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Laptop Recommendations for 2019

Every few years I upgrade my laptop. I try to get through three years with them, and I've had some good success. At the same time, I've also had some wear out sooner, especially with the amount of travel that I do some years. I had one laptop last just a year before it started to constantly crash on me. That one was just out of warranty, which was a shame. Since then I've usually paid extra for a warranty to get a couple years of service out of each machine.

It's not quite that time for me, but it's getting close. My laptop is about 2 1/2 years old and I'm starting to have some thermal issues. Changes in temperature often cause a crash when I come out of hibernation, which isn't what a traveling presenter likes to see. I'm also starting to have poor battery performance. A full charge recently netted me only about 3.5 hours before the battery warning came on at 20% left.

I have been pleased with my HP Spectre x360 model right now. It's held up well and I've enjoyed using it. The arrow keys are a little oddly placed for me, but overall, everything else has worked well. There's a new model, which is one of those I'm considering, but I am keeping an open mind.

This week, I'm asking you what models you might recommend that you've used. One you've owned or had a friend own that seems to perform well. Keep in mind that I travel quite a bit, so durability and weight matter.

I used to want a 32+GB RAM machine, but these days I do more in the cloud or with smaller demos, so I think 16GB is really the sweet spot for me. A fast CPU and 512GB-1TB storage is nice. I've done well with 512 across the last two years, but you never know how things will change, so a 1TB is something I'm considering. As much as I've enjoyed USB-C, I still sometimes like the convenience of USB-A, especially when on the go and not wanting to pull out some sort of adapter (like on a plane).

Let me and others know this week which models have worked well for you. While many of us don't necessarily get the choice of brand, some do, and many might be able to influence the model that they receive. Most of us want a laptop we enjoy using, and having a few recommendations gives us confidence that we'll choose one that works well for the next few years.

Steve Jones - SSC Editor

Join the debate, and respond to today's editorial on the forums

Redgate University
  Featured Contents

Automate MSBI deployments Using PowerShell

Kunal Rathi from

There are various ways we can deploy MSBI project deliverable. This article will give you an idea to automate MSBI deployments using Windows PowerShell.

Find SQL Server Installation Date for all Instances with PowerShell

Additional Articles from

In this tip we look at a PowerShell script you can use to gather information about the installation date for all of your SQL Servers.

From the SQL Server Central Blogs - Undercover TV Podcast – Intent Locks

david.fowler 42596 from SQL Undercover

The first of our new series of new look podcasts, David has a look at intent locks in SQL Server and what the purpose of them is.

From the SQL Server Central Blogs - Just Getting Specific Files in PoSh–#SQLNewBlogger

Steve Jones - SSC Editor from The Voice of the DBA

Another post for me that is simple and hopefully serves as an example for people trying to get blogging as #SQLNewBloggers. Just a quick one today, but a tip...


  Question of the Day

Today's question (by Steve Jones - SSC Editor):


Stopping a Container

I have a SQL Server 2017 container (named sqltest) that was created with the docker run command. I connect to the container and add a login. I then run this:
docker stop sqltest
That afternoon, I come back to my workstation and run
docker start sqltest
Which of these describes the status of my login?

Think you know the answer? Click here, and find out if you are right.



  Yesterday's Question of the Day (by Steve Jones - SSC Editor)

Checking on IFI

I am connected to my remote SQL Server 2017 instance with SSMS and want to quickly check if Instant File Initialization is enabled. What is the easiest way to do this?

Answer: Query sys.dm_server_services

Explanation: There are different ways to find this, but sys.dm_server_services is the easiest. This information is not on the General tab and sys.dm_configuration doesn't exist. You can read the registry, but that is not easy. Ref: sys.dm_server_services -

Discuss this question and answer on the forums




Database Pros Who Need Your Help

Here's a few of the new posts today on the forums. To see more, visit the forums.

