Mar 072018
 

If you’ve done any amount of work in Linux from Windows, chances are pretty good you’ve used PuTTY at some point. PuTTY is a free and open-source terminal emulator that supports a variety of protocols, including SSH. I’ve been using it since college and have always been very happy with it. It’s free, it’s tiny, and it just works.

With the advent of SQL Server 2017 on Linux I find myself using it rather frequently once again, but this time around I’m not just using PuTTY for myself. Now I’m trying to take screenshots of it for slide decks, and doing demos in presentations. In a world of flashy graphics and high-resolution screenshots, PuTTY’s simplicity can become a problem. Remember, it’s a terminal emulator. Its job is to display text. By default it’s 80 columns wide* and 24 rows high.

A PuTTY window doesn’t take up a whole lot of screen real estate at this size, especially for modern HD monitors.This is great for everyday use, and terrible for teaching others. Screenshots end up tiny, and if you scale the image they tend to look horrible and pixelated.

A default size PuTTY window.

It might look great on your screen right now, but being projected on a wall this becomes a problem.

Fortunately PuTTY has an option to fix this, which has evaded me for the better part of the 18 years I’ve been using it. It’s not quite as flashy as “Presenter Mode” that SQL Server Management Studio released a few years back, but it is incredibly helpful. On the configuration screen, click the “Window” category and select the radio option to “Change the size of the font.” That’s all there is to it.

Select the “Window” category

 

Set the font size to change when the window is resized

 

Now connect to your server of choice and resize the window as you see fit. Instead of the window getting larger and the text staying small, the text will now grow with the window. Screenshots can be much clearer, and on-screen demos are delightful!

(click to view full size)

 

*Why do terminal windows tend to be 80 columns wide by default, anyway? Probably because the IBM punched card format, introduced in 1928, used cards that had 80 columns. When it came time to ditch the cards and edit them on a screen instead, 80 columns seemed like a good enough size to stick with.

Nov 092016
 

I’m very happy to be presenting for the PASS Security Virtual Chapter on Thursday, November 17, 2016 at 10:00am Pacific!

I’ll be presenting my session entitled SQL Server Encryption Basics. This is an introductory-level session on the encryption capabilities of SQL Server, how they work, and when and where you may want or need to deploy them.

High-profile attacks by hackers have made the news more and more the past few years, and your database is a prized target! Fortunately SQL Server offers many possible layers of protection, one of which is encryption. This session will cover SQL Server’s encryption capabilities, how they work, and what they have to offer. Topics discussed will include certificates, encryption algorithms, backup encryption, transparent database encryption, and column-level encryption. Attend this session and learn how SQL Server can help you hide your data in plain sight!

I’m really happy to be delivering this session, and look forward to seeing you there! You can register at this link:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1806816841365466115

 

Nov 262013
 

I’m very happy to be making the trek up to Appleton, Wisconsin to speak at FoxPASS next week!

I’ll be delivering my presentation entitled “Whatcha Doin’? Passive Security for Hostile Environments”, which I presented to a packed room at this year’s PASS Summit. Here’s the abstract:

Ideal database security settings usually exist in books, but rarely in reality. Is your CIO a member of the sysadmin role because they demanded it? Or maybe some users have rights for purely political reasons? Just because you can’t enforce security through typical means doesn’t mean you’re powerless. Attend this session to learn about the features SQL Server provides that will allow you to keep track of what your users are up to at all times and sleep a little easier. Through various scenarios and demos, see how technologies such as event notifications, auditing, and extended events can help ensure nothing happens on your system without you knowing about it. Even in optimally secured environments these techniques can still come in handy. The best security is often that which cannot be seen.

Meeting Info

When: Wednesday, December 4, 2013  5:30pm

Where: 2201 E. Enterprise Ave., Suite 201, Appleton, Wisconsin

If you’re a FoxPASS member, I’m looking forward to meeting you next week!

May 212013
 

Tomorrow I am making the trek up to Madison to speak at MADPASS! I had a great time there last year and am looking forward to heading back.MADPASS Logo

I’ll be giving my talk on SQL Server’s data compression feature entitled “The Skinny on Data Compression.” I’ll be explaining how data compression works and sharing some of the things I’ve learned about when and where to deploy data compression that I’ve accumulated over the past 2 years of using it.

Greg Kramer will also be presenting tips and tricks regarding DAX that both Excel and SQL professionals should find useful.

WHERE: 2310 Crossroads Drive, Madison, WI 53718

WHEN: Wednesday 22 May 2013, 5:30PM

Hope to see you there!

Mar 062013
 

I am very happy and honored to have been chosen as a presenter at SQL Saturday #206 coming up on April 6, 2013 in Madison, Wisconsin! As I previously mentioned I had a wonderful time there last year and am definitely looking forward to heading back.

This time around I’ll be giving a new presentation on tuning backups and restores. Despite what your SAN administrator might tell you about snapshots, you really do need to run backups on your databases, so it’s to your advantage to make sure your backup and restore processes complete as quickly as possible. I’ll be covering tips and tricks that can help dramatically speed them up so you can save the day that much sooner!

The team up in Wisconsin has put together a great schedule that you won’t want to miss. And as of right now, you won’t have to! Registration is still open, so sign up today!