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Thread: Who's At PASS?

  1. #1
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    Unanswered: Who's At PASS?

    okay..
    Here is my first post from pass.
    I am here on sunday getting ready for the first of 5 days of nothing but SQL Server
    Every time i come to this thing i still get excited about the whole community thing.

    who else from dbforums is going to be here? i would be interesting to put faces with those names.

    in any event i will post interesting tidbits from the event if any come to mind. starting with the microsoft givaway of a copy of std edtion 2005 (when released) to any attendee. you get a coupon and you register a pin on a web site and they will send you a copy upon release. its a nice perk i guess, but msdn and the CTPs kind of take the savoir faire out of it.

    oh well.

    remember to post your name if you are attending.

  2. #2
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    I'll be arriving Tuesday evening for the SQLServerCentral get together. My company balked at the pre-conference sessions, but hey ... three days od sql server beats a stick in the eye.

    So what's the Gaylord like?

    -- This is all just a Figment of my Imagination --

  3. #3
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    They won't fly me there....it's a budget kind of thing...

    When will PASS come to NYC I wonder?
    Brett
    8-)

    It's a Great Day for America everybody!

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  4. #4
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    Probably when Ney York will be threatened by a hurricane. Last year it was in Orlando when a hurricane was bearing down on Florida. This year it's in Texas and Texas was threaned by a hurricane. See a pattern?

    -- This is all just a Figment of my Imagination --

  5. #5
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    the gaylord is pretty cool. it is so much of what everyone thinks of texas and so much not what texas is all about. its big and very smooth and if you are one of the lucky ones to stay in the hotel you probably will have a nice stay. I chose a less expensive hotel just up the road.

    the food at the gaylord is a boxed lunch (sandwich, apple, chips and a bowl of chili today) and every break brings cokes coffee and water and some snack (cookies, popcorn, etc) and so far the seminars look about full. I can only imagine what this will be like on wednesday when this place is full of fat database administrators carrying their gift bags and pimping themselves out for some shwag as they beam their business cards to their new lifelong friend's treo 650.

    there is a DNA identification convention happening at the same time as PASS and a few of us were considering attending some of their lectures (when there arent any good ones on our schedule). however, considering their profession, they would probably have a pretty good identification system and weed us out fairly quickly.


    Seminar.
    Kalen Delaney Concurrency Issues With SQL Server 2005

    in the past i have seen Kalen speak on a few occasions and normally she is a fairly confident presenter. however, today she was stiff and uncomfortable delivering this information. I think she is a great mind in our community and probably just had an off day.

    at one point she answered a question related to row level versioning from a student and she appeared less than confident in her answer. it was at that point the alpha geeks in the room began to smell a blood in the water.

    **** alpha geeks are the guys who are the smartest at work but are small
    **** fish in a big pond in the classroom. they ask questions for their own
    **** edification not because they really want to know the answer.


    these uber nerds pounced and began re-asking the question and probing until she ended up completely contradicting herself. i felt bad for her as it was probably a right-wing misogynistic conspiracy to discredit her.

    I will say that I found her seminar to be extremely informative. I now know that due to performance concerns, it will be a long time before i implement Read Committed Snapshot Isolation(RCSI).

    On a side note, i think the best thing about her seminar had nothing to do with the seminar but instead was the woman with the very interesting service dog. it looked like a newfoundland. she sat by the entrance to the room with this sizable mastiff and all that passed could not miss this dog and i was strangely drawn to looking at the dog for the entire presentation. every minute or so i would look away from kalen and stare at this dog chewing on its bone or just laying down. i marveled at its ability to sit reletively quiet and in the same place for 2 to 3 hours at a stretch for the whole day. i have a dog and he would have been bored with licking his balls after 2 minutes and would have been running around and crapping everywhere. speaking of which, i thought that it was interesting that she would have to take this dog out to crap every couple of hours and due to its size would probably have to bring a 30 gal garbage bag with her to pick up with. i thought how crazy it must have been to take this dog on the airplane with her( assuming she flew) and how it would have taken up an entire row of seats had it flown in the cabin.

    on a personal note. i have already seen the snobbery that so many professionals deny that they possess. I am so optimistic about these conferences when i arrive and within minutes of speaking with someone realize how much like a high school reunion these things really are. everyone lies about what it is that they do and everyone tries to make themselves seem more important than they actually are. I just want to learn something cool and maybe get a job offer out of this (its always flattering to get one).

    this has been your very biased PASS Reporter with another late breaking editorial. and i do mean editorial.

  6. #6
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    I have to agree with you in respect to Kalen's uncertainty in many areas. At the last TeckEd in Orlando, I noticed that she was throwing a couple of contradictory statements during the same lecture. But I think, it's because she's just not a good speaker, and probably cannot concentrate on so many topics at the same time. Her book and articles appear to be relatively consistent, which may mean 2 things, - either she trully is not a good speaker, or she surrounds herself with people that know all the subjects that "she covers".

    Did you meet Mike Hotek or Itzik Ben-Gan there yet?
    "The data in a record depends on the Key to the record, the Whole Key, and
    nothing but the Key, so help me Codd."

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ruprect
    <snip>
    I will say that I found her seminar to be extremely informative. I now know that due to performance concerns, it will be a long time before i implement Read Committed Snapshot Isolation(RCSI).
    <snip>
    Care to elaborate?

    Versioning is a very complex subject to explain, especially second-hand, so I'm not surprised Kalen had some difficulties - I've been backed into a contradictory corner before and my team owns the whole component.
    Paul Randal
    Dev Lead, Microsoft SQL Server Storage Engine

  8. #8
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    I have to agree with you in respect to Kalen's uncertainty in many areas.
    Hold on a second there trotsky! I didnt say anything like what you are implying and if it comes off like that you are mistaken. My observation of her session was entirely based on a technical presentation level. i never questioned her abilities as a presenter nor as a technician. so i will translate for the Djabarov impaired.

    she knew the material.
    some guys flustered her
    she didnt recover

    I have delivered many classes over the years and I have had the very same thing happen to me. I speak from experience here. It feels like quicksand.

    Paul Randal?

    I should admit that after some minor reading on RCSI and listening to kalen's Session i was given the impression that much of what makes RCSI optomisitc locking a good idea also comes with some overhead concerns. however, not having the time to try it out yet has left me at a disadvantage and before i can drink the kool-aid on something like this, i will need quite a bit more experience with it. can you start another thread on RCSI and explain a bit, that would hook quite a few of us up.

    Thanks.

  9. #9
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    Pass Day Two

    So as not to encourage trotsky, I will now limit my comments only to non-presenters and topics and the dog if i see it again.

    WOW!
    all i can say is that the PSS boot camp rocked. it launched like a pro stock car in first pulling 14000 RPM and the front tires didnt touch the ground until after the 100 foot mark.

    The in depth discussions on IO and system internals and the demos of SQL 2005 made me want to pull out my copy of Ken Henderson's Architecture and Internals and start over from the beginning. I even have to say that i had no interest in the "performance tuning of analysis services " session but i was blown away by that one as well. definitely a great start for this conference.

    Lunch was a subtle menu consisting of turkey sandwiches (no ham for me) an apple, barbeque potato chips and a small bottle of soda. (which by the way had a nose of vanilla and oak casks).

    the most interesting non session element had to be all of the SQL Server People. the most interesting conversations occur at each of the breakfast and lunch tables when everyone is getting familiar with each other. initially the introductions and the "where are you from" questions and then the big guns come out. With outstreched arms and eyes as big as saucers, they exclaim that they have "this many!" servers back at their job and they have the most horrible time with patches and applications and the deployment and configuration of both. another element of a specialized conference such as this is the possibility of seeing old friends. I myself ran into someone that i havent seen since pass in denver a few years ago. we spoke for a few minutes and i found myself rambling about some unknown crap(probably a service pack issue)so I had to excuse myself to the restroom where i promptly proceeded to kick my own ass.
    but i digress. it is for the sake of humor that i post these musings and not to insult or harrangue so just consider me an unsolicited correspondent because i wont bore you with the technical details of the conference you can go to SQLPass.org and get those. i'm gonna give you the goofy stuff that you have come to expect from me.

  10. #10
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    Is boot camp the only thing that can encourage you to read "the internals..."?

