Showing posts with label technical. Show all posts
Showing posts with label technical. Show all posts

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Recap of MVP Summit 2010

I attended the 2010 MVP summit this year for the first time.

So it all started for me at 4:15 AM (EST) on Monday, this means it was only 1:15 AM in Seattle. I took a 7:35 flight from Newark New Jersey to Seattle Washington. I met Denny Cherry at the airport and we took a cab to Bellevue. This summit all the hotels for the guests were in Bellevue.

Bellevue at night

View from the hotel room

I have been checking the weather in Seattle for the last couple of months and noticed that it is 55 degrees and it rains 6 days out of 7....I was thinking to myself who would want to live here? Well as it turns out it was sunny every from Wednesday till Saturday and we really lucked out. I even took a little visit to Lake Washington.

At least I think that is Lake Washington but I could be wrong.

Microsoft Campus
I was really impressed with the campus, they have a ski shop, a barber shop, a bike shop, many restaurants and even an artificial turf soccer field.

There were 2 full days of sessions on Microsoft's campus. These were really interesting sessions, I met some of the people who worked on SQL Server and it was interesting to pick these people's brain or complain about some of the stuff that they created. The SQL team really put some interesting sessions together and I would like to thank them for that.

After these sessions we had dinner with some of the Microsoft employees, I was seated with the Azure team and we had some interesting conversations about Azure and databases in the cloud in general.


I finally met and talked to so many of the people I only knew from online newsgroups, blogs and forums. Here is just a small list:

Kevin Kline
Erland Sommarskog
Rod Colledge
Adam Machanic
Louis Davidson
Itzik Ben-Gan
Kalen Delaney
Joe Web
Dejan Sarka
Pinal Dave
Matija Lah
Michael Coles
Hugo Kornelis
Alejandro Mesa
Arnie Rowland
Kevin Boles

I (and many others) also signed two copies of the SQL Server Deep Dives book that will be given away at SQL Saturday in NYC on April 24th

Jet lag really kicked my behind the first couple of days, even though I didn't go to sleep until 11:15 PM on Tuesday night (meaning I was up for 22 hours already) I woke up at 2:30 AM on Wednesday..after tossing and turning for 30 minutes I decided to hit the gym. Luckily for me the gym is open 24/7 at the Hyatt.

I read or listened to the following things while flying or being awake during vampire hours and walking around Bellevue.

Finished In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto

Finished half of The Lost Symbol

Finished 40 % of MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-448): Microsoft SQL Server 2008-Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance: MCTS Exam 70-448 (Self-Paced Training Kits)

Listened to the following podcasts:
This week in tech
This week in google
Security now
Windows weekly
The disciplined investor
Dotnetrocks (2 episodes)

Shutter Island
After all the sessions were done on Friday I decided to go see Shutter Island. I really liked this movie and highly recommend it. The ending is very interesting.

Mount Ranier
On my way home I snapped these two pics of Mount Ranier from the parking garage at Seattle airport

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

There Is A Reason That AOL Users Are Associated With Eternal September

There Is A Reason That AOL Users Are Associated With Eternal September!!

There I said it!! I didn't think people still used AOL...apparently some people still do and I was wrong. So what is this Eternal September thing I am talking about? This is from Wikipedia's Eternal September page

Usenet originated among universities, so, every year in September, a large number of new university students from the Northern hemisphere acquired access to Usenet, and took some time to acclimate themselves to the network's standards of conduct and "netiquette". After a month or so, these new users would theoretically learn to comport themselves according to its conventions. September thus heralded the peak influx of disruptive newcomers to the network.

In 1993, the online service America Online began offering Usenet access to its tens of thousands, and later millions, of users. To many "old-timers", these "AOLers" were far less prepared to learn netiquette than university freshmen. This was in part because AOL made little effort to educate its users about Usenet customs, or explain to them that these new-found forums were not simply another piece of AOL's service. But it was also a result of the much larger scale of growth. Whereas the regular September freshman influx would soon settle down, the sheer number of new users now threatened to overwhelm the existing Usenet culture's capacity to inculcate its social norms

Why am I writing about this? It is because my wife had to email someone two pictures of our twins so that this person could use those in a school book. My wife emails the pictures and the person claims she can't open the pictures because they are not in jpeg format.
Interesting because I remember the pics being in jpeg format. So then I tried and emailed my wife the pics, she opened them fine,I then told my wife to just forward them to the person. Same reply from the person, she can't open them. Then I asked my wife what email the person turns out it was aol.

Now I remember about 10 years ago someone went through the same thing.....if you attach more than one item aol zips it up into one attachment or something like that. So I told my wife to email her the pics in two separate emails and the problem was solved. I didn't even try asking the person to unzip or unrar the attachment because then I would have to explain how to install winzip or unrar.

