Kevin Remde's IT Pro Weblog

  • See you at the Launch!

    Chris Avis BEFORE

    Chris Avis here has challenged all of Southern California to come to the SQL Server 2005 / Visual Studio 2005 / Biztalk 2006 Launch event in Anaheim.  He promises on his blog that if that event draws the biggest attendance of all of the launch events, he will shave his head.

    Okay, Chris... once again you throw the gauntlet down.  Your challenge isn't just to your seven blog readers, it's to the rest of your coworkers and teammates as well.  You force us to offer similar challenges to our attendees, just because of how wonderfully competative we are!

    My own Karaoke Challenge was FORCED into play by yours... (of course, I sing way better than you, so I'm not afraid one bit. <mooohahaha>)

    Okay... so that's how it's going to be.  Here's my own attendance challenge for Minneapolis.  If Minneapolis gets the biggest attendance of any of the major SQL/VS/BizTalk Launch events…

    no… waitasec… I’ll sweeten this challenge up a bit…

    Chris Avis AFTERIf the Minneapolis SQL Server 2005 / Visual Studio 2005 / BizTalk 2006 Launch simply gets better attendance than the Anaheim event, I'm getting me a sharp trimmer, and SHAVING CHRIS AVIS's HEAD!  YEAH!

    Yep.. you heard me right.  I'm bad.  Don't you think I wouldn't do it, either. 



    Someone's getting shaved, and it's not going to be me.

  • SQL Server 2005 Tidbit 017

    SQL Server 2005 Tidbit 017

    Refuel at a LIVE Technet Event!

    Number 17 Tidbit here…

    Wouldn’t you like to have the installable ‘books online’ for the next version of SQL, Microsoft SQL Server 2005, installed and available on your local workstation?


    Your wish is granted!  You can download and install the Books Online from the SQL Server 2005 June CTP. 

    Here is the link.

    And if you’re interested in downloading and evaluating SQL 2005, the June full CTP can be accessed HERE.

    Got an IT question?  Give me a comment, or contact me.


  • Cool Rush Fan Tribute Video

    A friend passed this along to me.  I was never a huge Rush fan… but I sure like this song and especially what this Neil Peart fan did to animate this tribute. 

    "A Digital Man"

  • Hurricane Relief Stories - Part 3 - Microsoft Across America (Revisited)

    Microsoft Across America <— That’s Ed Faulkner, the program manager of our Microsoft Across America “Mobile Event Experience”. 

    Ed has a blog now, and he’s using it to put up stories (and pictures) about how several of these trucks are being used in the efforts to help hurricane Katrina victims in Louisianna and Mississippi.  (Here's my earlier blog entry about those trucks.)


  • Jose speculates on the Windows Vista-included games...

    Game on!

    A young man destined-to-be-an-MVP someday –  Jose Francisco blogs today about the games that potentially may be included in Windows Vista.

    Honestly, I haven’t looked at these yet.  I’ve had so much fun with the other features that I’ll have to re-look at the build I’m running and see what’s there… Fun stuff!


  • It's Bill Gates! In his office! Talking to Scoble!

    BillG on Channel 9Robert Scoble, for Channel 9, finally got that dream interview… it’s on the Channel 9 site for all to see.

    Check it out!





    Poor Robert sounds sooo nervous.  And I don’t blame him one bit.  I probably wouldn’t be able to form sentences…

  • No really... What is it that, as you say, "sucks"?

    Beating-a-dead-horseOkay… I confess that I was “ego surfing” a few minutes ago.. after I read Steve Lamb’s post on the subject.. I used Technorati to see who was linking to my blog posts. 

    I found a nice reference back to my request for Windows Vista feedback from August 31st.. Vlad Mazek’s post (thanks Vlad!) pointed people there, and (rightly) suggested that if you want to influence how the product works, the time is NOW to help us with feedback.

