Planet FoxPro

September 02, 2014

Alex Feldstein

September 01, 2014

Alex Feldstein

August 31, 2014

www.atoutfox.org - Contributions

Fonctions avec Active Directory et LDAP

Voici quelques fonctions utiles pour gérer les usagers dans Active Directory avec Foxpro. Ces fonctions requiert que vous soyez sur le meme serveur (ou sur le meme LAN) qu'Active Directory.

by Mike Gagnon at August 31, 2014 01:12 PM

Alex Feldstein

Articles

MSCC: Entrepreneurship and start-up culture (in Mauritius)

Logo of the Mauritius Software Craftsmanship CommunityAfter skipping a monthly meetup back in July it was highly anticipated that we are going to get together again during August. And wow, what an experience it has been... Not only the event itself but also the week before, and topics and conversations during the meeting, and the first responses and comments these days. But let's start from the beginning and let me directly announce this: New Record!

Yes, we did it once more again, and topped the previous number of attendees. Prior to the meetup we already had 29 member and 3 guest registration, and yesterday we had about 35 IT-loving craftsmen literally cramped into both meeting rooms at the Ebene Accelerator - Thanks again!

Quite frankly, it was packed early, and new arrivals were still coming. Awesome!

Meetup announcement: Entrepreneurship and start-up culture (in Mauritius)

Having the idea of starting your business is always a great opportunity. And with the right concepts, perseverance and consistency of doing things, you will likely be successful. But the path to success is full of obstacles and problems to be solved. Just too often it happens that young people fail in their persuade to glory due to small issues not thought about or misleading information.

This month's meetup is about the experience of existing start-ups and recent entrepreneurs here on the island. We are going to have a group of people to report about their journey, to share their knowledge, and to exchange about some nasty issues that might arise on your way to run your own business.

Everyone is largely invited to join our community meetup, and get some inspiration, some answers, and maybe also great ideas for new business opportunities on the way.

Our guest speakers in order of appearance:

As you can see, the meeting was put up with a high emphasis on real world experience and sharing of knowledge. Something surely to talk about and discuss in a room.

My first thoughts...

Alright, let me quickly note down my first impression of our get-together and then guide you through some of the details:

"It was a very interesting monthly meetup and lots of information, different opinions and serious business advice. It was great to see the variety of obstacles faced and managed...

And thanks to our mixture of speakers from Mauritius, Switzerland, India, and indirectly from France and Germany at least I had a good insight on various topics, attitudes and recommendations.

Looking forward to a follow up on this topic in the near future... Maybe as an Happy Hour at another premise. ;-)"

Truly, it was a great experience to have this kind of variety in terms of business experience and opinions. I got a lot of new input for my own business at IOS Indian Ocean Software Ltd. and some great advice to follow up during the next couple of weeks.

Reactions of other attendees

As usual, I'd like to give you feedback from other craftsmen first:

"Oh it was very inspiring, learned new Awesome stuffs and enjoy a lot to discover new opportunities, tips and tricks and most of all I got to increase my networking with new guys with crazy horizon :)" -- Shamsher on event comments

"Great session - I loved the different perspectives presented today." -- Dan on event comments

"This community is doing some Great stuffs and I recommend to any developer to check them out. You have everything to gain from it, nothing to lose I was so focused on the presentations that I just couldn't take more pics" -- Kevin on Facebook

"They [Vincent and Louis] stressed on the facilities provided by Ebène Accelerator and how it was relatively easy to set up a business in Mauritius. As at date they have a lot of Mauritian customers and shared tips that should be useful to those wishing to have their startup at the incubator." -- Ish on Talks on Entrepreneurship

"Absolutely awesome guys, very interesting to hear all those opportunities & challenges facing startups in Mauritius." -- Parvez on event comments

Overall, I’m glad I attended the session. Clearly, the MSCC is gaining traction! I’ve never seen that conference room so full. Soon, we’ll need a new venue. I’ll be inviting some of my colleagues to more of these sessions later on. I highly recommend them. -- Sean on MSCC: Talks on Entrepreneurship

Getting such an early (and spontaneous) feedback from our members is just great, and tells me that we really hit a nerve here on the island. The Mauritius Software Craftsmanship Community is steadily growing and until today we have more than 180 registered people. Hopefully, we will be able to cross the 200 before the end of the year.

Aspects of entrepreneurship (by experience)

Dear reader, the following bullet points are related to the conversations and exchange we had during our meeting and are purely based on subjective experience of each and everyone. I'm trying to sum up some of the more relevant aspects of our various conversations and Q&A sessions. So, please don't take all of this for granted and evaluate some statements clearly as opinions, eventually as some guidance. Now, let the fun begin...

Gain some experience as an employee first

Through out the bench of guest speakers all of them started as an employee. Except myself, I had to learn it the hard way and went into employment after one year of miserable results in my first company. In general, it is clearly advised by each and every one sharing their experience as a business owner that should get into business as an employee first. See how the real world of labour is ticking, take notes and learn from others experience. Yes, you might argue that it's faster to jump into the pond to learn how to swim but you know there have been cases where people simply drowned.

Of course, you should be selective regarding your first job(s) and take care that you're not working for some miserable low salary but your focus should be learning about customer facing situation, how to deal with contracts and learn about negotiations with your superiors or during meetings with clients.

If you have a look at the big shots of our time, a huge number of founders, CEOs, and managing positions were employees for a couple of years in the first place. In most cases their own business spun off with an idea left unsatisfied by their employer. And that's something you should take into consideration.

A problem to be solved...

As just mentioned, a lot of company founders develop a business idea based on an existing, real-world problem which hasn't been addressed by anyone else before (or in a very poor, unsatisfying way). This is even more important to recognise when you're about to develop your business around a product or services compared to freelancing. More about that below.

As you might start to work as an employee always keep your eyes open for existing problems. Take customer complains or requests as a source of opportunity. Always remember the following proverb:

One man's trash is another man's treasure

Discovering, exploiting and solving a problem is much likely a permission to print money. Pay attention to what people are saying regarding their problems and surely you'll find a bunch of ideas and business opportunities.

Communication, communication, and... communication

As a business owner you have to be customer facing and somehow outgoing. If you're an introvert person, please think twice if that's what you're after.

Communication I - You should have the ability to converse with your clients and leads regarding the services and products you're offering in your company. As for speaking to leads you have to be focus on the pitch and be spot-on right about the terms you use. This also depends on the type of audience you're addressing but usually it involves to leave the tech-talk in the lowest drawer at home. Know and learn how to speak business and seize all kind of opportunities to get in touch with people. Keep your perseverance and don't get discouraged on denials. Always keep the conversation on a professional level.

Communication II - Have regular meetings with your partners and team members. It's not about checking on them but to get yourself into the right spot to understand their ideas, perspective and concerns regarding the business in general or specific products. Remember, your own ideas always appear brilliant to yourself but get them validated by others and listen to their feedback. Develop the ability to handle criticism in a positive way because if something has been voiced out there's always a reason to do so, and your own experience is obviously limited to yourself, so take advantage from other people's input and use it as an opportunity to learn, to improve, and to provide a better solution than what you're offering right now.

Communication III - Proper choice of media. Although, it wasn't explicitly mentioned I'd like to add this based on my own way of communicating with my peers, and on recent conversations I had with a good number of contacts in my professional network. Give yourself a guideline regarding your choice and preferred type of communication. Most of the time it should be in a written manner like email or instant messaging, especially when dealing with clients. But sometimes, there are occasions when it is more appropriate to actually pick up the phone (or any voice-based solution) and have a decent one-to-one conversation.

And last but not least keep in touch with your clients irregularly. It's always great to show your appreciation for their business and that you're actually caring about them. And you never know, knocking at someone's door just to say "Hello" might give you opportunities and generate new business, too.

Lone warrior or team player?

Well, on this aspect we had clearly two parties and opinions...

Personally, I'd recommend to team up with someone you trust and can rely one, but the arguments regarding souvereignty and decision making processes puts some weight on the other side of the equation. Frankly, I'd say this is a very personal decision as it is hard to find the right people to go into business with, especially while founding a start-up and you need to know whether the relationship will make it or break it during tough times, too.

As an entrepreneur you'll have to go extra-miles without any doubts, and you ask yourself whether you have the perseverance to push through it on your own or whether you prefer to have a professional business partner at your side who might be able to literally kick your ass to keep things moving forward. Of course, it's not an easy decision but having a look at some of the most successful companies nowadays might give you a hint (or not) ;-) - Talking about Apple, Google, Facebook, Tesla Motors, LinkedIn, Amazon, Microsoft, etc.

