Archive for December, 2008

Merry Christmas

Posted: December 28, 2008 in Uncategorized

So every year the wife and I instead of buying a gift for each other we buy something for the house. Sometimes a table, or a TV or something along those lines, his year it got me to thinking… See this year we bought an x-box; it seems that my wife feels I spend too much time on the computer, surprise. I did not think of it much at the time. I figured I would get a poker game, a race game and a few others, and I did. My son has this game called guitar hero. I have played with his game on his x-box on occasion but I never really gave it much though.

OK so first of all I want to say I am not sure this is a great gift. Since I have hooked it up I have stopped everything except checking e-mail (I can only go so far). I have not re-done the basement into a work out facility like I planned, I have not taken the tree down, and heck I have not even put all my new gifts that others gave me away yet. That stupid box has me sitting in front of the TV 14 hours a day. It’s insane. But this afternoon I just put it together…

See its one of those new black ones; I have no idea what it is called. If you don’t stop and ask ay teenager what the new black one is. Anyway, I started to watch the stats on the x-box and all I see is numbers. Wait, all I do at work is data… mostly numbers. I started to think about it and I wonder how they do this. Then I was shown how I can do something called live, and I refuse to do that so that 14 hours does not turn into 24 hours. But as I look at this there must be an OS, and with all the data that is there it has to have a database behind it somewhere. It got me thinking; many times I have a hard time explaining what I do. Mostly to people that are in the older generation. Some even read and watch the presentations I do. But here is a great example of what we do for a living. There is a database there that MS has put together and it sits behind the games. This keeps track of all sorts of stuff. The OS on that system runs great from what I have seen so far. Are we looking at the future of PC’s? I don’t know just thinking out loud today.

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16 Things About Me

Posted: December 23, 2008 in Uncategorized

Well I guess I started this with Brent, It appears that he has turned around and tagged me. So I figure I will Add it in here and see what I can do about tagging people on FaceBook where this all started.

Rules: Once you’ve been tagged, you’re supposed to create a note about yourself with 16 random thoughts, facts, goals, interesting things about yourself and tag 16 or more of your friends (including the person who tagged you). If you’ve been tagged, it’s because someone wants to learn more about you!

1. I am married to the girl of my dreams, yes many people will say that but I really do feel that way, everyday she does something to show me why.

2. I love to play Poker, I have been playing since I was in the Marine Corps years ago, I just recently got my World Poker Tour ID, in the next 5 years I would like to be sitting in the WSOP in Las Vegas.

3. I was actually on the Newly Wed Game with my ex-wife, we won. We won a trip to Hawaii, the odd thing about this is by the time we had taken the trip I think we had separated twice already. We were divorced shortly thereafter.

4. I had a hard time with High School and grew up in the Marine Corps. I just could not understand why all those classes were important. I think this has made me an over strict parent, but thank goodness I have my wife that keeps me in check.

5. My father passed away 6 days after my 21st Birthday of HIV. I had a very difficult time getting through it. It was not until my wife today have I been able to talk about it to any extent.

6. I’m a Republican. Yep. Am I am not sorry at all.

7. I love to shoot, I don’t hunt and I take place in competition NRA shoots. I belong to a private gun club. I shoot only pistols and shotguns at this point. Rifles bore me after shooting them for so long in the Marine Corps.

8. I love Country Music. I love most kinds of music, there is true talent there. I have done sounds boards for many bands and loved it. There is a huge time commitment there so I just don’t have time to do it anymore.

9. If it were not for Stephen Wynkoop I would not be writing today, I would have never agreed to do part of a book, or any of the public speaking that I do today. If it were not for a brave man named Bill Koone I would have had a much more difficult time doing what I do today. A big thank you to both men.

10. Ok I am embarrassed by this one. I just bought my first x-box about 2 days ago. My son is having a ball whooping me at games I have never played and he has never played. I guess there has to be something great about beating your Dad.

11. I don’t think I will ever go to a high school re-union. I am not sure anyone there would care to see me, and to be honest I am not sure I would want to account for my behavior when I was in high school.

12. I hate to travel, no I really hate it. Unless my wife is with me and we are going someplace awesome.

13. My idea of heaven on earth is taking my wife and my motor home out to the Mountains and just sitting for a week. There is nothing like fresh air, camping and camping steak.

14. The last 10 years of my life have been the best 10 years. I look forward to the next 10.

15. I love Movies. At this time the most recent great movie I have seen is the new 007 movie.

16. Favorite quote at the moment – “I don’t have time to bleed.”

 

For those of you who follow my blog post, my last entry may have had some confusion in it. Thanks to Mr. Woody for asking the question and thanks to hope for jumping in with the answer.

Well there you go. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas.

 

Newest SQL Patch

Posted: December 19, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

Well there is a new SQL Server Injection attack that is going around. It looks like they are using the stored procedure sp_replwriteovarbin as a way to create havoc on your system. To read more about this, Google “sp_replwriteovarbin”. I made mention of this to Stephen Wynkoop and he included it in the newsletter for SSWUG. Stephen made some good points in the newsletter about way that you can avoid this and I thought they were great tips seeing how it is right before the major holiday season. I would like to Thank Sarah Barela for bringing this to my attention. When her and I talked about it she was well on her way to getting protective measures in place.

