Rosetta@Home DNS Issue

If you ever need a lesson in the importance of picking a good domain registrar, then read about Rosetta@Homerecent problems. Dear Rosetta@Home participants, We — like many of you who have contacted us — have been extremely frustrated by the long project downtime. We ( had a domain name registration verification lapse, and our registrar ( and ICANN turned off DNS for We went through the steps to...

March 12, 2017 · 2 min · matt40k

Automating WordPress maintenance

WordPressis an amazing blogging platform. However it does require a fair amount of love. Despite Mythic Beastsmanaging a large portion of my stack (hardware, OS, Apache, PHP, MySQL) and WordPresshaving automatic background updatesI still find myself logging in and finding pending updates for WordPress. The solution was WP-CLI. With the shell add-on, I SSH onto my account, then What the above script does is download WP-CLI, grant it execute permission, then downloads my script and again, gives it execute permission....

March 9, 2017 · 1 min · matt40k

MSSQL server failed on Ubuntu on Windows 10

I’ve been getting errors with MSSQL server on Ubuntu on Windows 10. The error, Failed to connect to bus: No such file or directory dpkg: error processing package mssql-server (–remove): subprocess installed post-removal script returned error exit status 1 Processing triggers for libc-bin (2.23-0ubuntu5) … E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1) I managed to fix it in the end by...

March 5, 2017 · 1 min · matt40k

Resident parking

Been trying to find out the following from my local council: How many resident parking permits have been issued How many resident parking bays are available What exactly has the money been spent on in terms of fines issued. To say they are being evasive is an understatement. So far, I’ve got, the response of: _This info is fluid as it is not only static residents who can apply for waivers within a given zone but also agencies who provide medical needs and other statutory services....

March 1, 2017 · 2 min · matt40k

Cloudflare parser bug

So once again we have another major security leak. You can read about it, hereand below is the email CEO Matthew Prince wrote to customers: Dear Cloudflare Customer: Thursday afternoon, we published a blog post describing a memory leak caused by a serious bug that impacted Cloudflare’s systems. If you haven’t yet, I encourage you to read that post on the bug: we resolved the bug within hours of it being reported to us, there was an ongoing risk that some of our customers’ sensitive information could still be available through third party caches, such as the Google search cache....

February 24, 2017 · 3 min · matt40k

Caching woes

Caching always seems to cause problems, still, we can’t have it all. Today’s caching problem was to do with RedgateSQL Prompt, a really amazing plugin that helps you write better SQL code. The problem with it is the cache of database object metadata was out-of-date. I had updated a table so when I typed select * then press TAB to expand the * into a list of columns, I got the old names....

February 24, 2017 · 1 min · matt40k

Date Format

I’ve had a problem recently when it can to formatting a datetime as just date where FormatDateTime didn’t work The fix was to change it to Format. Oddly, despite the parameter being a datetime, I found I still had to cast it as a date. FormatDateTime was introduced in Vs 2008. I’m not 100% sure why this didn’t work.

February 22, 2017 · 1 min · matt40k


Another error I hit Warning 1 [rsRuntimeErrorInExpression] The Value expression for the textrun ‘Textbox28.Paragraphs[0].TextRuns[0]’ contains an error: Overload resolution failed because no Public ‘/’ can be called with these arguments: ‘Public Shared Operator /(d1 As Decimal, d2 As Decimal) As Decimal’: Argument matching parameter ‘d2’ cannot convert from ‘TextBoxImpl’ to ‘Decimal’. C:\Projects\Reports\1. Report.rdl Thankfully Google found Qiuyun answer. I was missing the .Value at the end. So (wrong)...

February 9, 2017 · 1 min · matt40k

SSRS copy and paste fail

In case you haven’t heard, I’ve started a new job and one of my first tasks was to speed up a SSRS report. One of the first issues I stumbled across was this: An error occurred during local report processing. The definition of the report ‘/1. Report’ is invalid. The Value expression for the textrun ‘Tx412.Paragraphs[0].TextRuns[0]’ contains an error: [BC30456] ‘RdlObjectModel’ is not a member of ‘ReportingServices’ Looking into it the issue it appears its expanded expressions when it got copied – it’s basically making the it fully qualified....

February 9, 2017 · 1 min · matt40k

SSRS 2016 by default

For the past 4 months I’ve been using Visual Studio 2015 rather then Visual Studio 2013 and yesterday, I hit a bug with SSRS (shows how much I love SSRS). The bug appeared when it came to deployment The error was deploying SSRS report Exception calling “CreateCatalogItem” with “7” argument(s): “The definition of this report is not valid or supported by this version of Reporting Services. The report definition may have been created with a later version of Reporting...

January 10, 2017 · 2 min · matt40k

Swollen SSISDB caused by Continuous Deployment

I recently had incident logged where the drive that hosted SSISDB database filled up on the UAT environment. We had SSISDB set to only keep 2 copies of the projects, however the additional copies are only removed when the SQL job is run – SSIS Server Maintenance job. The SQL job is scheduled to run at 00:00 (midnight) every day, which is the default, which runs two steps SSIS Server Operation Records Maintenance...

