Virtual Box is TOO Small

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Published on: August 5, 2014

I have been working on upgrading my laptop.  Since my laptop housed a bunch of my virtual machines for various presentations and labs, that means also upgrading and/or converting my virtual machines.

The new laptop is Windows 8.1.  With the new laptop I was interested in converting a bunch of my Virtual Box machines to Hyper-V machines.  That desire was put on hold after discovering that I needed to first convert the virtual disks and then import them.  That wasn’t what put me off to it for awhile though.

The fact that I had to install Virtual Box on the new laptop to do the conversion made it less desirable. You see, in order to make Virtual Box work, I had to uninstall Hyper-V from Windows 8.1 because HV disables settings that are required by Virtual Box to work.  Jumping through those hoops just makes me less inclined to hurry and try the conversion to Hyper-V.  Maybe someday down the road.

That said, with the new laptop supporting a resolution of 3200 x 1800, I found that my virtual machines started displaying extremely tiny resolutions.  No matter how I scaled the machine, the internal machine resolution was remaining tiny.

Come to find out, the virtual machine was using the 3200 x 1800 resolution of the host despite setting the virtual machine (internally) to resolution settings as low as 640 x 480 (which just produced a small window on the desktop).  In the settings for Virtual Box, I could not find a means to override that behavior.

What I did find though was a setting in the Windows 8.1 host control panel that affected the virtual machine size.  In the Display control panel there is a setting  saying “Let me choose one scaling level for all my displays”. That seems to help with this scaling issue.

As it appears, many applications automatically adjust the scaling on such a high resolution device.  Virtual Box does not automatically scale and just adopts the host machine resolution.  In my case, it was also always adopting the host machine max resolution.

I changed that setting, adjusted my resolution to 1920 x 1080, and then also adjusted the scaling factor to 150%.  This fixed the issue with the excessively small screen on the virtual machines.  Sure, I could have continued to use the windows “+” combination to zoom in an out constantly, but that was more of a hassle than convenience.

We’ll just have to see how it goes for the time being.  Maybe in a few weeks when I have time to try the Hyper-V conversion again, I will be able to jump back to the higher resolution.  We’ll find out then if that scaling issue is an issue for Hyper-V just as it is for Virtual Box.

Presenting at PSSUG

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Published on: August 4, 2014

pssug

 

Coming up this week, I have been given the opportunity to do something I enjoy doing.  I have been invited to present to the folks in Philadelphia.

Sebastian Meine (blog | twitter) approached me during SQL Saturday in Philadelphia and I was happy to help where I could.

The topic for this presentation will be Extended Events.  We are going to try a slightly different approach, but here is what was posted in the meeting invite.

Jason Brimhall SQL 2012 Extended Events
Extended Events were introduced in SQL Server 2008. With each edition since, we have seen a significant upgrade to this feature. Join me for a little adventure into defining this thing called Extended Events. We will discuss how to use Extended Events to aid in performance tuning and in day to day administration. We will also explore some background and the architecture of Extended Events.
Jason Brimhall

Jason Brimhall

 

As a Microsoft Certified Master/Microsoft Certified Solutions Master, I have 19 years’ experience in the technology industry, including more than 10 with SQL Server. I also earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Information Systems from Utah State University. One of the highlights of my career was co-authoring SQL Server 2012 T-SQL Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach .  I am a frequent presenter at SQL Server events worldwide, which includes SQLSaturdays and User Groups. I am also currently helping lead the Las Vegas SQL Users Group.

I am looking forward to this opportunity and to mingle with the group for a bit.  I hope to see you there.

Oh, and here is the link to the invite for the meeting.

Murder in Raleigh

sqlsat320_webI am about to set sail on a new venture with my next official whistle stop.  This year has been plenty full of whistle stops and I plan on continuing.  You can read (in full) about previous whistle stops and why they are called whistle stops here.

Suffice it to say at this point that it all started with a comment about a sailing train a few months back.

raleigh_traini

Time to sink or sail, so to speak.  SQL Saturday 320 in Raleigh will mark the next attempt at what I hope to be a repeat performance – many times.  I will be tag-teaming with Wayne Sheffield in this all day workshop event.  The session is one of two all day sessions for the event in Raleigh NC.

If you are a DBA or a database developer, this session is for you.  If you are managing a database and are experiencing performance issues, this session is a must.  We will chat with attendees about a horde of performance killers and other critical issues we have seen in our years working with SQL Server.  In short, some of these issues are pure murder on your database, DBA, developer and team in general.  We will work through many of these things and show some methods to achieve a higher state of database Zen.

Description

Join Microsoft Certified Masters, Wayne Sheffield and Jason Brimhall, as they examine numerous crazy implementations they have seen over the years, and how these implementations can be murder on SQL Server.  No topic is off limits as they cover the effects of these crazy implementations from performance to security, and how the “Default Blame Acceptors” (DBAs) can use alternatives to keep the developers, DBAs, bosses and even the end-users happy.

