06 November 2006
06 November 2006

Simple Talk at SQL PASS

I just wanted to provide everyone with a “heads-up” on Simple-Talk’s plans for SQL PASS in Seattle. If you’re at the show and are interested in talking – maybe about writing an article, doing a short interview, to tell me how great Simple-Talk is, or just to give me a good slap, then drop me … Read more
04 October 2006
04 October 2006

Bamkraxler

A grand day out in Vienna a few Saturdays ago finished in the 19th district at the fantastically-named Bamkraxler pub. I had no real expectations of the place, but it turned out to be so much more than an amusing name (although after 5 pints of beer, it’s amazing how long you can be kept amused … Read more
19 September 2006
19 September 2006

The Joy of Simple Talk Editorial Meetings

Phil Factor’s recent blog on The Joy of IT Meetings contains a lot of good advice, but if you really want your meetings to be productive, I can only suggest you adopt the Simple-Talk approach. All you need are some good people, a traditional local hostelry, some lovingly-brewed real ale and about 2 hours. Here’s … Read more
16 September 2006
16 September 2006

This Web 2.0 thing

Browsing around Dr Dobb’s, I read Mike Elgin’s take on the Web 2.0 malarkey. I liked his simple definition of Web 2.0 as “all the Web sites out there that get their value from the actions of users”. He also makes the interesting contrast between Yahoo’s “top news” page (stories selected by professional editors) and … Read more
30 August 2006
30 August 2006

A visit to the Bilbao Guggenheim

After getting this new Simple-Talk website out of the door, my wife and I took off to Northern Spain for a well-earned and very pleasant 2-week vacation. Spain is a bit of a default holiday destination for us – occasionally we break away (including a fantastic few weeks in Slovenia one year) but we are … Read more
16 August 2006
16 August 2006

Developer vs. Tester vs. PM

In a recent blog, Todd Bishop highlighted the fact that Microsoft had hired “more than 10,000 people worldwide in the fiscal year ended June 30, bringing the total to 71,553 (… the biggest annual increase in the company’s history)”. Subsequently, the anonymous Mini-Microsoft blogger duly wondered what exactly these 10K people actually did AT Microsoft – … Read more
14 August 2006
14 August 2006

Testing LiveWriter for blogging

Wandering around Sharpreader today, I stopped off (as I usually do) at my old friend Tom Kyte’s blog and saw his entry about the new Windows LiveWriter, a free blogging tool. It sounded like it might help me get round some of the limitations and frustrations I’d found using the Community Server interface — so here … Read more
12 July 2006
12 July 2006

Beer and victory celebrations

During the recent World Cup a couple of my friends in the US sent me this clip from an English newspaper claiming (boasting, more like) that English fans were “drinking Germany dry”: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/tm_objectid=17302491&method=full&siteid=94762&headline=beer-we-go–name_page.html English people seem to have this strange, unfounded reputation as large beer drinkers. The reality is, in fact, that most of us … Read more
07 July 2006
07 July 2006

Good beer in unexpected places

As part of an occasional series on odd places to get good beer, on Friday last week Red Gate sent me on a fact-finding mission to Cornwall to investigate “The Watering Hole” pub at Perranporth. Now this pub is actually on the beach – not near it, or overlooking it, but actually on it. The … Read more
14 June 2006
14 June 2006

Tech Ed 2006 Snippets: FoxPro lives

In the press room, Mary Jo Foley (from Microsoft Watch) was expounding on how hard it was to predict which articles would really take off and which would bomb. She would write controversial pieces on the latest hot topics, such as SharePoint, expecting a whirlwind response and getting barely a breeze. She then punts out … Read more
12 June 2006
12 June 2006

Tech Ed 2006: Power to Microsoft People

Well, your intrepid ST hack made it (almost) all the way through the opening 2.5 hour – yep read’em and weep – keynote. It was a tough 130 mins, and reminded me more than anything else of the oft-asked question: “Has Microsoft forgotten how to talk to its developers?” Certainly there seemed to be little for … Read more
11 June 2006
11 June 2006

Tech Ed 20006: pre-match warm up

As an Englishman I’m well used to the experience of leaving some gloriously sun-kissed location and returning home to greyness and drizzle. But rarely the opposite. However, so it was on Friday as we swapped a sweltering, blue-skied London for the rain-drenched streets of Boston. Our hotel (the Onyx) is one of those seemingly ubiquitous … Read more
08 June 2006
08 June 2006

To SP or not to SP in SQL Server? Alway SP

I have had a lot of emails following Adam Machanic’s recent SP article on Simple-Talk. A few of the correspondents expressed frustration that they couldn’t air their views on the article publicly (a limitation that will be removed on the soon-to-be-launched new site) so let’s use this as a landing space for the debate. First, … Read more
07 June 2006
07 June 2006

Simple Talk, Live from Tech Ed Boston

Tech Ed in Boston is just around the corner and the Red Gate offices are a feverish hive of activity (carefully coordinated around numerous swag boxes). I will be at the event, trying to dig out the latest news and views and hopefully, scratching a little beneath the shiny surface of the MS hype machine. … Read more
26 May 2006
26 May 2006

Beer, SQL Server and .NET

There is a line in the book “London Fields” where the main character is asked why he only drinks lager when playing darts and not real ale. His answer is (I’m paraphrasing and omitting a lot of swear words — this is Martin Amis after all): “It’s kegged. You know what you are getting every … Read more