CTE to concatenate column values in multiple rows into a single string

UPDATE:  While using PIVOT and CTEs to concatenate strings is cool, I’ve found a better way using FOR XML… see https://marcjellinek.wordpress.com/2011/08/20/concatenating-text-using-for-xml/ ORIGINAL ARTICLE: Using SQL Server, one thing I’ve always done is used PIVOT to concatenate strings.  The one thing about that solution is you have to impose a maximum number of rows that will […]

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Latest RAID Experiment – VirtualBox and FreeNAS (8 TB RAID 5)

When we last left off, I found Christmas joy in a big honking bag of hard drives and an external SATA enclosure.  But my joy was not complete without a measure of redundancy and recoverability. The controller that shipped with the enclosure did not support RAID 5 in firmware and the embedded controller on my […]


SSDs: Geeky Goodness and the Holy Grail

I was reading Heather Clancy’s blog over on ZDNet, where she asks “Will 2011 bring an enterprise SSD adoption breakthrough?”  http://www.zdnet.com/blog/green/will-2011-bring-an-enterprise-ssd-adoption-breakthrough/15955?tag=zd-left I hope so.  It would be one step closer to my personal Holy Grail (insert gratuitous Monty Python reference here). I yearn for the day when all storage, temporary (ie: RAM) and persistent (ie: disk), […]

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Excel and PowerPivot – Missing the Point

Steve Gray posted a question about Excel 2010 and PowerPivot on the LinkedIn Microsoft Business Intelligence Group.  See the thread at http://www.linkedin.com/groupAnswers?viewQuestionAndAnswers=&discussionID=12822397&gid=59185&commentID=29629258&trk=view_disc Steve wanted to know the business-level benefits of Excel and PowerPivot for the SME end-user. Here’s my response with some editing.  My original comments can be found in the thread referenced above. The […]


Holy Smokes! 7 TB RAID-5 for less than $1000 (not quite… read comments)

OK, I’m a geek.  What did I decide to get myself for Christmas?  A big ole honking bunch of storage.  Nothing says happiness like a shopping bag filled with hard drives. Yes, I’m the same guy where the highlight of a recent Friday night was shopping for an Android tablet at Kmart.  This shouldn’t come […]



I feel bad for the US Government and Military. They are in a horrible position. Prior to 9/11, many systems were separate and did not communicate with each other. Where systems did communicate with each other, security measures in place did not allow many people to see anything beyond their immediate need to know. After […]


New Toys from Kmart (if you see a programmer carrying a screwdriver, run!)

OK, I usually don’t brag about buying stuff at Kmart, but this was kinda cool. Remember when Kmart was the #1 computer reseller?  It was in the days of of the Commodore 64.  It was a bare-basic geek toy for $99.  Any self-respecting nerd over the age of 39 had one. Well, the glorys days […]

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Shh… don’t tell anyone, I had a clue about management

So much for being the pointy-haired boss.  Just when I thought that last shred of common-sense had been purged from my soul, there I go having a clue. Geoffrey James (yes, the author of “The Tao Of Programming”) has a blog on bnet.com called “Sales Machine”.  Why “Sales Machine”?  Well apparently the former programmer and […]

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