February 2012

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Here’s a quick one about my favorite setting of the week.  And for once it’s not related to SQL Server but a bit more general.  It’s meant to improve the everyday use of a PC.  Yet a bit more precisely, it’s got to do with Microsoft Office (2007 or 2010, either will do).

Ever since I got a PC at my client, I was annoyed by the fact that Word would open all documents in the same window.  As a result of that, when I had two documents open, I couldn’t use ALT-TAB to switch between them.  (I prefer using my apps maximized.)  That really annoyed me.  Furthermore, each time when I clicked the closing X at the top right of the screen, it would close down all open documents instead of the one in front of me.  Aaarghh!!

And today I finally found the setting to make it behave decently.  It’s not so complicated once you know where to find it.  (In fact, it’s a simple checkbox.)

Curious?  I’ll explain how to change the setting in Word, but Excel will work just as fine.

Open the Word Options by going to File > Options.  Then switch to the Advanced page.  Locate the Display section.  In that section you’ll find a checkbox labeled Show all windows in the Taskbar.  Guess what that does?!

Options: Advanced - Show all windows in the Taskbar

So that one more aggravation gone!

Have fun!

Valentino.

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MVE!

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My favorite TLA of the month is MVE!

Huh what, MVE, don’t you mean MVP?

Ha, that’s what everyone familiar with Microsoft’s MVP program may think but no, I really mean MVE.

Please allow me to elaborate a little.

It all started the 11th of January when I received an email titled “You have been nominated for an MVE Award”, sent by Experts Exchange.

The first lines of the email read: “Congratulations! You have been selected as a candidate for the inaugural Experts Exchange Most Valuable Expert of the Year Award.”

This was surely a surprise for me, to be honest I hadn’t even heard that such an award existed.  And wow, Most Valuable Expert of the Year, darn, didn’t see that one coming!

About a week later, an explanation on what those awards actually are was published on EE’s Company blog. Here’s a small excerpt:

The Most Valuable Experts are very much the heroes of Experts Exchange who quietly achieve greatness. They strive to solve people’s technology problems, improve others appreciation of technology and make a real difference among those whom ask for help. They do so with a professionalism and commitment that makes them stand out in the community.

Then on the 3rd of February, I received another email, titled “You are a 2012 MVE Award Winner”.

First lines: “Congratulations! You are amongst an elite group chosen to represent Experts Exchange in 2012 as a Most Valuable Expert.”

Wow, so I even managed to win that award!  With the huge number of active experts at EE, over 50.000, I was really curious to find out how many of my peers had gotten it as well.

Some more days went by and finally all winners were announced in EE’s Company blog.  So it seems there are 12 experts worldwide who can be proud to call themselves winner of the Most Valuable Experts Awards 2012!

A couple of the names were new to me, especially the experts in non-SQL Server territory, while others, such as Kevin Cross, were very familiar.

Congrats to all winners, and a huge thank you to anyone involved in the election process!  I’ll do my best to keep it up! Smile

And remember: have fun!

Valentino.

References

What are the Most Valuable Expert Awards 2012?

Meet the 2012 Most Valuable Experts

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Here’s a nice error message for a Friday afternoon:

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Ouch, catastrophic failure!  Hang on, “catastrophic’”, really??  My computer didn’t explode, I’m still alive, I can even click the OK button to make the catastrophe go away.  Okay, what I was trying to achieve wasn’t possible for some reason, but to call it catastrophic is a little exaggerated.

But I guess it beats the useless “an unexpected error has occurred” message any time.  Because, an error, isn’t that by definition unexpected?  Unless you have an application with a button called Generate Error!

I had the pleasure of encountering this message while attempting to add a new Analysis Services connection to my SSIS project.  For some reason, probably a DLL that didn’t load as usual, not all controls were available and when I specified the server name, I got that message after clicking the OK button.

Here’s another variation, received through another button on that same screen:

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So now it’s catastrophic and unexpected, sounds more like it! Smile We even got the error number: 0x8000FFFF, well of course!

Most important: I was able to “fix” this issue by restarting my BIDS (2008).

Have fun!

Valentino.

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ms376608_2012_rot_12hSQL(nl-beMSDN_10)Want to get a quick start on SQL Server 2012?  Then save the date because here’s your chance to get 12 hours of free training!

Microsoft is organizing an online event featuring 12 breathtaking live presentations about the newest functionality of our favorite software product, SQL Server 2012.

When? Friday February 24, 2012!

What time? From 1212 ‘till 0012.

The twelve sessions will be presented by both Belgian and international speakers.  Experienced speakers from Microsoft and Microsoft partners.  And guess what: one of my colleagues at Ordina, Koen Verbeeck, is one of them!  He’s going to give a great talk about Data Quality Services.  Certainly looking forward to that!

Need even more convincing material?  Well, if you happen to be a citizen of Belgium or Luxembourg, you’ve got a chance to win a Windows Phone!

Have a look at the agenda, or if you’re already convinced: register now!

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