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Windows 8.1 Product Guide from Microsoft

October 19, 2013 1 comment

The official release of Windows 8.1 this last week. 

In depth guide on the new features of Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 RT (here).

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New Data Protection Manager 2010 Book by Steve Buchanan

June 13, 2011 Leave a comment

New Microsoft Data Protection Manager 2010 Book by Steve Buchanan’s [Packt Publishing] (Get it from Packt here).  The book is still warm from being just printed (rel: May 27, 2011)

DPM2010 Book

Visit the Publisher site (link above) and download a free chapter.

I am new to Data Protection Manager (DPM) and needed a way to get up to speed quickly to start managing an existing deployment.  This book is arranged in a way that helps you understand what DPM is, what it does, and how to do it.  The step by step instructions are very detailed.  I would highly recommend this book for those starting out or those wanting to learn more about DPM.

This is currently the only book out on DPM 2010 (as of June 2011).

* I am not affiliated with Packt Publishing or the Author nor did I receive any benefits from this recommendation.

Have you heard “Don’t be this guy”?

October 30, 2010 Leave a comment

Don’t be this guy

Take a moment and read Tim Mitchell’s [Twitter | Blog] blog post “Don’t be this guy” from last year.  Basically he writes about his experience at a previous summit where he did not really take advantage of the networking opportunities at PASS and really regretted it afterward.  It is really a great read and it home with me.

Unfortunately, I did not read this until after my first PASS Summit last year.  Sad to say, I was that guy last year.  In reading the comments of his blog post, it looks like there were other people just like Tim, that were that guy as well.

This year, I am not going to be that guy.  I really want to meet a lot of the people that I follow on Twitter and who’s blogs I read on a regular basis.  I am going to be somewhat of a summit stalker.

Flickr_Stalker

Get yourself out there.

To help with the initial conversation ice breaker I had some Moo cards made up that I plan to distribute out at PASS. Not so much of a business card, but my social contact info (Twitter, email, LinkedIn, and Blog) “Just for fun”.  I have 50 of them, so my goal is to distribute all of them during PASS.  I think they will make a pretty interesting and fun conversation topic.

Events I am going to do.

Monday : I am going to participate in the PASS 2010 Photowalk [Follow Twitter tag | #passphotowalk].  This is put on by Tim Ford [Twitter | Blog] and Pat Wright [Twitter | Blog].  Find out more about it here.

Monday night is the Welcome Reception and Quiz Bowl (6:30-8pm) and SQLServerCentral opening night party (8pm-10pm).

Tuesday : Birds-of-a-feather (BOF) Lunch (11:45am-12:45pm) and the non PASS sponsored event Inappropriate PASS Session party put on by Jeremiah Peschka [Twitter], Jen [Twitter], and Kendra Little [Twitter].  Should be fun.

Wednesday : WIT Luncheon and Panel Discussion (11:30am-1:30pm) and the Microsoft Appreciation Party at Gameworks (7pm-10pm)

Thursday : Chapter Lunch (12pm-1pm)

Please check out SQLPASS’s website for full details on all the events.  Be sure to follow #sqlpass on Twitter for any impromptu events as well.

I am ready to get my SQLPASS on!  Are you?

Categories: 2010, PASS2010, SQL Server, Training

Setting up a machine for my 70-431 studies

June 26, 2010 Leave a comment

I just added a new netbook to my arsenal of computers, so I am going to use my big power laptop as my new training machine. It is a couple year old HP DV9543CL that has a nice 17″ display, 4GB Ram, and what I like most about this is it has two hard drives in it, which I put in (2) 7200 rpm drives 160GB & 500GB. I installed a demo version of Windows 2008 R2 ENT, SQL Server 2005 ENT x64, and Office 2010 x64 as well.

I am very happy with the performance, the computer is very snappy.  I also like running Windows 2008 R2 on my laptop.

Categories: 2010, Certification, Training

Studying for 70-431

June 26, 2010 1 comment

At the start of the year I set a goal to take a Microsoft Certification test.  After some hesitation I set my sights on the 70-431 “SQL Server 2005 Implementation and Maintenance”. I chose 70-431 because this is the version that I have been primarily working with at work and have more experience with. I have been studying off and on since the beginning of the year, but serious in the last month. After pushing out the test at the start of June, I finally decided to get my butt in gear and set a test date so I have no more excuses.  I decided Friday July 30th and will make it official next week when I call and schedule.  This will give me just over a month to put the final touches on my study.

My primary books of study are:
Wiley –70-431: SQL Server 2005 Implementation and Maintenance (Microsoft Official Academic Course)
MSPRESS – MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-431)
MSPRESS – Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2005: The Storage Engine
MSPRESS – Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2005: Query Tuning and Optimization

My game plan for the next month:
[6/27 – 7/11]
I just finished reading Wiley MOAC and now plan to go back over it the next 2 week and go through each of the labs and go back over several of the areas that I need more work on, like XML, Service Broker, Endpoints, and Replication.