Get experts on board (from the very beginning)

Despite your initial decision whether you're going to start your business on your own or to team up with another co-founder you should always take care to get a professional from the accounting department and another expert in the legal department into your company. There are a variety of ways on how to achieve that. And quite frankly it doesn't matter how to get them on board but don't proceed without those two essential knowledge assets.

In terms of priority you should get an accountant first, legal support might come into business on its own. But more on that below.

Freelancing / services or product oriented business?

Whether you are about to start freelancing and offering your resource and knowledge to other people or you're going to develop a set of professional services or products doesn't really matter in terms of starting your own business as long as you're about to solve an existing problem of others. During the various stints of our speakers it was mentioned multiple times that a business is more likely to be focused on a specific field of operations.

Some were addressed by friend or another business owner whether it would be possible to help to improve their workflows with some software to be written, or to spice up someone's online marketing with a newly designed and developed web site, or by providing a shopping experience here on the island. Clearly, there was always a very specific problem that ignited a business idea and then developed into a solution to that.

But you should also take into consideration that your choice of business model has different aspects of revenue. If you're more likely to operate on a freelancing mode you have to take care of acquisition of new clients on a regular base. Meaning you going to spend to good number of hours per day, per week, per month to look out for potential projects and business opportunities. Not only does this reduce your productive time (meaning chargeable to the client) but it might be cumbersome doing it all over again and over a long period of time. Yes, you might start your business based on an initial project or assignment but bear in mind that this assignment is going to be completed and done one day. It's in your responsibility to monitor the market for new projects and keep up a continuous flow of income. If you're more likely to provide a product-oriented solution you might have to face a initiation phase without being able to generate any kind of revenues. Since a couple months (or even years) there is a growing movement towards crowd-founding such product-based solutions.

Getting more money into the business - Do's and Don'ts

Be truthful, financial aid for your business is always welcoming and it will give you peace of mind. Knowing that there are enough funds on the bank account allows you to focus on your work or product(s), and nurtures your curiousity to delve deeper in some fields of business or technology. Without any source of regular income or proper funding it won't be "fun" to start your business but let's not forget that some great businesses where literally build on nothing.

Okay, let's see what should take into consideration for your business. During the meeting we came across a variety of potential solutions - partly contradictory to each other and served with different levels of experience - positive as well as negative ones.

One argument somehow stood out clearly compared to others: Don't ask your (or any) bank for money.

Although the procedures of writing your business plan, summing up the figures, your estimations on expenses and your predictive forecast on the revenues during the first, second and follow-ups isn't a bad exercise after it remains most commonly an exercise while dealing with the board committees at the bank. Don't get me wrong on this here, yes write a business plan but don't take it to a bank. They literally won't be able to grasp your business idea(s): "They simply don't get it."

Dealing with your bank is inevitable and you clearly should stay in good terms with your account executive but don't put yourself into the hassle and headache of providing them with the details of your business. Competition is everywhere and unfortunately there have been cases of "flattery" here on the island.

What else has been mentioned? Well, some reported of good experience with the local Mauritius Business Growth Scheme (MBGS), about the positive effects of inviting Angel Investors into your business concepts and last but least the collaboration with Venture Capital providers. As for Mauritius, the last two options might be a little bit tricky at the moment but I'm aware that there is a growing interest of foreign investors, especially coming from the U.S.A., in jump-starting or assisting young entrepreneurs.

And the other side there are also options to improve your management of expenses as the Mauritian government has public bodies and institutions in place which can clearly be useful in order to grow your business. One opportunity is related to the Youth Employment Programme (YEP) which has a database of potential employees for your business. Another way is to get in touch with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in Port Louis.

So, despite common understanding that there is hardly any support by the local government our meetup was an eye-opener for a good number of attendees, including myself. For sure, I'll register my business with YEP, and I'm going to propose one or two open positions before the end of the year.

The importance of a proper cash flow

ALWAYS take care of your income, payment, royalties or whatever source of money for your business first. Your company doesn't operate on love and good promises from your clients but hard cash only. Send out a signal to your clients that you're serious about business and you're a professional company owner. Don't get into any compromises regarding payment from your clients. If it's about new work ask for a certain percentage of down-payment upfront (50% of the total seems to be a common and agreeable condition). Be clear about the payment conditions on your invoices and chase your client immediately when you have suspicions regarding their liquidity.

Remember, you have monthly obligations to fulfill and your business relies on a proper cash-flow and in-time payments from your clients. Some of the speakers could report that businesses went into bankruptcy only due to outstanding payments by their clients. Don't let this happen to you, and get your accounting and legal department cracking on the nuts and bolts of your contracts as well as the proper handling of your reminder system.

Also, if possible (depending on the country) see whether you can run a background on your leads prior to get into business with them. Here in Mauritius companies have to file their annual business reports publicly to the registrar of companies. Once again, leave this kind of work to your professionals in the accounting department.

Hire slow and the right people

As mentioned above regarding communication it is very essential and vital for your young business to work with the right people on the team. Whether it is with contracted experts like an accountant or a lawyer it is also important to put a high emphasis on your hiring process of UI designers, software developers, or product workers. Having people on the team which are not in the spirit of working in an agile environment of a start-up, or entertaining a so-called "social welfare case" doesn't help to prosper your business. Aux contraire, it's going to slow you down immensely.

Pay attention and put some energy into your hiring process, it won't hurt you at all but provide you the right talent for your company. There are great examples available on the world-wide web for free but I'd like you to read the following blog article "How to hire a lot of talented people, very quickly" of Ryan Carson, CEO of Treehouse, explicitly. It was inspiring for me and I set up a similar process using Trello, too.

Yes, you should hire more people but in a steady way, always in regard to your business revenues, and only stock up your staff with people you're sure they can live up to aims of your business.

Networking - the offline way

Honestly, I can't remember how often we talk about the importance of growing and entertaining a professional network - both online using platforms like LinkedIn or Xing as well as offline by attending any kind of organised events related to business owners. While running a business you have to get the word out that you are actually operational, and of course you have to let people know about the kind of professional services or products you are offering. This is related to self-marketing and you should practice so-called "elevator pitches" prior to going out.

Ask yourself:

  • Would you be able to describe and summarize your business in less than 5 seconds?
  • Are you able to your profile into one paragraph of 2 to 3 sentences?
  • What are the outstanding benefits your business could offer compared to your competition?

If you cannot answer those questions, you should reflect on them and get in better shape for your next get-together with other business people.

Some visual impressions

Pictures are courtesy of Pritiv and Kevin.

MSCC: Sharing my experience on founding and running a start-up. There have been ups and downs throughout the years
MSCC: Sharing my experience on founding and running a start-up. There have been ups and downs throughout the years.

MSCC: Crowded audience - we had 35 attendees during our sessions on Entrepreneurship and start-up culture in Mauritius
MSCC: Crowded audience - we had 35 attendees during our sessions on Entrepreneurship and start-up culture in Mauritius.

MSCC: Paying close attention to other speakers' experience as entrepreneurs - at least I got quite some new ideas during those couple of hours
MSCC: Paying close attention to other speakers' experience as entrepreneurs - at least I got quite some new ideas during those couple of hours.

Upcoming Events and networking

With such high quality of information and lots of bombshell to talk about and exchange we clearly exceeded our time frame but I'd say it was absolutely worth it. Furthermore, I had the impression that we should have a similar get-together in the near future to continue our intensive conversations.

What are the upcoming events here in Mauritius? So far, we have the following ones (incomplete list as usual) in chronological order:

Hopefully, there will be more announcements during the next couple of weeks and months. If you know about any other event, like a bootcamp, a code challenge or hackathon here in Mauritius, please drop me a note in the comment section below this article. Thanks!

My resume of the day

Get some real world experience first, build a network of professional contacts, and then think about doing your own business!

Seriously, even though the idea of starting a business right after graduation might be tempting, take into consideration that there's a lot to learn and it's definitely not the "big bucks" you should be after. Building your own company takes a lot of energy and investment in terms of time and money. Better to be prepared (at least a bit) than to run into some dumb mistakes thousands of others have already been through. Be smart, learn from others' experience, team up in start-up if you prefer a more flexible life-style.

Despite the level of self-marketing of some of our speakers there was huge amount of information regarding tips and advice for future business owners. And there were a good number of hiring opportunities, too. Almost everyone was mentioning that they are having open positions. I guess that's one of the cool aspects during our meetups, isn't it?

And.... special thanks to Santosh Achari to provide his laptop for the various presentations.

