Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I just had to take a moment today and blog about what a special day St. Patrick's Day means to me. No, I'm not Irish. No, I don't drink green beer. No, I don't really party much at all. So what's so special about this day?

Today marks the 26th anniversary of my life as a computer programmer!

I've been so blessed to have a career I enjoy and didn't want the day go by without saying so! It's actually quite ironic how I ended up in this career. During high school I was a shy, quiet, and very introverted girl (I know .. most of you can't believe that .. but it's true .. I swear!) I was looking for a career where I didn't have to socialize with people too much. We had an assembly at school where the administration talked about the "Career Center". This was a facility where Juniors and Seniors from high schools around the area could spend half their school day learning a career. There were programs for Auto Mechanics, Small Engine Repair, Cosmetology, and lots of other careers.

My mom really urged me to consider going to the Career Center. I resisted, but she's pretty persuasive. I considered the Accounting program because I really enjoyed my recent accounting class. I also considered the Engineering class because I really enjoyed my recent drafting class. My mom looked the brochure over and had this to say…

“I think you should consider this Computer program. I think computers are really going to take off in the future.”

Like I said, my mom is really persuasive so even though I had never touched a computer and didn’t know anything about them, I followed her recommendations. What can I say but, “Thanks Mom!” She was so right about the future of computers. She was also so right about the career choice for me.

I have loved being a programmer from the first day I started. It’s been a wonderful ride that has taken me many places. I have enjoyed the fact that to program an application for a business, I have to learn all about that business. I’ve had the opportunity to learn about so many different industries that I probably wouldn’t have ever known about. And the opportunity to work at Microsoft as a contractor was a dream come true!

I have also enjoyed the ironic affect this career has had on my life. I’m no longer the quiet, shy, introverted little girl. I’ve come out of my shell and now speak at user groups and conferences as often as I can. I write articles, post on newsgroups, and participate in the FoxPro community as much as possible. So to the entire FoxPro community .. I want to say thanks for the wonderful place you have helped my career go.

And I also owe a big “Thanks” to my Mom. She’s one special lady!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Cool Tool: Beyond Compare + Addon by Frank Perez

Beyond Compare is a great little utility that can be used to compare files. It's from Scooter Software and is only $30. What makes this utility even cooler is an addon written by Frank Perez (which is $FREE.) He wrote a utility that lets us compare FoxPro files ... like classes, forms, reports, and such. This is awesome ... I can't tell you how many times I have wanted to compare two different reports to see what is different!

Way to go Frank!!!

Read all about this on Frank's blog at I have added links in my Cool Tools section to Beyond Compare and to Frank's site for downloading the addon.


Sunday, March 2, 2008

Call to Action - Install VFP 9 SP2

Rick Schummer just blogged a compelling call to action for everyone to install VFP 9 SP2 and test it. He took the time to write a whitepaper that explains how to install SP2 in a different directory than your VFP 9 RTM (Release to Manufacturing) or VFP 9 SP1 versions. This way you can leave your production version (RTM or SP1) as is, yet still have SP2 on the same machine so you can test your applications.

I can tell you that I had already previously followed his advice and have SP1 and SP2 running on my machine without any problems. I encourage everyone else to do the same. Rick did a great job in explaining why you should do this so I'm just going to point you to his blog which also has the link to his whitepaper.

Please take the time to install and test SP2. If we all do this, the entire FoxPro Community, including yourself, will benefit!