Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Differences Between SSRS Report Builder 1.0 and Report Builder 2.0

I was going to draft a blog post on this topic when I found this one:

Andrew Fryer's Blog

Andrew wrote this very clearly and I don't feel the need to add to it.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Book Review - The Power of Full Engagement By Jim Loehr

This is a great book that taught me a lot about energy management. I learned that mental energy should be conserved and used much like physical energy. Here are my takeaways:

1) Manage your energy, instead of managing time. This is contrary to the mountain of books written on time management. This is the first book I've read on energy management. When you workout, you have intervals of high energy, followed by a rest interval. The work day should follow the same pattern. Now I'm trying to work in 90 minute sprints, followed by a 5 - 15 minute break. I'm also devising a way to apply this when managing software developers on projects.

2) Stress is not always a bad thing, but can be very good if it results in positive results. Stress also pushes us out of our comfort zone and enhances our abilities. Constant stress is a bad thing.

3) Working out, eating well, and getting sleep will provide more energy to accomplish your goals and should not be ignored. Bad eating and low activity creates negative stress and a loss of concentration.

Here is the Amazon link:
The Power of Full Engagement

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Internet Explorer Timer

One of the chapters in "The Power of Less" focuses on Internet usage. That led me to wonder how much time I spend on the Internet. I looked for different applications, but couldn't find one that would simply tell me the total amount of time I use Internet Explorer. I decided to write one myself.

This application simply times how long the iexplore.exe process is in memory. I know that doesn't answer how long I'm on the Internet, but it should give me a pretty good idea.

You can download it here:

IE Timer

FYI, it requires the Microsoft DotNet Framework 2.0. You probably already have it installed.

Here's a screenshot of my IE time as of this writing:

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Power of Less

Overall, I enjoyed the book I learned the following things:

1) Get to the essentials in everything in life and ignore the rest. Eliminate things that do not add value towards a primary goal.

2) Only work on one primary goal at a time. Either lose weight or finish the degree or write the great American novel. Avoid spreading yourself too thin.

3) Focus on a single task until that task is accomplished. Trying to complete a project while keeping the cell phone on and watching for new email notifications is not very efficient. It also leads to a hectic and harried life. Turn off all outside extractions and immerse into a project. Time will go by faster and happiness will follow.

This book should have been 50 pages, rather than a 160. It is a tad repetitive and is easily skimmed. You can also learn everything you need to know by looking at this guy’s blog:

Zen Habits

Here's the Amazon link:

The Power of Less