NF . Microsoft Interview

Filed Under (Random.links) by WildFire on 22-07-2004

A blog overview on how Microsoft conducts its interviews.

GUI now too complex.

Good design succeeds on three levels, he says: the reflective - the impression of the product on the intellect; the behavioural - the way you use it; and the visceral - its appeal to the emotions.

Averatec C3500 Tablet PC... anyone?


Filed Under (Visual FoxPro) by WildFire on 22-07-2004

Here are some Foxpro-powered blogs: Paul McNett, Alex Feldstein and Chan Kot Kiet. I'm still finalizing the blog roll I'll be placing on the right side of the screen.

NF . Non-Foxpro linkwarps

Filed Under (Random.links) by WildFire on 20-07-2004

Non-FoxPro tuesday linkwarps:

Yes jobs are being outsource... then Star wars... now comes outsourced fries. From gizmo to 'life changing cultural icon', the iPod Nation.

And here's something new, black holes do not destroy everything it devour. What makes it more interesting is it comes from the same person that gave the opposite argument 30 years ago... Stephen Hawking. A hidden recycle bin was discovered perhaps.

LeaderLOG: Longhorn and Linux. Before you raise your arms and start yelling 'Foul!', read the whole article first. Here are some reactions from inside the site.

A new face of cybercrime.

Ah... I still have to finish some stuff first.

workBLOGS . SMAH visit

Filed Under (Visual FoxPro, work.BLOG) by WildFire on 19-07-2004

Against heavy afternoon rains after the morning heat and recovering from last week's fever and wicked.cough-problems, I visited a client at Hagonoy Bulacan this day. Armed with a printed copy of a _databasestructures-updates.txt I have created which holds the program and database changes by date, I updated the ILS module in that environment.

This file serves as one of my log reference that helps keep my sanity intact. It is a little difficult monitoring database and program updates when you're maintaining a program with seven core modules in four different clients each with their own requested features, formats, 'moods' and countless outside factors.

Things were lighter this time as compared to the rough visit last May 2004 when a new administration was not able to recognize me. In freelance-related quests, facing a new administration is one of the toughest tasks. I've been to this experience twice already. Patience have always been a key... and of course, charm.

Yes Earthling... charm is one factor a freelance programmer/developer/system analyst needs. You can partially acquire this by growing your hair long. Nose hair and armpit hair included.

I get to meet too, for the first time the FoxPro programmer who's working on the Registrar and Cashier applications. They hold the core system of almost every school I 'freelance' and the ILS application imports their databases. This was the first time after almost three years of me following their trail of DBCs and DBFs and sometimes leftover PRGs. The programmer was friendly and helpful and even stopped his programming task in that place to create a Novell account for me so that I can access his database. I guess Foxpro programmers just have this inherent respect for each other.

Same holds true probably for VB programmers meeting another like-minded VB dude, Java developers sharing coffee with another Java developer, Delphi-powered minds bumping into one another and so on.

Even assembly programmers probably talking in a cafe with no one else in a five mile radius understanding the things they're discussing.

I saw him using the VF6 IDE there. Something I seldom do. I can't seem to work on a computer that is not fully customized, tweaked and morphed according to my preference. But of course sometimes the need forces me to fire up VisualFoxpro and code in a computer which feels alien to me. In one case, I was even faced with a desktop displaying Taiwanese male celebrities. Quite scary if you'd ask me.

I could've run my database conversion module on site but it seems that some fields in the database in this school are different from the other schools I have followed. Just one letter differences in seven or more fields, but in this world of binary, one bit of a byte makes a big difference.

NF . Boo

Filed Under (SoftDev (non-VFP)) by WildFire on 18-07-2004

James Sullivan: Mike, that's not Boo's door.
Mike Wazowski: Boo? Who's Boo?
James Sullivan: That's what I decided to call him.
James Sullivan: Any problem with that?
Mike Wazowski: You're not supposed to name it. Once you name it, you start getting attach to it.

Scrap the crap.

Boo: A wrist friendly language for the CLI

Boo is a new object oriented statically typed programming language for the Common Language Infrastructure with a python inspired syntax and a special focus on language and compiler extensibility.


Article . How to start a blog

Filed Under (Random.links) by WildFire on 18-07-2004

How To Start a Blog (via

VFP Newsletter July 2004

Filed Under (Visual FoxPro) by WildFire on 18-07-2004

Ken Levy fires up a new Visual Foxpro newsletter for the month of July. It includes Visual Foxpro 9 Beta Samples.

NF . Lithesome Ice

Filed Under (Random.scribbles) by WildFire on 17-07-2004

Lithesome Ice is transferred here inside NSTL119... in time for my lovely wifey's birthday. At first I thought it was a misconfiguration of some CGI-related files during the server upgrade at Plastiqueweb Networks. After re-chmod-in' almost every file, I still get errors every now and then. What makes things worse is it sometimes takes around five minutes or more to execute then nothing happens and no error messages were displayed.

