Junk Drawer – A quick and finally simple way to import misc data into SQL

Dale Newman’s post on Junk Drawer caught my eye and I put it on my To Read list (basically one of my browser tabs, mocking me until I got to it). I finally took time to read it and boy am I glad I did. This definitely goes into my Bat Utility Belt of dev/dba tools. Frequently I need to throw some data into SQL to query against, join against production data, etc, for instance when someone from another department throws a spreadsheet of staff at me and asks if I can add their email addresses. A quick join againstRead More

How to Create Great Rounded Corners on Images with an Alpha Mask and Paint.Net

For a recent website I was working on I wanted to have some nice looking rounded borders for the main body of the page and some of the images.  Since I’m an avid jQuery user it was a no-brainer to use the jquery.corner plugin.  It looks great and works across multiple browsers.  It defaults to using more modern CSS styles for newer browsers but falls back on some neat tricks for older browsers. Unfortunately the tricks don’t always come out perfect and some users with older browsers complained the image corners were “jaggy”. Rather than tell any users they needRead More

What’s the shelf life of a techie?

A valued colleague just sent me this interesting article: http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-company/corporate-trends/whats-the-shelf-life-of-a-techie-just-15-years/articleshow/17251620.cms It proposes that the shelf life of a techy is only 15 years.  One leader interviewed claims that the 20 something’s in an organization provide more value than the 35 year olds. Definitely interesting and provocative. I’ve had these same fears (now that I am 35 myself). I remember what I used to think of my “elders” back when I was in my early 20’s. They were behind the times and couldn’t seem to mentally get out of 1st gear. Now that I’m the mid-thirty guy I have a sinkingRead More

Should SSMS be built into Visual Studio?

SQLServerCentral sends out a daily email and today had an interesting offer to take a survey from redgate.  They were asking questions of Visual Studio developers that heavily use/interact with databases. If you fit into this crowd help out by taking their survey here. Initially I really distrust the idea of having SSMS like functionality within VS.  I know it is already there but I just have really avoided them, though I try to use them from time to time just to give them the benefit of the doubt. For some reason Microsoft tends to like to dumb down anythingRead More

Alt-Tab Aids My Mental Context Switching

A recent blog post about combining the functionality of SQL Server Management Studio within the Visual Studio IDE got me really thinking. Any any given moment I have at least 6-8 applications running, usually quite a bit more.  When developing an app I usually have a work environment consisting of VS 2010, SSMS, Firefox (with at least 6 tabs open), Outlook, Word, etc.  Each application is only an Alt-Tab away. I initially rebel at putting SSMS DBA features into VS2010 (yes, I know they are already there, I just don’t use them).  Much of this has to do with theRead More

Backing up to iCloud Just Doesn’t Fit for the 99%

We use iPads within our organization and the use is growing.  This starts to present IT support concerns, especially when major iOS updates like iOS 5 come out.  iCloud is touted as being a great answer to several issues because it allows you to backup devices over the Internet.  I agree that this is a great idea for consumers and potentially for enterprises, but at the moment it doesn’t live up to the desire initially.  Doesn’t Work for the Enterprise Yet Unfortunately iCloud really doesn’t seem to be a solution for enterprise.  iCloud might work for carts if: •    ItRead More

A Quick Script to Help Update Your Current Student Photos in Destiny from Aeries

At my district we use Aeries, our Student Information System from Eagle Software.  We also use Destiny, our district-wide library system from Follett Software.  Both are great products and, better yet, both are housed on our Microsoft SQL Servers.  This allows us another level of integration since we can get to the raw database for various needs. One way we take advantage of this is how we load our student photos into Destiny.  Destiny takes a zip file, which contains jpeg files of the students as well as a idlink.txt file, which is an index file that ties the jpegRead More

Virtual Desktop Savings is not in the Hardware

Here’s a great article that I recently was referred to: Citrix: Virtual desktops about to become cheaper than physical ones In it Citrix is helping to develop yet another lower cost zero-client device.  These are literally just a small box about the size of a deck of cards that have ports for a monitor, Ethernet and USB.  No moving parts, very slim, reliable and inexpensive. However, I still maintain that the savings of Virtual Desktop (VDI) are not in the hardware. I think the real savings are in staffing and time.  Unfortunately these are much harder to measure but wellRead More