• Ken Henderson's WebLog

    Book sample chapter available for download

    • 4 Comments
    I mentioned in my last post here that we have a new book coming out in December that focuses on troubleshooting issues with broken SQL Servers. We've decided to release a sample chapter from the book (that has not yet been proofread) so that people can...
  • Ken Henderson's WebLog

    Normalizing query text

    • 4 Comments
    A conversation with a friend over email got me to thinking that this info might be useful to a few of you. It’s common for SQL Server application developers to want to “normalize” the query text returned in a Profiler trace such that executions of...
  • Ken Henderson's WebLog

    More about self-reproducing T-SQL

    • 4 Comments
    In yesterday's entry , I talked about self-replicating programs and how educational it can be to construct them. Commonly known in hacking parlance as quines , these self-reproducing programs force us to think about how our language works and are a good...
  • Ken Henderson's WebLog

    A poor man's technique for playing DVDs on Media Center eXtenders

    • 4 Comments
    Today’s entry continues the discussion of Windows XP Media Center Edition and details how to play ripped DVDs on Media Center eXtender devices. An MCX device allows you to view content from a computer running Media Center on another TV. The thought is...
  • Ken Henderson's WebLog

    Review: Napster for MCE

    • 4 Comments
    If, like me, you use a PC running Windows XP Media Center Edition as your home media hub, you’ve probably ventured into online music services a time or two or at least wanted to. Today, I’ll talk about my experiences using one of these, Napster’s plug...
  • Ken Henderson's WebLog

    To VB or not to VB: VB.NET or C# -- which one should you choose?

    • 4 Comments
    I get asked pretty often which of these two languages I prefer. I prefer C#. But which one should you choose? That depends. * If you have lots of legacy VB code, VB.NET may be a better choice. VB.NET is a full-featured language and rivals C# in features...
  • Ken Henderson's WebLog

    Don't rely on undocumented features

    • 4 Comments
    I'm as guilty as anyone, but, with the advent of Yukon, I think we're really to the point where many of the undocumented features the user community has come to rely on are no longer needed. The SQL Server development team has made a concerted effort...
  • Ken Henderson's WebLog

    Leaky code?

    • 3 Comments
    Here's an excerpt from an sp_OA proc code example in the SQL Server 2000 Books Online: DECLARE @object int DECLARE @hr int DECLARE @property varchar(255) DECLARE @return varchar(255) DECLARE @src varchar(255), @desc varchar(255) -- Create an object...
  • Ken Henderson's WebLog

    How important is T-SQL portability?

    • 3 Comments
    This came up on a newsgroup recently. I weighed in with my .02 worth and decided to blog about it as well. Question: how important is it to write T-SQL such that it strictly follows the ANSI/ISO standard and will run on other DBMSs unmodified? My answer...
  • Ken Henderson's WebLog

    Subtle bugs #1

    • 3 Comments
    From time-to-time, I'm going to post a code snippet with a subtle bug in it for people interested in tracking down such things. Here's the first one (C/C++): TCHAR g_szFoo[10]; void CopyArg(TCHAR * pszArg) { _tcsncpy(g_szFoo, pszArg, (sizeof...
  • Ken Henderson's WebLog

    Yukon's management tools

    • 3 Comments
    As the creator of a few SQL Server-specific tools myself (Sequin, DataPipe, etc.), I have some fairly strong opinions on what type of functionality the tools that come in the white box with SQL Server should have, particularly the GUI apps. At a high...
  • Ken Henderson's WebLog

    Floating point fun

    • 3 Comments
    I've been an advocate of using SQL Server for more than a mere datastore for about as long as I've been working with the product. Too many times, I've walked into development shops only to discover that they're using SQL Server no differently than they...
  • Ken Henderson's WebLog

    SQL Server Support is at the PASS Summit again this year

    • 3 Comments
    My friends in Microsoft’s Product Support Services (PSS) group (aka SQL Server Support) are speaking again this year at the PASS Community Summit . They’re doing some main conference sessions, the PSS Boot camp, and putting on the PSS Service Center again...
  • Ken Henderson's WebLog

    Today is a great day

    • 3 Comments
    ...and in honor of it, I'm going to be especially cryptic and give you a little word puzzle--an anagram: Catch Meek The solution I have in mind for this one pretty much sums up how I feel about today. It's a great day :-) A hint for those watching at...
  • Ken Henderson's WebLog

    I'll be at the PASS Summit in Denver

    • 2 Comments
    I'm being interviewed on stage Friday afternoon from 2:30-3:45 by PASS president Kevin Kline (current session title is "SQL Server Q&A," but I think they'll be changing it). Topics we'll cover will include my background, where SQL Server is headed...
  • Ken Henderson's WebLog

    Origins of khen and foo

    • 2 Comments
    For those wondering why I use the terms 'khen' and 'foo' so often, here's an article on the etymology of both: http://www.youcancallmeal.com/type/archives/2006/03/origin_of_the_t.php
  • Ken Henderson's WebLog

    Blogs I regularly read

    • 2 Comments
    Some blogs I regularly read: http://blogs.msdn.com/oldnewthing Written by Raymond Chen, a developer on the MS Windows team. Great stuff if you want to better understand how Windows works, particularly the shell. http://feeds.feedburner.com/sysinternals...
  • Ken Henderson's WebLog

    Stalled/stuck I/O and SQL Server 2000 SP4

    • 2 Comments
    Service Pack 4 for SQL Server 2000, due out any day now, has a number of new features oriented toward making the product easier to support. One of these is the new detection and reporting of stalled or stuck I/O operations. A stalled I/O is an I/O operation...
  • Ken Henderson's WebLog

    New book promotion

    • 2 Comments
    Addison-Wesley has asked me to mention: Barnes & Noble liked the idea of promoting my books so much last time that they've decided to do it again. For those who don't already have all three of my SQL Server books, B&N is running another 40...
  • Ken Henderson's WebLog

    A WAITFOR UNTIL implentation for T-SQL

    • 2 Comments
    You've probably encountered situations where you needed to pause the execution of a stored procedure until some condition became true or needed to run some code when a condition became true. If the condition is time-based, WAITFOR TIME | DELAY can come...
  • Ken Henderson's WebLog

    Know your enemy

    • 2 Comments
    In The Art of War , Sun Tzu said, "If you know your enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles." But, he went on to warn, "If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat....
  • Ken Henderson's WebLog

    We're hiring!

    • 2 Comments
    If you have deep coding and problem solving skills, live in the DFW area, love SQL Server, and would like a shot at working for Microsoft, contact me via the email link on this page. I can't get into too many details here on the blog, so if you're interested...
  • Ken Henderson's WebLog

    Memory-mapped files and SQL Server

    • 2 Comments
    Continuing the discussion from yesterday about memory-mapped files, how do they affect SQL Server? Every DLL referenced by the server (Windows libs, Net Libraries, C RTL libs, etc.), every DLL they reference, and so forth, requires virtual memory address...
  • Ken Henderson's WebLog

    More on Borland, Danny Thorpe, etc.

    • 1 Comments
    There's been some churn over in the newsgroups re: my post yesterday about my concerns over Borland's future. I decided to respond over there, and I thought it might make sense to repeat that post here for anyone else who took issue with the post. For...
  • Ken Henderson's WebLog

    Sometimes it's better just to waitfor

    • 1 Comments
    You may have noticed that the sample blocking detection script in KB articles 251004 and 271509 uses WAITFOR in a loop in order to run the sp_blocker_pss NN stored procedure. Ever wonder why that is? Why wouldn’t we schedule the execution of the procedure...
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