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Posted Friday, May 4, 2012 7:55 AM


Ten Centuries

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You've got to use what you read. Otherwise, the information tends to fade quick for most people. Some SQL Server Books can make great references when you are doing domething and you need to look up a particular issue you are stuck on. Others are just good for door-stops. But as far as reading any SQL Server book cover-to-cover, well unless you have very good memory retention or you use all the information alot, I don't find much value in doing that. Not to mention, who has the time to sit down and read a 1000 page SQL Server book nowadays? Now specific topic SQL Server demo videos are a different story altogether.

"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ..."
Post #1295250
Posted Friday, May 4, 2012 8:19 AM
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I like the idea of a pre-chapter quiz, to help identify what I can skip and what I should concentrate on.
I also like the idea of integration with desktop apps where I could copy/paste code, link directly to the feature being discussed, etc.

I don't like audio/video features in ebooks, especially when the material isn't also covered in text. With text I can scan/skip over material I already know and spend more time on material I need to concentrate on - neither of these options are easy with videos. It's also easier to find my place later in text if I need to switch to some other activity for a while. Volume and screen size can be an issue to, especially with decreasing hearing/eyesight as I get older.
Post #1295271
Posted Friday, May 4, 2012 8:35 AM
Right there with Babe

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I don't own an e-reader, so I've no idea of their capabilities. Someday I probably will, so I'll be watching this thread with interest.

Kindest Regards,

Rod
Connect with me on LinkedIn.
Post #1295289
Posted Friday, May 4, 2012 8:39 AM
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While I have a Kindle, with a variety of books both non-fiction and fiction, I have found it difficult to use for technical books, because not enough of the "page" is displayed at one time. Furthermore, as others have mentioned, it's hard to jump into the middle of the e-book. That's why I still buy a lot of technical books. BUT, I would consider buying an electronic "summary" of a hard-copy book, that perhaps summarizes syntax, or summarizes the key points of chapters, to serve as an easy-to-transport reference.
I would also like to see a discount on an e-book when you are buying the hard-copy of the same.
Post #1295293
Posted Friday, May 4, 2012 10:12 AM
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First and foremost, I strongly concur that Jessica Moss has done an ABSOLUTELY OUTSTANDING job in organizing and conveying information on how to use SSRS. Other authors have done a similar job on other series. Not all are valuable to me, but I do feel the entire concept is outstanding. I remember what it is like to be a newbie with SQL, and these are a great starting point when first using one of these technologies.

I would also like to say that while an advanced reader might be somewhat frustrated by the slow pace of the articles, I think Jessica struck a very good balance between brand new and experienced. The organization allows you to easily skip through things you don't need.

As to using e-books, I see pro's and con's on this. I own a Nook Color, Nook Tablet, 2 - Kindles, 2 - New iPads, and an iPhone. I read on all of these, as does my wife. The main issue I have is the way books are overpriced on these devices. For fiction I mainly stick with free choices, and in some cases I have purchased some inexpensive selections (under $3) that have proven to be very good.

Why would I pay $39.99 for an e-book that I can purchase in paper for $49.99, that typically comes with more content such as a disk?

Why would I pay $9.99 for an e-book where the paper version is available for $12.99?

I saw an article on a site recently that tried to sway buyer's opinions be comparing it to the music industry. You know, that same industry that (IMO) might be out of business within 10 years because muscial artists can market their own work and sell it for less than $5 for a complete album, and actually get to keep some of the money. Authors are seeing they can write a book and sell it through a number of different sites, allowing them to break into the field without having to pay a publisher outrageous percentages of their profits.

So, directly to the question of would I use this, yes, if the price was right. I would not use it if I could purchase a hard copy for the same price, I prefer the book as I can set it next to my workstation and work through things, whereas an e-book has to be touched every few moments to keep it on.

I am against linking. Links are for the web. Even those aren't always updated. If I purchase an e-book and want to read it a year from now and the link doesn't work, who is going to refund my money?

