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The Desktop Setup Expand / Collapse
Posted Thursday, January 9, 2014 8:34 PM



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Comments posted to this topic are about the item The Desktop Setup

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Post #1529629
Posted Thursday, January 9, 2014 10:00 PM



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To be honest, I don't want or need much either as a DBA or and SQL Server Developer. I've learned to use the basic tools to get along just fine. Part of that was by necessity when working as a consultant. Lot's of places just don't have all the nifty little or great big tools either due to budget or because they don't want to support them or because of "security issues". It'll be difficult for many to accept but PowerShell, SSIS, SSRS, SSAS, SSSB, Internet access, and a shedload of other tools all seem to fall into one or the other of those categories in many of the companies I've done work for. I've also worked for places where I can't even use a thumb drive due to security restrictions. I'd have been dead in the water if I relied on tools other than the basic tools that come with the product.

--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

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Post #1529635
Posted Thursday, January 9, 2014 10:08 PM
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I agree with Jeff, too often in the past I became reliant on something that was then taken away or was not available in a move/restructure. So I've come to rely on ctrl/printscreen for image capture, a word processor of any sort for image manipulation and documenatation and SSMS. And of course email to liase with clients and as a mechanism for getting sign off.
A working chair is nice but not important, the one I'm sitting on now slowly descends through the day so I "suck it up princess" and just keep re-adjusting.
Use what's available and make sure you can manage with the minimal.

Post #1529636
Posted Friday, January 10, 2014 2:06 AM

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Only thing I really need to be productive is one screen with 1920x1280 resolution. Anything less and I find myself scrolling more often than doing actual work. And one with a decent screen refresh rate. Too often I looked at a screen where a co-worker mentioned an eye strain and I could see it flicker - less than 60 Hz. Especially in the old days of CRT monitors.

Other than that a screen capture and edit tool is nice but Paint will get the job done sufficiently in a crunch.

Oh, and my little (private) laptop just to listen to music to zone in when I need to do any stuff where I need to concentrate.
Post #1529681
Posted Friday, January 10, 2014 2:30 AM

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The only unusual thing that I like to have is a home made Project/CRM software that I put together just for myself. It holds all my contacts and a list of the projects I am working on at the moment. Can detail documents and notes on projects. It will tell me what meetings are coming up and I can place people into projects. For research purposes I can store hyperlinks to projects. It helps automate putting e-mails in outlook and will put them in alphabetical order in the e-mail means I never miss people out and I'm totally pc in how things are placed in order etc… Because its just for me I continuously alter it to allow for particular things that will help me as a result its very eclectic. For example I m trying to learn Russian at the moment and so I've got a russian dictionary in it however it only has those words that I have learn't - which is not many! - so it’s a totally remedial russian dictionary. Thinking about putting in a form so I can test myself on the words that I place in it. The act of designing the table has been helping me learn the structure of the tenses cases etc. Another eclectic bit of development - I coach at a swim club on Fridays and its better to have a swim set to work to - I've got a simple form that I can write swim sets in and it will format it and print it out in a clean and consistent fashion. Its basically a complete mix of work and personal that I can access pretty much from anywhere. Passing between projects not every place has project management software so this gives me a consistent structure to the projects I'm involved in both at work and at home and being my own design I will add subtract to design according to requirements.

The idea is to reduce all that time spent "trying to find stuff"
Being the only user and my own design - I can neither have it taken away and always alter it to fit my requirements at the time.

It is my one luxury.
Post #1529682
Posted Friday, January 10, 2014 4:53 AM
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As long as I have a chair that works (even one that slowly descends), a desk that's not too badly beaten-up, a decent monitor (I agree with Knut on the resolution) and the basic SSMS I can do whatever I need to do.
I also use Office packages for dumping data in, image manipulation, etc.

My only real "nice-to-have" is a second monitor (or even a third if I can get it).
Post #1529718
Posted Friday, January 10, 2014 4:55 AM
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As with Jeff above, I don't really use anything much apart from the standard tools for my job SSMS, Visual Studio, Office and a couple of specific business systems. I tend not to customise my environment within these applications much either, mainly because I don't really see the point. It did make it much easier to get up and running on different machines just before Christmas when we lost power to our building a couple of times and I had a mixture of working at my desk, working from home and working in another of our offices!
Post #1529720
Posted Friday, January 10, 2014 4:55 AM
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Call me greedy, but I work somewhat as a DBA, DB developer and VB programmer for our finance department. Not that I am an expert at any but know enough to get the job done (usually ;). Since I sometimes have to use VS, SSMS, Excel and usually a third-party tool at the same time, I would find it very difficult without two monitors. I have actually been given as many as four (in a somewhat different role).

Oh and a 3rd monitor dedicated to BOL and sqlservercentral would be nice!!!
Post #1529721
Posted Friday, January 10, 2014 5:54 AM



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Depends on the role I'm playing.

To function purely as a DBA, I don't need anything more than SSMS. In fact, for years I thumbed my nose at any third-party tools, simply because I didn't want to become dependent on something that hides the details behind a pretty wizard. I wanted to know how to run a backup using T-SQL, or how to make DDL changes to a giant table using T-SQL, or.... Wizards are nice, but if you don't understand what they're really doing, what do you do when the wizard fails?

To function as a DBA/blogger/presenter/writer/general-computer-user, well, the list is different. SSMS obviously, but I also install, by default, Notepad++, Evernote, Dropbox, Chrome, Greenshot, Ditto, and Zoomit. Can I function without these? Yes, but they certainly make life easier.

A good chair is a plus as well, although I do a lot of work standing up, or on my treadmill desk, or even parked in a recliner. If I could get a standing desk at work, I'd rarely sit down.
Post #1529738
Posted Friday, January 10, 2014 5:58 AM
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In my job, I am not purely a developer and dba, although I spend a lot of time in those roles. I also am a quality manager for a daily operation, and have to be available to drop anything I'm working on and investigate a customer complaint, or provide analysis of a performance topic. So with that in mind, the first big thing for my desktop environment is multiple monitors. I currently have managed to get three in a really cool configuration. I have one 30" widescreen monitor in landscape orientation at the center (2560x1600), and two 20" 4x3 monitors in portrait orientation on either side (1200x1600). This gives me an awesome workspace of 4960x1600, and allows me to have Outlook running on one side monitor to keep an eye on incoming emails, and web pages, etc up on the other side monitor for research, etc. When doing development work, I keep my code on the center screen, and use one of the sides for viewing the UI, or for testing the app as I work... Over the years I have come to have a pretty specific setup for my desktop, and have gotten pretty good at migrating from one PC to another fairly quickly (I've had to do this a handful of times at least...)

1) Multiple monitors (3 preferred)
2) UltraMon (for easily managing a multi-monitor environment.
3) MS Office
5) DBVisualizer - For working in a few Oracle databases I have access too (not as DBA)
6) VS
7) Notepad ++
8) FastStone Capture (Screen Capture tool, including video screen capture. Awesome for training videos.)
9) Dameware (For managing a handful of remote, unmanned PC's that do automated work collecting data and sending reports.
10) Dedicated NAS (1 TB) - Keep all of my work saved there... makes PC transitions much easier, and allows me to work from my laptop equally as easily as from my desktop.

As far as desk and chair, as long as I have room for my monitors, and a chair that is comfortable, I'm good.

I like this topic! I've become pretty peculiar with my set-up, so this hit home.

Post #1529742
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