Reminder to myself: Bring the DisplayPort-VGA and HDMI-VGA adapters next time...

by Jochen Kirstaetter (jochen@kirstaetter.name) at August 31, 2014 04:51 AM

August 30, 2014

Alex Feldstein

Calvin Hsia's WebLog

Logo Turtle Graphics in WPF

Logo is a programming language that somehow involves a turtle. Imagine a turtle on a large piece of paper on the floor. The  turtle has a pen. You can command the turtle to go forward, turn right, then repeat 4 times to draw a square. The last time...(read more)

by CalvinH at August 30, 2014 02:02 AM

August 29, 2014

Alex Feldstein

August 28, 2014

FoxCentral News

Conference early-bird deadline approaches; So does Xbase++ 2.0

We have some very exciting news as we approach the early-bird registration deadline this Sunday, August 31st. Alaska plans to ship Xbase++ 2.0 in September, so this will be the first conference where developers can learn all about the newly released Xbase++ v2.0. In addition, Alaska has deep discounts to offer conference attendees whether you?re upgrading from a prior version of Xbase++ or doing a competitive upgrade from Visual FoxPro or Clipper. So whether you are coming from an Xbase++, Clipper, or Visual FoxPro background, Alaska has a product you can learn about at the conference, buy at the conference, and start using immediately when you get home! Southwest Fox and Southwest Xbase++ is the place to be in October. Please sign up now to get the conferences? $50 early-bird discount (http://geekgatherings.com/registration), which expires on September 1st. More details on the Xbase++ discounts coming soon.

by Southwest Fox Conference at August 28, 2014 10:54 PM

Shedding Some Light

Southwest conf early-bird deadline approaches

So does Xbase++ 2.0!

We have some very exciting news as we approach the early-bird registration deadline this Sunday, August 31st.

Alaska plans to ship Xbase++ 2.0 in September, so this will be the first conference where developers can learn all about the newly released Xbase++ v2.0. In addition, Alaska has deep discounts to offer conference attendees whether you’re upgrading from a prior version of Xbase++ or doing a competitive upgrade from Visual FoxPro or Clipper. So whether you are coming from an Xbase++, Clipper, or Visual FoxPro background, Alaska has a product you can learn about at the conference, buy at the conference, and start using immediately when you get home!

Southwest Fox and Southwest Xbase++ is the place to be in October. Please sign up now to get the conferences’ $50 early-bird discount (http://geekgatherings.com/registration), which expires on September 1st. More details on the Xbase++ discounts coming soon.

Every registered attendee gets admission and white papers to all regular conference sessions. Don’t miss this chance to learn from the best and mix with your peers.

by Rick Schummer at August 28, 2014 10:46 PM

Doug Hennig

Conference early-bird deadline approaches; So does Xbase++ 2.0

We have some very exciting news as we approach the early-bird registration deadline this Sunday, August 31st.

Alaska plans to ship Xbase++ 2.0 in September, so this will be the first conference where developers can learn all about the newly released Xbase++ v2.0. In addition, Alaska has deep discounts to offer conference attendees whether you’re upgrading from a prior version of Xbase++ or doing a competitive upgrade from Visual FoxPro or Clipper. So whether you are coming from an Xbase++, Clipper, or Visual FoxPro background, Alaska has a product you can learn about at the conference, buy at the conference, and start using immediately when you get home!

Southwest Fox and Southwest Xbase++ is the place to be in October. Please sign up now to get the conferences’ $50 early-bird discount, which expires on September 1st. More details on the Xbase++ discounts coming soon.

Every registered attendee gets admission and white papers to all regular conference sessions. Don’t miss this chance to learn from the best and mix with your peers.

by Doug Hennig (noreply@blogger.com) at August 28, 2014 04:30 PM

Alex Feldstein

August 27, 2014

Alex Feldstein

August 26, 2014

Alex Feldstein

August 25, 2014

Alex Feldstein

BACH Prelude and Fugue in E major

Played by Gabriele Tomasello

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by Alex Feldstein (noreply@blogger.com) at August 25, 2014 10:54 AM

August 24, 2014

Alex Feldstein

August 23, 2014

Alex Feldstein

Walter Trout - Blues for my Baby (2012)

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by Alex Feldstein (noreply@blogger.com) at August 23, 2014 10:03 AM

August 22, 2014

Beth Massi - Sharing the goodness

Fun with the Interns: Zach Montoya Builds a Visual Studio Designer for .NET Native

A few weeks ago when I was up in Redmond I had the pleasure of interviewing some interns on the .NET team to talk about their experience as an intern at Microsoft and to show off the projects they are working on. In this interview I sit down with Zach Montoya, a Developer Intern on the .NET Runtime team, and we chat about his internship experience and summer project.

Zach built a Visual Studio extension that allows maintaining and configuring runtime directives for .NET Native right from Visual Studio. .NET Native compiles .NET code to native machine code. Runtime directives are used to provide additional information to the .NET Native tool chain that tell the compiler what APIs you intend to call dynamically so those APIs can also be included.

Watch: Fun with the Interns: Zach Montoya Builds a Visual Studio Designer for .NET Native

<iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" src="http://channel9.msdn.com/Blogs/funkyonex/Fun-with-the-Interns-Zach-Montoya-Builds-a-Visual-Studio-Designer-for-NET-Native/player?h=393&amp;w=700" style="width: 700px; height: 393px;"></iframe>

And for all those students out there pursuing a career in computer science, you should consider an internship at Microsoft. You can help build real software that helps millions of people! Learn more about the Microsoft internship program here.

Enjoy!

by Beth Massi - Microsoft at August 22, 2014 06:12 PM

Alex Feldstein

August 21, 2014

Craig Bailey

Too much to ask

Reply from Malcolm Gladwell when asked about a child’s birth month being an advantage (emphasis mine):

Question: In Outliers, you discuss why a hugely disproportionate number of professional hockey and soccer players are born in January, February and March. I can’t begin to imagine how many to-be parents you influenced to try and have their offspring be born in those months!

MG: Well, I have heard that some parents took that to heart. I should add, however, that when it comes to academic achievement, the problem of being the youngest in class is most pronounced for kids with other challenges. If you are from a lower-income, broken home, and you have a learning disability, AND you are the youngest, that’s too much to ask. For the typical middle-class kid from a good, well-educated family, I’m not sure it matters so much. In other words, the kinds of people who took that message to heart are probably the people who least needed to take it to heart.

The post Too much to ask appeared first on Craig Bailey.

by Craig Bailey at August 21, 2014 11:34 PM

Beth Massi - Sharing the goodness

Fun with the Interns: Santiago Fernandez on LLVM Based Optimizer for MSIL

A few weeks ago when I was up in Redmond I had the pleasure of interviewing some interns on the .NET team to talk about their experience as an intern at Microsoft and to show off the projects they are working on. In this interview I sit down with Santiago Fernandez, a Developer Intern on the .NET team, and we chat about his internship experience and summer project.

Santiago really likes being close to the metal. So he investigated what it would take to use LLVM in the .NET Native code generator. Here he patiently helps me understand what the heck it's all about! LLVM is a cross platform, open source collection of modular and reusable compiler and tool chain technologies. Santiago shows us how it can be used to optimize MSIL. It's some very cool, geeky stuff. It's also awesome to hear about Santiago's dream to work at Microsoft.

Watch: Fun with the Interns: Santiago Fernandez on LLVM Based Optimizer for MSIL

<iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" src="http://channel9.msdn.com/Blogs/funkyonex/Fun-with-the-Interns-Santiago-Fernandez-on-LLVM-Based-Optimizer-for-MSIL/player?h=393&amp;w=700" style="width: 700px; height: 393px;"></iframe>

For all those students out there pursuing a career in computer science, you should consider an internship at Microsoft. You can help build real software that helps millions of people! Learn more about the Microsoft internship program here.

Enjoy!

by Beth Massi - Microsoft at August 21, 2014 10:07 PM

VisualFoxProWiki

XFRXHowToUseIt

XFRX - Export VFP reports to PDF, Word, Excel and HTML

XFRX is a tool for transforming Visual Foxpro reports to PDF, MS Word and HTML documents.

XFRX is very fast and precise, the generated documents look the same as the original reports. It supports reports merging, interactive features - hyperlinks and bookmarks/outlines - in the output documents, text rotation in PDF, document encryption, font embedding (see manual and demo reports for more details).

XFRX also enables previewing the report output in a container object within your forms.
The PDF part doesn't require any special printer drivers or other third-party tools, the documents are generated directly from VFP.
To generate word documents, XFRX requires Word 2000 or higher to be installed.

