Friday, June 29, 2007

Southwest Fox 2007 Early-Bird Deadline in 2 Days

There are only two more days to take advantage of the Southwest Fox 2007 early-bird registration. Be sure to register now and save $75 plus receive a free pre-conference session (a $99 value) plus be eligible for the White Light Computing scholarship.

Monday, June 25, 2007

A Day at the Races

On Saturday, I was in my first ever bike race. Well, it wasn't exactly a bike race; it was a team pentathalon called Echo Challenge, a fundraiser for our local YMCA, located at Echo Lake, a 45 minute drive from Regina in the beautiful Qu'Appelle Valley. However, it was a bike race to me because my event was the 10 KM cycling stage.

My team, Thunder, didn't have a good start. I'm not sure how experienced our swimmer was, because he came out of the water dead last, and by a significant margin. In his defence, it was tough swim: 750 M in cold water that was extremely choppy because of strong winds (which would also play a factor in my event). I'm really glad it wasn't me in that stage. Most of our team members were first-timers (like me) so I wasn't expecting us to be competitive, but I didn't think we'd be 25 minutes behind the leaders after the first stage.

The next stage was a hill run, which is exactly what it sounds like: you run up a hill and then back down. Our runner was very fast; it seemed like he disappeared into the tree line and reappeared just a moment later. He tagged me and I took off.

I knew it was windy but I wasn't expecting it to be quite that bad: 40 KPH head-winds the entire distance. Also, it was very hilly -- mostly uphill the entire way with a long descent at the very end. The wind was much more challenging than the hills, though. Fortunately, I was feeling pretty strong so I just put my head down and went as fast as I could. I managed to pass four cyclists (not bad considering the lead they had) and almost passed a fifth. Unfortunately, while shifting into my highest gear so I could pass him, the chain went past the last gear and got lodged between it and the bike frame. Rather than stopping to fix it, I coasted down the long descent until it started to flatten out, then got off my bike and sprinted with it the last 100 M.

My wife Peggy, son Nicholas, and friend Joanne and Molly Wade cheered me on throughout the stage. They drove about 1 KM ahead, cheered me as I went past, then moved another 1 or 2 KM ahead. They also cheered me at the finish line. Here's a picture of Nick and I a few minutes after finishing:

The next stage was a 6 KM run. Our runner didn't have any water with her, expecting that there'd be frequent water stations, but unfortunately there wasn't. As a result, she had a tough run on a pretty warm day.

The last stage of the event swamped us, literally. Our team captain, one of two members in the 1600 M canoe race, had never canoed before, and the other member didn't have much more experience. Unfortunately, they overturned the canoe 100 M from the start. As a result, we finished in last place.

The event was a lot of fun and other than the wind (which died down shortly after the cycling stage was over; it figures) and bit of rain before it started, it was a gorgeous day in a beautiful setting, and we raised $22,000 for programming for the YMCA.

The other benefit, from a personal perspective, is that it fired me up for cycling, so I'm planning on riding a lot more this summer.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Fix for Sedna Beta Installation Issue

Like many of you, I downloaded and installed the new VFP 9 Service Pack 2 and Sedna betas (available from here). I was careful to first uninstall the previous SP2 and Sedna CTPs, and while SP2 installed just fine, I got error 2869 at the end of the Sedna installation. Because I was busy, I didn't have time to dig in and figure out what caused the error.

Fortunately, I didn't need to. The next day, Rick Bean posted a message on a forum with the same problem, then later posted the solution. Like Rick, I'm using Windows Vista, and it looks like the installer needs admin rights to do its job but it isn't set up to request elevation automatically. So, Rick's solution is to choose Start, All Programs, Accessories, Command Prompt (Rick, if you're reading this, here's a shortcut: click Start and type "cmd"; it'll appear at the top of the search list), then right-click and choose Run as Administrator. Then, using good old-fashioned DOS commands, CD to the directory where the Sedna installer is located, type the installer name, and press Enter. Since it's launched from an elevated process, it also runs as administrator and successfully installs.

I hope everyone gets some time to work with SP2 and Sedna. I haven't gone through all of the Sedna tools yet, but have spent a fair bit of time with the My namespace and Upsizing Wizard (duh {g}), and love the work Craig Boyd has done with the Vista Toolkit. If you come to Southwest Fox or the German DevCon, attend my Developing Visual FoxPro Application for Windows Vista session and I'll show you how cool this toolkit is.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Two Weeks to the Southwest Fox Deadline

There are only two weeks left to get in on the early-bird registration for Southwest Fox 2007; the deadline is July 1. There are several benefits to registering now:

As Kevin Cully notes, the deadline for registration for FoxForward 2007 is also approaching.

You owe it to yourself and your career as a development professional to attend one of these conferences, or the German DevCon, another great conference now in its 13th year.