Tuesday | December 28.2004

This is the time of the year when database programmers/developers and borgs realized that they too have a life which partly explains the lack of online activities as of late.

'Normal online activities' will resume within the week.

Anyway... Merry Christmas everyone... Happy Holidays if you prefer it that way.

Blogging is about sharing... experiences... words and all. That is what Christmas season is all about. I know you know that part already.
WildFire on 02:39 PM CST [ link ]

Saturday | December 18.2004

One more thing... if you're like me who prefers downloading media files, storing them and watching them later instead of directly playing or streaming it... here's a direct link to that .wmv file inside that Channel9's First Look at Visual Foxpro 9 thread.

So... fire up your GetRight Downloader and sniff that link.

(Chan Kok Kiet also posted a direct link to the video stream.)

I've been busy with some artworks on Depthcore's next release and the SeventhSense Project, there are still 114 Foxpro-related feeds inside my RSSBandit reader.

Again... I'll catch up later.
WildFire on 12:58 PM CST [ link ]

A couple of days ago I posted some semi-disorganized thoughts about the 2GB-limit on Visual Foxpro databases/tables.

While reading this post about VFP9 on Channe9, I found a link to this article:
The Ultimate Power and Speed of VFP
Handling Extremely Large Data Sets
By Val Matison

It is a very informative read. A must read.

It also discusses areas such as speed (where Foxpro really shines), data compression, data access, maintenance, backup and restore procedures, data integrity, data corruption, security, power and speed and a lot more.

Months ago I was ranting about FoxproAdvisor.com's lack of dates on their archived articles. Now I know why it lacks them.

Information about VisualFoxpro is ageless, backward compatible and beyond.
WildFire on 12:48 PM CST [ link ]

I'm quite late with this but... VISUAL FOXPRO 9 is HERE!

Here's the VFP9 Product info and the December VFP Newsletter from Ken Levy.

I'll catch up with some VFP-related links later.

VFP9, space-baby!
WildFire on 12:25 PM CST [ link ]

Thursday | December 16.2004

Craig Berntson explains about Visual Foxpro/Foxpro and its 2GB database limit.

Honestly when I first heard about programmers complaining about the 2GB limit, my first reaction was who in Earth's time would like a 2GB database?

That's HUGE. Too huge.

That would slow down things that even Foxpro's legendary Rushmore would have a hard time grinding.

Besides, there are tons of workaround for this limit.

Which I believe is not exactly a workaround per se, but a more effective means of solving the problem.

A better approach... a faster approach.

Better... that It should be the first choice instead of opting for the database to 2Giga-bloat that much in the future.

('Giga-bloat'... I like that.)

As one of my friends would say, Warcraft III's greatest strength is its unit limits. Unlike the first version of Warcraft, where you can train warriors and footmen, drag them all to the opponent's camp, find some soda or coffee while they're marching forward... and when you're back the enemy is leveled to the ground.

Sans the challenge...

But no... the 2GB limit can be seen not as a weakness... but rather a strength.

A well planned and normalized database will most likely prevent things from reaching that limit.

Memos and general fields or any objects that tends to bloat the database should be saved on a different location with only the path and the filename stored in the database.

No need to cramp all those jpegs and bitmaps into the database.

You can even link to external textfiles if you like instead of opting for the memo field in some cases. You can even separate the primary key and the memo field on a different normalized database if needed.

Of course a developer/programmer should think of the future... database files do grow.

Like a pineapple pie in the middle of the sacred forest... it grows.

But then, you can chop things... save records in tables created dynamically everyday.

You can even do it monthly... or store database separately by year... by month. That would even make things more organized. More compartmentalized.

You can easily create a 'fetching algorithm' that gathers only the necessary fields from the chopped databases let's say for a report... or a statistical view.

The solutions are endless...

Yet inspite of these solutions, you still find yourself where you would still prefer databases that can handle more than 2GB in size, and chopping just won't do... or normalizing, or calling the thundergods of database compression... there's always MSSQL, MySQL, FireBird and the likes.

Pardon the disorganized thoughts... it is 3:33AM already, I can't think well and I can't find a way to knock myself down to sleep.
WildFire on 03:31 AM CST [ link ]

Tuesday | December 14.2004


... will be released inside Depthcore's next pack (December 17 2004).

Plus here's SeventhSense 2002. The 2004 re-initialized release is on its way.

But before these releases, I will re-activate the coding mode first. I spent the past three days working on graphics/html-related stuff.

