Focusing on setup and development using SQL Server products from 2000 to 2008 and beyond. Also about anything geeky that compels me to write a blog entry.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Google Voice

I am seriously geeking out about Google's new Voice service. I signed up to be part of the early testing period and after about an hour, I am hooked and amazed.

First of all, notice at the top of the right-hand column on my Blog homepage the new "Call Me" link with a phone icon. You can type in your name and phone number, Google Voice will call your phone, and when you answer you will be connected to my voicemail (or my phone if I had it set that way). You don't even have to dial the number!

I was able to choose a phone number in my area code and to search for a phone number with a word or series of letters that I would like to appear in my phone number. The Google Voice page does a search to see if a number with that word is available and if so, it appears on the screen. I tried "hugh" and "jhthomas" but finally I found that "thom" was available, so now I can use the phone number 205-677-THOMAS, which is really just THOM but it looks better with my whole last name. Pretty cool.

You get voice mail which can convert your received messages into text and email the text of the messages to the email address of your choosing. I tested this and it works surprisingly well. You can also make outgoing calls to anywhere in the continental US for free. That's right, FREE! You just initiate the call from the website, it calls your phone, and when you pick up it connects you to the other party with no long distance charges.

I can call my phone number from any phone to check messages, to call another phone number, check Google411, or change my settings.

I would recommend getting a Google Voice account as soon as you can even if you just use it like I plan to use it, for connecting with my blog readers.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


My name is Hugh Thomas and I finally decided to cut my teeth on my first professional blog about SQL Server. I have been developing databases for about fifteen years going back to Access version 2.0. In 2000 I started developing with SQL 2000 and I've never looked back.

As a database engine and feature-rich tool set, I consider the SQL Server platform to be the best bang for your buck and the easiest platform to have multiple tiers of support, from the very basic support user up to the Super DBA.

I have been using SQL 2005 in production since three months after it was released and am currently testing SQL 2008 for future development. Although my primary roll is that of a Database Developer, I have played the roll of our primary (well, really our only) DBA since 2000. That means I have installed SQL 2000-2008 multiple times, dealt with the configuration side of the server and services, and banged my head against the wall when things went South.

I plan to blog about what I learn, mistakes I make, and link to interesting resources that I find along the way. If my successes and failures can help someone else, all the better.

Until next time,