Presented by:

wayneWayne Sheffield, a Microsoft Certified Master in SQL Server, started working with xBase databases in the late 80’s. With over 20 years in IT, he has worked with SQL Server (since 6.5 in the late 90’s) in various dev/admin roles, with an emphasis in performance tuning. He is the author of several articles atwww.sqlservercentral.com, a co-author of SQL Server 2012 T-SQL Recipes, and enjoys sharing his knowledge by presenting at SQL PASS events and blogging at http://blog.waynesheffield.com/wayne

 

 

 

JasonBrimhall

Jason Brimhall has 10+ yrs experience and has worked with SQL Server from 6.5 through SQL 2012. He has experience in performance tuning, high transaction environments, as well as large environments.  Jason also has 18 years experience in IT working with the hardware, OS, network and even the plunger (ask him sometime about that). He is currently a Consultant and a Microsoft Certified Master(MCM). Jason is the VP of the Las Vegas User Group (SSSOLV).

 

 

 

 

Course Objectives

  1. Recognize practices that are performance pitfalls
  2. Learn how to Remedy the performance pitfalls
  3. Recognize practices that are security pitfalls
  4. Learn how to Remedy the security pitfalls
  5. Demos Demos Demos – scripts to demonstrate pitfalls and their remedies will be provided
  6. Have fun and discuss
  7. We might blow up a database

kaboom

 

There will be a nice mix of real world examples and some painfully contrived examples. All will have a good and useful point.

If you will be in the area, and you are looking for high quality content with a good mix of enjoyment, come and join us.  You can find registration information and event details at the Raleigh SQL Saturday site – here.  There are only 25 seats available for this murder mystery theater.  Reserve yours now.

The cost for the class is $110 (plus fees) up through the day of the event.  When you register, be sure to tell your coworkers and friends.

Wait, there’s more…

Not only will I be in Raleigh for this workshop, I hope to also be presenting as a part of the SQLSaturday event on Sep 6 2014 (the day after the workshop which is Sep 5, 2014).  I hope to update with the selected session(s) when that information becomes available.

You can see more details about the topics lined up for this event – here.

Shameless plug time

I present regularly at SQL Saturdays.  Wayne also presents regularly at SQL Saturdays.  If you are organizing an event and would like to fill some workshop sessions, please contact either Wayne, myself or both of us for this session.

Please open this page in the Admin panel only

Categories: Blogging, News, Professional, SSC
Comments: No Comments
Published on: July 30, 2014

I am taking a slight deviation from the usual type of posts that I share.  This time, I just want to share a quick and easy fix that I ran across due to a broken blog site that lasted for about a day starting on July 28th.

I didn’t even know there was a problem for a majority of the outage (ouch!).  And that just reinforced an age old requirement in IT.  If deploying a change – make sure to validate and test after the deployment.  Yes that was a bit embarrassing.  Despite that, there is something else to learn from the outage.

The issue started when updating a plugin called Google Analytics Dashboard.  The update was to go to version 2.1.  Upon completion of the update, all pages on my blog started posting a message that said the following.

Please open this page in the Admin panel only

That said, the root of the problem was related to the gad-admin-options.php file.  The file contained the following code.

There are several different means to fixing the problem.

  1. Disable/Delete the plugin.
  2. Comment out the code
  3. Update to 2.1.1 which was released on 7/30.

Options 1 and 3 are very easy.  Option 2 can be done via several methods.  If you have access to your admin page in wordpress, then you can edit the plugin file from the plugins page.  All you need to do is add a comment like in the following code snip.

If you don’t have access to your admin page, that’s ok.  You can still get to the file by connecting to your ftp and performing the same routine.  The file should be located in the following path.

wp-content/plugins/google-analytics-dashboard/gad-admin-options.php

See, real easy.  A little bit of a nuisance but it can be fixed quickly and easily.  Just keep in mind, when deploying a change, take the time to test and verify.  If something is not quite right, be prepared to rollback or find a fix.

Top 10 Recommended Books…

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Published on: July 29, 2014

So the title says it all, right?  Well, only really partially.

Recently an article was published listing the top 10 most recommended books for SQL Server.  That’s the part the title doesn’t say.  It is really important to understand that we are talking about the top 10 recommended books for SQL Server.

The beauty of the top 10 list is that I have a book on that list.  It caught me by surprise.  That is very cool.

If you are interested in finding a book, I recommend naturally that you check out my book.  But just as importantly have a look at the list.  This was a list that was published independently by SQL Magazine.  On the list you will find books by people like Kalen Delaney, Itzik Ben-Gan, and Grant Fritchey.

2012_Recipes

Check out the original list, here!

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