Creating, parsing, graphing web hit logfiles or other temporal data

Looking at temporal data can be quite informative. For example, I have a table of about 16000 photographs. Each record has a datetime stamp. Looking at the temporal distribution one can clearly see events, such as the birth of a child, the visit of relatives or the purchase of a camera.   Internet Information Server…


Very Advanced Debugging tips

While debugging code, it might take very many complicated steps to reproduce an issue. The following applies to debugging both Visual FoxPro and Visual Studio Native code debugging, except where noted. The VFP debugger is modeled after the VS debugger, with the same plethora of windows: call stack, output, watch, locals, etc.)   Stepping through…


Give the impression that you’re an expert and earn palpable respect

Our local bridge club  uses a computer program to tabulate scores. The bridge director enters scores from each round as they finish, so within a few minutes after the event is over, the final scores, rankings and earned masterpoints are available, and they are published to the web soon thereafter.   One night after we…


Is a process hijacking your machine?

Suppose there is a process on your machine that is hijacking your processor. Perhaps it’s in an infinite loop. Or perhaps you have no idea what a particular process is doing, and you’d like to find out.   If you have a debugger installed, like Visual Studio, it’s fairly simple to do some basic inspection….


The Plane Man

A couple years ago, despite the airspace security implications just after 9/11, an airplane flew over Microsoft campus for about an hour towing an advertising banner that said “Thanks to Microsoft © 10 years of FoxPro!”.. Last week at DevCon, I was privileged to meet the humble man behind the plane: Hugh Winters, who not…


A Happy Customer

I bought myself a notebook computer a few months ago while Dell was having a Free Printer special. It turns out the printer can also scan, and the scanner has an option to output to MS Word after using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) to convert to text.   All the work we do is to…


Cold Solder Joint

When we had our first child, we had an audio monitor that consisted of 2 pieces: a microphone with a wireless transmitter and a speaker with a wireless receiver. Thus we could hear the baby from afar.   Times have changed. Now the hospital uses disposable diapers rather than cloth. Infant monitors have improved.  …


Reboot from remote desktop

Remote Desktop (mstsc.exe) is great: it allows me to access another remote machine as if I were sitting at its keyboard and seeing its screen.   My web server sits on top of a 7 foot tall bookcase but I have no need to touch it: I can use RD from other machines anywhere in…


Make an interactive screen saver

Most screen savers will terminate when there is any mouse or keyboard activity, but a screen saver is just a program: it can do whatever it wants in response to input.   Below is 40 lines of sample code to make a Visual FoxPro screen saver which consists of a form with a textbox on…


Start your Screen Saver NOW!

Now that Las Vegas Devcon is over, I’ll be posting some of my sample code from the keynote and my session here.   I demonstrated how to make a simple VFP screen saver. To test it, invoking it immediately is useful.   Windows XP allows you to have a screen saver activate after 1 or…