DIY Standing Desk

For several years, I’ve been reading about others who have started using standing desks. It has intrigued me and I’ve wanted to put together a standing setup of my own for some time now.  Researching various solutions out there, I was discouraged by the fact that most solutions cost $400 or more, particularly ones which could be converted from sitting to standing.  I knew there had to be a better way and thanks to Ikea & Ikea Hackers, I found my inspiration!

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So my total out of pocket cost? $115!

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An hour of effort later… and voila, my new standing desk! So far it feels fantastic. Am writing this blog post from it. I went with a narrower 4 foot wide table top, so I could fit it into this particular corner of my guest bedroom, to preserve my window view. Being shorter, the height is perfect (about 38″) and I could raise it up an extra 1 1/4 inches if necessary. You could easily build this higher with some surplus 1×4″ wood, a drill, and saw. In fact, someone out there has even put out the plans for it AND even sell pre-made ones.

I must say I’m quite pleased and am looking forward to spending some quality time in this new workspace of mine!

UPDATE: Check out Part 2 here!
https://sqlbek.wordpress.com/2016/07/14/diy-standing-desk-part-2/

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Learn Something New – SSMS Tips & Tricks

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Today’s post is not only for the SQLNewBlogger Challenge, but is serving double duty as my T-SQL Tuesday contribution! This month’s T-SQL Tuesday is being sponsored by Mike Donnelly (b|t) and he has asked us to “Teach Me Something New.”

This past weekend, I participated in my third SQL Saturday Madison event. Aside from speaking, I attended some sessions and guest-hosted the SSMS Showdown between Jes Borland (b|t) & Russ Thomas (b|t). Jes & Russ had a fantastic showdown of a bunch of neat SSMS related tips and tricks. Here’s some of the new things I learned about!


OBJECT EXPLORER FILTERS

This is a feature that I thought was rather neat.  I never really noticed the little filter icon – it just sort of blended in I guess.  But it is fantastic if you have a database with hundreds or thousands of objects, perhaps that is not sorted or named very well.

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If you select a category folder, like Tables, the Filter icon becomes enabled.  Clicking that will bring up a window which gives you a number of different options to filter on.

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Next add some keywords. I added Phone and Person and voila, my Tables now show as being filtered and only the tables that matched now appear in Object Explorer!


CLIENT STATISTICS

The next feature I (re)learned about is Client Statistics.  I always seem to forget that this exists, but it is a very insightful feature for performance tuning.

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Turning it on is simple. You can access it from Query Menu, a keyboard shortcut, the toolbar.

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Then I ran a query. I varied and re-ran my test query 4 more times. Now you can see from the next screen shot that different data points about my last 5 executions were saved. Client Statistics will save the 10 most recent queries you’ve ran. It will also average them in the final column.

This is extremely useful to see how much work your queries are really doing, and as you’re tweaking and tuning, how each iteration may differ!  Great stuff!!


SPLIT WINDOW

Ever find yourself looking at a long query or stored procedure, and need to reference something at the top along with something toward the bottom?  Isn’t it a pain to scroll back and forth?  Well in SSMS, it seems you can split an existing query window!

I’ve opened a stored procedure from AdventureWorks, that has a CTE of a UNION of two queries.  Let’s say I am trying to troubleshoot something and want to compare the output column declaration list to the final output of my final query.

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Second half:

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Instead of scrolling back and forth, try using the handy split screen functionality!

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Click & hold the split screen icon on the upper right, and drag down.

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Voila!  Your window is now split in two, and you can now scroll to independently and have two different views of your query!


Well I hope you enjoyed these SSMS Tips & Tricks.  Special thanks to Jes & Russ again, for inviting me to guest-host their session and teaching me these nifty tidbits!

SQL Saturday Madison Re-Cap

About one year ago, I made my speaking debut at SQL Saturday Madison 287.  And this past weekend, I had the pleasure of returning for SQL Saturday Madison 387.  In the course of that year, I’ve had the pleasure and honor of speaking at several SQL Saturdays, User Group Meetings, and a Virtual Chapter Meeting.  Becoming a speaker is one of the best decisions I ever made.

A year ago, I had maybe 15 people attend my session.  This year, I packed the room with over 40 attendees!  A year ago, I was a ball of nerves.  This year, I’m far more comfortable and have refined my presentation skills.  I know I have much more room for growth but am very pleased with the growth I’ve experienced this past year.

I cannot say enough positive things about the Madison planning team.  They managed to find a new venue, work around the SQL Saturday website being offline for the final week before their event, and pull off a spectacular event.  I spoke to numerous attendees who all enjoyed their experience tremendously!

On a personal note, it was awesome to meet new some folks who I only knew via Twitter.  I remember last year, at my first Speaker Dinner, I was a bit nervous since I hardly knew anyone. This year, many of my fellow speakers were now my friends! I also had the pleasure of meeting a number of new people throughout the day. Had a lot of fun sharing knowledge, answering questions, and just simply talking shop. Look forward to seeing those faces again at future events!


 

Both SQL Saturday Madison’s also happened to coincide with two other unhappy events.  Last year at SQL Saturday Madison, I found out that my SQLFamily colleague Brooke Ranne had passed away suddenly.  She was the Chapter Leader of the Chicago BI User Group & a fellow staff member of the SQL Saturday Chicago planning committee.  I learned about her passing in the middle of the morning, scrambled to make some phone calls, and it definitely put a damper on the day.

This year, last week, SQLFamily lost another – Larry Toothman.  The week leading up to SQL Saturday Madison was rough, as we in SQLFamily struggled with the news of his passing and coming together to try and support his family however we could.  I remember meeting him at a SQLSkills IE event in Chicago, then crossing paths with him on a number of occasions thereafter.  After seeing him at Summit 2014, I was looking forward to seeing him again in both Madison and in May at another IE event in Chicago.  The Madison team took a moment in both the opening and closing ceremony, to honor Larry and his memory.

As sobering as these two events are, they are important reminders of what is most important in life.  It further reinforces what SQLFamily means to me and many others.  This is why I try to give back to SQLFamily now as a speaker, Chapter Leader, mentor, and in whatever capacity comes my way.