Limitations of technology and resources are not “inherently cruel”

In her commentary on speech recognition software ("Speech Recognition Tech Is Yet Another Example of Bias", Scientific American, Oct 2020), author Claudia Lopez-Llorenda derides the limits of technology because of her need to alter her speech pattern to a non-accented version of her own voice in order to be recognized fluently. In her words, "[changing] … Continue reading Limitations of technology and resources are not “inherently cruel”

Specifying time zone in SQL DATETIME DEFAULTs

You've had your existing application running for years, relying on DEFAULT constraints to set DATETIME fields to the current date using GETDATE(). Everything was great until you migrated to Azure SQL Database - and realized that your SQL Server is now set to UTC, and you can't change it. Fortunately, you can change your DEFAULT … Continue reading Specifying time zone in SQL DATETIME DEFAULTs

OneDrive sync fails because filename starts with a space

Windows (and, it seems, Microsoft in general) does not like filenames that start with a space. You can't even create them in Windows Explorer -- go ahead and try! If you start the name of a file or folder with a space, Windows will remove the space for you -- automatically. Frustrating, eh? Regardless, there's … Continue reading OneDrive sync fails because filename starts with a space

Force a direct download from a shared DropBox file

While working with DropBox today, I created shared links to a file, and the links looked like this: https://www.dropbox.com/s/abcxyz123/filename.zip?dl=0 This link goes to a nice DropBox web page that provides a lot of information -- information that would confuse a less-sophisticated user. Why can't we just get them right to the download? You can. In … Continue reading Force a direct download from a shared DropBox file

Six rules for effective exception handling

Exception handling in .Net (and other languages) is very powerful - and I've often seen it misused. Here are my six rules for exception handling. Always have a global exception handler to catch, report, and re-throw unhandled exceptions in your code. Always be sure to include the stack trace in your exception report. The easy way to … Continue reading Six rules for effective exception handling

MSSQL’s tempdb and performance

All databases on one SQL instance shares only one tempdb. System internal processing (such as sorting) also uses tempdb. Excessive usage of temporary tables incurs heavy traffic to tempdb and the underlying disc I/O. Consider the following when using temporary tables. Creating temp tables and then dropping them incurs system overhead and unnecessary disc I/Os. It is … Continue reading MSSQL’s tempdb and performance