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eMag Jul 2012 Issue - Full Edition

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  July 2012 - Full Edition Year 14 Issue 7  
I.T. Discussion Community!


Expert guidance from working professionals!
Prestwood IT Events topic:
Prestwood IT @ Golf Tournament, 2nd Year!

On Monday August 20th, Prestwood IT sponsored a tee at the Annual Past Chair's Golf Tournament which is put on by the Citrus Heights and Fair Oaks chambers. If you golf and missed this event, you missed a gorgeous day!


Prestwood IT Events topic:
Prestwood IT at Downtown Loomis Thursday Night Family Fest 2012

It was an enjoyable time meeting new people and letting them know about our services at this year's Downtown Loomis Thursday Night Family Fest! 


Help Wanted! topic:
Contribute To The Prestwood Community
by Mike Prestwood
We are always looking for talented developers to participate in our message boards, post articles, etc.

IT Water-Cooler for Power-Users topic:
Top 10 Things That Annoy Programmers
by Wes Peterson
http://www.kevinwilliampang.com/2008/08/28/top-10-things-that-annoy-programmers/





 Access Group Top 
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Language Basics topic (classic post):
Don't overlook the power of a relational database!
by Wes Peterson
Access is a wonderful desktop database. It makes it easy to do so many things. Many beginning users, though, fail to take advatage of one of Access's greatest strengths.

 Monthly Access Lesson
Language Basics Topic:
Code Snippet of the Month

Microsoft Access is a class-based language. Although you can create classes, Access VBA is not fully OOP. You can create classes, but not inherit from them. It is a traditional language with a few OOP extensions. You code in a traditional approach using functions, procedures, and global data, and you can make use of simple classes to help organize your reusable code. Microsoft Access is most suitable for creating business desktop applications that run within Microsoft Access for Windows.

General, Presales, & Installation Topic:
Resource Link of the Month: Microsoft Access Home Page

Microsoft's official Access home page.

Language Basics Topic:
Tip of the Month

Execute more common evaluations first! Short-circuit evaluation is a feature of most languages where once an evaluation evaluates to False, the compiler evaluates the whole expression to False, exits and moves on to the next code execution line. In Access VBA, the if statement does not support short-circuit evaluation but you can mimic it. Use either an if..else if..else if statement or nested if statements. You will find that your code that makes use of this technique will be clearer and easier to maintain than the short-circuit equivalent and will execute faster than ignoring this issue.







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 Analyst Group Top 
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Unified Modeling Language (UML) topic (classic post):
Introduction to the Unified Modeling Language
by Mike Prestwood
This introduction to the UML covers symbol usage, definitions, and creating diagrams. The UML standardizes what diagrams with what symbols for what situation. The UML is complete with diagrams for analysis, design, and coding. Use use case diagrams to document how users (actors) use a system (a use case). Use class and object diagrams for the design and coding of a system. A class is the prototype for an object. An object has attributes (properties) and the current values of those properties is the current state of the object.

 Monthly Analyst Lesson
Unified Modeling Language (UML) Topic:
Definition of the Month: UML Artifacts
In UML 1.x, many UML users referred to the UML diagrams as UML Artifacts. Starting with UML 2.0, a UML Artifact is defined as a physical unit, such as an application executable, database, file, script, etc. Only artifacts live on physical nodes; classes and components do not have "location."

In UML 1.x, many UML users referred to the UML diagrams as UML Artifacts. Starting with UML 2.0, a UML Artifact is defined as a physical unit, such as an application executable, database, file, script, etc. Only artifacts live on physical nodes; classes and components do not have "location."

Unified Modeling Language (UML) Topic:
Resource Link of the Month: DotNetCoders.com UML Home Page

UML is a modeling language for specifying, visualizing, constructing, and documenting the artifacts of a system-intensive process. This guide introduces you to the 9 standard diagrams in the UML 1.4 specification. These diagrams can be divided into two groups: Structural diagrams, which model the organization of the solution, and Behavioral diagrams, which model the functionality of the solution.







 ASP Classic Group Top 
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Language Basics topic (classic post):
Send email with ASPMail
by Mike Prestwood

How to use ASPMail to send email from your web site.


 Monthly ASP Classic Lesson
Language Basics Topic:
Code Snippet of the Month
Call randomize then call Rnd to generate a random number between 0 and 1. The following generates a random number from the low to high number including the low and high numbers:

Function GetRandomInt(LowNumber, HighNumber)
RANDOMIZE
GetRandomInt = Round(((HighNumber-1) - LowNumber+1) * Rnd+LowNumber)
End Function

Response.Write GetRandomInt(10, 100)

ASP Classic Topic:
Documented Error of the Month: ASP Classic error 0208 : 80004005 (Generic request collection)
Error: error 'ASP 0208 : 80004005' Cannot use generic Request collection /_private/footer_content.inc, line 72 Cannot use the generic Request collection after calling BinaryRead.
Explanation:

Although you can use the generic request collection, as in Request("SomeValue"), for either Request.Form("SomeValue") or Request.QueryString("SomeValue"), it's best to avoid the generic request collection until it's really needed. The generic request collection causes problems in some circumstances. For example, you cannot call the generic request collection after a BinaryRead.

ASP Classic Topic:
Resource Link of the Month: VBScript Language Reference on Microsoft.com
The best resource for quickly looking up ASP Classic commands. Even better than having a reference book.
Language Details Topic:
Question:

What is the syntax in ASP Classic for using an associative array?


