Time-zone change less of an issue with SQL Server 2008

Today the clocks went forward in most parts of Australia. And in the UK, clocks went back. I spoke to my grandmother in the UK last night – my grandfather turned 83, but he wasn’t well enough to speak. And I imagine that in both locations, the fact that there was either an hour that didn’t happen or an hour that got repeated could potentially have caused issues whenever the time of an event was recorded. In SQL Server 2008 though, there is a new data type called datetimeoffset. This data type stores the date and time, but also includes … Continue reading Time-zone change less of an issue with SQL Server 2008


Paul Stovell is just too smart. About six weeks ago I heard a presentation of his at the Adelaide .Net User Group, and he mentioned that SyncLINQ was coming. A couple of weeks ago he sent me a movie that he’d put together, saying “Don’t blog about this yet, but…” Since then I’ve told a good handful of people about this, but now I’m blogging too. The idea behind SyncLINQ comes from the fact that Paul writes LINQ queries, but being into data binding in a big way, he was getting frustrated at the fact that changes to the underlying … Continue reading SyncLINQ

A tribute

It seems my hero may not last the day. Martyn Graham Farley, my grandfather. When I was a child, I thought he knew everything. As I grew up and realised that nobody knows everything, there was a part of me that considered that if anyone came close, it would be Grandpa. When I was a boy mourning the death of my father, he was someone who also missed Dad, someone who could tell me stories about him, someone who shared many of Dad’s views of the world. As an adult, Grandpa has been a link to my past. A time … Continue reading A tribute

The best way to pass a Microsoft certification exam

For a limited time only, Microsoft are giving you the chance to have a second shot at any IT professional, developer or Microsoft Dynamics exam. Brilliant! The way this works (and the way I encourage all my students to do this) is that if you register for this offer and then take an exam, you can take it again some time later for free. Yes, free. So now let me ask you – which one are you paying for? The first one, or the second one? It may feel like you’re paying for the first one, but don’t be fooled. … Continue reading The best way to pass a Microsoft certification exam

SQL Code Camp concludes, plus poor Catherine Eibner

The SQL Down Under Code Camp finished this afternoon after a successful couple of days, but was marred by the news that Catherine Eibner, whose company sponsored the Influencers Party at TechEd AU this year, had shattered her wrist and was in hospital having surgery. Catherine is becoming a big supporter of the SQL Server community in Australia, and even has a couple of user-group presentations coming up. Why not pop along to her blog and wish her well – I’m sure she’d appreciate it.

SQL Down Under talks, and England wins

This weekend is getting better and better. With England winning in both the football and the rugby, my mood is pretty good anyway – despite having to give the first presentation of Sunday morning at the SQL Down Under Code Camp. The local TV channel sent cameras just after I finished, so I think I managed to avoid having my presentation on the local news. At least, I hope they came just after I finished… otherwise I didn’t notice them lurking in the corner. I taught the crowd about MERGE & Table-Valued Parameters, and got good feedback from various members … Continue reading SQL Down Under talks, and England wins

SQL Down Under Code Camp begins

Two days of intensive SQL Server training, thanks to experts from around Australia and Kevin Kline from the US. All the Australian SQL Server MVPs are coming (five here so far, two more coming soon). The coffee is great (thanks Peter), the company is great, and there are so many more people here (than last year) because there is also a Security Camp on at the same time. All the user-group leads are here, including Perth and the new Hobart group (Jason Cook‘s getting this going), which means every Australian state is represented. I’m sure other people will be blogging … Continue reading SQL Down Under Code Camp begins

User Group meeting with Christine Bishop

Yesterday we had Christine Bishop come to Adelaide. She’s the Product Marketing Manager for SQL Server and BI for Microsoft Australia. That makes her handy to know if you’re in the SQL space, and we had a nice crowd come along to the user group to meet her. One thing that made this meeting different to the usual is that Christine isn’t overly technical. She’s not bad, but compared to the people in the crowd listening to her, she would’ve been in the less technical half. Normally we’d have some in depth technical session, showing people how to do particular … Continue reading User Group meeting with Christine Bishop

Free SQL training at events in the UK and Australia

…and I’m not even referring to the User Groups which run regularly. The ones I’m referring to are SQLBits and the SQL Down Under Code Camp. SQLBits was in the UK last weekend, and was a massive success. I would’ve loved to have been able to attend, but it’s a bit far to travel (I guess about 12000 miles). They had over three hundred attend, which is fantastic! Adelaide User Group regular Martin Cairney was there, and presented the talk he gave in Adelaide earlier this year. It seems to have been received well. And this coming weekend is the … Continue reading Free SQL training at events in the UK and Australia

MVP award renewed

I got a nice email this morning, telling me that my MVP status has been renewed for another year. Just went through the whole NDA process again, so that I can continue to be listed at https://mvp.support.microsoft.com/profile/rob, and continue to use the MVP logo. I don’t know who is in the list of new MVPs this trimester yet. It’s always good to find out who has been recognised for their efforts in the community. My tip is that Jeff Wharton will get awarded soon – he’s very active in the community, and runs the SQL Server User Group in Canberra. … Continue reading MVP award renewed