MSDN Magazine December 2004

Filed Under (Random.links) by WildFire on 30-11-2004

MSDN Magazine December 2004. Check the archives for more.

PAGEFrames are heaven-sent

Filed Under (Random.scribbles, work.BLOG) by WildFire on 30-11-2004

PageFrames are heaven-sent. It makes a programmer's life easier. It also helps in achieving that 'lesser-clicks-the-better' principle of mine when designing interfaces and forms.

Declaring public variables is not that needed anymore... nor do I have to go through the process of passing parameters from form to form.

It makes things more organized. Easier for the user too... straight forward and smooth flowing.

Remember the user may not always be right... but you should treat her as a queen. Pamper her with a good, well-organized interface. That is why some software companies invest in the interface.

Probably one of the reasons why some less-stable/hole-infested/half-baked systems are more accepted than a more stable/secure one with an interface only a nerd with an IQ above Mt. Helens can understand.

For some... the interface is even considered the application.

The interface _is_ the application.

The users don't care much about the leet-haxored computation process you made behind things. As long as the correct results are there.

Presented well inside a well 'formatted' interface.

It is already 2:07AM in the morning. I think I need to crash. I would like to continue coding but the ref's empty... food supply shortage. I don't like it when my hunger overtakes the sleepy mode.

Speaking of Mt. Helens...

Helen's getting prettier everyday. No not the mountain.

No... not the Helen of Troy... nor the actress that played her.

I'm referring to Helen, the Elastigirl.


I really need some sleep.

FoxPro and Self-Destruct.NET Kitties

Filed Under (Random.links, Visual FoxPro) by WildFire on 28-11-2004

Robert Scoble:

"Ken Levy gave me a demo of this last week. It's a very impressive tool. Has visual inheritance down to the button level where Visual Studio only has inheritance down to the form level. Among other things."


OK... that would be more than enough to wash out the effects of viewing this.

Do It Now by Steve Pavlina. (via Sacha Chua)

Software Patents

Filed Under (Random.links) by WildFire on 28-11-2004

Spent a great part of the afternoon reading about the disadvantages of Software Patents.

More thoughts on this one later... who..?

Filed Under (Random.links) by WildFire on 27-11-2004

Just call me (Dave Barry | Registration required but trust me it's worth it.)

A creative way of describing MIGRAINES

Filed Under (Random.links) by WildFire on 27-11-2004

I've been wanting to link on this blog for days but kept on forgetting it. Here's one creative way to describe migraines.

Codin’ for 80 Hours a week…

Filed Under (Random.links, Visual FoxPro, work.BLOG) by WildFire on 27-11-2004

Can People Really Program 80+ Hours a Week..?

Slashdot already has tons of insightful, funny and drug-infused comments so I won't delve into the logic, statistics, effects and mechanics of working 80+ hours a week.

Hmm... 80 hours a week is 80/7, that would be 11.42857 hours a day if we include the day of rest (Sunday). It would be 13.33333 if it's 80/6 though.

To be exact my TimeCalcAdvanced algorithm shows it's 11:25:43 hours in 7 days and 13:20:00 hours in 6 days.

Let's assume that half of the programmer population has a life and half doesn't, so let's average these two results. With that we'll get an average of 12:22:52 hours.

12:22:52 hours in a day in program mode.

Which makes me think if we should include the time when the programmer is 'programming' himself waiting for the mood to swing in? For the chi to re-align or something..?

Should we also include the times when he/she is pretending to be doing programs?

OK... enough of this already.

When I saw this feed on my RSSBandit last night, I wanted to go into a quest... to try if I could code for 12-13 hours for 7 days. I even started doing it from 12:01AM to 2AM but after three simultaneous calls from clients this afternoon, each separated by 2 hour bus rides, which are scheduled for next week, I don't think I could complete that quest.

Besides as I am writing this part of the blog (I multitask, browse and watch Shrek 2 on DVD) it is 11:49PM already and I've done only 8.5 hours coding for this day.

I have this Excel file where I scribble down the accomplishments of the day... per hour, starting April of this year so I have some 'stats'. Also from the same file I found out that it's either I code straight for the day and am too tired to code at night... or bum around all day and work at night until the wee hours of the morning to make up for it.

The most I've done is 11 hours in five days last June but that was only good for 5 out of 30 days in that month.

I cannot remember too clearly if I have done that much lengthy coding during my previous work.

But then again... like anything in this world, it's the quality that counts... and not the quantity.

Even my pterodactyl pet knows that.

... and breathes that principle.

Dave Bower’s Losing Focus Presentation

Filed Under (Visual FoxPro) by WildFire on 25-11-2004

Fox-download: Dave Bower's Losing Focus Presentation. (via Sydney VFP User Group)

Three more days before OzFox!

Heavy Metal Fall 2004 Issue Goes 3D

Filed Under (GFX) by WildFire on 25-11-2004

Heavy Metal Fall 2004 If, by any chance, artworks depicting the beauty showed by the curves of the female species offend you... I suggest you go to this link for now and come back again later.

Now having said that, allow me to continue.

Heavy Metal Magazine goes 3D in its Fall 2004 issue.

I haven't followed thoroughly Heavy Metal through the years but I do have some issues in my collection especially those with cover art created by Luis Royo.

This is the first time I have seen a story in that mag illustrated entirely in three dimension. Although there's still room for improvement especially in the action sequences (Hint: Do it the Marvel way), overall the artwork quality is great.

Though, followers of this magazine know that 3D or 2D or traditional, the illustrations inside it are awe-inspiring.