I don't want to sound like I am against the concept, my ownership of so many readers shows I am not. I just don't like business maximizing their profit in a monopoly environment. We shall see if others agree when the Apple case is decided.

Dave


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Post #1295384
Posted Friday, May 4, 2012 8:07 PM


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I love good books on SQL Server. Unfortunately, I've only seen one really good book to get folks started with programming in T-SQL and it went out of print back before I had any gray hair.

--Jeff Moden
"RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for "Row-By-Agonizing-Row".

First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column."

(play on words) "Just because you CAN do something in T-SQL, doesn't mean you SHOULDN'T." --22 Aug 2013

Helpful Links:
How to post code problems
How to post performance problems
Post #1295523
Posted Saturday, May 5, 2012 10:43 AM


Old Hand

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Jeff Moden (5/4/2012)
I love good books on SQL Server. Unfortunately, I've only seen one really good book to get folks started with programming in T-SQL and it went out of print back before I had any gray hair.

Hi Jeff,

Don't keep us in suspense - what was the book? Out of print doesn't necessarily mean unavailable.

Thanks,
Peter



Peter Maloof
Serving Data
Post #1295575
Posted Saturday, May 5, 2012 2:13 PM


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Ah... sorry. My bad. I was being lazy.

The book title is "MCSE Training Guide / SQL Server 6.5 Design & Implementation. It was written to cover the old exam 70-27. It was published by New Riders Publishing and has a copyright of 1997. ISBN is 1-56205-830-4.

The book says its "target audience" is for advanced users but I've found it to be an excellent book for learning all of the basics of T_SQL, indexes, tables, data modeling, etc, etc. If you lookup some of the things that they're talking about in BOL, you have a very powerful teaching combination. What's really neat is, not only do they have review questions with the answers, they also have some nice, simple exercises at the end of each chapter.

My favorite paragraph in the whole books reads as follows (from the chapter on "Programmability")...

"As a rule, SQL Server can minipulate an arbitrarily large set of data as a set faster than it can respond to an interative series of commands. Because most iterative solutions can be expressed as set operations with little work, cursors should generally be avoided. Thinking in terms of whole sets of data instead of individual rows is what makes the SQL language so different from other traditional programming languages. Looking for set-oriented solutions to problems is, however, an important transition to make."


--Jeff Moden
"RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for "Row-By-Agonizing-Row".

First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column."

(play on words) "Just because you CAN do something in T-SQL, doesn't mean you SHOULDN'T." --22 Aug 2013

Helpful Links:
How to post code problems
How to post performance problems
Post #1295583
Posted Saturday, May 5, 2012 4:30 PM


Old Hand

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Jeff Moden (5/5/2012)
The book title is "MCSE Training Guide / SQL Server 6.5 Design & Implementation. It was written to cover the old exam 70-27. It was published by New Riders Publishing and has a copyright of 1997. ISBN is 1-56205-830-4.

Just FYI, it's available for $4-5 on both Amazon and eBay.

My favorite paragraph in the whole books reads as follows (from the chapter on "Programmability")...

"As a rule, SQL Server can minipulate an arbitrarily large set of data as a set faster than it can respond to an interative series of commands. Because most iterative solutions can be expressed as set operations with little work, cursors should generally be avoided. Thinking in terms of whole sets of data instead of individual rows is what makes the SQL language so different from other traditional programming languages. Looking for set-oriented solutions to problems is, however, an important transition to make."

Now why am I not surprised that's your favorite paragraph?

Thanks for sharing.

Peter



Peter Maloof
Serving Data
Post #1295594
Posted Saturday, May 5, 2012 4:31 PM


Old Hand

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TravisDBA (5/4/2012)
You've got to use what you read. Otherwise, the information tends to fade quick for most people.

+1



Peter Maloof
Serving Data
Post #1295595
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