Monthly Archives: October 2012

T-14 Days Until the PASS Summit,Budget Day

With the DATEDIFF script returning 14 today, I thought I would share how I spent the last hour of my day in preparation for the PASS Summit 2012.   Today is budget day, so breakout the spreadsheet.  I spent the last hour thinking about my week at the Summit and planning my activities as well as getting a mental image of the amount of money that I need to have available to ensure that I have a great first time experience.

This spreadsheet will help me during the week to ensure that I remain within my projections so that I do not have any surprises art the end of the week when I go to check out of the hotel.  It is also a great guideline in case new activities come up within the next two weeks before I arrive in Seattle.  I can simply add them into the spreadsheet and either shuffle priorities or make adjustments as needed.

Haven’t registered for Summit yet?  Why not?  Come on you know you want to!  See you there!  Enjoy!


Talk the Talk? Then, Walk the Walk!

If you follow my blog regularly, you will no doubt have seen many messages like this one.  The clichés sound great and motivational, but there comes a time when you have to put or shut up.

Part of the reason that I blog about these subjects is to hold myself accountable.  I find it quite easy to crawl back into my introverted shell and stay in my comfort zone.  But as more and more people read the blog and follow me on twitter, I find it harder to procrastinate and avoid taking chances.  I have spent years cultivating a plan of caution and self-conservation.  This year I have broken those chains, have you?  Why not?


T-16 Days Until the PASS Summit, The Great Karaoke Crisis?

With the DATEDIFF script returning 16 today, I thought I would share a personal crisis that I am having in regards to the PASS Summit 2012.   Denny Cherry (b|t) announced during the first timers conference call earlier this week that the #SQLKaraoke event would be held Wednesday night at Bush Gardens around 9:30pm with Idera sponsoring the event.  Sounds great, this is the after hours event that I have most wanted to attend because of the #SQLFamily that attends.  This seemed like good timing because the Exhibitor reception ends at 915pm.  Life is good because now I have dinner plans and an after party to go to, right?  Not so fast my friend.

The guys over at Pragmatic Works announced yesterday that they were also throwing a #SQLKaraoke bash along with Microsoft and HP at the Hard Rock Cafe on the same night.  Their party is fronted by a live band, which sounds like a real blast.  In addition, I have a few friends over at Pragmatic Works and they are from Florida so I see them at all of the SQL Saturdays.  Is this normal for Summit, awesome competing events that is?  I will attend both, but what a bummer to have to split time at both.  It looks like everyone will benefit from this #SQLAwesomeness so this is a good problem to have.

Haven’t registered for Summit yet?  Why not?  Come on you know you want to!  See you there!  Enjoy!

T-17 Days Until the PASS Summit, Have You Voted?

With the DATEDIFF script returning 17 today, I thought I would remind everyone to vote in national election before we go to the PASS Summit 2012.  Since the election is on Tuesday during the Summit and I will be out-of-town, I will be voting during the early voting period in my hometown.  Find out if your voting district allows early voting, if not then make sure you get your absentee ballot in before you leave for the Super Bowl of computer conferences.

Haven’t registered yet?  Why not?  Come on you know you want to!  See you there!  Enjoy!

Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

“Life begins at the end of your Comfort Zone.”  ~ Neale Walsh

For years people told me to get outside of my comfort zone, to which I replied no thanks.  Besides, I like it in here, they all know my name.  For years I did not venture outside of the zone.  At the same time I was bored and found little excitement in life.  That all changed in 1998 when I was 27.  I had no intentions of traveling outside of the United States for fear of the unknown.  I rarely did new things because the change may be uncomfortable.

The company I was working for at the time sent me to Italy for a month to finish off and deliver our software and ensure that it was implemented properly for our client when it went into production.  I was skeptical and scared to leave the country but thought at least they have a vested interest in my safety and ensuring that I return home.  I had a prime opportunity to explore Italy being there for a month and I rarely ventured out more than a couple of blocks from my hotel.  Looking back, I wasted an opportunity of a lifetime staying in my comfort zone.

A year later I was a consultant traveling around North America.  Having realized the opportunity that I missed in Italy, I ventured out a little more but not nearly as much as I should have.  Two golden opportunities to see the world down the drain.  Over the last couple of years, I have stepped further outside the zone to begin networking and meeting new people as well as traveling.  In that time frame, my life has been more fulfilled, so much so that I look for new opportunities to step out of the circle.   Don’t get me wrong, I am not all the way there yet.  I still have to coax myself away from my iPad and force myself to talk to people and step away from the introversion.  But I can see with each step brings new opportunities and new adventures and my life has been forever changed.  Enjoy!

T-19 Days Until the PASS Summit, Are You Prepared?

