 and found:

" I have been trying to convert my application system from Foxpro 6 to 9. I have noticed that if the system abends during test runs, tables tend to become easily corrupted. In all the times I have worked with Foxpro 5 & 6, I have never run into this problem of table corruption during abends. In Foxpro 9, it happens all too frequently!"

Part of the issue here is the network environment so I recommended he try the SET TABLEVALIDATE command introduced in VFP 8.

But his other comments were interesting as well:

When I tried to open up the Foxpro 6 application using Foxpro 9, it complained that the project table was corrupted. It refused to open it. Only way to fix the problem was to open up the application under Foxpro 6, select PROJECT, then CLEAN UP PROJECT. I was then able to open up the application under Foxpro 9.


Had a syntax error for a LOCAL statement that had multiple variables separated by blanks. New syntax insists variables be separated by commas.
- frustrating yes, but I would be happy that FoxPro is now identifying these little syntax errors.

Updateable tables became corrupted if the application abended. Turned off table validation for each table.

The application toolbar displays differently under Foxpro 9 (larger font?). The toolbar is now too long when the executable is run, truncating the last icon on the toolbar. Fixed by removing some separators, shortening the toolbar.

This is a strange one. A logic bug was introduced that did not exist under Foxpro 6. A table containing a list of years had its record pointer reset from the 1st record to the last record, which we didn't want. What was odd was that this occurred after running a subroutine that does not even access this table! Easy to fix - just added a GO TOP for the year table after this subroutine was called. But I cannot explain why it happened. It worked fine under Foxpro 6.

The Fox team has done a great job on VFP 9 but as seen above, there are little minor "irritations" that older devs may find when moving to the newer environment. Certainly these can be dealt with with minor code fixes.

There are many times that something that is FIXED in a newer version BREAKS the workarounds that users have been using for years.

In many cases, these can be resolved by RTFM (Read the Fine Manual) or at least Read What's New in VFP 9 in the help file. The challenge for many programmers, though, is that time is not on their side. I know the SET TABLEVALIDATE caused MAJOR problems for one of my clients who distribute a fairly wide application. As a result, they had to patch their code to turn off or lower the table corruption checks. Argh!?!?! Why take it away?

Because many networks sadly aren't as robust as they should be and the level of corruption checks that VFP does by default, caused more end user complaints than areas where corruption was actually occurring.

99 Reasons - #1

Creating a "Fading" Form

Awesome post by Kevin Ragsdale about how to create a fading form similar to the desktop alerts in Outlook 2003.

Creating a "Fading" Form

Blog Watch

I noted in the last FoxShow about the new FoxIte community blog and how the FoxPro bloggers were increasing. Here's a link to the
Blog Watch at the Wiki.

Happy Birthday Russ!

Russ Swall is one of the organizers behind FoxCast.org  (Foxpro seminars)and VisionPace. Hope you have a great day!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Why Switch to Open Source?

Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger links to an interesting post about www.fellowshipchurch.com and the reasons for moving from Microsoft to OpenSource.

Something that struck me about it was this one statement:

"I have found it very difficult to find .NET web developers. In my experience, .NET developers tend to have worked in large teams focused on a very specific subset of the larger application, often the backend or data access layer. Very few have been comfortable working in a small team on everything from design to UI to security to backend."

Certainly, nothing that MS is doing with pricing for devs is going to help this. If it costs a fortune to get all the architectural software to build a solution (see previous post on this), then the better solutions are going to be built by the small teams that can turn this around using the open tools at their disposal.

There are a number of DotNet devs that used to come from the Fox world where the lean, small team ruled. Sure, MS has to make $$ on their enterprise software - but it seems like they also need to come up with a leaner solution for smaller and/or charitable organizations.

Who Blogs Around Me?

Now this is pretty frightening. Only 7 bloggers around me? Don't think so. There was an article recently in our local paper about bloggers.

More people have to start using FeedMap to make this a more non-MS only project.
c s t h o t a . c o m

FoxBlog - Calling a right-click menu on all forms

" The only question I have is to find out if there's an
easier way of doing this rather than attaching the code to the RightClick method of every object on the form."

This isn't something that's solved in VFP 8 or 9. I think it's purely a matter of good class design. If the user is using Base classes, then that's a no no but the solution would be to:

Change the Parent class of each object to say THISFORM.RightClick() .

Then change the RightClick of the Parent form class to call the RightClick menu in question.