Something that I have always found of interest and please let me know if you think I am crazy. It always feels to me like these come out the week before or the week of a major time off period. Times like Spring Break, Christmas or even the start of the summer like we had this year. Is it just me? Maybe there is something that we should look at if these time frames match up like they do in my mind.

Back to the topic, there looks like Microsoft released an update to help with those who may be impacted by this. So you may want to head over there and check it out before you take off to enjoy some time away.

Microsoft BI Unleashed

Posted: December 17, 2008 in Uncategorized

Well the Christmas season is upon us. For many of us as DBA’s this is the eve of the week that is the best week to get work done. The week between Christmas and New Years can be a great time where most systems slow down and yet there is still some activity on the servers. It’s a big week to roll new features or even upgrade your servers. So my wish to everyone is that you have a Merry Christmas a Happy New Year and may all your upgrades go well.

Today I am attending the free webcast here. It is a daylong event that is free to everyone.

Budget is Tight?

Posted: December 15, 2008 in Uncategorized

Today I other then freezing, it’s a -5 degrees here in Colorado as I write this, I was finishing up some thoughts on economy. I have no opinion that I care to share on the economy itself other then how it impacts us as DBA’s. Jan 1 is just around the corner and those enough that are fortunate enough to have a budget for our SQL Servers, chances are they have already been set. I recall working a few years ago and we knew what we had to spend in Jan by the end of November. I would have a set number of dollars that I could use on my SQL Servers, training, staff and so on.

At the same time I got the budget I was expected to plan how I was going to use that budget and let the company know what they were going to get for the money that they spent. Some years the budget would be better than others, I imagine that for many people the upcoming year is going to be a tight one. Because of this I am starting a new article series; I could not help but thinking that I still today see many companies upgrading hardware when they are running into performance problems. Granted with hardware some maybe even many performance issues could be fixed. It is my belief that many systems could really use some elbow grease that in the long run will save them. Some of these items are Archive Plans, or index evaluation.

Short Update today

Posted: December 12, 2008 in Uncategorized

Well my trip last week was to film a webcast that will be released today on SSWUG. The web cast was a Quick overview of some of the things that will Zap you hardware from the SQL Server side. I think there is some good info in there so if you are at all interested you may want to head over to SSWUG and take a quick look. If I remember correctly it’s just over a half an hour.

I also had an article put out there on SSWUG today, it was a book review that I had done for a couple of friends of mine. The book is named A Developers Guide to Data Modeling for SQL Server. I am really proud of Eric and Josh the authors of this book. I think there is a need for this book in the industry and even more so now with the economy. So many people are being asked to do multiple rows. And when the design of the database is not done as well as it could be the only way to fix it and avoid performance problems is to redesign it. It’s that old, do it right the first time thing.

Steve Wynkoop was mentioning today that now is a great time to make sure you are ready for the upcoming holidays. His editorial mentioned doing some test restores, making sure you know where your backups are. I cannot tell you how many times I have had one or another holiday ruined by some crisis. I was just glad we were ready to handle them when they came down the pipe.

Is Making it Easier Really Better?

Posted: December 11, 2008 in Uncategorized

Over the last few years, ok since computers have been around we have been trying to make everything easier, take the internet for example. I remember the days when I would have to sign on to a BBS (Bulletin Board Service) just so that I could access this crazy thing people called e-mail. Then came along the World Wide Web, it was the greatest thing; I mean it was something that no one could live without. I had to pay extra to my BBS so I could get connected to it. In comparison if you look at today my computer at home is never off the internet, my laptop can connect to the internet where I buy coffee. This progress in my mind has been great. I love the ability to have info at my finger tips. As great and as far as the internet has come, I am not sure that easier is always better.

If we move forward to the release of ASP and I started working with web pages and databases. When I set up my first database I had to know exactly how much space I was going to need. I had to create a device and size it, after that I had to create a database in that device. The same is still true if you step back and look at it. The devices have been replaced by file groups, but are they different? They have some added features like the file can grow by itself, you can even tell it to shrink if you are that brave. The database still gets put on those files or devices. You can have multiple devices, or files they still create by growing to the size you tell them on initial creation.

But, now we have companies that can go out and buy a point of sale system that can be installed with no problems, it creates the database on its own and does its thing, but for the small business owner who manages that. For the business owner who owns a small car wash can they afford an IT Staff? Do they get a server with multiple drives and do they have offsite storage for their backups? Do they know how to recover the database when it goes down, what about the point of sale system? Yes there are companies that help with this, but does that make it better for the car wash owner. I think it does, there is a lot they can do with the information that they are storing now. But do they know how to get to it? Are they taking full advantage of it? I don’t think so.

Let’s look at what we do as developers. There are applications out there that will generate the SQL code for you. There are web pages that build the SQL Statements dynamically. But what happens when the database is not ready for those SQL Statements? What if there are no indexes for that combination.

Really all I am saying today is that we really need to work as a team to get apps developed. Just because we can get our web pages so dynamic that someone could search by every attribute in a table should we really allow that?

Just a rambling today…