Lost: The Database Tales

So, picture the scenario. White sand and palm trees. Tropical sun, warm breeze and crystal clear waters. And a laptop with wifi access to the office.

Hmmm, something doesn’t quite fit there. Though I must admit I really like the idea of telecommuting from a tropical beach. Must speak to the boss about that….

This is probably one of the more creative of the blog memes that go around, this time originally from Tim Ford

“So You’re On A Deserted Island With WiFi and you’re still on the clock at work.  Okay, so not a very good situational exercise here, but let’s roll with it; we’ll call it a virtual deserted island.  Perhaps what I should simply ask is if you had a month without any walk-up work, no projects due, no performance issues that require you to devote time from anything other than a wishlist of items you’ve been wanting to get accomplished at work but keep getting pulled away from I ask this question: what would be the top items that would get your attention?”

Well, actually that’s almost the situation I’ve been in for the last couple months. Except the ‘on-the-clock’ part. And the deserted island part. Also I don’t admin servers so there’s no pile of outstanding backups or standardisation to do.

Ok, so let’s say that I had a month with no projects and that I couldn’t work on any personal or community stuff in that time. What would be sitting on my list of things to do.

Organise documentation

Pretty much anyone who knows me would say that I’m pretty disorganised, and it’s true. I have IT-related documentation, presentations, saved articles, webcasts and podcasts scattered across two computers and several stacks of DVDs. One of the first things on my to-do list would be to start organising it. Not organise everything, that would take far more than a month, but start organising.

I have Sharepoint set up on a server here and the very beginnings of an IT library on it. The first goal would be to get the IT-related articles and saved blog posts into a sharepoint library and categorised.

Learn Sharepoint

To go with the previous step, I would study up on Sharepoint and how it works. I’m not talking about the interface, how to navigate through it, set up libraries or configure sites. I’m talking about learning how it works, how it scales, how the pieces work together, how the security works. The long-term goal here is to be able to make recommendations to clients on planned sharepoint implementations.

Dig deep into clustering

I’ve dabbled in clustering before, but I’ve barely scratched the surface with it. I know just about enough to get into serious trouble with it. I would spend some of my month getting familiar with clustering, both at the OS level, installing and configuring the cluster and at the app level, on SQL’s interaction with clustering.


Lastly, if there’s any of the month left, I’d play with Windows Presentation Foundation. Just because.

I’m not going to tag anyone, because I think just about everyone’s done this one. I’m slow to get to it. As usual.

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