Archive for May, 2010

Three Years late, Was It Worth The Wait? Windows 7, Vista Promises Delivered.

Having been married to Microsoft for most of my professional career doesn’t mean I drink the Kool-Aid.

I have had the distinct privilege to grow up in interesting times. I loved DOS. As a BBS operator DOS was the de facto OS for most BBSes that ran on x86 hardware. Combined with QEMM/DESQview  I was a multitasking fool, running many nodes on a single 386 and a ton of ram, 8 Megabytes to be exact.

Other OSes came and I tried them as well Even running OS/2 for a while. It was DOS compatibility and multi-instance that I was after, though you could run Windows 3.x apps in it, why bother.

I More >

What I’ve Read and Recommend to Others – SQL Server 2008 Part 1

I read, a lot. I’ve been a prolific reader all my adult life.

I use to split my reading between tech books and my regular relaxing reading but since I got into audio books several years ago I just pretty much read tech books now. Some times I’ll listen to a book and read a manual at the same time breaking from one or the other if I need to really focus on a particular passage.

This allows me to really chew through a large amount of text in a pretty short amount of time.

I also have a method of digesting the information as well.

When I read a large technical volume I usually do it in three More >

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas……

 

We got something good in the mail last week!

 

 

Some quick observations:

The build quality is outstanding. Nothing cheap at all about this card. The engineering that has gone into this shows in every way.

It is made up of modules that are screwed down, I can see where they really thought this through so each rev of the card doesn’t require all new PCB’s to be manufactured.

It does require an external source of power via 4 pin Molex or SATA power connector period. Make sure your server has one available, even though these are sold by HP not all HP servers have the required More >

Understanding File System IO, Lessons Learned From SQL Server

I do more than just SQL Server. I enjoy programming. In my former life I have worked with C/C++ and Assembler. As I spent more and more time with SQL Server my programming took a back seat career wise. Having that background though really helps me day in and day out understanding why SQL Server does some of the things it does at the system level.

Fast forward several years and I’ve moved away from C/C++ and spent the last few years learning C#.

Now that I work mostly in C# I do look up solutions for my C# dilemmas on sites like http://www.codeplex.com and http://www.codeproject.com. I love More >

Found a Bug in SQL Server 2005

It doesn’t happen often but every once in a while you may be the lucky person to find a previously unknown bug in SQL Server.

It was a normal morning for me, checking the status of our servers going over any failure messages waiting for the day to ramp up. That’s when one of our lead developers came around the corner and told me he had an error when he had tried to create an index on a table he was working on. The more he tried to explain the error the more I started to worry. I had him send me the code and the error statement.

Location:     BtreeMgr.cpp:5372

Expression:   bufferLen > More >

So, what book do you recommend?

Another excellent blogger here on SSC, Jeffery Yao, has posted up an interesting idea  http://www.sqlservercentral.com/blogs/jeffrey_yao/archive/2009/04/20/database-administration-literature-criticism.aspx .

As a PASS chapter leader I often get asked the question, What book do you recommend for SQL Server? Several years ago you could recommend a single book to cover ALL SQL Server topics in depth.

Today you really need to ask specifically what topic you are trying to learn about, and if you are just starting, a seasoned pro trying to learn more or updating your skills to the next More >

SSD, The Game Changer

I’ve often described SQL Server to people new to databases as a data pump.

Just like a water pump, you have limited capacity to move water in or out of a system usually measured in gallons per hour. If you want to upgrade your pumping systems it can be a two fold process, the physical pump and the size of the pipes.

Our database servers also have several pumps and pipes, and in general you are only as fast as your slowest or narrowest pipe, hard drives.

To feed other parts of the system we have resorted to adding lots and lots of hard drives to get the desired IO read/writes and MB/sec More >

You thought SQL Server ate up memory…

Often I tell clients better to much memory than too little. This can be applied to any database engine essentially. If your data set is growing over time you will end up using any memory that is not consumed today.

I’m here to tell you I don’t think it is the biggest consumer of memory in the Microsoft software catalog, There is a new champion! Introducing in this corner SQL Server 2008 x64, and his opponent Exchange 2007 SP1!

It isn’t even a contest, Exchange by a knock out.

The Exchange team have made some major changes in the core engine to blow the lid of how much memory it will use. More >

NULL is not = to anything

One of the fun facts about SQL Server and the relation model is the whole concept of three valued logic. Now I’m not breaking any new ground here I am just touching on something that trips people up when they expect a result and don’t get it due to the magic of NULL’s. To be honest, I’m no exception to falling into the unknown from time to time.

Codd laid out 12 fundamental rules of what a relational database system should conform to if it is to be considered truly relational.

Rule 3: Systematic treatment of null values:

The DBMS must allow each field to remain null (or empty). More >

It’s all magic to me.

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"Any technology, no matter how primitive, is magic to those who do not understand it."

freefall 

Arthur C. Clarke penned three laws of prediction

  1. When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.
  2. The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.
  3. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

The  last is the most well known. I love the change More >

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