Wednesday, April 30, 2008

This IRS email looks like a scam


Under the logo of IRS you might have received an email in the last couple of days which starts as follows,

"Over 130 million Americans will receive refunds as
part of President Bush program to jump start the economy.

Our records indicate that you are qualified to receive the
2008 Economic Stimulus Refund.
followed by couple of more paragraphs and then ending with,

"To access Economic Stimulus Refund, please click here.

This appears like a scam as IRS would not send an email like this. Check directly with

Microsoft Heroes Happen Here 2008 Launch event in Long Island, NY

I attended the launch event and participated with several hundred other attendees. Of course my primary purpose was to grab a copy of VS 2008 and the Windows 2008, and also to hear some more on the topics I am presently interested, VS 2008 and SQL Server 2008. I heard a bit more explanation on Microsoft's vision on business intelligence in the near future and a lot more on Windows 2008 Server.

Hey, I forgot to mention the other free stuff, the breakfast "cool bag'' with fruits, juice and water. Looks like Microsoft has heard my wish list. It is far better than a junior sized buttered pop-corn and a full coke. It should make good programmers healthier as well.

There was also a vendor's pavilion...

Sun Micro Systems displayed a computer box on which Windows 2008 was installed without a whisper in no time at all.

Sitecore (Enterprise Content Management system and Portal Software), Mindshift(IT Management), Hedgehog Development, LI .NET Users Group, and a few others were also represented.

Evaluated a Sample exam preparation kit from uCertify

I have taken a lot of Microsoft Certification exams mostly in the System Engineers track and as Microsoft changes the software so frequently I found it a loosing battle to keep up with their schedule. My BS is not retired (will never retire) but my MCT [Microsoft Certified Trainer] had a short life of 2 years. However in order to pass these exams it is not sufficient to know the subject but know enough to cover all the stated objectives.

I downloaded the uCerify Exam Preparation evaluation Kit, M70-526-VB [Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Client development] from their web site and took it for a test drive. Here are some of my impressions.

The 15 diagnostic questions will test your initial level of expertise as well as gives you a flavor of the contents of this kit. Then you have over 260 questions supported by extensive notes when you buy this product.

* It has a lot of state of the art learning tools like flash cards, articles, tips etc.

*The interactive exams are intuitive and unambiguously configured

* The ability to track your progress, and the readiness report you can access will greatly assist you and gives you enough confidence to take the exams. Your results of the tests are sliced and diced to provide you with the fine details to show where and how you went wrong.

*Exam results would depend on objectives of the exam rather than having a broad knowledge base. It helps those that take the exam to really focus on all that is relevant to the training. The Exam Objectives and Objectives with Notes menu items cover this exceedingly well.

*The explanations given for each question is well researched as well as presented in a summarized fashion and agrees well with the Books on line.

In addition to any exam preparation product you must also make it a habit to refer to Microsoft's Books On-line which usually has the last word.

I found resizable windows hides information as there is no text wrapping in windows, but on the larger screens used in recent times this should not be a problem.

I recommend anyone who is planning to take a Microsoft Certification Examination to seriously check out the uCertify web site for their needs.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Copy Database Wizard in SQL Server 2008

This task used to be a lot easier in earlier versions. Now you have more things to think and work on before you use the tool. SQL Server 2000 and SQL Server 2005 can be migrated. Now you can migrate logins as well.

Copying a database from an SQL 2005 Server to an instance of SQL Server 2008 is described using the Copy Database tool available in the SQL Server 2008. Procedure to create a proxy needed for this task is also described. The transfer method adopted in this article allows you to transfer chosen objects without stopping the source server. The transfer is painless as long as the security is not violated. Make sure you record the execution logging of the transfer as this is invaluable in the postmortem of failed transfers.

Read on and enhance your KB...

Copying a Database from SQL Server 2005 to SQL Server 2008 using the Copy Database Wizard

Friday, April 25, 2008

Obama can handle economic issues better

This is not my view.

Answering to an email from New Delhi just before the CNBC's Opening Bell program today, two Nobel Prize winners in Economics thinks that Senator Obama will be a better person to handle economic issues.

Prof. Edmund Phelps [Nobel Prize 2006] and Prof. Joseph Stiglitz [Nobel Prize 2001] both replied without any hesitation. One of them thinks that one of the other candidates for Presidency have views that do not fit the present economic conditions.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Windows XP gets revitalized

The Windows XP Service Pack 3 [SP3] will be arriving by the end of April 2008 and Windows XP gains a new lease of life extending it to couple of more years. I am tired of upgrading all the time and I look forward using this version as long as I can. This version is to offer greater protection and includes NAP [Network Access Protection] according to top stories covered in SDTimes. With NAP in place the client has to prove its state of health [OS and anti-virus related score] before it gets connected to all the network resources, and if it does not, it can access only restricted resources[very much like an Anonymous client]. Does it weed out unlicensed copy owners?