[7/12 – 7/23]
Go through MSPRESS Self-Paced Training Kit, just another angle of information and study.

[7/24 – 7/29]
Go through as many practice tests as possible and research questions; go back over areas of question and concern.

[7/30]
Take test.

Next on my plate, I am thinking SQL Server 2008 Imp/Mtce 70-432 or the Optimization and Tuning cert for 2005 70-450. 

One thing that this process has done for me is gotten me more exposure to other areas in SQL Server that I have not worked with.

SQL Saturday Event #43 – June 12th Redmond, WA

June 9, 2010 1 comment

I can’t believe that SQL Saturday 43 (#sqlsat43) Redmond, WA is only a couple of days away.  I am looking forward to learning new things, meeting new people, and just absorbing SQL.   

As of today these are the sessions that I am planning on attending.

I chose Scott’s session because I have just started using SSIS and want to learn more about it.

9:00 a.m.
Scott Stauffer @SQLSocialite “SSIS for the faint of heart”
Scott’s gentle introduction to SQL Server Integration Services (or SSSIS) will primarily be demonstrating how to you can use the tool in the real world to get work done. READ: very little PowerPoint time. SSIS is a high performance ETL solutions introduced in SQL Server 2005 to replace SQL Server’s DTS functionality. ETL? It’s okay, Scott will briefly cover some of these concepts too. Relax, sit back and learn how to simplify your “Extract, Transform, and Load” processes.

I haven’t made up my mind on which one that I want to attend.  They both look interesting.  It will be a game time decision.

10:30 a.m.
Dean Richards “Tuna Helper for DBAs and Developers”
Many DBAs and developers are faced with tuning poorly performing SQL statements. There is no way to learn everything you need to know about SQL tuning in an hour, but you can learn a process to employ when badly written SQLs are ruining database performance. However, many tuning projects fail because the process being used is inefficient. This presentation will walk through a process I use with great success and it will include topics such as: SQL diagramming, wait type data, column selectivity, and others that will help you succeed on future tuning projects.

or

10:30 a.m.
Donabel Santos @sqlbelle “SQL 2008 Reporting from the Ground up”
In this session we will explore the rich reporting features introduced in SQL Server 2008 and 2008 R2 Reporting Services, including Report Builder 3.0. We will walk through how to create basic reports, add parameters, enhance layout, and integrate new visualization components including sparklines, data bars, gauges and maps.

11:45 p.m.
LUNCH “I will definitely attend”

The 12:30pm session was  also a tough choice.  I am interested in Donabel’s PowerShell session, but I can’t miss out on seeing Kalen Delaney, the Queen of SQL Server.

12:30 p.m.
Kalen Delaney “The Compression Session”
SQL Server 2008 allows you to compress your data in several different ways. Your tables can be compressed using row compression or page compression, and you can also choose to compress your backups. In this session we’ll look at what kinds of data give you the most space savings when compressed, and we’ll also discuss the algorithms SQL Server uses to compress your data. Knowing how SQL Server performs compression will allow us to evaluate when the space savings will be worth the cost, and when you might want to avoid compression.

The 2 pm was also tough choice, because there are really 3 sessions that I would love to attend.  Robert Davis’s @SQLSoldier “Profiler” and Todd McDermid’s @Todd_McDermid “Data warehouse” session.  I chose Clifford Dibble’s “UCP” just because I wanted to learn more about this feature.

2:00 p.m.
Clifford Dibble “Utility Control Point in SQL 2008 R2”
Learn how the Utility Control Point (UCP) in SQL 2008 R2 can help you with your capacity management and consolidation projects. In this talk, you will learn the key concepts around the UCP and see a demo. This is also your chance to give us feedback about how you want the UCP to evolve in the 11.0 release of SQL Server.

There is no doubt about this session.  Seeing Buck Woody is worth the price of admission, oh it’s free.  Well he is still worth every penny.  I have had the pleasure to see and hear Buck present multiple times at multiple SQL Saturday events, PASS 2009, and other misc. webcasts and podcasts.  He is a great presenter, very entertaining, and knowledgeable.  Even though the topic mentions the “O” word I know that I will take away something from his session, if not, it will at least be very entertaining.

3:30 p.m.
Buck Woody @BuckWoody “SQL Server for the Oracle DBA”
Come hear Buck Woody, Microsoft’s “Real World DBA” give a marketing-free introduction to SQL Server for the Oracle professional. No experience in SQL Server is necessary – we’ll cover the basics of SQL Server Architecture using Oracle concepts as a guide. If you’re an Oracle professional and you want to add SQL Server to your “knowledge arsenal”, come hear this overview. You’ll also get a list of resources that will enable you to research further.

The event is getting bigger and better each time.  Last I heard there were over 400 signed up with more than 40 on the waiting list.  Awesome! 

Hope to see you there.

Categories: 2010, SQL Server, Training