Answer:

Use a dictionary:

Dim StateList
 
set StateList = Server.CreateObject("Scripting.Dictionary")

StateList.Add "CA", "California"
 
Response.Write "NV is " & StateList("NV")

For more examples, refer to our ASP Classic Associative Array (Scripting.Dictionary) article.

Language Details Topic:
Tip of the Month
Although you can use the generic request collection, as in Request("SomeValue"), for either Request.Form("SomeValue") or Request.QueryString("SomeValue"), it's best to avoid the generic request collection until it's really needed. Use a For Each loop to loop through elements.






 C# Group Top 
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WebForms Coding Tasks topic (classic post):
Using a Legacy Windows DLL in ASP.NET
by Bryan Valencia

This article will show how to access a function in a legacy COM dll from a ASP.NET web page. By legacy I mean a dll that is not a .NET managed code dll (a Win32 DLL). 


C# topic (classic post):
A 10 Minute C# Console Application Quick Start
by Bryan Valencia

This will show how to make a "hello world" console application in Visual Studio 2008 with C#. Let VS.Net do the work and create a new console application using the menu. Use Console.WriteLine and Console.ReadLine for simple input and output.


 Monthly C# Lesson
OOP Topic:
Code Snippet of the Month

In C# you can set the visibility of a member field to any visibility: private, protected, public, internal or protected internal. You can intialize a member field with a default when declared. If you set the member field value in your constructor, it will override the default value. Finally, you can use the static modifier (no instance required) and readonly modifier (similar to a constant).

Define class:

public class Cyborg : System.Object

{
public virtual void IntroduceYourself()
{
MessageBox.Show("Hi, I do not have a name yet.");
}
}

Create object from class:

Cyborg T1 = new Cyborg();

T1.IntroduceYourself();
C# Topic:
Definition of the Month: Reference Data type variables

Variables that only contain a reference to the values. Reference data type variables only contain a reference to it's constituent value.  Reference data types include objects and strings.  Assignment of one reference type variable to another copies the reference, thus changes to the values in one variable changes the values in the other.

WebForms Coding Tasks Topic:
Resource Link of the Month: The Official Microsoft ASP.Net Site

Microsoft portal site for the ASP.NET development community.

WinForms Topic:
FAQ of the Month: Using Win32 DLLs in .NET
Question:

Can I use a Win32 DLL in my Visual Studio.Net application?


Answer:

Yes. The trick is to use the [DllImport] attribute, followed by declarations for each of the DLL's functions and procedures.







 C++ Group Top 
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Standard C++ topic (classic post):
Using cin and cout
by Mike Prestwood
Using cin and cout in C++ to output values.

Standard C++ topic (classic post):
C++: The Standard Template Library Generic Algorithms
by Evan Egalite
This article by Evan Egalite was first published in the August 2002 Prestwood eMagazine.

 Monthly C++ Lesson
C++/CLI Language Basics Topic:
Code Snippet of the Month

Same as C++ and Java. C# logical operators:

& and, as in this and that No Short Circuit
&& and, as in this and that short circuits
| or, as in this or that No Short Circuit
|| or, as in this or that short circuits
! Not, as in Not This
^ either or, as in this or that but not both

//Given expressions a, b, c, and d:
if !((a && b) && (c || d)) {
  //Do something.
}
Classic C Language Topic:
Definition of the Month: C Family Unary Operators
An operation with only one operand (a single input) such as ++X and --Y.
C++Builder Specific Topic:
Resource Link of the Month: Video & Audio: CDN C++Builder TV

Lots here! {#yikes} C++Builder TV is part of CodeGear's developer network. Contains both audios and videos.

Visual C++ Specific Topic:
FAQ of the Month: Visual C++
Question: What is the main usage of Visual C++? Can I create .Net apps with it?

Answer:

Yes, you can build .Net runtime applications with Microsoft's Visual C++ as well as building native code Win32 applications and rich 2D and 3D games with The Game Creators SDK. You can use it to create other types of applications too including MFC and Smart Devices applications.

Classic C Language Topic:
Tip of the Month

In C and C++, it is better to only use unary operators for incrementing and decrementing variables because they produce fewer instructions and run faster.







 Coder Group Top 
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General .Net Concepts topic (classic post):
Regex
by Bryan Valencia
Console application shows some common uses of Regular Expressions (REGEX) to match and recursively replace text in strings.

Borland Database Engine topic (classic post):
Installing BDE using Merge Modules
by Wes Peterson
The new and "approved" way to install the BDE is by way of mege modules. This is quite a bit different than the traditional ways of using a pre-made program, or incorporating BDE Cab files (from, say, your Delphi installation). Caveat: This is new news for me, and I don't claim to know or understand everything there is to know on this topic but I do have some helpful findings for you.

 Monthly Coder Lesson
Object Orientation (OO) Topic:
Definition of the Month: Class Destructor

A special class method called when an object instance of a class is destroyed. With some languages they are called when the object instance goes out of scope, with some languages you specifically have to call the destructor in code to destroy the object, and others use a garbage collector to dispose of object instances at specific times.

Desctructors are commonly used to free the object instance but with languages that have a garbage collector object instances are disposed of when appropriate. Either way, destructors or their equivalent are commonly used to free up resources allocated in the class constructor.

