Fox Forward Day 2 : Open brain, add technology knowledge

It was painful to hear the alarm going off this morning. Yes, painful. I rolled out of bed, got ready and headed down for a quick breakfast. Tons of Fox folk were already eating. They must not have stayed up way past their bed time like I did. Down went the breakfast and I went down to get things set up for the conference.

Several people couldn’t make it on Friday so there were a couple of people to get their packet of information for the conference, in between getting the LCD projectors and video cameras set back up. Before I knew it, it was time for the first sessions to start.

Darrell Gardner was one of the first sessions. It became clear that I wasn’t going to be able to see all of the sessions for all of the little details of getting set up but I kept peeking in on this session. It seems that Darrell was giving a great presentation on how to be efficient and focused with your time. I’ve definitely have to get the session notes from this one.

Michael Babcock was also presenting in the first slot on N-tier development. I didn’t catch too much of this presentation but it was well attended and it seemed like several people really solidified the N-tier development concepts.

I forgot to mention that one of the things keeping me from attending the sessions is that I was floating around taking pictures of the people attending the sessions. I promise to publish the pictures on Monday or Tuesday of this next week once I catch a break. (and some sleep.)

Next up was Stein Goering with WWWC 5.0, and also David Greenberg with the SEE Geographic Information system. Stein looked like he had full attention from all attendees. The SEE program looked like a way mature UI for geographic information. Again, as “Cruise director”, I don’t get to sit down too much for the presentations. I would have loved to see more of each of these presentations.

I received an email from Jim Eddins at about 10am saying that he sent over a box full of embroidered SWAG and that it’d be at the front desk. Jim, unfortunately, couldn’t attend the conference. Wow. That is so cool of him! Jim, as you may know, runs DBXTechnologies, and FoxToolBox. Thank you for the donations Jim!

Kevin Ragsdale also provided us some books from Hentzenwerke to give away along with a copy of OneNote by Microsoft.

We put them into good hands by giving away half of the swag at lunch. I like giving stuff away! Thank you again Kevin and Jim. The give-aways were well appreciated. More to give away tomorrow including a copy of VFP9 and a signed box of VFP8!

The lunch was yummy! There was a chicken marsala, but the hit was the sliced flank steak with mushroom sauce. I swear it was melting in my mouth. Mmmm. Evidently there was a cheesecake served up for desert but I never saw it. {g} It was gone before I even started my lunch. Who knew that Fox developers love cheesecake so much?!? Fear not. There were other chocolate cakes available to finish up a great lunch. I gained weight just by looking at the cake. I’ll have to do more aerobic keyboard and mouse workouts to work off the extra calories.

After lunch was David Stevenson presenting on the CursorAdapter. I had seen this presentation previously at that Atlanta Foxpro Users Group meeting, so I tried to do my best to sit in on Bill Anderson’s Software Design Patterns session. Kevin Ragsdale told me that he was struggling through the topic for a while until he reached one of those “Aha!” moments half way through session. I love it when that happens. I know exactly what he’s talking about.

Next up was David Stevenson again, this time talking about the XML Adapter. David is a pro on this subject. David can make the XMLAdapter sing. I bet he considers the XMLAdapter a musical instrument!

Ed Leafe was also presenting his “Python for Fox Folk”. I think I was sensing some more “Aha!” moments in the crowd during this session as well. Python is definitely very cool.

We then had a single session planned. Ed Leafe was up again to present on “Introduction to Dabo”. If you haven’t seen Dabo lately, it’s definitely matured a lot. Ed and Paul McNette have progressed the Framework/Development environment a huge amount in the last year. Catch some of their screencasts at DaboDev.com.

The last session was John Koziol’s “VFP Inside-Out”. Koziol is a riot. Not only is he as sharp as a tack, he’s got some great stories from the inside. I made a point to catch all of this one (minus a few minutes for a couple of pictures).

One thing to note is that the speakers, in general, have decided not to do a screencast capture of their presentations here at the conference. Several have pledged to do screencasts of their presentation once they get back home but it appears as if the screencast software does somewhat impact the speed of their machines. I’m cool with that. Whatever the speakers would like to do, I’ll roll with it. We’ve still got to work out distribution and methodology issues with each speaker individually. Does the speaker want to distribute anything? Do they want to distribute the presentation themselves? Should it go only to attendees? Should it be made available to the world? If they distribute the screencast, will it be for download? or to be burned on DVD? There are lots of issues to consider and it’s not trivial. I think I’ll be working on this for a long time to come. In the mean time, we’re video taping the sessions. It’ll show the “spirit” of the presentation but not the display details. Basically, you won’t be able to read the screen. We’ll be working with the presenters on what to do with this video as well. Perhaps nothing, perhaps it’ll be available to all. The speakers have the final say on this, each one individually.

After some planning, options, and false starts, a group of FoxForwidians (sp?) decided to go to a local pub called The Ale House. They served up steak, which Craig Boyd was craving, plus cheap beer which Bo Durban was craving. Unfortunately the place was packed with Florida Gator alumni watching the Florida/Tennessee football game. It was a bit hard talking geek over a bunch of screaming Florida fans. Couldn’t they see that Foxpro developers were talking technology here?!? Gosh! {/Napoleon Dynamite} We left at a reasonable time tonight (unlike last night).

Here I am at 12:40am on Sunday morning. How did it get so late? I better hit the hay. One more day of FF is ahead of me.

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