With the DATEDIFF script returning 19 today, I thought I would share a thought that I had this morning on the way into the office while thinking about the PASS Summit 2012.  My wife is constantly asking me about what clothes I am taking, what jacket, and other minute details.  I usually try to leave decisions like these until a day or two before a trip, but she makes a really good point.

With flying from Tampa to Seattle, I am going from one corner of the country to the exact opposite corner.  My usual shorts and short-sleeved shirt will not cut it at this conference.  However, I will be bringing my swim trunks as the Sheraton has an indoor pool, so why not get some laps in?  I also needed to find my jacket and make sure it fits still and of course dust it off.  Yes, I live in Florida and I only have two jackets, one is more professional and one is for the outdoors.  The jacket is still comfortable, wow I think it has been a year or two at least since I have had to wear it.  Since the Sheraton is across the street, I also wonder if I could get away with shorts to some of the sessions?  Should I take an umbrella?  I might need some advice here.

Haven’t registered yet?  Why not?  Come on you know you want to!  See you there!  Enjoy!

Nifty Code to Update Collation

Today, we interrupt our countdown series in progress to bring you some actual T-SQL coding.  I had to bring out this snippet and dust it off for my purposes, to change some column-level collation in a database.  To give you some background, we have a vendor product that requires case-insensitive collation at the server and table level, but case-sensitive on the column level.  Yes, I know that is not best practices and seems like a weird design choice but I have to support it as the DBA.

Normally this would require a script from the vendor because it is their code, but the product allows you to create some custom tables (they default to the table level collation) in the database and those are our responsibility. So why would you need to change it you say?  The developers were trying to write some reports against these tables and as you would expect they received an error (Msg 468, Level 16, State 9, Line 4 Cannot resolve the collation conflict between “SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CS_AS” and “SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS” in the equal to operation.)  It would take forever to go table by table and column by column to change the collation, hence the need for the script!

DISCLAIMER: I have had this little snippet for a while and I do not know who wrote it originally, probably found on MSDN.  I also know that it is not the most updated way of doing this (you should use the sys schema) but it works and sometimes that is easier than rewriting the code.

The first thing you should do is right-click on your query window in SSMS and set your results to text so that the script outputs you a new script that you will run in another query window.  Keep in mind with some of your tables you might have to drop and recreate the indexes in order to alter the collation.  Always take a backup before changing something like this and know what you are doing and changing before executing any script.

SELECT  ‘ALTER TABLE ‘ + + ‘ ALTER COLUMN [‘ + + ‘]’, + ‘ (‘ ,
sysc.length ,
‘) COLLATE SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CS_AS’ ,
END + CHAR(13) + CHAR(10) + ‘GO’
FROM    sysobjects syso ,
syscolumns sysc ,
systypes syst
AND syst.xtype = sysc.xtype
AND sysc.collation = ‘SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS’
AND syso.type = ‘U’
AND != ‘text’

Enjoy and I hope this helps you!

T-21 Days Until the Summit Conference, Three Weeks Baby

With the DATEDIFF script returning 21 today, the reality is starting to set in that three weeks from today at this time I will be in the air on my way to the super bowl of technology events:  the PASS Summit 2012.

With so many activities planned it looks like I will have Sunday and Friday night to myself, at least as of today.  I do want to get back to the space needle and I also want to Ride the Ducks.  My dance card is filling up fast, but one thing is for sure this will be the trip of a lifetime, at least until next year.

Haven’t registered yet?  Why not?  Come on you know you want to!  See you there!  Enjoy!

T-22 Days Until the Summit Conference, No Sleep for the Weary

With the DATEDIFF script returning 22 today, I thought I would share a thought that I had today while thinking about the PASS Summit 2012.  I might get an average of three hours sleep a night, and I am stoked!  Obviously, I usually get about eight hours a night and I function pretty well within that framework.  But you only get this opportunity once a year and I plan on making the most of  the opportunities.

With evening activities and many after hours activities filling up and my goal of experiencing everything I can at my first Summit, I may have to sleep the next week.  The interesting part is the wide variety of activities being provided by sponsors as well as PASS itself.  My SQL cup will runneth over that week, come and join me.

Haven’t registered yet?  Why not?  Come on you know you want to!  See you there!  Enjoy!

T-23 Days Until the Summit SQLHugs

With the DATEDIFF script returning 23 today, I thought I would share a thought that I had this morning on the way to work while thinking about the PASS Summit 2012.  In the immortal words of Longfellow Deeds “handshakes are for strangers, pal. We hug around here, buddy.”  This is the #SQLFamily, so are SQLHugs appropriate?  I am a hugger, not to everyone, only friends.  The SQL community is a world of friends available online anytime, so with that being said I think SQLHugs are appropriate.  What do you think?  Let me know ahead of time or you just might get a big SQLGator hug when I see you at the Summit.

Haven’t registered yet?  Why not?  Come on you know you want to!  See you there!  Enjoy!

%d bloggers like this: