Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

This Is Why I Teach

I have been teaching IT courses since 2002; I started as a TA for relational databases and Delphi. Right now I teach part time courses in web development/design, and database development and administration. Wow, it’s already been a while and yet I can still remember my first teaching gig as if it were just yesterday.

Some people ask me why I teach. This is why:

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I take pains when developing and delivering my courses. I treat teaching very seriously. When students take my class, I want them to really learn something from it. I want them to get their money’s worth (or more!). I want them to walk away with a new skill, or new knowledge, or new discovery, after each class. When they ask me questions I don’t know the answer to, I try to look for the answer – sometimes even spend sleepless nights trying out a few test cases – and present the answer in the next class.

 

Why?
Because I love doing this.

And because I want to make a difference. However small or trivial it may be.

 

My teaching style does not work for all of my students. I do not have all the answers to student questions, and no – not all the demos are flawless in front of the students.

But if I can help someone understand a concept, or look for a solution, or just be someone to bounce ideas with, then it’s all worth it. Or just encourage them to keep on going and not get discouraged …

And sometimes, some students take the time to let me know they appreciate this. And I can’t tell them how much gestures like this mean to instructors like me.

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Currently Reading Grant Fritchey’s New Book

Wow it’s been a while since I blogged. My other blog (http://www.sharepointmusings.com) has been stagnant because I haven’t done much on SharePoint stuff the past month. I have a few ones still on draft. I’ll try to find time to edit and publish them.

I am working on documenting strategies for optimizing queries. I’ve read a few books that have been helpful, but there hasn’t really been any one book or documentation that explains in depth how to read execution plans … until I came across this link: http://www.simple-talk.com/sql/performance/execution-plan-basics/

Whoa! How timely is that. Grant Fritchey has just published a book (May 2008!) : Dissecting SQL Server Execution Plans – The Art of High Performance SQL Code. I bought the ebook right away and started reading. Im just on p. 58 right now, and so far, pretty good. Some of the concepts I am familiar with, but Grant Fritchey has made it more clear what the icons are, when they are good, and when they are warning bells.

Ok, I’m going back to my reading …

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Free Database Schemas

Just came across a number of good free schemas for SQL Server Express:
http://www.microsoft.com/sql/editions/express/starterschemas.mspx

This is the list, which I am sure some of you will find useful:

  • Database Schema 1: Assets Maintenance
  • Database Schema 2: Contact Management
  • Database Schema 3: Customers and Orders
  • Database Schema 4: Document Management
  • Database Schema 5: e-Commerce
  • Database Schema 6: Help Desk
  • Database Schema 7: Issue Tracking Software
  • Database Schema 8: Retail Inventory Control
  • Database Schema 9: Not for Profits
  • Database Schema 10: Product Catalogs

These are all provided by Barry Williams, who has hundreds more in his site (www.DatabaseAnswers.org)! Will definitely check those out.

 

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SQL Server here I come!

I am starting a new adventure; both nervous and excited. Ah, and guess the first thing I do. Yup, set up this blog! I need to start blogging for my sake. I enjoyed blogging about SharePoint (see my past musings at http://www.sharepointmusings.com). So why not start something for SQL Server?

SQL Server, ready or not, here I come!

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The Create GUID tool is often found under the Tools menu.

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The actual binary – guidgen.exe – is supposed to be in

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 8\Common7\Tools

Apparently if you did not install Visual C++ when you were installing Visual Studio 2005, you are not going to get guidgen.exe.

I didn’t install Visual C++ in any of my VMs (trying to conserve space, plus I don’t use it anyway), which explains why my Create GUID tool is missing.

There might be a better way to do (perhaps browse through the Visual Studio 2005 install files?) but my workaround is to copy guidgen.exe from one of my other Visual Studio 2005 installs.

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How to Register ASP.NET 2.0 in IIS

I was recently building a WSS 3.0 box, and got stumped when I can’t see ASP.NET 2.0 listed in IIS. I forgot I needed to register it:

C:WINDOWSMicrosoft.NETFrameworkv2.0.50727aspnet_regiis.exe -i

That’s all, just thought I’d blog this so I don’t forget next time :)

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Canucks beat Flames 5-3 (Dec. 27)

Had the opportunity to watch the Canucks vs Flames, Dec. 27 2007, at the Garage (GM Place). And Im blogging because the Canucks won 😉 What an awesome awesome game (in my opinion anyway)!!!

Canucks tickets? PRICELESS

This has got to be one of the bestEST perks in my job :)

one of the BEST perks of my job!

Three star selections:
1st: DANIEL SEDIN (you should see the crazy the spin-o-rama! Watch it here)
2nd: MASON RAYMOND
3rd: TAYLOR PYATT

Plus, stars in my list will always include #1 Roberto Luongo, Captain Markus Naslund, Trevor Linden, Willie Mitchell and Matt Cooke :)

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v2 and v3 Web Parts in Site Definitions (onet.xml)

I am creating a site definition that involves both v2 and v3 web parts. Going through standard tutorials on creating site definitions, I copied and used the sts folder – which had only v2 web parts.

A v2 web part in onet.xml has the following format:

<alluserswebpart webpartzoneid="Right" webpartorder="1"><![CDATA[     <webpart xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WebPart/v2">      <assembly>Microsoft.SharePoint, Version= 12.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c</assembly>      <typename>Microsoft.SharePoint.WebPartPages.MembersWebPart</typename>      <title>$Resources:wp_Members;</title>      <description>$Resources:wp_Members_Desc;</description>      <frametype>Standard</frametype>      <isvisible>true</isvisible>   </webpart>]]></alluserswebpart>

I needed to add a v3 (custom web part) to the site definition. Of course the format above will not work (and I learned this through some trial and error).

So a v3 webpart looks in onet.xml looks like the following:

<AllUsersWebPart WebPartZoneID="LeftNavBar" WebPartOrder="1"><![CDATA[    <webParts>      <webPart xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/WebPart/v3">         <metaData>            <type name="YourCompany.SharePoint2007.SideNav.SiteNav, YourCompany.SharePoint2007.SiteNav, Version=1.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=e2c0c4fc62593f5e" />         <importErrorMessage>Cannot import this Web Part.</importErrorMessage>         </metaData>         <data>            <properties>               <property name="Title" type="string">Site Navigation</property>            </properties>         </data>      </webPart>   </webParts>]]>                  </AllUsersWebPart>
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