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The place where I page to when my brain is full up of stuff about the Microsoft platform

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  • Blog Post: Future Decoded – with Data Science

    If you have been following my posts on Microsoft’s approach to data science with things like Machine Learning you’ll realise that it’s capable of making predictions. However to be honest it’s not going to tell you what devices and career you’ll have in five years time. To do that you need expert humans...
  • Blog Post: Saying Goodbye to SQL Server 2000

    I have published quite a few posts on how to upgrade from SQL 2000 to 2005/8 since I started blogging, but I still get asked a lot of questions about how and why so Alex (Editor of the TechNet Newsletter ) and I though an event might be in order. However this is a TechNet event with a difference in that...
  • Blog Post: European PASS Conference 2008

    If you can't make the launch, and weren't at SQL Bits a couple of weeks ago then why not convince your manager, wife, accountant that you need to go Germany to get SQL fix.  The Professional Association PASS for SQL Server and BI are holding their European Conference at Neuss, 14-16 April. ...
  • Blog Post: PASS Meeting 26th June

    The Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS), is holding it's next meeting on 26th June from 6-9pm.  The theme is virtualising SQL Server, in all its guises both using hardware and software. HP and Quest are going to be there and I will be flying the Microsoft flag.  So if you have an...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft Application Platform Update 6th March

    My good friend Graeme Scott, while being an excellent presenter is not a blogger, but he has had a lot of requests to share his SQL Server session from the Microsoft Application Platform Update on 6th March and I am here to help. So if you caught his session last week here’s the link to his deck , and...
  • Blog Post: After TechDays there’s After Hours

    Hopefully you are aware of Tech Days in the UK during the week of 10-16 April, but you might not be aware of the After Hours evening event on the 14th April. This is  still about technical stuff but with homage to  scrap heap challenge and Top Gear, rather than the day events where we all concentrate...
  • Blog Post: SQL Relay Notes and Queries

    I wanted to something different for SQL Relay last week as this is a community driven event and I didn’t want to cover areas that the other experts on the Relay team would cover. This left some gaps and I have had several follow up questions via twitter and e-mail which I want to cover in this post....
  • Blog Post: TechEd Middle East 2010

    Only in Dubai can you spend a balmy (25 degrees C) evening with MVP’s from UAE and Saudi Arabia overlooking a snow covered ski slope! I was there for the first TechEd for the Middle East and while I did 3 sessions, the most interesting bit for me at an event like this is the conversations you have on...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server sprawl

    Normally the term sprawl carries an implied criticism, in the case of SQL server that DBAs have lost control of their infrastructure and users are install it willy nilly without regard for data protection or disaster recovery.  However when it comes to SQL Server user group meeting then sprawl is...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 Happy RTM

    Thanks to everyone who came along to celebrate SQL Server 2008 at our unleashed event yesterday and especially to the audience who volunteered to sit in the overflow room as we had a few AV niggles.  As you can see above image David Hobbs-Mallyon one of the SQL Server product managers is also a...
  • Blog Post: Upgrading to SQL Server 2008

    Back on 19th March I did a presentation on upgrading to SQL Server 2008, as part of the UK Launch event in Birmingham.  I have now got the feedback from this session and I thought it would be interesting to share some of it.  Microsoft’s privacy policy is far more stringent than any organisation...
  • Blog Post: Sharepoint Saturday

    User groups should be run and managed by Microsoft users, so I am really pleased to see SharePoint experts Tony Pounder, Brett Lonsdale and Mark Macrae , taking a lot of time and effort to run the first SharePoint Saturday in the UK. I have seen how successful SQLBIts has become and how it compliments...
  • Blog Post: Windows plays Wembley 6th October

    I am part of a small team preparing for the launch of Windows 7, its big brother Windows Server 2008 R2 and Exchange 2010 on 6th October at Wembley stadium.  I volunteered to be the producer as I am not presenting, and this essentially means that I’ll get the blame if you don’t have a great event...
  • Blog Post: TechEd 09 Ask the Experts

    I have been at TechEd Berlin last week and when I wasn’t speaking I spent most of the time in the Learning Centre (TLC) or ask the experts. I must confess I felt a bit of a non-expert this year for two reasons; I have been spending time getting up to speed on the new Windows releases There were...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 Central Management Servers

    I have done a blogcast and a few posts around the configuration servers in the betas  of SQL Server 2008, however in SQL Server 2008 as released these are now called Central Management Servers.  For those of you who have held off form trying the latest version until it was released, this feature...
  • Blog Post: SQL Server 2008 R2 online Q&A

    I have to confess that I’m not a huge fan of certain type of social media, maybe this is an age thing but perhaps not. I just want to get stuff done and bizarrely at the end of the day I get out my paint brushes, play guitar, or dig for victory in my back garden none of which are related to, computers...
  • Blog Post: Thames Valley PTA

    I am on a secondment to another division of Microsoft in the UK for the next six weeks as a Partner Technology Advisor (PTA!).  It’s a job swap with my friend Jamie Burgess so he gets to be an evangelist while I help partners get up to speed with all the new stuff in SQL Server 2008 R2. So the blogging...
  • Blog Post: End User/ Self Service BI

    The idea of letting users design their own BI fills many experts with equal dread and delight.  On the one hand users know exactly what they want and the IT professional is freed from the drudgery of endlessly tinkering with content. On the other end users don’t really understand the intricacies...
  • Blog Post: TechNet Virtual Conference 19th June

    Normally at this time of the year the evangelists would be wandering the UK with the TechNet road shows.  However this year TechNet has gone virtual as it’s become very apparent that you are finding it even more difficult to justify a day out of the office not to mention getting approval for travel...
  • Blog Post: Event Handling for the IT Professional

    My diary is solid for the next few weeks as there seem to be a lot of events on. This is good for me as the best bit of my job is swapping ideas and stories with like minded individuals, not to mention the odd lively debate.  I also get the impression that many of you enjoy this too and I often...
  • Blog Post: Microsoft VDI – it exists and it works

    I really enjoy going to technical community events even the ones that are run by Vmware, but you would think from the Vmware ones that Microsoft doesn’t have a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solution at all.  I don’t intend to turn this blog into a feature comparison of the two or anything...
  • Blog Post: 2008 Launch Wave

    The official launch of Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and Visual Studio 2008 will happen on the 19th March at the Birmingham ICC.  The format will be a sort of mini TechEd IT Forum with separate technology tracks, Hands-on Labs, Ask the Experts etc. In addition, you'll be able to hear from...
  • Blog Post: SQL Bits Logo design

    I have heard it said by many developers that DBAs are all artists, so please can you direct your creative talents to coming up with a new logo for the SQL Bits events. Simon Sabin , designed the last one but it needs to be changed for reasons I won’t bore you with: Note: Don’t be a square come to the...
  • Blog Post: SQL Relay 2012

    Four cities,  in four days makes for one tired evangelist, so why am I doing SQL Relay with the SQL community I hear you ask.  Well that’s your answer really -  I can’t hear you ask anything when I am sat in darkest Surrey blogging away so I am actually doing these events not so much to...
  • Blog Post: TechDays Online 2012

    Simon and I are doing so many events that frankly our blogs are nearly dying of neglect so I am not even sure if anyone is out there reading this!   I am not apologising because it’s great to be out there meeting people at IT Camps, launch events etc. However not everyone can get to one of those...