Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Found the blog again

Just revamping the web site after a long period of inactivity.
I'm still failing to retire and coming to the end of an interesting but frustrating contract.

One of the more demanding aspects of the work has been that the requirements and external systems change at short notice - a couple of days before a release which means implementing methods for making the system flexible. It has meant implementing an imported that can handle changes in file structures and methods of reformatting files.

I've utilised command line, VBScript, PowerShell, SSIS transformation tasks in abundance and will write some articles about the methods.

I've also been involved in studying with the Open University which is sadly now struggling to keep up with the imposed funding changes and also some poorly directed and implemented policies. Not sure it's good value for money now and probably wouldn't recommend it to new learners but for those who want to dabble it is still useful. I'm coming to the end of a couple of bachelor degrees (Astrophysics and associated). I tried some computing undergraduate and postgraduate.

My first introduction to relational databases was an OU postgraduate module and was excellent. Unfortunately, since then they have rewritten the module and it is no longer  much use. I also tried the undergraduate version and it was very poor. Some of the material was confused and quite often incorrect. The tutors didn't seem to understand the subject and the tmas (tutor marked assignments) had questions that showed basic misunderstanding of theory.

I'm currently devising a method of updating the text files for my web site to include google adsense scripts - which turns out not to be as easy as I would expect. I'm going for a method of including code in each file then running a script to replace that with the adsense script.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

New full time contract

I've taken a new full time contract - new I wouldn't last long. Contacted on Tuesday, interview Wednesday, started Friday. It looks like it will be fun although a lot of work.
A good excuse to delay redecorating the house yet again.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Redgate DBA awards

Agreed (and honoured to be asked) to be a judge for the Red Gate DBA awards.
Now have to decide whether to go to the PASS summit for the presentation in November.
I suspect I will as I enjoyed the last PASS sumit I went to and just need an excuse.

Article on identities got a pleasing quick response and criticism - and fortunately no religious tirades.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Updated web site

Added a bit aout savings to the finance part of my web site and rejigged a few other parts.
Installed visual studo 2008 in preparation for the data driven app article - discovered I was a bit lacking in .net dev environments. I tend to use virtual machines and had lost them.

Also tried adding Youtube video links to the website
Not sure about the use of this so might remove it later.

Added a list of new SQL Server 2008 features and functionality
Hoping to expand on this when I get time.

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Near future aims and objectives

I am trying to concentrate a bit more on publishing SQL Server related material both on my website
and on the simpletalk site. I've recently published an article on identity columns there
Also a new blog on Simple Talk at
It's what made me create this.

I'm in the process of writing an article on creating a .net application that is controlled via data (no more coding as long as the extra functionality is within the framework). This is surprisingly simple to write. I'm hoping to give a and version.

The other task is to re-establish the forum on my website. I had to take it down after it got hacked in a particularly nasty way. I should have taken more notice ofthe Snitz vulnerability fixes. Sorry if anyone got hit by it.

Oh - and need to link this from my website.

This is turning into a todo list.
So while I'm here - A long time ago I wrote an admin system for my brothers company. V1 VB and access. V2 VB and SQL Server.
The front end now needs to be rewritten in .net.
He also says the wireless network I set up has stoped working (remember to check if the access point is still plugged in).
Oh and while I'm there I can build a web site for the company. Bet it's not as simple as saving some pages from word to html.
At some point I'm going to have to start charging for all this. It's not as if I don't have more than enough paid work to do.

Creating this

Well it was a lot simpler than I expected.
Just need to find out how to get rid of the junk adsense entries so that the useful sql server one's appear.
I remember something about prohibiting specific ads from appearing but have never needed to use it and no idea where it was. Probably in the adsense setup.