24 February 2006
23 February 2006
I got home yesterday to find a voucher from PearsonVue, along with my results for 71-431. I'm going to wait for my 71-441 result to arrive, and then look at booking in to do the live version. I want my "MCITP: Database Developer" certification!
Posted by Rob Farley at 10:31 am
22 February 2006
Roslyn and I were recently given a thing where you have cubes with numbers on to represent the date. The idea is that every day, you manually change the numbers displayed on the two 'dice', so that the number is between 01 and 31.
The geek in me glanced at the thing, and suddenly got curious about these two dice. If there's no geekness in you, then stop reading now, please. I just got curious about how the numbers were distributed between the two cubes. There were only two, which straight away told me that something clever must've been done.
A cube has six sides, and these were no different.
I could tell that clearly each cube needed the numbers 1 and 2, so that you can represent the 11th and the 22nd of any month.
As well as that, you need zero on both, because you can't have all of 1-9 on the 'other' cube.
So... we have 0,1,2 and three blanks on each cube. But we still have 3-9 to assign. That's seven numbers, in six spots. And here's the really nice bit, as to why that's okay...
Because you don't need both 6 AND 9, you just need one of them. :) Yeah, ok. I'm a big geek.
Posted by Rob Farley at 4:48 pm
20 February 2006
My MCP Transcript (Transcript ID = 707979, Access Code = Adelaide) now has "MCITP: Database Administrator" written on it, from those three exams I passed! Perhaps I should start doing some DBA work now and then... ;)
Posted by Rob Farley at 6:40 pm
17 February 2006
Yesterday I was going to post something with a Meatloaf quote, but I didn't get around to it. Today, "three out of four ain't bad" doesn't have the same ring to it.
Anyway... I still don't have emails about the exam results, but I did find out (by logging on to the vue.com site and checking my exam history) that I managed to pass 3 of the first 4 beta exams I sat. I passed 431, 443 and 444, but failed 441. Annoyingly, 441 is the one I was expecting to pass, as it's on the dev side. I guess there are various things that I just didn't know. Probably stuff on Notification Services, or performance benchmarking... all those things that I feel like I should know better.
I still consider myself more of a database developer. I think the problem is that I haven't really used SQL2005 as much as I should've done for passing an exam like that.
Posted by Rob Farley at 1:35 pm
16 February 2006
One that seems to have been missed by everyone until this week is that you can now use getdate() in a user-defined function. You couldn't do this in SQL2000, because of determinism. It's been mentioned in quite a few blogs - Peter Ward's is one. Peter is coming to speak at AdSSUG in March.
Another useful thing is about backups. Geoff Orr tells about it in his blog. Through funky use of partitioning and marking certain things as read-only, you can reduce the size of backups by a lot, because you're only backing up data that could be changing. For the rest, you'd be relying on previous backups. (Obviously you'd need to have taken them at some point)
Geoff is a great guy. He lives in Sydney, works at Microsoft in SQL Support, and is a Christian to boot. He helped start one of the biggest churches in London! Hopefully he'll come and speak at our little group in Adelaide some time soon.
Posted by Rob Farley at 10:23 am
15 February 2006
I'm always happy to help out... so this blog is to help out Robert Scoble.
I'm mentioning the quail thing because I think this will become part of standard vocabulary for the next few months. My guess is that whenever you find yourself in a situation where someone might just decide to shoot you - you'll be 'hunting quail'. That's my tip anyway.
Posted by Rob Farley at 11:12 am
14 February 2006
Interestingly, when I noticed that I had dropped my XDA's stylus in the car this morning, I didn't rush out to get it. I know that I frequently use the other end of a pen, or my fingernail (one I haven't ripped off while playing my guitar), instead. I know where the stylus is, and when I get the time (and energy), I'll get under the seat in the car and find it. But what I've noticed today is that I am surprisingly dependent on it. So I'll be doing that either before I drive home, or when I get there.
I've recently been missing the commute time that I had when I was in Melbourne. Well, not really. I do like the fact that I get home much earlier now that I'm living in Adelaide. I live about 10 minutes' drive from work, and that's great. Except that I feel like I've got a pile of podcasts to listen to that I'm not getting through. And as for reading time - I used to enjoy public transport and the reading time you can get. But now, I feel like I don't get the time to do that as much as I'd like.