HOWEVER, more on this post is noted when the user says "these commands need THISFORM in them which is only allowed in a method."
Well, for one, THISFORM can't be used in a menu anyways. The menu runs outside of the form anyways so instead the solution would be to:

PRIVATE poForm
poForm = THISFORM
DO xxx.MPR
which might look like:
DEFINE POPUP SHORTCUT SHORTCUT FROM MROW(),MCOL() RELATIVE
DEFINE BAR 1 OF SHORTCUT PROMPT poForm.Caption +" Options"
etc etc

This works in all recent versions of VFP , including 6.0.
FoxBlog

Project management and task management software: Basecamp

All I can say is Wow!

Now THIS is a great tool - try it for free for ONE project but then sign-on if you want to do more.

Kind of like a Sharepoint / Project Manager all rolled into one.

Too bad I can't move all my existing projects into this tool.
Project management and task management software: Basecamp

Ted from Eric - MSDN Universal Isn't

Ted links to Eric Sink's note about the new pricing for MS Dev stuff.

I agree with Eric's observation about what MSDN Universal is supposed to mean. If MS wants smaller dev shops to promote Team System, then they have to make it available.

I think Team System looks like it has a lot of GREAT concepts that even smaller shops will benefit from - but if I was paying $2500 US for MSDN Universal , I would still have to pay an additional $6000 for all the features of Team System. My argument may go:

"Hey I'm the chief cook and bottle washer in my company - I'm the Architect, the Developer and Tester and you want me to promote Team System to my clients but I have to pay for it? I don't think so."

Sounds like someone's foot just got shot off.

Ted's Radio Weblog

FoxShow #2 - Podcast on Visual FoxPro, Business and other stuff

Show notes on the site - it gets a bit rambly at the end during the gripe. If it sounds like I'm looking for good solid developers who are able to jump into a project with minimal supervision, that's because I am but also because I typically work remotely with other remote developers. It's tough - but ultimately worthwhile for family.

However, how to assign tasks, review work and ensure the "are
they getting it?" factor is tough and ultimately can be frustrating since you only find out at the end.

I try to use Bill Jensens' Simplicity handbook as a good guide but sometimes, it's very tough.

Anyways enjoy the show - and if you want to shoot me an email with comments, shoot it to akselsoft@gmail.com.


FoxPro, Business and other stuff : akselsoft.libsyn.com

Detect Right-Click in an ActiveX Treeview Control

Rino Versyer (another FoxIte web logger) explains a solution behind one of the challenges of using the TreeView control.

Hey Craig! - ever find a better TreeView control? I'm excited to see your Project Solution Explorer more than ever.

Detect Right-Click in an ActiveX Treeview Control

Monday, March 21, 2005

MSNBC - 8 deaths reported in Minnesota shootings

And yet, the major news channels on TV don't have any coverage as at 8:48 PM EST....


MSNBC - 8 deaths reported in Minnesota shootings

Ted's full post(?) on Apple/Think secret

http://radio.weblogs.com/0117767/stories/2005/03/12/freedomOfThePressJou
rnalis.html
As Ted notes, still a work in progress but it prompted me to want to
explain my comment about how why what he does is different than others.

Yes, Ted provides commentary but it is usually linked to valuable
stories that educate --this is in contrast to other sites that simply
say "here's what i did today "
Both are valuable but i think it's useful to note the difference.

Either way, stolen property that provides a story spells bad news for
anyone- journalist or not.

Dotnet Fox: Podcasting to Fame

Beth Massi just posted about Carl Franklin's new customizable Daily Commute podcast.

This sounds totally awesome.

Dotnet Fox: Podcasting to Fame

Blogging, Product Placement and the Truman Show

(note: this post is NOT about these various products linked - more of a philosophical comment on it)
 
After watching the Truman Show again, it immediately makes one think (or at least it makes me think - Trish looks at me like I'm nuts when I talk about this - and yes, while there are many things that are NOT the same, there are just as many that ARE the same)
 
Do we have a camera following us everywhere we go? No. Although sometimes, we may think about how handy that would be. Now with digital cameras and videos, we certainly can. (just wish we could find a way for that wide angle helicopter shot - maybe Keyhole can help with that)
 
Do we have an inner monologue? Certainly and with blogs, etc, that is now being broadcast to the world. Who listens? Who cares? Well, that's a choice you and your readers/listeners/viewers have to make.
 
But on the more commercial end, do YOU have product placement in your life? Of course you do. As soon as you say one word that mentions a product, you have essentially provided some level of Product Placement.
 
This is similar to those who say "everyone is in development, everyone is in Sales and everyone is in Marketing." - those who don't realize it just don't get it. How is a salesperson in development? Their reactions may be responsible for the next feature/bug add/removed into a product.
 
I live in Canada. I drive a Ford Mustang. When I buy jewelry as gifts, I always buy them from Jubillee Jewelers in Bayshore. My development tool of choice is Visual FoxPro, although I certainly use other Microsoft products and even though I work with Windows, my favorite computer is still my Apple Macintosh. I use Blogger.
 
When you think about a post or a conversation with anyone, how much product placement is going on?
"I had to stop by Starbucks when I was picking up my Sony TV." Any comment that starts with "I like " is essentially going to be an ad for something.
 
There are business blogs all around this concept with everyone being evangelists but it's good to realize that you are doing product placement even without consciously doing it. Everytime you sit at a restaurant and have a meal and say "ooh, that was good" - you may have affected the choices of someone who was just coming into the restaurant who may say "I'll have what that person is having."
 
Look around your home or office. With the exception of those who purchase in bulk and store their wares in non-descript plastic bags, product placement is everywhere. (yes, it's true - the granola crunching non-Birkenstock nudists are likely the only ones who aren't advertising in some way shape or form)
 
Of course, now can you make money off it? YES! With Amazon's partner program, Adam Curry is selling iRivers, Senseo coffee machines and mixing boards - all products he mentions on his blog. It's the ultimate "Truman" show - with the exception that we only peek into his life for 40 minutes a day during the work week.
 
EXCEPT of course, that he is AWARE of it (whereas Truman was not). 
 
Is this wrong? Is this evil? Absolutely not. In fact, blogging probably makes everyone more aware of how subconscious this "placement" can be (as does the entire AutoLink debate).
 
Try it: can you go through an entire day without mentioning a single product or company?
 
If so, then forget about product or company. When you even mention a person,place or thing you are effectively either referring positively or negatively to that person. How others react to it depends on their placement of you.
 
Ayn Rand once said "Judge and be prepared to be judged."  (link - April 1962) - And realize that as soon as you state your judgement, you are effectively advertising, either positively or negatively.
 
Be aware - we are all in our own show, your ______ show. Blogging, podcasting, vlogcasting is simply the transmitter to a wider audience.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Podcast Note: We Only Play Four Chords!!

If you haven't yet heard it, check out Adam Curry and Patricia Paay's PPP Episode II. (http://homepage.mac.com/dailysourcecode/DSC/PPP-2005-03-13.mp3
 
The funniest quote: "I asked Status Quo (a band) if they wanted to jam, and they said 'we can only play four ***** chords'" -
 
It reminded me of Andrew Lloyd Webber talking to Eric Clapton on an airplane (as noted in his biography): "I always wanted to write a show with only three chords." (note : the show became Aspects of Love)
 
 
 

How to tell when someone is in it just for the money

Great post from Robert on points on insiders:

"Anyway, we can all tell when someone is in it for just the money. They don't use their own products and aren't excited about demonstrating them to you."
Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger

What is your business model?

scoble has a great post about meeting Doug Cutting, open source guru. His
busines model?

He gives away the code, but charges companies (and he's worked for many of
the big companies) a consulting fee to integrate his software into
companies' other systems.

In other words, he sells his expertise, not necessarily the physical output.

http://radio.weblogs.com/0001011/2005/03/19.html#a9676

Rss for forums...

See? Every forum software should offer RSS feeds. I can’t rely on
Newsgator all the time for reading newsgroups- I need my RSS!!!

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Power and reach of RSS and blogs help Visual FoxPro 9.0 marketing

Ken Levy talks about how RSS has really helped get the news out about VFP 9.0. In his post, he also notes how FoxTalk has some articles about using RSS to publish News.

In fact, FoxPro Advisor has also covered RSS in fairly detail as well (not just trying to plug my own article - but here's a link and then earlier in 2004, there was another one about using it to publish news.

I use RSS for so many other purposes than just news. It's easy to hook up to any database for any purpose. Charlie Wood covers how popular RSS is getting in the enterprise on his moonwatcher blog.

Power and reach of RSS and blogs help Visual FoxPro 9.0 marketing

Using a "Safe Select" to preserve your grid

Andy Kramek's first big post is a great example of how to keep your grid settings using a Safe Select approach.

In short, "The idea is that since cursors are always created on the local user’s workstation, and are always opened exclusive, we can use the ZAP command to clear, without closing, a cursor. Then, instead of running a query directly into the working cursor we use an intermediate (or ‘dummy’) cursor as the target for the query and simply append the results from that into the working cursor. "

Take a look at his great code samples. And of course, in keeping with Andy's great sense of humor:
"As for the READWRITE clause if you are still using a version of VFP that does not support this, there is a way to do it, but I am not going to tell you because you should have UPGRADED. "


Using a "Safe Select" to preserve your grid

Friday, March 18, 2005

Foxite.COM Community Weblog

Not just Andy Kramek - but Eric den Doop has gotten the Foxite Visual FoxPro Community blogging.

