Monday, January 19, 2009

How do I copy the text from a DOS screen?

You need to highlight the text in DOS screen, copy the text and paste it
into Notepad or Word.
Let us say you want to copy the text on this screen.

Step 1: Highlight the text as follows:
Right click anywhere on the title (blue strip at the top) and from the drop-down
menu choose Edit | Mark.

Step 2: Highlight the text now.
Mark the text by sweeping your mouse (held down) over the text you want to
mark as shown.

Step3: Go back to the title, right click and choose Edit| Copy. This copies the text
and now open Notepad from Start | Accessories |Notepad. With the Notepad open click on
Edit | Paste. The copied text is now pasted to the open Notepad as shown.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

What are Smart Tasks?

This is yet another design aid from Microsfot to make life easier for the
developer and to increase his/her productivity. There are property windows and Property pages for customizing the controls at design time. Smart Tasks makes it even easier by listing the tasks a designer has to configure for a given control  on a web page or a windows form.

Here is an example. This is a SQLDataSource control on a web page.

To see what tasks need to be completed for this control, click on the right  pointing arrow. This changes the control as shown in this figure. There is just one task- Configure Data Source...

When you click on Configure Data Source link the wizard wakes up and will take you through the process of the configuration.

How do I find the version of SQL Server I have?

Open SQL Server Management Studio and run the query shown.

The figure shows the query and query result for the SQL Server 2008
on my computer.

Monday, January 12, 2009

What is Dvorak style keyboard?

The ASDFGH or QWERTY board is the standard key board from the days of typewriters to this day. You are supposed to type with both hands to type fast. However the DVORAK style keyboard can be used for typing with one hand, either left or right or both. It is supposed to be faster than the QWERTY.

This is one of the accessibility options in Windows XP which you can access from
Control Panel | Regional Languages (window) | Languages to open

Click on open

Click on Add... to open Add Input Language window

Place check mark for Keyboad layout/IME (Input Method Editor): and click on Handle

Choose the style you prefer

You should be able to see this toolbar item added as shown

Review article in Wikipedia:

Thursday, January 8, 2009

How do I verify intellisense in SQL Server 2008?

It is quite easy. Assume you have a database and you are writing a query, a simple select satatement such as this one,

Select * from Customers in a sample Northwind database.

In earlier versions when you did not have intellisense you had to guess what you
need to do. Perhaps you looked up and verified what table to use, etc.

Now in SQL Server 2008 it is easy because "intellisense" shows what options you have. Intellisense is also called auto-completion.

I just typed Use and some letter(t) after a space and intellisense provided all the available databases that I can use. Even if you had typed z you would have gotten the list. This is great. Adds immensely to productivity.

Here is another example,

The down side, from my point of view is that this drop-down can be huge and you may end up scrolling up and down reading the tool tips. Of course you must have a rough idea of what makes sense and what is meaningful.

Here is an auto-completion in the Google Search

Sunday, January 4, 2009

How do I set the fill color(background color) of a textbox in SQL Server Reporting Services?

You can use the built-in color picker of the Expression builder in Visual Studio.

For the text box that you have highlighted in the report, let us say you want to set the fill color. You invoke the expression builder from the Text Box's properties as shown

Click on fx to open Expression window as shown

Let us say you want to fill it with red. You pick the red color (3rd row, first column in pick color box)and click on it. The default color of a text box is Transparent which will be replaced by Red as shown.Click OK to close the Expression window which will take you back to the Text Box Properties window where you will see the RED in the Fill color: field.