Access vs SQL Server: some stats (part 1)

In the perspective of upsizing my current Access 2007 application, I have been trying to understand a bit more about the possible performance impact of various choices of Primary Keys. My problem is that currently, the Access application uses autoincrement numbers as surrogate Primary Keys (PK). Since I will need to synchronise the data over... » read more

Sysadmin: SQL server performance madness

I’ve just lost 2 days going completely bananas over a performance issue that I could not explain. I’ve got this [Dell R300][1] rack server that runs Windows Server 2008 that I dedicate to running IIS and SQL Server 2008, mostly for development purposes. ![Dell PowerEdge R300 Rack servers][dellr300] In my [previous blog entry][2], I was... » read more

Access: building ‘upsizable’ applications.

When you start building an Access application, it’s tempting to just think about today’s problem and not worry at all about the future. If your application is successful, people will want more out of it and, over time, you’ll be faced with the task of moving the back-end database to a more robust system like... » read more

MS Access: upsizing to SQL Server 2008

I’m currently researching ways to move my main MS Access application from a simple local network client/backend setup to a global, multiple remote sites configuration using SQL Server. One of the challenges is to upsize the current MS Access accdb backend database to SQL Server 2008. If you try it from Access itself using the... » read more

Technical ebooks: some publishers don’t get it

I like buying technical books. Unfortunately, here in Hong Kong, we have less choice: there are not that many technical bookstores that cater for English-language books and the selection is rather limited. So whenever a book isn’t available here, I buy it online as a PDF. It’s cheaper, saves postage and I can keep them... » read more

Sysadmin: Multiple ISP firewall – The setup

After suffering broadband trouble for the past 9 months, including interruptions that lasted a few days, I decided to get an additional line installed by a different ISP. I could have bought one of these multi-WAN devices but decided against it for a couple of reasons: I like a challenge and I wanted to achieve... » read more

Sysadmin: file and folder synchronisation

Over the years I’ve struggled to keep my folder data synchronised between my various desktop and laptops. Here I present the tools I’ve tried and what I’ve finally settled on as possibly the ultimate answer to the problem of synchronising files and folders across multiple computers: * [rsync](#rsync) * [unison](#unison) * [WinSCP](#winscp) * [General Backup... » read more

Sysadmin: Recovering deleted Windows partitions

I made a mistake the other day: I wanted to delete the partition on an external drive and in my haste ended up deleting the partition of a local hard drive instead… The good thing is when you delete a partition using the Windows Disk Management console it doesn’t actually delete your files, only the... » read more

.Net: Working with OpenOffice 3

(__Updated Wednesday 30JAN2009.__) Developing applications that manipulate OpenOffice documents has always been rather tricky; not very difficult, but just tricky to get right. With OpenOffice 3, things got trickier and applications that used to work will now fail. I’ve just spend nearly a day trying to get a mail-merge application I built to work again... » read more