Welcome aboard everyone! Way to go Eric!

Foxite.COM Community Weblog

FoxShow Listings

FoxShow #65: Interview with Doug, Tamar and Rick about plans for Southwest Fox 2010
FoxShow #64: Interview with Jim Nelson, project lead for the PEM Editor on VFPX
#28 - Oct 19, 2005 - Southwest Wrapup Interviews with Kevin Ragsdale and Doug Hennig
#27 - Oct 14, 2005 - Interview with Toni Feltman
#26 - Oct 7, 2005 - Interview with Rick Borup and lost bits of Ken Levy Interview
#25 - Oct 6, 2005 - KitBox Live - Andy Kramek and Marcia Akins
#24 - Oct 2, 2005 - an interview with Ken Levy
#23 - Sept 28, 2005 - an interview with Craig Berntson
#22 - Sept 21, 2005 - an interview with Markus Egger
#21 - Sept 13, 2005 - an interview with Steven Black
#20 - Sept 9, 2005 - an interview with Bob Kocher of Southwest Fox
#19 - Aug 17, 2005 - What's a Beta and the first FoxQuote
#18 - Aug 13, 2005 - Rants, Raves and usability
#17 - Aug 1, 2005 - Bill Sander Part II
16 - July 20, 2005 - interview with Bill Sanders
15 - July 7th, 2005 - RSS, ActiveVFP, DotNet
14 - June 30th, 2005 - Designing an application
13 - June 17, 2005 - Debugging the FoxPro DevCon
12 - June 2, 2005 - The VFP Roadmap
11 - May 30th, 2005 - FoxPro Application Design
10 - Posted May 21st, 2005
FoxShow #9 - Posted May 19th, 2005
FoxShow #8 - Posted May 9th, 2005
FoxShow #7 - Posted May 2nd, 2005
FoxShow #6 - Posted April 23rd, 2005
FoxShow #5 - Posted April 17th, 2005
FoxShow #4 - Posted April 8th, 2005
FoxShow #3 - Posted April 1, 2005
FoxShow #2 - Posted March 24th, 2005
FoxShow #1 - Posted March 15th, 2005

What Canada needs...


"Plainly the two things Canada needs most are a mirror and a good
psychiatrist" - very funny (although perhaps not entirely intentional)
article noted in memorandeum. (will post link later)

Disclosure : I am a Canadian.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Rick's valuable insights on .Net language squabbles

http://west-wind.com/weblog/posts/1721.aspx

Both .NET programmers and VB6 people would do well to read Rick 's take
on what's going on in the VB language foibles

Launch of a podcast

Hey - I just launched my own podcast (available from (updated) http://akselsoft.libsyn.com) that will cover various things about FoxPro, the computer business and other related stuff.
 
The first one is a bit rough (got interrupted half way through it, even with editing) but it will get better as I experiment more with other tools and technologies. I'm currently using MixCast Live (www.mixcastlive.com) but am looking for other sounds and the like.
 
Check it out and tell me how bad it is.
 

What Do YOU Do With FoxPro?

I recently had a meeting with a client who was looking for training on Visual FoxPro 8 and 9. I used to work for this company so I was fairly familiar with their environment. In the past, when doing FoxPro training, it's typically been a cookie-cutter type course: How To Build An Application With Visual FoxPro. In this case, however, the client was looking for more advanced training so I knew a little bit more investigation was required.
 
This client uses FoxPro almost exclusively as a query and data processing tool. The user interface is very minimal and they aren't dealing with remote data. Their developers have no need for reporting, it is a data manipulation tool specific to their process.
 
So why are they still using FoxPro? The original system was written in the early 90s in FoxPro 2.x. It processed data retrieved from a variety of sources. In the late 90's, when their IT department tried to say "we will only work with VB or Oracle or ______ (fill in your appropriate file)", they did try to rebuild the application using those technologies. The end result? The project was scrapped after a few tests because data processing was too slow and the entire work proceeded in a cumbersome manner. They went back to their 2.x application, converted it to VFP 6 and now are looking for even further enhancements to it.
 
It got me thinking though, because even with VFP 9 (and even older versions), a lot of developers are using FoxPro only for specific tasks. Their needs are different than the people who are building brand new applications.
 
If you're maintaining an existing application,
 
So my question goes out: what are YOU building with Visual FoxPro? Let me know!
 
