Back in the Big Apple!

I am delighted to announce that I’ll once again be speaking at SQLSaturday New York on the 20th May and this is my Third time speaking at this event and my FOURTH time speaking at the Microsoft offices in New York, after last year speaking at SharePoint Saturday New York (since the SQLSaturday didn’t run that year).

I’m a huge fan of the event and obviously, it is a mammoth task for the organizers to put on given the location and size of the audience, but I have always had great fun and (unexpectedly) refreshingly good feedback speaking there.

Last year I took the Wife to New York, which was a really strange change, being my first time traveling with her (without kids) for over 12 years! And the year before was pure insanity (but great fun) spent in the company of the Hornernator, SQLWareWolf, my long time pal David Dye and a few other crazies! What happens in New York…. stays in New York!

This year I will be talking about In-Memory OLTP, and judging by the agenda, you will be spoilt for choice on this subject matter, but I hope to provide you with some useful materials (for attendees only!) and offer something different, so I hope you can join me there.

I will, of course, be soaking in the sights of the Big Apple once more, and hopefully visiting the Amazin’ Mets like I did last year! So if you are around New York City on the 20th of May, make sure you register for this brilliant event and come and say hello.

Posted in Public Speaking, SQLSaturday, SQLServerPedia Syndication | Leave a comment

Setting up Samba on Linux Mint (the easy way)

The Server Message Block (SMB) Protocol is a network file sharing protocol introduced by Microsoft and can be incredibly useful when moving files across multiplatform machines (particularly if your primary machine is a Windows desktop). Samba is a file and print sharing suite of utilities in Linux which uses and provides integration with other machines using the SMB transport.

What this quick guide covers

If you only want to provide basic folder sharing capabilities from your Linux distribution of choice, configuration and setup of Samba is (in my humble opinion) over complicated at best and a little bit messy at worst.

This quick guide is specifically targetted to the Linux Mint distribution (although will be applicable to many others) and only describes how to share your Linux filesystem folders and does not go into any detail regarding the advanced Samba functionality.

Even though Linux Mint attempts to make folder sharing more user-friendly, I have never had any success using the GUI based procedure, and have even struggled with the following method described in this article. Furthermore, I prefer to understand what is being configured behind the scenes, so I shall keep to the point and keep it simple.

The following procedure was tested on the latest release of Linux Mint at the time of writing (18.1 “Serena”) but I have also used this successfully against 17.1 “Rebecca”.

Configure the share

The first thing you need to do is configure your share in the samba configuration file.
Edit /etc/samba/smb.conf and scroll to the Share Definitions section inserting the following section (replacing the relevant names as required).

path = /media/mylinuxuser/Dropbox
valid users = mylinuxuser
read only = No
#create mask = 0777
#directory mask = 0777

The name in square braces is your desired share name, the path is obviously the real path to the folder you are sharing and the create mask and directory mask parameters define what permissions are assigned to files and directories created through the share. In the section above, the masks are commented out and Samba defaults should be sufficient, but you can override and provide less restrictive permissions if necessary (from a security perspective, please understand what you are doing first!). Ensure you provide at least one valid user to access the share.

To check share setup run:


Install Samba
If Samba is not installed (you can check this by sudo service –status-all|grep smbd OR sudo service –status-all|grep samba)

sudo apt-get install samba

Add SMB password
Ensure you add an SMB password for every valid user that you wish to access the share:

smbpasswd -a mylinuxuser

Restart SMBD daemon
Finally, for the new share to be visible to your remote device you will need to restart samba (you will also need to do this every time you add a new share or reconfigure an existing one):

sudo service smbd restart

That is all there is to it. Once you have followed these steps, your share will be available to your remote SMB client from your Linux Mint desktop.

Posted in Linux, Networking, Windows | Tagged | Leave a comment

Moving lost applications back into your Desktop on Windows

Ok, I confess that this post is about as far removed as I can probably get from my blogging “focus”, but as of late I have been running into this problem more and more frequently on my Windows 10 tablet and it is starting to annoy me. So to use my blogging platform for the original purpose (as a reference for me in the first instance), I have decided to make a little note of what actions I take to get these dastardly disappearing applications back.

When your applications somehow get stuck in the electronic equivalent of purgatory, there is one (almost) sure-fire way to get each one back. You will need to:

  • Provide focus to the application.
  • Access the application windows Move option.
  • Begin the move through the keyboard.
  • Drag the window to your desktop.

How you perform these steps can vary, but the simplest method can be achieved by :

  • Hold SHIFT key and right-click the application. If windows are stacked, make sure you (SHIFT and) right-clicked the application you want.
  • From the context menu click Move. If the Move option is grayed out, you first need to click the Restore button and repeat this process again.
  • Click one of the arrow keys to activate the Window move.
  • Wiggle your mouse all over the place until the Window in question is visible and then drag it into the center of your screen. Remember that the window can be at any axis North/ South/ East or West of your Desktop, so keep moving until you see it!
  • Click the mouse button to ungrab the Window.

You might also find that cascading your Windows can help make the above easier and to do this, right-click the task bar and select Cascade from the context window.

Posted in Windows | Tagged | Leave a comment