    What I thought was especially interesting, though, was the one comment there from someone named “Anonymous”.  (Wow… That guy gets around!) 

    Mr. Anonymous writes, basically, that it all sucks.  It just plain sucks.  And there’s nothing I can say to make it suck any less.  It sucked in the beginning.  And it now and for-evermore shall suck.  Sucking forever and ever.  Sucks. Sucky sucky suck suckity-suck-suck-suck. 

    Did I say it sucks?

    Anyway… Mr. Anonymous (you know who you are); a simple question for you.  WHAT sucks?  What?  Specifically?

    My response comment asks him that also, and points out a couple of key ideas that Mr. Anonymous should have shoved up his.. er… crammed into his.. um…  brain. 

    • We can only change the things that we know about.  (Help us!)
    • We have many many people working hard to make it a GREAT PRODUCT… or to at least suck somewhat less than previous products.   (There’s a good tag line for any new product… “And when compared to our previous version, it SUCKS LESS!” )

    We have groups that blog internally about Windows Vista, and they have the eyes and ears of the product teams, if they’re not the product teams themselves.  Some of them even record feature demonstrations as videos, and then ask for and pass along feedback.  Do they want the product to suck less?  …perhaps even, dare I say, to “ROCK”?!  You bet!

    Mr. Anonymous.. their goal is to help you see a product that moves from the “sucks” category, to the “ROCKS” category.  And I and others like me will help you by passing along your feedback, and next year doing kick-ass demos to show you how good ROCKS can be. 

    Rock Rockity-rock-rock-rock.

  • SQL Server 2005 Tidbit 016

    SQL Server 2005 Tidbit 016


    (Warning: Old song reference)
    “You (up)load 16 tidbits… whaddya get?…”

    Credit for this one goes to my friend and teammate Matt Hester...

    Q: How do you resync in a peer to Peer replication?
    A: There is a restarable synch capability built into the replication engine,  There is a great Q/A log here:

    Also you can view an awesome replication web cast here: 

    Got an IT question?  Give me a comment, or contact me.


  • SQL Server 2005 Tidbit 015

    SQL Server 2005 Tidbit 015


    Fifteen.  It’s a one, followed by a 5.  15. 

    Credit for this one goes to my friend and teammate Matt Hester...

    Q: Can you rename the SQL 2005 SA account?

    A: Yes, as a matter of fact, you can!  With the new security model there are some great ways to really secure the SQL Instance.  You can rename the account with the ALTER LOGIN statement.  This is a great way to reduce surface area for your SQL instances.  Here is an example:

    ALTER LOGIN sa WITH NAME = [new name here];

    Additionally you can disable the account as well:


    You can download a great presentation on the new Security enhancements for SQL 2005 here:

    Got an IT question?  Give me a comment, or contact me.


  • A Technical Overview of Virtual Server 2005 WEBCAST - Additional Resources

    Virtual Server Webcast


    Here are the promised resources for the webcast I delivered today (September 7, 2005) on “A Technical Overview of Microsoft Virtual Server 2005”. 

    The content session number TNT1–154.

    Hope you find these links useful, either as you watch the webcast live or later when it’s available On-Demand.


    TNT1–154 Additional Resources


    Virtual Server 2005 Product Overview

    Virtual Server 2005 Frequently Asked Questions

    Virtual Server Technical Overview (Whitepaper)

    Virtual Server R2 (formerly SP1) Beta Program

    Virtual Server Migration Toolkit


    Virtual Server Migration Toolkit Frequently Asked Questions

    Server Consolidation with Virtual Server Migration Toolkit (whitepaper)

    Automated Deployment Services (ADS) 1.0

    Free Live TechNet Events


    TechNet Events Bloggers


    Microsoft TechNet

    Official Series Content Resource Page

    Free Windows Server 2003 Virtual Labs: 

    Windows Server 2003 Evaluation kit: 

    Windows Server 2003 Training and Events:

    Microsoft Events page:


  • Hurricane Relief Stories - Part 2 - Bill Steele

    Bill Steele

    Bill Steele is a developer and a skilled presenter on our MSDN team.  He is also a former military pilot and currently owns one or two small planes. 

