Archive for May, 2007

BizTech: Announcing the Sydney Business & Technology User Group (SBT UG)

Posted on May 24, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

I’d like to announce the new Sydney Business & Technology User Group, commencing next Wednesday 30 May 2007.

For those who want to cut to the chase, go the web site here: www.sbtug.com

Who is it for?

The new group is designed for senior developers, team leaders, software managers and software company owners. As such the talks are geared for that audience, but everyone is of course welcome.

What level are the talks?

The talks are high level. This means they are NOT in depth technical talks delving into code (there are plenty of other user groups covering this well). The aim is to give managers clarity on the many different technologies (primarily focussed on Microsoft products) available and answer questions like: Is this technology or product relevant/helpful to my business? Where should I use it? When can I use it? How much will licensing/developing with it cost? And so forth. There will also be sessions on general business topics (eg sales, marketing, PR, IP, trademarks, insurances etc). See the site for a full list of the suggested topics coming up.

Where is it held?

The group will initially be held at Microsoft Headquarters at North Ryde, Sydney. See the web site for full details. This location may change based on feedback from attendees and potential attendees eg it may be more appropriate to meet in the Sydney CBD.

When is it on?

Initially we will be meeting on the last Wednesday of every month, starting at 6:30pm. Again, this may change based on attendee feedback.

How can I make a suggestion?

We have a quick survey (60 seconds) on the site, so please let me know what you would like to see at the UG.

How do I stay informed?

Please sign up on the site, and I will email you once a month (on average) with a reminder and details of upcoming sessions.

How much does it cost?

Free to attend – all I ask is that you hand me one of your business cards on arrival.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

VFP: Important announcement concerning the Sydney VFP User Group

Posted on May 24, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

This is a difficult one to announce, but I have to let everyone in the Fox community know that I’ve made a drastic change to the Sydney VFP User Group.

In this post I’ll outline the reasons why and the outcomes I am hoping for.

Firstly, I need to let people know that the Sydney VFP UG is effectively closing down.

In its place I am starting a new group which focuses (in a broad, general sense) on Business and Technology, designed primarily for software managers, team leaders and software company owners.

The new group is called: The Sydney Business & Technology User Group and it has a new web site here: www.sbtug.com

Secondly, I want to outline why this has come about, because it has not been an easy decision in many ways (although in some ways it has). The basic reason is due to poor user group attendance. With so many other avenues available for Visual FoxPro content, many developers were finding it difficult to make the trek over to the user group each month. These things tend to go in spirals, so with less people attending, there is less chance to network with people, and it gets harder to organise speakers, and then the cycle repeats. This meant that lately the effort put in by speakers and myself was hard to justify. I felt that my time and theirs could be much better spent serving the developer community in other ways.

Thirdly, let me explain why I picked the ‘new’ direction. Interestingly, in many ways the group had been heading down that path anyway. The talks had started to encompass business related sessions (Eg sales, marketing, perception) and the technology topics had opened up (Design Patterns, .Net, SQL Server, etc). So, in a way the new group is really just the culmination of changes that had been happening over the last 6-9 months. But for me personally, I tried to follow a path that is of interest to me (what’s the point of running a group you are not interested in?) So, for me, as CTO for a software company, I picked a direction that applies to me. I expect there are many others (including some of the senior managers at Talman) for who this will also apply. Time will tell if it is of enough interest to keep the group going. I am hoping so.

Fourthly, I need to be honest and say there will be very little in the way of VFP content at the new UG. When Sedna is released, there will definitely be a session on it, but other than that, not much. I feel it important to state this upfront rather than try to fumble through with some ‘it is just the same VFP group with a few other broader sessions added’ distracter.

Finally, I want to reassure people that this is not me abandoning VFP. It seems odd that I should have to say this, but one of the reasons that I held onto the group so long was because I was worried about the signal ending it would send to the community in general (in and outside VFP). But I realised recently this was silly. Although there will probably be a few people upset (and perhaps even one or two who throw a few stones – send your emails here btw talktothehand@notlistening.com) I am convinced this is the right decision. I expect many attendees of the new group to be Fox people, and in turn I hope that many of the new attendees get to hear about VFP from me and them – perhaps for the first time. And let me state that I still plan to continue with other VFP ventures like OzFox.

So, there you have it. A difficult decision, but an exciting one in my opinion. I hope you agree, or at least understand.

Thanks to those who have been very supportive (including almost all of the current UG members) as I’ve worked through this process.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )

VPC: Mouse issues running W2K3 under Virtual PC 2007

Posted on May 23, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Solution: Set Hardware Acceleration to Full

Problem: My mouse movement was really sluggish in a VPC running Windows 2003 R2 (but other OSes are fine)

Acknowledgement: Thanks to Paul Adare on the Microsoft Newsgroup for sorting this one out

Here’s the steps:

  1. Right click on Desktop, select Display Properties
  2. Settings Tab
  3. Advanced Button
  4. Troubleshoot Tab
  5. Slide the Hardware Acceleration tab to Full

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )

BLOG: Please update to my FeedBurner feed

Posted on May 15, 2007. Filed under: Personal |

 Just wondering if you could do me a favour…

I’m trying to get a better handle on my readership, so I was hoping you’d be kind enough to subscribe to my FeedBurner feed instead of directly point to the Blogger URL.