One that I will be trying to find time for is Dr Neil Roodyn's new podcast. :)
Posted by Rob Farley at 4:19 pm
I saw this yesterday. It's a video of a kid doing that maze thing where the zombie jumps out at you. If you don't know what I mean - then check your junk mail folder, it's probably in there. Sorry if you haven't seen the original thing, there's a spoiler here: when the maze gets really hard, the screen suddenly changes to a close-up of a zombie, and a loud scream comes through your speakers. Designed to give heart-attacks to IT people who only get up from their desks to step onto a Segway on their way to get some Coke from the fridge. Perhaps it's a population-control device.
In this video, the kid is doing the maze, the zombie jumps out, and he freaks out. Hits the screen, and starts crying uncontrollably. I think his parents probably thought it would make a cool video, and probably didn't expect the sleepless nights that would follow.
It's exactly the type of thing that makes me not want to let my kids use the internet. I'm sure therapy is expensive...
Posted by Rob Farley at 10:41 am
Frank has made me #100 on his OPML of Aussie Bloggers. I even beat Mark Baartse to the coveted #100 spot. Frank says I should strut smugly. I'm not convinced... but it is quite nice to be on the list.
Posted by Rob Farley at 10:04 am
13 February 2006
I think it was probably the topic. It certainly wasn't rumours of my humour being good. ;)
The caterer tells me we had 62 people turn up last Thursday to hear Peter Myers' talk on SSIS. I counted at least 50, but I'm happy to go with his number. My next trick will be to get them all to register.
It was certainly a great talk - very useful introduction to SSIS. Great feedback from everyone too. There are rumours of the Melbourne version being recorded for a webcast - if I can find a link for that, I'll post it here too.
The slides are available at http://www.sqlserver.org.au/resources/ViewResource.aspx?resourceId=52.
The links within are:
This last one is the link to register for a 2-day event - April 6 & 7 in Adelaide, at which Peter will be teaching on Business Intelligence. Should be worth going to...
Posted by Rob Farley at 12:15 pm
08 February 2006
I won't be at ADNUG tonight. I'm going to have an early night and hope for enough health to be at Peter Myers' session tomorrow.
In the meantime, check out the resources from Dave Glover's ATLAS talk.
Posted by Rob Farley at 10:56 am
07 February 2006
I'm sick at the moment. I had an allergic reaction late last week (to what, I wish I knew!), which turned into a cough, and now I feel really miserable. And yet I'm online, blogging.
I love distraction therapy - it can work really well. Problem is, when your body needs 'sleep therapy', distraction doesn't really cut it. Although I think watching TV might help - I read somewhere that your body is actually more relaxed watching TV than when you're asleep. Of course, there is so much junk to read these days that it's hardly likely to be true. "When I hear the echo of a duck quacking, I'll go to bed" is not my mantra.
I do plan to be well in time for the User Group meetings this week. Tomorrow night there is ADNUG, and AdSSUG have Peter Myers speaking on Thursday. I can't miss that one, and don't really want to miss ADNUG either.
Posted by Rob Farley at 3:05 pm
03 February 2006
For those of you who don't know, my son Samuel went to hospital 18 months ago (when he was 7) with a condition that we eventually found out was Kawasaki's Disease. I says 'eventually', because it took several days for them to work out what the problem was - lucky they did, because untreated it typically causes aneurysms and heart attacks.
Since then, he has taken aspirin every day and had regularly echocardiagrams. It's really affected his life in all kinds of ways, and I would say it has affected Roslyn and me too.
Today he had another echocardiagram. The artery dilation and aneurysm that had previously been there is now gone. He no longer needs aspirin. He's still considered in a high risk category, and as such has been warned off ever smoking, drinking excessively, etc. But on the whole, we're very happy and certainly thanking God. It feels like it's been a long 18 months.
Many thanks to those of you who have shown an interest, or been praying, etc. :)
Posted by Rob Farley at 1:53 pm
02 February 2006
Posted by Rob Farley at 6:00 pm
I wrote a blog entry here in IE7. But then it crashed, and it disappeared. So this is the short version.
I'm not entirely convinced. I quite like it - but it's really not winning me over just yet. And besides, I really want stuff I write to be compatible with Firefox as well as IE. Typically in my Microsoft world, things are more easily correct in IE. So therefore, having my default browser as Firefox helps me get it right across the board.
It's definitely worth downloading and playing with. Just don't type anything critical into it yet.
Posted by Rob Farley at 5:43 pm