General Info, Installation, etc. Topic:
Download of the Month: LLBLGen Pro
Object-Relation Mapping & Code-Generator Tool
General Coding Concepts Topic:
Tip of the Month

Most languages support a branching mechanism like if a..elseif b..elseif c. If a evaluates to true, b and c will not execute. The tip is to sort your branching conditions by most to lease used for faster code.







 DBA Group Top 
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DBA & Data topic (classic post):
Data Migration, Paradox to SQL Server
by Joshua Delahunty

some tips for data migration, especially with bitfield, or "logical" field types.


DBA & Data topic (classic post):
Data Normalization - The Normal Forms
by Jeffrey K. Tyzzer

by Jeffrey K. Tyzzer. In 1970, Dr. E.F. Codd's seminal paper "A Relational Model for Large Shared Databanks" was published in Communications of the ACM. This paper introduced the topic of data normalization, so-named because, at the time, President Nixon was normalizing relations with China.

Data normalization is a technique used during logical data modeling to ensure that there is only one way to know a fact, by removing all structures that provide more than one way to know the same fact as represented in a database relation (table). The goal of normalization is to control and eliminate redundancy, and mitigate the effects of modification anomalies -- which are generally insertion and deletion anomalies. (Insertion anomalies occur when the storage of information about one attribute requires additional information about a second attribute. Deletion anomalies occur when the deletion of one fact results in the loss of a second fact).

Normalization
There are six generally recognized normal forms of a relation: first normal form, second normal form, third normal form, Boyce/Codd normal form, fourth normal form, and fifth normal form, also called projection/join normal form. Other normal forms (e.g., Domain/Key) exist but will not be discussed here. The normal forms are hierarchical, i.e., each normal form builds upon its predecessor. Although many people consider a relation to be normalized only when it is in third normal form, technically speaking, a relation in only first normal form can be considered...


 Monthly DBA Lesson
DBA & Data Topic:
Definition of the Month: BDE
BDE is an acronym for Borland Database Engine (previously referred to as IDAPI and before that it was ODAPI).

BDE is an acronym for Borland Database Engine (previously referred to as IDAPI and before that it was ODAPI). Back in 1993, Phillipe Kahn battled Microsoft in many ways including the orginal ODAPI versus ODBC. ODAPI grew up into IDAPI and finally is now named BDE.

DBA & Data Topic:
Download of the Month: Oracle Berkely DB XML
http://www.oracle.com/database/berkeley-db/xml/index.html
DBA & Data Topic:
Documented Error of the Month: ORA-00900: invalid SQL statement
Error:

The ORA-00900 error displays automatically when erp is running properly but may be caused by a constraint violation.

Explanation:

1)it may be beacuse of constraint violation.

DBA & Data Topic:
Resource Link of the Month: DBMonster.com

Like our community, they cover many databases and languages. The focus of this website is on databases - both desktop and server.

Microsoft SQL Server Topic:
FAQ of the Month: Char vs NChar
Question: What is the differences between Char, NChar, VarChar, and NVarChar?

Answer:

A Char field is a text field of a specific length. For example, a Char(50) field takes up 50 characters of storage in most databases even if you only store 1 character in it., or even none. 

A VarChar field is a text field of variable length. For example, a VarChar(50) field can be up to 50 characters but if less is stored, the length of the field is somewhat less than 50. If you only store 1 character in a VarChar, then generally only 1 character of space is taken up in storage.

The "N" in NChar and NVarChar stands for National character which means you can store unicode text. NChar and NVarChar take up twice as much storage space.

DBA & Data Topic:
Tip of the Month
The three normal forms can be summed up in the following phrase: “All the fields of a table should relate to the key, the whole key, and nothing but the key.”






 Delphi Group Top 
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Delphi for Win32 topic (classic post):
Detecting Windows SafeMode
by Larry J. Rutledge

Use Windows API GetSystemMetrics with SM_CLEANBOOT parameter to determine how Windows was started.


OOP topic (classic post):
A 10 Minute Your First Delphi Class Quick Start
by Mike Prestwood

Beginners example of creating and using a class. Early versions of Delphi use the standard OO private, protected, and public visibility specifiers plus add published for RTTI info. Later versions of Delphi add strict private and strict protected for a true OO implementation.


 Monthly Delphi Lesson
OOP Topic:
Code Snippet of the Month

Specify Delphi member modifiers as follows:

reintroduce; overload; [binding modifier]; [calling convention]; abstract; [warning]

The binding modifiers are virtual, dynamic, or override. The calling conventions are register, pascal, cdecl, stdcall, or safecall. The warnings are platform, deprecated, or library. Additional directives include reintroduce, abstract, class, static, overload, and message.

TCyborg = class(TObject)
public
  procedure Speak(pMessage: String); virtual;
end;
 

TSeries888 = class(TCyborg)
public
  procedure Speak(pMessage: String); override;
end;
Delphi for Win32 Topic:
Resource Link of the Month: Book: Delphi 2007 for Win32 Development Essentials

Bob Swart, affectionately known by some of us as "Dr. Bob," has long been a great resource for details about Delphi development.

I'll never forget how, when I first had to write a Windows service in Delphi, Dr. Bob's articles provided the most lucid explanations about all the ugly details of Windows Services.

Swart, being a well recognized Delphi authority, I'll read any thing the good doctor publishes. I'm drooling to get my hands on this one.

