PASS then, PASS now. Getting ready for #Summit14

It’s PASS Summit time again! #Summit14 is happening in Seattle, WA – November 3-7, 2014 at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center.

I still remember the first time I attended PASS (started with a pre-con from Brian Knight no less )…

I was wide-eyed, starstruck. Who would have thought that attending a technical conference would feel like attending your first rock concert ever? That’s what I felt like. I was meeting and talking to people who have authored books, articles, blog posts. I remember going up to a few of them, their authored books in hand, asking for their autographs :)

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Microsoft Private Cloud Sweepstakes – ends September 6 2012

Learn About The Microsoft Private Cloud to Win a Trip for Two to Mexico!

Microsoft has released new and exciting products that will change the way IT Pros utilize Virtualization and Microsoft Private Cloud solutions.   Two products which are a part of these great changes are the newly released System Center 2012 and the soon to be released Windows Server 2012.  Both of these solutions were designed to make virtualization and extending to the private cloud simpler and much more efficient.

With these new changes to Infrastructure and the IT world, it’s a great time to learn about these new solutions and keep yourself and your organization ahead of the curve in terms of where technology is headed.  In fact, Microsoft has even added an incentive to learn about their Private Cloud solutions through the Skyrocket Sweepstakes!

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Calling Students for Imagine Cup Canada 2012

Are you a student? Bored of your usual routine assignments? Are you looking for a challenge? Are you looking to start your career *while* you’re still in school? Or do you just want to change the world?

If you said “yes”, or even “kinda” to any of these questions, then you might want to check out – better yet, participate -in Imagine Cup Canada 2012.

Imagine what??

The Imagine Cup is a premier technology competition for students that encourages students to imagine, think, innovate – for the world. We have so many problems globally, and sometimes, all it takes is a little inspiration and a little nudge to make a difference.

Microsoft Canada is hosting Imagine Cup in two categories: Software Design and Windows Phone Game Design. The top three teams in Canada in each category will compete in a Canadian championship event to win cash, career opportunities, and chance to represent Canada at the worldwide finals in Sydney, Australia!

This isn’t your typical assignment though, this promises loads of challenge, loads of fun. You also don’t just get a “typical” mark and a pat in the back – if you win, you take home some goodies (say, Kinect), and a kickstart to your future.

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Currently Reading Grant Fritchey’s New Book

Wow it’s been a while since I blogged. My other blog ( has been stagnant because I haven’t done much on SharePoint stuff the past month. I have a few ones still on draft. I’ll try to find time to edit and publish them.

I am working on documenting strategies for optimizing queries. I’ve read a few books that have been helpful, but there hasn’t really been any one book or documentation that explains in depth how to read execution plans … until I came across this link:

Whoa! How timely is that. Grant Fritchey has just published a book (May 2008!) : Dissecting SQL Server Execution Plans – The Art of High Performance SQL Code. I bought the ebook right away and started reading. Im just on p. 58 right now, and so far, pretty good. Some of the concepts I am familiar with, but Grant Fritchey has made it more clear what the icons are, when they are good, and when they are warning bells.

Ok, I’m going back to my reading …

Free Database Schemas

Just came across a number of good free schemas for SQL Server Express:

This is the list, which I am sure some of you will find useful:

  • Database Schema 1: Assets Maintenance
  • Database Schema 2: Contact Management
  • Database Schema 3: Customers and Orders
  • Database Schema 4: Document Management
  • Database Schema 5: e-Commerce
  • Database Schema 6: Help Desk
  • Database Schema 7: Issue Tracking Software
  • Database Schema 8: Retail Inventory Control
  • Database Schema 9: Not for Profits
  • Database Schema 10: Product Catalogs

These are all provided by Barry Williams, who has hundreds more in his site (! Will definitely check those out.


The Case of the Missing Create GUID Tool (guidgen.exe) from Visual Studio 2005


The Create GUID tool is often found under the Tools menu.


The actual binary – guidgen.exe – is supposed to be in

C:Program FilesMicrosoft Visual Studio 8Common7Tools

Apparently if you did not install Visual C++ when you were installing Visual Studio 2005, you are not going to get guidgen.exe.

I didn’t install Visual C++ in any of my VMs (trying to conserve space, plus I don’t use it anyway), which explains why my Create GUID tool is missing.

There might be a better way to do (perhaps browse through the Visual Studio 2005 install files?) but my workaround is to copy guidgen.exe from one of my other Visual Studio 2005 installs.

Canucks beat Flames 5-3 (Dec. 27)

Had the opportunity to watch the Canucks vs Flames, Dec. 27 2007, at the Garage (GM Place). And Im blogging because the Canucks won 😉 What an awesome awesome game (in my opinion anyway)!!!

Canucks tickets? PRICELESS

This has got to be one of the bestEST perks in my job 🙂

one of the BEST perks of my job!

Three star selections:
1st: DANIEL SEDIN (you should see the crazy the spin-o-rama! Watch it here)

Plus, stars in my list will always include #1 Roberto Luongo, Captain Markus Naslund, Trevor Linden, Willie Mitchell and Matt Cooke 🙂

How to Reset Root Password in Linux with a GRUB Menu

Had to go recover a few files for a friend.

Box is running on an older version of Linux (Red Hat 8.0?) and nobody remembers the password. Tried to do a brute force recovery, but in vain.

Boot using single user mode. This automatically logs the user as root.

  1. Restart machine.
  2. In the GRUB menu, press ‘a’ to edit kernel options
  3. Append a space and the word ‘single’ after the menu option you wish to use
  4. Save and continue
  5. Voila!