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I had a question this morning from a junior working in another department for whom I have become the de-facto mentor. He's learning SQL and dabbling in the dark arts of Crystal Reports and the benevolent power of SSRS. He asked me this: "I’m wondering if there is any way…

Digital Privacy

Commenting on an interesting article So I was reading this amusing story about these neighbours in the Northern Territory of Australia. This one young guy likes doing burnouts up and down his street, which let's be fair, at 23 is not all that uncommon. Young men like to take risks…

Advice for building a good gaming PC

  [caption id="attachment_208" align="alignright" width="326"] Inside a gaming PC, massive heatsink/fan on the CPU and dual graphics cards linked in SLI mode[/caption] A colleague at work was telling me about their 14YO son who is saving money and building their own gaming PC. I think that's great, I've been building…

Excel is still number 1

Excel's Dominance Excel is a much-maligned product but it has stayed on top since it took over the lead position in business spreadsheets from Lotus 1-2-3 some time in the early 1990's. The main reason often suggested for its dominance is the power of the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA)…

MDX formatting and the changing toolset

Reporting Services includes a very useful visual MDX query tool, which I often start with when writing reports. It can add parameters and create calculated members for you which are both handy features. Very quickly though you realise that it can't do more complicated MDX queries for you without you…

Querying Active Directory (LDAP) from SQL Server

LDAP LDAP, the "lightweight directory access protocol" is a strange beast. It's technically a protocol for accessing network directories (directories as in phone directories, not folders), but it sort of qualifies as a no-SQL database because its distributed addressing mechanism doesn't consist of relations like a RDBMS, it has entries…

Useful tools for monitoring & managing ssrs

Reading this forum article on SSC led me to some interesting tools. Firstly this pack of SSRS reports that monitor the server and statistics is extremely useful and I will add it to the toolbelt. http://www.sqlservercentral.com/articles/Reporting+Services+(SSRS)/69257/   The other is a great little app to download/deploy reports on mass. Many a…

Macros in Visual Studio (BIDS)

This post is an extended version of a question I answered on Stack Overflow because it was interesting. When I think of Macros on the one hand I recall quite complicated VBA workbooks I've done in the past and on the other hand basic keyboard shortcuts e.g. on programmable mice…
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