This post is for those of you that are occasionally tasked with spinning up a demo/virtual environment for SharePoint or other Microsoft products. If this does not apply to you, move along, nothing to see, get bent, whatever.

Now that we got rid of those summbitches, let’s get down to brass tacks. If you are like me, a small part of you dies inside every single time you install Exchange Server in a SharePoint or BI demo virtual machine. Seriously, why do you need all that bloat to show the Microsoft products shipping emails around during a demo? Whatever happened to the POP3 service from Windows Server 2003 anyway?

SmarterTools, and their awesome free mail server (SmarterMail) to the rescue. Now, just like most free stuff, there ARE a couple of limitations — one domain and 10 users max. In short — MORE THAN ENOUGH to run an effective demo.

I have tried just about every other free option available, and this is the best so far. Super easy install/config, WebMail out of the box, and if you can check a box on a web form (no shit), you can integrate this thing with Active Directory.

"Party on Fifth Ave" from Mac Miller.

If you ain’t boppin’ your head to this, you need to be checked for a pulse. The video is clutch, too. 

WARNING: Mac likes to use colorful language. SFW with headphones only!

Best. Cover. Ever.

I recently ported an application from MySQL to SQL Server 2012 and thought I would also update my “Zip Code” table to take advantage of SQL’s spatial features. The issue was that I only had the following fields: ZipCode, Longitude, Latitude, City, State, County

I didn’t readily find a single source answer on Bing/Google, so I ended up combining some knowledge gained from a few of different locations to come up with the following code, which worked like a charm. Change the bold things to match your table and column names, and away you go.

First, add a column of type “geography”, like so:

ALTER TABLE ZipCodes ADD Location geography

Now, populate the “Location” column using the statement below:

UPDATE ZipCodes SET Location = geography::STGeomFromText(‘POINT(’ + convert(varchar(20), Longitude) + ’ ’ + convert(varchar(20), Latitude) + ‘)’, 4326)

That’s it - you now have a populated Location field of data type geography.

Here is the main difference between the real “Dream Team” (the 1992 U.S. Men’s Olympic Basketball Team) and the collection of me-first nimrods we have on the team 20 years later.

If the Dream Team had a poor night shooting, they would have stopped settling for jump shots, pounded the ball inside and still won by 40+ points. Yesterday, our team of spoiled brats continued to settle for jump shot after jump shot, winning by 11 points.

Lebron James, showing more hustle and pride than anyone on the court for either team (I know, it surprised me, too), saved his teammates’ bacon by torching Brazil for 30 points. The entire rest of his team had 50 points.

I think there is an outside chance that these guys might lose a game in the Olympics. The fact that I could type that statement really tells you all you need to know about how the current team stacks up against “The Dream Team.”

They don’t.

Game. Set. Match.

The view from Sec. 218 at #Pacers #Heat #Game3

Is this the most pimped golf cart ever? Check out the woodgrain! Is this the most pimped golf cart ever? Check out the woodgrain!

Is this the most pimped golf cart ever? Check out the woodgrain!

There IS curling in Indiana. I took this photo at the rink during my kids’ figure skating/hockey practice today.

My son will be hanging with The Kid and Ovi tonight.