PSSUG – Paul Randal via Live Meeting, all naked!

The Perth SQL Server User Group was lucky enough to have Paul Randal, Principal Lead Program Manager for the SQL Server Storage Engine team, present – at an ungodly hour starting at 1am his time.

This presentation, featuring secrets of fast detection and recovery from database corruptions, is part of Paul’s Naked Tour of Australia. Just to clarify here, we did not have Paul strip down in from of a web cam for a session on Tai-Bo – reason for the name was simply that every second slide in the presentation had Kimverly Tripp posing.

Ok, that’s not true either – but we did have Kim flash by with some comments plus she also answered a question from the members in the audience.

This was the first in the series and taking that into consideration it went very very well. Paul has a clear and concise presentation style that pretty much leaves people wrapped in comfort (no, not a naked dig either!). It was obviously from the onset that Paul knows his stuff – no doubt about it. The only problems we faced was that my mobile kept failing to be able to connect to the conference call and when we finally got connected we had too much feedback – which i’m sure Paul really enjoyed at his end.

I got there 30 minutes prior to the presentation to set things up – we had tested the conference call and Live Meeting the night before just to be sure and there wasn’t any problems – i’m suspecting that the issue we had in town was simply carrier issues – Telstra..great!

We then opted to drop the phone connection from this end seeing as it was pretty much useless. And i’d post questions via the Live Meeting client from the audience in between slides. This worked well, except as i said Paul pretty much had my members wrapped up nice and comfy. There wasn’t really any questions until the end of the presentation.

During my setup i of course had to have some problems – DreamScene on Vista did not like being connected to a projector – oh definitely not. it hung and i had to reboot, turn off DreamScene and connect again. This time it worked and we started.

I can definitely appreciate how hard it is to present into a telephone without having any clue on how it’s received in the other end. Paul pretty much did it blindly (with an odd comment from Kim, which generally had Paul comment “shut up Kim!” and then a short chuckle). Being as i’d been speaking to Paul REALLY late at night (his time, not me) i’m amazed how clear Paul came across – granted, this is hardly a new area for him – but lack of sleep and then presenting on a technical subject from 1am to 3am pretty much something i’d tip my hat for.

The feedback i got on the night was that the presentation was definitely enjoyed by everybody. It was also good to have the “face” of somebody as prominent as Paul Randal take the time and make such a massive effort to present from halfway across the world to little Perth.

So, if you’re in town and your SQL Server UG is having this event organised i’d seriously recommend attending. Paul is hitting all the major cities in Australia on his Naked Tour.

A big thanks goes to Paul (and Kim) for a great night!

Here’s a few links which i believe are relevant: