On Visiting Israel

I’ve always wanted to go to Israel, and I never quite knew why. Earlier this year, I made it. I flew over to Vienna first for SQLSaturday Vienna and had an absolutely wonderful time. I’d heard Austria was charmingly beautiful, and it surpassed expectations. The museums are great, quality of life is clearly quite high, and the people are lovely. Oh, and Klaus Aschenbrenner‘s flight simulator is amazingly realistic. Then, I flew to Israel. (No, not in the flight simulator.) Tel Aviv, Israel Visiting Israel on a Saturday I arrived on Saturday, aka Shabbat, and this is where I have to start by explaining a few things…

The Immovable Ladder and Legacy Software

One of the things I looked forward to the most about my Jerusalem visit was seeing the Immovable Ladder in person. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is home to many things that are sacred to many different religions. This isn’t a church like you or I usually think of churches – even just calling it a church is the understatement of the millennia. It’s built around the site of the crucifixion, Jesus’s tomb, and four of the Stations of the Cross. Look slowly at the outside of the building. Notice the different stones and styles. It’s been pieced together slowly over the last…

Using the Amazon AWS IoT Button to Start and Stop EC2 VMs

tl;dr – get a $20 Amazon IoT button, hook it up to this open source iot-button-ec2-controller Lambda action, and turn on/off groups of tagged EC2 VMs. What Is the Amazon Dash/IoT Button? I’m a fan of Amazon’s Dash buttons – little $5 buttons that stick around the house next to stuff I can reorder from Amazon. When we’re running out of laundry detergent, Erika can just push the All detergent button, and more shows up in a day or two. You get to pick which Amazon item gets associated with the button, although not all variations/sizes are available. Before you buy a…

Do #SQLPASS Attendees Want Products in Sessions? It Turns Out, Yes.

There’s a lot of talk going around about what’s good for PASS Summit attendees. I don’t like to guess what they like – instead, I like looking at attendee feedback to see which sessions were voted highest. As an example, let’s look at the Best of Summit 2014 list. Should Speakers Be Able to Talk About Their Company’s Free Apps? David Klee of Heraflux ran a great session on how to right-size your SQL Server VM. After talking for an hour about how much work you have to do to get this right, he finishes up by talking about a new option: David…

Book Mini-Reviews: Consulting Handbook, Innovator’s Dilemma, and Living with the Passive-Aggressive Man

When I’ve got spare time to unwind, I tend to read blogs, watch TV, or play games – Hitman:Absolution is in heavy rotation at the moment – but every now and then I pick up a book. Here’s my favorites from the last year or so: The Consultant’s Handbook by Samir Parikh Parikh saw me plug The Secrets of Consulting in one of my blog posts about setting your consulting rates, and offered me a review copy of his new handbook. I like Secrets of Consulting a lot because of its folksy, easily-approachable language. Weinberg tells stories and parables that you know…

Blog For Your Resume, Not For Your Readers

Are you afraid to blog because you’re worried no one will read it? It doesn’t matter. Write a blog because months or years from now, someone is going to Google your name. You want them to find things – things you’re proud of writing, things that convey your knowledge and personality. It doesn’t matter whether your blog posts have comments or subscribers. You’re going to instantly impress managers because you’ve taken the time to document what you know and share it with the community. Do it now. The future job-seeking you will thank me. Go to WordPress.com and start with the Premium…

A Presenter’s Guide to Running Out of Time

You’re in the middle of presenting to an audience, you just glanced at your watch, and you realize your presentation is running way behind. Never, ever say “I’m running low on time.” The instant the audience hears this, they’re going to assume that you’re taking shortcuts and giving them a bad product. Yes, you have a problem, but with a few simple actions, you’ll be fine. Take a breather and reset your pulse. The instant you have a slide with multiple bullet points, say to the audience, “Now think about this for a second.” Let the audience read the slides…

Vaio Canvas Z Review (From a Mac Guy)

I’ve been a MacBook Pro user since Windows Vista. I just couldn’t bring myself to love Vista, and back then, the Apple guys seemed so much cooler. They had a *nix-style OS, better hardware, and a better look/feel to their applications. I made the switch a decade ago, and I’ve been pretty happy in the Apple camp. Vaio Z Canvas – note how the bottom-up kickstand is way better than the Surface’s fold-down design Over the last couple of years, though, the cracks in Apple’s armor have grown to canyons. The laptop hardware focuses on thin and light, but not powerful. The…

Why We’re Running Our Own Pre-Con Instead of a PASS Summit One

More than one person has asked me, “Why are you running your own pre-conference event instead of doing a PASS Summit pre-con? Isn’t that a bad thing, like you’re taking away attendees from PASS?” I really, really want to do PASS pre-cons again, but for now, it all comes down to a few gotchas in the PASS speaker contract. At PASS, we’re not allowed to use our scripts. The speaker contract says: You recognize and agree that the purpose of your session(s) is to provide educational content and is not to be used as a sales or marketing platform. Personal contact information…

Hi. I’m Brent.

That's me, Brent.

I live in Iceland with my wife Erika. I'm on an epic life quest to have fun and make a difference.

I co-founded Brent Ozar Unlimited to help make your SQL Server go faster. I also maintain sp_Blitz® and the open source First Responder Kit repo.

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