FoxForward 2007 – Day 2

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Yesterday, Dave Crosier bet me that I wouldn’t keep my tie on all day long.  I went down to the lounge at midnight without it on and Dave, Ed, and Bo were there.  By the time that Dave noticed, it was 12:15am on Saturday morning, so HA!!!

The wake up call came at 6am this morning. My computer alarm was the back up to the wake up call in order to ensure that I actually woke up. I stumbled down to the corner convenience store for an Apple Danish and a Mt. Dew for breakfast. Breakfast of champions. I started packing stuff up for the short elevator ride downstairs. How did I know my father would already be downstairs getting set up?

I got the LCD projectors re-installed, audio tested. I checked with Larry in regards to the speaker phone that Bob Kirsch from Servoy was going to be using for his Webinar. The coffee, tea, and other drinks were served up by the staff along with some trail mix. The trail mix seemed to be popular.

The attendees were slowly arriving. I put Kim in charge of splitting the give-aways into two stacks for the lunch drawing: one to be given away today, and the other for Sunday.

I attended Steve Bodnar’s session on “Map Your Data: Using MapPoint and VFP Together”. I’m not the biggest M$ fan, but MapPoint is undoubtedly powerful. Unfortunately I had to miss the last couple of minutes of the presentation because of conference business. Steve later told me that I missed the best demo which was given last. Crud! Take away: MapPoint is like Google maps but completely at your dispossal to do your bidding and on steroids.

Next up were my two sessions on REAL Basic. Irv Adams was talking tech to his attendees and I had to say (jokingly) several times: “Irv! Go! Begon! You are not welcome here!” He eventually got the hint and moved his techie talk into the hall. It’s a good thing that I moved him along, as I had some trouble with this projector accepting the signal from my laptop. After a couple of reboots and fiddling, we were able to get the desktop up to the screen.

I must admit that I wasn’t as prepared as I would have liked. The demonstrations got across all of the points and I didn’t crash but once, but I meandered through my points. There was just too much to show and too much to say. I definitely like REAL Basic. One question that I got at both sessions that speak volumes is “How was the learning curve when transitioning to REAL Basic as a VFP developer?” Answer: “Not painful at all. It’s almost natural. There are differences in syntax, and capabilities, but it was very natural.” If you are going to add to your tool box, why not add a tool that will work on 99% of all platforms, not just one that works on 90% of the platforms?

During the last few minutes of my second presentation, the lamp of the LCD projector shut off and the “Temp” light came on.  After a few minutes, the projector came back to life.  I guess it had cooled off enough.  This was a foreshadow of things to come.

I saw Bob Kirsch  to ask him how the speaker phone worked and how the presentation went.  He said the speaker phone worked well and the demonstration went well.  There seemed to be only 6 people in his presentation however.    Both Bob and I were both up against the Brian Marquis “Fox Trails” presentation, so what can you do?  Lots of interest in Fox Trails.  Bob got the word out however as there were tons of people asking him about Servoy throughout the conference.  Lou Shepard said that the presentation of Servoy was excellent!

I was *exhausted* after my session.  It was time for lunch and I knew I had to be “up” for the speech that I normally make at lunch and for the give-aways.  Without the speech at the meet-and-greet, I made a quick announcement for the attendees to stick around the lunch area for the give-aways.  No, I didn’t mention that I’d be lecturing them first. {g}  Why send them all running and screaming?!?

At 1pm Kim and I went upstairs to the lunch area with the box of goodies.  The “hat” that we were going to use to draw the names out of was really a “magic” cauldron that looked like it was floating in mid air when I commanded it.  People got a good laugh out of it.  I thanked my family, the sponsors, the speakers and attendees for their parts in FoxForward.  I berated the attendees for not filling out the speaker evaluations.  But in a nice way.  The give-aways were a hit.

I was finally able to stuff some of the excellent food into my mouth after the give aways.  Chicken Parm and Lasagna.  Excellent as it was last year too.

I attended Brian Marquis’ presentation on Fox Trails, trying to understand the magic of it.  Very impressive stuff.  Unfortunately Kim came and got me from the presentation about half way through it.

Stewart Crisler was presenting on “VFP Service Architecture” and the same projector cut out with the “Temp” light … twice.  Bo had already put in a call to Matt but couldn’t reach him.  Larry, the facilities director had just stepped out to run an errand.  Emanual, who is a big Russian guy and doesn’t speak a lot of English, was left in charge.   Why is a Russian guy named Emanual?  I don’t know.  I asked Larry (over the phone) if they had a fan we could point at the projector and Larry said we could get one from the exercise room.  That seemed to do the trick and we didn’t have any projector problems for the rest of the conference.  The fan was small enough and quiet enough that it could be running during the presentation and it didn’t affect the voice quality of the presenter.  The speakers had wireless microphones anyway.  Crisis averted!

I was so wiped out from staying up late, and getting up early, plus my two presentations that I had to go lay down for the next session.  It did me wonders.

I attended Alan Stevens FoxUnit session as I have recently completed some FoxUnit tests and I wanted to learn the “right” way of doing them.  Unfortunately Matt Clark from RoomWide called me half way through the presentation.  I forgot to set my phone to vibrate too!  Dammit!  Sorry Alan!  Many apologies!   I told him the projector situation was settled and Matt wanted to plan an after-dinner thing upstairs in the hotel.  I was game, but we needed to get the projectors and two screens from the rooms that night.  Not a problem.

The last sessions got out, and we planned on meeting upstairs in the lobby to head out for Taco Mac.  I grabbed the projectors, screens and moved them to my hotel room.

We went to Taco Mac and arrived safely.  I didn’t realize there was so much football being played that night!  While waiting to be seated, Brian Marquis called and asked if I could come back to the hotel and pick him up.  His buddies took the car and went to Underground Atlanta.  Not a problem.  By the time we got back the group was seated in a semi-private room in the back.  I quick ordered a Coke(tm) and a burger.  We made it back to the hotel close to the 10pm time we were supposed to meet Matt.

Matt arrived shortly thereafter and we started setting up the XBox 360 and projectors.  The desk attendant was very nervous about us moving around the tables and chairs as it was set up for the morning.  It was almost as if we asked if we could step on kittens for fun.  Yes, it was that kind of look on her face.  We promised we would put everything back for the morning breakfast.

Game play continued to about 1am.  Some were watching football, others talking tech, others playing games.  I tried to blog but ended up talking tech.  Good times, good times.

After cleaning up and straightening the tables, Matt headed home, and I collapsed into my bed.  Wake up call set for 6am.

More blog coming in regards to Day 3 soon.

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