It was fun.
WildFire on 02:18 AM CST [ link ]

Monday | December 13.2004

Paul Graham: Why Nerds Are Unpopular. (via Ted Roche)

Ha hah!
WildFire on 11:21 PM CST [ link ]

Saturday | December 11.2004

A Steven Spielberg film... War of The Worlds.

At first feed glance, I thought it was a World of Warcraft film.

I wish.

Blizzard and Warcraft had produced tons of awesome cinematics for their games in the past few years.

Speaking of World of Warcraft, here's a funny dance movie that shows, well Warcraft entities dancing. (Be warned though... it is not intended for kids and probably is offensive to some conservative humans.)

I like to move it... move it.

(Thanks Takz for the link.)
WildFire on 01:03 PM CST [ link ]

Calvin Hsia is on a roll. First he posted the Intellisense: inspecting live objects information a couple of days ago. I refrained from linking to it then since almost every Foxpro-related blog I have on my RSSBandit points to it already.

Today, he discusses Using non-Automation compatible types and Creating mailing labels automatically.

Why do we always link to Calvin Hsia you ask?

Well aside from his being the Visual Foxpro lead developer, his blogs are very helpful and informative.

(Insert your adjective here) programmers/developers always look beyond on how to just merely use a thing. We are also interested on why things are done that way.

Looking back to my high school algebra teacher... it's more of a 'how was the formula derived?' and not only how to use the formula.

So why the link again..?

If the lead developer of the programming language of your choice shows passion towards his work, reflects that passion through sharing, sharing snippets, sharing informative stuff, sharing the VisualFoxpro experience... you tell me and I'd be glad to link to him/her.

It's not only Calvin Hsia who shares these things though... the whole VS Data Team has a blog which includes Ken Levy, YAG and John Koziol from the VFP team.

... ah one of those reasons we prefer VisualFoxpro.

It's a Saturday, and I'm turning off my coding mode for a while. I'll turn on the GFX mode and finish up the SeventhSense 2004 Project before the 2004 part of the title becomes obsolete.
WildFire on 11:32 AM CST [ link ]

Friday | December 10.2004

Andrew MacNeill: What VFP 9's Removal of Array Limits Really Means.
WildFire on 09:34 PM CST [ link ]

Wednesday | December 08.2004


Save your work. Print your codes. Go out. (Away from computer... near a cafeteria or trees or something.)

Review them. No not the trees, the code.

Enjoy the breeze.

With the chirps of the bird as your soundtrack (not the usual techno/trance/industrial beats), sometimes you'll find more ways to tweak your codes (and even debug some problems) than when you are in front of the monitor.

Mark them. Note them for improvement later.

The printed codes can also be used for future references.

Program framework references.

Be careful though when you choose to review your codes in benches near trees.

Some trees are keen enough to recognize that the paper you are using came from them and would play weird tricks on you.

Remember Newton's Apple..?
Tradition has it that Newton was sitting under an apple tree when an apple fell on his head, and this made him understand that earthly and celestial gravitation are the same. This is an exaggeration of Newton's own tale about sitting by the window of his home (Woolsthorpe Manor) and watching an apple fall from a tree.

However it is now generally considered that even this story was invented by him in his later life, to try to show how clever he was at drawing inspiration from everyday events.


Two many versions of the story, right?

But the actual story really was Isaac Newton was under the tree holding a pen and a paper formulating how to understand women.

He was near the Eureka moment where every flood of facts on how to understand the behavior and all of women (which could have been beneficial to generations and generations of men) were moving in into his brains and wisdom, when the tree intentionally let that apple fall on his head.

The women-related formulae/principles were completely forgotten and he ended up with boring gravitational-related stuff instead.

Too bad.

Actually that was only a mild trick. Just wait when trees start calling meteorites.
WildFire on 07:04 PM CST [ link ]

Happy Birthday... BMM! [",]
WildFire on 01:54 PM CST [ link ]

Two very informative posts from two VisualFoxpro development team brains: The Limits of Architecture versus The Architecture of Limits (John Koziol) and Unbelievable performance gain by changing an Algorithm (Calvin Hsia).

One thing really good about VisualFoxpro is... every release, things get faster, performance improved... limits removed.

New versions = faster performance + increased productivity.

Unlike other PLs which tend to bloat, hog too much memory, slow things down and requires major upgrades to the existing hardware requirements... Visual FoxPro maintains its ode to speed and performance.

Rock on!

VFP9 is near...
WildFire on 01:52 PM CST [ link ]

Tuesday | December 07.2004

This... I find interesting: Mother of the Matrix victorious - Mother of the Matrix - and another related link.