January 10, 2017 · 1 min · matt40k

Authenticating IoT

I was re-entering my password into our NowTV boxin the bedroom when it occurred to me. Authentication sucks on the Internet of Things (IoT). The problem is you have a simple device with minimal extras. On the NowTV you have a basic remote that looks like this: Can you imagine entering a password with a length of over 20 that’s a mixture of numbers, special characters and both upper and lower case characters?...

January 8, 2017 · 2 min · matt40k

Dangers of distribution lists

Distribution list are amazing things, they allow us to send mail to our team without having to remember who exactly is in our team, this is especial true in this modern age where we are part of many different teams, sometimes without even realising. These lists can contain hundreds or even thousands of members and the latest NHS IT bug has left IT departments maybe wanting to double-check their distribution lists – hopefully before the security team comes a knocking....

November 15, 2016 · 2 min · matt40k

Microsoft SQL Server on Linux

This is absolutely amazing, Microsoft, running SQL Server, in Linux Redhat (RHEL)!

November 11, 2016 · 1 min · matt40k


One of the annoying things about working with multiple languages is they each have their differences – obviously, otherwise there would only be 1 language! Although there is good reason to have these differences they still have elements that are a pain. One of the most annoying things, other then “do you require a semicolon at the end of the statement?” is comments. Comments aren’t executed or complied but they help developers read code....

October 16, 2016 · 2 min · matt40k

Where has SIMS Bulk Import gone?

Cut-down version, I’m not working with SIMS anymore and I can’t pass on my work without them getting a large bill from Capita for using the business objects. Years and years ago I was working on a SIMS help desk at a Local Authority (LA). I had a school log a call asking about importing email addresses. Like many schools this school had just purchased a messaging service that allows sending emails and texts, the problem was they needed them in SIMS ....

October 6, 2016 · 5 min · matt40k

Are hybrid shops missing the point?

With rise of the internet high street businesses are rushing to adapt so they don’t become a thing of the past. However in their rush are they being a storm trooper? Are they missing the point? First, lets look at two successful hybrid business. Hughes, a electrical store based in East Angliaand Argos, a British catalogue retailer operating in the United Kingdom. If we focus on Argos as its more well known business....

October 1, 2016 · 2 min · matt40k


So oneof the really nice sponsorsat SQL Saturdayhad a vending machine that was rigged up to release a treat when you sent a tweet. Like so I'm at #sqlsatcambridge home of @redgate #redgatetreat #red668 — Matt Smith (@matt40k) September 10, 2016 and give you… In mine had a SQL Promptlicense. At first I was a bit disappointed, I hoping for SQL Testlicense or a full blown SQL toolbeltbut the more I’ve been using it, the more I’m loving it....

October 1, 2016 · 1 min · matt40k

Wooo!!! Fixed in SQL Server 2016! It’s nice to see Microsoft fixing old bugs – the I noticed today they updated the MSDN article about Actions in Multidimensional Models. It now supports HTTPS! Woot!!   

September 12, 2016 · 1 min · matt40k

Another year, another SQL Saturday

Unfortunately this year I’ve not been able to make any of the pre-cons, however the (free) community day looks epic – the hardest part is going to be selecting which session to attend, the final one looking the worst. Aghhh!!! I’m going to have to roll a dice or something! CDC – Change Data Capture in Detail Uwe RickenWhat’s new in the SQL Server 2016 for a BI Professional Prathy KamasaniExploring the Azure SQL Database...

September 7, 2016 · 1 min · matt40k

Care Quality Commission (CQC)

Today one of our older SSIS packages failed which loads data into our warehouse, it turns out one of the fields had been expanded as the business had started to use a different standard for one of the codes. Despite not being told about this, it causing it fail and generate extra work on an already busy Monday it was actually a really good thing. Firstly, once we identified the problem (and fixed it), our main business contact was aware of it, was able to explain why it was happening....

September 5, 2016 · 2 min · matt40k

AD tools on Win10

A while ago I got a new laptop at work with Windows 10 Enterprise and for a while I just kept using my old Windows 7 Enterprise laptop for bits I hadn’t yet transferred over. The last thing on the list was AD tools. This should just be a question of installing Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 10 (KB2693643). Unfortunately Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 10 is available only in English (United States) for this release....

September 3, 2016 · 1 min · matt40k

Why does Bing sucks

The only thing you search for on Bing is Google. Microsoft has for a long time been in the search engine business with numerous rebranding exercises – MSN Search (1998 – 2006), Windows Live Search (2006 – 2007) then Live Search (2007 – 2009) and finally Bing (2009 – present). Despite all the time and money Microsoft has poured into its search engine Google still has 3 times the number of of the search engine market share as Bing....

August 29, 2016 · 2 min · matt40k

Build problem and duplicate releases

Yesterday I went to investigate a problem someone had reported only to discover a butt load of releases As you can see, I have more releases then commits. A build was triggered by a commit, but this doesn’t explain why. I tried switching it up so it only builds when you put [build] in the commit message – which resulted in having to commit the yaml file as the feature isn’t available via the web interface, it does make sense to have this under version control....

August 15, 2016 · 2 min · matt40k

Toy cars

Over the summer holidays I got my son to create a spreadsheet detailing some of his toy cars which we then imported into PowerBI. Created by a 7 year old in under an hour  

August 14, 2016 · 1 min · matt40k