Monthly Archives: April 2012

Professing My Love For All Things Awesome!

With today being my anniversary to my lovely bride, Elizabeth aka @SumterGatorGirl aka the Princess Bride, I found it prophetic to wax lyrical about all the things I love.  How does a SQL geek, go about doing such a thing?  With a table of course!

Thought you should’ve been higher on the list?  I can be bought, especially with SWAG!  Enjoy!

Writing, More Fun Than I Thought

After spending many hours writing recently, in addition to the this blog, I am finding that technical writing is more fun than I would have imagined.  For years, I loathed creating documentation and presenting technical writing.  It always seems so dry.  Couldn’t someone spice it up with a tawdry love affair or double homicide in the middle of the data pump?  That is a technical manual that I couldn’t put down.

To be honest, I have secretly always wanted to be a writer, at least since high school.  I have even sat down several times  and started to write a novel only to get frustrated and give up after a few weeks.  When blogging came along, I was excited but had nothing to write about.  Now with this year and forcing myself to blog everyday, I have found that writing is getting easier and more enjoyable.   Let us see where this road will take me.


Happy Easter

Happy Easter!  I seriously hope that you are not working today!  Take the day off, walk away from the computer, go outside and breathe in the spring fresh air.  Spend the day with your family and savor the blessings that you have.  There is plenty of time for work tomorrow!  Enjoy!

Saturday SQL Schoolhouse

SQL Schoolhouse!

Today’s installment of the Saturday SQL Schoolhouse is brought to you by all of our fine friends who offer free eBooks for SQL Server.  Below you will see a compiled list of free SQL Server eBooks available for your download.  Enjoy!

  • Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2012:  PDF, ePUB, MOBI
  • Introducing Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2:  PDF, XPS
  • Troubleshooting SQL Server: A Guide for the Accidental DBA : PDF
  • SQL Server Statistics:  PDF
  • Brad’s Sure Guide to Maintenance Plans: PDF
  • Protecting SQL Server Data: PDF
  • SQL Server Tacklebox: PDF
  • How to Become an Exceptional DBA: PDF
  • SQL Server Stumpers Vol.5: PDF
  • Mastering SQL Server Profiler: PDF


Sometimes It’s Best Not To Monkey Around

Recently I found a poorly performing server and I could not figure out why with all of the usual troubleshooting techniques.  Something told me to look at some of the configuration settings and there it was shining like a crazy diamond.  The sp_configure option ‘max worker threads’ was set to a value of 16.  Seriously?

Now my curiosity was piqued.  There are experts who change settings like this because they know what they are doing.  Generally, I do not monkey around with these types of settings unless I have a really good reason to do so, and no a vendor telling me to do it is not a good reason unless this SQL Server is dedicated solely to them, which it is not!  Best practices says to leave this at zero so that SQL Server can manage the number of worker threads for optimal performance.  Who am I to think that I know better than some really smart guys from Redmond?  After doing some light reading on the subject, I learned that too few threads can cause “thread starvation” where there are not enough threads to service the incoming client requests resulting in poor performance.

In addition, setting this value too high can waste memory and also be detrimental to performance.  In conclusion, do not monkey around with the settings unless you know what you are doing.  That is all!



SWAG, I Love It, I Want Some More of It!

20120405-135422.jpgSWAG, also known as the “Stuff We All Get”, has been a tradition at trade shows, conferences, SQL Saturdays, User Group meetings, and meetings with sales reps for many, many years and yet I still get excited about these silly little trinkets. 

My house is full of SQL Server shirts and vendor shirts.  My office is also full of  silly stickers, magnets, pens, patches, notepads, SQL Server stamped items such as the one shown, my favorite Idera duck, the great Red Gate USB lava lamp that everyone tries to steal off of my desk, and of course the Quest Software red and blue lit flashing, bouncing ball that mesmerizes my co-workers.

This is a serious addiction, I almost knocked someone down trying to get a cool VMWare umbrella a couple of months ago as it slipped out of my grasp.  Everyone else enjoys it too, but does it really have any effect on our decision-making.  Not mine!  But if you want to send me some more in an effort to change my mind, please feel free!   Enjoy!

Performance Monitoring Tools Compilation

Reading some blogs this morning, I found this article on SQL Server Performance Monitoring Tools.  The only product I see that they are missing is Red Gate’s offering, which I personally use.  But this is a great list as some of these I had never seen before. 

Does anyone have an opinion on these products?  I personally enjoy the Red Gate SQL Monitor, product, but it is the only product I have ever used outside of SQL Server itself.  Give me your input.  Enjoy!

Shaping this Blog

Into my fourth month of daily blogging and I find myself, scouring the blog stats and comments looking for trends.  Should this matter?  One friend told me just write the blog and do not care whether anyone reads it.  Well actually I think he said do not worry if no one reads it.  After moving past the 100 mark on the blog count, I wonder how many of the more seasoned bloggers worry about their comments or statistics? 

Sometimes I find myself trying to duplicate successfully viewed blog posts and that can be a difficult thing to do.  After carefully studying all of the trends in my blog, I realized that the days that I had more views were not necessarily better blog posts, but they were tagged with the #SQLPASS hashtag, meaning simply that more people were exposed to the message.  However, with etiquette in mind, I cannot simply add that hash tag to every blog post if it does not apply to SQL PASS.  Maybe all this is much ado about nothing.  Maybe I should just write the post and move on.

All of this boils down to my desire to be a better blogger, to share more information, and ultimately become an MVP.  It’s a long road, but well worth the journey.  Thanks for taking the road with me.  Enjoy!

Monday, Monday (Can’t Trust That Day?)

Generally, I enjoy the brisk challenge of Mondays.  On most Mondays, however, I do feel that the weekend and time with my family and/or hobbies went by way too fast.  Who doesn’t want more time with their family?  It can be a difficult balancing game when you enjoy your career.  Don’t get me wrong, family always comes first but you should be working towards personal growth and learning if you work in the IT field, otherwise you will be left behind.

This Monday, however, I am somewhat less energized due to a weekend chock full of education and writing for an upcoming project (more details to follow at a later date).  So needless to say, I need same cafe con leche this morning as I try to shift my brain into focus.  So please forgive me for this less than stellar blog post, I will get some sleep tonight and be raring to go tomorrow.  Thanks for understanding.  Enjoy!



Change of Plans

After long consideration, I have decided to change my career path.  After several meetings with out Oracle team, I have decided that their product is much more robust and the career possibilities are endless.  It also appears that their product is much easier to use and requires very little work so that I may sit in my cubicle playing angry birds or plumber crack all day long.  This is the career path for me.  Enjoy!

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