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The Scary DBA

I have twenty+ years experience in IT. That time was spent in technical support, development and database administration. I work forRed Gate Software as a Product Evangelist. I write articles for publication at SQL Server Central, Simple-Talk, PASS Book Reviews and SQL Server Standard. I have published two books, ”Understanding SQL Server Execution Plans” and “SQL Server 2008 Query Performance Tuning Distilled.” I’m one of the founding officers of the Southern New England SQL Server Users Group and its current president. I also work on part-time, short-term, off-site consulting contracts. In 2009 and 2010 I was awarded as a Microsoft SQL Server MVP. In the past I’ve been called rough, intimidating and scary. To which I usually reply, “Good.” You can contact me through grant -at- scarydba dot kom (unobfuscate as necessary).

Archives: November 2012

Sharing the Love

Just a few blog posts that you ought to go and read.

First up, Tom LaRock maintains a listing of SQL bloggers split up into various cleverly named groups to show you where to go to get good information. This really is an excellent collection of bloggers. It’s the people… Read more

2 comments, 1,658 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 30 November 2012

HDInsight: Trying again

And I thought this would be so easy.

Latest attempt. I just did an uninstall of HDInsight. Then I found all the Hadoop folders on the drive and removed them. I validated that there were no services left running or anything else that might interfere with a fresh install. Then,… Read more

4 comments, 1,899 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 29 November 2012

HDInsight: First Pass

I installed HDInsight with no errors. The install is so brain-dead, I couldn’t see how there could be errors. But, I decided to fire up the service to start playing with it. That’s when I hit the errors. First up, I was getting logon errors for the Hadoop service itself.… Read more

0 comments, 877 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 28 November 2012

Treat Yourself to Knowledge

There’s a one day sale going on at Apress today, 11/26/12. All their eBooks are $15. This means you can start learning about query performance tuning, or get started as a DBA, or explore a whole range of topics by different authors presenting some of the best in… Read more

0 comments, 1,094 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 26 November 2012

Final 2012 Learning Opportunity

There’s still a little time left in the year. I know some businesses have allocated training budgets and if they don’t spend the money, they lose it from their budget. So a few of you might still be looking for opportunities to get your learn on. I’ve got one more… Read more

0 comments, 1,092 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 21 November 2012

Living with the Surface, Maybe

No major updates at the moment. I still haven’t played with remoting through PowerShell. I’m just living with it.

Had an interesting problem start today. You can swipe from the sides to get different behaviors. Swipe in from the top or bottom and you get menu choices in the app… Read more

0 comments, 982 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 19 November 2012

HDInsight and Buggy Whips

I sat the through the big announcements at the 2011 PASS Summit about the partnership between Microsoft and Hadoop. I recognized it as… interesting, but not necessarily earth shattering. I was aware of the NoSQL movement and understood that it answered a pain point that structured data couldn’t really adequately… Read more

2 comments, 1,191 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 16 November 2012

Remote Desktop and Surface

The Windows RT operating system is not the same as Windows. After all the talk about the upcoming OS and hardware, this should not be a shock to anyone. This means that there are going to be some apps that just won’t run on your RT device. OK, not a… Read more

3 comments, 2,354 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 14 November 2012

Surface Problems With Azure

I’ve been posting about the Surface over the last couple of weeks and I’ve tried really hard to be positive about it. But there are some serious problems with the device. I’ve already made a stink about the apps, but this time, I want to talk about the Microsoft ecosystem. Read more

3 comments, 978 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 12 November 2012

Purpose of the Surface RT

I’m a little over two weeks with the Surface at this point. I’ve been travelling all of that time, so I have been using the Surface quite a lot, as I used to my (beloved) Android tablet. It took a little while to get functional enough, upgrading the dysfunctional Office… Read more

1 comments, 1,457 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 11 November 2012

Using the Surface

I’m attempting to push this thing. I want it to be a production device, not just a consumption device. Frankly, until there are a lot more apps (which don’t crash & burn), this isn’t all that attractive a consumption device.

Typing with the touch keyboard has gotten radically better as… Read more

6 comments, 856 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 9 November 2012

PASS Summit Day 3: Dr. David Dewitt

Two quick points, I’m putting this blog together using the Surface.. ooh… and this isn’t a keynote, but a spotlight session at the Summit. Still, I thought I would live blog my thoughts because I’ve done it for every time Dr. Dewitt has spoken at the Summit.

Right off, he… Read more

0 comments, 1,422 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 9 November 2012

PASS Summit 2012 Day 2: Keynote

Welcome to Day 2 of the PASS Summit!

It’s been a very exciting event so far. Today I’m presenting two sessions, one on tuning queries by fixing bad parameter sniffing and one on reading execution plans. Please stop by, or watch the one on execution plans on TV as PASS… Read more

0 comments, 965 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 8 November 2012

PASS Summit 2012 Day 2: KILT DAY!

Welcome to the fourth Kilt Day at the SQL PASS Summit. It might be a little silly, but it’s fun. It’s also Women in Technology day with the WIT Luncheon. Guys are invited.

A short word about the bloggers table. Last year we were… a little loud. So this year,… Read more

4 comments, 1,300 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 8 November 2012

PASS Summit 2012 Day 1

We’re off and running here at the PASS Summit.

New this year is live streaming all day.

Bill Graziano is introducing the Summit. More importantly, he’s introducing PASS. Further, he’s introducing speakers to everyone. He doesn’t mean just speakers at the summit, but anyone who has spoken at a SQL… Read more

0 comments, 916 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 7 November 2012

PASS Summit 2012: Day -3

The Summit proper starts on Wednesday, but the Summit starts at registration. I left a little early from work setting up for SQL in the City: Seattle in order to run up the hill and get to the convention center around the time that it opened. Why? Cause I get… Read more

0 comments, 976 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 5 November 2012

More Surface

I’m continuing to work with the Surface.


I just had my first crash. I was in IE when I tried to switch tabs and the pull down window would not stay open. So I tried closing IE. That didn’t work at all. I tried switching to the Start window… Read more

7 comments, 1,145 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 2 November 2012

Surface, Surface, Prepare to Surface

More stuff about the Surface.

Web browsing works extremely well so far. I enjoy how you can swipe to move back a page. I like how the tabs work too. I’m not crazy about how long it takes to get the link option window open. You hold on a link… Read more

2 comments, 776 reads

Posted in The Scary DBA on 1 November 2012