    You seem to ramble more about food than about what is there that is worth mentioning! Come on, you can feel better if you skip a lunch or two!!!

    But seriously, please ask some questions on database recovery from suspect state in sql2k5, since it is obviously different from sql2k, and I cannot replicate data device corruption as easily as I used to in sql2k.
    "The data in a record depends on the Key to the record, the Whole Key, and
    nothing but the Key, so help me Codd."

  11. #11
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    sure thing.

    you can read my reply at http://www.uratool.com

  12. #12
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    I really wish that I'd been able to attend PASS this year. Unfortunately, timing is everything and this time it worked against me.

    We're about to complete a major acquisition in the next few days, and things are a bit "interesting" because of that. Hopefully I'll get to sleep on Saturday or Sunday!

    -PatP

  13. #13
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    Ok. Lets get to the Day 3 (Tuesday) update.
    1st Session. Kimberly Tripp. Indexing
    I am always impressed with her presentations. She has an easygoing style and disarms many of the people in the classroom with her charm and her strong knowledge of indexing and SQL Query Tuning. It was a great way to begin the day. absolutely a contender for the best regular session.

    Lunch
    Trotsky. I was almost going to skip the lunch description but i figured that my describing it would thoroughly piss you off so you understand that i cannot resist. smoked Brisket (its a texas thing) and free range chicken with Mixed Steamed vegetables and a corn & mashed potatoes kind of mixture that was sublime yet brash (that tasted of oak lined casks and a hint of vanilla). the corbread was delicate and served with a jalepeno apricot jam that reminded me of my years in a prison camp in Oaxacan. all in all, todays lunch was much better than the pre-conference lunches.

    2nd Session
    Get on the SQL Server Express
    all about SSE. The guys that develop SSE were in the back of the room and when the instructor was asked a question that he didnt know the answer to, he deffered to them. they would answer and he would concurr. I can only imagine how unnerving it would be to give a class on quantum physics with steven hawking in the room. imagine steven hawking shaking his index finger back and forth in dissaproval.

    I skipped the third session to attend the PSS Labs. basically a room with 12 or 14 pcs each with word documents illustrating the issue and how to debug it. you then have to Defeat the scenario and make the pc safe for regular data usage. (i had trouble with the DBCC Joystick). I played with the blocking lab and then began to vamp on the performance lab when i realized that it was time for the final session of the day.

    Session 3 Kalen Delaney Indexing SQL 2005

    VINDICATED!. Ok. this is why Kalen Delaney is one of the strongest and most talented minds in SQL server. She really delivered the goods in this course. even with issues with Virtual PC 2004 and screen resolution, she kept going on with the course. I learned some important information about SQL 2K5 indexing and I am glad i attended although i did kind of hide off to the side and turn my name tag around just in case one of her cronies showed her my first thread and she called me out in front of 500 people.

    ok enough with the sycophantic rambling and lets talk about something really important. SHWAG!!! I have to say that my winter wardrobe is almost complete. I have just enough T-Shirts to last me to february and some squeezy balls and a few pens. (by the way the SQLSkills Pens currently hold the title as most usefull Shwag Item) Some lucky dba won an XBox today and HP wins the award for most hoops to jump through for Shwag!


    1. Register at HP
    2. Wear the HP T-Shirt around the Shwag room until giveaway time.
    3. Fill out the card that accompany's the T-Shirt with 5 Questions about HP
    4. Walk around some more until Giveaway time
    5. Receive an envelope that contains a card with your prize written on it.
    6. Collect your prize.
    The worst part of this is that i did everything that they asked of me all in hopes of obtaining my wife the IPod Nano that she keeps asking for only to have the card giver run out of cards 2 people before me. Its not enough to get my hopes up for the ipod (when we all know i will probably walk away with a hat or a mousepad) but then to cut me off so close to the finish line. It reminds me of the Shwag Nazi on seinfeld "No Shwag for you!!"

    So i have now steeled my resolve and will stop at nothing until i walk away with something from this event that has wires attached to it. I will get an Ipod or the Portable DVD player or the Xbox or the Optical mouse or the earbud headphones or whatever shwag i can. No more T-Shirts for me!! i'm Pimpin myself out for shwag!!!!
    Last edited by Ruprect; 09-28-05 at 22:37.

