ANZ MVPs feed

MVPs from Australia and New Zealand now have a feed you can subscribe to. Check it out at – a variety of topics, that I’m sure you’ll enjoy!

New sample database – AdventureWorks light

Microsoft have released a new sample database for SQL Server 2005 which is much simpler than AdventureWorks. It’s still based on the same scenario, and it still (frustratingly) uses singular table-names (like Person, not People), but this is certainly going to be useful for all kinds of demonstrations. It really helps to have a model that is easy to understand, and this database, with far fewer tables, is much easier to get your head around. I will probably start using this in the user-group, and any other times when I want to demonstrate a piece of functionality. Download it from … Continue reading New sample database – AdventureWorks light

Coalesce is not the answer to string concatentation in T-SQL

I’ve seen many posts over the years about using the COALESCE function to get string concatenation working in T-SQL. This is one of the examples here (borrowed from Readifarian Marc Ridey). DECLARE @categories varchar(200)SET @categories = NULL SELECT @categories = COALESCE(@categories + ‘,’,”) + NameFROM Production.ProductCategory SELECT @categories This query can be quite effective, but care needs to be taken, and the use of COALESCE should be properly understood. COALESCE is the version of ISNULL which can take more than two parameters. It returns the first thing in the list of parameters which is not null. So really it has … Continue reading Coalesce is not the answer to string concatentation in T-SQL

Vista requiring ctrl-alt-del before login

So you want to tell Vista to require Ctrl-Alt-Del before you can logon. Just like you had in previous versions of Windows. And it’s easy to do, you just have to find the proper dialog box, like the one below. You tick the checkbox, and everything is done. Now, this dialog box should be easier to find, and I’ll happily be told how to get to it normally… But if you search Windows Help for “ctrl-alt-del”, you’ll get a link to a page which takes you to a dialog box that lets you set this option. In the dialog, it’s … Continue reading Vista requiring ctrl-alt-del before login

Some new CodeCamp MVPs

It’s great when a new quarter starts, because we get to find out who the new MVPs are. This time, my good friend Peter Ward has received the gong in the SQL world, and in the Dev world, friends Grant Holliday and Paul Stovell (both from Readify) have been honoured. Great news guys – thoroughly deserved. They all found out on their way back from CodeCampOz. I didn’t go this time, because I had been away in Melbourne the week before. But now there’s talk of having a similar event in SA – probably somewhere just outside Adelaide – so … Continue reading Some new CodeCamp MVPs

Meet the Robinsons in amazing 3D

Being a parent, I went to see the new Digital 3D movie Meet the Robinsons over the weekend. The film itself is a little predictable, and not much to really blog about, but the Digital 3D is really impressive. It uses Disney Digital 3D technology  (a rebranding of Real D) like Chicken Little and Monster House before it. Now I’m wishing I did though, because the 3D technology is really impressive! In the olden days (read ‘1980s’), 3D meant wearing red and blue glasses, so that the stuff on the screen that was coloured red could only be seen by … Continue reading Meet the Robinsons in amazing 3D