I've got a little survey (through Zoomerang) and here's the URL:
  http://www.zoomerang.com/survey.zgi?p=WEB2247M9T8QSM
 
This isn't a Microsoft survey - it's just for information sake but I'll be posting the results here. Note: if more than 100 people respond, I'll have to launch a new survey (my basic account with Zoomerang is fairly limited).

Monday, March 14, 2005

Question for the VFP team: Why can't the debugger get the code?

There are many reasons why the debugger can't always get the code but as a developer, one always wants to ask.
 
I have several apps. I turn on "Include Debugger code" in the project manager. When an error occurs, why can't the debugger find the information?
 
Yes. The debugger can read the Class code and shows it. but PRG files (where many developers keep their code) are kept hidden from this area.
 
There may be ways around it but WHY can't VFP read the "include debugging" code from program files?
 

Developers Report on Power, Productivity and Extensibility of New Visual FoxPro 9.0

Great note about Visual FoxPro 9.0 on Microsoft's web site and who is the great genius behind an app name like "WASP" - (Wireless Apprehension Solution Project)


Developers Report on Power, Productivity and Extensibility of New Visual FoxPro 9.0

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Nigel's Blog - interesting TV /blogging cross-promotion

NBC's Crossing Jordan has an interesting concept going on right now. It seems it was started a while ago but one of their forensic characters, Nigel,(played by Steve Valentine) is "blogging".

Yes, doesn't that sound fake? But what's neat about this is that it's all in line with a case being done on the series and the actual blog is broken up with all bits and pieces of what's going on in the case. (check out the files area for interesting links)

What's even more interesting is that now you've got viewers adding lots of comments on each post as they read through it.

Jeez - imagine what would have happened if Paramount had blogged the Star Trek Captain's Log - if you think Trekkers were fanatic now (being able to raise 3 million dollars to save a show is no small feat), imagine that scenario!!!


Nigel's Blog

How your blog can affect your work

http://redcouch.typepad.com/weblog/2005/03/dave_sifry_and_.html
A valuable lesson...what an interesting few weeks for blogging. From
rick schummer's being called on rss and courtesy to Scobe's note on
technorati employee blogs and lessons learned.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Cleaning the Roomba: RTFSWS

Early last year, I purchased a Roomba (one of those robotic vacuum cleaners that whip around on the floor). Great device! I had some problems with one unit and their customer service sent me a new one out without any hesitation.

Last week, Trish was noting that it didn't seem to be charging properly. I reverified the cord and it worked fine.

Then yesterday, she said "it doesn't work. he starts and then just stops." There was nothing in the user guide (gasp!) on it except "clean the brushes" so after cleaning it out (yes, we do this after EVERY use), I went into Self-test mode to see if that would solve it. Nope - everything seemed to check out. After searching some posts from other users (some positive and some negative), I decided when all else fails, RTFWS - Read the Freaking Support Web Site.

Sure enough - there it was. The Roomba's sensors are all really well placed except for the left one, which is right above one of the brushes - (it uses the sensors for movement and there are left open presumably for more accurate checks). With three dogs and a cat, you can only imagine how dirty it would get. Sure enough, cleaned it out with a little air and a damp cloth, and Rover (the Roomba) was off on his merry way, spinning and turning as he cleaned the floor.

Over the years, I've had a number of vacuum cleaners from expensive ($1500) to dirt cheap ($50), for $200US, the Roomba is well worth the value but be aware: it has to be cleaned just like a computer. If Roomba could do one little thing to improve this device, it would be to provide better tools or technologies for cleaning the Roomba (granted I haven't seen the latest Discovery model).

Include a little screwdriver for undoing the brushes, provide a little brush for cleaning those hard to reach areas, maybe include (or suggest) a can of compressed air - but perhaps most importantly, have the Roomba itself tell you when those sensors are dirty. Most people wouldn't think to look there and its not mentioned clearly in the user guide.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Are you a Microsoft MVP? Get a FREE copy of West Wind Html Help Builder - Rick Strahl's WebLog

Rick - do you ever STOP giving to the developer community?

Seriously though, his reasons are clear:
"But ultimately I’m looking for feedback, and MVPs are good about that, and not too political about it either (which is a good thing even if it hurts) Comments, suggestions, hate mail … it’s been very hard to get feedback either good or bad and I would like to improve the product and in order to do so I need more people that are vocal and check it out."

Are you a Microsoft MVP? Get a FREE copy of West Wind Html Help Builder - Rick Strahl's WebLog

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Foxfire! 8.0 at LA Fox User Group

Chick is presenting Foxfire! 8.0 (after MANY permutations) at the LA Fox Users Group tonight.
 