From: http://www.eqeus.com

Recently Added Features
  • Export to Excel Spreadsheets ~ using real Excel columns not pasted text boxes
  • Save A Report to a file for later report generation in any XFRX export format
  • The preview container now supports bookmarks and hyperlinks
  • <new> XFRX 11.2 Just Released
  • <new> XFRX 15.0 released March 2014
  • <new> Now supports Open Office (OASIS) file type output.
  • <new> Now supports MS Office 2007 file type output.
    XFRX Blog: Eqeus.com/Home/Blog
  • August 21, 2014 02:57 PM

    Alex Feldstein

    August 20, 2014

    Beth Massi - Sharing the goodness

    Fun with the Interns: Shaurya Arora on Designing .NET for NuGet

    A few weeks ago when I was up in Redmond I had the pleasure of interviewing some interns on the .NET team to talk about their experience as an intern at Microsoft and to show off the projects they are working on.

    In this interview I sit down with Shaurya (a.k.a Shaun) Arora, a Program Manager Intern on the .NET Ecosystem team, and we chat about his internship experience and summer project.

    You’ve probably noticed that we're releasing more and more .NET framework functionality via NuGet. Moving forward, we intend to bring the two even closer together. Shaun spent a lot of time thinking about this problem space and helped us shape our thoughts and design some ideas. Shaun is also a very talented developer and designer and helped us to build a catalog of all the .NET features we shipped since .NET 4. Check it out!

    Watch: Fun with the Interns: Shaurya Arora on Designing .NET for NuGet

    <iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" src="http://channel9.msdn.com/Blogs/funkyonex/Fun-with-the-Interns-Shaurya-Arora-on-Designing-NET-for-NuGet/player?h=393&amp;w=700" style="width: 700px; height: 393px;"></iframe>

    And for all those students out there pursuing a career in computer science, you should consider an internship at Microsoft. You can help build real software that helps millions of people! Learn more about the Microsoft internship program here.

    Enjoy!

    by Beth Massi - Microsoft at August 20, 2014 08:18 PM

    Articles

    Already 3,333 tweets...

    Almost everything is about numbers, and this short blog entry includes the number of tweets written so far. ;)

    Quite frankly, I joined the Twitter bandwagon late... February 2010 or so. And within those 4.5 years I just came across an interesting milestone: 3,333 tweets

    3,333 tweets since February 2010
    3,333 tweets since February 2010

    Compared to some of my fellows here from Mauritius that's almost nothing...

    Anyways, Cheers and for the next 3,333 tweets. This time faster, hopefully.

    by Jochen Kirstaetter (jochen@kirstaetter.name) at August 20, 2014 02:38 PM

    Alex Feldstein

    Blues Brothers - Peter Gunn Theme

    <iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/_CHjYHwNzx0" width="640"></iframe>

    image

    by Alex Feldstein (noreply@blogger.com) at August 20, 2014 10:02 AM

    August 19, 2014

    Alex Feldstein

    40 maps that explain the Roman Empire

    Vox has a very nice presentation of maps to explain the Roman Empire.

    As a student of history myself these are invaluable to help you visualize Roman and world history.

    image

    (click on the image for the link)

    by Alex Feldstein (noreply@blogger.com) at August 19, 2014 10:23 PM

    Calvin Hsia's WebLog

    Surface Pro 3 cursor disappears

    I like my new Surface Pro 3. Things were working fine and all of a sudden, the cursor would disappear. I just have the Type Cover and a memory card installed: no other hardware. Narrowing down the issue: if I move my finger in circles on the trackpad...(read more)

    by CalvinH at August 19, 2014 09:39 PM

    VisualFoxProWiki

    VFPSetProcedure

    Editor comments: new pro for lots of little prgs
    Tips, Tricks and Gotcha's with VFP's SET PROCEDURE command

    August 19, 2014 08:25 PM

    Beth Massi - Sharing the goodness

    Fun with the Interns: Christian Salgado Catalogs .NET APIs

    A few weeks ago when I was up in Redmond I had the pleasure of interviewing some interns on the .NET team to talk about their experience as an intern at Microsoft and to show off the projects they are working on.

    In this interview I sit down with Christian Salgado, a Developer Intern on the .NET BCL team, and we chat about his internship experience and summer project. Christian built an internal website and service that allows anyone in the company to browse the huge catalog of .NET APIs by profile. It also includes syntax, usage and design notes. He used ASP.NET MVC5 and Web API 2 to build the site and service and said it was "pretty comprehensive and straightforward to use". So for those of you just starting out, check out the awesome tutorials on http://www.asp.net

    Watch: Fun with the Interns: Christian Salgado Catalogs .NET APIs

    <iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" src="http://channel9.msdn.com/Blogs/funkyonex/Fun-with-the-Interns-Christian-Salgado-Catalogs-NET-APIs/player?h=393&amp;w=700" style="width: 700px; height: 393px;"></iframe>

    And for all those students out there pursuing a career in computer science, you should consider an internship at Microsoft. You can help build real software that helps millions of people! Learn more about the Microsoft internship program here.

    Enjoy!

    by Beth Massi - Microsoft at August 19, 2014 08:09 PM

    Alex Feldstein

    August 18, 2014

    Alex Feldstein

    Killer Whale Vs Great White shark ( National Geographic WILD )

    Amazing footage of a Killer Whale (Orca) attacking and partially eating a Great White shark, filmed by a whale watching tourist.

    <iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/n8oIv0NVKz8" width="640"></iframe>

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    by Alex Feldstein (noreply@blogger.com) at August 18, 2014 08:56 PM

    Rick Strahl's Web Log

    The broken Promise of the Mobile Web

    brokenphoneHigh end mobile devices have been with us now for almost 7 years and they have utterly transformed the way we access information. Mobile phones and smartphones that have access to the Internet and host smart applications are in the hands of a large percentage of the population of the world. In many places even very remote, cell phones and even smart phones are a common sight.

    I’ll never forget when I was in India in 2011 I was up in the Southern Indian mountains riding an elephant out of a tiny local village, with an elephant herder in front riding atop of the elephant in front of us. He was dressed in traditional garb with the loin wrap and head cloth/turban as did quite a few of the locals in this small out of the way and not so touristy village. So we’re slowly trundling along in the forest and he’s lazily using his stick to guide the elephant and… 10 minutes in he pulls out his cell phone from his sash and starts texting. In the middle of texting a huge pig jumps out from the side of the trail and he takes a picture running across our path in the jungle! So yeah, mobile technology is very pervasive and it’s reached into even very buried and unexpected parts of this world.

    Apps are still King

    Apps currently rule the roost when it comes to mobile devices and the applications that run on them. If there’s something that you need on your mobile device your first step usually is to look for an app, not use your browser. But native app development remains a pain in the butt, with the requirement to have to support 2 or 3 completely separate platforms.

    There are solutions that try to bridge that gap. Xamarin is on a tear at the moment, providing their cross-device toolkit to build applications using C#. While Xamarin tools are impressive – and also *very* expensive – they only address part of the development madness that is app development. There are still specific device integration isssues, dealing with the different developer programs, security and certificate setups and all that other noise that surrounds app development.

    There’s also PhoneGap/Cordova which provides a hybrid solution that involves creating local HTML/CSS/JavaScript based applications, and then packaging them to run in a specialized App container that can run on most mobile device platforms using a WebView interface. This allows for using of HTML technology, but it also still requires all the set up, configuration of APIs, security keys and certification and submission and deployment process just like native applications – you actually lose many of the benefits that  Web based apps bring. The big selling point of Cordova is that you get to use HTML have the ability to build your UI once for all platforms and run across all of them – but the rest of the app process remains in place.

    Apps can be a big pain to create and manage especially when we are talking about specialized or vertical business applications that aren’t geared at the mainstream market and that don’t fit the ‘store’ model. If you’re building a small intra department application you don’t want to deal with multiple device platforms and certification etc. for various public or corporate app stores. That model is simply not a good fit both from the development and deployment perspective.

    Even for commercial, big ticket apps, HTML as a UI platform offers many advantages over native, from write-once run-anywhere, to remote maintenance, single point of management and failure to having full control over the application as opposed to have the app store overloads censor you.

    In a lot of ways Web based HTML/CSS/JavaScript applications have so much potential for building better solutions based on existing Web technologies for the very same reasons a lot of content years ago moved off the desktop to the Web.

    To me the Web as a mobile platform makes perfect sense, but the reality of today’s Mobile Web unfortunately looks a little different…

    Where’s the Love for the Mobile Web?

    Yet here we are in the middle of 2014, nearly 7 years after the first iPhone was released and brought the promise of rich interactive information at your fingertips, and yet we still don’t really have a solid mobile Web platform.

