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FileMaker Releases FileMaker 9

FileMaker today announced the release of FileMaker 9 the latest update to thier #1-selling easy-to-use and award winning database solution. Home PageSome of the new features FileMaker 9 delivers:

  • Quick Start Screen: remembers your favorite
    databases so you can open them instantly. more…
  • Conditional Formatting: visually formats fields and objects based on conditions you decide. more…
  • Send Link: share FileMaker Pro databases via a clickable email link
  • Append to PDF: appends multiple (PDF) reports into one file for easier distribution.
  • Use External SQL Data Sources: allows you to integrate live data from Microsoft® SQL Server, Oracle and MySQL ito your FileMaker solutions
  • New Scripting Tools: Script folders and script copy
    and paste
  • Enhanced Web Viewer and Tab Control Options
  • Auto-Resize: Design it once. Use it anywhere. Layout objects, such as portals, tab controls, and the FileMaker Web Viewer, will scale to fit the screen or printer being used.
  • Software Update: FileMaker will automatically notifies you when a
    new update is available.
  • And Many More ….

For more information regarding just what’s in FileMaker 9 from some other sources check out:

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Just A Great Explanation Of How A Computer Works For The Tradesman Who Is Naive About Or New To Computers

This past week Joe Stoddard the outstanding moderator of the Journal of Light Construction Computer Solutions Forum in response to a forum members question regarding Adding Memory wrote this great explanation of how a computer works:

Here’s how I explain CPU / RAM / Hard Drive (HDD).

Think of the computer in terms of your workshop. The Hard Drive (HDD) is your storage space (Cabinets, lumber racks, etc). The CPU (Processor) is the power tools you’re going to use to do work with your project (computer files)… and RAM (Random Access Memory) is your workbench where you put stuff to work on it. Hard drives are actual spinning platters with magnetic material on them (like the strip on a credit card) – they’re mechanical, and slow compared to solid state memory.

The way it works – Computers "read" information from the hard drive (lumber rack) and load it into RAM (put it on the workbench) in order to perform work on it with the CPU (Power tools). When done working on it, the data is ‘written’ back to the hard drive for permanent storage (put back on the lumber rack).

The amount of RAM (Random Access Memory) determines how much stuff you can pull down from the hard drive for the CPU to work on at a given time. Pretend instead of running Word or playing a computer game, you’re sanding cabinet doors. Lots of RAM means you can get all 20 doors on your workbench at a time and sand them all at once — vs. being low on RAM, which would be like having it sand one door at a time, walk across the shop, put it away, grab the next one, and walk back over to the workbench. Much, much slower.

So, you want lots of disk space so you can store a lot of stuff… lots of RAM so you can put a lot of work on the workbench at a time….. and a fast CPU so you can get things done as quickly as possible.

Of course, it’s not quite that simple – in addition to being able to store lots of stuff, you also need lots of free space on your hard drive , because in certain circumstances Windows will use that space like it’s even more RAM. This space goes by the moniker the "swap file" / "virtual memory" / "page file" / "temp file" etc. But bottom line, if there’s not enough free space on your disk for that usage, it’ll also kill your system performance as much or more than not enough physical RAM.

Hope that helps
Joe Stoddard
Director of Builder Operations
Dynami Solutions, LLC

Success Made Easier

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The Expression Engine Web Publishing System

I have a domain name that I once set up ostensibly as a ‘Home & Garden E-zine’ and the idea languished and died from neglect. Thinking I could turn that domain name into a kid of regional online newsletter for architects designers and contractors closer to home I was doing some The Expression Engine Home Pageresearch online about possible using the Movable Type blogging tool as a web publishing platform and I somehow came across The Expression Engine Web Publishing System. Upon stumbling upon their home page I immediately picked up on the Macintosh look and feel an on investigating further I began to see this a the tool I should really take a look at using for the project I now had in mind.

ExpressionEngine as a Content Management System is a lot more than just a blogging tool in that is also has modules that support discussion forums, an image gallery, simple commerce using PayPal, mailing lists, a wiki, and membership.

While to use the ExpressionEngine publishing system you really need to have something of a background and understanding of HTML and how to design a website they do provide a variety of themes and templates to help you get up and running quickly.

In order to run ExpressionEngine you’ll need a web server that supports PHP version 4.1 or newer with XML support ,
MySQL version 3.23.32 or newer and 10 MB of disk space and if you server doesn’t meet those requirements and you can’t find one that does they also can provide you with hosting through their sister site

Hertzler and George: Landscape Design & ConstructionI think on obstacle that may exist for many contractors is seeing how Content Management System is going to work for them in that their first impressionis that it really a souped up blogging tool and they can’t see how that going to work for them. I’ll offer then this example of an outstanding site desgin produced using Expression Engine that I found in their Showcase: Hertzler and George: Landscape Design & Construction.

if you a little bit hesitant about spending money on a web development tool you not sure you or your staff can handle ExpressionEngine also offer an outstanding deal with a 30 Day Hosted Trial on their servers for only $10 which should be plently of time to set something up and test it out and they’ll even apply the $10 towards the purchase of thier system should you like it enough to decide to use it.

I’ve got some other work I need to get done first t his coming week but I thinking by next weekend I going to set my self up to start working with this tool and I even now thinking of possibly changing over one of my other site to ExpressionEngine too if things work out like I think they can.

(This article also appears on my blog site.)

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Macworld Creative Pro Expo

Went to the Macworld Creative Pro Expo with my brother again this past week and while it may have been the smallest Macworld Expo we ever attended it was still exciting, inspirational, and informative. Watching the demonstrations of Apples Final Cut and the suites of products Apple has developed around it I find myself drawn back to my roots and heart which was in theatre design and technology back in the late seventies and eighties. Since I approaching this time in my life as a change of course, a change of direction, or just a time of change period I think I am going to approach and learn the technical aspects of video production and make it a part of the Paradigm-360 service offerings.

On our way home from the Expo Thursday I guess not getting enough Apple exposure to satisfy us we stopped in the White Plains Apple Store in the Westchester Mall. We got a second closer look at something we had seen earlier that day that Apple calls iSight which is a camera-microphone that works with Apple Macintoshes using iChatAV for video conferencing. While we noted that it was currently a Mac only solution right now which limits it’s business use in this Windows centric world since the three nodes of the Hayes family are all Apple we could all use it to talk to each other and it would allow little Ann and little Phil to talk to Grandma and allow her to see them talking to her. That gift to Grandma alone may justify the cost of the system even now. I guess we’ll all have to look into this further.

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