Tag Archive: Seattle


Travelling with Gadgets

Following on from a previous post on my journey to Seattle (Sleeplessness in Seattle) for the SQL Skills Immersion Event on Performance Tuning (IE2), last week, I thought, I’d share my experiences of travelling with Gadgets.

To allow me to have access to everything I needed while I’d be away, I took the following with me:

  1. Apple iPhone 4s – My personal mobile
  2. Blackberry Bold 9700 – Work mobile
  3. Apple iPad 2
  4. Amazon Kindle (currently reading SnowCrash by Neil Stephenson)
  5. Acer Aspire 3810TZ laptop
  6. North Face Borealis rucksack
  7. Logitech M510 Wireless mouse
  8. Noice Cancelling earphones and iPod Nano
  9. Chargers, US Adapters…

photoOut of all these items, I’d have to give a special shout out to the iPhone and iPad. They surpassed themselves, by giving me perfect access to the internet through numerous WiFi access points, and also by allowing me to speak to my family through Skype, over these devices.

Also, and this is a surprise to me, I have to mention the Acer Laptop. For a very long time, I’ve always found Acer laptops to be somewhat shoddy. However, this one has carried out a sterling job, with 8+ hours of battery life, and no issues with responsiveness. Having said that, I did improve it’s performance with a Crucial M4 SSD and a memory upgrade (to 8Gb, from 4Gb), just to ensure that it would be bearable running SQL Server on it.

I’ve been impressed with the quality of the WiFi access in the US (I was in Seattle). All the Starbucks I’ve been to had free WiFi, as did the hotel I stayed in (Courtyard Marriott in Downtown Bellevue).

While I could have taken notes on the course on the iPad, or typed them into the Laptop, I prefer to use a Moleskine to take notes. Yes, it may be a little old-school, but if it was good enough for Picasso, Van Gogh and Hemingway, then it’s good enough for me. Smile

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Sleeplessness in Seattle

2012-08-12 11.40.57Over the past week, I’ve been attending the IE2 Course, held by SQLSkills, in Bellevue (near Seattle). It’s been a really intense week, covering a lot of really deep technical stuff.

However, I’m not going to talk about that. The benefits of training by some of the leading SQL Server people in the world should be obvious. Also, my poor brain needs time to assimilate everything that’s been hosed into it.

It has, however, been a great honour to spend time with the great people on this course, and I mean the other attendees (such as Kendra Little, Jes Borland, Tim Ford and Dan Taylor among others) as well as the Instructors (Paul Randal, Kimberly Tripp, Jonathan Kehayias and Joe Sack).

A couple of the most impressive nuggets of knowledge I’ve gained over the past week:

sys.login_token – Gives you a list of the Active Directory groups against a SQL login

SQLIO Analyzer – David Klee has written a website that will analyze the output from SQLIO

Adventure Works Workload Generator – Jon Kehayias has a SQL workload generator.

There are a great many other bits of knowledge I’ve gained, but these, so far, are the most immediate, quick wins, if you see what I mean…

It was a hard flight over here, 9.5 hours, on a plane that was an hour late departing, but I had the SQL Internals book to keep me occupied (between films, Marvel The Avengers, and The Hunger Games…).

I’d like to thank my employers, TAH Ltd (twitter|web), for sending me on the course, I hope that the benefits of this training, will continue to be obvious for many moons.

More importantly, I’d like to thank my wife, Emma, since without her support, I’d never have had the confidence to travel 4500 miles for a training course.

Thank you, to everyone on the course, for making it a great learning experience.

ps. Sleeplessness, since the majority of the week here, I woke up at 3am, almost every day, for no apparent reason.