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 joinRead 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

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

Visual Studio JavaScript & CSS Outlining

Sometimes it’s the little tools that really make your day.   I finally got fed up with my growing JavaScript files and thought it would be great if Visual Studio allowed me to collapse functions just like it does with c# and other source files.  So I did a Google search.   Well, Velio Ivanov created a great little Add on that does just this and for CSS too!  Thanks Velio!!!   Check it out: http://jsoutlining.codeplex.com/

Adding a group of computers to an AD Group using PowerShell

PowerShell is a lot of fun but I don’t always get to play with it.  Anytime I have to do large tasks that move a lot of simple data or AD type tasks then I’ll sometimes pull it out. Recently we installed Windows 7 across our district.  During that process we renamed all the computers because our old naming convention wasn’t always followed and it created a lot of confusion and inconsistency. All our library staff computers have a special application that allows them to download barcodes that are read using a handheld barcode scanner for inventories.  This previously wasRead More

Extending Your jQuery Application with Amplify.js

This was a pretty amazing article about how to extend your jQuery code even further using Amplify.js.  Elijah has a great writing style with very organized and clear examples.  He first starts out with what I think is a pretty nice and clean example app.  Then he proceeds to discuss various improvements he makes using Amplify.js and refactoring to various patterns that really start to bring out the flexibility of the app. Definitely take a look! http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/scriptjunkie/hh147623.aspx

Microsoft Surface 2 with PixelSense

This is just amazing stuff.  When Microsoft Surface first came out you knew this was opening the door to the future.  All the flashy futuristic movies where video screens are interactive and everywhere, tables, walls, etc are now coming to reality. With Surface 2 they have really taken a huge leap forward.  Now they are using LCD screens with what they call PixelSense technology.  Along with R, G and B pixels there is now a fourth pixel that can detect in the infrared range.  The LCD screen actually can detect the objects on the table. What this does is changeRead More

Making F1 Do Something Useful in Visual Studio

Have you ever wished that hitting the F1 key in Visual Studio actually returned good search results in a quick manner?  Personally I think the F1 key returns decent results, but there certainly are a lot out there who don’t.  I mostly work in .Net so I’m in the camp of users that F1 works well for. The think I really don’t like though is the 30 seconds or so it takes to launch the help window.  Once you’re there navigation is pretty painful. For the last several years I’ve all but abandoned F1 and just search Google with “msdn”Read More