All you need to do is point your RSS reader to this: http://feeds.feedburner.com/CraigBaileysThoughts

If you are just browsing (i.e. not using a RSS reader) then you can also use the new URL, but it won’t look as nice as my page on Blogger.

[I’ve been trying to use Google Analytics for a while now put the results aren’t really valid for RSS readers, and they are mixed even for general browsing.]

Thanks heaps – I really appreciate it.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

OUTLOOK: Error 0x80040154

Posted on May 15, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Bottom line: you need to completely uninstall and reinstall office!

As part of my re-install recently I had to reinstall Office 2007. Not a drama. But when I first started Outlook I made the mistake of not setting up an email account right away (silly me!). Well it turns out that Outlook didn’t really like this, and crashed when getting through the wizard and attempting to display the Home page in Outlook. Probably not a big issue right?

Anyway a few days later I went through setting up my email accounts. Only problem was I would experience a 0x80040154 error when performing the Send and Receive (and of course not get any email). This went on for a few days before I started to realise that missing email might not be such a good idea (but hey the productivity improvement during that time were phenomenal J).

Long story short I had to completely uninstall Office and reinstall it. That’s right, the repair wouldn’t work, plus countless other things I tried based on forum suggestions. So, in the end, this guy probably had it closest to right.

All good now.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

BLOG: Please update to my FeedBurner feed

Posted on May 14, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Just wondering if you could do me a favour…

I’m trying to get a better handle on my readership, so I was hoping you’d be kind enough to subscribe to my FeedBurner feed instead of directly point to the Blogger URL.

All you need to do is point your RSS reader to this: http://feeds.feedburner.com/CraigBaileysThoughts

If you are just browsing (i.e. not using a RSS reader) then you can also use the new URL, but it won’t look as nice as my page on Blogger.

[I’ve been trying to use Google Analytics for a while now put the results aren’t really valid for RSS readers, and they are mixed even for general browsing.]

Thanks heaps – I really appreciate it.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

PICASA: Restoring Albums from backup

Posted on May 14, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

I love Picasa as a photo (and video) organiser. And I especially love how easy it is to put your photos on the web as albums (with no advertising!). It only takes a few clicks and a whole Picasa album is then available for friends and family to see.

And although I had backed up all my photos (probably the most precious items on my machine when I think about it) I had never thought about backing up the album definitions. So, following my recent crash, after restoring my last 3 year’s worth of photos I was dreading the task of having to build all my albums again.

Luckily though, the solution was close at hand: the albums are stored in .pal files. Fortunately my backup was a complete backup of my Documents and Settings directory, so after digging down through the folders I was able to restore all my .pal files easily. Let the rejoicing begin.

So… just thought I’d mention it here in case anyone else lands in this situation.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

PERSONAL: First the good news…

Posted on May 14, 2007. Filed under: Visual FoxPro |

Well, it’s great to be back. The last few weeks of ‘increased productivity’ J have been due to my notebook’s premature death.

Not to worry, Magic Dave (Talman’s IT guru) got me all back up and running and in the process loaded Vista on my machine (the machine required a complete reformat and install).

And on the weekend I finally got around to reinstalling FeedDemon and restoring all my backups. Fortunately I had a complete backup of my hard drive from a week before the crash, so I am pretty much back to where I was before. And after updating all my feeds I see I have over 2500 new posts to get through (and even better, many of them are from some of my favourite authors – as opposed to the general feeds of journals and mags). Happy days.

The great thing about a complete reinstall is that it forces you to think carefully about what you do and don’t need.

This time around I’m embracing the Virtual PC approach, whereby only the barest minimum is installed on my machine and everything else runs in a VPC. So, the only things installed are:

Vista Business, Office 2007, Expression Web, FeedDemon, Picasa, Adobe Reader, ALZip, IE7pro, Virtual PC 2007 and TextPad.

That’s it. I’ve even elected not to install Flash plug-in (I kid you not).

Everything else will be running in a VPC. I’m planning VPCs for Visual FoxPro, Visual Studio, all my accounting stuff (QuickBooks etc), SharePoint and even a separate VPC for running Flash stuff (I’m actually not sure how long this will last – but I figure it will stop me just flicking over to YouTube on an impulse, given that I’ll have to run a VPC to do so…).

There have been a few little gotchas along the way as I’ve got going – I’ll itemise these in other posts.

Oh, and regarding Vista. I love it. I’ve held off installing it for months now, but after being ‘forced’ to make the change I am really glad I did.

Great to be back with ya.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 3 so far )

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...