Microsoft, SQL Server, SQL Server Sri Lanka User Group, SS SLUG

SS SLUG Kaleidoscope – June 2012 Action

It’s the time for the July meetup and the June post is just coming out. Delay on my part was because of a hectic schedule. Nevertheless, better late than never, so thought of typing it now at least.

The June meetup was held on 20th June 2012 and the events lined up for the evening were,

Sanjeewa along with a demo of the installation gave some salient insights which are ignored during the process of installation. Actually, not ignored as such but rather taken for granted and how any one would blindly opt to proceed with the default settings of the wizard without digging deep. He made some recommendations for installation and mentioned the basic Software and Hardware requirements. Overall it was an informative session as I only had witnessed another installing it and actually had no knowledge of the how things worked out during installation.

Prithiviraj in his session made a comparison between Seek and Scan, where Scan would be a better option in a particular instance though Seek seemed to be the hot favourite. Finally Gogula began his session on explaining the new structure for certifications, the use of it and how one could groom their career path. This session answered a continuously bugging question in my mind which was, “Why should I go for a certification when I have a degree?” Basically, what I understood as the purpose of it is that if you’re a person who knows where you’re heading, certifications are a good way to build the road ahead of you and besides you also have an additional advantage with the “Certified” tag behind your name when you’re applying for jobs 🙂

According to where I stand, the importance of the topics discussed at the meeting were ordered in a descending order for me. Where the first session was the least important (but if I get to install in the future, it’ll definitely come handy 😉 ) and the last session was the most important (as an undergraduate who’ll be finishing the degree pretty soon and looking out for opportunities).

The July meetup is planned for today and I’m sure there will be something for everyone to get from it.



Microsoft, SQL Server, SQL Server Sri Lanka User Group, SS SLUG

SS SLUG Kaleidoscope – May 2012 Action

After a month’s break SS SLUG came into action, but with a low attendance this time, probably because its the season of convocations and many of the regular attendees were missing or lack of communication about the meeting. Nevertheless, this month’s meeting was pretty concise and compact, likewise the post comes out short and early.

The meeting kicked off with two sessions that were lined up for the evening.

  • Windowing Functions in SQL Server by Dinesh Karunarathne
  • Breaking an SQL Myth in 300 Seconds – Table Variables with less data does not go to tempdb by Dinesh Asanka (MVP, SQL Server)

Dinesh K. explained that Window Function, is primarily a function that affects a particular set of rows and there are three types of Window Functions.

  1. Ranking Functions
  2. Aggregate Functions
  3. Analytic Functions

He did an in-depth explanation of each type along with a small demonstration. With regard to the third section, he went on to explain the new improvements in SQL Server 2012. A side comment was made that, this function thought it seems very useful, doesn’t come that handy with big data sets.

Next in line was Dinesh A., with a new segment, where he had to bust an SQL myth within 300 seconds. The myth for the evening was, “Table Variables with less data does not go to tempdb“. He proved a point with a demonstration on Temp Tables Vs Table Variables Vs CTE.

Overall view, this time meeting compared to the previous meetings was played at a lower key. So let’s see if June will raise the bar higher…

Microsoft, Windows

Windows 8 Consumer Preview : Starter, Main Course and Dessert

Almost a week since Windows 8 Consumer Preview was out and I got my hands on it today. Heads up on the post, for the Windows fans: it ain’t gonna be “Microsoft Friendly” and for the rest of the crowd: nor is it gonna be “Anti-Microsft”. And no, it’s not on the fence either 😉

Starter, Installation Process.

The entire process took a fine 40 minute ride. I installed Windows 8 in my virtual machine. What I expected was a normal wizard that would let me select the options and keep on clicking Next and Tada! it would boot the new OS. And I wish life was that easy or rather Windows 8 was that easy. As the process begun, this is where I got stuck,

Product Key

If anyone is wondering, why I spent a long time with the installation, this is one reason. Because I had to seek Google’s help for this. I don’t understand the importance of this step for a Consumer Preview version and if it is important, it should have been mentioned in the official site (providing the key). Next, time minting process was creating an entire New Windows Live ID to be used as the login credentials. There was no option to use the existing IDs. Hopefully, it will be accommodated in the final release.

Lifting the veil off, this is what I got.

Windows 8 Home ScreenMain CourseCritical Analysis. Things that I like are, I completely love the metro style and the entire look of it. The categorization of the tiles and easy access to different apps comes very handy. Concise, it is an improvement of a mobile OS made available to tablets and desktops. But is it really User Friendly, when it comes to desktops? That’s an evident concern. When we are talking of business on the go with mobile phones and tablets, then Windows 8 is most definitely one of the best options available. But when you scale it down to the desktop usage of it, unless you’ve been bitten by the tech bug, a conventional user might be taken back.

For instance, though I like the look and feel of it, initially I was wondering around with the basic functions pertaining to a program. Like, how can I close this window? Where do I click when the buttons are overlapping? How can I see the programs that are open? With regard to Internet Explorer, how do I go Back? (And yes, I tried it out without checking out the Demo Video) For a second it even struck me, whether they were planning to promote keyboard shortcuts. And when these functions cannot be executed fast, that could burn time as well as few blood cells. Looking at the Consumer Preview version, Windows 8 needs a lot of things to be fixed/changed, bearing in mind the users who will be solely depending on their desktops. Because unlike the touch devices, getting your way around and executing your normal tasks can be bit cumbersome. But if you are using both the tab and the desktop, this would not be a problem as you would have a knowledge of how things work and it’s just a matter of moving from touch to non-touch.

Going further down, what’s the difference in the core functionality of Windows 8? It is said that there’s enhanced performance and improved boot time (approximately 8 seconds). Performance, so far seems good but couldn’t see a significant difference compared to Windows 7. Boot time, yes it’s reduced. On one hand I’m glad that Microsoft had brought a significant enhancement with regard to the kernel and I wish they experimented more and introduced more changes other than just adorning the same old features without considering a change to the kernel.

DessertMy Conclusion. From a personal viewpoint, would I choose Windows 8 for my mobile or tablet? Yes, one because it is tailor made for it and two, it is indeed good. Would I choose Windows 8 for my desktop? YES! With a bit of a mumbling for few days, I would most definitely conquer it!