Toshiba Portege Z301-A Review

Tools
Last year I purchased a Lenovo W530. Nightmares then ensued. Nice laptop if you just want to use it as a laptop, and only a laptop. Horror show if you need to present from it. So, I replaced it with an HP... which also gave me some troubles (try presenting with your laptop bricked in front of your boss AND 100 people), but that's OK because I dropped it the next day (totally by accident, it had just worked great all day, I was happy with it, mostly). So there I was, laptop free and in need of something that would let me work, present, and be an all round road warrior. PLUS, I had just broke a laptop and was feeling bad that company would be replacing it. So…
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Navel Gazing

Professional Development
I love negative feedback. Well, not really. I love constructive feedback. I love the feedback that gives me things to think about. Am I presenting the right material? Am I presenting it in the right way? Can I improve? But, in order to get constructive feedback, people have to tell you that something you're doing, or not doing, isn't working. That's frequently taken as negative feedback, but it isn't. Let's explore this. If there's a feedback form for a session. It says that 1 is bad, 5 is great and you put a 1, or 2, you didn't like the session. But, if you don't leave a comment, that's just negative feedback. If the comment is something along the lines of "You suck." That again is negative feedback. But, if you say…
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Let’s Talk

PASS, Professional Development, SQL Server 2012, SQLServerPedia Syndication
I’m travelling to several upcoming events and I’d love to sit down and talk with you. Yes, I get it, most of these events you’re going to see the sessions, but you really should plan on networking too. Here’s your chance to get started on that: Southern New England SQL Server Users Group, East Greenwich,RI – 3/14/2012: TSQL Deployment and Continuous Integration Best Practices SQL Saturday 120, Orange County - 3/24/2012: I’m presenting two times here. They’re both presentations that I’m working up for Connections. Common Backup Problems and How To Deal With Them TSQL Deployment and Continuous Integration Best Practices SQL Connections:Las Vegas 3/26 – 3/29/2012: I get it. You don’t go to Vegas to network. That doesn’t mean you can’t still do that too. I’m presenting three sessions.…
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Tech on Tap v1.1 Wrap-up

SQLServerPedia Syndication, Virtualization
The first ever Tech on Tap event was held on Saturday, January 27th, 2012 at the Stone Cellar Brewpub in Appleton, WI. If you weren’t there, well, you missed it. Notice that keyword in that earlier sentence, Brewpub. Yes, the Tech on Tap events (and there will be more) are specifically designed to mix Technology and Beer in a learning and networking event with a single focus. This first event was all about virtualization. The space where the event was held was the back bar of the Brewpub in a private room. The layout of the tables wasn’t perfect for presenting, but they were very conducive to networking. Other than that, the space was just excellent. The first presenter was Brian Lewis (blog) from Microsoft. He spoke about virtualization in…
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Friday SQL Nugget #1

Professional Development
Gee thanks Jes (blog|twitter). Just what I wanted, a little extra work on a Friday afternoon. I used to like you. We have a tagging theme started by Ted Krueger (blog|twitter) who I also used to like. The theme is: Deciding that I need to delete and start all over Lordy I hate this one. See, I find it easy to decide that I need to delete and start all over. My challenging task is persevering. But… here’s the rub. Because my challenge is persevering, I have a tendency to try to persevere when I really should be throwing in the towel. I don’t have a technical example of this ready at hand (I did mention it was the afternoon on a Friday, right?), but I do have a presentation…
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PASS Summit 2012 Evaluation Results

PASS, Professional Development
I say it all the time because it’s worth repeating, feedback is a gift. Good, bad or indifferent (well, not indifferent), feedback is a wonderful gift. Any time you appreciate a speaker, give them feedback. Any time you think a speaker could improve, give them feedback. Any time you hate a speaker, give them feedback. It’s really the best thing you can do. With that in mind, I have a huge stack of gifts in front of me here, the evaluations from the PASS Summit.Thank you very much to each and every one of the 160 different evaluations I received. I presented three times at the summit, once on a pre-con with Gail Shaw called “All About Execution Plans,” one time in a spotlight session called “DMOs as a Shortcut…
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St. Louis SQL Server Users Group Feedback

SQLServerPedia Syndication
You know I share what feedback I get from conferences. I don’t usually get feedback from users groups (well, I do, but it’s seldom written down and the bruises heal eventually). The St. Louis SQL Server Users Group did collect information. Since I share the other stuff, I may as well share this too. They didn’t have a metric. It was just written down comments. Here are a few, my comments, as usual, will be in parenthesis: Enjoyed the demos; Everything worked (ditto, the enjoying demos working part) Good speaker; just dislike presentations w/ remote speakers.(Me too. I prefer interaction. I like seeing heads nodding or shaking or eyes rolling up so I know if I’m covering things well enough. Remote presentations are hard & can be very boring to…
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Presentations in Action

Misc
The first book I read for my 12 goal oriented books was Jerry Weissman’s Presentations in Action: 80 Memorable Presentation Lessons from the Masters. Up front, let me say, this book met my expectations. I expected to see a lot of things I already knew. I expected to learn a few new things. What I didn’t expect was more books for my reading list. The book is broken down into 80 little stories and these are grouped into five sections talking about Content, Graphics, Delivery Skills, Q&A (dealing with it, not your questions), and Integration. The sections made a lot of sense even if a couple of the stories felt like they had been sort of shoe-horned into the section. Most of the stories made a lot of sense, and…
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SQL Saturday #67 Wrap-up

PASS, SQLServerPedia Syndication
Just… Wow. What an event. What a great group of people. I’m just so lucky to be involved with fantastic individuals like these. Thanks for having me out to play everyone, I really appreciated it. SQL Saturday #67 started for me with my second FreeCon (follow the link for details on the first one). Brent Ozar (blog|twitter) put together another great session where we spent a lot of time talking about blogs and blogging as well as swoops through other topics. We, by the way, is like a who’s who of great SQL Server people. I’m not going to post the list just in case everyone doesn’t want to be outed. However, I found the event extremely useful. I have a ton of notes and action items for myself and…
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Upcoming Speaking Engagements

PASS
I've got a couple of more sessions before the big two at the PASS Summit. Tomorrow night, October 20th, I'll be speaking at the Southern New England Network Users Group on SQL Server Best Practices. It's the first time I've talked on this topic, so it might be fun to watch. After that I'm previewing one of my two Summit presentations for Brian Knight (blog|twitter) and Pragmatic Works in a webinar on Identifying and Fixing Performance Problems Using Execution Plans. Go here to register. After that, it's off the PASS Summit.
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