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Southwest Fox: Day 3

Saturday morning comes way too early. I am still stuck on Eastern Time so I am wide awake at 5:00am. Once again, take a moment to catch up on email before heading over to the conference center to get things rolling by 7:00am.

The hot breakfast hit the spot before I gave the first discussion on Extending the Sedna Data Explorer. I notice the attendance is a little light so I go and check out who is speaking in the other rooms (Hennig, Boyd and Peisch). I was lucky to get close to 20 show up with this lineup. No matter, it is one of my favorite sessions to give because the Data Explorer is a fun and productive tool to use. I had to change my session a little bit on-the-fly because I asked how many people in the room were using the Data Explorer and barely anyone raised their hand. At first I was not sure if it was the 8:00 session, but the session was active and lively. So I tried to give a brief overview of the tool as I showed off what was added in Sedna. Thanks to everyone who made suggestions and enhancement requests during the session. I have always said that I learn more about the topics I present during the sessions so you are not the only one who has this opportunity.

Next up was Christof’s Optimizing and Debugging session, which was packed. Christof is brilliant and this session was high up on my list of sessions I expected to be popular. I was right on. Christof discussed many opportunities for debugging and baffled several people with his demonstration of a messagebox coded in the Init of the form, but not running when the form was started. I cannot recall the exact issue, but it had to do with Vista and some code he had in the DataEnvironment. I have to say, Christof delivered the quote of the conference for me: “If it is cool – fix it.” Great session.

I skipped the sessions during the next slot to prepare more for my Sunday morning APEXSql vendor session.

Lunch was Trip to Italian and included stuffed shells and chicken cutlet with marsala sauce, breadsticks, and canollis for desert. I sat at the Visual FoxExpress Birds of a Feather table because White Light Computing uses VFE as our primary framework. Mike and Toni Feltman detailed some new stuff they are working on and some plans they have for developers to contribute to the framework.

I got a chance to sit in Craig Boyd’s VFP Studio session, followed by my second session of Using VFPX Components in Production Apps session (which went well from my perspective).

I spent the last session of the day talking with others in the foyer where we started planning some VFP-guy, .NET-guy commercials patterned after the I’m a PC, I’m a Mac commercials. We have several ideas and it is only a matter of time before these get formalized and recorded. I am so looking forward to this. Just one small hint, watch for the VFP-guy to run circles around the .NET-guy in one of them.

The afternoon break was the Screamin’ Sundaes (ice cream or frozen yogurt) with toppings. Perfect on a hot day.

Most attended sessions of the day (all tied with 44 people) included Craig Boyd’s Creating a Professional VFP App, Christof’s Optimizing and Debugging, and my Using VFPX Components in Production Apps.

The evening activities included the official speaker dinner. I always struggle with this because on one hand the speakers like to hang out at the conference center, but as an organizer we like to take them out as a small way of saying thanks for all your hard work and efforts to make the conference the success it is. Dinner was excellent.

After dinner was the much anticipated go-kart race. In case you were not at Southwest Fox 2006, Bob Kocher organized an unofficial offsite activity for those who wanted to race go-karts. According to the house rules, the person with the fastest single lap is the winner. In the race I was in Cathy Pountney had the fastest lap and I was second, followed by Doug. Cathy beat me by 0.03 seconds. She pretty much reminded us of this fact for the next year. Last year we tried to go but we did not get reservations and the wait was too long. So we heard about how she beat us for another year. The trash talk got notched up just before the conference this year. All in fun, but revenge would be ours. We headed over to the course and made sure the three of us were in the same race. It was a race inside of a race. It did not matter who finished where except for the three of us. The racing was absolute fun and in the end Doug had the fastest lap, followed by me, and then Cathy. For the entire night I had the fastest average lap so in my own mind I was the winner. If you include everyone else, Rick Strahl is the man with the fastest lap. He drives like he codes! I am looking forward to doing this again next year.

Back to the hotel where we had to stop by the bar and let the others know who won, but I had to get to bed because I had an 8:00am vendor session and the 9:30 session on the Data Explorer.


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