Oh, it’s that time of the year; time to reflect, review, and resolve (rrr-yeah baby! in an Austin Powers accent). Not sure if it translate in written form.
Disclaimer: I don’t usually don’t do New Year Resolutions
But I did it anyway. I probably didn’t do resolutions in the past because they were a written record of what I was supposed to do and at the end of the year I grade what I said I was supposed to, to what I did do, and it looks so darn bad. You can see my written record of what I said I was going to do in 2010 here.
What in the heck did you say you were going to do?
I started and wrote my first blog article in January 2010, which happened to be my 2010 Resolutions (blah). I set a goal of blogging every week. I might have been a little ambitious for me to start with. I only wrote 27 posts and unfortunately not a lot of them were on SQL. I did however participate in 3 T-SQL Tuesday posts.
Grade: C- [A+ for starting a blog, but C for not maintaining]
Try and read a new book every month. Well I did not read the two books that I listed, but did read parts of a handful of other technical books. I killed a lot of trees printing out articles; there is just so much good stuff out there.
Wanted to study and learn about two SQL DMV’s each month. I believe that I read this on Tim Fords blog that he wanted to do something similar (borrowed the idea). Well, that was a big fail. I did this for two months and failed to continue. I may try to do that this year, but pick the DMV’s ahead of time.
Workout 3 times a week. I did pretty good on this one until August. Once my boy (I’ll blame him for my failure in this), finished swim team in August at the YMCA, we didn’t go back to the gym, which ended my workouts. I ended up cancelling my membership since I was not going enough.
Grade: C [A+ for 8 months and F from September through December]
Take one Microsoft SQL Server Cert Exam. Well in July I passed 70-431.
Get more involved with the SQL community. I had the pleasure to help Greg Larsen with SQL Saturday #43 setup in Redmond, WA (June 2010).
Overall grade in my great grading system: C-
I have a lot to improve on for 2011.
Review – You suck!
I am my worst critic and I can usually talk myself out of most things. One of the hardest things for me to do last year was blog. I still consider myself a newbie to the whole blogging thing. I haven’t found my niche or what I am trying to convey. I am still feeling a bit random about what to post. My first blog post was my last year’s 2010 resolution [Blog].
Reflect – It was a year ago?
Wow, can’t believe a year just passed.
I just posted my 2010 Review [Blog] and if I was actually being graded on these, I would be taking summer school.
Resolved to do better
I am not so much into setting New Year’s Resolutions and as you can see from my 2010 review (link above) I did terrible. This year the plan is to be as vague as possible to achieve higher scores (not really). Instead of resolutions, I shall call these goals.
1. Take Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Cert Exam 70-432. My primary reason is to keep up my skills and learn more about SQL Server areas that I don’t necessarily use in my day to day job. Last year I set a goal for myself to take the 70-431 and passed it in July 2010 [Blog].
2. Participate in all T-SQL Tuesday Blog posts in 2011. I participated in 3 events in 2010.
3. Write at least 1 SQL Server Blog post a month.
4. Volunteer\Help at SQL Saturday #68 in Olympia (April 2011). If I am able to attend PASS in 2011 (3rd timer), I will volunteer there as well. Hope my boss approves budget.
5. Continue to learn SSIS. I worked on two projects this last year using SSIS, which I really enjoyed and hated at the same time. It’s funny looking back at the first project that I built. Oh, please nobody look at it. HAND IN FACE.
Better planning, being more organized, and continue to grow as a DBA
The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:
The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.
The Leaning Tower of Pisa has 296 steps to reach the top. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2010. If those were steps, it would have climbed the Leaning Tower of Pisa 4 times
In 2010, there were 27 new posts, not bad for the first year!
The busiest day of the year was November 2nd with 30 views. The most popular post that day was Requesting SSIS Help.
Where did they come from?
The top referring sites in 2010 were twitter.com, sqlskills.com, translate.google.de, sqlservercentral.com, and forum.tabletpcreview.com.
Some visitors came searching, mostly for tc1100 windows 7, tc1100 windows 7 drivers, tc1100 windows 7 sleep, tc1100, and hp tablet tc1100.
Attractions in 2010
These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.
Requesting SSIS Help November 2010
Installing Windows 7 on HP Tablet TC1100 September 2010
My Toshiba Satellite T115D-S1120 Netbook review July 2010
What three events brought you here? January 2010
AboutMe January 2010
Recently I came across a person on the Tablet PC Forum having a problem with their HP Tablet PC (TC1100) running Windows 7 not coming out of sleep mode. The problem was after a period of inactivity or manually putting sleep mode the Tablet wouldn’t come back online.
l have seen other people report this problem as well. l made several suggestions and had him confirmed was using the correct video driver and the post video fix and he was. At this point didn’t know what else to try.
