Comments posted to this topic are about the item iPads for Christmas
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I happen to be in a very favorable position that allows me to live and work remotely (telecommute) from my home in Tucson, AZ, to my office in Dalton, GA. Having an iPad with wireless connectivity and broadband mobile access will be ideal for me for those times when I travel away from my home office, such as to the SQL PASS summit every year (BTW, the conference this year was, again, great!), or when I just head out of town for some fun. When I work remotely, whether from home or on the road, I like to be working from a system with full capabilities, and the iPad fits the bill. Of course, I can just pack up my home office laptop and cart it along with me, but the iPad will be so much more compact and more convenient. Having some licenses for the SQL monitoring software from RedGate will also be a real help. The fact that I can leave my home laptop behind and just grab the iPad will make it so much easier and more efficient for me to head out on the road!
Right there with Babe
I already have some freedom to work remotely but I am limited to using a work laptop with a vpn connection with a very dodgy battery so I have to have a mains connection at hand as well as a reliable wireless network connection for the VPN to work properly. We do now have access to our business network via citrix but for us DBA's the citrix platform has none of the sql tools we need so being able to use Redgates sql monitoring software just using a browser would be great especially with an Ipad. No more hunting for that elusive mains supply or lugging around the work laptop, it would allow me to work more effectively while travelling between offices and make travelling time more productive. Here in the UK the majority of trains don't have main supplys available so when your limited to a power hungry laptop you get about 15 mins of work done on a 2 hour journey.
We actually rolled out 50 ipads to lawyers in our company and despite making savings in the millions and completing various other projects it was the Ipads that got the most attention. Why? They made working in a work environment fun and enjoyable, whens the last time you heard a customer say they were having fun using your software or business pc? My argument though, why cant we DBA's enjoy using our work devices too 🙂
I don't need to think too hard about the reasons I want an iPad and right now I'm downloading an ISO from MSDN so I'm going to pass on the podcast until there's less contention for bandwidth. My two main priorities are spending more time with my family and being more effective at my job.
I know I'm not unique in having more than one job. I currently have a full-time contract position locally where I work on site from 8 until 4. I also have a part-time contract that I fulfill remotely and that normally doesn't require a lot of effort. I enjoy the alternative perspective it provides and it gives me ongoing work between other contracts. As part of that work I am sometimes called on to look at server logs or investigate issues as they arise. Unfortunately this tends to coincide with the work day for my full-time position. I use iSSH on my iPhone to connect to a production Linux box to look at logs and apply application/database changes. It works but it aint pretty and it doesn't help when I need to RDP to have a look at their SQL Server box. I do own a laptop which is my main development machine at home but I really don't want to lug that to work with me every day just in case I need to access a server remotely and I certainly don't want to be accessing that remote server from the machines I work on for my other client. That's an area where an iPad would absolutely shine.
My other priority, my family. I am very lucky to have a lovely wife and three terrific boys, 4yrs, 7yrs, and 9yrs who are all very busy people and I find myself spending far too much time in my office doing fairly mundane activities such as following up on emails and reading tech bulletins/blogs. Having an iPad would allow me to do much of that in our family room, while still helping the older boys do research for homework (instead of having to dive back into the office to refer to the computer) and using some of the awesome apps for kids to keep the little guy entertained. With so many work-related demands on my time that don't fit into a 9 to 5 work day I want the ability to engage with my family while still being able to work effectively. I hope that makes sense; I'm not talking about sitting in the family room hiding behind the NYT app and believe me, with 3 small boys in the house if I try to hide behind anything it is game on. But I do want to be more present and that isn't possible when I'm buried in my office.
I would love to have an iPad as my Christmas gift. It will certainly help me & this world too!
I will use the iPad to work from home (as much as possible!). Travel time saved 🙂 (About 2 hrs everyday). This way I would be earning more time for myself, which I can use to either complete more of office work or spend the much required quality time with my little daughter & my family.