Really how can you still use aol in 2009? I don't care that you use aol as your ISP but use gmail or yahoo as your email. I also remember a while back when we were looking to interview people at a previous job and they just eliminated all the resumes from people who had an aol email address. The reasoning was that if you had an aol email account you could never be a serious programmer, little harsh I know but that was what they did

So, do you know anyone that still uses aol?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

AMD aims to stay in the race with Magny-Cours 12-core CPU

Saw this story in my Google Reader. Very interesting, I have a quad core CPU at home right now and never get above 30% CPU usage,I wonder what would happen with one of these 12 core CPUs on it. Here is a blurb from the article
At Hot Chips this past week, AMD unveiled more details of the upcoming 12-core "Magny-Cours" processor that it hopes will help it stay competitive in the server game. Due in 2010 on AMD's 45nm SOI process, Magny-Cours uses the same basic core microarchitecture as the current Shanghai quad-core server processor, so if there's any improvement in per-thread performance it will have to come from better system design.

The basic idea behind Magny-Cours is simple: take two six-core Istanbul processors, downclock them a bit to reduce power, and squeeze them into a multichip module (MCM) so that they can fit into a single socket. By using an MCM, AMD will be able to fit 12 cores into the same thermal and power envelope as Istanbul.

Read the rest here:

I wonder how many years it will take before we see 64 cores on the desktop and maybe 32 cores on a laptop? This reminds me of razorblades....first we had one blade, then we have long before we have ten blades in those?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

IBM X-Force Report Reveals Unprecedented State of Web Insecurity

Wow, I am reading this report and it is a sad world. Some highlights

  • Vulnerabilities have reached a plateau. There were 3,240 new vulnerabilities discovered in the first half of 2009, an eight percent decrease over the first half of 2008. The rate of vulnerability disclosures in the past few years appears to have reached a high plateau. In 2007, the vulnerability count dropped for the first time, but then in 2008 there was a new record high. The annual disclosure rate appears to be fluctuating between six and seven thousand new disclosures each year.

  • PDF vulnerabilities have increased. Portable Document Format (PDF) vulnerabilities disclosed in the first half of 2009 already surpassed disclosures from all of 2008.

  • Trojans account for more than half of all new malware. Continuing the recent trend, in the first half of 2009, Trojans comprised 55 percent of all new malware, a nine percent increase over the first half of 2008. Information-stealing Trojans are the most prevalent malware category.

  • Phishing has decreased dramatically. Analysts believe that banking Trojans are taking the place of phishing attacks geared toward financial targets. In the first half of 2009, 66 percent of phishing was targeted at the financial industry, down from 90 percent in 2008. Online payment targets make up 31 percent of the share.

  • URL spam is still number one, but image-based spam is making a comeback. After nearing extinction in 2008, image-based spam made a comeback in the first half of 2009, yet it still makes up less than 10 percent of all spam.

  • Nearly half of all vulnerabilities remain unpatched. Similar to the end of 2008, nearly half (49 percent) of all vulnerabilities disclosed in the first half of 2009 had no vendor-supplied patch at the end of the period.

How is image-based spam making a comeback? I use Gmail and also Outlook both of those disable images by default. Adobe also seems to have a real problem with reader and flash, PDF vulnerabilities are rampant. If you listen to the Security Now podcast (like every IT person should) you will notice that there are almost always problems with Reader/Flash/Shockwave.

Read the full report here

Friday, March 27, 2009


This is pretty funny if you ask me. Found this gem on wikipedia:

Hexspeak, like leetspeak, is a novelty form of variant English spelling.

Hexspeak was created by programmers who wanted a magic number, a clear and unique identifier with which to mark memory or data. Using hexadecimal notation, which includes the digits 0123456789ABCDEF, it is possible to create small words with the digit "0" representing the letter "O", "1" representing the letter "I", and "5" representing "S".

0xABADBABE ("a bad babe") is used by Apple as the "Boot Zero Block" magic number.

0xBAADF00D ("bad food") is used by Microsoft's LocalAlloc(LMEM_FIXED) to indicate uninitialised allocated heap memory.

0xBADDCAFE ("bad cafe") is used by 'watchmalloc' in OpenSolaris to mark allocated but uninitialized memory.

0xCAFEBABE ("cafe babe") is used by both Mach-O ("Fat binary" in both 68k and PowerPC) to identify object files and the Java programming language to identify Java bytecode class files[1]

0xDEADBEEF ("dead beef") is used by IBM RS/6000 systems, Mac OS on 32-bit PowerPC processors and the Commodore Amiga as a magic debug value. On Sun Microsystems' Solaris, marks freed kernel memory. On OpenVMS, running on Alpha processes DEAD_BEEF can be seen by pressing CTRL-T.[2]

0xDEFEC8ED ("defecated") is the magic number for OpenSolaris core dumps [3].