Well I just got a message from that person that he was able to resolve the sleep by upgrading the hard drive from a 4200 rpm to a 5400 rpm drive. These tablets originally came with 40gb 4200 rpm drives. I personally have several of these Tablets and have not ran into this issue on any of them, but I have 5400 rpm drives on them so this might be why mine work. In any case I will have to keep that in my bag of tricks in case I see this being reported by others.
My favorite things
This is second in a series of “My favorite things for Tablet PC”. In the last post I talked about Grahl Software Design PDF Annotator, which allows you to mark up PDF Documents and make notes using ink and/or a multitude of other editing tools. You can read that post here.
In this post I am going to look at Microsoft OneNote 2010. This is an office component that is in all editions of Office 2010, please note that this is not the case in Office 2007.
I am a huge fan of Microsoft OneNote 2010. This is one of those applications that once you start using it, you will be hooked. I started using OneNote by accident on a Tablet PC at work and since then I have been hooked. I have been overly impressed on the improvements in the product from 2003 to 2007, and now in 2010.
What is OneNote?
OneNote organizes your notes in Notebooks, each of which are broken into Sections with multiples pages. Notebooks are located on the left side, with sections on the top as tabs, and pages listed on the right side. Think of it like a school notebook like a your old high school Trapper Keeper. You have multiple classes that you keep in folders (sections), and multiple notes in each folder (pages).
You can have multiple Notebooks like one for school or a notebook for a project.
Some of my favorite features:
- Great inking and ink tools (with ability to convert ink to text). My primary use for it is the inking with my Tablet PC, but I use it on my laptop at work and at home.
- Ability to print to OneNote (adds a virtual printer that allows you to print to and import into OneNote.
- Tightly integrated with other Office applications. You can send other Office apps to OneNote. For instance in Outlook you can send an email to OneNote and
- Create audio notes (Can search for key words spoken through OneNote special indexing)
- Great advanced searching tool (includes powerful OCR technology with ability to search images). Ability to tag notes for even easier searching.
- Send a web page to OneNote (right click on a page and send to OneNote or click on the icon located on the upper right corner of web page).
- Ability to attach files into OneNote pages (not links but actually imbed the file into the OneNote page)
- Share Notebooks to a network location where multiple people can edit at the same time. Changes are merged automatically.
- There is no save button. This was weird at first but now you don’t even think about it. You make any changes they are instantly saved.
Download your copy of it here and give a spin. Let me know what you think and how you are using it?
Tablet PC (TC1100) as an e-reader (problems with Wacom) here.
Tablet PC (TC1100) sleep problems here.
Installing Windows 7 on HP Tablet TC1100 here.
I have an older HP Tablet PC (TC1100) and over the years I have come across some great Tablet applications. Over the next couple of weeks I am going to share some of my favorite ones. In this series of my favorite things for the Tablet PC I am starting with PDF Annotator by Grahl Software Design.
PDF Annotator lets you open PDF files and mark them up with notes, pictures, etc. This especially rocks on a Tablet PC with inking capabilities. However it is not just for Tablets, it does work well with desktops.
My top 5 list of what I like about PDF Annotator
1. Mark up PDF file and send to another user who can open with Adobe Reader and see your markups.
2. Installs a PDF Annotator Virtual Printer that allows you to print any file and makes the document open in PDF Annotator as a PDF file.
3. Can remove all annotations in a single client to restore to the original document.
4. Multitude of editing tools.
5. Can create blank PDF files or add blank pages into existing documents.
Below is a page from the read me document that I have marked up.
The price for a single license is $69.95 along with a $29.95 mtce/upgrade fee that includes technical support. The file download is just over 20 MB and they are pretty good with several updates a year. They are currently on version 220.127.116.114, go download a 30 day trial version today and tell me what you think.
Next up Microsoft OneNote 2010.
With Christmas right around the corner it seems that e-readers are the popular gift and it seems that everyone has one, Borders (Kobo), Amazon’s (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), and Sony (Daily Edition), with a few others.
They seem pretty cool, but to me they seem limited and it’s another gadget to have to carry around with me. Also, I am not going to read a book on my Droid2, It is barely big enough to read my email.
This brings me to one of my favorite gadgets, the HP Tablet PC (TC1100). It is a Tablet PC running Windows 7, it has inking capabilities, it can detach from the keyboard to become a slate device with a stylus/pen. Basically it is my Desktop, Notebook, Netbook, Tablet, Slate, and now e-reader.
I currently use my Tablet PC to read PDF files and it works great in portrait mode (in full page view). I use the jog dial to advance the pages. It really works great. However, I wanted to see if my Tablet would run some of the e-reader applications that seem to be coming out.
