In my previous post I started
talking about part of my personal history with software development, and when QBasic
got me hooked. I ended the post talking about the move to Canada. We arrived
in Canada literally a week (7 days exactly) before Grade 9 started. After getting
enrolled in school, I tried to find something to keep my mind occupied. It was
either that or contemplate what Grade 9 would be like for someone who used to live
3000 miles away in another country. And winter. Still 4 months away, but
definitely something I didn’t want to think about. Being that we moved to a
house in the country, I couldn’t just walk around town either. Mental occupation
was harder than I thought.
So what does a 14 year old boy, new to the country, living in the middle of nowhere,
do to keep himself from going crazy? Install Linux of course! I needed
something to keep my interest, as well as to keep the gears in my head moving.
If memory serves, I started out with a vanilla copy of Red Hat Linux. It was
pretty easy to install, but being new to the OS architecture, the device mapping was
a little confusing. After a couple months of studying the Linux architecture,
I started writing shell scripts, and even delved into the source code. After
testing some minor modifications to different components I started to learn the basis
for the C/C++ languages. Imagine that, a 14 year old kid understanding the basis
While trying to keep my mind still occupied, I came across an interesting find: The
National Security Agency’s Security Enhanced
Linux Kernel. If compiled and installed wrong, you will destroy the build.
Learned that the hard way… And seeing as I couldn’t find a proper driver for
my modem anyway, I gave up on Linux and moved back to XP. Not that the internet
was all that useful anyway; I was connecting at 28.8 half the time.
Going back to the image in Part 1,
I met an interesting character in school. He turned out to be one of my best
friends, and fellow developers, Greg. We started working on some odd projects here
and there in VB, until I was tasked with building a web store. Since I had never
actually brought HTML and Dev together, I was a little nervous about what I was getting
myself into. Going with what I knew well, I started in ASP with VB code.
This was not ASP.NET. Earlier, I had said I never found VB all that
intuitive as a language. The syntax never really made sense to me. So
my friend suggested I take a look at PHP as an alternative. I liked it.
PHP had the flow of C, and the usefulness of VB. With PHP I got the store finished
and launched. The site worked great. I was 15.
Once the first spring of my existence in Canada rolled around, a couple friends and
I decided to start a band. We sucked. But seeing as one of the other members
was Greg, we had an awesome website. We had media streaming, custom modified
forums, and full site statistics. The statistics were built around the forum.
The site pulled data from recent posts, recent events, and recent user logins, and
compared the data to the media streams. We could see who was doing what.
Mind you, there was only about 50 people who loitered around the site, but the site
was a great proof of concept for what we could do.
Following the demise of the band, Greg and I were invited to a Microsoft hosted event.
It was here that I fell in love with ASP.NET. Which I will discuss in Part
Boredom is a bad thing! Especially when you are putting off work.
So what do I do to waste my time? Check out local user groups. The websites
at least. A few days ago I posted a few links to some promising groups.
To my disappointment there really aren't that many Microsoft oriented user groups
in Toronto. I wouldn't call it a bad thing. More of an opportunity.
I have determined that TorontoSql.com, TorontoSql.net, and TorontoSql.org
were not registered. So for $30 I registered all three of them. Now I
have to put them to good use. Currently they are pointed to www.syfuhs.net
until I find a proper home.
More to come on that front!
Since moving to Toronto I have been looking for user groups that I
think I could benefit from. So far I have found a couple of interest:
What is Techdays?
The Canadian IT Pro Team would love to call it a Tech-Ed of the north, except on tour.
Check out the site: www.techdays.ca
to get the
info, but the dates are:
Toronto Congress Centre
The Palais des Congrès
Calgary Stampede Roundup Centre
Halifax World Trade Centre
Vancouver Convention Centre
I will be doing a presentation in Montreal and Ottawa entitled Microsoft SQL Server:
Essential Database Maintenance for New and Seasoned DBAs
. The synopsis is:
Every DBA knows that managing a database using SQL Server
requires dealing with a key set of components of SQL Server in an optimal in order
to make their lives easier. But what are the elements of SQL Server that you need
to really focus on to get the best bang for the DBA buck, and what best practices
should be followed to ensure an optimally-running an instance in SQL Server? In this
session we will walk through the Top 10 List of DBA techniques and best practices
to ensure a smooth running database and instance. You’ll learn: how to optimize data
files and transaction logs; why TempDB is special and how to treat it properly; indexing
strategies dealing with corruption; and much, much more.
I'm also doing a session entitled Beyond Relational SQL Server 2008: Managing Unstructured
and Semi-Structured Data
The amount of data that does not fit into the tabular format
of relational tables is increasing tremendously, be it images, sounds, text documents,
XML documents, or semi-structured data. Integrating this data with the robust, efficient
processing capabilities of SQL Server and providing integrated querying and management
of that data together with the standard relational data becomes increasingly more
important. This presentation will present new and existing functionality on how SQL
Server 2008 supports these non-relational kinds of data. The presentation will provide
insights into FILESTREAM, Remote Blob storage, new XML functionality, integrated Full-Text
Search, sparse columns, filtered indexes and the new hierarchyID type.
Should be fun. See you there!
Barry’s teaching a course this week and noticed that NLarge didn’t support multimon - or rather, it always zoomed in on the primary monitor. So NLarge got another update. Good thing I don’t sleep!
Added Multimonitor support - zooms in on the monitor currently containing the mouse pointer.
Added Text support - annotate zoomed-in images with [...]
NLarge is the screen magnification and annotation utility that I use for technical presentations. It magnifies the screen through a smooth animation, and allows you to pan and zoom around the magnified screen. You can annotate the magnified image using the mouse or a Tablet PC pen.
Today I added a few features to NLarge to [...]