Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Exam 70-431 – Have you taken it?

http://www.microsoft.com/learning/exams/70-431.mspx

I have finished course 2780: Maintaining a Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Database (for five days) and am now preparing to take the exam. I’m a little hesitant because I haven’t really studied for it. Has anyone taken this yet and can you provide any comments on difficulty level? Contact me at info at aminsolutions dot com or chromiloamin at gmail dot com.

Recycling Computer Systems

I attended an IT summit where the theme was on being more eco-friendly with our use of technology. I heard from David Suzuki and his passion for saving our planet (didn’t know he is already 71 years of age). David’s presentation did make sense initially but it was very long and he stopped making sense for a large part of his speech. What I remembered from his talk was that bottled water is evil and that everytime you flush the toilet, the water goes back to the river, filtered, and then recycled for consumption. Ugh.

I also heard Dana from freegeek.org. Dana played for us a 30min clip about where our “recycled” monitors and other computer parts are sent to. They are exported to third-world countries where they are indeed smelted for their various parts but a majority is thrown into landfills. They are sent to countries like China and in the film, a small farming village becomes a wasteland after “e-waste” becomes a source of income for the villagers. It was sad.

Some things we can do in our community to prevent this and be friendlier to our environment:
1) Insist that whenever we decommision systems, we take the time to ask questions at recycle depots to ensure the computer systems are not exported outside the country. Better policies are in place in Canada to ensure e-waste is properly disposed of.
2) “Re-purpose” instead of recycling computer parts. Do not throw systems out because parts can be reused for other things.
3) Advertise old systems at http://www.usedvancouver.com or http://vancouver.craigslist.org/ and give them for free. Someone out there will always have a use for it.
4) Extend your computer refresh cycle. Just because a new version of Windows has come out, it doesn’t mean you have to run out and upgrade.
5) Turn off your computers when not in use. This will also save on your energy bills.
6) When buying in bulk, talk to your supplier and get them to cut back on the amount of packaging that they use. I just helped one of my clients upgrade three printers and the amount of packaging that HP uses is unbelievable.