Sunday, April 11, 2010

Back on the Road

Over a month ago I was asked, because I work with SQL Server and because I used to work with a database system called Paradox (think "Access the way it should have been"), to go to a meeting at a pretty well-known company and meet on of their manager. It seems that they found a program with data that they need to have access to, but they don't know how to run the program and/or get at the data. Turns out that the program is a DOS version of Paradox, believe it or not, and the PC it's sitting on is equally old. No problem -- should take a week or two to do. Finally -- a month later -- we get the go-ahead to do the thing, so I'll be commuting about 70 miles daily for a couple of weeks to do the job.

It'll make a nice change from studying for a while, but very soon I'll be back listening to one of Brian Knight's pals from Pragmatic Works in a course on SSRS 2008. Meanwhile the study for an MCTS (SQL 2008 DBA) goes slowly on -- eventually I'll get to doing the exams (I'm almost finished the SSIS stuff!). Studying isn't the most enthralling stuff, but it matters in the end.

I took a few hours off the other day and read Michael Lewis' book about the current recession, The Big Short. This is an absolutely excellent book, and I recommend it to you without any reservation at all. It really offers a clear insight into what was going on in Wall Street from 2004-2008 and how what people were doing, and what they didn't understand, caused the financial crash.

You can get a copy of MS SQL Server 2008 Developer's Edition for just $50. This is exactly the same as the Enterprise version, except that you can run it on, for example, a copy of Windows XP and you mustn't use it for your production system. OK, fine; why do you want it if you're working in, for example, Oracle or MySQL? Well, the SSIS part alone does neat things like give you tools for programming import and export processes in and out of almost any database (I'll probably be using it for import from Paradox), which definitely helps the perpetual emergencies we all get run down by!

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