Do old exam transcripts matter?

There has been an interesting discussion in the MCT ranks about the disappearance of old exams from MCP transcripts. Anthony Borton has received confirmation from Microsoft that older exams that were part of retired certifications would be removed from transcripts. I think that’s a very poor choice for MS Learning to make but would be interested in your thoughts. Do old exams matter on transcripts?

RD and SQL MVP Kim Tripp married on the weekend

Great to see one of our friends, well-known SQL MVP and fellow RD Kimberley Tripp married on the weekend to no other than Paul Randall from the Micrsoft SQL product group. Paul’s also announced he’s leaving Microsoft to work with Kim. That’ll make a great team along with Bob Beauchemin. I’m not sure if there’s truth to the rumor that Paul’s pickup line was “like to hear about some undocumented DBCC commands?” 🙂

SQL Server 2008 July CTP Available

Great to see that the July CTP of SQL Server 2008 has hit the download sites:  Also good to see that the rumors of the demise of Notification Services have finally been confirmed and it will not be part of SQL Server 2008. Some parts of its functionality will be rolled into Reporting Services.  

What is happening at QANTAS? (longish)

Local Microsoft DPE member Michael Kleef recently posted about the spate of maintenance problems he’s seen on QANTAS flights. I have to say I completely understand where he’s coming from. I also use QANTAS regularly and am also in their platinum frequent flyer tier. Michael mentioned problems with the entertainment systems. I’d have to say that I can’t recall the last international flight I was on where these systems actually worked for the whole flight. Staff are endlessly apologising for them not working and trying to make it sound like it’s a one-off problem. It’s not. It’s routine. Michael also … Continue reading What is happening at QANTAS? (longish)

Books: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I have to say I enjoyed author J K Rowling’s latest (and reportedly last) book in this series. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows strikes a pretty fast pace from beginning to end. For me, it all gets sorted out just a bit too conveniently at the end but she does answer most outstanding questions from the earlier books and she maintains strong continuity with them. Unlike several of the earlier books that start by repeating key aspects of the story so far (presumably for those who haven’t read the earlier books), this book gets straight into the new storyline without … Continue reading Books: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

SQL Down Under Code Camp 2007 – Oct 13th/14th Wagga Wagga

Hi folks, It’s on again. SQL Down Under code camp was a highlight of the year last year. This year promises to be even better. If you’d like to spend a weekend on SQL Server goodness, you need to be at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga on October 13th and 14th. Come on, you know you want to! Details are at: If you are planning to come, please ensure you book asap as accomodation is likely to be limited this year. Security Camp Oz ( is on at the same venue at the same time. We’ve even kept the schedules … Continue reading SQL Down Under Code Camp 2007 – Oct 13th/14th Wagga Wagga

Two new mailing lists: SilverLight and MOSS

The SQL Down Under mailing list, the Biztalker mailing list and the OzTFS mailing list have all been very successful. We’ve now added two new special-interest mailing lists. OzMOSS is a discussion list for MOSS. ( OzSilverLight is a discussion list for SilverLight. ( If MOSS or SilverLight are your “thing”, now’s the time to sign up and get involved! They say “Oz” but there are members from all over the world.  

Books: Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art

Another great book I’ve read recently was Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art by Steve McConnell. Steve is the well-known author of Code Complete 2 which is widely regarded as a classic in the industry. In this book, Steve takes a very pragmatic view at how software estimation might be carried out. He starts with some solid examples of how far off the mark we all are at estimating very basic things in our lives and our world and then shows how poorly software projects are estimated, almost without exception. I liked the way that he doesn’t try to pretend that … Continue reading Books: Software Estimation: Demystifying the Black Art

Books: Fat, Forty and Fired

While on the way to/from CodeCampSA this weekend, I ended up reading a wonderful little book by Nigel Marsh called Fat, Forty and Fired. It’s described as one man’s story of losing his job and finding his life. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I mentioned it to the guys at the Code Camp and Dave Glover from Microsoft also mentioned how much he’d liked it. It’s a story about an advertising executive that decides to take Steve Biddulph’s advice in Manhood that every man should take his 40th year off from work. It covers his trials and tribulations during that year, … Continue reading Books: Fat, Forty and Fired