Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

It's all about community!

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Building Windows Forms Webcasts.


    I've been on leave for a couple of weeks, so I missed the start of these webcasts. To be perfectly honest though, I'll probably watch the on-demand versions anyway. I'm not really a 4am kind of person. I think this gets 2 hours better at the end of this month with the advent of daylight time here and it finishing there (6am to 7am). If only I could watch them at the gym.

    The blurb from the landing page says:

    Tune in and learn how to build Microsoft Windows Forms applications and Smart Clients in Microsoft .NET. We will take you through all the steps to build an application, as we cover object oriented concepts and delve deep into .NET. During this series of webcasts, you will learn how to create rich user interfaces, access data, and see industry-proven ways to get Windows Forms applications to market quickly. And after viewing the webcasts, you can work hands-on in the MSDN Virtual Lab.
  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Visual FoxPro Articles

    I wrote a bunch of articles for FoxTalk a while ago, some of them even made it into the MSDN library. I've also posted them all up at my personal site in case you're interested.
  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Sydney VFP User Group Webcast Recording Now Online


    Enter your name
    ID: msft092904ac
    Password: KJS89Q

    Click Submit

    On the next page, please enter your Email and Company Name (if required) and click Submit.

    Choose between the pure Windows Media format (audio only) and the Microsoft Office Live Meeting Replay (which allows you to actually see what was on the screen as well as move forward and back in the presentation based on the slides)

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Sydney VFP User Group WebCast



    • A computer with access to the Internet to view the visual portion of the webcast.
    • A functioning sound card and speakers or headphones for your PC.
    • Test your computer:
    1. To test your computer for the proper configuration click on the following link:
    2. Please install and run Live Meeting Software if prompted to do so.
    3. You should see a Live Meeting Console with 3 revolving slides.  If you are able to see all three slides, your test was successful. 
    4. If you are not able to see the slides, or if your system is stalled, please contact Event Support (see below).

    ON THE WEBCAST DAY, FOLLOW STEPS A & B 15 minutes before the webcast begins:
    A. To view the Internet portion:

    1. Click the Meeting URL:
    OR, if you can’t click the above Meeting URL, click on this link:
    Clicking on either URL, you will arrive at the Join Meeting page and in the following fields, check or enter this information:
    a. Your Name: (enter your First and Last name)
    b. Meeting ID: msft092904ac
    c. Password: KJS89Q
    Click Submit
    2. On the next page, please enter your Email and Company Name (if required) and click Submit.
    3. You must install and run Live Meeting Software if prompted to do so.
    4. Please allow a few moments for your Console to launch.

    B. Listen to the audio portion of the webcast:
    Once you have logged into the Internet portion, click the “Click Here for Audio” link on the left of the Audience window. The VoiceNow! player will take a moment to load.  You should hear hold music prior to the webcast start time. If you do not hear the audio, please confirm that your PC speakers are on and that the volume is turned up.

    This wednesday night (29 Sep 2004, 18:30 Sydney time -- GMT + 10), we will be webcasting the Sydney VFP User Group Meeting. The video of the presenters' screen will be streamed, as will the audio of their presentation.

    The Melbourne VFP User Group will be gathering at the MS theatre at the Como Centre to view the webcast en masse, while I expect other VFP developers from around Australia will log in from their desks.

    This is a test run for the more general case of webcasting User groups of many different flavours over the next few months. We're hoping to lean a lot from this first pass, and will keep striving to make this the best experience possible.

    Details of the content of the meeting are (from the User Group's web site):

    Next meeting (29 September 2004)

      This month we will have 4 mini-talks of 20 minutes each covering the following topics
    I want to know how to...
    The format for this month will be a little different to usual, in that the aim is to cover 4 topics briefly by way of an eye-opener for people who haven't used them before.

    All attendees are encouraged to come with their own ideas to contribute, as there is no one 'right' way to do things.

    We will also have our regular Q+A session at the end.

    This meeting will be combined online with the Melbourne VFP User Group!

