Browsing articles from "March, 2013"

Join Me 28 March 2PM EDT–Big Challenges in Data Modeling: Working with Developers

Mar 26, 2013   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Data, Data Modeling, Database Design, Events, Speaking  //  No Comments

Mar 28 Webinar: Big Challenges in Data Modeling


This month’s Big Challenges in Data Modeling webinar is Thursday at 2PM EDT.  We’ll be talking about better collaboration with developers and the development process.

I have a great panel:

Missy Wittman, Information Modeling Engineer Specialist, American Family Insurance

Missy Wittmann is an Information Modeling Engineer Specialist at American Family Insurance. Missy has worked in the data modeling field for over fifteen years in various roles. She started out as a business partner on a project that did some data modeling and enjoyed the process so much that she changed career paths. Missy has facilitated projects for Business Modeling, Logical and Physical Data Modeling. Most recently she has been participating in projects that are creating XML Schema’s. Data Modeling is an exciting place to be in the world of technology. No matter what technology is being used to get the end result, we always need our blue-print!

Joe Devon, CoFounder, Diamond Web Services

Joe Devon is the co-founder of Diamond Web Services, a boutique web development shop based in Venice Beach; Startup Devs, a “Prototypes as a Service” company building MVP’s for startups, and founding partner of Television Four, where he is building a technology channel.

Joe has been a computer programmer for more than 20 years, working on projects spanning Search Engine technology, Performance Management, scaling Wide Area Networks; for Internet backbone providers, Investment Banks, Telcos & Media.

Joe serves on the advisory boards of leading development industry conferences (Zendcon, Semtech) and for the educational program of Cross Campus. Joe is an organizer of several technology oriented meetup groups in Los Angeles and CoFounded Global Accessibility Awareness Day, bridging the gap between disabled citizens and the Internet.

Gwen Thomas, President, Data Governance Institute

Gwen Thomas is a Data Governance pioneer, founder of the Data Governance Institute, and publisher of the web’s largest Data Governance resource at Gwen has personally assisted many large, mid-sized, and small organizations with their data strategies, data governance and stewardship programs, master data strategies, and other information practices. Gwen is a frequent presenter at industry data events and contributor to IT and business publications.

I’m expecting a lot of good discussion and sharing of tips about how data models and data modelers can best work with developers during fast-paced, get-er-done projects. 

Registration is free, but you need to do that to get the information to join.

Microsoft Canada Needs Your Feedback

Mar 19, 2013   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Fun  //  1 Comment

(plus an opportunity for PRIZES!)

We often work with Anthony, Pierre and Mitch, the evangelists from the IT Pro team at Microsoft Canada. They asked us to share this important message with you.

The team at Microsoft Canada is focused on ensuring that they help set you up for success by providing the information and tools you need in order to be get the most out of Microsoft based solutions, at home and at work.

Twice a year, Microsoft sends out the Global Relationship Study (GRS for short); it’s a survey that Microsoft uses to collect your feedback and help inform their planning. If you receive emails from Microsoft, subscribe to their newsletters‚ or you’ve attended our any of their events you may receive the survey.

The important details:

  • Timing – March 4th to April 12th 2013
  • Sent From – “Microsoft Feedback”
  • Email Alias – “feedback@e–
  • Subject Line – “Help Microsoft Focus on Customers and Partners”

Many of you already read the Microsoft Canada IT Pro team’s blogs‚ connect with them on LinkedIn and have attended their events in the last year or so. So you may already know that you’re their top priority. So they want to hear from you.

Pierre, Anthony and Mitch use the GRS results to shape what they do, how they do it and if it’s resonating with you. Tell them what you need to be the “go-to” guy (or gal). Tell them what you need to grow your career. They want you to be completely satisfied with Microsoft Canada.

Online Resources

This year, Pierre, Anthony and Mitch have delivered 30 IT Camps and counting across the country. Giving you the opportunity to get hands on and learn how to get the most value for your organization. They have a few more events planned this year, so keep an eye on their plancast feed for events near you. Based on your feedback, topics they’re planning to cover will include:

· Windows 8

· Windows Server 2012

· System Center 2012

· Private Cloud

· BYOD – Management and Security

That’s not all. They’ve heard you loud and clear so in addition to hands on events, they’re also delivering more technical content online via the IT Pro Connection Blog. Windows 8 continues to be a big area of focus for them. They covered a lot of great content at launch and they’ve complimented that with new content like:

· Security Concepts

· Enterprise Focused Content

· Windows 8 and System Center 2012 Integration

In addition to this, there are some valuable online resources you can use like Microsoft Virtual Academy, Microsoft’s no-cost online training portal. Or software evaluations (free trials) on TechNet that allow you to build your own labs to try out what you’ve learned.

There are some great SQL Server labs there, too.

