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The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at

Remote DBA

I'm getting ready to look for a new cell phone and I got lots of suggestions from my editorial on the topic. I have hated my phone from almost day 1, actually it was about day 31, so I was stuck with it. Not to mention that I ordered it from, which gave me good service, but it's a pain for me to mail things back. I'd rather express my displeasure in person :)

I've been with Cingular, as have Andy and Brian, so our minutes are free between each other. With the rollover minutes, I now have over 1000, it's a good way for us to run a business. The service wasn't great, a far step down from ATT and T-Mobile, who I recently had, but it's not bad. And it's at the new house. So far I've been out there with my Cingular Motorola v180, my wife's SideKick (T-Mobile), and the house inspector's Verizon and they all had service. Since we're a bit out there, I'm afraid to try Sprint. I'll probably stick with Cingular, but who knows.

I've mostly been a phone person, not much chat, text messaging, etc., on the phone, I carry a separate camera (Sony DSC-150, but I don't recommend Sony products anymore) and have few needs as far as the phone. Mostly I want good reception, loud volume, vibration, and easy PC synch. I'd like to be able to enter phone numbers and appts on the phone since I usually make them away from my computer. Dr, kid stuff, my wife's out of town schedule, etc. So I've been considering a keyboard phone. I had a Nokia 6600, which was cool and I'm looking at the new 6800's, which do most of what I want.

But I've had lots of people recommend the PDA phones and I'm tempted. The cool factor is nice and I wonder if I'd be able to send the newsletter or do any remote DBA functions with it. Not that I want to, but I have a few trips planned this year where I may not be able to log in with a computer, but a phone will probably work.

I've seen some people handle emergencies with their PDAs, dump logs, run backups, kill processes, etc., but I've never really had the need. I need a trip to a store to mess around a little and see what I think.


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