  14. #14
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    Day 4

    Working With SQLCMD in SQL Server 2005
    this was good information but the instructor was having trouble with the mike and had his font size at a comfortable level for him but i was hoping for a pair of binoculars. I had such a headache when this was over.

    Lunch Asian Cuisine. I couldnt tell you what I ate only to say that I spilled some on my brand new HP Invent T-Shirt which required me to go back to their booth and register again to get a replacement. shallow? I agree. but the t-shirts were flowing like wine (which i spilled on myself) so why not.

    After lunch i strolled into SQL Server 2005 Diagnostic Collection and Analysis with Ken Henderson.
    Ken is brilliant. when in his presence i feel about as intelligent as forrest gump and that's all I have to say about that.

    During the break i rushed over to the HP xbox room to again be disappointed by the sour taste of failure. not only didnt i win an xbox but for a moment when i looked at halo2 on one of the plasma screens in the room i could almost swear that Master Chief was shaking his head in pity.

    back to the sessions with SQL Server 2005 Foundational Elements which only goes to prove to me that i have to buy a really good book on SQL server 2005 and take a 3 week vacation from work just so i can try all of the new concepts out. i was drained after this one.

    finally Advanced DDL Tricks with Joe Celko. this would have been great if i wasnt so blasted by this time. I had reached my failure point and my waittype was LCK_M_SCH_M_ Sleep.

    I picked up a powerpoint guide walked in walked out and went back to the hotel. only to awake at 430 the next day. bam out like a light.

    Shwag Report.

    The winner for the best T-shirt is IDERA with the SQL Shirt 2.0
    white with orange and black lettering as my wife says, cute yet not too girly.

    my final T-Shirt count of the conference is 25 (I have duplicates). combine them with the microsoft SQL Server 2005 Ball cap and the HP windbreaker and I now have a complete winter wardrobe. my only dream is that next year someone gives away shoes.

    stay tuned for day 5

  15. #15
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    Day 5

    Day 5
    Friday is here and it has been a pretty strong week. so lets begin with the sessions.
    First Session of the Day and the winner of the best session goes to SQLServerCentral's Brian Knight.
    this was not only an eye opener but the format was fun. brian had a developer (bayer white) on stage demonstrating an ASP.Net Page and brian would Hack it. Bayer would secure the page and brian would crack it. again and again and again.
    I cant wait to go on a hacking spree at work and make ll the developers rewrite all of their apps.
    Lunch
    we are back to sammiches chips and a banana but the "pop" was cold and the company was lively. our table had a very interesting conversation about airplanes with a husband and wife dba team from (dont hold me to this) ottowa(?). they flew down from canada and from what i understand, they typically fly themselves around wherever they need to go.

    SQL Server Dynamic Management Views.
    After Lunch... i am going into a turkey sandwich coma which absolutely sucks because this session wins the award for the information that i really need to know. i drank 2 cokes and a cup of coffee just to stay awake. Instructor spilled water all over his laptop and the down arrow got stuck in a repeat mode which made us all laugh and laugh and laugh and then chortle and some even guffawed i myself tee hee'd.

    230 to 345 sessions? i just couldnt do it nothing i was interested in and i was now too wired to sit still anymore.

    i wanted to stay for the "What i wish Developers knew about SQL Server" session but i figured that it would sound lilke the many times that we have had that thread posted here so i decided to make way for the airport.


    Overall Thoughts

    I have attended a few pass's (not all of them) distinctly i remember the PASS in San Francisco after the SQL 2000 Release. the entire conf was all about the new product and its features. the following year in denver, was a much better conference becuase a year had passed and issues concerns and the majority of usage was defined by dbas and could be addressed in sessions.
    i think the same is true of this event. I had a great time. Met some cool people (shout out to LEE and ROB from Tampa) and learned a lot. but i think that next year will probably be a better overall event simply because we will have a year to get to know SQL 2K5 and the sessions will be more focused toward areas of difficulty.

    congrats to the pass board and volunteers on a great conference.

    I will leave you with this..
    the most important thing that PASS can do next year is to raise the probability that i will win something with wires.

    Let's hear it for Shwag. Hooray Schwag!

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