Off topic: Programmatically creating a tag cloud in C#

Today I searched for sample code for creating a tag cloud, for a little project that I have in mind. Assuming that you already have tags (or categories) and a weighting factor, you may find these code samples and user controls interesting. Most of them target Web output, understandably. Not yet sure how much effort would be required to create a Silverlight or XAML tag cloud. Creating a Tag Cloud in C# on, 2006. Code for an ASP.NET User Control, with formatting provided by CSS. Download li... [More]

Off topic: Seattle restaurant deals just in time for SQL PASS 2009

If you're in Seattle for SQL PASS 2009, and you have an appetite for fine Seattle food but you don't have an unlimited budget, there are several November deals to consider. 3-course prix fixe dinners for $30 Restaurants in the downtown area (including Belltown) include: Andaluca (a favorite of mine) Art Barolo (impossible choice between lamb and boar!) Campagne Chez Shea Dahlia Lounge (Tom Douglas) Earth & Ocean Etta's (Tom Douglas) Flying Fish Hunt Club Lola (Tom Douglas) Se... [More]

Off topic? Pretty charts, and SSIS in Siberia

I was crushed by the news that Microsoft AdCenter Analytics was being discontinued. As a beta user, I'd enjoyed the pretty charts about visits to my blog. Where was I going to get pretty charts now (without implementing BI of my own, at least)? So I added the free ClustrMaps widget to my page (you'll see it in the right-hand sidebar if you scroll down far enough), and I think the results are fascinating: Random observations... See that dot out there in Siberia, on the Mongolian border? Wouldn... [More]

Off topic: Talking SQL Server on an Italian beach

In the midst of the recent snowfall that put the Seattle area out of business for 10 days, one sunny spot (advance pun) was a Christmas email from SQL Server MVP Andrea Montanari. I haven't seen Andrea in person since the MVP Summit in 2006 or 2007. All of us on the database-related Support teams at Microsoft knew Andrea's name because he wrote DbaMgr, which was the only management UI available for MSDE when MSDE was first released.   Andrea's also unique because he's not a DBA or a consultant, but an... [More]

Not for use with the SendMail task!

Hey, someone finally told those Marketing folks that there's something other than coffee mugs and polo shirts! But I wasn't expecting...US postage stamps! Sure enough, now you can mail your bill payments with a SQL Server 2008 stamp... Click the Microsoft link at this URL.  You'll notice that YOU can create your own stamps too...only $17.99 for a sheet of 20 - $0.42 first class stamps, and the price goes down if you order more than 1 sheet. I'm using my widely-recognized artistic talents to... [More]

Where is Excel Part 3?

Coming later today after proofreading. Please don't anticipate miracles - some of the issues with the Excel driver simply don't have solutions or workarounds that are satisfactory in all cases. You forgot something in one of your blog posts Please comment! I've enabled anonymous comments on the blog, rather than miss your valuable input by forcing you to "join". However I moderate comments to avoid spam or anything inappropriate. What's that on your face? The fat furry fuzzball... [More]