Go Chick go!
 
This product, Foxfire!, has gone through so many changes in the past 2 years - but we're almost there....the final steps towards release...
(for those who know it, it's the death march....so close yet so far....)
 
From what I've seen, Burt Rosen may be presenting Stonefield Query tonight....that's good. great even. Good for developers to know that above all the marketing and all the "what should I choose?" conversation, two companies show that there is room for two improved report / query builders in the FoxPro industry. (update: it looks like Burt is presenting FoxUnit - AWESOME!!! I Love Fox Unit - http://www.foxunit.org/)
 
(these notes were done prior to the presentation) - Stonefield and Foxfire! present two differing views of users, although their approach is similar. Both are Build the data dictionary to make it easier on the users.
 
One is tell us what you want, and we'll build it for you (and of course, you can tweak it after we're done)
 
One is build the report you want, and use it! (and of course, you can tweak it after it's done)
 
The difference is simply in how you want to use it. Hell, I may be sitting in on the presentation tonight - if so, I'll blog it as it goes along.

Legal status of bloggers debated / Journalists' shield claimed in response to Apple's lawsuit

It's a tough call...for every Ted Roche, who provides links to valuable information, there's a Madge or a ______ ( put your own name in here)....who is simply providing their own ....

Stop - even Ted provides his own commentary on his posts...if I go to a journalism school, does that make me any better?

I don't think so - yes, journalists should be more vigilant but many times, columnists are considered to be the same as journalists- are they really? If columnists are allowed to be protected, then so should bloggers.

Because what is a blog? - it is a column by someone who gives a damn.

Legal status of bloggers debated / Journalists' shield claimed in response to Apple's lawsuit

Mac Net Journal - Very True....they don't still shoot the messenger, do they?

Mac Net Journal

VFP: Call Report Writer from COM

David has a great post explaining how to move VFP reports onto the web as text files.

No , the output isn't pretty but it should be sufficient for basic web apps.


Musings in the belly of the whale: VFP: Call Report Writer from COM

VB Revolt?

Come on! You didn't see Fox developers getting all upset when MS bundled and then un-bundled their favorite product...oops! I'm sorry, yes you did.

Rich Levin has it right when he says:
There's no reason, technical or otherwise, why Visual Basic 6 can't coexist with Visual Basic .NET, just as Microsoft Visual FoxPro coexists with Access, just as Microsoft Visual C++ coexists with Visual C#, and just as Microsoft's Macintosh division coexists with the company's overarching Windows focus.

But the reality is - retaining VB 6 would be like MS keeping FoxPro updated. Should they do it? Yes - but at what cost? Do they keep VB /DOS around? No.

The price of progress? Yes - BUT maybe MS should realize that not every developer has the same resources that theirs have.

Personally - I think VB.net is far superior to VB - but that hasn't stopped many VB devs from looking at other areas.

Time will tell....

Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger

MS Collaboration Next Gen

BillG - the real focus is on real-time collaboration.

This market is really heating up but not in a good way. Companies like Citrix are trying to offer lower-cost meetings but less functionality.

Webex and Live Meeting are great but expensive and the features require too much hand-holding to get people wrapped around. Setting up proper "recorded demo" pages and email tracking is still not easy enough. That's a whole other topic.

But for basic meetings, what is really needed is an easy mechanism for recorded meetings.

In my opinion:
1. Resurrect MS Producer and integrate it with built-in polling and other useful features.

2. Have MS Producer automatically create OPML for it.

3. When recording demos and meetings, have an Office page that is automatically created as a "Home base" for these meetings.

Much like Live Meeting does for the live meetings (but they are too $$ for small businesses )

Hey wow - in a nutshell, turn MS Producer for PowerPoint into a Video Blogging/BlogCast tool. Now THAT would be very cool

Live Meeting 2005 Launch

So they're coming up with a New Episode for the Apprentice.

They have to come up with the "next generation" software product - all showing the Whiteboard for brain-storming.

So now Mark Burnett loads in his own spreadsheet.

Features -
Drag and drop Excel spreadsheet into the meeting view. That's kind of cool.

Now of course, they open it up to the Polling capability. If you've never done this in a meeting before, it's kind of cool but it DOES require a lot of members to get it working well (I've used the polling feature and you really need to have a lot of people to make it effective).

The winning idea? Corporate Daycare.

However, one of the cool ideas is that they intend to use Live Meeting on the Apprentice (Season 4). Donald Trump with a mouse? Oh that should be rich.

Neat collaboration from around the world.

Still, one of the comments was asking about video - to which the answer was "not available yet - maybe in a future release". Webex DOES have video now.

