A moving time…

For those of you who read my blog using RSS, you probably won’t even see this post, but either way. I’ve decided to move my blog to sqlblog.com. I have reposted some of my recent posts, but will not be posting any further content here at msmvps.com. Both the feed from msmvps.com and sqlblog.com use feedburner.com, so the old feed will continue working, but I recommend changing to the new one in case my blog disappears from msmvps one day. So farewell, msmvps.com (and thanks Susan!), it’s been fun. I’m sure I will still have many posts which link back … Continue reading A moving time…

Useful SQL Question and Answer sites

There are so many places to ask a question these days. I get plenty of questions via MSN Msgr and email, and do my best to answer those of course. But there are many others too. I figured I’d list some of the ones that I frequent, and challenge some of the readers here to check some of them out. The MSDN Forums are terrific. Lots of really good people hang out there, including many Microsoft staff. They’re effectively the new version of the public newsgroups. It’s definitely worth asking (and answering) questions here, and I should probably choose this … Continue reading Useful SQL Question and Answer sites

Randomising data

I recently needed to randomise some data to keep some information secret. The idea was that it looked roughly similar to the real data, but was sufficiently different to avoid any identifying features. After discussing it with the client, it was agreed that… 1/ ID numbers would be mixed around the people in the list. Therefore, they were all real numbers (that therefore matched the rules governing what made up a legitimate number), but they would be reordered at random amongst the people. 2/ Dates would be set randomly between the minimum and maximum dates available. 3/ Strings would become … Continue reading Randomising data

Book review: Programming Dynamics CRM 4.0

I don’t consider myself really in the Dynamics CRM space. My area is SQL Server. Currently I’m spending most of my time in the Business Intelligence space, with plenty of stuff with relational databases as well. But that didn’t stop me from picking up a CRM book recently. Jim Steiger’s Programming Dynamics CRM 4.0 was the book in question, and I was pleasantly surprised. It seems to be very comprehensive, and well written as well. I can’t say that I tried all the examples – that would be lying, but I do feel that I have a much better understanding … Continue reading Book review: Programming Dynamics CRM 4.0

Poorly scheduled downtime

Not me… someone else, but it did make me think. If you need downtime, you schedule it carefully. If your server needs a reboot for some reason (maybe some patch), then you find an appropriate window in which to place it. Typically this ends up being between 2am and 3am, but working out a time when a backup won’t be interrupted, or when overseas customers need the system to be up, and so on. I want to rebuild my laptop soon, but I want to make sure I do it at a time when I have a few days up … Continue reading Poorly scheduled downtime

A few changes…

It’s been an interesting month. Today I’ve just come home from hospital having had an inflamed appendix removed. I’m not talking about the back of the book that I set on fire – rather it’s was the reason for a large amount of gut-ache on Monday. I went to the doctor on Tuesday morning, and he sent me to the hospital, where they found the earliest opportunity to remove it (which was Wednesday – at least it hadn’t burst yet). They did this by going through my belly-button, blowing a bunch of air in to inflate my abdomen, and then … Continue reading A few changes…

Busy times recently

Time seems short at the moment. I’m putting the finishing touches on a presentation for TechEd Australia 2008. I’m not on the list of speakers at the moment, but I will be when they’re next updated (there are a few blanks still). I’m giving a talk about T-SQL techniques, which should be a lot of fun. There was a similar talk given in the US this year, but this is very much my own. I’m going to be following a similar format as the US talk, but there’s remarkably little overlap in the two talks. The US talk seemed very … Continue reading Busy times recently

Transfer SQL Server Object Task fixed

It’s nice to give Microsoft feedback and get the product changed! I first mentioned this in a post last month and logged a connect.microsoft.com entry. Microsoft checked it out, invesigtaed, and have now put a new property into SQL Server 2008 to resolve it! They write: Thanks a lot for your feedback. We are taking a look at this issue.Posted by Microsoft on 2/27/2008 at 8:54 AM Greetings Rob, First, let me thank you for your feedback on SQL Server; we really appreciate your willingness to spend time and write up the issue as you have, and to send it … Continue reading Transfer SQL Server Object Task fixed

Video of Excel Pivot Tables

A little while back someone asked me how to make a PivotTable in Excel, showing the Min, Max and Avg of a field. So I recorded a movie. Now, thanks to the wonder of Silverlight, it should be here for your viewing pleasure. No sound, so you can keep listening to whatever’s in your ear already.  

User Groups in Second Life

The morning after the Adelaide launch of the 2008 products, I got to enjoy breakfast with quite a handful other Adelaide community leaders, and few of the Microsoft DPE team. Conversation was remarkably varied, and one of the things that came up was Community Credit and the Second Life .Net User Group.  I’ve never done the Second Life thing, and I’m not sure I want to. It’s an interesting concept though – the idea of attending a user group within a game. I guess it’s a cross between an online community and a face-to-face one. Perhaps it’s onlineface-to-onlineface? It’s not … Continue reading User Groups in Second Life