OOP Topic:
Question: What is the difference between Protected and Strict Protected visibility?

Answer:

Protected visibility means members are invisible outside of the unit. In other words, protected members are visible to the class they are declared in as well as descendant classes and any class declared within the unit.

Strict Protected visibility means that protected members within a class are visible ONLY within the class declared and to descendant classes. In OO terms, this is true protected visibility.

Language Basics Topic:
Tip of the Month

Format the IF/Endif for easy reading. I have found this to be easy to read and follow:

if (         (something = somethingelse)
      and (x = y)
      and (z = a)
   ) then
begin
..
end;

To indent the structure and line up the parenthesis makes it, I feel, much easier to read.







 Design Group Top 
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Website Scripting topic (classic post):
Connection Strings, Web.Config, and the Development Environment
by Bryan Valencia

There is a way to configure your ASP.NET website with one configuration for your internal development environment and another for your online website - and still be able to publish your site without hand editing the web.config.


Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) topic (classic post):
CSS-P: Demystifying HTML Element Positioning Contexts
by Evan Egalite
The purpose of this article is to show how to use Cascading Style Sheets to control the layout of nested HTML elements on a page, and to demystify the confusing absolute and relative element positioning scheme used by the browser.

 Monthly Design Lesson
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) Topic:
Code Snippet of the Month
The following code snippet allows you to import a cascading style sheet (CSS) into another CSS file. The main benefit is this allows you to organize your styles and to create common CSS files.

@import url('http://www.prestwoodboards.com/style_core.css');

Artistic (design, layout, etc.) Topic:
Download of the Month: DHTML Menu Builder
Add [d_rop]-down menus to your website.

DHTML Menu Builder is the tool of choice for building Javascript menus for our Prestwood family of websites.

Complete dhtml menus can be built, in a matter of minutes, without writing a single line of code.
No special plugins and no programming or HTML knowledge required, with just DHTML Menu Builder you'll be able to create great looking and functional dhtml menus for all your web sites.

Graphics Topic:
Question:

Why do images sometimes resize smaller well, and sometimes not? Sometimes when I resize an image to a small 100 pixel width or less image it looks great and sometimes it's very choppy.


Answer:

1. You probably need to increase the number of colors prior to resizing. Some programs will do this for you automatically and some don't. For example, when working with a transparent GIF or PNG, the color palette is set to 256. If you shrink a transparent GIF or PNG, it will likely look choppy. However, if you increase the number of colors to 16-bit or higher, than resize, it looks great. Of course, you'll have to reapply transparency.

2. Various programs use various algorithms to resize images, make sure you try them all.

Logos Topic:
Tip of the Month

Each logo you create should have at most one symbol. You can mess with the text is "textual" ways such as font, color, and minor tweaks, but if you include a "symbol", you should include only one symbol.







 Java Group Top 
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Java topic (classic post):
Stacks in Java
by Stephen Berry
Provides the definition of a stack and an example of its implementation in Java

OOP topic (classic post):
Implementing the Composite and Visitor Patterns in Java
by Evan Egalite

Implementing design patterns can be difficult and little sample code exists that walks you through the process. The purpose of this article is to walk through the implementation of a program that uses the Composite and Visitor design patterns. The sample project is written in the object-oriented language, Java, but it could just as easily have been written in C++.


 Monthly Java Lesson
Language Details Topic:
Code Snippet of the Month

Unlike languages such as C++ and Object Pascal, every line of code written in Java must occur within a class.

//Declare class.
public class Cyborg {
  //Fields.
  private String cyborgName;
  private int age;
 
  //Constructor.
  public Person() {
  cyborgName = "unknown";
  age = 0;
  }
}
//Create object from class.
Cyborg p = new Cyborg();
p.getClass(); //From the Object base class.
Java EE Topic:
If you need support for Java EE and Web development, consider Eclipse IDE for Java EE Developers.

The Eclipse IDE for Java EE Developers contains everything you need to build Java and Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) applications. Considered by many to be the best Java development tool available, the Eclipse IDE for Java EE Developers provides superior Java editing with incremental compilation, Java EE 5 support, a graphical HTML/JSP/JSF editor, database management tools, and support for most popular application servers.

JBuilder Topic:
Resource Link of the Month: Video & Audio: CDN JBuilder TV

Lots here! {#eek} JBuilder TV is part of CodeGear's developer network. Contains both audios and videos.







 JavaScript Group Top 
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Language Reference topic (classic post):
JavaScript Custom Routines (function)
by Mike Prestwood

JavaScript uses functions and loosely typed parameters. Function definitions must come before their usage so the usual preference when adding JavaScript to HTML pages is to include them between the head tags.


 Monthly JavaScript Lesson
JavaScript and AJAX Topic:
Code Snippet of the Month

Implements replaceAll in javascript. This is achieved using prototype.js

Add this between the head tags (replace [[ with < and ]] with >):

[[script type="text/javascript" src="prototype.js"]] [[/script]]

Here's the code (replace [[ with < and ]] with >):

[[script type="text/javascript"]]
// define your replace all function like this 
String.prototype.replaceAll=function(s1, s2) 
{return this.split(s1).join(s2)}; 
// use your replaceAll function like this
var replacedText = text2replace.replaceAll("-what to replace-",
		" -with what to replace- "); 
[[/script]]
Beginners Corner Topic:
FAQ of the Month: JavaScript Defined
Question: What is JavaScript?

