GRAFUG Meeting December 13, 2008

Elections of officers for 2009 were held with the following results:

President Jody Meyer
Vice- President Cathy Pountney

Mike Timpe*

Cathy Pountney

Jody Meyer

Treasurer Mike Potjer
Web Master Jody Meyer


*Mike Timpe expressed concerns about getting to all of the meetings from Kalamazoo, so Cathy and Jody volunteered to do the meeting recaps if Mike is MIA.

Fox Pro News:

As of 12/9/2008; Bulletin MS08-070, Microsoft released updates for ActiveX controls for VFP 8.0, VFP 9.0 SP 1 and VFP 9.0 SP 2.  Go to Windows Updates to get the updates.  We aren’t certain if the automatic updates make these updates available.


Other Topics:

Twitter – This is another social networking tool that especially appeals to the tech segment.  You need to create a “free” account at  At that time, you’ll have a chance to have your address book scanned and notices are sent to those people who already have a Twitter account.  You can also have e-mails sent to people in your address book who might want to use Twitter to stay in touch with you.  People who “follow” you are part of the conversation. 

Twitter is a public “Instant Message” and unless communications are set up as somewhat private, any of the up to 140 character “Tweets” (use to be posts) are sent to everyone in the “Tribe”  (That’s what Cathy calls the people who “follow” her, i.e. are connected to her and all of her conversations.)


TweetDeck and Twhirl are 2 of several 3rd party tools that add functionality to Twitter.  All followers are free to participate or ignore the on-going conversations as their time permits.  If you start following a conversation after it has been on going for some time, unlike most IM tools, you can click on a follower’s name or icon and get access to their previous replies.  A Tweet can also contain a link to a web page that might be a snippet of code that solves a problem.  Since Tweets are limited to 140 characters, links enable a Twitterer to provide more content without resorting to an e-mail.


Google Chrome browser – Mike Potjer reported that the beta is over for this product.  After using Firefox with several extensions installed, Mike reported that Chrome starts up faster.  Chrome uses a purchased sandbox technology that MAY prevent Malware code from infecting your system.  Extensions should be available in the future to do some of the tasks that Firefox currently provides


Chrome allows a right-click on a link that will start a download.  Chrome has an “incognito” mode.  Resizing of the comment windows is easier than in other browsers.


Skype – Another IM type application that allows users to type messages back and forth to others to whom they are having a conversation.  Web cameras that are installed on the computer can be used to send your image to others in the conversation.  Connections between users are free.  For a small per minute charge, Skype allows dialing a phone and speaking directly.  (Jody reported that while in Germany, for a reasonable charge, Rick Schummer who had a wireless internet connection but no cell service, was able to talk to his family.)



    FoxTabs:  Allows adding a tab for each prg/method/class. Property and Method Replacement:  Replaces native VFP dialogs

    Alternate SccText: Create text files from VFP source.

Main Presentation:

Mike Potjer showed how he used a Microsoft Knowledge Base article by Trevor Hancock to use an ODBC driver to read and write many versions of Excel spreadsheets. contains a zip file with his source code.  Craig Boyd’s blog at contains a library of functions.


Mike showed us how to read data into a table or cursor and write it out in one of the Excel formats.  These tips provide a “real” Excel spreadsheet that users/clients can open and modify with Excel without removing all of the extraneous data that a “Copy to xls or xl5” adds.


He also read a spreadsheet file and added the contents to either a cursor or a table.  For those of you who get spreadsheets from users/clients who want you to import the contents into your application.


Using these tips only require the downloadable ODBC driver from the Microsoft web site.  With automation, a copy of Excel or OpenOffice must be installed on the workstation.


Looking forward to seeing everyone at the January meeting starting at 10am:

January 10, 2009, Mike Timpe plans to use his laptop to establish a Remote Desktop connection to his work computer, create a “Go To Meeting” session and allows others attendees to see and control his computer in Kalamazoo. 


Future Presentations:

February 2009, Cathy and Jody plan to demonstrate Skype’s capabilities with Cathy’s Web Cam.


May/June 2009, Representatives of Sybase’s Advantage Database Server team plan to demonstrate extending a VFP applications size of data capabilities.



Mike Timpe

GRAFUG Secretary


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