Anyhow, before starting, some catch-up for everyone curious:
Yes, I do now work for Microsoft. I work as a Consultant for the Data Insights division, which means that I get shipped off to work for some needy company. ("needy"!! usually not "nerdy" - that's why they're needy :) )Data Insights are the people specialising in MS SQL Server and BI. Right now I get up at some unGodly hour on Mondays, drive to PHL (leave my car at PreFlight), fly to DTW, visit Avis, and go to the Ford ITek centre in Dearborn to work on a kinda neat system - it's a multi-processor, shared-nothing implementation of SQL Server called APS (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/sql-server/analytics-platform-system)
. Frida afternoons I come back, 40 billable hours under my belt.
So that's why I've been noticeably absent - I'm very sorry!!
OTOH, if anyone wants to learn anything about SQL, or about databases in general, I guess, then I should be working remotely the week of Thanksgiving, so could present a bit if anyone would like me to. We just need to decide wither on a venue or on a way of webexing things - maybe Skype would be better, although the compatible version is still in Beta for Linux and I haven't tried it out yet (volunteers anyone?)