It would help our world by reducing traffic, noise, & air pollution, as I won't have to drive to work or use any public transport. I will do my bit in making this world a better place to live in!
with the number of meetings I need to attend the iPad would certainly come in handy to keep an eye on things as I am away from my desk, would also be handy for viewing documents and note taking during those meetings.
Hmmm... using an Ipad to help me do my job better... yes, I do believe that would happen if I were one of the fortunate ones to win the IPad.
Currently I am a jack of all trades in my position. I am a Business Analyst by title, but certainly that doesn't describe everything I do. I currently am the main onsite admin for both our Business Intelligence effort and our company wide SharePoint Server 2010 deployment. So I think this device would definitely help improve the quality of work I do. I am constantly check our SQL servers to make sure things like I/O, memory, and storage are all in the clear and that content is being served up to users in a fast and consistent manner. But I also want to make sure things are accessible to our users in an easy way.
Oh and did I mention the tons of information I have to process in a short amount of time??? 🙂
I think this is where I could really shine with the IPad. If I could have one device to carry my reference library plus all my bookmarked favorite SQL sever BOL and SSC articles this would allow me to be even more prepared for all of life's surprises.
My company currently has deployed a few IPads for use with other applications, but none are being used for BI at this time. Having this IPad would allow me to begin an initiative at our company with the management to ask them how to better use the information we give them everyday. Plus it will give me an excuse to get off my duff and meet with users to show them how to better use this device to process the large amounts of information they have to deal with.
So In summary it would be an awesome tool to help me process information faster, but also allow the users we support to have better quality of life and make better decisions every day.
Plus better work produced by me equals a better home life any day... 🙂
iPads, like so much technology now-a-days, seem to be a solution without a problem. We have three people here at the office who rushed right out to get their iPads, and everyday, they lug them to work, and yet I have never (not even once) seen the iPads come out of the napsack/briefcase to be used! In fact, its become a bit of a joke around the office with one employee who, though a great guy and very talented, always has to have the latest technology, and yet is either spending months "setting it up" and never really "using" it, or returning it to the vendor finding they "didn't really need it".
As much as I commend the contest - thats a great gesture - is an iPad really anything more than a laptop without the "top" as has been pointed out by a few technologists?
Having gotten rid of a lot of needless technology in my life a few years ago, I see an iPad as just another gizmo to weigh down my baggage and give me another device to worry about. I don't have responsibility to monitor servers, but I am not sure an iPad makes that task any easier - let alone, couldn't you do the same from a laptop? Smart phone?
Having more that three decades in technology, what worries me today is that we used to build solutions to real problems - thats what drove technology. Now it seems most solutions are built, and then, as today's editorial glaringly shows - we go seeking a problem to apply them to.
To me, that seems completely bass-ackwards.
I've never used an Apple device. My geek daughter (@PennyTrupe) loves her Apple devices. Several geek friends (you, Grant, Brent) rave about the cool and productive things they can do with their iPads.
I've started a new venture for 2011 called Andy Leonard Training. I need to be more productive to accomplish my goals for this venture. I want to be productive, and I don't want the act of becoming productive to cut into my productivity. I'm willing to invest, but only so much. For example, I'm one of those people who needs reminders from my calendar. I need them to pop up and interrupt me and tell me to do something. Can I set this up now on my phone? Possibly, but it's no fun. I want something light and something that doesn't require me to become an Exchange admin to accomplish.
Does this exist on the iPad? I don't know. Investing the money and time for an uncertain outcome presents a high barrier. However, investing the time without having to invest the money - especially when starting a new venture - lowers that barrier to an acceptable level... if only I knew of a contest where I could win an iPad...
