Tuesday, 25 September 2007


I know what the problem is - connecting to my databases is unbelievably slow and then hangs when performing any tasks. The problem is that everything is proprietary Microsoft software.

The PC is running a version of Windows that I now know is not legit (it will be soon, but isn't right now). I'm in the process of getting it all sorted but I inherited this computer and it came with a dodgy install that I wasn't initially aware of.

This means that I can't run the latest version of the Microsoft database software (SQL Server 2005) and the previous version is buggy and causing this problem. This is really annoying. I've patched and updated the computer as best I can (in fact the latest update I can make is being installed now) but I'm not sure this will solve the problem. It's really getting on my tits and slowing down my work spending a day getting everything sorted.

I'm building a workaround on another computer but this is all woefully convoluted and a real pain in the arse. To have the separate pieces of software reliant on each other in this way is really annoying and frankly not good on behalf of the software builders.

What's more frustrating is that I've been playing with my new Ubuntu Linux computer and none of this is an issue. Everything's so open and easily updated as well as being free from any costs. Plus I'm not trying to get tied down into any sort of agreements on how (or how not) I'm supposed to use my own computer. There's definitely change afoot in the world of computers in a big way and it's manifesting itself in only 1/4 of the screens in our office now showing Microsoft products (and I'm a MS developer!). The majority are Macs but to be honest I've been looking at them and thinking about installing Ubuntu on one of those as well.

Yesterday I set Windows file sharing on the Macs so now I can switch files between OS X, Windows XP and Ubuntu Linux machines at the click of a button. Happily all the computers are fully integrated now and getting all this sorted has been in the most part really easy. Ubuntu was the easiest, then the Macs a close second but a way distant third was the PC. (Ubuntu uses Samba to share which comes pre-installed and pre-configured, Mac OS X uses its Windows File Sharing utility that you just switch on, with Windows you have to go crawling around network connections and user accounts to get it working as you want). I'm a happy geek.

So now it's time to put the plan to get my Microsoft workaround in place, it's not massively elegant but I've gone past caring - it just needs to work frankly. Hopefully soon the OSS (Open Source Software) guys will build a module that translates proprieatary MS SQL databases into MySQL (OSS) and also a query analyzer that translates MS SQL queries into MySQL queries. This should mean that I can run an ASP emulator like ChiliSoft as well as the proposed module and move all the code and projects onto a non-Microsoft platform. That'll save everyone an immense amount of money frankly.

I hope it gets rid of this rising tension too.