Live Meeting 2005 from launch

New version of Live Meeting (2005)
(boy I hope this isn't the new version - the audio keeps cutting in and out)
- Supports VOIP

The demo includes people from around the world. But guess what? You don't see it via the Live Meeting stream.

And the audio just caught off again (jeez).
May make more sense to switch over to the phone. (yet the audio still goes off)

So their big thing is that they have Mark Burnett (from the Apprentice) in on the meeting.

Good joke about the blue shirt (everyone at MS seems to have a blue shirt on, according to their pictures). Also included Kelly and Troy from the Apprentice.

Someone needs to fix the audio echo on these guys....

Burnett made a joke about no one from MS knowing about the Apprentice. Didn't he know that Verna was on (granted she left on her own).

Kind of fun though - Bill Gates is on the "Street Smart" team.

Live Meeting 2005 from launch

New version of Live Meeting (2005)
(boy I hope this isn't the new version - the audio keeps cutting in and out)
- Supports VOIP

The demo includes people from around the world. But guess what? You don't see it via the Live Meeting stream.

And the audio just caught off again (jeez).
May make more sense to switch over to the phone. (yet the audio still goes off)

So their big thing is that they have Mark Burnett (from the Apprentice) in on the meeting.

Good joke about the blue shirt (everyone at MS seems to have a blue shirt on, according to their pictures). Also included Kelly and Troy from the Apprentice.

Someone needs to fix the audio echo on these guys....

Highlights of MS Communicator

Highlights of the RTC Launch.

MS Communicator
- New IM-style client
- Better integration with Office.
- Better integration with Sharepoint.

So it's better integration with everything.

Watching Intro of MS Communicator

So MS is doing a Live Meeting of their Real-Time collaboration launch.

Why weren't they streaming this? I use Web-based meetings all the time and this isn't selling me on LiveMeeting. The sound is on and off and I can't even see what's really going on, just random screen shots.

The MS Communicator looks just like IM but with better Skype like features.

More to come later but so far, I'm not jumping up and down yet.

Note to Adam Curry: Don't Drive and PodCast!!!!

It was recorded a week ago but there is nothing funnier or scarier than listening to Adam Curry attempt to drive his daughter to school and podcast at the same time.
 
I found myself yelling at the radio : Don't Drive and Podcast!!!
 
 
 

Monday, March 07, 2005

A worthwhile attachment for Outlook

Now THIS is a tool that everyone needs.

I'm not going to count the times I send an image or a picture to someone and they say "can you zip it" - and the pain is creating a separate zip file and then sending it off.

This way, it's all done automatically. For only $19 , it's worth it.

AND if you've never bought an actual license for winzip, SHAME ON YOU. You know who you are - you all use it - of all the shareware tools I've purchased and used, WinZip is the one I have used continually.

I purchased my license for Winzip back when I was still using CompuServe (I got the licensed version on DISKETTE).

Winzip for Outlook

Sunday, March 06, 2005

"Why I unsubscribed from Napster" - Why?

The arguments here are pretty basic. I subscribed to MusicNow's service about three years ago - I unsubscribed because I stopped using my Dell laptop on my TV.

This is a standard problem with DRM. I have 4 computers in my home and an Audiotron - I buy music on one of them - I expect to be able to play it on all of them. I get the constant "retrieving license" message. The solution?

Buy it - burn it onto CD / DVD. Then put it into your media library - you've got it - it's yours AND hopefully (as long as the company doesn't go bankrupt and you don't have a copy of the receipt), you can always prove you own it.

The declaration: "Which brings me to a declaration: The end-user should never, under any legitimate circumstances, have to worry about copy protection." - hey ! you drive a car, you always have to show your insurance. You pay by cheque - you always have to show photo ID. The subscription model works AMAZINGLY WELL - IF you are willing to buy it, burn it and then re-use it. If not, then you'll be like this unhappy guy. You buy a CD - you copy it? You better be able to prove you own it (as embarassing as it may be, I wish I could prove I still own some of the records I used to by pulling out the old tapes or vinyl - only the best survive)

How does this apply to VFP? It's kind of like the EULA - you BOUGHT Foxpro right? Wrong - you bought a license to use it. At least the VFP 9 EULA doesn't require that you remove the older versions - but all of the companies involved in DRM have to come up with the right solution.

First they do an online search

Priceless cartoon about how the world has changed (it's old from 1998!) - I get my world news on my ipaq, my entertainment from my podcasts and my real news from my blogs.

I just commented to Michel Fournier at the Universal Thread - where are your RSS feeds?

And now with Google Local, it's so easy. I did a search for a business in my area -what was great was that Google Local provided me with their web site but also with their directions...

