Logitech’s brought out a new 4K webcam called the Brio, and it goes for about $200. It’s quite a step up from the ~$100 former top-of-the-line Logitech C930e that I’ve been using for a couple of years. Here’s some sample comparison photos: Bright Light Comparison Photos My back wall is painted chroma key blue, and in these shots I’ve got a CowboyStudio light kit turned on in front of me. Logitech Brio, bright lights – click to see full size Older Logitech C930e, strong lights The new Brio 4K captures good details, whereas the C930e blows out all the details in a smear…Read
For the last month, I’ve been using two different keyboards: At home, I’m using the Ergodox-EZ split ergonomic keyboard. On the road, I’m using the new MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar. Both of them forced me to slow down and look at my hands for a while. The Ergodox EZ: Wildly Ergonomic I type a lot (and quickly), and maybe fifteen years ago, I started having wrist pains. I switched to ergonomic keyboards, and the pain disappeared pretty quickly. Thing is, most ergonomic keyboards have craptacular key feel and they don’t promote great posture. There’s a better way. I…Read
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…Read
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…Read
After I published my NextDesk Terra Pro standing desk review, the folks at FluidStance offered me a free Level to review. It’s like a skateboard, but with a convex aluminum bottom. You balance on it while you work. FluidStance Level My first concern: I’m probably going to fall off, right? I normally leave my chair mat in place to protect the carpet from my chair, and when I stand at the desk, I plop down my cushy anti-fatigue standing mat. I didn’t want to use the Level atop my anti-fatigue mat or my bare carpet because the pressure would probably ruin them…Read
With the first vendor-based 24 Hours of PASS approaching, it’s a good time to learn how to think critically. Critical thinking doesn’t mean criticizing – it means seriously examining the evidence and basing your decision based on facts. For example, when reading a vendor benchmark or white paper, it means asking: What does the evidence say? What evidence is missing? How is the evidence being interpreted by the author? What’s the author’s bias, and what is my own bias? Are we purposely being misled? What conclusion should I draw from the evidence? Let’s do a real-life example together. Fusion-io’s SQL Server 2014 Performance…Read
Let’s get one thing straight from the start: I love monitoring products. I get really excited when there’s a new one because I think there’s still a lot of space for innovation in this market. So when I got an email from ApexSQL announcing their new SQL Server monitoring product, I was excited. I clicked on it immediately and looked at the first screen shot in their announcement blog post: ApexSQL Monitor – click to enlarge The more things I looked at, the more horrified I got. Let’s take it from the top: SQL Server isn’t capitalized correctly. I can forgive…Read
When the iPad came out, reviewers pointed out that the iPad itself simply disappeared when you used it. The iPad became a featureless black frame, and what you were really using was an app. Fire up a text editor, a game, a browser, whatever, the iPad hardware was just a simple glass window into the app itself. If you used an app that was clean, polished, and functional, then you saw the iPad as clean, polished, and functional. Luckily for Apple, developers came out with a lot of clean, polished, and functional apps within the first year, so the iPad…Read
Do not buy a Microsoft Surface RT yet. I’m typing this with gritted teeth. My 24 hours with the half-baked Surface have been a frustrating challenge, a mix of love and hate. I want want want this to work, but one problem after another have led me to come to the conclusion – a temporary one at least – that this thing just isn’t ready to ship. The Hardware is Unbelievable Every time Apple unveils a new gadget or laptop, my jaw drops and I wonder how they pulled off executing their industrial designs. Their v1 designs look so beautifully…Read
In the last year, I’ve bought and sold a handful of cameras. I keep trying to find exactly the right one for my needs, and I’m just not having much luck. Today, I’ll share my current moment of frustration. Sony DSC-HX200V: Built for Vacations Last year, I went on a couple of SQLCruises and I wanted a camera that was purpose-built for travelers. I looked for: Built-in GPS – to automatically tag my photo locations Really, really high-powered optical zoom (in this case, 30x) Bokeh mode to automatically defocus the background 1080p video recording Panorama shots to capture the amazing…Read
Hi. I’m Brent.
I live in California 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.