• Right in the solar plexus

    Not the usual start to the day today..

    First, one of the kids woke up at 1.30 am complaining that they couldn’t sleep (they had actually been asleep, but logical arguments don’t seem very successful at that hour of the morning!).

    Then, later on, around 5 am I think, another child woke up complaining it was too dark. I turned on a bedside light, and they seemed happy enough with that to be able to go back to sleep again.

    Not so much for me.. I tossed and turned for a while, then decided to get up myself. After breakfast I went to have a shower, only to discover that the hot water wasn’t. My initial theory was that the batteries had gone flat in the instantaneous gas hot water heater, but we didn’t have any spare ‘D’ cells to replace them. I rushed down to the shops just in time for opening (7 am), bought some batteries. Back home, new batteries in, but no joy.

    Next step, ring some plumbers. Got on to one, who suggested isolating the heater to double-check whether it was actually trying to start or not. I checked that, and it wasn’t, so the batteries were probably not to blame. He then said I was best off ringing Bosch to arrange a service call.

    Bosch water heaters are serviced in Adelaide by SA Hot Water, but they don’t open until 8.30 am, so while I waited I proceeded to boil the kettle multiple times so that I could have a bath in reasonably warm water. This reminded me that I am relatively tall, and our bath is relatively short. I won’t provide any pictures (you can breathe a sigh of relief!), but basically with a bit of wriggling about I can either get my legs wet, or my top half, but not both at the same time.

    I rang back SA Hot Water at 8.30 am, got through to their service people and it turns out they’ve got a guy in the area who could come over right away – hooray!

    He arrived not long after, and after giving some advice along the lines that our heater is probably on the way out (just over 8 years old) and is also a bit undersized for our house, managed to fix the problem.

    So now my wallet is a bit lighter, but I’m also thinking that we should start investigating a replacement unit, with the idea that it would be compatible with a solar hot water system (something the current unit wasn’t).

  • It's all happening!

    First Windows Phone 7 was release last month.. (still haven’t got one but am warming to the Samsung Omnia 7(broken link, was originally www.omnia7.samsungmobile.com/)

    Then the first CTP of SQL Server ‘Denali’ was released last week..

    And tomorrow (18th) Microsoft’s Kinect for XBox 360 is released in Australia.

    Don’t tell the kids, but I’m thinking this might be the Gardiner family Christmas present this year!

    Prices I’ve seen so far:

    • Big W 4G Bundle (1 games) $398, 250G Bundle (1 game) $528
    • EB Games 4G Bundle $461 (1 game), 250G Bundle (1 game) $549
    • Dick Smith 4G Bundle (2 games) $448, 250G Bundle (2 games) $548
    • JB HiFi 4G Bundle (1 game) $389, 250G Bundle (3 games) $549

    Update 18th Nov, 9pm

    Discovered good forum discussion on Economical Gamer site, which highlights Harvey Norman 4G Bundle (2 games) $468

  • SQL Server 'Denali' highlights

    On Wednesday at the two Adelaide sessions of the PDC Roadshow I gave the world’s fastest overview of interesting things coming in the next version of SQL Server – codenamed ‘Denali’.

    I’d even whipped up some PowerPoint slides, but due to time constraints didn’t get to share them with everyone, so I’ve summarised the main points here:

    Main highlights

    Areas unchanged in CTP1

    • Analysis Services
    • Data Quality Services
    • Reporting Services
    • Replication
    • Service Broker

    SQL Server Engine

    • SMSS uses VS2010 shell
    • Transact-SQL debugging and IntelliSense
    • Transact-SQL Snippets
    • Contained databases
    • SEQUENCE objects
    • Circular arc segment (spatial)
    • User-defined server roles

    SQL Server Integration Services

    • “Biggest change since 2005”
    • New deployment model
    • Object Impact and Data Lineage Analysis
      • Dependency Designer
    • Merge and Merge Join memory improvements
    • Designer enhancements
    • Edit disconnected components
    • Data correction component


    • Runs on your SQL Server system Uploading information to cloud service
      • Configuration
      • Performance, etc
    • Browse using a dashboard
    • Give access to Microsoft Support


    • Web-based reporting experience that offers rich visualization to let you project the story about your data to end users and other business users

    Microsoft Certified Masters

    • Just sit the exams (don’t have to do all the training)
    • No testing centres in Australia yet

    If you’re interested in finding out about these features (and more), Roger Noble and Rob Farley will be talking all about ‘Denali’ at this month’s Adelaide SQL User Group (Tuesday 23rd November).