Friday, September 02, 2005

TechEd Australia 2005: Day 3

Last day today - slept in as I figured it was going to be the last time for a while. By that I mean my internal clock let me sleep until about 7:30...sigh...this is what having children has done to me (but I don't regret it).

Shower, paper, breakfast, checkout. Very leisurely, surprisingly smooth checkout & baggage storage (along with about another 100 or so TechEd delegates). I skipped the first session; wasn't anything I wanted to go to anyway. Arrived for the second session: Internet Safety for Children (Jeff Alexander). All the sessions I've been to this week have been purely for work, except for this one - this one was for me. I figure this is all going to be very pertinent (given my eldest is 4 and going to school next year) in a few years. Next I did an online lab on Reporting Sevices as none of the sessions in that time slot were of much interest to me. It was really just a starter for using Report Designer - not that interesting.

I nicked off to Pacific Fair for lunch (a little early) in the hopes of finding something my dad & father-in-law might enjoy for Father's Day this Sunday. I was just going to wish them a happy Father's Day and defer the present thing for later, but I figured there wasn't much point in procrastinating (got a triple CD - female jazz singers from the 30's - 50's - for dad and a book on the Kokoda Trail for my in-law - he's a retired Leftenant Colonel from the Army Reserve, so I think he'll probably find it a good read, and it comes highly recommended).

Back just after the next session kicked off (so I missed the first bit of it) - table partitioning in SQL 2005 (Danny Tamb), which was kind of interesting, and finished the day off with a session from local Microsoft boy Dave Lean on Report Builder. I was actually surprised how good that session was. It might even have been the best session of the week (and that's saying something as I'm a SQL purist - T-SQL query logic optimisation, execution plans, index tuning, storage engine internals, etc. - and don't really get into the whole BI/reporting bit of the SQL product suite). But I think there is a real future for Report Builder, which fits in between Report Designer & Report Manager and was not released with the early SQL 2000 release of Reporting Services. I was even envisaging which departments (Finance, HR, Marketing) would be big users of Report Builder if we gave them the infrastructure for it.

It's kind of fun checking out all these new Microsoft toys but at the same time kind of depressing because the opportunities to seriously evaluate them (in the context of the business) and deploy them are usually very limited. How many DBAs have the opportunity to play with table partitioning (not in production) in the context of flicking around 100+ GB of data on multiple filegroups, each with their own physical underlying RAID volume? I think I'm going to have to rip apart & rebuild my secret "play" SQL box in our secondary data centre (it's not really secret, but I just keep fairly quiet about it and people tend to keep forgetting it's out there <g>, otherwise it would probably get rebuilt in a heartbeat as some "useful" server for some other technology, like Citrix, Exchange or SMS or some such other crap). Yep, I'm definitely going to have to set up a proper play environment; where else are I going to mirror the DBs on my notebook to?

Anyway, left TechEd at about 5:30 and wandered around Broadbeach for about half an hour (couldn't go to the Gold Coast and not check out the beach...not's very long). By about 6pm I was running out of things to do to kill time (plane doesn't leave until 8pm) so I wandered back to the hotel, got my bags and cabbed it to Coolangatta airport; I figured reading my book at night at the airport wasn't much different from reading by book at night in the lobby of the Sofitel. Checkin was non-eventful. Waiting for boarding was boring (that's when I was typing all today's musings). I'm expecting to get home tonight at almost 11pm and I'll bet there'll be a middle-of-the-night feed for my little girl. So I'm not expecting to get too much sleep tonight, especially since the wife wants the day off tomorrow (and rightly so - she's had a hard week). Oh stop, Sydney airport.

Uneventful flight, 1 hour taxi ride home ($94 later - ouch!) and I'm home at about 11pm. Ah, but it's good to be home.


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