Presentation Goals, Half-Year Update

We've reached the midpoint of 2016, and I figure this is as good a time as any to see how my presentation goals are looking. Here are my four goals: Present four new talks. Present to two brand new audiences. Speak at 12 SQL Saturdays and eight user groups. Get paid to speak at a conference. I'm…

TIL: Installing Spark On Windows

I'm going through Justin Pihony's Pluralsight course on Spark, and he covers installing.  I'm glad that he did because there are a couple nuances involved. First, you can download Spark without having Hadoop installed, but if you do that, you'll want to follow Sangeet Chourey's instructions.  If you're running 64-bit Windows, you'll want to get his…

TIL: Hive And C#

I work in a .NET shop, meaning that our developers focus primarily on writing C# code.  I'm introducing Hadoop more and more into this environment, but I know it's an easier road if I can reduce the number of unfamiliar languages. To that end, I was happy to learn that Randy Gelhausen has a project which…

Why I’m giving up on Morrowind (again)

I learned a new internet acronym the other day: FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out. It's the phenomenon that occurs when everybody talks about a new form of entertainment, be it movie, TV show, music, comic book, video game, etc., and you don't want to be left out of the conversation. As a result, you…

Thoughts on Stellaris and game design

It's been out now for about two weeks, but this is the first chance I've had to write about Stellaris, the space 4X/grand strategy developed by Paradox Development Studios. If you haven't played a PDS game yet, Stellaris is very accessible, more so than almost any other game PDS has ever done (Crusader Kings II…

TIL: Installing Jupyter On Windows

Installing Jupyter on Windows isn't too difficult.  Here is a product-by-product guide.  Each program is just simple next-next-next clicking so I'm not going to include screenshots or step-by-step installation instructions. Install R There are two versions of R available, CRAN R and Microsoft R Open.  You can grab either of them at the provided links.  If…

TIL: PNGGauntlet

I had no idea how much space I was wasting on uncompressed PNGs.  Then I tried PNGGauntlet, a free program which losslessly shrinks PNGs.  I ran it through a screen shot I took and cropped in Paint, and the file shrunk from 85K to 60K. That doesn't sound like a huge improvement, but it's a free 30%…

TIL: Power BI

Last night, I had my first hands-on experience with Power BI.  I've read quite a bit about it (especially given all of the Curated SQL articles on the topic), but tonight was my first hands-on experience thanks to the newly-formed Power BI user group. Using data from the first lab (an Access database with US sales, a…

TIL: Docker

Last night, I went to a local .NET User Group meetup and got my first taste of Docker. In my case, I ended up running on Elementary OS rather than Windows, but the experience was a good one, going through the tutorials. In the end, I installed Solr and was able to load a document for…

TIL: RunningValue In SSRS

I created a new SQL Server Reporting Services report for the first time in a long while, and ran into a problem:  I have a matrix and want to alternate row color.  I'm re-implementing an Excel report using SSRS and want to get the colors right.  This report uses a Matrix, so a "row" is a little more complicated…