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October 2004 Entries
An exam pass, this time 70-228

I am pleased to report that I got my other SQL Server exam passed today. 70-228 Installing, Configuring, and Administering SQL Server 2000. I had been looking at the exam materials over the last few months in the absence of any other specific objectives. With my objectives set to .NET, I managed to get the exam in quickly this week to get a result for my studies before I get my head down for the next exam.

That means I have one core exam to sit if I want MCDBA, but my focus is now on the three c# .NET exams to take me to MCSD.NET.

The exam I passed ? As you would expect, lots of stuff on administration - backups, security, indexes and the like. And for some reason it wasn't as scary as the developer exam, but that was probably down to timing.

posted @ Friday, October 29, 2004 3:16 PM | Feedback (3)
Recently, My work has mostly been in Glasgow

I posted a long time ago about working on various versions of SQL Server in the space of one week. My work over the last few weeks has been a bit of a change and I have been working for customers at their locations in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Different customers, I hasten to add. The first two weeks were an interesting time helping an Edinburgh company witht the performance of their SQL Server database. It was one of those good jobs where you get to really prove the techniques that you know about. That was interesting as well being a web architected application with Microsoft SQL Server at the backend of things, but with J2EE running on windows servers running everything else.

I have followed that up with some time spent in Glasgow helping to upgrade a business application. I'm not going to go into the technologies too much, but it is an application that has run in a similar form for a number of years. It goes to show that an application can run for years if the core business analysis is correct and comprehensive. Having just read over that I would probably add that it also needs a good bit of stability in the underlying business. Some areas of the Financial Sector have business processes that have remained pretty constant over the years, and applications serving these can live for a long time too. Do some good analysis, listen to your users and implement a stable solution and it will hang around! All we have to do now is figure out how to establish a regular revenue stream ;)

I'm heading off to another customer later on to do some maintenance on another "mature" application. Both prove to me that whatever you do you have to have a stable application that helps people to do their jobs. Then you can decide how "usable" or attractive it looks. Proper usability will help all different kinds of users to do their job in the most efficient way possible, but there is a threshold that can be passed where IT goes a bit far and bells and whistles take over. But deliver an application that doesn't work, doesn't do the job, or is unstable and you will have lots of upset.

posted @ Friday, October 15, 2004 3:01 AM | Feedback (0)
Out and about in Edinburgh

Ouch , almost the weekend and I am posting about last weekend. Being as I hadn't been to them before, took the family for a look around the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Dean Gallery. Spotted minor Scottish Celebrity Stephen Jardine while we were there too.

I obviously need a bit of work on my appreciation. I enjoyed the grounds more than the contents of the galleries themselves. It was interesting to see Warhol stuff in real life, and the comic book style stuff from Lichtenstein. We had enjoyed the portrait work by J.D.Ferguson when up in Perth a few months back, and there were a few examples of his work. A bit more accessible for a heathen like myself. On an academic level, it was good to see rooms of examples of the different artistic movements, even if they aren't quite my thing.

I'm afraid I need to go a good distance on Paolozzi to even begin to like his stuff. Ho hum.

Chickened out of the walk down to the Water of Leith at the back of the Modern Art gallery, another time perhaps (looked a bit of a climb).

posted @ Thursday, October 7, 2004 5:45 PM | Feedback (0)