    Recently he was given the okay to take some time off to help out in the hurricane Katrina relief efforts.  A couple days ago he sent this email update to the rest of us on the team:

    Well... Today is the first day of Internet access since I started this adventure.
    I'm flying out of Baton Rouge International... and have so far moved enough meals to feed about 6000 people.  When I say meal, I mean MRE... Meal, Ready to Eat.  I've been reacquainting myself to them as well... wow... I forgot how good some of them were.  I've also been delivering bottled water and some medical supplies.  My plane can handle about 700 meals with a bottle of water each and a couple boxes of medicines each trip.  (That puts me slightly over gross, but who's counting - we do remove the meals from the cardboard boxes to lighten the load a bit... and I only get about 50 gallons of fuel - since each trip is less then 1 hour.)
    Anyway, I've had to stop for a little while while some maintenance on my plane is done... I lost the left mag on the left engine on my last take off .  The maintenance staff over at "Million Aire" are fixing me up no charge... that's very cool.
    I have to tell you, most of my flights have been to the lower part of Mississippi which was just hammered.  I flew into one airport that was so badly damaged that I literally landed on an access road, because the runway didn't exist.  The control tower actually fell over from the wind.  It's a real mess in some places.  I did a small tour of the coast line for some damage assessment purposes (I've had relief coordinators with me on every flight) and it's just shocking to see the magnitude of the damage.  I've lived through some pretty bad tornados at home and the damage looks similar, but it's just so much more massive.  Tornados cut paths... there's no paths down here... just destruction everywhere.
    Anyway, the food deliveries are actually winding down because either the people are leaving or they now have "ground transportation of goods" which means that I'll move into a new type of role shuttling medical supplies and people.  (I removed the seats from my plane so we're going to have to reinstall them as well.)  There are about 50 planes doing this work... and we're all running about 6 or 7 trips a day.  We've got good sleeping quarters... a nearby Holiday Inn Select hotel and plenty of food... when I get hungry, I was just stealing an MRE.  The best so far is the Chili Mac... nice and spicy.  I'm getting ready to enjoy a Boneless Pork Chop dinner right now, however... you guessed it... it's an MRE as well.
    By the way... I see we're sending down the MSAM Buses... that's very cool!  The thing this is really lacking down here is communications... nothing works.  I'm currently using a US National Guard mobile communications van for this access - it's actually a Humvee with a bunch of antennas on it.  We get to use it for about 1 hour a day (when it's available.)
    Oh well... I'll let you know the progress the next time I can. 

    Bill also wanted me to mention that if you want to help him and other pilots like him who are volunteering so much of their time and resources there are ways to do that:

    One of the biggest questions is "How can I help?"  Well, it's simple... each flight costs roughly $200 just for the fuel alone.  I am flying for an organization called "Angel Flights" which normally shuttles sick kids to hospitals on available seats... however, during this we're also shipping food/supplies.  Angel Flights is part of a larger organization called the Air Care Alliance (ACA.)  ACA handles all the funding for all kinds of aircraft related relief efforts.  You can go to their site at and donate (I recommend that if [you're a Microsoft Employee, and] you donate to them, please do it via the Microsoft resources... that way we double the money going to them.)  You can also donate directly to Angel Flights at

    My hat’s off to you, Bill.  You make us all extremely proud.

  • SQL Server 2005 Tidbit 014

    SQL Server 2005 Tidbit 014


    Number 14

    Credit for this one goes to my friend and teammate Matt Hester...

    Q:  What if I do no want to give SQL 2005 Management Studio to my Developers how to I give them access to the databases?