Maybe they are right (no - I couldn't find the link darn it!) when it was said that Googe may own the next internet...if you know who said it, please give me the link again....


Cartoonbank.com - Product Details

Scoble calls someone on missing an RSS feed as well

Rick isn't the only one who was called recently on missing an RSS feed. (although Ted noted that the feed wasn't noted but was really there - I found it via Newsgator). Scoble's noted the same problem on the new Podcast network site - sure enough, as with Rick's site, it was back up within 24 hours.
Scobleizer: Microsoft Geek Blogger

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Shedding Some Light

Rick Schummer's got a blog (and yes, Craig, he did get his RSS feed going).

Rick, in your post on Common Courtesy, you noted that it would have so much nicer if you hadn't gotten called on it in the wide open.

That's one of the downsides (goodsides??) of blogging - people are going to call you on things right off bat - the only gotcha is that they may not make a note directly on your blog as a comment To be fair, Craig has gotten more than his share of "call outs" when his blog was down for commenting and archives.

I've been called on a lot of embarassing omissions on the site ( I asked about what type of headphone jack an iPod uses when it's right on the web site) - as well as in real life (I tech edited an article that mentioned "Lisa Slater" when she was already "Lisa Slater Nichols" - oops!)

I've been accused of being pro-Linux, pro-MS, and a bunch of other stuff. I think the best way to deal with it all is realize that in the blogosphere, there are some basic rules:

1. Some people don't like to leave comments. Instead, they leave them on their blog. It's hard to know how many people are reading and whatnot but many people are turning into "Scoble" and simply don't read email, very rarely leave comments and simply read the feeds.

2. Some people love to leave comments. Long, rambling posts that everyone's eyes glaze over on (I'm sure some will be doing it on this on) and others that are super short (and leave everyone saying huh?).

3. There are no real rules in the blogosphere. There are people who will be rude and unforgiving (and you can always unsubscribe those blogs) and then there are those who write great blogs that others point to.

Here's a perfect example - I could have simply written you a comment on your blog on this but instead, I'm putting up my own post - why?

A) I want you to get linked or noticed by whoever else may read
my blog

b) I hate leaving comments especially when I go off on a tangent that combines thoughts on your post and my own ideas as well.

On a similar note, I'm super psyched that more and more Fox people are coming onto the blogosphere. More tools, more links, more fun, more Fox. Welcome!

I noted a few weeks ago that I'm putting together a PodCast regarding FoxPro, if anyone wants to be involved, interviewed, has ideas or background music thoughts, shoot me an email or grab me on Skype (akselsoft) or MSN (akselsoft).

Shedding Some Light

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Another use for JUSTEXT( )

Most developers see functions like JUSTFNAME ( ) and JUSTPATH) as file -based functions, useful for stripping down file names down to their lowest level. But they can also be used with tables and aliases.
 
Example:
 
CUSTOMERS.COMPANYNAME
 
? JUSTEXT("CUSTOMERS.COMPANYNAME")  && returns COMPANYNAME
? JUSTSTEM("CUSTOMERS.COMPANYNAME") && returns CUSTOMERS

(correction from comments: JUSTSTEM is the function I wanted, not JUSTFNAME which gives the full file name, doh! - thanks Sietse)
 
This can be a handy way of parsing through data dictionaries.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

How Developers Should Work Together

I'm watching "Making Nemo" (the making of Finding Nemo) and the way these people worked together actually illustrates how developers should work together.
 
A. One developer - I'm creating THIS. -> the one that creates the object that becomes "Nemo"
 
B. Another -> I'm affecting THIS. -> the area from which within "Nemo" works
 
C. Another -> I'm created by THIS -> the combination of both A + B = C
 
After seeing it, it might be worthwhile for any developer to watch one of those "making of" and see how it can apply to their development projects. In one viewing, it can make everyone realize that each object affects another, each person who creates an object affects the other...
 
This is the same thing that testers and developers go through - (I developed this, I tested this, WE create this.)
 
The fact that animation takes two years before it turns into something real speaks nothing of the reality of creating quality software (of course! <bg>)
 
And of course, this is after Pixar made the Incredibles- which only means who knows what they will do without Disney..... that Steve Jobs - he knows what he creates (Apple), what he buys (Pixar via Lucas Films or IFX), and what he helps build (Macintosh, countless movies, iPod) - I would love to hear how Pixar employees feel about him vs. Apple employees - he's the evangelist that everyone wants to be (the kind that inspires) but to hear the stories , one might never imagine it happening - but I also think that the antagonism is something that DOES inspire....