0xFACEFEED ("face feed") is used by Alpha servers running Windows NT. The Alpha Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) generates this error when it encounters a hardware failure.[4]

0xFEE1DEAD ("feel dead") is used as magic number in Linux reboot system call.

0xBADCAB1E ("bad cable") Error Code returned to the Microsoft eVC debugger when connection is severed to the debugger.

0xFEEDFACE ("feed face") is used as a header for Mach-O binaries, and as an invalid pointer value for 'watchmalloc' in OpenSolaris.

0xD15EA5E\0 ("disease") opens a game disc partition on the Wii video game console. (\0 is used to mark the end of a string. Also of note, it was 0xDEADBEEF on the Nintendo GameCube.)

0xDEADDEAD ("dead dead") is the STOP code when invoking a Blue Screen of Death by using a special keystroke on a Windows NT based OS.

0xBEADFACE ("bead face, or face bead") Is the pattern that fills all unused memory locations in the Motorola 68HCS12DP256 micro-controller simulator, SimHC12.

So guess what this will return if you run it in SQL Server

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Mix 09 Day 1 Keynote

A lot of things announced today at Mix 09
Silverlight 3 Beta
Expression Blend 3 Preview

Watch The Keynote

Big Blue To Buy The Dot In .COM

Remember the we are the dot in .com ads? Of course later it became we are the dot in the .com crash :-)

So IBM is in talks to buy Sun Microsystems Inc for 6.5 billion dollars. Sun is up 3.42 or 68.81% in pre market trading today. A while back it was noted that Sun's stock was basically worth 0 dollars because their market cap was the same as what they had in cash.

This acquisition probably makes sense to IBM because it will take out another Unix vendor and IBM also has a heavy investment in Java with a variety of products.

Sun bought MySQL not too long ago and butchered it, MySQL 5.1 was released with crashing bugs and Monty Widenius left Sun. This is going to be interesting since IBM already has a database product DB2

The Sun acquisition could also be because of the announcement that Cisco Systems Inc would be selling their own servers and stepping on IBM's turf.

This is going to be very interesting, after this downturn/recession/depression is over I think we are going to have a lot less tech companies. I am wondering if Oracle, HP, Microsoft or Google will make any major acquisition s in the coming months.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

All the interviews I did with the SQL legends

Yesterday in the Christmas Came Early This Year post I linked to an interview I did with Itzik Ben-Gan, today I decided to link to all the interviews I did

The first interview I did was with the late Ken Henderson, I owe so much to Ken and his Guru's Guide to SQL books, they made me a much better developer. I was a technical reviewer for the 2nd edition of his Guru guide to SQL book and I just hope that it will be published some time...
An Interview With Ken Henderson About The Forthcoming Book SQL Server 2005 Practical Troubleshooting: The Database Engine

Say all you want about Celko and his behaviour in the newsgroups, he does write some pretty good books
Interview With Joe Celko About The Forthcoming Book Thinking In Sets
Inside SQL Server is a book every SQL Developer should have, it was an honor to interview SQL Goddess Kalen
Interview With Kalen Delaney About Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Query Tuning and Optimization

Adam's book is filled with really good advice, I keep coming back to this book all the time
Interview with Adam Machanic Author Of Expert SQL Server 2005 Development

If T-SQL is your thing then there is no one better that Itzik, his books will open your eyes to the world of T-SQL
Interview With Itzik Ben-Gan Author Of Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2005: T-SQL Querying

A nice interview about refactoring SQL applications
Interview With Stéphane Faroult About Refactoring SQL Applications

I am a fan of Scott's column in Dr Dobbs and was very excited he wanted to do an interview
Database Refactoring Interview With Scott W. Ambler

Who doesn't know Erland? His curse and blessing of dynamic SQL is a must read
Interview With Erland Sommarskog About SQL Server and Transact SQL

Jamie is a real SSIS guru and I was glad he wanted to do this interview
Interview With SSIS Guru Jamie Thomson

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Came Early This Year

This just arrived in the mail.
Christmas Came Early This Year

A big thanks to Itzik Ben-Gan. I will put up a review in a week or so.
Now I have a big problem, should I watch the season finale of Californication or should I start beginning to read Microsoft® SQL Server 2008 T-SQL Fundamentals?

I will not tell you what I will do. I interviewed Itzik a while back about his SQL Server 2005 book, you can read that interview here: Interview With Itzik Ben-Gan Author Of Inside Microsoft SQL Server 2005: T-SQL Querying