    I know what you’re thinking: “But we have lots of HTML/JavaScript/CSS features that allows us to build nice mobile interfaces”. I agree to a point – it’s actually quite possible to build nice looking, rich and capable Web UI today. We have media queries to deal with varied display sizes, CSS transforms for smooth animations and transitions, tons of CSS improvements in CSS 3 that facilitate rich layout, a host of APIs geared towards mobile device features and lately even a number of JavaScript framework choices that facilitate development of multi-screen apps in a consistent manner.

    Personally I’ve been working a lot with AngularJs and heavily modified Bootstrap themes to build mobile first UIs and that’s been working very well to provide highly usable and attractive UI for typical mobile business applications. From the pure UI perspective things actually look very good.

    Not just about the UI

    But it’s not just about the UI - it’s also about integration with the mobile device. When it comes to putting all those pieces together into what amounts to a consolidated platform to build mobile Web applications, I think we still have a ways to go… there are a lot of missing pieces to make it all work together and integrate with the device more smoothly, and more importantly to make it work uniformly across the majority of devices.

    I think there are a number of reasons for this.

    Slow Standards Adoption

    HTML standards implementations and ratification has been dreadfully slow, and browser vendors all seem to pick and choose different pieces of the technology they implement. The end result is that we have a capable UI platform that’s missing some of the infrastructure pieces to make it whole on mobile devices. There’s lots of potential but what is lacking that final 10% to build truly compelling mobile applications that can compete favorably with native applications.

    mobileweblogSome of it is the fragmentation of browsers and the slow evolution of the mobile specific HTML APIs. A host of mobile standards exist but many of the standards are in the early review stage and they have been there stuck for long periods of time and seem to move at a glacial pace. Browser vendors seem even slower to implement them, and for good reason – non-ratified standards mean that implementations may change and vendor implementations tend to be experimental and  likely have to be changed later. Neither Vendors or developers are not keen on changing standards. This is the typical chicken and egg scenario, but without some forward momentum from some party we end up stuck in the mud. It seems that either the standards bodies or the vendors need to carry the torch forward and that doesn’t seem to be happening quickly enough.

    Mobile Device Integration just isn’t good enough

    Current standards are not far reaching enough to address a number of the use case scenarios necessary for many mobile applications. While not every application needs to have access to all mobile device features, almost every mobile application could benefit from some integration with other parts of the mobile device platform. Integration with GPS, phone, media, messaging, notifications, linking and contacts system are benefits that are unique to mobile applications and could be widely used, but are mostly (with the exception of GPS) inaccessible for Web based applications today.

    Unfortunately trying to do most of this today only with a mobile Web browser is a losing battle. Aside from PhoneGap/Cordova’s app centric model with its own custom API accessing mobile device features and the token exception of the GeoLocation API, most device integration features are not widely supported by the current crop of mobile browsers. For example there’s no usable messaging API that allows access to SMS or contacts from HTML. Even obvious components like the Media Capture API are only implemented partially by mobile devices. There are alternatives and workarounds for some of these interfaces by using browser specific code, but that’s might ugly and something that I thought we were trying to leave behind with newer browser standards. But it’s not quite working out that way.

    It’s utterly perplexing to me that mobile standards like Media Capture and Streams, Media Gallery Access, Responsive Images, Messaging API, Contacts Manager API have only minimal or no traction at all today. Keep in mind we’ve had mobile browsers for nearly 7 years now, and yet we still have to think about how to get access to an image from the image gallery or the camera on some devices? Heck Windows Phone IE Mobile just gained the ability to upload images recently in the Windows 8.1 Update – that’s feature that HTML has had for 20 years! These are simple concepts and common problems that should have been solved a long time ago.

    It’s extremely frustrating to see build 90% of a mobile Web app with relative ease and then hit a brick wall for the remaining 10%, which often can be show stoppers. The remaining 10% have to do with platform integration, browser differences and working around the limitations that browsers and ‘pinned’ applications impose on HTML applications.

    The maddening part is that these limitations seem arbitrary as they could easily work on all mobile platforms. For example, SMS has a URL Moniker interface that sort of works on Android, works badly with iOS (only works if the address is already in the contact list) and not at all on Windows Phone. There’s no reason this shouldn’t work universally using the same interface – after all all phones have supported SMS since before the year 2000!

    But, it doesn’t have to be this way

    Change can happen very quickly. Take the GeoLocation API for example. Geolocation has taken off at the very beginning of the mobile device era and today it works well, provides the necessary security (a big concern for many mobile APIs), and is supported by just about all major mobile and even desktop browsers today. It handles security concerns via prompts to avoid unwanted access which is a model that would work for most other device APIs in a similar fashion. One time approval and occasional re-approval if code changes or caches expire. Simple and only slightly intrusive. It all works well, even though GeoLocation actually has some physical limitations, such as representing the current location when no GPS device is present. Yet this is a solved problem, where other APIs that are conceptually much simpler to implement have failed to gain any traction at all.

    Technically none of these APIs should be a problem to implement, but it appears that the momentum is just not there.

    Inadequate Web Application Linking and Activation

    Another important piece of the puzzle missing is the integration of HTML based Web applications. Today HTML based applications are not first class citizens on mobile operating systems.

    When talking about HTML based content there’s a big difference between content and applications. Content is great for search engine discovery and plain browser usage. Content is usually accessed intermittently and permanent linking is not so critical for this type of content.  But applications have different needs. Applications need to be started up quickly and must be easily switchable to support a multi-tasking user workflow. Therefore, it’s pretty crucial that mobile Web apps are integrated into the underlying mobile OS and work with the standard task management features. Unfortunately this integration is not as smooth as it should be.

    It starts with actually trying to find mobile Web applications, to ‘installing’ them onto a phone in an easily accessible manner in a prominent position. The experience of discovering a Mobile Web ‘App’ and making it sticky is by no means as easy or satisfying. Today the way you’d go about this is:

    • Open the browser
    • Search for a Web Site in the browser with your
      search engine of choice
    • Hope that you find the right site
    • Hope that you actually find a site that works for your mobile device
    • Click on the link and run the app in a fully chrome’d browser instance (read tiny surface area)
    • Pin the app to the home screen (with all the limitations outline above)
    • Hope you pointed at the right URL when you pinned

    Even for you and me as developers, there are a few steps in there that are painful and annoying, but think about the average user. First figuring out how to search for a specific site or URL? And then pinning the app and hopefully from the right location? You’ve probably lost more than half of your audience at that point.

    This experience sucks.

    For developers too this process is painful since app developers can’t control the shortcut creation directly. This problem often gets solved by crazy coding schemes, with annoying pop-ups that try to get people to create shortcuts via fancy animations that are both annoying and add overhead to each and every application that implements this sort of thing differently.

    And that’s not the end of it - getting the link onto the home screen with an application icon varies quite a bit between browsers. Apple’s non-standard meta tags are prominent and they work with iOS and Android (only more recent versions), but not on Windows Phone. Windows Phone instead requires you to create an actual screen or rather a partial screen be captured for a shortcut in the tile manager. Who had that brilliant idea I wonder? Surprisingly Chrome on recent Android versions seems to actually get it right – icons use pngs, pinning is easy and pinned applications properly behave like standalone apps and retain the browser’s active page state and content. Each of the platforms has a different way to specify icons (WP doesn’t allow you to use an icon image at all), and the most widely used interface in use today is a bunch of Apple specific meta tags that other browsers choose to support.

    The question is: Why is there no standard implementation for installing shortcuts across mobile platforms using an official format rather than a proprietary one?

    iPhoneSwapThen there’s iOS and the crazy way it treats home screen linked URLs using a crazy hybrid format that is neither as capable as a Web app running in Safari nor a WebView hosted application. Moving off the Web ‘app’ link when switching to another app actually causes the browser and preview it to ‘blank out’ the Web application in the Task View (see screenshot on the right). Then, when the ‘app’ is reactivated it ends up completely restarting the browser with the original link. This is crazy behavior that you can’t easily work around. In some situations you might be able to store the application state and restore it using LocalStorage, but for many scenarios that involve complex data sources (like say Google Maps) that’s not a possibility. The only reason for this screwed up behavior I can think of is that it is deliberate to make Web apps a pain in the butt to use and forcing users trough the App Store/PhoneGap/Cordova route.

    App linking and management is a very basic problem – something that we essentially have solved in every desktop browser – yet on mobile devices where it arguably matters a lot more to have easy access to web content we have to jump through hoops to have even a remotely decent linking/activation experience across browsers.

    Where’s the Money?

    It’s not surprising that device home screen integration and Mobile Web support in general is in such dismal shape – the mobile OS vendors benefit financially from App store sales and have little to gain from Web based applications that bypass the App store and the cash cow that wheresmymoneyit presents.

