Thursday, December 28, 2006

Desktop Alerts now in VFPX!

This is great news! Kevin Ragsdale's Desktop Alerts, which he has showcased in various meetings, is now part of the VFPX project.

If you haven't seen it - basically imagine having the Outlook 2003 Desktop alerts within your own FoxPro application.

Very cool and an awesome addition!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Microsoft Vista - Impressions after Week 1

Even though I tried an early beta, I have tried very hard to keep a more "consumer" eye towards Vista as it reaches release. I installed Vista Ultimate on my wife's computer (after upgrading the memory, of course) so I could perhaps get some reaction from someone who is not knee deep in tech talk. Perhaps I was inspired from Robert's comment about the Twit podcast where Paul Thurrott said Vista was changing the way he uses his computer. (maybe he's changed his opinion) I've read some good (but hey integrating everything you've offered separately can't count as a meaningful upgrade, can it?)

But I've also read Chris's posts from back in May about Vista Mistakes and then more.

Trish was not impressed with the staid looking task bar (first question: "how do I change the color?" Answer: you really can't)
And her overall impression after one week (granted it's early) was: "It's really not that different"

(I know there are LOTS of changes under the hood but that's not something everyone (ie non-techies) will see at first glance - and when you're trying to get people to upgrade, it can be a major point.

Myself - no, I'm not impressed with the new "Explorer" look" - it reminds me of getting onto someone's computer who has an Explorer replacement. Yes, it's cool - but when I have to support multiple machines, it's just plain annoying! (and why would you change the Start button with a stupid logo? Start made sense especially for new users - it's kind of like the new icon menu in Office 2007 - it DOESN'T make it easier - and does it really save real estate?)

But more to the point:
Last week, I tried installing NovaPDF. No biggie there except that Vista CRASHED (or rather the Subspooler and something else) both times I tried. And while I like that I can hover my mouse over a window and it will appear, it was hiding the fact that the installer broke something in the OS. Strike one.

So this morning, I was moving files from my digital camera over onto the machine. I had lots of images but also some movies. So the new Windows Photo gallery comes up - nice, very handy but when I try to take a look at the video, IT crashes. Now, I know maybe I shouldn't be viewing an AVI file in a Photo Gallery but shouldn't the photo gallery say "Stop!"?

Maybe there will be more posts about Vista and end-user impressions (I still love Rick Strahl's great developer look here and here ) in the future - but taking a page from Robert when he said "when I want to find out about something, I look for 'xxxx sucks' in Google"

Vista Sucks - Google Search

I really do want to like Vista. I'm excited by so many aspects of it but I'm also dreading customers using it and asking how to do things. After running it for a week, I can't help but feel disappointed by its lack of real innovation in the interface.

I hope this is a passing disappointment but I'm not sure. When we stopped at the Chicago Apple store in early November, Trish's two immediate comments were "this is so cool" and "when I want a laptop, I want a MacBook". A little different from her review of Vista - not that much different.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Still Looking for a PDF Writer?

Check it out today - it's only available for 11 more hours but Giveaway of the Day is promoting
novaPDF Printer Lite.

One thing you need to remember about Giveaway of the Day - you have to install it as soon as you download it. If you wait too long, the activation code can't be used.

Update: This tool doesn't appear to work with Vista. I installed it three times and it crashed the subspooler. It did install great over XP though.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Rick reveals more on the Sedna Data Explorer

Rick Schummer has a great post in which he discusses some of the new features in the Sedna Data Explorer.

I've played just a little with the FoxPro Data Explorer but was always put off by its lack of direct integration features so hearing some of the new features and bug fixes (especially the call to the Upsizing wizard) have intrigued me to take another look.

Great stuff!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

OzFox 2007 extended registration deadline

Boy I wish I could get to this.

But even if you can't, it's refreshing to hear a conference organizer comment on why they're extending the deadline and thanking those who did register early.

Hmmm...wonder if VFP Solution Explorer will be making an appearance?

Craig Bailey's thoughts on life and Visual FoxPro: VFP: New OzFox 2007 site + extended special price

Saturday, December 02, 2006

New to Design Patterns? Check out Andy's intro

Andy Kramek has a brief but good introduction to why you shouhld consider Design Patterns, not as a bunch of gobbley-gook but as a useful way of dealing with challenges.

I'm looking forward to the series...

Expression vs. Office 2007

Why wouldn't MS do an update to the Expression Beta before releasing Office 2007?

"EW uses components from Office 2007. As a result the Beta version of EW cannot be installed with the RTM version of Office 2007. It can be installed with Office 2007 Beta 1 TR "

That's no answer. But hey, at least an MVP responded (Ron Symonds) - MS didn't. Maybe they'll fix it soon.

I have to say - I do like Expression Web Designer - although maybe it's more because my FrontPage was bother me so I thought I would try something for a change.

But now it really bothers me because I want to use it but I also want to use Office 2007!

Argh! Why bother installing beta software?

Install of Expression Web Designer Beta 1 w/ Office 2007 F..