Things have been silent here on my blog for almost two months, and for that I apologize. I've been extremely busy, but luckily am starting to dig out and hope to see the light of day soon.
I am ever-so-close to being finished with my new book, Expert SQL Server 2005 Development, which will ship in May rather than March as Amazon currently shows (but you can preorder if you want! be the first one in your office to get a copy!!) All the writing is done now, and we just have a bit of tech review and copy editing to finish up before it's a done deal. I'm really excited for this book, and will publish the TOC and a sample chapter here as soon as they become available to me.
In February, I did quite a bit of speaking. First I spoke at the New England SQL Server Users Group, then I flew to Montreal to speak at the Groupe d'usagers Visual Studio Montréal, a great group run by Jean-Rene Roy and a few .NET MVPs. Jean-Rene also drove me to Ottawa so that I could speak at the Ottawa .NET Community, another very well-run group! After getting stranded in Montreal for two days because of the major snowstorm that hit that week, I have to say that I will think twice before using United Airlines again. I flew to Montreal on an Air Canada partner ticket, and it was amazing how badly I was treated by United's customer service people. I finally flipped the ticket over to Air Canada, whose service people quickly proved that they have some conception of how to treat a customer.
I was not back in Boston for too long before it was time to fly out again, this time to London for the DevWeek / SQL Server DevCon conference. This was a really great few days! I'd never been to London before, and luckily got some time to see a few attractions. The conference itself was excellent, and I really liked the amount of interaction that the crowd brought to each of the talks -- lots of great questions! Special thanks to Tony Davis of Simple Talk for taking Peter DeBetta and me out to a few pubs to sample some proper British ale.
And while I'm on the topic of the good, bad, and ugly of airlines, I'd like to thank Virgin Atlantic for being the best airline I've ever flown in terms of their customer service. When you step up to the check in window and the first thing they tell you is, "sorry, but we oversold the flight...", your heart tends to sink. But when they follow that up with, "...so do you mind if we upgrade you to first class?", they've suddenly made a customer for life. Thanks, Virgin, for doing the right thing, instead of kicking me off the flight as I'm sure that almost any other airline would have done!
Since you've read this far, I'll finish up with a link to something actually technical. Erland Sommarskog, King of the Comma-Delimited List, has finally released a SQL Server 2005 version of his famous Arrays and Lists in SQL Server article. A fantastic read as always, and highly recommended, as are all of Erland's articles.
Thanks for reading, and I hope to get back to some more regular--and technical--blogging soon!