(Plus you have to charge up your IQ level when reading some of the weird stories).

This is not the first time though I saw a magazine/book that holds pure 3D inside its comic boxes. The first one was Machine Phase.

... and pretty I'm sure there's more to come.


Filed Under (Random.scribbles, work.BLOG) by WildFire on 24-11-2004

The lesser clicks... the better.

That's how I see things when designing interfaces/forms.

Right now I think I'm squeezing too much command buttons and processes in one of my KWMS forms. I printed a screenshot already so that I can analyze things away from the monitor.

Sometimes things are more efficient that way.

Especially when I'm beginning to interpret KISS as 'Keep It Sexy, Sweetheart'.

U2 + IT Mistakes

Filed Under (Random.scribbles) by WildFire on 24-11-2004

Infoworld: The top 20 IT mistakes to avoid.

Michael Ventre: U2 creates perfect soundtrack for life

Sometimes a rock band can worm its way into your cranium and remain there throughout all the significant moments of your adult life. Most people have an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, each whispering in one ear, each vying for attention. With me, U2 has always been the group playing in the background while that battle for my soul raged.


There was this one time when I was willing to give up coding inorder to be a rock star.

I'm glad I'm over it.

Sleeping with the Enemy

Filed Under (Random.links) by WildFire on 22-11-2004

Sleeping with the enemy..?

No not really. Things (and competitions) like these are healthy.

It is quite sad though that sometimes technology (in this case software technology) is sometimes clobbered by a situation like this.

But that's the reality existing...

CPUs and depressions

Filed Under (Random.scribbles) by WildFire on 20-11-2004

Since late high school days when I was starting that 'Journey Inwards' thing, I have 'partially' mastered how to convert anger into something productive.

Anger is not often the enemy. In fact, it can be used as a tool for productivity.

That is of course if you know how to channel things into something productive without letting anger cloud your judgment... without it conquering your vision, without allowing a hint of revenge pairing up side by side with your goals.

This I cannot say the same when depression and frustration barges in. It really brings me down.

Like viruses, trojan-powered processes and lately spy+ad:wares... that brings down to their knees a 2.4GHz powered processors.

Even without the virus... run several applications and your computer slows down. That part I know you know already.

Even my little girl knows that fact... though I'm not sure if she understands it.

(I tend to explain computer-related facts to my three year old (including how to count in binary numbers), hoping that subliminally it will 'come back' later at the right time... when needed.)

More processes... threads... slow down how the CPU can process requests.

But what if... just what if... someone in the future could architect a processor that speeds up its processing speed when you add more threads to process.

Think about it... the more applications you run, the more 'powerful' it becomes using a mechanism that somehow can use the processing usage as a fuel to finish/process more tasks.

I'd like to give examples that involve fire or friction but somehow this mind of mine, as of the moment, is always being detoured to indecent thoughts.

So I'll stop for now before this post turns out into something erotic.

Studios sue Pixar… Demand Bad Movie

Filed Under (GFX, Random.links) by WildFire on 20-11-2004

Studios sue Pixar, Demand Bad Movie. "Stop making the rest of us look bad"... demand Hollywood executives.

Hmm... 400GB PC hard drive, anyone?

Screensaver Tricks and more snippets

Filed Under (Visual FoxPro) by WildFire on 20-11-2004

More codes from Calvin Hsia... this time this involves screen saver tricks.

Running dynamic code with ExeScript (from Andrew MacNeill).

Chan Kot Kiet posted some Graph-related approaches you can use with Visual Foxpro.

Still Relevant!

Filed Under (Visual FoxPro, work.BLOG) by WildFire on 20-11-2004

Taking a break from the regular midnight coding to post this: Visual FoxPro 9.0: Still Here, Still Relevant.

Every FoxPro blog is linking to that article by David T. Anderson already.

A highly recommended read for the 'renegades'.

I'd like to post parts of that article here and discuss some points but at 2:37AM I still have to wrap up a lot of things.

I'll give an overview though of what I am currently tackling at the moment.

Imagine a project where you thought you have planned everything already... the database structures and flows, made things ready for networking... optimized the filter/querying speed... tweaked a lot of parts, normalized and de-normalized carefully the databases and laid things out so that future upgrades would not be difficult for your system.

Fast forward by 17 months in the future (which is the present time)... you're in a situation where three offices separated by two and a half blocks apart will be using your program. Each office has the power/rights to edit mostly any part of the database...

... which is cool since you're application is 'network ready' already... problem is there are no immediate plans to setup one yet and to interconnect these offices.

The diskette/log-modification was part of the worst case scenario during the planning phase but I wasn't thinking I'd be diving into that.

Until now...

Run your code in response to a new drive being inserted

Filed Under (Visual FoxPro) by WildFire on 17-11-2004

Run your code in response to a new drive being inserted.


Filed Under (Random.links) by WildFire on 17-11-2004

Nullsoft 1997-2004 (via

I'm quite late on this but this one's worth reading. Besides, Justin Frankel... one way or another did revolutionize a lot of things.

WinAmp... MP3s... Gnutella... ShoutCast... you name it.

A new Pixelcatalyst.Lair splash cover

Filed Under (GFX) by WildFire on 16-11-2004

Pixelcatalyst.Lair A new splash is covering the Pixelcatalyst.Lair.

The wallpaper version (1600x1200) will follow shortly.

I am also tempted to post a Windows Explorer screenshot that shows two 60MB .psd files behind this artwork.

Probably later...