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I'm Andy Warren, currently a SQL Server trainer with End to End Training. Over the past few years I've been a developer, DBA, and IT Director. I was one of the original founders of SQLServerCentral.com and helped grow that community from zero to about 300k members before deciding to move on to other ventures.

Archives: July 2008

Tool Review: Hamachi VPN

Maybe I haven't looked at the right products, but two years ago when we needed a VPN solution there wasn't much that was either reasonably low cost or reasonably easy to administer. We needed something that would allow a handful of users remote access to our network. The so called… Read more

0 comments, 1,395 reads

Posted in SQLAndy on 31 July 2008

Operation Hands Free

Recently I was driving home and as I made that turn into the sub-division where I live, over the course of the next mile I noticed three of three cars going the other direction were all holding a cell phone to their ear. I hope most of you by now… Read more

0 comments, 1,349 reads

Posted in SQLAndy on 30 July 2008

Blogging on SQLServerCentral.com

Recently my friend Steve (managing editor of SSC) posted to his blog about The Bad Karma Project that has to do with the state of blogs here on SSC. Going back to the time when we added blogs to the site I was ambivalent about it at best, thinking dedicated… Read more

0 comments, 1,359 reads

Posted in SQLAndy on 30 July 2008

Tool Review: Servers Alive

Not all of us work at companies big enough to justify the expense/time it takes to implement something like MS Mom, Altiris, etc. For years I've recommended Servers Alive as a reasonably priced (about $200) solution that lets you do basic fault monitoring. It can alert on low disk space,… Read more

0 comments, 1,415 reads

Posted in SQLAndy on 29 July 2008

Rebuilding Stats: Twice or Not at All Posted on SSC

Rebuilding Stats was published yesterday on SSC, some nice comments posted to it as well. The main point of the article was that if you're rebuilding indexes with the default options you're automatically getting stats update on those columns as well. Read more

0 comments, 1,457 reads

Posted in SQLAndy on 29 July 2008

IP6 Addresses Could Break Your DB

I saw this post from Rick Strahl about IP6 Addresses in Vista breaking some code, and it immediately made sense that we're probably going to feel some pain on the db site. While all it may take is altering a column on our side (which increases space usage of course)… Read more

0 comments, 1,423 reads

Posted in SQLAndy on 28 July 2008

Tool Review: Microsoft Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel

It's downright common these days to download programs as ISO images, but XP doesn't have a native viewer for them. The Virtual CD-ROM Control Panel is an easy way to create a virtual drive letter, point it at the ISO, and then it 'mounts' the drive so that it looks… Read more

1 comments, 1,579 reads

Posted in SQLAndy on 27 July 2008

Blogging Thoughts - Part 2

Earlier I wrote Blogging Thoughts - Part 1 where I discussed the various approaches I've seen in blogs (blogging when you learn something new, blog only technical, etc, etc) as part of the work I'm doing to make recommendations to those asking for advice on building a blog. Note that… Read more

0 comments, 1,339 reads

Posted in SQLAndy on 24 July 2008

Tool Review: TaskSwitchXP

For longer than I care to count I've used the Alt-Tab Powertoy from MS to get a nicer view of running applications, alt-tab being one of those things that is hard wired into my brain at this point. It works, but occasionally it's flaky, doesn't want to change to a… Read more

0 comments, 1,283 reads

Posted in SQLAndy on 23 July 2008

Blogging Thoughts - Part 1

One of the things I've been looking at is different blogging styles and trying to figure out which to recommend to beginners, and why. Part 1 will be looking at the styles, and Part 2 will be my thoughts on which to recommend.

  1. When I learn something new. This tends…

Read more

0 comments, 1,321 reads

Posted in SQLAndy on 22 July 2008

Disabling Indexes Published on SQLServerCentral.com

It's been a while since I had anything up on SSC, a combination of Steve being in good shape on content and me being busier than usual, but early July I had a break and got 4 articles done. Disabling indexes isn't a complicated option of course, but one of… Read more

0 comments, 475 reads

Posted in SQLAndy on 22 July 2008

Tool Review: Password Safe

I think we all struggle to keep up with various credentials needed to live our internet lives (single sign on still a dream!) and too often fall back on using the same password over and over again. A few years ago Steve Jones introduced me to Password Safe when he… Read more

0 comments, 530 reads

Posted in SQLAndy on 21 July 2008

Why Are Stored Procedures Too Hard?

Recently I was going through the buy or build process on a small segment of functionality needed for a project, and ran across something that looked like it would work, price point was realistic, and when I looked at the source they made available was thrilled to find it used… Read more

0 comments, 840 reads

Posted in SQLAndy on 20 July 2008

Follow Up Notes on the Custom Whiteboard

A few months back I posted about our latest whiteboard and I thought I'd report back with an update. Initially it seemed to work very well, the markers wiped off easily with a nice soft cloth. Then it started to get more difficult, requiring more friction than should be necessary.… Read more

0 comments, 506 reads

Posted in SQLAndy on 17 July 2008


Below is a list of various tools I use, some SQL related and some not. Follow the links to my blog entries for more details about why I use/like any of them. As the list grows I may try to categorize a little, for now we'll just go with alphabetically. Read more

0 comments, 1,157 reads

Posted in SQLAndy on 17 July 2008

Comments on Dissecting SQL Server Execution Plans by Grant Fitchey

Long time SSC participant Grant Fitchey has published a great book on reading/understanding execution plans. I finally had the chance to read it last week (on vacation) and was pleased with it, he did a great job covering the concepts and I noted that he had the answers to many… Read more

0 comments, 1,351 reads

Posted in SQLAndy on 16 July 2008

Jacksonville Code Camp Set for August 23, 2008

The fourth annual Jacksonville Code Camp is set for August 23, 2008 and it looks like they are off to a good start. Last years event was only a mild success, they've gotten started a little earlier this year so that should translate to a better event.

I see a… Read more

0 comments, 459 reads

Posted in SQLAndy on 15 July 2008


I ran across MentoringNet in a recent renewal flyer from ACM. I'm interesting in all things mentoring, so I went to look. It's interesting, a matching service for mentors and proteges, but unfortuneately focused on college students mainly. It's also email based (unless you happen to live in the… Read more

0 comments, 996 reads

Posted in SQLAndy on 14 July 2008

What is an MVP?

My friend Steve Jones posted an article called What's an MVP on SSC that in turn led to a moderately interesting discussion about the MVP program. If you're interested in how the program works or what it takes to get in, it's worth reading both - though you still… Read more

0 comments, 1,395 reads

Posted in SQLAndy on 13 July 2008

Well Run Companies

One of the things I use to identify how well a company is managed is by looking at how (well) they maintain their facilities. I'm not talking about the white glove test, but the general state of the business. For example, I was recently in a retail food place and… Read more

0 comments, 1,614 reads

Posted in SQLAndy on 13 July 2008

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