Wednesday, June 29, 2005

blogger legal guide

I'm still catching up on my mail from June...came across this new legal guide for bloggers posted by the EFF.

Its good to be back...

Today was my first real day back on the job. It actually felt good to be back in the office and see the people I missed all month. Having good peers and a good supervisor go a long way in keeping me happy at Pilkington. Creative work assignments, flexible scheduling, and good pay don't hurt either. Now if we could just get the locker room and grassy field for lunchtime games of ultimate frisbee like OC has...

Tonight I went to the local .NET user group meeting downtown. Joseph Poirier gave a presentation on a dispatch application he wrote for a local company. Its really great to come together with other techies in the greater Toledo area.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Final day at Teched 2005

I didn't want to miss the 8:30 session, and somehow I woke up in time to catch the bus over there without the use of my alarm. I didn't even walk fast, actually I couldn't walk fast because my feet were so sore from walking through the freaking everglades the night before. Oh yeah, did I mention that? Andrew found an excellent short cut. And when I say short cut, I mean tall wet grass and it took us twice as long to walk back to the hotel. I was sure a croc would crawl out at us any moment.

PRT355 Enterprise Project Server integration with Sharepoint by Jean Francois LeSaux. Jean gave a terrific session showing the architecture and integration points between sharepoint and MS Project (PWA ans Professional). Allows for task integration with Outlook/Exchange. Allows for personalized web portal including task list and gant charts, and health of projects.

DAT310 Programming SQL Server Management Objects with Michiel Wories - Shared source initiative he started
You can perform any SQL management task programmatically through SMO.NET. Communications settings (partial object instantiation or full) can be configured to meet your own scalability needs.


DBA417 Maximizing Query Performance in SQL Server with Burt ??? (MS SQL Support escalation engineer). This guy was FREAKIN AWESOME. This was hands down the best session I attended at tech ed, and if you have access to the webcast sessions online, go watch this one.

Tech Ed '05 was great, and I really look forward to going to Boston next year if possible.

Teched Day 4

Hands on labs all morning, the cool thing about HOL at teched are the dozens of lab assistants who are actually knowledgeable about the products and demos and are literally sprinting around to help people.

Two lectures after lunch...

PRT376 Sharepoint Portal Server Search Technologies
A good overview of searchable scopes of webs and subwebs, metadata, and list content. Gave overview of Sharepoint table structures within SQL. I forget his name, but the guy liked his whiskey. He gave out shots at the end.

DBA421 Inside SQL Server User Mode Scheduler with Ken Henderson.
In depth look at how SQL uses cooperative multithreading under the covers using worker fibers hosted within the main SQL thread. SQLPERF(umsstats) is good way to measure the health of your UMS. Ken gave me a copy of his newest book for asking a cool is that!?!

Andrew and I went to Universal Studios together...the spread was amazing. You really couldn't ask for more, and the theme park wasn't bad either. We hung out at the Bob Marley club after the park closed. Unfortunately the busses were all gone by the time we were finished. It was nice evening and we were both wired (and mildly inebriated) so we decided to walk back to the far could it possibly be? OH MAN was that a mistake, I'm pleasantly surprised we survived. About a mile away from our motel a taxy slowed down for us, but at that point we couldn't give up. We literally walked for 2.5 hours, arriving back at the hotel at 2:30am. Fortunately we never seem to run out of things to talk about so all ended well.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Teched Day 3

Went to two lectures today and filled the rest of the time with hands on labs.

PRD393 SAP and Sharepoint with Justin Chandoo offered a nice survey of integration techniques. Go to for more info on the api and new developments, especially regarding Mendocino. Also there are some SAP Web part samples on gotdotnet.

DBA311 SQL Recovery Best Practices with Kim Tripp was an awesome demo highlighting partitioning, split file groups, schemas, piecemeal restoration, and snapshots.

I have no recollection of what happened after this... :-)

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Teched Day 2

I went to a hands on lab for the new SQL management console, the improvements have really made me dread going into Enterprise Manager and Query Analyser.

After lunch I attended Jespen Johansson's "Anatomy of a Network Hack". He is a great presenter, hilarious, but also very very useful. I did a great job of scaring the pants off every admin in the room (I estimate a thousand of them packed in).