I installed the Borders Kobo and Amazon Kindle e-reader applications to see how they would work out on my Tablet PC. I found an issue right off the bat when I put either application in portrait mode. The stylus/pen did not work correctly, the orientation got messed up. The stylus/pen moved the opposite way you move the pen. I move the stylus up the cursor was at the bottom of the page. I move the stylus to the left the cursor was on the right. It was really weird.
The cool part was I went out to TabletPCReview.com posted my problem and one of the members commented back that it was probably the Wacom Driver. It was weird because I have not had any other problems with any other application in landscape or portrait, so I wasn’t sure what to think. I have been running the Wacom Penabled Driver v5.08-2a for better of a year on Windows 7 and have not had a problem. The member recommended using the HP default Wacom driver.
I uninstalled the Wacom Penabled Driver v5.08-2a and restarted. I then downloaded and installed the HP Wacom Digitizer Driver v1.6.1a (sp24581).
Bada bing! It resolved the issue with the e-readers. So far I am enjoying the Tablet running the two e-reader apps, but I haven’t decided which one I like more though. Still pretty new.
This month’s TSQL2sDAY is being hosted by Steve Jones (Twitter | Blog). The topic this month is around “what the business says is not what the business wants”.
Have you heard this one before? I am not sure what I want, but I want it.
I am currently involved in a project where we are upgrading/moving from an old in-house created application to a new in-house created application. This involves the business analysts working with the other department getting all of their business needs. Don’t get me wrong you need the input from the people that are going to be using the system or it will fail. However, if you don’t know what you want, how can we deliver that to you.
I think what I am trying to convey is we do need to interact with the business users to see what they really need and give them those things that will help them do their job, which helps the company, which helps us stay employed.
I am thankful for a strong business analyst group in our department. They know more about the business process then the actual users do. They are able to anticipate with the user needs and work with development to give them those features.
Just like any trade there is a specific level of skill necessary to do the job. Just like an auto-mechanic there is training to do the job. You wouldn’t want just anybody working on your car, especially if it is a newer one with all the computer modules etc.
There are some basic things that a technical people can do in SQL Server, like changing a flat tire. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to change the tire. You do need to have a jack, wrench, some brute strength, and the knowledge where the spare is located, most people can change the tire. If you want to change the oil the on your car you need to be a little more technical. You need to know what type of oil you need and the oil filter, and location of the filter.
I believe that there are skills necessary to manage a database. As much as software vendors like to say there is no "Set it and Forget it" feature in SQL Server. If you forget it, it will bite you and usually where the sun don’t shine.
In my previous job I worked in technical support for a software company. I would get a call once a week from customers where their Transaction Log file filled up their C Drive (insert laugh here), and they had no database backups (insert tear here). This is DBA 101 stuff, actually it is Business 101, but most of the companies I dealt with did not have a DBA on staff. It was generally the person closest to the server.
In those cases and most of the other issues that I dealt with if they had someone with the basic SQL Server knowledge it could have prevented 99% of their issues.
Bottom line: I feel that a DBA is necessary for the well being of your companies PRICELESS data.
Data Import from log/text file (poorly formatted)
I have been given the task to import some data logs from our firewall system into SQL Server for reporting purposes and to help keep data longer (also for reporting) as the firewall system database needs to purge data more regularly.
The fun part is the firewall software uses PostgreSQL as its database and I have not found a way to export the data out and into SQL Server. So that leaves me to try and import the daily logs that it creates.
1120557876,,9087042812EBD,1006,1143243492,1,0,6,SMTP-Inbound-SlimeWarner-00,smtp/tcp,18.104.22.168,1163,22.214.171.124,25,0.0.0.0,0,0.0.0.0,0,Slime Warner,Trusted,590,0,0,,SMTP-Incoming.GUS.1,,,,header=Date: Sat\, 4 Sep 2010 11:30:01 +0430,rule_name=Date:*,,,,,tr,ProxyAllow: SMTP Header,,2010-09-04 00:00:10
I created a simple database on my SQL Server called Firewall and created a table similar to the table in the firewall software. (I know bad table)
SET ANSI_NULLS ON
SET QUOTED_IDENTIFIER ON
CREATE TABLE [Firewall].[dbo].[cluster_traffic] (
[update_time] [datetime] NULL
The problem that I am running into is with the [info_] data field. Some of the data has commas in it and this is causing problems when trying to import into SQL Server.
I initially used the SQL Server Import and Export Wizard in SSMS and this is how the data looks when I preview. Some of the data is jumbled and moved over to the wrong column. The highlighted shows the problem.
Is there a way to import this data correctly through SSIS with some sort of pre-cleanup?