Friday, July 21, 2006

Two Years

You may have noticed that the blog hasn't been updated on a regular basis lately. I've been working on a project that has basically consumed me in spurts for the last two years.

Back in the summer of 2004, we decided it was time to undertake an upgrade of some software that I thought would take about six months. During a test upgrade, we discovered that it was a little more complex than we though and that a bunch of technology pieces had to be upgraded before we could upgrade the software. So we put in place a plan to upgrade each technoloy component as a separate phase and implemented them in regular intervals. Once we got one piece implemented, we started upgrading and testing the next technology piece.

Along the way we had to work with various support organizations to get each piece implemented completely correctly. Even though we enlisted those support organizations, piece X version didn't work with piece Y version which lead to another piece that had to be upgraded. We upgraded in about 6 seperate phases, with a couple mini-phases in between. During the same window, we had some staff changes both on the user side and the technology side that made things more difficult. When the project sponsor from the executive side stepped down a month before we were supposed to go live, I got really nervous. We pushed on and were finally able to upgrade the software in a 46 hour marathon session without a hitch.

This has probably been the longest project I have ever worked on as a DBA. After two years of sporadically working on the same project, I'm relieved to have it over with. At the same time, I learned more about the product than I ever dreamed (or wanted to know) and picked up a bunch of technology awareness and project management soft skills that I couldn't have as "just a DBA". Hopefully the business sees it the same way.

Since that time, the vendor has released another update. After two years of work, I'm a version behind now. Back to the drawing board.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Laptop Woes

I've had my Sony Vaio (PCG-GRT250P) for about two years now. I basically use it only for internet browsing, email, and VPNing into work when I am away from the office.

Just about a year ago, it was caught in a vicious reboot cycle. The computer would begin to come up, get to a certain point, and reboot. Any attempt to boot from the harddrive was fruitless. I succombed to handing it over to my crack IT guys and had it back in a couple days with a new drive.

I've been happily spinning along until about a week ago. I'll be working along and all of a sudden the drive starts to spin like crazy and I get a blue screen of death. I have to power the thing off and back on at which point it tells me "Operating System not found". First couple of times I got really worried, but after I learn the pattern, I know to turn it on, reboot, come up in "Safe Mode", shutdown, and startup. At first, it only did it once a day, but now I can run for...

... (OK, I'm back now, it just did it again) ... about 10 minutes before it craps out. Funny thing is, now I have to let it "rest" (or basically cool down) before I start it up again.

I consulted my crack IT guys and sure enough, they said it was the drive again. A new drive is on order and should be here in a couple days. I can...

....(there it goes again) ... live with it until then.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Upgraded "Freeware"

I've used this freeware program called Good Sync on my laptop to sync the "My Documents" and my email folders to my 512M USB key. Sure, it's not perfect, but it's close enough.

I came across Good Sync a few months ago and downloaded version 3.something. I setup a job for each folder and I scheduled it to run every 30 minutes while the USB key was attached.

Today I got a message saying that version 4.6.1 was ready and asked if I wanted to update. I thought "Sure, why not?". I downloaded the software, tried to manually sync up and got an error saying my jobs were too big for the free version of Good Sync and I'd have to pay $19.99 to purchase the "Pro" version. Nice.

Monday, July 10, 2006

A Good Cop?

If you were offended with Typical Greenwich, you'll be even more disgusted with this story.