Need to know more. Go to the source:

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Possible Oracle SQL Developer 1.5 bug

Oracle SQL Developer 1.5 has several improvements that includes versioning support.

Failing to connect to SQLEXPRESS using Windows authentication [which requires Single Sign On] changed it to SQL Server/Windows authentication and tried to connect to it using SQL Developer 1.5 by providing tested login credentials.

Simply the name,

SQLExpress or
is not recognized.
The Bug:

When Windows authentication was not chosen, the error message displays the following at the bottom of this screen:
Status:Failure -Login failed for user 'SQL15'. The login is a SQL Server Login and cannot be used with Windows Authentication.

The New/Select Database Connection window shows that this option is not chosen.

Accessing SQL Server 2008 with Visual Studio 2008

Visual Studio 2008 did not natively support connecting to the SQL Server 2008 (As of this writing the Nov 2007 CTP was used). Although you would test the connectivity to be positive, it would not reveal the catalog as seen in this message.

A work around is to use an ODBC connection as shown in the article. The article also describes a possible bug in the Query Designer tool.

Read this and many others at this site:

Creating a Web Page for Displaying Data from SQL Server 2008

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

We live in an irrational world

I have come to this conclusion after many years of thinking.

We have water shortage we grow lawns.
We have food shortage and we convert it into bio-fuels.
There is stravation and we waste.


How many thousands of acres are being used for growing lawns? I do like lawns but there are other greater concerns.

How many millions of gallons of water are being used for the lawns?

How many tons of pesticides (nasty stuff) are dumped into the ground?

How much energy is used for all these activities?

Do the benefits outweigh the negatives?

Grow something that is in short supply or more beneficial , be it Jatropa (both medicinal and biofuel source) or vegetables. Instead of maintainng your lawns turn it into food.

Well I am not the first to say this.

Integration Services 2008 bug_Bug002

The picture shows it all. This is an erratic bug. At first it shows up when you want to manipulate the 'Mappings'. The upper pane seems to be malformed- the connecting lines are absent while the bottom pane shows correctly columns going to destination.

If you try a drag-drop operation in the upper pane, you do see the dragging correctly but when dropped it does not connect the columns.

Some times when you move your mouse out of this screen and comeback the lines are connected. This never happenned with the VS 2005's SSIS designer.

Is my computer a slow computer, or what?

Integration Services 2008 bug_Bug001

The picture shows it all. The number of rows selected by the Conditional Split looks good [14601+4511=19112]. But the progress tab shows it has started and one of the component is still yellow. The program hangs. This appears to be a real bug and it is repeatable. I use an evaluaion copy of VS Studio 2008 Professional Edition [trial software], the Feb 2008 CTP of SQL Server 2008 and using the Adventure Works database and a ADO.NET source for this example.

At first I thought that there were too many rows to fetch and reduced the number of rows fetched to be small to weed this bug out for observation.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

My presentation at NJ SQL Server Group on April 15, 2008

I will be introducing my book to the group at 6:30 PM at their location in Parsipanny, NJ. I will be mostly talking about some of the wizards of SSIS and will show how beginners can get their feet wet on this very important product from Microsoft.

I will be demonstrating some easy to follow examples using the BETA version of SQL Server 2008 and VS 2008. If you live around Parsipanny you are welcome, but make sure you send an email to the organizer (

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

New Data Flow Destinations in VS 2008's SSIS Designer

You will find the new destinations shown inside blue rectangles in the SSIS designer Toolbox when you work with VS 2008.

ADO.NET and SQL Server Compact Edition are new. SQL Server Mobile destination is out.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

New Data Flow Source items in VS 2008's SSIS Designer

The items shown in red rectangles are new items that you will find in Visual Studio 2008's Toolbox. The ADO.NET Data Flow Source can be used to extract data from a relational data source using a .NET Provider.

Note that the DataReader Source is removed from this group

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Refreshing my acquaintance with Dojo Tool Kit

This is an excellent tool that I liked very much. Due to other things I
became interested in, I was out of touch. Recently downloaded the dojo -release_1.0.2 and placed it on my localhost's web root,

and tried out a few tests. Voila! The items I tested worked the same way in both Firefox 2.0 and IE 8.0 Beta.

I just tested the following items,




They looked the same except that the sizes in the first html file came out different in the two browsers.

In FireFox 2.0

In IE 8.0 Beta

Opera 9.24

Graphics failed to show up.

I am sure there is an explanation. Protection Status