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Foxcast – got to have it!

Foxcast is an excellent resource for the Visual FoxPro developer. Just in case you are not familiar with the concept of Foxcast, it is free Webinars presented by knowledgable people in the Fox Community. These live Webinars are recorded so you can download them and watch them on your own time.

The live Webinars require four things:
1) Registration for the Webinar
2) A solid connection to the Internet
3) A long distance phone call
4) Your dedication and desire to better your career

The long distance phone call might turn some people off the live feed. The way I reduced my overall expense was to follow some good advice from Doug Carpenter (the moderator of this venture), and head out to Costco or another reseller of phone cards. I bought 600 minutes for the cheap price of two cents a minute. I watched Drew Speedie’s and Doug Hennig’s presentations live and used it for the session I presented, and still have minutes on the card. If the phone call is a barrier (like being outside the USA), there is always the download.

The only other problem I see for some developers is the download is big (~300 MB), and some developers still have dial-up, and others have to pay by the minute. My guess is someone will burn these files to a CD and ship them for a nominal cost (hint: there is a business opportunity, or a special contribution to the cause).

If you are someone who wants to present, great. It is simple and the folks at Visionpace will step you through the process and let you practice a bit before you present live.

I have personally received more feedback on my Debugging Essentials Foxcast than any other presentation I have made at conferences or user groups. The reason is simple, it has reached a larger audience because of the availability of the download. I also know the video has been shown at user groups all over the country and downloaded by developers across the globe. I could not have presented the session in person at all these user groups and still made a living.

Foxcast has enabled user groups to easily get quality presentations from outside speakers, and at the same time, allowed speakers to pass along their information and experiences fast, and to more people. Another win-win-win! If you want to download one of the existing Webinars, register for the session and you will get an email telling you where to download it. Simple.

The next one is scheduled for March 21, 2005. All around great speaker, top-gun developer, and nice guy, Doug “the report dude” Hennig will be presenting the topic “Extending the VFP 9 Reporting System at Run-Time.” I suggest there is not a better time to try Foxcast out than this month.

Absolute kudos to Russ Swall, Doug Bliss, Doug Carpenter, Drew Speedie, and the entire leadership team at Visionpace for sponsoring this resource and making it happen. There are not many companies in our community with the dedication, the funding, and the vision to make something like this happen.

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