Answer: JavaScript is a platform-independent, event-driven, interpreted programming language developed by Netscape Communications Corp. and Sun Microsystems. Originally called LiveScript (and still called LiveWireTM by Netscape in its compiled, server-side incarnation), JavaScript is affiliated with Sun's object-oriented programming language JavaTM primarily as a marketing convenience. They interoperate well but are technically, functionally and behaviorally very different.

JavaScript is useful for adding interactivity to the World Wide Web because scripts can be embedded in HTML files (i.e., web pages) simply by enclosing code in a tag pair. All modern browsers can interpret JavaScript -- albeit with some irritating caveats. (More about them below.)

In practice, JavaScript is a fairly universal extension to HTML that can enhance the user experience through event handling and client-side execution, while extending a web developer's control over the client's browser. And that's worth a FAQ.







 Owners Group Top 
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Internet Marketing topic (classic post):
How to Promote Your Website
by Mike Prestwood
Ideas for promoting your website.

 Monthly Owners Lesson
Standard Website Content Pages Topic:
Resource Link of the Month: Example Security & Privacy Policy

This is our security and privacy policy. You are welcome to use it for your website. You will most likely want to update it a bit as it's pretty specific to our website.







 Paradox Group Top 
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OPAL: Language Details topic (classic post):
Playing Sounds in 32-bit versions of Paradox
by Mike Prestwood
In 32-bit Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000, you use the PlaySound function in WINMM.DLL.

Paradox & ObjectPAL topic (classic post):
How to Save Time and Work When Creating a Paradox Report That Is Similar to Another
by Douglas.M

This is a simple discussion of a technique I use to create new Paradox reports quickly, which are similar to existing ones, yet functionally different in their purpose. Screen shots are included to illustrate the method I utilize.


 Monthly Paradox Lesson
OPAL: Wicked Coding Tasks Topic:
Code Snippet of the Month

The following code snippet adds an appointment to your Outlook calendar. Tested with Paradox 9 and Outlook 2003 but should work with later versions of both programs.

Note, you will get a Error opening server 'Outlook.Application' error if your antivirus program is blocking Outlook access.

var

 oleOutlook oleAuto
 oleAppointment oleAuto
endVar
  
;The open will fail if your AntiVirus program is blocking access.

oleOutlook.open("Outlook.Application")
oleAppointment=oleOutlook.CreateItem(1)
  
oleAppointment.Subject = "Test From ObjectPAL"

oleAppointment.Body="You can add appointments from ObjectPAL."
oleAppointment.Start=dateTime() ;Adds an appointment now.
oleAppointment.Duration=60

oleAppointment.ReminderSet=True
oleAppointment.Location="My Office"
oleAppointment.BusyStatus = 2
  
oleAppointment.save()
OPAL: Language Basics Topic:
Definition of the Month: ObjectPAL
ObjectPAL stands for Object Paradox Application Language.

ObjectPAL stands for Object Paradox Application Language. The acronym portion of the name (PAL) comes from the DOS version of Paradox. The term Object was added to the name because ObjectPAL is an object-based event-driven programming environment that is much more advanced then its PAL predecessor.

Installation, Setup, & BDE Topic:
Documented Error of the Month: Paradox error 11270
Error: Multiple Net Files in use error.
Explanation:

If you wish to run more than one copy of Paradox on the same machine, you must configure each to point to the same Net Folder.

Paradox for Linux Topic:
Resource Link of the Month: WordPerfect Office 2000 for Linux Prestwood Home Page

WordPerfect Office 2000 for Linux

Mike Prestwood Chapter Contributions

ISBN: 0-07-212238-2
Mike Prestwood contributed four chapters to this book and although his contribution was 15% of the book, he did not receive author credit. Mike is briefly acknowledged in the Acknowledgments on page XXI as writing "most" of the Paradox material (he actually wrote all of the Paradox material).

Forward by Michael Cowpland

I think it is interesting to read the words Dr. Cowpland wrote back in 1999 and his excitement about supporting Linux. Too bad the financial bubble burst and he couldn't follow though.

Forward from book...

With the availability of WordPerfect Office 2000 for Linux, there now exists a powerful suite of desktop applications designed specifically for Linux users. The outstanding combination of programs in the WordPerfect Office 2000 for Linux suite puts Corel out in the front as a leader of Linux technology on the desktop and brings us closer to the use of Linux in the mainstream.
    WordPerfect Office 2000 for Linux is a comprehensive office productivity suite for Linux users who are seeking a powerful and compatible solution at an exceptional value. In bringing WordPerfect to the Linux platform, Corel provides a powerful and easy-to-use word processor that's familiar to millions and adds in the full-featured power of Quattro Pro, Corel Presentations, Paradox, and CorelCENTRAL. Together these applications bring familiar tools and integrated power to end users around the world!
    Osborne/McGraw-Hill and Corel Corporation work closely together to publish books on Corel products so we can provide readers with timely, insightful, and helpful guides to help users get the most out of Corel's products. The Official Guides to Corel software represents a giant step in Corel's ability to disseminate information to our users with the help pf Osborne/McGraw-Hill and the creation of the CorelPRESS series of books. Congratulations to the team at Osborne who have created this excellent book, and congratulations to the team at Corel who supported the creation of this book!
 
