Category Archives: Tools

Conversations with Impact – the importance of stories

I feel quite lucky to be working where I work. One of the things I like about working at a university is having access to a number of learning opportunities, be it credit or not-for-credit courses, or even 1 or 2 hour sessions on anything. I love learning so it’s a field day for me when I get to attend these courses or events.

Conversations with Impact

by Gareth Williams. Cuba - Havana Public Artwork. https://www.flickr.com/photos/gareth1953/15377856386/

by Gareth Williams. Cuba – Havana Public Artwork. https://www.flickr.com/photos/gareth1953/15377856386/

One session I recently attended was “Conversations With Impact”. Ms. Joanna Piros,a senior consultant with Counterpoint Communications and also faculty at UBC Sauder School of Business’s Executive Education program, was the one who delivered the one hour session.

At the beginning of the session, Ms. Piros emphasized three (3) key statements about conversations:
1. All communication is strategic
2. You must frame others before you frame yourself (I didn’t know what media framing meant before I attended this session)
3. You must tell stories

This definitely struck a chord with me because one of the courses I teach, Visual Analytics with Tableau, also revolves around telling stories with data.
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Generating XSD from an XML File

To create a schema (XSD) from an XML file, you can use a command line tool that comes with Visual Studio called xsd.exe (located in Install DirectoryMicrosoft Visual Studio 8SDKv2.0Bin). If you’re running Visual Studio 2008, your path will be different.

Usage:

xsd.exe -
    Utility to generate schema or class files from given source.
xsd.exe <schema>.xsd /classes|dataset [/e:] [/l:] [/n:] [/o:] [/s] [/uri:]
xsd.exe <assembly>.dll|.exe [/outputdir:] [/type: [...]]
xsd.exe <instance>.xml [/outputdir:]
xsd.exe <schema>.xdr [/outputdir:]

Sample invocation:

C:temp>xsd invoice.xml
Microsoft (R) Xml Schemas/DataTypes support utility
[Microsoft (R) .NET Framework, Version 2.0.50727.42]
Copyright (C) Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
Writing file 'C:tempinvoice.xsd'.
C:temp>

The full options are as follows: Read more

How to script out your database objects (Database Publishing Wizard)

I work with MySQL, and MySQL has a mysqldump client that scripts out database schemas + records in the tables.

There is no “native” tool in SQL Server 2000/2005 that does this (as far as I know). Luckily there’s a SQL Server add-in that allows scripting of both schema + records.

You can download the Database Publishing Wizard from CodePlex:
http://www.codeplex.com/sqlhost/wiki/view.aspx?title=database%20publishing%20wizard

SysInternals Tools

Sysinternals Suite :

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-ca/sysinternals/0e18b180-9b7a-4c49-8120-c47c5a693683.aspx

Includes:

BGInfo – displays configuration, such as its name, IP address, or operating system version as a desktop wallpaper

ZoomIt – screen zoom and annotation tool for technical presentations

ProcessExplorer – displays which program has a particular file or directory open