Fox Forward Day 3 : The excellent presentations continue, and come to an end

FoxForward is past … and yet the work goes on. {g} It’s the morning after the conference and I’m doing some cleanup work after the conference. Today, I’ll blog about yesterday, the third and final day of the conference as I did the first two days. Tomorrow I’m hoping to write about my overall thoughts on how the conference went. I’ll hopefully have compiled all of the conference evaluations and have a better idea of what some of the attendees thought as well.

I went to bed earlier Saturday night than I did on Friday night but the toll of the conference was being felt. In a good way though. I didn’t want a full breakfast so I was going to run to the corner and get an orange juice and a muffin or something. Of course, other Fox people were already up at 7:15am. Alan Stevens and Lee Raulerson were already enjoying the hand made breakfasts at the hotel, and I stopped over to wish them good morning. Darned if that didn’t look like a good breakfast. They claimed to be tired but they looked pretty chipper to me at this early time of day.

I wanted to get my breakfast before my father, Bill, arrived to help me up. Well, Cully’s are habitually on time and this morning my father was early … again. I had him drive me down to the corner to pick up my breakfast. We got back with sustenance in hand and began to set up for the day. LCD projectors, video cameras, wireless microphones, evaluation boxes, etc.

David Greenberg was up first with the �VFP Grid Control�. Irv Adams was presenting �Containing Foxpro�. As usual, for the first sessions I was running around and trying to take care of some of the details of things. Kim, my wife, arrived earlier than I though she would have which really helped. Larry, the banquet director said that he’d put out coffee early as it seemed like some of the attendees needed it. {g} I was floating around trying to get some pictures taken as well. I need to put that on my �todo� list to get those pictures posted this afternoon. Somehow the sessions flew by and it was time for the first break and I almost completely missed both presentations other than when I was in there taking pictures.

Next up was Kevin Ragsdale with �Outlook-Style Desktop Alerts�. I caught part of this, and from the hallway talk, it was an excellent presentation that I think really inspired some of the attendees. While I was in the presentation, Kevin made an announcement about a new web site that I am really excited about. I think I mentioned it to everyone I met for the rest of the day. I don’t want to steal his thunder though. I’ll check with him to see if I can start spreading the word or whether we should wait for the grand opening.

Alan Stevens was presenting on the �Team Foundation Server�. I know nothing about this and I really wanted to attend. Again, working with the staff in preparing for lunch and some other details kept me from the presentation. I’m going to pour over the session notes.

The sessions got out and we directed everyone upstairs for lunch. I was gathering up the give-aways including embroidered hats and embroidered shirts donated by Jim Eddins at FoxToolBox.com, books donated by Kevin Ragsdale, a copy of VFP9 and a signed copy of VFP8 which Ken Levy sent to me. Upstairs, there were many winners. Stacy Starks was the winner of the signed copy of VFP8.

Lunch, again was incredible. Chicken Parmisian and Lasagna. Excellent. I can’t believe how good the food was. This factor alone might inspire my to have another FoxForward.

After lunch, Craig Boyd was presenting on �Securing VFP Data�. Well attended and from the hallway talk, well received. It sounds like many attendees are already taking advantage of Craig’s encryption libraries.
John Harvey was presenting in the other space on �Foxpro and Wireless Data�. This session was also well attended and it sounded like a lot of people were very impressed with how a wide variety of technologies were brought together to form a singular solution.

Around this time, many people were beginning to inquire about when they should be leaving for the airport to catch their flights. Some flights were early, some later. It was good to hear that some people were staying overnight and flying out the next morning. Atlanta can have some terrible traffic but I had Kim pull up Georgia-navigator.com and there weren’t any major accidents. The Falcons were playing at home and we monitored the game on when it would get out. The Braves were playing away so that wasn’t a factor. We can also monitor the length of the security line at the airport on line. This fluctuated between 10 minutes and 40 minutes. Not terrible. If it had been 2 hours long, we would have had to set off the alarm for some of the traveling attendees. We posted a paper showing some of the times and factors on the board and Kim kept monitoring the sites for the rest of the afternoon.

Bo Durban was presenting next with �GDI+� and Paul James was presenting on �Two Factor Security For Remote VFP Apps�. Bo’s session was well attended as I knew it would be. I was disappointed in that more people didn’t attend Pauls session. Security is one of my weak areas of knowledge and Paul has come up with a solution that takes advantage of the strengths of VFP, Web Connection (but it could use any web technology), Terminal Services and a cheap USB key to make it all work. Way cool! Highly recommended. I am happy to report that I was able to attend most of this presentation and it was so worth it. Please review Paul’s white paper.

The last set of session were Steve Ellenoff presenting on �Integrating US Postal Service Webtools into VFP� and Dave Bernard’s �Developing AJAX, VFP-Style�. Dave puts on a great show and I had seen this presentation so I did my best to attend Steve’s presentation. Steve began from point zero and built and built upon the tool set to arrive at the interfaces to the USPS International Rate Calculator and the Domestic Rate Calculator. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend the entire presentation as I was thanking some of the attendees that had to leave early to catch their flights or being their long drive home.

Let the cleanup begin. Matt Clark, from RoomWide began packing up the LCD projectors, screens, and audio systems. Bo Durban and I were dividing up all of the power strips and extension cords. It’s a good thing that we wrote our names on them at the beginning of the conference to help know whose is whose. I’m hoping that the hotel staff will take the unopened cokes and water off of the bill. At $2.50 a pop, that adds up to a lot of money that I can redirect back to the presenters.

It’s a weird feeling moving the last boxes out of the hotel, with the halls empty and quiet after being so �alive� all weekend. It’s time to go home, pet the dog, grab a bite to eat, and get the kids ready for bed. They’ve got school the next morning. Kim and talk over what went well, and what could have been improved. That is the subject for tomorrow’s blog entry. {g}

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