SQL Server 2017 - Administration
2012 - 17 Performance Issue -   Good afternoon everyone, This may sound familiar, but we are yet to find a solution. We are in the middle of a platform upgrade from 2012 - 2017 utilising some vastly superior hardware. However we have found that performance has degraded, rather than the expected improvement on the tests so far. For example, when […]
SQL Server 2017 - Development
Datetime data migration. - Hi All, We are loading data from one of our source table in that table createddate column datatype is char(22)  and value is 2012-06-03 04:11:49:16. And in my target table the column datatype is datetime and we are using convert datetime function to convert char to datetime. But the date is converting to 2012-06-03 04:11:49:016. […]
Always Encrypted with SQL Server Data Project - Hi, We have a small database (just 3 tables) where we wish to use Always Encrypted to encrypt the data in a few of the fields in each table.  I've managed to successfully encrypt the data using the SSMS wizard and powershell scripts,  and I can read/write from our application. I'm now looking for some […]
SQL Server 2016 - Administration
Change SQL Agent service account and password on 2 node active-active cluster - What are the steps to change SQL Server agent service account and password on 2 node active -active. Thanks in advance.
SQL Server 2016 - Development and T-SQL
Gathering Business Requirements and Determining Database Schemas - What is simplest way to go about gathering business requirements and determining database schemas?
insert into permanent table using cte - Good morning all I would like to add the result of a multiple query in a table the goal is to have this formathere is my request ;with cte as ( blablablab ) INSERT INTO newtable select * cte here is my request with echantillontemp as ( select Ref_Contrat = v.Contract_ID + '-' + format('0'+ […]
Administration - SQL Server 2014
assist needed for the SQL Server dump - Hi Guys, I got 14 dumps in last two days, I tried to use WinDbg to check what is going, but I don't get a clear information from the output, can anyone help pinpoint the cause? I know it is very likely failed at sqlmin!CChangeTrackingDatabase::CleanupNextTable+711, but not sure is it failed at specific database, or […]
Development - SQL Server 2014
A bit of mathematics... - Hi all, I'm just doing some work on my own bank statements imported from CSV.   Two salient columns, MoneyIn (int), MoneyOut (Int). This is the formula I'm trying to calculate: ((Revenue - Outgoings) * .81) - Dividends Paid = Result I've been able to Select (Select Sum ([Money In]) As 'Revenue' from SmytheData.dbo.Transactions3) - […]
Need Help: On Query with Case Statement - Hi, As part of development task I have to write a SQL logic for the below 6 scenarios, I have achieved desired result in my query using Case Statement but I want to know is there any other options(ways) where I can write query without using Case Statements to achieve the same result using sub-query […]
SQL Server 2012 - T-SQL
Question on triggers - Hi, I have, as most triggers are, a single row trigger; that is it will only update one row, and that works fine. However, someone now runs a SQL Query that updates multiple rows at once, and I have not been able to see how to get this to do both. Here is the trigger […]
transactions(Try, commit and rollback) - Ignore post
Reporting Services
Moving from RDL to RDLC files in SSRS - For any custom reporting in an accounting software program m,y company uses we have to use the RDLC flavor of SSRS reports.  I can find numerous tools, tips, samples, you name it for SSRS reports that use the RDL file but the RDLC is almost non-existent.   Does anyone know if there is a way […]
Pull dynamic reportpath of RDL into SQL inside the RDL. - Hello, Long story of not best practice that I have inherited and am slowly trying to change. (No judgement please). I have a set of approx. 1000 report server reports that have SQL embedded in them (Insert sad face). Some of the reports are locking each other and sometimes taking down databases. My idea is […]
Value of extended property in T4 script returns a quoted, escaped string? -   Hi, I have a T4 script which reads extended properties. The value of these properties seems to be escaped. Example: I have a table person with an extended property called propertyName that has the value propertyValue. When I read this value I get: N'propertyValue'. The value that appears in the T4 script is the escaped value. […]
Integration Services
how to check if file contains only column headers without data - Hi All, i have a task to check file (excel & text) before loading to a table. checking condition: if file only contains header(columns) without any data then fail the file. I have filename & source file path variables already - any idea how to handle this in script task? much appreciate!  


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