    On top of that, platform specific vendor lock-in of both end users and developers who have invested in hardware, apps and consumables is something that mobile platform vendors actually aspire to. Web based interfaces that are cross-platform are the anti-thesis of that and so again it’s no surprise that the mobile Web is on a struggling path.

    But – that may be changing. More and more we’re seeing operations shifting to services that are subscription based or otherwise collect money for usage, and that may drive more progress into the Web direction in the end . Nothing like the almighty dollar to drive innovation forward.

    Do we need a Mobile Web App Store?

    As much as I dislike moderated experiences in today’s massive App Stores, they do at least provide one single place to look for apps for your device.

    I think we could really use some sort of registry, that could provide something akin to an app store for mobile Web apps, to make it easier to actually find mobile applications. This could take the form of a specialized search engine, or maybe a more formal store/registry like structure. Something like apt-get/chocolatey for Web apps. It could be curated and provide at least some feedback and reviews that might help with the integrity of applications.

    Coupled to that could be a native application on each platform that would allow searching and browsing of the registry and then also handle installation in the form of providing the home screen linking, plus maybe an initial security configuration that determines what features are allowed access to for the app.

    I’m not holding my breath. In order for this sort of thing to take off and gain widespread appeal, a lot of coordination would be required. And in order to get enough traction it would have to come from a well known entity – a mobile Web app store from a no name source is unlikely to gain high enough usage numbers to make a difference. In a way this would eliminate some of the freedom of the Web, but of course this would also be an optional search path in addition to the standard open Web search mechanisms to find and access content today.

    Security

    Security is a big deal, and one of the perceived reasons why so many IT professionals appear to be willing to go back to the walled garden of deployed apps is that Apps are perceived as safe due to the official review and curation of the App stores. Curated stores are supposed to protect you from malware, illegal and misleading content. It doesn’t always work out that way and all the major vendors have had issues with security and the review process at some time or another.

    Security is critical, but I also think that Web applications in general pose less of a security threat than native applications, by nature of the sandboxed browser and JavaScript environments. Web applications run externally completely and in the HTML and JavaScript sandboxes, with only a very few controlled APIs allowing access to device specific features.

    And as discussed earlier – security for any device interaction can be granted the same for mobile applications through a Web browser, as they can for native applications either via explicit policies loaded from the Web, or via prompting as GeoLocation does today. Security is important, but it’s certainly solvable problem for Web applications even those that need to access device hardware.

    Security shouldn’t be a reason for Web apps to be an equal player in mobile applications.

    Apps are winning, but haven’t we been here before?

    So now we’re finding ourselves back in an era of installed app, rather than Web based and managed apps. Only it’s even worse today than with Desktop applications, in that the apps are going through a gatekeeper that charges a toll and censors what you can and can’t do in your apps. Frankly it’s a mystery to me why anybody would buy into this model and why it’s lasted this long when we’ve already been through this process. It’s crazy…

    It’s really a shame that this regression is happening. We have the technology to make mobile Web apps much more prominent, but yet we’re basically held back by what seems little more than bureaucracy, partisan bickering and self interest of the major parties involved. Back in the day of the desktop it was Internet Explorer’s 98+%  market shareholding back the Web from improvements for many years – now it’s the combined mobile OS market in control of the mobile browsers.

    If mobile Web apps were allowed to be treated the same as native apps with simple ways to install and run them consistently and persistently, that would go a long way to making mobile applications much more usable and seriously viable alternatives to native apps. But as it is mobile apps have a severe disadvantage in placement and operation.

    There are a few bright spots in all of this.

    Mozilla’s FireFoxOs is embracing the Web for it’s mobile OS by essentially firefoxosbuilding every app out of HTML and JavaScript based content. It supports both packaged and certified package modes (that can be put into the app store), and Open Web apps that are loaded and run completely off the Web and can also cache locally for offline operation using a manifest. Open Web apps are treated as full class citizens in FireFoxOS and run using the same mechanism as installed apps.

    Unfortunately FireFoxOs is getting a slow start with minimal device support and specifically targeting the low end market. We can hope that this approach will change and catch on with other vendors, but that’s also an uphill battle given the conflict of interest with platform lock in that it represents.

    Recent versions of Android also seem to be working reasonably well with mobile application integration onto the desktop and activation out of the box. Although it still uses the Apple meta tags to find icons and behavior settings, everything at least works as you would expect – icons to the desktop on pinning, WebView based full screen activation, and reliable application persistence as the browser/app is treated like a real application. Hopefully iOS will at some point provide this same level of rudimentary Web app support.

    What’s also interesting to me is that Microsoft hasn’t picked up on the obvious need for a solid Web App platform. Being a distant third in the mobile OS war, Microsoft certainly has nothing to lose and everything to gain by using fresh ideas and expanding into areas that the other major vendors are neglecting. But instead Microsoft is trying to beat the market leaders at their own game, fighting on their adversary’s terms instead of taking a new tack. Providing a kick ass mobile Web platform that takes the lead on some of the proposed mobile APIs would be something positive that Microsoft could do to improve its miserable position in the mobile device market.

    Where are we at with Mobile Web?

    It sure sounds like I’m really down on the Mobile Web, right? I’ve built a number of mobile apps in the last year and while overall result and response has been very positive to what we were able to accomplish in terms of UI, getting that final 10% that required device integration dialed was an absolute nightmare on every single one of them. Big compromises had to be made and some features were left out or had to be modified for some devices. In two cases we opted to go the Cordova route in order to get the integration we needed, along with the extra pain involved in that process. Unless you’re not integrating with device features and you don’t care deeply about a smooth integration with the mobile desktop, mobile Web development is fraught with frustration.

    So, yes I’m frustrated! But it’s not for lack of wanting the mobile Web to succeed. I am still a firm believer that we will eventually arrive a much more functional mobile Web platform that allows access to the most common device features in a sensible way.

    It wouldn't be difficult for device platform vendors to make Web based applications first class citizens on mobile devices.

    But unfortunately it looks like it will still be some time before this happens.

    changecanhappen

    So, what’s your experience building mobile Web apps? Are you finding similar issues? Just giving up on raw Web applications and building PhoneGap apps instead? Completely skipping the Web and going native? Leave a comment for discussion.

    Resources

    © Rick Strahl, West Wind Technologies, 2005-2014
    Posted in HTML5  Mobile  
    <script>!function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js";fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document,"script","twitter-wjs");</script> <g:plusone href="http://weblog.west-wind.com/posts/2014/Aug/18/The-broken-Promise-of-the-Mobile-Web" size="medium"></g:plusone> <script type="text/javascript"> (function() { var po = document.createElement('script'); po.type = 'text/javascript'; po.async = true; po.src = 'https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js'; var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(po, s); })(); </script>

    by Rick Strahl at August 18, 2014 06:00 PM

    www.atoutfox.org - Contributions

    Alex Feldstein

    MOZART: Turkish March

    Played by Gabriele Tomasello

    <iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/lKdVqD75dm4" width="640"></iframe>

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    by Alex Feldstein (noreply@blogger.com) at August 18, 2014 10:51 AM

    August 17, 2014

    Alex Feldstein

    August 16, 2014

    Alex Feldstein

    How to measure the speed of light - with CHOCOLATE!

    All you need to measure the speed of light is a microwave, a ruler and a bar of chocolate.

    <iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/kpB1wezpJeE" width="640"></iframe>

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    by Alex Feldstein (noreply@blogger.com) at August 16, 2014 11:53 PM

    Articles

    Game Review: Monument Valley

    Monument ValleyOnce again, it was a tweet that caught my attention... and the official description on the Play Store sounds good, too.

    "In Monument Valley you will manipulate impossible architecture and guide a silent princess through a stunningly beautiful world. Monument Valley is a surreal exploration through fantastical architecture and impossible geometry. Guide the silent princess Ida through mysterious monuments, uncovering hidden paths, unfolding optical illusions and outsmarting the enigmatic Crow People."

    So, let's check it out.

    What an interesting puzzle game

    Once again, I left some review on the Play Store:

    "Beautiful but short distraction

    Woohoo, what a great story behind the game. Using optical illusions and impossible geometries in this fantastic adventure of the silent princess just puts all the pieces perfectly together.

    Walking the amazing paths in the various levels and solving the riddles gives some decent hours of distraction but in the end you might have the urge to do more..."

    I can't remember exactly when and who tweeted about the game but honestly it caught my attention based on the simplicity of the design and the aspect that it seems to be an isometric design. The game relies heavily on optical illusions in order to guide to the silent princess Ida through her illusory adventure of impossible architecture and forgiveness.

