Archive for January, 2010

My Tablet PC (TC1100)

January 21, 2010 5 comments



I love gadgets and one of my current favorites is the HP Tablet PC (TC1100).  I recently picked this up from the company I work for during an employee sale.  These units were originally going to be used as inflight entertainment, but were scrapped when the project was canceled for one reason or another.  They were being used in our training room, but the main application being used required more resources, so they were replaced with desktops and became obsolete. 

The units came preconfigured with Windows XP Tablet Edition, Pentium 1GHz CPU, 512MB ram, and 40GB-4200 rpm drive.  I upgraded the RAM to 2GB, replaced the hard drive with an 80GB-5400 rpm drive, and installed Windows 7 Ultimate (HP Tablet PC specs).  This increased the performance substantially.

This Tablet PC is like a  convertible/hybrid computer (see right).  You can detach the keyboard and the Tablet PC becomes like a slate PC.  You can see a pretty good review and info on the TC1100 here.  It reminds me of the new Microsoft Tablet that Steve Ballmer showed off at the CES conference, except this does not have the touch feature, it requires the pen.


At home I primarily use it in convertible mode with a rubber case (DK504a) around it to protect it.  It slides over the unit and has an access opening for all of the ports and a slot on the side for the pen to snap in.  It is great when I am sitting on the couch in front of the TV, I will grab the Tablet and I will use it to write out a to-do list for the next day or brain storm about some upcoming project.  I like the size and weight of this Tablet PC as well, just slide it in my backpack or messenger bag without much notice.  I recently packed this with me during the PASS Summit conference in Seattle.  It was very convenient to take notes during the sessions and occasionally check my email.   One of my favorite programs for the Tablet PC is Microsoft OneNote.  I really like the note taking aspect of the program and the use of the pen. 

While this does not have a lot of processing power it is great for basic computing.  What is your favorite gadget?





What three events brought you here?

January 19, 2010 2 comments

I am a frequent reader of some great SQL Server blogs (Brent Ozar, Grant Fritchey, Thomas LaRock, and Paul Randal to name a few) and one of the current topics started by Paul Randal is what three events brought you here?  Even though I haven’t been tagged I thought that it was a great topic and wanted to share how I got to where I am.

In early 1999 I had lost my job at the BNSF Railroad as an Inspector.  I was being subcontracted out, such a slimy word.  At that time I had been with the company for 8 years, was close to being 30, had a 2 year old, and a mortgage.  I made the decision that I wanted to change careers (losing my job helped me with that decision) and get into computers.  I had always been interested in computers, software, and creating things.  I enrolled right away into a Microsoft learning\certification farm to begin my quest to get my MCSE and make oodles of money.  Well that is at least what they told me.

So after changing careers and no real computer background except for my newly acquired MCSE in hand I went out to conquer the world and run some fortune 500 companies computer systems.  After several interviews and not even a call back I got a little discourage.  I thought with this piece of paper with Bill Gates stamped signature on it that I would be fighting off the offers.  That was not the case.  A short time later a friend that I had met while taking these computer courses called me about a possible job as an entry level Help Desk position at an up and coming software company.  I figured that with my current prospects (not a single one) that I really needed to get my feet wet and get some experience, so I decided to interview.  I was offered the job and accepted.  The job paid less than what I was previously making (hard to swallow) and to make matters worse the job was 45 miles away with the worst possible east side traffic (Puyallup to Kirkland).  The first couple of months I worked 9am – 5pm and I would leave the house at 6:30am and get to work with several minutes to spare.  The return trip wasn’t any fun either.  I would get home around 7pm eat dinner and then start the whole process over the next morning.  The first few months were very long and I really didn’t like my position answering the phones.  To make matters worse the Sr. Systems technician was not very helpful.  This made it difficult to learn the software that I was supporting.  After a few months there the Sr. Systems Technician left and the Mid level tech was promoted to Senior.  He was the complete opposite, he was pleasant to work with, was open to sharing his knowledge, and really took me under his wing to mentor me.  In fact a short time after he was promoted he went out of his way to recommend me for the Junior position.  This is the point at which I really began to enjoy SQL Server and wanted to read and learn everything that I could get my hands on.  My first SQL Server book was Kalen Delaney’s Inside SQL Server 7.0, great read.  I have since bought each edition that comes out.  During my time at Intuitive I went on to become the Sr. System Technician and eventually went into the Product Quality Group along with education/training.

I enjoyed my time at Intuitive and was there for over 8 years.  After the company was bought out by a competitor in 2006 I decided that it was time to maybe look for something new.  I began to search for something closer when a former Intuitive co-worker emailed me stating that there might be an opening in the near future for a DBA and to keep my eyes open.  I was very interested and to make it even sweeter the company was using the software that I had been supporting for the last 8 years.  I interviewed, was offered the job and accepted in April 2007.  Now the job wasn’t any closer in fact it is located almost directly east of my previous company.  That was ok; I have made the drive for the past 10 years, so I am use to it and made a great habit listening to some great podcasts during my drive.  I have learned so much in my time here and continue to learn new things each day.

I can definitely see how God has had his hand in my life putting the people that he has in my path.  It is hard for me to see through the trees, but God has the 50,000 foot view and is guiding me through it, I just have listen to him. 

My wife is also a big influence to me.  She is my biggest my cheerleader and encourager.  She inspires me to do great things.

Categories: Blog Tag, Me

How to change how new email is marked as read in Outlook

January 7, 2010 3 comments

There is one setting in Outlook that is the first thing that I change on a newly configured profile.  I have to change how Outlook handles new incoming email.  When a new email comes in I don’t want it to be marked as read when I move off the new email.  I want to either manually mark it as read or open it to mark it as read.  Well there’s an app for that, I mean there is a  setting for that.

Outlook 2010 (Beta)
  Open Outlook 2010
  Click the File tab (located in the menu bar)
  Click Options
  Click Mail
  Scroll down to Outlook Panes and Click Reading Pane button
  Uncheck “Mark item as read when selection changes”
  Click Ok twice to accept and close Options

Outlook 2007
  Open Outlook 2007
  Click on Tools (located in the menu bar)
  Click on Options
  Click Other Tab
  Click Reading Pane button
  Uncheck “Mark item as read when selection changes”
  Click Ok twice to accept and close Options

Now when you click off an unread email it won’t change it as read.

Categories: Pet Peeves

Quote of the Day

January 3, 2010 Leave a comment

Deja Brew:  The feeling that you’ve had this coffee before.  ~Author Unknown

Categories: Quote of the day


January 3, 2010 1 comment

I usually don’t do New Years Resolutions, but I thought that I would try to set some short and long term professional goals for 2010.

Short Term:
Start a Blog and contribute to it weekly.
Try and read a new book every month.
     Read Grant Fritchey’s book SQL Server Execution Plans in January.
     Read Brad McGehee’s book Mastering SQL Server Profiler in February.
Study and learn two SQL DMV’s each month.
Continue to workout 3 times a week.

Long Term:
Take one Microsoft SQL Server Cert Exam.
Get more involved with the SQL community.

Categories: 2010, Misc., SQL Server