Sunday, January 31, 2010

Super Size my NHibernate

I just got my head around NHibernate and then I find this: Fluent NHibernate. Well, at least I am halfway there and I understand what Fluent NHibernate is doing under the hood (sort of).

Hmmm, NHibernate

Note: This is not an endorsement for NHibernate. I am still a DBA and I am still investigating this whole object-relational mapping thing.

I am working on an open source project as one of my Wood Badge ticket items and thought about using an OR mapper to get things moving. NHibernate has a pretty good following so that's where I started looking. The tutorial I found on the NHibernate web site didn't take me in the right direction but I found another one that got me 90% of the way to where I needed to be.

Prepare your system for NHibernate by Gabriel Schenker on The NHibernate FAQ site. His follow-up article Your first NHibernate based application really gets into the meat of things.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

More UPS Silliness

In my previous post regarding my experience with UPS I issued some complaints about the way UPS operates. I was pretty irate when I wrote the original post and I submitted a link to my post through the UPS feedback page and it seems as though they may have actually read it. Well, now I have some new experiences to share.

The first one is a negative but not a major issue. Would you believe that you have to call a different number for international shipments if you need to have a package held or something. Believe it. I had two packages and had to talk to two different people to have my packages held at the Customer Center.

The next item concerns the driver training (I think). On Thursday I get a UPS InfoNotice® on the door with the "A signature is required on delivery" box checked. On the back of the InfoNotice® are the following instructions:
  • If the "A signature is required on delivery" box is checked, the driver must receive a signature wither in person or by signing below.
  • If the "Sender requested a signature to confirm delivery" box is checked, the driver must receive a signature and hand the package(s) to a person.
Seeing as how the "A signature is required on delivery" box was checked, I signed the back of the form and stuck it to my door the next morning. Did I get my package? No. I get a another InfoNotice® with the same box checked but handwritten next to "A signature is required on delivery" is "in person." I think the driver needs to learn how to fill out his forms.

The best for last: The thing that really makes me believe that someone at UPS read my post is that the delivery person has suddenly started delivering a lot earlier in the day. We order a lot of stuff online and rarely has UPS delivered anything before 5:00 PM. Now they are delivering around lunch time. Big improvement.

They still get on my nerves a little bit but I am backing off my original decree to not support UPS for now.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

SQL Server 2008 Service Pack Slipstream

I like the process for slipstreaming service packs with MS SQL Server 2008. I have a bunch of new instances I need to install and the extra step of applying a service pack to each one can be really time consuming. Applying the service pack to the installation media via the slipstream process allows me to skip this step. The entire process takes less than five minutes (maybe a little longer if you are copying stuff across the network); if my memory serves (not likely), it seems like applying a service pack can take upwards of fifteen minutes per instance.

How to update or slipstream an installation of SQL Server 2008 from Microsoft Support

Saturday, January 9, 2010

SQL Server Training

Well, it's [way past] time to get my SQL Server skills up to speed. I'm pretty good on the database engine side of things but haven't had the time or budget to get involved with the new features in SQL Server 2005, much less 2008. Here are some classes I am considering:
I still need to find an advanced Reporting Services class.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Untimely Parcel Service

Terrible service from UPS has finally pushed me to the point changing my list of preferred vendors. After years of living in a rural area and having my packages left out with no protection from the weather or animals I have finally reached my breaking point. I wanted to have a shipment held at the local customer center since I knew that the driver would not be able to get to my house tomorrow (icy roads) but was informed by your customer service rep that they would have to attempt delivery once before I could do that. Since UPS never delivers anything before 6 PM this means that I have to wait an extra day to receive my package which is ridiculous. I am done with UPS even if it means paying more. I also intend to inform vendors that I will no longer be patronizing them any longer if they cannot provide other shipping options.

I even had to post my complaint her in public because their lame web site only allows 500 characters on the E-mail UPS form. Trying to submit feedback through the UPS Feedback web site was useless since you need to log in and they don't give you any way to apply for membership.

All of this tells me that UPS does not care about anyone except the shipper so the only way to get them is to hurt the vendors. It sucks, but it's true.

Update 1/7/2010 13:55: I think someone might have gotten the message. The UPS guy showed up at my door a few minutes ago with my package. Five hours earlier than normal.

Thank you UPS, I will give you guys another chance (again).