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I read a lot of blog posts - a LOT.  Sometimes it's interesting to sit back and evaluate all of the reading that I'm doing to try to glean ways of improving my efficiency.  One thing that has enormously improved my efficiency is installing a Google plug-in RSS reader.  Now, all the blogs that I read come into one sidebar where I can easily keep track of what's new. 

So here are some of the posts I've been reading in the last couple days primarily covering SQL Server and also my other interests to a lesser degree: - The SQL CAT (Customer Advisory Team) are simply awesome. - Bob Beauchemin's blog is always a wonderful site for great new information.  This particular article talks about the interplay of PowerShell and SSMS, which I'm trying to get up to speed on. - Dan Jone's nice entry on getting started with PowerShell. - Kalen has been an expert in SQL Server since before it was a Microsoft product.  This DVD is very much worth it.  It's actually really cheap considering how much information it contains. - Kimberly Tripp was the first person I ever took a SQL Server class from.  Her content has always been top-tier and now that she and Paul are working together, it's only gotten better. - SQLIOSim is very useful for stress testing, but notoriously hard to interpret the results. (I wrote about this free tool some months ago in my SQL Server Magazine column, Tool Time.)  This blog post from the PSS team helps you decifer checksum error messages that might appear in the SQLIOSim log. - Okay, so Microsoft has plans to allow you to host your SQL Server data in the cloud.  That means that small businesses (or small teams inside of big businesses) can easily pop up SQL Server without the infrastructure or management headaches.  I'm not sure how much traction this will get, but it shows that Microsoft now considers Google to be its biggest competitor IMO. - I was intrigued by a posting from the SQL Server Performance Engineering team that not only did SQL Server 2008 launch at February party for Windows 2008 and Visual Studio 2008, it launched with exceptionally good TPC-E numbers.  This surprised me because, afaik, there's still a lot of debug code in the CTPs.  I know this because my own TPC-C test were disappointing.  So I was wondering what the secret sauce was so that they could post strong numbers with a straight face.  I haven't yet read the TPC disclaimers, but rest assured that I will soon. - I like to keep up with what Ward Pond is up to and, at the moment, he's ticked off at a variety of websites that are aggregators for other people's content, including his own.  These websites charge monthly fees, but often create very little of their own content, instead repackaging what other people have written.  This is what my Google RSS reader does for free. - I always go back to this web page from time to time to make sure that I'm checking in on all of the SQL Server team blogs.  Right now, I'm making sure that all of the blogs with RSS feeds are in my reader so that I don't have to go out and pull down their latest postings manually. - This is a new (to me at least) blog from Jason Massie that I found to be fun and interesting. I think the SQL All Stars competition is what caught my eye.,289483,sid87_gci1296396,00.html?track=sy200&asrc=RSS_RSS-3_200 - I feel like I never seem to know enough about how the SQL language and XML interact on SQL Server.  This is a good article by Michelle Gutzait examining XML on SQL Server, compared to simply using VARCHAR(MAX). - I use Benchmark Factory (from my employer, Quest Software) to do my large-scale SQL Server testing.  I was on the discussion forum reading some tips for doing a 3000 concurrent user TPC-C test.

And now for something completely different, I'm a big fan of the book Freakonomics and the accompanying blog hosted by the New York Times.  In this book (and on their blog), the authors look to interprete the data as it really is, rather than the data as we wish it meant.  The results are sometimes shocking and always interesting (social conservatives beware).  In this particular blog post (, they point to a website where journalists gripe about being a journalist.  I was interested in this because I think old world journalists today are what icemen were in the 1920's, on the verge of extinction.  So I'm curious to see what's happening in their world.

I'm also very concerned about the current state of the economy, which has been brewing for quite a long time now, and the dire straights we're now in:

I hope you find one or two of these posts of value, as I did.



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