    The Sydney Visual FoxPro User Group meets at Microsoft headquarters:

    6:30pm - 8:30pm
    Microsoft Sydney Office
    Theatre 2
    1 Epping Road
    North Ryde NSW 2113

    Pizza and drinks are provided

    Note - if you come after 6:30pm you will need to call security to let you in - the number to call will be on a notice at the door

    For details of upcoming meetings or general questions please email Craig Bailey (UG President)

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Training and More


    I've just spent 4 days of last week on Readify's excellent Industrial Strength .NET Course, lead by the incomporable Mitch Denny. Things really started to hot up on the last day when we discussed the merits of natural vs artificial primary keys in tables (try as we might, we couldn't get Mitch to see the light <g>). Mitch also proposed the ditching entirely of SQL to be replace with an object-oriented construct something like:

    objectDataSet Customers = new objectDataSet("select * from Customers");
    objectDataSet ImportedCustomers = new objectDataSet("Select * from ImportTable");
    objectDataSet MissingCustomers = ImportedCustomers - Customers;

    An interesting overloading concept, but it leaves a lot of questions unanswered.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    MSDN Updates in Western Sydney?


    We’re in the process of planning our November MSDN Update (Stay tuned for this quarter’s theme - it's all happenning here!)

    Would you be interested in a session in Parramatta as well as in the Sydney CBD – we’d probably run it the next day (Wednesday in Sydney, Thursday in Parramatta

    Let me know what you think!

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Microsoft Speak


    I've been at Microsoft for just on 6 months now and I guess that's a reasonable amount of time to have settled in and got an impression of the place from the inside. One thing that's struck me (especially having been an independent contractor for the 7 years prior to starting here) is the localised version of the language spoken here. It's not just the TLAs and the code names that I'm talking about (although there are enough of those), it's mannerisms as well. The one that I notice most often (and that I've discovered that I've subconsciously adopted) is prefixing the answer to any question with the word "So". Here's an example:


    Q: What's Microsoft's roadmap for the release of Visual Studio 2005?


    A: So, what we've announce publicly is … < answer continues here >


    This seems to just happen, regardless of the context of the conversation or audience, but especially when resuming an inturrupted conversation.


    The next idiosyncrasy we adopt is the use of the word "right" to confirm that our interlocutor agrees with the position we've put forward. This might sound like fairly standard practice, but it seems we've made it into an art form. It generally gets used either when we're not sure of the position even though we're putting it forward as gospel (as in "I know it doesn't work that way yet, but that's going to be included in beta 2, right?") or when we're so sure of the position that the conversation probably shouldn't even be happening. It seems not to be used in the middle ground situation (where the speaker knows the answer, but doesn't expect the audience to know it as well).


    We speak a lot about things happening in the <insert product codeword here> timeframe. I guess this one makes some sense. It's much more accurate to say that "Object Spaces will be released in the Longhorn timeframe" than to try to give a month and year. It just strikes me as interesting every time this happens (and trust me, it happens a lot).


    I'm not from a very corporate background (I worked at a university for 3 years before my 7 years as an independent), so I'm not sure how widespread the phrase "going forward" is (as in, "that's our plan going forward). I would guess that it's generally not uncommon, but it's endemic where I work. It seems a little more "jargony" than something like "from now on" or "in the future". It's another phrase that I notice every time it's used, and one that makes me cringe whenever I catch myself using it.


    Finally the phrase that I hear most often is


    dramatically provide access to mission-critical leadership skills and assertively coordinate world-class paradigms for 100% customer satisfaction


    Only kidding -- I got that one from the Dilbert Mission Statement Generator.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    VFP User Groups in Sydney and Melbourne, and even more VFP Stuff


    Craig Bailey sends in the following email. One particular point to note:

    We'll be combining the Sydney and Melbourne VFP User Group meetings next month (29 September) through a Live Meeting conference. This means you'll be able to be at the meeting either live in Sydney (where it's being hosted), in the Melbourne Microsoft office, or anywhere else in the world via an internet connection. We're using this as a guinea pig run for a more general rollout of webcasting User Group meetings every month. Stay tuned for more info.

