One Year on Earth

On July 20, 2015, NASA released to the world the first image of the sunlit side of Earth captured by the space agency’s EPIC camera on NOAA’s DSCOVR satellite. The camera has now recorded a full year of life on Earth from its orbit at Lagrange point 1, approximately 1 million miles from Earth, where it is balanced between the gravity of our home planet and the sun.

Class Distribution

12yearsclasses I could only go back 12 years, but I was curious what percentage of my students took each of my classes. If I could have included 2000-2003, I am sure there would have been a little more Visual Basic. I think the Office classes are over-represented since those were only 1 day classes, while the other courses were typically 5 days. I believe in my Statistics course that would be called a lurking variable.

2015 Hour of Code

hourofcodeToday, unveiled a Star Wars-themed computer science tutorial featuring Princess Leia, C-3PO and R2-D2 as well as Rey and BB-8 from the upcoming film Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The online lesson kicks off the third-annual global Hour of Code campaign, in honor of Computer Science Education Week, December 7-13, 2015.

Thanks to Disney and Star Wars, students will learn to write code that allows them to create fun challenges and games using Star Wars characters. Participants will join forces with Rey to guide BB-8 through a space mission, then team up with Princess Leia to build their own game featuring R2-D2 or C-3PO. Students will also be able to play their completed games on smartphones, and share them with friends and family through a unique link.

Safari books – Curated List


I was lucky enough to be asked by Safari Books to curate a selection of books that will be displayed at the Microsoft Ignite Study Hall. Here are my Top 10 book selections not just for Safari, but these books all are currently sitting on my desk. (In no specific order.)

  • Beginning C# 5.0 Databases, Second Edition: Vidya Vrat Agarwal
  • JavaScript for Absolute Beginners: Terry McNavage
  • Exchange Server 2013 PowerShell Cookbook: Jonas Andersson; Mike Pfeiffer
  • Learn SQL Server Administration in a Month of Lunches: Don Jones
  • SQL Server Query Performance Tuning, Fourth Edition: Grant Fritchey
  • Exchange Server 2013: Connectivity, Clients, & UM: Paul Robichaux
  • Exchange Server 2013: Mailbox and High Availability: Tony Redmond
  • Learn Windows PowerShell 3 in a Month of Lunches: Don Jones and Jeffery Hicks
  • T-SQL Querying: Kevin Farlee; Dejan Sarka; Adam Machanic; Itzik Ben-Gan
  • SQL Server Transaction Log Management: Tony Davis; Gail Shaw

Online Proctored Exams


Microsoft and Pearson VUE are on a mission together to make our certifications more convenient and accessible. Starting today, if you are a U.S. resident (and if you’re not stay tuned—they’ll be expanding soon), you can take dozens of MCP and MTA exam from the comfort of your home or office through a process called online proctoring by Pearson VUE. You can find the press release here.

Online proctored exams are the exact same exams that we offer in onsite testing centers. What’s different is that the exam is administered by a remote proctor who will supervise you via webcam and microphone while you take your test. You can take an online proctored exam at home, at work, or at any other location that meets our hardware, software, security and environment requirements. (There are quite a few: you can view the full list here.)

Gift from Students

So I am teaching a private three week Server 2012 class in Atlanta. My students found this Windows 98 book in the bargain bin of a local book store for only 10 cents. They all chipped in and bought it for me and then signed it. What a great gift. Thank you very much.