    The game is set like a clockwork and you are turning, flipping and switching elements on the paths between the doors. Unfortunately, there aren't many levels and the game play lasted only some hours. Maybe there are more astonishing looking realms and interesting gimmicks in future versions.

    Play Store: Monument Valley

    Also, check out the latest game updates on the official web site of ustwo

    BTW, the game is also available on the Apple App Store and on Amazon Store for the Kindle Fire.

    by Jochen Kirstaetter (jochen@kirstaetter.name) at August 16, 2014 06:39 PM

    Alex Feldstein

    9 Cool Facts About Magnets

    Livescience has a good and fun article about magnets, written by Jesse Emspak

    9 Cool Facts About Magnets

    From electromagnets, to maglev to the little ones you put on your fridge, magnets are fun.

    (Public domain image courtesy of Wikipedia)

    by Alex Feldstein (noreply@blogger.com) at August 16, 2014 10:50 AM

    Cessna 150 touch and gos

    <iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/VBVywjLV-0Q" width="640"></iframe>

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    by Alex Feldstein (noreply@blogger.com) at August 16, 2014 12:11 AM

    August 15, 2014

    Alex Feldstein

    August 14, 2014

    Rahul Desai's Blog

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM Implementation guide Version 6.1.0 Aug 2014 update…

    The following table outlines the changes since the last version, more @ the link http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh699811.aspx:
     
     

    New and updated topics

    Description of changes

    Compatibility for client computers running Windows 8.1 Update for x64-based Systems

    Describes requirements for running Microsoft Dynamics CRM on a Windows 8.1 computer that has Windows 8.1 update for x64-based systems.

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online reporting considerations

    New topic that explains best practices when you run reports with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.

    Manage Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online instances

    Two new topics added for Sandbox instances.

    Create and edit web resources

    New topic added.

    Define status reason transitions

    New feature added for CRM Online Spring ‘14 and CRM 2013 Service Pack 1 (on-premises)

    Set custom icon for custom case origin

    New feature added for CRM Online Spring ‘14 and CRM 2013 Service Pack 1 (on-premises)

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Service Pack 1

    New section that describes Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 Service Pack 1.

    Lync and Skype integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013

    Updated topic.

    Add Office 365 Online services

    New topics that describe integrating CRM and Microsoft Office 365.

    Tablet support for Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and CRM Online

    Updated for support with Windows 8.1 and Android.

    Set up CRM for tablets

    New section added: “Get your on-premises deployment ready for CRM for Windows 8.1 tablets”.

    Manage your configuration data

    New feature added for CRM Online Spring ‘14 and CRM 2013 Service Pack 1 (on-premises).

    Deploy packages using CRM Package Deployer and Windows PowerShell

    New feature added for CRM Online Spring ‘14 and CRM 2013 Service Pack 1 (on-premises).

    Manage Bing Maps for your organization

    New topic added.

    Install product updates

    New feature added for CRM Online Spring ‘14 and CRM 2013 Service Pack 1 (on-premises).

    Control social data

    New feature added for CRM Online Spring ‘14 and CRM 2013 Service Pack 1 (on-premises).

    Connect to Microsoft Social Listening

    New feature added for CRM Online Spring ‘14.

    Detect duplicate data

    Updated topic.

    Planning messaging integration in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013

    New section that describes email messaging and email server integration in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.

     

    by Rahul Desai at August 14, 2014 09:45 PM

    Articles

    Vacations on Rodrigues 2014

    And now something completely different compared to the usual technical or community related articles here on this blog. Yes, this time I'm writing some lines on my (and my family's) activities during our long weekend stay on Rodrigues. So, please bear with me, it's eventually a bit more personal...

    Grab a soda, some popcorn and a cosy place to continue to read.

    <script src="http://code.jquery.com/jquery-1.7.min.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> var googleAlbumLink = "https://plus.google.com/photos/117698191428446859536/albums/6047895311458281985"; //optional----------------------- var mySlideWidth = 580; var mySlideHeight = 340; var mySlideDelay = 7000; //delay in milliseconds </script>

    Special promotions during school holidays

    Originally, our children started to ask more frequently about going on the plane again. Obviously, after their aunty from Germany was around during May, they were really eager to travel again. So, we decided that it might be a great opportunity to book some vacations during their school holidays.

    And just in time the local hotels and hotel groups started to advertise their special promotions for citizens and residents. After collecting multiple brochures over several days, we got attracted by various hotel packages on Rodrigues - most interestingly the expenses for the stay and flight ticket were less compared to other resorts here on the main island. As we have been to Rodrigues already back in 2008, we followed up on this idea and got in touch with a couple travel agencies. Well, I have to report that you should be really careful about the promotions from some of them. We had a very negative experience with Shamal Travel Agency in Quatre Bornes regarding their adverts and the actual price levels and age definition for children. Please, stay away from them if you are interested in transparent cost and services.

    Anyway, after some arrangements with two other close families we managed to confirm our stay at the Cotton Bay Hotel in Rodrigues. Given the fact that we already stayed there, and the hotel has been renovated recently, and it is under new management all looked very promising and relaxed for our vacation.

    Counting the days...

    As we already booked in July our children were counting down the days. And it got more interesting as soon as they were on school holidays finally. Well, the day arrived and waking them up at 2:30 hrs wasn't a problem after all. Quite the opposite it was fascinating for us parents to watch them waiting for the transport and later on during the airport transfer. Despite the early hours both didn't fall asleep and it was all so exciting. We are taking the plane!

    Well organised by the Cotton Bay Hotel

    Honestly, it was a breeze and a smooth ride during our stay at the hotel. From the airport transfer, the cleanliness of our bungalow, the organisation of our day trips, and the SPA - all very well and enjoyable. The children had great fun, and although it was a bit too windy to plunge into the pool they had a lot of fun with other activities on the beach and at the Kid's Club. Oh, and we had our private petting zoo with cows, sheep and goats just close to the terrace.

    Some of us went to check out the SPA facilities and I have to admit that the services regarding Hammam and Sauna are better than at some other hotels in Mauritius. I don't know after how many months or years I was once again enjoying a very hot sauna. Little draw-back but nothing to worry about... There is no cold water or at least ice cubes to cool down the body, but hey there was a nice breeze coming over the hills.

    Some day trips to mention

    Based on a friend's recommendation we walked to a "restaurant" called Chez Solange & Robert. Hahaha, restaurant is widely stretched in this case, as we enjoyed a great BBQ with fresh lobster, whole fish, and pieces of chicken breast in an open cottage. Just some wooden structure covered with dried palm leaves on the roof - island feeling pure!

    The other day we went to the Giant Tortoise & Cave Reserve Francois Leguat to observe the giant Aldabra turtles and to visit the Grande Caverne. The biggest limestone cave on the island. Compared to our last visit this was a novelty after checking out the Caverne Partate. The formations of stalactites and stalagmites are very impressive and imaginative. Our guide had lots of funny terms and despite the low light conditions the kids had a great time wandering around on the narrow wooden paths and stairs.

    And last but not least, we decided to check out the Tyrodrig zip lines... Everyone was allowed to join the trip through the air, and our little ones stayed close to our field guides. But finally went on their own on the very last traversal. Puuuh, it was astounishing to glide over the valley, and for sure something to repeat next time.

    Impressions of our vacation on Rodrigues 2014

     

    Next stay has been discussed already

    Oh yes, Rodrigues baby! We are going to come again! Tentative dates have been discussed already and now it's up to us to earn enough our next holiday on that wonderful remote piece of paradise. Eventually, a little bit longer than this time. We'll see...

    <script src="http://jochen.kirstaetter.name//myslide.min.js"></script>

    by Jochen Kirstaetter (jochen@kirstaetter.name) at August 14, 2014 06:50 PM

    Craig Bailey

    Startup Reviews

    I’m thinking of starting a new tech blog called Startup Reviews*, where I review every single new startup that I hear about.

    Without exception I’ll predict they will fail, and I’ll further predict they will fail within 2 years. Regardless of how good their product idea, what their business model is, or previous success. I’ll just blanket predict they will fail.

    After a year or two I’ll start quietly bragging about my high percentage of correct predictions (likely to be around 80%), and position myself as an industry veteran** who can spot a failure a mile away.

     

    * startupReviews.com is taken, but startrewie.ws is available if I was silly enough to actually waste time doing this

    ** I loved Ben Thompson’s point in a recent update*** when referring to tech journalists who change their views on a company after said company releases results:

    He was totally wrong to be a bull! To suddenly become a bear after terrible results isn’t good analysis, it’s reporting. Actually, it’s worse than that: it’s no better than what you might get from a newsbot (“If results poor, say company is in trouble. If results good, say company is doing well.”).

