Author Archives: Robin

Turning a Sonos into an AirPlay device

I love my Sonos speaker system – it makes it so simple to play music around my flat. However I keep up with several podcasts and like to listen to them whilst cooking and doing chores. Sadly the Sonos support … Continue reading

Posted in Useful | 1 Comment

Using SQL Spatial to find waypoints close to a route

I’m going away on another cycling adventure soon, riding north through France and Germany before a short stint in both The Netherlands and Belgium. No opportunity for a long trip this time so the ride is just over 500 miles … Continue reading

Posted in PowerShell, Scripting, Spatial, SQL Server | Leave a comment

Debugging Long-Running SQL Queries

The T-SQL PRINT statement lets you write to the Messages window in SQL Server Management Studio, which makes it a helpful aid when debugging SQL scripts and stored procedures. Unfortunately there is one major issue with using PRINT. The messages … Continue reading

Posted in SQL Server | 1 Comment

Automated Configuration Management: Deploying SQL Server via PowerShell DSC

Desired State Configuration (DSC) is a new PowerShell feature that manages Windows infrastructure (servers and applications), both on premises and in the cloud. It’s built into PowerShell 4.0 and is part of the Windows Management Framework. PowerShell DSC comes shipped … Continue reading

Posted in Automation, Deployment | Leave a comment

Change photo file date based on EXIF data

I want to transfer some of my favourite photos from last year’s bike tour to my Android tablet. All my pictures are stored in Aperture on my Mac and although it’s a great piece of software it has a very … Continue reading

Posted in PowerShell, Scripting | Leave a comment

Database Corruption Challenge Part 1

Last weekend I saw a tweet mentioning Steve Stedman’s DataBase Corruption Challenge (DBCC) where he publishes a database that’s been corrupted and offers a challenge to the community to recover the database (hopefully) without any data loss. What a great … Continue reading

Posted in SQL Server | 1 Comment

PowerShell try/catch Strangeness and Terminating Errors

For my sins I have been (and to some extents still am) a C# developer. Compared with scripting there is a lot I like about writing applications in fully fledged high-level languages, especially when it comes to flow control. Not … Continue reading

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PowerShell Snippets

This week I’ve been watching the recent Microsoft Virtual Academy on Advanced Desired State Configuration and Custom Resources. It’s interesting to see what Microsoft are doing in this space given the competition has been around for years. DSC is in … Continue reading

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Configuring SQL Server to use Managed Service Accounts (in PowerShell)

When building out a new SQL Server environment, one consideration is the service account used to run SQL services. In SQL 2014 there are five options to choose from: Local Account Built-in Account – The Local Service, Network Service or … Continue reading

Posted in Administration, Automation, PowerShell, Scripting | 1 Comment

Using Automation to shut down Azure VMs

Azure is great. For a test lab environment, why bother messing with virtual machines on your laptop when you can run them in the cloud instead? But, as anyone who has made this mistake will know, forgetting to shut down … Continue reading

Posted in Azure, PowerShell, Scripting | Leave a comment