The articles are months old already. But it is only recently that it is having some media/blogosphere attention.

Once you'll read, you'll find out why.

One woman behind brains of the Matrix and Terminator trilogies.

You'll find links that defends the other side of the fence in the above articles too.
WildFire on 10:45 PM CST [ link ]

I was reading the articles inside the NoSoftwarePatents.com site a week ago and I was looking for views from the 'other side of the fence'.

But when I read about a post that says Microsoft applies for patent on reading email as plain text a couple of days ago, I think I don't want to go further anymore.

Tell me this is a joke.

Software companies should be run by noble, innovative and visionary developers and not by greedy marketeers nor abusive-make-money-out-of-patents-lovin' lawyers.

Stress on the adjectives... not the person/entities.

(To be fair, I'll post this link and this link too.)
WildFire on 10:27 PM CST [ link ]

Sunday | December 05.2004

Saturday | December 04.2004

From C2.com, some information on VisualFoxpro and Foxpro.

Also from the same site, I found links to Visual XBase++ (a replacement for Clipper 5.2 (Yup I've used that too before I upgraded to Visual Foxpro 5.0)) and FlagShip.

An xBase dialect evolved in the Unix environment and now available for Windows platforms.

For long-time Clipper, dBase, and FoxPro programmers, quite possibly the way to continue using several years of accumulated skills and bodies of code in current OS environments.

Interesting. Now if only I could squeeze a little more time.

But then again you'd probably delve into some Calvin Hsia code snippets and insights.
WildFire on 11:16 PM CST [ link ]

If self study doesn't work, nothing will ever work!

Uhm. That I think is the first time I used ASCII 21 here in my blogs. (It's 21 because I'm using hex. It would be 33 in Decimal and 41 in Octal.)

OK... if you still haven't figured that out, it means it's the first time I used the exclamation point (!) character.

Anyway, this line just barfed out when I was arguing with my lovely programming student this evening. For those who know me from the previous place and are wondering if I have dived into the teaching profession once again... no I did not.

(I wanted to, really... I miss torturing students, but right now I don't have extra time.)

I'm just teaching someone to code... and if you're following this blog, you know who she is.

Programming is not taught. It is practiced. You do a lot of RTFM-in'. (If you don't know what RTFM is, RTFM.)

You should never expect the teacher to spoon feed things. Besides the spoon does not exist... nor the teacher. It is the drive, the passion that moves you to learn programming.

The curiousity that lies within the hacker's soul is your tool.

('Hacker'... in the proper sense of the word... and not the term the media has misused, twisted, sensationalized and abused for years already.)

Like every quest in this world, passion is one of the main things that drives and ignites you to move forward.

In a way, learning how to program is like learning how to play basketball.

You would never learn even if Michael Jordan, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson would talk in front of you for 10 hours a day (for 12 months... for 100 years), teaching you the mechanics of things without you practicing it yourself, without you going out to hold the ball.

You will never learn basketball if you just hold the ball, aim and be contented. You have to perfect things... perfect the crossover move... the lay-up and if you're lucky enough, the slam dunk.

You must have passion... to do it every day... every hour if needed...

... until you can be proud of yourself, until you are effective.

Then you expand your court to the streets, meet new enemies and be clobbered, blocked and be humiliated in every sense. Sometimes you get kneed, elbowed and punched.

(Yes that's how basketball is played sometimes.)

But you learn. You learn the hard way. The harder the better.

You practice again... you face the opponent, conquer and move on to a bigger world.

Bigger challenges.

Of course there's a possibility that you get clobbered a thousand times before you can move on.

... which is good.

Because you'll never learn the game and be good at it if you play one on one with your neighbor's cuddly teddy bear.

You gain knowledge, you gain experience... you gain wisdom.

Wise enough to know that both a mighty dunk and simple shot scores two points in the statistics department. But wise enough too to know the difference between the two and when to use it.

But that my student would be another story for now.

I don't think I have to spoon feed what MJ, the ball, the passion, the learning process, the dunk, the teddy bear and every component in that metaphor symbolizes here.

More on this later... (I need to chop things, it's gettin long already.)
WildFire on 12:53 AM CST [ link ]

Wednesday | December 01.2004

I know I shouldn't be laughing at this... but hey... it is funny.

Unless of course you're the owner of that car.
WildFire on 11:30 PM CST [ link ]

Disclaimers are for castrated EARTHLINGS.
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