Michael C.J. Cowpland
President and CEO
Corel Corporation
 
 
 
Tool Basics Topic:
FAQ of the Month: Purchasing Paradox
Question:

How can I purchase Paradox?


Answer:

Answer from Corel...

Paradox was not updated from Paradox 10. It was given a new look, but the functionality remains mainly the same. Paradox 11 is available in the WordPerfect Office Professional version and can be purchased through Corel's online store or by calling us [Corel].  Paradox is also available as a standalone if you already own WordPerfect Office, and is [available] through our licensing program.  Within North America, please call 1-800-772-6735, Corel's Customer Support Services, to purchase the Paradox upgrade. We are open from Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 7:00 pm E.S.T. and would be happy to serve you. For customers outside of North America, please visit www.corel.com/contact to locate a Corel Customer Support Services Center nearest you.

Interactive Paradox: Getting Going Topic:
Tip of the Month
You can disable the warning prompts that are displayed when you change working or private directories. Clear the check box for the Don't show warning prompts when changing directories option in the Preferences dialog (advanced tab). To do this, first display the Preferences dialog box by selecting Edit | Preferences. Then, select the Advanced tab and clear the check box for the Don't show warning prompts when changing directories option.






 Perl Group Top 
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 Monthly Perl Lesson
Beginners Corner Topic:
Code Snippet of the Month

Common comparison operators:

== equal
!= not equal
< less than
> greater than
<= less than or equal
>= greater than or equal

#Does Perl evaluate the math correctly? No!
if ((.1 + .1 + .1) == .3) {

print("Correct<br>");
} else {
print("Not correct<br>");
}
Perl Topic:

ActivePerl is the industry-standard Perl distribution, available for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris, AIX and HP-UX. Developers worldwide rely on ActivePerl's completeness and ease-of-use, while corporate users protect their infrastructure and stay competitive with quality-assured ActivePerl business solutions.

Includes core Perl, popular modules, the Perl Package Manager (PPM), and complete documentation. The Windows version provides additional features that have made ActivePerl the worldwide standard for Perl on Windows.







 PHP Group Top 
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PHP topic (classic post):
PHP and MySQL Basics
by Adam Lum
The basics to get you going in PHP with a MySQL Database.

 Monthly PHP Lesson
Beginners Corner Topic:
Code Snippet of the Month

PHP is a hybrid language with both traditional PHP and OOP features. PHP is widely-used general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for web development and can be embedded into HTML. PHP has been used to create some amazing web content, particularly outstanding message boards.

Target Platforms: PHP is most suitable for creating websites targeting any browser (any web server with PHP installed).

PHP Topic:
Definition of the Month: PHP
A recursive acronym that stands for: PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor

A recursive acronym that stands for:

   PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor

The original PHP/FI stood for:

   Personal Home Page / Forms Interpreter

Education (Audio/Video) Topic:
Resource Link of the Month: Video: Delphi for PHP 2 Overview

Overview and introduction by Nick Hodges (Delphi for PHP product manager).

Delphi for PHP Topic:
FAQ of the Month: Delphi PHP V
Question:

What PHP version does Delphi for PHP support?


Answer:

Delphi for PHP is based on PHP version 5. Meaning, the VCL for PHP extends the standard libraries that ship with PHP 5. This also means you can deploy your Delphi for PHP website on any hosted website that has PHP 5 installed.

Note: You can deploy your Delphi for PHP websites on the hosted websites we offer on our http://www.prestwoodhosting.com web hosting services website.







 Prestwood IT Group Top 
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Prestwood IT Events topic (classic post):
Prestwood IT @ Golf Tournament, 2nd Year!

On Monday August 20th, Prestwood IT sponsored a tee at the Annual Past Chair's Golf Tournament which is put on by the Citrus Heights and Fair Oaks chambers. If you golf and missed this event, you missed a gorgeous day!


Prestwood IT Events topic (classic post):
Prestwood IT at Downtown Loomis Thursday Night Family Fest 2012

It was an enjoyable time meeting new people and letting them know about our services at this year's Downtown Loomis Thursday Night Family Fest! 


Help Wanted! topic (classic post):
Contribute To The Prestwood Community
by Mike Prestwood
We are always looking for talented developers to participate in our message boards, post articles, etc.







 PrestwoodBoards Group Top 
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PrestwoodBoards topic (classic post):
Member Points Program
by Mike Prestwood

Member points information.








 Prism Group Top 
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Language Basics topic (classic post):
Delphi Prism String Concatenation (+)
by Mike Prestwood

Unlike Delphi, Prism performs implicit casting. To concatenate two strings, a string to an integer, or a string to a floating point number, use the + operator. For example, to convert a floating point number to a string just concatenate an empty string to the number as in "" + 3.2.


OOP topic (classic post):
Delphi Prism Interfaces
by Mike Prestwood

With Prism, you use the Interface keyword to define an interface and then you include one or more interfaces where you specify the single class inheritance (separated by commas).


 Monthly Prism Lesson
OOP Topic:
Code Snippet of the Month

Same as Delphi. In Prism, you specify a virtual method with the virtual keyword in a parent class and replace it in a descendant class using the override keyword. Call Inherited in the descendant method to execute the code in the parent method.

Robot = class(System.Object)

public
method Speak; virtual;
end;
  
Cyborg = class(Robot)

public
method Speak; override;
end;
Delphi Prism Topic:
Resource Link of the Month: Delphi Prism vs. CSharp

The obvious differences between Delphi Prism and C# are additional features in the Delphi Feature Pack (Blackfish SQL etc.) and the Object Pascal based syntax, which are very attractive for developers skilled in Delphi for Win32, for example. However, the compiler adds a wide range of extemely useful enhancements as well.

Tool Basics Topic:
FAQ of the Month: Delphi Prism IDE vs VS.Net
Question: Does Delphi Prism look and feel like Visual Studio or Delphi? In other words, is Delphi Prism VS.Net or Delphi?

Answer:

Delphi Prism is Visual Studio.Net. If you have Visual Studio.Net installed, the Delphi Prism installation plugs into your existing VS.Net installation. If you don't own VS.Net, the installation installs the Visual Studio Shell before plugging in Delphi Prism.







 Proj Man Group Top 
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PSDP General topic (classic post):
PSDP Phases compared to UML Workflows
by Mike Prestwood
Brief summary of how UML workflows map to the PSDP phases.

 Monthly Proj Man Lesson
PSDP & Process Topic:
Definition of the Month: Waterfall Process
With the waterfall approach to developing software, one phase of the development cycle follows the other and the user is involved only at the beginning during the requirements gathering phase and at the end during the acceptance phase. The requirements gathering in the waterfall approach is critical and unless it is 100 percent perfect, the project will fall short. Other processes, including PSDP, involve the end user throughout the process ensuring a better outcome.
PSDP Phases Topic:
Question: How do PSDP Phases relate to PSDP Artifacts and the usage of each?

Answer:

They don't really. In PSDP Online, you set the PSDP Phase of tasks and their two sub-types defects and artifacts only. Requirement Items, Design Items, and Test Scripts do not use the concept of PSDP Phases because they are documentation-only items. You add various development tasks set to the appropriate phase to create, flesh out, and use them to build and test but they do not contain workflow themselves.

The PSDP Phase of Defects is always Phase 6 Testing & Rework. Although Tasks and PSDP Artifacts can be set to any PSDP Phase, their default is Phase 2 Requirements. For PSDP Artifacts, most of the time you will leave it set to it's default. On the other hand, you will set tasks to whatever phase the task belongs to.

PSDP & Process Topic:
Tip of the Month
When youre finishing an application for a client, nothing is more frustrating than the client telling you that the application is all wrong. Do yourself a favor: During or shortly after the planning stage, be sure to echo to the client what you heard him or her say. Also consider putting your general plan in writing and have both you and your client sign it. This approach makes you a more professional consultant.






 Tech Group Top 
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Computer Tech topic (classic post):
Self Help: Find Drivers & Updates
by Mike Prestwood

Link page for common support pages.


 Monthly Tech Lesson
Non-Removable Storage Technology Topic:
Definition of the Month: LUN
Logical Unit Number (LUN) A number used to identify a device attached to a SCSI bus.  In a SAN the LUN is used to identify a unit of raw disk storage often refered to as a logical volume.  A LUN can be a portion of a single drive, multiple drives or of a RAID drive.
Wired Networking Topic:
FAQ of the Month: Cat 5e and Gigabit Networks
Question:

Can I run a Gigabit network over Category 5 or Category 5e?


Answer:

No to CAT 5, or at least almost never. Yes to CAT 5e. Category 5e cable is enhanced over Category 5 to adhere to more stringent standards and is recommended over CAT 5 for speeds above 100 Mbps and up to 1 Gigabit.

However, Category 6 or 6a is recommended over CAT 5e because of it's even higher quality and some properly installed CAT 6 networks can support 10 Gigabit speeds. Although for 10 Gigabit, CAT 6a is recommended.

CAT 7 is rated for 10 Gigabit but supports up to 100 Gigabit.







 Tech Writer Group Top 
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General, Getting Started, etc. topic (classic post):
Writing as a process
by Ramesh R
Writing applies to any sort of information. However, writing in general is a generic process that involves many components. Writing itself is a big process that includes many things within itself. It is not easy to write and convey information to end user. Writing require experience, grammar skills, domain knowledge, process knowledge, etc. By this, we would be able to understand the importance of writing.

Technical Writing topic (classic post):
Crowd-Sourcing API Documentation
by Peter Gruenbaum

Crowd-sourcing (that is, using Web-based technology to gather API documentation content from your users) has the potential to lower documentation costs and make your documentation more relevant. However, relying solely your developer community to provide documentation will result in uneven quality and coverage. I recommend a hybrid approach, where professional programmer/writers write parts of the documentation, as well as rewrite and polish content from the community. Several tools are available that enable communities to contribute documentation content. 


 Monthly Tech Writer Lesson
MS Windows Help Files (.HLP) Topic:
Download of the Month: ABC Amber HLP Converter

Converts HLP files to many formats including PDF, RTF, HTML, DOC, CHM, TXT, DBF, XML, CSV, XLS, MDB, MCW, etc.

MS Compiled Windows Help (.CHM) Topic:
Resource Link of the Month: Help and Manual: A great authoring tool

Help and Manual is a mature, and reasonably-priced, authoring tool for WinHelp, Compiled HTML Help (CHM); plus PDF, and Word documentation.

Under the covers, your authoring project is maintained in XML.

It can convert existing help and documentation from a number of formats, and it is very author-friendly.

Grammar Topic:
Tip of the Month

"It's" always means "it is."

"It's," unlike pretty much all other words with an apostrophe and an "s", does not ever indicate a possessive.

"Its" is the possessive, strangely enough.

"It's a good program.": The same as "It is a good program."

"It's features are impressive.": The same as "It is features are impressive," which is wrong.

"Its features are impressive.": Correct!







 Tester Group Top 
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 Monthly Tester Lesson
Beginner's Corner Topic:
Definition of the Month: CRUD Matrix
CRUD is an acronym that stands for create, read, update, and delete. A CRUD matrix documents what objects (forms, reports, libraries, and scripts) access what data elements in a database. It can help you test your software on large projects and is critical for maintaining a large application. If you make changes in one form or script, a CRUD matrix can tell you what other forms, libraries, scripts, and reports will need to be tested.
Beginner's Corner Topic:
Tip of the Month

If you are a single developer, try to find someone else to exercise your program. As the programmer, you have certain ideas of how a user will use your application. These ideas probably apply to about half the users.







 V.FoxPro Group Top 
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Visual FoxPro (VFP) topic (classic post):
Win-32 API: Determining the Unique Network Interface Card (NIC) ID
by Fred Stevens
Description of technique and sample code for using VFP to access the Win-32 API and return the MAC address of the Network Interface Card (NIC.







 VB Classic Group Top 
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 Monthly VB Classic Lesson
Tool Basics Topic:
Code Snippet of the Month

Although you can use either a & or a + to concatenate values, my preference is to use a + because more languages use it. However, if you use & then some type conversions are done for you. If you use + you will sometimes have to cast a value to concatenate it. For example, you will have to use CStr to cast a number to a string if you use the + operator as a concatenation operator.

Dim FirstName As String

Dim LastName As String
 
FirstName = "Mike"
LastName = "Prestwood"
 
MsgBox "Full name: " & FirstName & " " + LastName
 

MsgBox "2+2=" + CStr(2+2)
Tool Basics Topic:
Tip of the Month

Short-circuit evaluation is a feature of most languages where once an evaluation evaluates to False, the compiler evaluates the whole expression to False, exits and moves on to the next code execution line. In VB Classic, the if statement does not support short-circuit evaluation but you can mimic it. Use either an if..else if..else if statement or nested if statements. You will find that your code that makes use of this technique will be clearer and easier to maintain than the short-circuit equivalent and faster than ingnoring the issue.







 VB.Net Group Top 
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OOP topic (classic post):
VB.Net Class..Object (Class..End Class..New)
by Mike Prestwood

Declare and implement VB.Net classes after the form class or in their own .vb files. Unlike VB Classic, you can have more than one class in a .vb class file (VB classic uses .cls files for each class).


OOP topic (classic post):
VB.Net Overriding (Overridable, Overrides)
by Mike Prestwood

In VB.Net, you specify a virtual method with the Overridable keyword in a parent class and extend (or replace) it in a descendant class using the Overrides keyword.

Use the base keyword in the descendant method to execute the code in the parent method, i.e. base.SomeMethod().


 Monthly VB.Net Lesson
OOP Topic:
Code Snippet of the Month

In VB.Net, the Object keyword is an alias for the base System.Object class and is the single base class all classes ultimately inherit from.

'Specify both namespace and class:
Public Class Cyborg

Inherits System.Object
End Class
  
'Use Object alias for System.Objct:
Public Class Cyborg

Inherits Object
End Class
  
'Default when not specified is System.Object:
Public Class Cyborg

End Class
WebForms (ASP.Net) Topic:
FAQ of the Month: Run a Program in VB.Net
Question:

How do you launch a Windows application in VB.Net? How do I open the default browser to a specific URL?


Answer:
'Launch a Windows application.

System.Diagnostics.Process.Start("notepad.exe")
 
'Or just...
Process.Start("calc.exe")
 
'Open a website with the default browser.

System.Diagnostics.Process.Start("http://www.prestwood.com")






 Windows Group Top 
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Microsoft Office topic (classic post):
Microsoft Embraces Open Document Format?
by Wes Peterson

To read some of the blogs and press releases out there, one might think that Microsoftt has embraced ODF as it's native file format. While that would be cool, it isn't the case, and cause for celebration is premature.


Windows XP topic (classic post):
Hidden Searching Secrets in Windows XP
by Joshua Delahunty
You've probably used the Find Files feature of Windows in the past. And it seemed slow. By enabling the Indexing Service feature, you will be able to speed up this process, and make searching files, including phrases and words internal to the files on your drive, MUCH faster. Just follow the steps below, and you'll be on your way to a much faster find feature.

 Monthly Windows Lesson
Windows 7 Topic:
Question:

How much memory do I need with Windows XP?


Answer:

With the size of applications and data, my belief is the more the better. For 32BIT Windows, a minimum of 2 GB of RAM is good, but 4 GBs is better. With 64BIT Windows, most users will benefit from at least 6GB of RAM.

Windows Users Topic:
Tip of the Month

If you know the correct driver is installed on your computer some place but don't remember where or know it's part of Windows, use the browse  for local driver option and specifiy a path of C:\ and check the include subfolders checkbox.

For example, in Vista, if there are no bluetooth devices on you computer when Vista is installed, the bluetooth stack isn't loaded. To load it, simply put your USB bluetooth dongle in an available USB port and use the tip above to load the Vista bluetooth driver.



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