Sunday, January 11, 2009

Windows 7: First Early Impressions on VPC



First off, let me say I do HAVE Vista on my laptop and find it very annoying compared to Windows XP. ( I wanted to state that after Kevin Hoctor's comment on twitter.)

Vista has moved XP into a more secure environment but along with it came UAC, which to this day annoys me and makes me feel like I have to do three steps when I only used to have to do one in XP.

So before committing myself to running a beta product that is supposedly faster than its predecessors, I put it onto a Virtual PC.

Certain UI elements (like the Taskbar Properties) have been cleaned up for which I'm thankful. I still DON'T like the new Start menu - I don't think it's taken me away from SlickRun.

I did get some BSODs when installing the Virtual Machine Add-ons ( I couldn't give it as feedback using MS connect - although part of the program, it wouldn't say I was part of it).



Still, I installed Foxfire! ( a VFP app) on it (and while I had to Run As Administrator to get it to work), it worked fine.

I noticed Alec Saunder's twitterss was nothing some performance degradation but the jury's still out and it IS still a beta. I was comforted by John Koziol's comments on a FoxShow, suggesting that with Windows 7, they have gotten rid of a lot of the excess baggage that Vista had with it.

So welcome Windows 7 - so far I'm happy to don my I'm a PC hat to try it out.




Monday, January 05, 2009

A New Year...A New Month...A New Technology...

I have (first correction - thanks Matt!) been pulling together links for a larger "start of the year" post and decided to scale it back and try something a bit different. The various sites that AKSEL manages will be going through a "re-branding" exercise in the near future but one of my goals this year is to follow Chris Brogan's Three Words idea (Freedom. Consistency. Communication - I'm still deciding...) as well as working in some of Mark Riffey's ideas into my weekly schedule.

Rod Paddock asked "What's in a title" - and pointed out that one thing developers can do to become better developers is to adopt more agile practices - and he lists several practices and his experience with them.

That's a great goal for developers but what about "database developers"? There are lots of developers out there but almost every role needs to be qualified further: web developer, application developer, database developer. Are there other qualifications that are needed?

A regular Windows application developer likely doesn't need to know about CSS - but a web developer better know CSS. Does a database developer have to know the normal forms? Or maybe how to design a database properly?

How do you qualify that? Because there are always exceptions to each rule.

One of the ways I'm starting this year is by taking a new technology each month and really exposing myself to it (insert joke here). What's my guideline? I'm not completely sure but my first technology (MVC) is something that is actually fairly broad - popularized with Ruby on Rails, "foxified" with FoxTrails and DotNetted with ASP MVC.

How do *you* plan to become a better developer?

Farewell Friend

Late last night, sad news traveled around the FoxPro community about the passing of Ceil Silver. While she had been battling cancer for quite some time, one would never know it from her constant enthusiasm. She was a great colleague and a good friend. She will be missed.

If you are so inclined, the charity of choice (according to her daughter, Rachel) would be the NYU Cancer Center where she was being treated.

Her daughter has updated her blog here.

Andy Kramek's post