The new Essential Fox conference in Kansas City is coming up soon. It
takes place April 26-29, with special pre- and post-conference workshops
available. In addition to the all-star line-up of speakers, Ken Levy
(Microsoft Visual FoxPro Product Manager) will give the keynote, and
there will also be a special presentation by Alan Cooper ("the father of
Visual Basic," and author of "The Inmates Are Running the Asylum," and
"About Face") entitled "Bridging the Gap Between Corporate Strategy and
Product Development". Go to http://www.essentialfox.com/ for more
This month's meeting was an open discussion on FoxPro development.
We began with an impromptu "Gadget Corner". Rick Bean showed his new
gizmo, a Fingerprint recognizer from Digital Persona:
http://www.digitalpersona.com. It plugs into a USB port, allows you to
login and access personal files at the touch of a finger, and supports
up to 30 users on the same PC. It costs $70, and comes with the
Sharon Hodgson showed her new toy, a Pen Drive. The drives are
extremely small (about an inch or so in diameter, and maybe 4 inches
long) and lightweight, hook up to any USB port, and can be purchased in
sizes from 16MB to 1GB. Prices vary according to the amount the drive
can hold (a 128MB drive costs about $95). The drive is recognized
automatically in Win 2K and XP, and software is included for other OS's.
This one was purchased at http://www.meritline.com, however, if you just
search for Pen Drive or Flash Drive, you'll find other sites that sell
Dave Russell briefly showed us a program called "Net Stumble, GPS",
which can report how secure (or not!) your wireless network is. Dave
then continued with a rather detailed overview of the power of Excel
pivot tables in a VFP application. Pivot tables are not simply a chart,
but a powerful, dynamic data analysis tool which can add considerable
value to a VFP app. Excel pivot tables are very easy to use in VFP,
especially if you start with the PivotTable class included in the VFP
foundation classes (in PIVTABLE.VCX). Additional resources are also
available, such as a complete list of Excel constants (available at
http://fox.wikis.com/wc.dll?wiki~excelConstants~VFP), and a utility to
convert an Excel VBA macro to VFP code (which can be downloaded from
The next GRAFUG meeting will take place on Saturday, April 13th, 2002.
The meeting will start at 11:00am and run till about 1:00pm or so.
Cathy Pountney will be giving us the "world premier" of one of her
presentations for the Essential Fox conference: "Building a Report
Manager". Cathy will show you how to effectively manage VFP reports
within your custom applications. You'll learn how to present "canned"
reports with a friendly user interface and how to enforce security.
You'll also learn how to give your end-users the ability to create their
own reports and to customize existing reports from within your
As always, if there's anything that you'd be willing to present, or
there's a topic that you would really like to cover at a future meeting,
please send me an email and let me know (email@example.com).