Welcome to the inaugural blog entry for F1 Technologies. Mike and I hope to use this as a way to communicate with the community. I just hope that we can find interesting things to post about each week. :-)
For my first post I would like to talk about the AtoutFox
conference. Mike and I both had the pleasure of speaking at this conference November 3-5, 2005. This year the conference was held in Lyon, France. It is held around the annual meeting of the AtoutFox group. This group is a large user group whose members are spread across much of France.
Mike and I arrived in Lyon in the morning on November 2, 2005. As we were exiting the plane, we noticed a backpack with the MVP logo on it. The gentleman did not look familiar to me, but based on the speaker list I guessed that it might be Anders Altberg. While waiting for our luggage I got a closer look and saw that it was indeed Anders. I had conversed with Anders over the years but never met him face to face. What a great surprise meeting we had. We shared a cab with Anders and his wife to the hotel. He used to teach French so his language skills were much better than mine.
The conference started with a single track on Thursday (11/3/2005). I received a surprise phone call in the morning from Anders. He was scheduled to present a session on What's New in VFP 9 with Louis de Lacroix and they wanted me to participate too. Of course I could not say no. So I met with Anders and Louis and picked some topics. Then I was off to throw together some demos. The session went well even though I felt unprepared. Luckily, Steve Black translated for me so more people were able to understand what I was saying.
Mike and I had planned to head out and see the sights after my session since the rest of the sessions were in French. As it turned out, I understood enough to keep my attention and we hung out in the session room. The last session of the day was with a Microsoft France Community representative. He was grilled pretty hard but held his composure well.
After the last session ended, at 7:30p, we had a short break and then headed out for dinner in Lyon. It was a wonderful time and we were able to converse some with the attendees. English is not spoken as much at this conference as it is at some of the other international conferences but we all managed to communicate.
On Friday, there were three session rooms going at one time. I presented a session on n-tier application development that seemed to be pretty well received. I was asked several good questions which is a fine indicator that people were paying attention. :-) Mike and I were going to head into town after the session but the weather was terrible. It was raining cats and dogs so we decided to stay at the hotel.
Mike gave a Visual FoxExpress demo on the final day. That session was extremely well received. We are proud to say that we now have several new VFE users in France. Welcome to FoxExpress!
After Mike's session we left for Paris. We took the TGV train and traveled from Lyon to Paris at close to 300 MPH. We made it in just less than 2 hours. What a ride!
We had a nice day and 1/2 in Paris doing all of the touristy stuff. We went to mass at Notre Dame Cathedral which was really neat. I could only understand a little of what was said, but it was in the same format as home so we could follow along. The bulletin had the readings in French, English, Italian and German so we were able to read them. And to answer everyone's question... "No, we did not see the riots."
After we returned home and got back in the swing of things, I received an email from François, the conference organizer. He informed me that I had been elected as an honorary member of the AtoutFox board for 2005-2006. What an honor. I am still waiting to find out what my duties are.
All in all this was a great trip. The French VFP users are a wonderful group and we would like to thank them for their hospitality and patience with us. I speak just a little bit of French and Mike speaks almost none at all. It was totally awesome seeing the passion that this group has for VFP. I sure hope that we will be invited back next year. I promise that I will practice my French between now and then.