• New updates from Red Gate

    I’ve had a couple of correspondences from Red Gate about some updates for some of their applications that I’ve mentioned previously here – SQL Compare and ANTS Profiler.

    Richard Collins wrote to say that SQL Compare v7 is being released this month, and will include SQL Server 2008 compatibility as well as being able to compare against backups.

    Regarding my comments about version control for database schemas, he said the following:

    “I just thought I might mention that v.6 of SQL Compare also includes the ability to compare with a folder of sql scripts under source control (optionally via an add-in called SQL Changeset) which

    I believe will help with your problem of updating from multiple possible versions.”

    Stephen Chambers also dropped me a line to mention that they’re working on ANTS Profiler v4. Pre-release builds are free and can be downloaded via their support forum.

  • Passed 70-547

    What a nice way to start the day! I passed the Designing and Developing Web-Based Applications by Using the Microsoft .NET Framework exam scoring 825.

    So I’m now a Microsoft Certified Professional Developer: Web Developer :-)

  • Standby power in the home

    A few months ago I was visiting our local library, when I noticed some interesting kits behind the the desk. They turned out to be “Home Energy Action Toolkits” (which has an acronym of HEAT!). I put my name down on the list, and finally last week it was my turn to borrow one of the kits.

    They include the following items:

    • Power-mate power meter
    • Infrared thermometer
    • Stop watch
    • Compass
    • Worksheet

    I was primarily interesting in using the power meter to gauge how much power various appliances use in our home.

    Here’s what I discovered:

    Appliance Standby (Watts) On (Watts)
    DVD Player 2.1 12
    VCR 5.6 16
    CRT TV n/a 56
    2400 W Heater 1.3 960/1370/2210 (low/med/high)
    CD Cassette Radio 1 5.3 8.5/6.5/6.3 (Cd/Tape/Radio)
    CD Cassette Radio 2 4.0 5.9/5.3 (Tape/Radio)
    Computer + CRT Monitor 8.5 160
    Computer speakers 2 3.6
    Small CRT TV n/a 44
    1000 W Heater n/a 960
    Camera battery charger 0.4  
    Automatic garage roller door 10.4 100
    Mobile phone charger 0.2  
    Microwave oven 5.4 1550
    ADSL Modem n/a 8.3
    VoIP ATA n/a 2.9

    Two other appliances were also measured, using a feature of the power meter which calculates running costs by allowing you to enter in the cost per kilowatt hour (I used 17.99 cents). The results were very interesting:

    Dishwasher14.44 cents per standard cycle
    Bread machine8.3 cents to make 1.25Kg loaf

    So it probably is cheaper to make your own bread after all.

    As a family we’re not too bad at turning off things that we’re not using. We’ve also started the move to compact fluorescent lights, and I intend to make use of a service like Envirosaver, which will come out and replace all your incandescent bulbs with CF ones for free.