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October 9, 2009 [ More archived home pages here ]

Inexpensive Relational Database Environments


The above image, Neon Home is also available as a Desktop Background

Today's song is Too Much Information by The Police, released in 1981.

For the last week I've been working with SQL Server 2008 Express. It's a Microsoft free relational database product. I installed it on my iMac using the VMWare Fusion emulation product running Windows XP SP3.

The default installation is pretty easy and that approach allows you to operate it with other Windows Microsoft Office applications using shared memory. That's fine for many cases. But I also want to access the data in the databases from my iMac requiring a different installation process and some other security and fine point adjustments. Those nice little adaptations are not concisely mentioned anyplace for this kind of software/hardware configuration. It took me some time to figure it all out, but now I have the flexibility to access the database from either PC or Mac platforms.

A user needs to access the SQL Server Express Engine (as it is called) from a driver connection. I use both ODBC and JDBC drivers providing extensive access from many applications and software development environments on both operating system platforms.

There are some size limitations with the SQL Server 2008 Express database product. However it's a great way to experiment with relational modeling ideas on a small scale. A user can then move up to the larger SQL Server product line for production usage, usually in a corporate setting. If you want to to work with Windows Servers and SQL Server Database systems in a larger context, then the Amazon EC2 cloud computing platform is available for low cost.

It wasn't that many years ago that these kinds of technologies could only be found in corporate environments and even at that, controlled by the IT departments. Now a user at home can inexpensively explore these same technologies and learn new skills in the process. Learning new skills is the key phrase for surviving recessions these days...

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My daughter challenged me to this Skee-ball game via the iPhone/iTouch devices. Then my wife got into the competition. So far, my wife has the top score out of we three at 2,800. I'm close at 2,470 but I'm still trying.

All three of us used to play the actual Skee-ball game at arcades since my daughter was old enough to play. Now we play virtually, racking up points and tickets, trying to outdo each other. ;-)

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I found two Microsoft Project articles to help create better project schedules:

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I enjoyed reading this link on cloud computing.

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A tip for those using the Mac OS X Address Book for contact information.

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Here's an article about posting high-resolution photos online.

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Want to save money on toys for the holiday season?

How about spending at most a dollar per item next time you shop?

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I've been advocating for VoIP for a long, long time.

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Found on the web links for October 8, 2009 [ Link since removed ]

Don


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