OK, so I’ve been bad (at best) at blogging this year… but I’ll blame some of that on the fact that I’ve done more travel in these first three months of the year then I’ve ever done. Yes, I’ve been to Charlotte, NC (for a SQL Server 2005 Ascend Workshop) then Dallas, TX (for yet another Ascend Workshop) then Cairo, Egypt (for the MiddleEast Developers Conference) then Brussels, Belgium (for Dev and ITPro Days) then San Francisco, CA (for SQLLive) then London, UK (for another Ascend Workshop) then Zurich/Interlaken, Switzerland (for TechDays) then Orlando, FL (for SQLConnections) and now I’m home for a couple of weeks (well, kind of that’s another story for another day :)). But, yes, I did come back to Redmond (home) a few times in there but – it’s been busy to say the least! It’s really been an amazing year! From a technical perspective, I can’t tell you how many exciting projects I’ve seen and how many interesting customer scenarios I’ve been presented with. Some of the planned implementations of SQL Server 2005 and even some of the changes still occuring to SQL Server 2000 implementations are incredibly interesting, challenging and innovative! And on the learning side, I’ve been completely burried in Yukon, x64 and Developer stuff too (like SQLCLR and C#). I’ve been working on new courses, new presentations, two already posted whitepapers (see “Online Resources” for links) and two more are coming… And – even more exciting, I’m also working on a couple of pre-conference seminars that will be a blast!! And, that’s part of why I’m writing. There are three events coming up where the seating is limited. I thought I’d give you some of the details/highlights so if you’re on the fence you can sign up before they sell out. So, let me tell you about the three coming up:

PASS 2005 European Summit
, Germany – May 10, 2005 – 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
The Next Generation DBA
Critical New SQL Server 2005 Features YOU Need to Learn!
This is a full-day lecture/demo packed session where I’ll also provide demo scripts (posted on my website) and I’ll spend the entire day drilling into the new features of SQL Server 2005 that offer you better data availability. But what does that translate to: Database Mirroring, new Piecemeal Restore/Recovery, fast file initialization, database snapshots, table/index partitioning, snapshot isolation and even some details regarding index-related changes. However, I have two sessions at the event that will cover Best Practices and Changes to Indexing so I’ll save those details for the breakout sessions and pack more details into the availability topics. In fact, THE ABSOLUTELY MOST GEEKY demo you will ever see – will be done during this session! (Wow, I’ve certainly set the bar high for that demo, I hope I can live up to that expectation :).
Check out this link for more details: http://www.sqlpass.org/events/Europe/2005/Pre_Con.cfm.

Microsoft Tech*Ed US
Orlando, FL – June 5, 2005  – 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Taming the Tools
Effectively Using and Understanding SQL Server 2005 Tools
This is a first! We’ve decided to have a room packed full of PCs – loaded with Yukon – and we’re going to hammer out a TON of exercises for a full 5 hours. I’ll be lecturing, demo’ing and doing “instructor-led walkthrough” exercises while you get real hands-on experience with Yukon. We’ll be focusing on using the tools to make sure that you’ll effectively use the right tool for the job! There are all sorts of little hidden treasures in SSMS (SQL Server Management Studio), Profiler, Computer Management, etc. and I’ve been working with the Tools team to make sure I know about them and I will certainly let you know about them! There will even be a few additional folks present (SQL folks) to make sure that everyone stays on track, focused and that all your exercises go smoothly. And – to make things even better, I’ll be providing all of the exercises and demo scripts (and of course, printed slides) so that you can take everything home and continue to play! This is an exciting one (and definitely limited in the number of seats, hint, hint J) and the early bird discounts end on April 15 (fyi).
Check out this link for more details: http://www.msteched.com/content/precons.aspx#DBA001.

Microsoft Tech*Ed Europe
Amsterdam, the Netherlands – July 4, 2005 
- 10:00 am to 5:30 pm
Taming the Tools
Effectively Using and Understanding SQL Server 2005 Tools
OK, so this might be a tad misleading… it appears to be an exact copy of the US Tech*Ed session (at least in title) but in fact, it’s not! First, the format is very different. The US session will be 5 hours – and hands-on. The European session will be lecture and demo and over 6+ hours so I’ll be adding more content, more demos and more stuff to work with. And, just like the US session, I’ll be providing all of the exercises and demo scripts (and of course, printed slides) so that you can take everything home and continue to play!  
Check out this link for more details: http://www.mseventseurope.com/TechEd/05/Pre/Content/PCTools.aspx.

And, if you’re at any of these events, I look forward to seeing you there! I’m certain we’re going to have some fun. Make sure to say hi and tell me you read my blog. It’s always fun to meet people who read this! Oh speaking of reading this, here’s a strange challenge (and probably very unlikely given the locations). If any of you attend all three… We can continue the discussions of the pre-conference seminars over dinner – in Amsterdam – on July 4th. My treat!! And – in the unlikely event that dozens of you attend all three (yeah, right) well, then beers and a not-quite-so-decadent-dinner-in-Amsterdam is on me! OK, I’m in a weird mood today… What can I say!

Finally, if you’re wondering why I no longer allow comments…. ugh, blog spammers from h*ll. I’ll bring back comments again after I do a bit of tweaking so I can get the blog spammers to go away!

Thanks for reading!