Andy Leonard, Chief Data Engineer, Enterprise Data & Analytics
What can I say.... it has been about a year now since I made the decision to get involved with the community.... and what a ride it has been! Blog posts, presentations to user-groups, Virtual chapters, conferences, an unforgettable trip to PASS (with some Karaoke to boot).... twitter etc. All of which have greatly added to my learning and value to my company.... I can #sqlhelp the answer to just about ANYTHING (including how to cook something)... it is not what you know, it is how quickly you can find the answers!
The commitment to jumping in both-feet into the community and participating has been VERY rewarding, and I feel I have gotten much more back than I have even begun to put in! An Ipad would be a tool in the arsenal of communications, presentations, and not to mention the monitoring of my life at work. Clearly this is a technologically driven group, and the more "plugged in" (wirelessly) I could be, the more I could participate in the seemingly ENDLESS fun!
Being able to take action remotely, on top of monitoring the system, would make us all very productive. I am not sure if it already exists, but a port of SQL Server Management Studio for the iPad would enable someone riding a horse to travel far away from the desktop and still be able to run queries and make changes once they saw something that needed attention via the RedGate Monitoring software, especially with the 3G capability. As a DB programmer, I could ALTER a Stored Proc to make it more efficient while at the beach.
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Hi Steve, your blog really got me thinking about how a device like the iPad could change the way I work. I've been using an Android phone for most of this year and while it has done an excellent job of keeping me in contact with work, I find it (and any smartphone really) lacking for those times when you really need to noodle over an email or its attachments (Primary screen real estate related). With the the ability to remote desktop to my sql servers the iPad would allow me to check on databases when those late night emails come up informing me of problems. Instead of hauling myself down to my home office I could simply pick up the iPad off the night stand and check it out right there. The other interesting thing about the iPad to me would be an interactive White board, think about how many times you go through the white boarding process with your colleagues and then snap a photo at the end of the session, how cool would it be in a small group setting to huddle around the iPad and take notes while creating that same whiteboard session? I beleive that as we move forward with the iPad and other similar technologies (Galaxy Tab) that even more functions will become apparent and I hope that your company makes some of these applications happen such as collaborative real-time data editing on a live database, database model design and viewing and even real time monitoring of security and performance risks. The iPad has already and will continue to change the way we work. I hope I win :-).
The iPad has several features that make it truly different from computers including instant on, intuitive browsing, and "pass-around-ed-ness". Imagine discussing work topics away from your desk with others when someone raises an important question. You try to think the question through and realize that the answer is in the database. You tap your iPad to life, connect to your data, run a query to get an immediate answer to the question that you can easily display as a chart or a graph or even summarized data. You can, with little effort, add value to the conversation with facts and absolute certainty, "yes this happens happens a dozen times a day", or "We can handle double the load but not triple", or "That's an inserting scenario but it hasn't happened in the last 5 years". All the while passing the iPad around showing the information as plain as day. Your coworkers flip through the data, tap into the details, zoom around the charts without any training. Knowledge is power, an iPad can put that knowledge into your hands where ever you are and then pass-it-around a casual as any superhero could be.
Up until this point in my career I've been strictly an operational DBA for my organization(s). Now I've transitioned over to a consultant role wherein I'm travelling around interfacing with various customers and levels of management that I may not have necessarily interacted with in my previous roles.
Why is this important? The key part of my new role is to relay important information quickly and efficiently to my customers. When I'm showing issues to a client I need to have the tools to easily display what the problems are and not get bogged down in deeply technical things that management may either not get or care about. Having a tool like a tablet in my "arsenal" is the perfect way to disseminate information in a meeting space. Given the amount of publicity and "wow factor" that the iPad brings to the table before it's even turned on is a big plus in my business.
The iPad allows us to share information easily and provides an easy and natural interface that one can use with little to no direction, which again is great. I can pull up SQL Monitor on a iPad and quickly show a customer where their problems reside and I can move forward with advising them on what steps they need to take to fix said issues. Plus it never hurts to hand an iPad over to an exec and watch them get excited about being able to drill through the information and feel like they're not lost in a bunch of techno babble.
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