My last session of the day was on Sharepoint with Mike Fitzmaurice(Microsoft) and Ted Pattison(Pluralsight). They covered generation of your own Sharepoint Templates.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Teched Day 1

Had a great Sunday evening with Andrew, we ate at Charlies Steak house which is rated #2 in the nation. After that we went up and down the strip just to see what was going on. There is SO much to do here! I'll post pics soon.

I attended some great sessions on Monday, most noteworthy was a SQL index tuning session with Kim Tripp. She is AMAZING! There are a couple of .NET Rocks episodes and free online webcasts from her that you could check out if you don't believe me.

The sharepoint sessions were cool so far, and I've been making my best attempt to talk to people in the audience to get their opinions on the product. Bill Sharp from Mindshare gave a great talk on the strengths or best practices for Sharepoint Portal Server 2003. I spoke with a 'retired' programmer who is building a patient records application for a medical practice for fun. He considers the Sharepoint services (WSS) framework to be the best application platform to build web applications on these days. Alex Paytuvi from Quilogy introduced a bunch of free business line templates for wss that looked terrific. They are basically application starter blocks that are about 80% finished. The example sites he walked through were project management, IT admin, and HR recruiting. Each template was thoughtfully configured using the taxonomy (terminology) and predicted uses for each task.

Jullien Sellgren from Metalogix lead a great hands on lab for scripting the content loading and even altering the structure of WSS sites. WSS out of the box is very similar to DotNetNuke as configurable site all via the browser interface. But in major conversions of content into WSS, it is awesome to be able to programmatically build the web parts prepopulated with content. Metalogix provides a free wrapper class that makes use of FrontPage RPC and web services to make all the magic happen within a simple consolidated API. Think about how cool this would be for change management in major web portals! I really would have liked an approach like this when we migrated our old IBuySpy portal to DNN. Maybe there is a decent way to do it but I never found it. Probably when the next version of DNN supports web parts a solution like this would support either type of portal.

Monday evening was the grand opening of the exhibit hall which means great grub, free drinks, and lots of creative marketing. Andrew and I made our way through the menagerie and talked with some of the vendors. My favorites included: Mimosa (transparent Exchange archival), Red-Gate(terrific SQL tools), MS Live Meeting(virtual team facilitation), Patch Link(server patch mgmt), and Macrovision(ton of including Installshield).

After the exhibitors closed up for the evening we headed down to the jam session. Those geeks can really play! The night club they rented out was top notch.

Sunday, June 05, 2005


I've been lax in posting recently, its been a whirlwind with my daughter's birthday party, sister's graduation, and getting ready for my three trips in June. In the event you care about our experiment with South Beach, it really seems to work. Whatever flab I did have around my gut was gone at the end of the two weeks. Unfortunately some splurges at the birthday party, graduation party, and homecoming party of my brother Cain have negated any benefits. In all the diet seems to really have helped stabilize Megan's sugar levels, which was one of the main goals.

My first trip of June is TechEd '05 in Orlando. I flew into Orlando Sanford this morning, a small airport slightly north of the bigger Orlando International. Getting shuttle service to my hotel was a bit hectic. Why did I fly in there? When booking the direct flight from Toledo, I guess thats where TMA goes!

When checking into the Wyndham I was asked if I had transportation...answering no she pointed me towards the bell hop and said to talk to them. As it turns out, the Wyndham here has its own convention center, 3 pools, various nature areas and restaurants. So I joined one of the hotel golf carts and headed off to the back 40 for my room. The room was small and had a very small table, so I politely complained and they moved me to a suite, with desk, king sized bed, fridge, etc (for the same price). Someone needs to give that lady a raise!!!

I checked in to TechEd and picked up the yearly swag. The laptop bag this year is not quite as impressive as last year's backpack, but decent quality. The thing weighed about 20lbs from the massive amount of marketing literature and software included. Before I left Megan said she expected me to pick up some sun screen, and the bottle had better be half empty by the time I return. Problem solved--I have Microsoft sunscreen from my pack. There will be far fewer geeks walking around sun burned this year...if their testosterone permits them to use the thoughtful gift!

There is an Alien Ware area set up with Far Cry gaming tournaments. I walked in and played a round thinking I would get trashed since I don't play that game. Turns out I only missed qualifying for the next higher round by 1 'point'. There are about 30 people playing together, and the top 2 from each round are deemed worthy.

Tonight I plan on hanging out with my old friend Andrew.