It was only when I used the FTP that I get this Disk Quota related error messages. Hmmm... the CheckDiskSpace() probably is one of the overlooked error trapping algorithm I guess.

But returning back to my qs... we celebrated the day by stuffing sea foods into our stomachs... shrimps, prawns, baby lobsters, crabs, clams, oyster and eggs, fish... ah... you name it.

I was even beginning to suspect Sebastian and Jacques were part of our meal this day.

Tools . WinUpdateList 1.10

Filed Under (Random.scribbles) by WildFire on 17-07-2004

WinUpdateList v1.10 is a nifty utility that displays the Windows updates, service packs and patches installed on your computer and the patches you should be downloading. Double click on the summary grid and it shows the the properties. The files related to the patch are listed on the lower grid. Pressing CTRL+W would fire up the browser opening the page at Microsoft's Support Center that contains information about the patch and a link to where you can download it. Very helpful if you'd ask me. Especially these days where some humans tend to have grown this fondness for hole-hunting.

Yeah I know there's WindowsUpdate that comes with Windows... but there are times you prefer having those patches saved on your hard drive so that you won't be downloading things again if you decide to nuke/reformat your hard disk or install a cleaner OS.

Same holds true when you try to update multiple computers. Unless you're the type of person who likes to waste bandwidth here and there downloading files again and again.

Probably it would take some time too executing each patch compared to leaving WindowsUpdate to do its thing, but you can remedy this with a small application that saves the patch filename and runs each patch after the other at a given interval. You can even save the file in a database, which you can update later, and ShellExecute each file based on the filenames saved on that database.

Batch scripts can be good alternatives as well.

Articles . VFP RSS and XML

Filed Under (Visual FoxPro) by WildFire on 16-07-2004

Ted Roche posted online two Foxpro+RSS/XML-related articles previously written for FoxTalk April 2004 and May 2004 issues.

In case you have missed that reproduced VFP Automates article from Ted Roche I'm posting the link too. More articles, speaker's note and whitepapers can be viewed and downloaded here.

BLOG . VisualFoxpro and Feedback Center

Filed Under (Visual FoxPro) by WildFire on 16-07-2004

When Microsoft released that MSDN Product Feedback Center (aka LadyBug) weeks ago, I was there in that site figuring out if there is something wrong with the combo box since I can't seem to find Visual Foxpro in it. I even tried using FireFox thinking something is wrong with the browser. After fifteen minutes I gave up and was in that 'here-we-go-again-microsoft' mindset once again.

Even my pet tiger that's beginning to develop this affection for VisualFoxpro started scratching my Logitech mouse. I was beginning to fear that the peace talk agreement between this tiger and the mouse was starting to expire.

So I decided to type 'Foxpro' instead in that textbox and found this post from a certain JimN. One of the lines I like most in that post is this:

Users of Visual FoxPro essentially PIONEERED this current feedback mechanism by virtue of its online widely available and WIDELY USED "Wish List" hosted on the Universal Thread web site. Releases 8 and 9 of Visual FoxPro demonstrated in spades the value of a feedback mechanism for both the product users AND the product's development team.

I heard my pet tiger hooting in the background.

Today John Koziol posted the reasons why VisualFoxpro was not included.

Now I'm sure I swear I saw my pet tiger licking the Logitech mouse moments ago. He haven't done that since he first saw that Feedback Center.

I'd probably buy some pizza later tonight. No not for me... but for this renewed peace.


Filed Under (, Visual FoxPro) by WildFire on 16-07-2004

This serves as a test post. I'm fixing CGI-related problems on a different server and I'm wondering if it's IE or some misconfiguration that is causing the problem. This serves as a part of the problem isolation routine.

Here to compensate this off topic thread: Atomic9.NET

workBLOGS . work varchar and .NETRocks072

Filed Under (SoftDev (non-VFP), work.BLOG) by WildFire on 15-07-2004

Suffering from a slight fever and cough, I visited a client in Baliuag, Bulacan today to update the ILS Program and install the client modules of Project Sophieai. I'll share some stuff tomorrow... right now I'm pumping this system with vitamins C and E hoping these could drive away the dark forces from this operating system of mine.

Linkwarps: .NETRocks! features Tim Huckaby and John Koziol points one of the new behavior which even in its improved existence pays respect to the 'legacy'... SET VARCHARMAPPING ON | OFF.

Hardware . Lian Li PC-V1000

Filed Under (Random.links) by WildFire on 14-07-2004

I have a pencil holder that somehow looks like this. Of course Lian Li PC-V1000 is cooler by nineteen folds. Here's another review at DansData. Does it come with a cute little red-eye drooling white mice too?

workBLOGS . oTimeTotal

Filed Under (Visual FoxPro, work.BLOG) by WildFire on 14-07-2004

A little something something.

It's already 2:40AM, I'm done with a couple of Reports and I'm still online trying to annoy a VB6-lovin'-former classmate of mine.

To give you an overview of this late-night-to-early-morning little quest of mine, I'll start with the target task. The objective is to add those TimeTotal and FeeTotal amounts in the reports that deals on the usage of the internet/computer.

So it's something like this:


This is just part of the data and at 2AM I'm not sure if they're the right numbers so tone down that meticulous geek in you, I just want to present an overview.

Generating nTotalFee is easy using VisualFoxpro's Report Tool/Designer. You simply create a variable, let's say oTotalFee, store the value of the database field (USAGE.FeeTotal), set the initial value to 0 and click the SUM part on the Calculate frame. You can set the variable to reset at the end of the page or at the end of the report. Just that and hardworkin' VFP will do the things automatically for you in the background while your report is being generated.

The trickier part is the cTotalTime since it is a character (well I made it that way months ago probably to make things harder for me in the future). '01:00:00' + '00:00:25' is equal to '01:00:0000:00:25' and not '01:00:25'. I tried another couple of barfed-out-rushed patch solutions which in the end didn't work.

That was when I remembered that there's a CTOT() function. But CTOT() needs additional characters such as CTOT("2000-10-24T13:30:00") and the other time/date-related functions I found were of no use, well at least in this situation. Besides I was secretly praying that none of these reserved functions would work so that I can have an excuse to do things the 'old school' way.

But before that I was even considering the lame approach of simply dividing nTotalFee with the RatePerHour and a little TimeConversion() algorithm to derive cTotalTime... a sort of a short circuit cheat. But that my friend, is not the way things are done especially when I'm in the mood to punish myself.

So choosing the 'right' path, I entered the following manipulation inside the variable part:

(val(substr(usage.timetotal, 1, 2))*3600) +
(val(substr(usage.timetotal, 4, 2))*60) +
(val(substr(usage.timetotal, 7, 2)))

In the report, a field control is added to store this code:

NUMTOSTR(alltrim(str(int(oTotalTime/3600))), 2) + ':' +
NUMTOSTR(alltrim(str(int((oTotalTime%3600)/60))), 2) + ':' +
NUMTOSTR(alltrim(str((oTotalTime%3600)%60)), 2)

NumToStr is a function I use to convert a number to a character field with additional 'pads'. Something like NumToStr(97, 5) would yield '00097'. It is quite useful too in IDNumber/Code formatting and other related functions.

So with that... the quest was completed.

Perhaps there are better solutions for this but for now this will do, donkey. It gives you a little taste of how things are done the 'good-old-school' way. Ah well at least a step above the older assembly/machine code approach.

THOUGHTS . OpenSource

Filed Under (Random.scribbles) by WildFire on 13-07-2004

For the record I don't believe OpenSource can kill jobs. Just look at Steve, he's still pretty much alive.

Seriously... I believe in a world where OpenSource and commercial software can co-exist peacefully without one trying to outmanuever/outlast the other.

Neither do I believe in monopoly. It is something that needs to be castrated... not by an idea that is only free... but better.

That is the real battlefield for competition.

NF . Gates: OpenSource Kills Jobs

Filed Under (Random.links) by WildFire on 13-07-2004

Gates: OpenSource Kills Jobs and the crowd at SlashDot goes wild.

At first glance I thought he was referring to Steve Jobs, who just gave away a 17-inch Powerbook, a 40GB iPod, and a 10,000 song gift certificate to Kevin Britten after downloading the 100 millionth song from the iTunes music store.

Articles . FoxTalk 2.0 July 2004

Filed Under (Visual FoxPro) by WildFire on 13-07-2004

FoxTalk 2.0 July 2004 released.

Articles . Foxpro Advisor

Filed Under (Visual FoxPro) by WildFire on 13-07-2004

Almost every VisualFoxpro developer who has a 'net connection visits, but if you're one of those I-dwell-in-my-own-world type of coder, it's about time to... well, at least uncloak yourself for a moment move your arse and absorb some materials on that site. Some articles may be weeks or even more-than-three-months-old already but they're very much applicable still. That's what FoxPro is all about... time certified.

Here are direct links to some articles inside FoxproAdvisor:

There are also non-Foxpro but 'programming attitude' related articles as well:

There are even .NET-related articles too such as:

There's even more but some of the articles are subscription-based which I don't have as of the moment.

Dear FoxproAdvisor Staff:

I know the articles defy time and all, but how about adding a date under the author's name just to indicate when those articles were written or published? Or was I just too sleepy last night to find where those dates are being placed?