Let Microsoft Canada Know What You Need

Regardless of how you engage with the team at Microsoft Canada‚ you’d probably agree that they hear you. They’d also encourage you to continue to provide that great feedback. They thrive on it‚ they relish it‚ they wallow in it and most importantly of all‚ they action it. So please keep connecting with them and keep it coming! Pierre, Anthony and Mitch are listening.

Resources, Tools and Training

· Tim Horton’s Gift Card Contest – We’re giving away 350 Tim Horton’s gift cards, all you have to do to qualify is download a free qualifying software evaluation (trial). Download all three for more chances to win, but hurry, the contest closes soon.*

· Windows 8 Resource Guide Download a printable, one-page guide to the top resources that will help you explore, plan for, deploy, manage, and support Windows 8 as part of your IT infrastructure.

· Windows Server 2012 Evaluation – Get hands on with Windows Server 2012 and explore the scale and performance possibilities for your server virtualization.

· Microsoft Support – Get help with products‚ specific errors‚ virus detection and removal and more.

· Microsoft Licensing -Visit the Volume Licensing Portal today to ask questions about volume licensing‚ get a quote‚ activate a product or find the right program for your organization.

*No purchase necessary. Contest open to residents of Canada, excluding Quebec. Contest closes April 11, 2013 at 11:59:59 p.m. ET. Three-Hundred-and-Fifty (350) prizes are available to be won: (i) $10 CDN Tim Horton’s gift card.  Skill-testing question required. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries. For full rules, including entry, eligibility requirements and complete prize description, review the full terms and Conditions.

Standards, FTW–Apple VGA and HDMI Adapters with the Surface Pro + Ethernet USB Adapter

Mar 13, 2013   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Gadgets, Surface  //  No Comments

MacDisplayAdapters + USB Ethernet

You know I’m a fan of standards, both internal organizational standards and external open standards.  Today was one of those days that made me feel like hugging a few more.

Have Surface Pro, Willing to Travel

Microsoft Surface Pro VGA Adapter - MIAI have a Surface Pro.  It has been fun to get to know it, but I’ve had one thing stopping me from making it my primary travel machine: I would need to use it as a presentation device.  When I bought it, the Microsoft store was out of the Surface Pro VGA adapters and due to hardware differences, the one for the Surface RT won’t work.  I figured this was a typical Canadian retail outage and I could pick one up in the US or online somewhere.  But then I started searching., All sold out.  So then I tried  Not available online.  Unavailable for pick up in any store I searched for.

I did see that Microsoft online stores would let me order, but I was worried that if I ordered I would then get a dreaded “backordered” email a few days later.  So I resigned myself to wait.

But Wait…

Then I noticed something I should have noticed all along: the adapter wasn’t a proprietary connection like the power supply; it was Mini DisplayPort Adapter.  Where had I heard that before?  Thinking, thinking….BINGO.  My MacBook Air uses Mini DisplayPort adapters.  Could they work?  I doubted it.  I was sure there’s be something that just wouldn’t work.  But I grabbed my set of VGA and HDMI adapters (the bottom two adapters in the photo)  and hooked them up first to my TV, then a monitor.  Bingo.  They worked.  I didn’t need to wait for Microsoft or lug around my heavy Targus Dual Display Dock that I bought.  I could just keep using  the same adapters for both my MacBook Air and my Surface Pro.

I didn’t have to install any drivers.  All I had to do was configure the Surface to use an external device (Left side swipe to open the charms, click Devices, then Second Screen) and it all just worked.

Wired Ethernet

That left the USB Ethernet dongle (the top adapter in the picture), something else I needed because sometimes I stay in hotels that don’t have Wi-Fi but do have wired Internet.  I do travel with a small wireless router, but sometimes there’s an issue with the hotel’s proprietary login/charge screen. Having the option to wire up my tablet is a bonus.

I tried just plugging in my Apple USB Ethernet cord, but no joy.  So I did some searching and came across these two blog posts that made it work":

That worked.  So now I have two display options, HDMI and VGA and I know that I can find these in lots of retailers if I need more. 

Standards, FTW

Apple USB Ethernet on Surface ProThis all worked because neither Apple nor Microsoft chose to use proprietary adapters or appware to support video out on their devices.  This is why standards are better for consumers.  I can Reduce the purchase of more eCrap and iCrap.  I can Reuse things I already had.  Hopefully, they are Recyclable as well. They will at least have a much longer lifespan that all my proprietary connectors from the last 15 years.

Standards help consumers, even if they cut a bit of icing out of the math for the manufacturers.  This is why Europeans have pretty much forced device manufacturers to use standard chargers.  We need standards.  Standards make stuff just work.


Mar 13, 2013   //   by Karen Lopez   //   Blog, Data, Data Modeling, Database Design, Fun, Snark  //  3 Comments


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