Thursday, January 07, 2010

Learning What You're Doing

Always good, that - knowing what you're trying to do. Understanding it. Knowing what pitfalls might happen underfoot. So I got hold of Insider Training and ordered up a course in order to learn all there is to know for passing the MCTS exam for DBA for SQL Server 2008. This should be a shock to the system!
Actually, it should do me good - I've been playing DBA on-and-off for years now, so actually learning the stuff properly under some pressure should do me good. Anyhow, I'm just talking to the guy at Insider about the scheduling and the postman rings the doorbell with the courseware for the course! It wasn't due to arrive to me for about another 4 days, so top marks to the USPS for managing to let my packages weave around all the junk mail.
I mentioned a few blogs ago that Blogger had altered its editor, and didn't have paste any more. Well, I'm using Firefox 3.5 on Ubuntu 9.04 right now and I've lost the insert bar (the little vertical line that shows you where the next letter you type will appear). I've alst lost the highlighting when I want to select some text! Now I'm adapting, as it's eerily reminiscent of working on a DEC 10 machine with about 40 other people - the machine couldn't keep up with your typing, so you never watched the screen much, but just took a quick glance now and then and then remembered where you were and navigated "in your head", so to speak. Of course, there wasn't such a thing as a mouse then, but the effect is quite similar. I hate to say this, but then was 1984!
I should note here that this is only happening to me with Firefox under Ubuntu, and may go away if I re-start the browser, of course. One thing I definitely will say, comparing the same program on the two systems (Ubuntu and Windows XP) is that the visual impression provided by GNOME 2.8 is much nicer than WinXP SP3.
Well, so the SQL Server 2008 Implementation and Maintenance Training Kit book and CD arrived. Hot on the heels of a copy of SQL Server Database Design and Optimisation. Now I'm looking at the main laptop - a 2 GHz, 2 GB Acer 9300 Aspire and wondering if I should pull the hard drive, drop in a new one, and set it up as a dedicated learning machine. It seems like I should, so my next task is to work out what software absolutely has to come with me, along with its data. Thunderbird and the email is a definite yes there.

Then there'll have to be a copy of SQL Server and of Visual Studio. Looking at what I have on for next week there'll have to be a copy of Oracle too! Suddenly I'm thinking of an array of laptops, not just one!

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