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A Childhood Dream

by Thibaud Arguillère

We’ve been in San Jose since last week. Just in case you didn’t read the last blog post, I’ll summarize: Last week, Jérôme and I travelled to San Jose, California, to work with the US team on 4D Summit 2011(1).


I’ll start with a question: Who's never wanted, as a kid, to be able to write on the walls without being grounded(2)? Well, here in 4D’s San Jose office, let me tell you, there is a full whiteboard painted wall! Incredible. With as many markers in as many different colors you want. You can write, draw, erase, and do it again and again. I find this to be awesomely-incredibly-super-cool. As soon as I saw it, I used it to write the flow of the keynotes. In this picture, I’m with Tom and Jérôme. And Jérôme is not yelling at me because I wrote on the wall. He’s yelling at me because he disagrees on a topic.


The Wall

The Wall


I want this kind of wall everywhere! At home! At work! And I even want them at other people’s desks. I’ll always have markers with me, so I can write and paint everywhere I want.


As we work a lot, from early the morning to late the evening(3), we also need some breaks. In the US, how they take breaks is quite unusual. It took time for us, Jérôme and I, to become familiar with this. And one day, I’m pretty sure we’ll win:



A break in the US


California is in a seismic zone where earthquakes are not uncommon. What I wasn’t aware of is that you can properly prepare and train yourself to react in case it happens while you are in an elevator: There is a special button that can trigger an earthquake.


Elevator - Earthquake

I did not dare press the button


You can’t talk about the US without talking about food. And it’s dead simple: If you don’t want to gat fat, you order a simple salad. For one person. It’s just for you. Once the server brings it to the table, and given the amount of food you now have in front of you, you tend to wonder if, due to a lack of English skills, the server may have thought that you ordered for the whole table.



Salad for 3 for 1


This amount is a serious problem when, in your youth, you were taught to always finish what you have on your plate. Mom! I’m so sorry! I could not finish it! I promise that I tried hard. But I failed. I’m sorry.


Beyond the guilt felt for not having completed the meal, such a big salad has another side effect. The next morning at 7:00 a.m., I was here:


If you wanna eat, you gotta move.


I wanted to go to the gym to lose a little weight. I’m now fighting not to gain weight!


Last week, I asked you an optimization question. Here is another. I must remember to give the answers after the Summit. If I forget, please find the solution by yourself.


Topic of the week: What is the quickest way to compare two arrays (of the same kind) to check if they are strictly equals?


I’ll give you two clues.


First, the faster way is not a loop comparing every element. Second, it uses a new command in 4D v13 (and there is the COMPARE ARRAYS command).


Hope to see you in Boston!



(1) Just because it is summarized in one single line doesn’t mean it isn't interesting!

(2) Or hunted by the police (if you’re an adult), or locked up by your family in a nursing home (if you’re very old).

(3) Just in case my bosses, whom I truly admire and respect, read this post.

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