    A:  Matt was talking with some of his event attendees, and they recommend that you use SQL 2000 query analyzer for that type of access.  During their testing this worked fine with the 2000 QA specifically if you used SQL 2005 Express. 

    My thought on this is that you should go ahead and USE THE MANAGEMENT STUDIO.  The issue isn’t one of what tool is installed, but of security.  If you’ve set things up right, you won’t be giving your developers anything they shouldn’t have… and you WILL be giving them a tool they can use powerfully. 

    Got an IT question?  Give me a comment, or contact me.


  • Mirror, Mirror...

    Backup anyone?

    With all the focus on SQL Server 2005 our team has been doing lately, I was very glad to find this web site.  The team that builds the SQL Server engine has a blog of their own:
    SQL Server Engine Tips.

    One post in general got my attention – the team is requesting your feedback on Database Mirroring.  In fact, they’re even providing scripts you can use to play with Database Mirroring and familiarize yourself with it.

    Here is their “Feedback requested on database mirroring” post.  Help ‘em out!

  • OSDL's Stuart Cohen - What are you afraid of?

    Is that Penguin carrying our flag?VERY interesting developments on the MS vs. Open Source battlegrounds…,1895,1854183,00.asp

    Yes, perhaps I’m a bit biased, considering who signs my paycheck.  But to me, Stuart Cohen sounds scared.  This eWeek article talks about him and OSDL turning down Microsoft’s offer of a joint, co-sponsored “independent” research study.  And what were they afraid of?  Well.. Cohen pretty much accuses Microsoft of taking parts of studies and only selling the news that is good for Microsoft in the midst of overwhelming bad news.  He accuses us of lieing. 

    “What do you think about that, Kevin?”

    Bullsh**.  Yep… I’m getting opinionated here… probably not something I should do on a Microsoft-owned blog. 

    Have you seen ?  Have you, Mr. Cohen?

    The site has a HUGE amount of information.. white-papers and research (yes, many sponsored by Microsoft, but some not) on

    • Total Cost of Ownership
    • Reliability
    • Security 
    • Intellectual Property Indemnification
    • Interoperability
    • Performance
    • Partner Success
    • Small Business

    These are not just snippets, either.  The complete studies are included when practical, and if not, they’re linked to and made available elsewhere.  Add to that the wealth of great case studies in categories of

    • Small Business
    • Medium Business
    • Large Business
    • .NET Success Stories

    Perhaps we highlight the good points in our marketing.  That’s granted.  That’s what MARKETING does, afterall.  But we do not hide any of the findings.  If we did so, you would have a valid concern.  But your accusation is weak, defensive, and without merit.  And frankly, sounds a bit whiney to me, too.  Get the facts, Mr. Cohen.

    What also infuriates me about the eWeek article is that it only gives Cohen’s side of the story.  I’d like to know more details about how Martin Taylor approached them, and what the specifics were.. but we’ll probably never know.  The original discussions were supposed to have been kept secret. 

    No doubt someone posted about it on their blog.  Stupid bloggers. 


  • Start Something?

    Have you seen 

    Have you seen it lately?

    Eileen Brown reminded me of it this morning… Very cool. 

    Chris Avis also has a couple of posts on it as well.  (Post 1, and Post 2)



  • SQL Server 2005 Tidbit 013

    SQL Server 2005 Tidbit 013


    Unlucky 13!

    Credit for this one goes to my friend and teammate Matt Hester...


     Q: How do I upgrade SQL 2005 beta to the Full SQL 2005?

    A:  There will not be a setup-based upgrade from preRTM to RTM. You will need to un install the preRTM and then install RTM. The un install will not remove your user databases. Once you reinstall you can connect those databases to the new install. They will automatically upgrade when they're installed. One word of caution: it's best to move between the same editions (i.e. Beta -> Developer, Standard -> Standard, etc).

    Got an IT question?  Give me a comment, or contact me.