    1. Next meeting: 25 August 2004

    A reminder about next week's meeting of the Sydney VFP User Group on Wednesday 25 August 2004 at 6:30pm:
    Craig Franklin will be discussing the new reporting features in VFP9, and
    John Burrows will be presenting more details on Business objects
    Please see for more details.
    2. OzFox 2004 - Australia's biggest VFP conference - 29 November
    Don't forget to register for OzFox 2004, see for details.
    Be there for 3 days of intensive VFP input with Rick Strahl, Ken Levy, Doug Hennig, Cathi Gero, David Stevenson and Mike Helland.
    Visit the site to see what Eric Rudder had to say about OzFox!
    3. Other conferences
    Don't forget the other VFP conferences this year.
    Visual FoxPro Devcon - 29 September - Las Vegas -
    Southwest Fox - 22 October - Arizona -
    If you are over that way, please support these conferences.
    4. Melbourne VFP user group
    Did you know the Melbourne VFP user group has restarted?
    David Wilson, Sunny Chandra and others met last week (11 August) and will joining the Sydney VFP user group in a teleconference session on 29 September!
    For details of the group please email David Wilson at
    Please forward this to any of your developer friends in Melbourne.
    5. September Sydney VFP User Group meeting
    As mentioned above, the Melbourne VFP user group will be joining the Sydney group via teleconference on Wed 29 September 2004!
    I am organising speakers for this meeting now. If you are interested in presenting please let me know asap. Let's make it a great meeting.
    6. Call to VFP developers
    Sometimes it seems as though Microsoft isn't pushing VFP enough. I personally can vouch for how much Microsoft has been helping the Sydney group with facilities, access to support personel, industry events, free press etc. However, you can help. The more we get together as a community, the more notice Microsoft will take, and in turn the more help they will give us.
    Let's all make a big effort to attend the user groups, promote our businesses and products with VFP, and be supportive to the community. If we get a huge turn out at OzFox, not only will there be additional exposure for VFP, but it means we can continue to get the best speakers out here in future years. We will all reap the benefits.
    Can I ask you to please promote both the user groups and OzFox to any VFP developers you know.
    7. Feedback
    I'm always looking for ways to improve the user group. If you have any suggestions (or gripes) I am keen to hear them.
    What talks do you want to hear? What Pizza varieties do you want? Are there extra services the User group can provide?
    8. Sydney VFP user group members list
    There is now a members list - email me your details and perhaps a small bio or company summary and I will add it to the page.
  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Pros and Cons of re-writing, or "If it ain't broke ..."


    Rick Strahl, formerly a VFP MVP and now a .NET MVP (in C# I think, but with Rick it would just have been a matter of choosing a category) has a great post on why he's not re-writing one of his flagship applications (currently written in VFP) in .NET. Well worth a read. While you're there, have a look at some of the very neat things Rick is doing with both VFP and .NET.

    BTW, Rick will be out here in Australia at the end of November to speak at OzFox, along with Ken Levy and a bevy of great speakers.

  • Andrew Coates ::: MSFT

    Online Chat: Visual C++ 2005 Library and Runtime Enhancements (5am - 6am Sep 17 AEST)


    The next release of Visual C++ includes many new and enhanced libraries which improve security, support managed code and integrate existing applications and components. The CRT and STL fully support managed applications. There is a new secure CRT and STL that offer safe interfaces to familiar functionality. The managed support library provides conveniences such as lock patterns, COM interface wrapping and type marshaling templates. MFC has new support for integration with .NET Windows Forms to enable incremental migration of existing UI to incorporate .NET controls and forms. Bring your questions about new and existing application development to find out more on the next generation of libraries in Visual C++.

    September 16, 2004
    12:00 - 1:00 P.M. Pacific time
    3:00 - 4:00 P.M. Eastern time
    19:00 - 20:00 GMT

    Chat time for cities world-wide:

    To add this chat to you calendar:

    For more info on MSDN chats, including other upcoming developer chats, chat archives, and other info see

Page 45 of 48 (471 items) «4344454647»