    *** I’m a Stratechery Daily Update member – which I highly recommend if you like reading considered, insightful, strategic analysis of what’s happening in tech

     

    The post Startup Reviews appeared first on Craig Bailey.

    by Craig Bailey at August 14, 2014 11:55 AM

    Alex Feldstein

    August 13, 2014

    VisualFoxProWiki

    FoxRockXFAQ

    Frequently asked questions about Fox RockX magazine

    1) Bimonthly instead of monthly for same price?

    Fox Talk 2.0 was published monthly with 16 pages. Fox RockX will be published bimonthly with 24 pages DIN A4. This is about the same page size as Fox Talk but it is more pages. Here the calculation for the total number of pages per year:

    Fox Talk 2.0 12 issues per year with 16 pages = 192 pages per year
    Fox RockX 6 issues per year with 24 pages = 144 pages per year

    August 13, 2014 02:45 PM

    FoxRockXArchives

    On-line articles, archives and companion materials are accessible through the "Fox RockX" tab at http://portal.dfpug.de/. We provide the entire archive of articles (except for the years 1993-1995) and source code for all Fox Talk and Fox Talk 2.0 past issues. Access information will be sent with confirmation of your subscription.

    We offer the following public folders in our document portal for hosting free articles at the following links:
    1. Fox RockX Free Articles http://portal.dfpug.de/dFPUG/Dokumente/FoxRockX/
    2. Fox Talk Free Articles http://portal.dfpug.de/dFPUG/Dokumente/FoxTalk/
    We have prepared the online archive of Fox Talk from 1996 till 2006. Subscribers can reach the archive at:
    1. Fox Talk Online Archive http://portaladmin.dfpug.de/dFPUG/Dokumente/FoxTalk/
    You will find the following subdirectories with the following number of articles:
    1. WebExtras: 48 online only articles
    2. FoxTalk2007: (under construction, complete issues can be found in PDFIssues directory)
    3. FoxTalk2006: 24 articles (more to be added)
    4. FoxTalk2005: 58 articles
    5. FoxTalk2004: 60 articles
    6. FoxTalk2003: 56 articles
    7. FoxTalk2002: 59 articles
    8. FoxTalk2001: 74 articles
    9. FoxTalk2000: 91 articles
    10. FoxTalk1999: 102 articles
    11. FoxTalk1998: 107 articles
    12. FoxTalk1997: 107 articles
    13. FoxTalk1996: 138 articles
    14. PDFIssues: 124 issues (Jan 1996 to April 2006), recently added 16 issues (May 2006 to December 2007)
    15. Sourcecode: 122 companion files
    We offer the following online archive for Fox RockX subscribers:
    1. Fox RockX Online Archive http://portaladmin.dfpug.de/dFPUG/Dokumente/FoxRockX
    We have the following files available:
    1. FoxRockX2008: 22 articles, see Fox RockX Issues
    2. FoxRockX2009: 30 articles, see Fox RockX Issues
    3. FoxRockX2010: 23 articles, see Fox RockX Issues
    4. FoxRockX2011: 25 articles, see Fox RockX Issues
    5. FoxRockX2012: 21 articles, see Fox RockX Issues
    6. FoxRockX2013: 23 articles, see Fox RockX Issues
    7. FoxRockX2014: .... articles, see Fox RockX Issues
    8. PDFIssues: 35 regular issues (March 2008 to December 2013)
    9. Sourcecode: 35 regular companion files (see above) and 1 companion file for the first free ADS special issues
    10. Logos: 11 logos for your link to us
    11. Main directory: 3 free special issues

    August 13, 2014 02:44 PM

    Alex Feldstein

    August 12, 2014

    www.atoutfox.org - Contributions

    transmission de messages entre 2 executables

    Ce projet et cette form indépendante vont vous permettre de tester la synchronisation de deux applications et la transmission de messages de l'une à l'autre.
    La transmission des messages est basée sur le protocole TCP, sur Winsock et sur l'olecontrol MSWinsock.Winsock.1
    L'idée originale en revient à Eddy MAUE.

    Le protocole TCP est symétrique : vous allez pouvoir envoyer et recevoir des messages mais il faut tout de même un serveur dont le seul rôle particulier sera d'initialiser le canal de communication. J'ai installé le serveur sur la form babazou_esclave qui appartient au projet donc à l'executable. Avant toute chose il faut donc (compiler et) lancer cet executable (a priori à partir de l'explorateur et non à partir de VFP). Il se peut que Windows vous demande l'autorisation de le lancer (uniquement la première fois). En cas de pépin, vous pouvez fermer l'executable en cliquant sur le bouton 'issue de secours'. Sinon il va être piloter par la form test_esclave.scx.

    J'ai défini une structure des messages : les 2 premiers caractères contiennent chacun un code opération le reste du message est libre. Le code 0 + 0 provoque l'arrêt de l'executable (c'est la méthode normale pour l'arréter). Le code 0+1 correspond à un 'ping' : l'executable répond immédiatement à l'émetteur avec le code 1 + 0 suivi du message libre 'retourné'. Le code 0+2 suivi par un message contenant une valeur numérique (<1000 pour commencer !) provoque une attente sur l'executable avant la réponse (c'est ce message qui m'a permis de voir l'utilisation des coeurs avec le gestionnaire des tâches). Vous pouvez compléter les actions dans la méthode ThisForm.tcpServer.DataArrival de la form babazou_esclave du projet.

    Lancer VFP et la form test_esclave. Entrez les 2 codes fonctions (en numérique) et un texte; cliquez sur 'envoi' : les 2 codes et le texte apparaissent dans la form babazou_esclave. Si vous avez programmé une réponse ou si vous envoyez le code 0 + 1, la réponse retournée par l'executable s'affiche dans la fenêtre test_esclave avec la durée de la transmission complète. Envoyez un message avec le code 0 + 0 pour arréter l'executable puis quittez la fenêtre test_esclave.

    Le code est simple et facilement accessible.

    Ceci est un premier jet : toutes les critiques, améliorations, .... sont les bienvenues !

    J. MAURICE
    12 août 2014

    by Jean à Grenoble at August 12, 2014 01:12 PM

    Alex Feldstein

    August 11, 2014

    CULLY Technologies, LLC

    Win8: The Horror – Summary

    I previously posted a slightly tongue-in-cheek posting about a hypothetical support call for the Windows 8 user interface. I liked the posting but I thought it needed a follow-up that summarizes my thoughts about Windows 8 UI.

    What I was trying to say:

    1. Never have an invisible control. Especially one that kicks off most processes. Who ever thought of the upper+right hand corner control must never have tried it out on regular people.
    2. Don’t have the menus disappear after a time. The user may be evaluating which choice is best. 3 seconds to show a menu isn’t enough for regular people.
    3. A ‘search’ functionality should search everything. In Win8, it searches for applications limited to the category that is selected. Why? Most people would have less than 1,000 applications installed so speed shouldn’t be an issue.

    Tips for Windows 9 UI:

    1. Take the UI out for some usability studies. Being different for difference sake doesn’t add value. Honor the past and the existing knowledge base, but make evolutionary changes to make the UI better. Test driving a new UI will tell you if it is better or not.
    2. Steal from the best. Look to the Linux UIs and to OsX. Take the best ideas. Don’t worry about the people complaining on where an element came from. Look to be the best.
    3. Get to two versions: Home and Professional. Confusing the customers with a myriad of choices makes them feel taken advantage of if they lose out on a weird feature.
    4. Make the upgrade process cheap and simple.
    5. Don’t be limited by the past. It seems to me that Win8 was a wrong turn as far as UI goes. Let this be a fresh start. The goal is to make the UI easier to use so your users (customers) are more productive.

    by kcully at August 11, 2014 12:52 PM

    Alex Feldstein

    Duck Dodgers in the 24-1/2 Century!

    <iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/RqAUiUDyFlY" width="640"></iframe>

    Always love a good Sci-Fi classic and have not seen this one in years!

    image

    by Alex Feldstein (noreply@blogger.com) at August 11, 2014 11:16 AM

    August 10, 2014

    Alex Feldstein

    August 09, 2014

    Alex Feldstein

    Hypocrisy over Gaza

    Pat Condell always tells it like it is, without sugar coating. I do not always agree with everything he posts but I do most of the time.

    Here he shows he knows his history.

    <iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/_Ugsv5u-sW0" width="640"></iframe>

    image

    by Alex Feldstein (noreply@blogger.com) at August 09, 2014 01:11 PM