  • Hurricane Relief Stories - Part 1- Microsoft Across America

    Last week was a sad one.  Horrible storm.  Horrible flooding.  Horrible people taking advantage of both.  Devastated neighborhoods, cities, and lives.

    Yet out of the worst tragedies often come the best, most encouraging stories about people and their willingness to help others.

    I’m proud to work for a company that has both the will and the resources to help in these situations.  At Microsoft we have a great internal web site dedicated to giving, and naturally right now the relief for hurricane Katrina victims is top on the list. 

    And even beyond that, my team at Microsoft (internally known as the Seminar Sales Team, and externally you see us as “Microsoft Across America”) has… shall we say.. “detoured” some valuable assets in order to help in the hurricane relief efforts.

    Microsoft Across America

    That’s right!  We’re sending in the trucks!

    Three of our Microsoft Across America “Mobile Experience” trucks are heading to our home base in Dallas so we can off-load the un-needed AV equipment and event supplies, and loading them up with food and water.  Then we’re sending them east to help out the Red Cross as mobile communication / command centers.  These trucks have Satellite internet access, with WiFi, so they’ll be quite useful in helping currntly disconnected people get in touch with their families to let them know they’re okay. 

    So… I’m not going to have one of these trucks parked outside of my events in Des Moines and Minneapolis in a few weeks… and I’m extremely PROUD of the reason why!

    (UPDATE: Here's the Microsoft Across America Program Manager's blog, with stories and photos coming right from the folks who man the trucks.)

  • SQL Server 2005 Tidbit 012

    SQL Server 2005 Tidbit 012

    Manly SQL DBA

    An even dozen Tidbits.

    Credit for this one goes to my friend and teammate Matt Hester...


    Q: In Mirroring with automatic failover, how do the SQL Client applications fail over when the mirror fails?

    A: It really depends on the client application and how it was written.  Client applications written using ADO.NET 2.0 will automatically fail over when the database fails over.  However other clients will have to manually fail over.  Basically the new SNAC (SQL Native Access Client) has information about the mirror, and about where to connect if the principle connection goes down.  If the principle drops, the application will try the mirror.  If a failover has occurred, then the mirror is able to respond and all is good.  If the mirror drops (or doesn’t answer at all), the app will then again try the original principle, and so on.

    Mirroring has always generated some great questions.  John Baker has a great post on mirroring.

    Got an IT question?  Give me a comment, or contact me.


  • SQL Server 2005 Tidbit 011

    SQL Server 2005 Tidbit 011

    Manly SQL DBA

    SQL Tidbits Galore!

    Credit for this one goes to my friend and teammate Matt Hester...

    Q: Can I put Visual Source Safe components into SQL 2005?

    A: Yes.  If you have installed the Microsoft Visual SourceSafe 6.0 client components on your machine, SQL Server 2005 Management Studio will automatically detect that the VSS plug-in is available. As noted above, you can find the VSS plug-in listed in the Tools/Option dialog, by selecting the Source Control and then Plug-in Selection node. Also, the Source Control option in the File menu drop down becomes active, and from there you add an existing Management Studio solution to source control, or open a Management Studio directly from source control. You can enable multiple source control systems, and change from one to another. For more information on this check out this article:

    Got an IT question?  Give me a comment, or contact me.


  • SQL Server 2005 Tidbit 010

    SQL Server 2005 Tidbit 010

    Manly SQL DBA

    Number Ten! 

    Credit for this one goes to my friend and teammate Matt Hester...

    Q: How does SQL 2005 handle online databases during the upgrade, what about the applications that are in use?

    A: This questions was very interesting to me so I did some checking.  The best bet to see how this is going to work, is to use the Upgrade Advisor, this will give you great advice on any potential database or application issues.  However ultimately for any upgrade, some good ole’ fashion testing is in order.  For more information, and to down load the Upgrade Advisor look here: 

    Got an IT question?  Give me a comment, or contact me.