Click here to monitor SSC

Author Profile

Richard Morris

Richard Morris is a journalist, author and public relations/public affairs consultant. He has written for a number of UK and US newspapers and magazines and has offered strategic advice to numerous tech companies including Digital Island, Sony and several ISPs. He now specialises in social enterprise and is, among other things, a member of the Big Issue Invest advisory board. Big Issue Invest is the leading provider to high-performing social enterprises & has a strong brand name based on its parent company The Big Issue, described by McKinsey & Co as the most well known and trusted social brand in the UK.

Paul Randal: Geek of the Week

Paul Randal and Kimberly Tripp, together with their small team of experts at SQLSkills.com, dominate the high-end training and consultancy for SQL Server. They help to maintain this domination by virtue of their popular public speaking, and writing. We sent Richard Morris to find out a bit more about Paul, his views about SQL Server, his lifestyle, ambitions and plans. Read more...

Developing for Delivery, a Practical Example

Richard Morris interviewed Michael Stoop, a database developer at Calvi, Europe's leading provider of Telecom Invoice Management software. The discussion focused on how Calvi transformed their database delivery process to accommodate massive database growth, statutory regulations, and developments in their application. Here's their story. Read more...

David Heinemeier Hansson: Geek of the Week

Ruby on Rails, the open-source web application framework, grew out of David Heinemeier Hansson's work on Basecamp at 37Signals. It is now so popular with developers that it has been shipped with Mac OSX since 2007, and has a dedicated Windows following. Rail's focus on software engineering patters and Agile philosophy were so intriguing that we decided that DHH should be Geek of the Week. Read more...

Don Knuth and the Art of Computer Programming: The Interview

Fifty years after starting the 'Art of Computer Programming', (TAOCP), Don Knuth is still working hard at the project. He has almost completed the first five volumes. It is considered amongst the "hundred or so books that shaped a century of science”. Richard Morris asks him how things are going, and to find out more about his many achievements. Read more...

Bill Baker: Geek of the Week

Bill Baker had a considerable influence on the way that SQL Server evolved to deliver reporting services and business intelligence. Until 2008, Bill Baker headed the Data Warehouse Product Unit within the SQL Server product development group. His team designed Analysis Services, Integration services, Data Transformation Services and the Admin tools that ship with SQL Server. Read more...

Jeffrey Snover: Geek of the Week

PowerShell has radically improved the ease of monitoring and adminstering Windows-based servers, and automating routine processes. The visionary leader of this project is Jeffery Snover, who is now Lead Architect for both Windows Server and System Center Datacenter. Read more...

Alex Payne: Big in the IT Business

Alex Payne worked on developing Twitter for three years. When he started, it was a small side-project: When he left, it had become an international cultural phenomenon. Since then, he has worked with several early-stage start-ups. He has been researching a book on the history of programming languages, and is co-author of a book on Scala. Read more...

Bertrand Meyer: Geek of the Week

Bertrand Meyer, the author of 'Object-oriented Software Construction', renowned teacher, and designer of the Eiffel programming language, believes in simple elegant computer languages. Java, C# and Python all owe much to his pioneering work with Eiffel. He was also deeply involved with .NET from the outset. Read more...

Meredith Ryan: DBA of the Day

Meredith Ryan – DBA at the Bell Group –was elected by judges and the SQL Server community as the Exceptional DBA of 2012. So who is Meredith, and how did she become a DBA? What makes her exceptional at her work? We sent Richard Morris to investigate. Read more...

Geek of the Week: Niklaus Wirth

When looking for a suitable Geek of the Week, we wondered whether a suitable candidate might be the man who pioneered structured programming, invented modular programming and who wrote one of the first languages with features for Object-oriented programming. Yes, for a second time, Niklaus Wirth, gets the accolade of 'Geek of the Week' and shows that he is still the radical thinker with strong view about computer languages. Read more...

Database Continuous Integration with Bamboo

We were so interested in Atlassian's Bamboo, and it's role in Continuous Integration, that we wanted to find out more, such as 'why the name?'. So we sent our roving reporter, Richard Morris, out in his proverbial raincoat and trilby to find out more. Who better to ask than their marketing manager, Sarah Goff Dupont Read more...

Ron Gruner: Geek of the Week

Ron Gruner helped to crate some of the best of Data General's Minicomputers, and then co-founded Alliant, producer of the first parallel supercomputer that was able to decompose programs to run them in parallel. He then became an internet pioneer, who created the successful Shareholder.com site, and is now working on Sky Analytics for benchmarking the costs and expenses of law firms. Read more...

Kohsuke Kawaguchi: Geek of the Week

Jenkins, formerly called Hudson, is an open-source server-based Continuous Integration tool that works with all the major Source Control Management (SCM) tools including TFS, and can even script in PowerShell. It is clever software written by a clever geek, Kohsuke Kawaguchi. Read more...

James Hong: Big in the IT Business

James Hong was one of a generation of entrepreneurs who fell into the role almost accidentally by creating an application purely for their own age-group. Unlike many others, James has learned from his experiences and has become a successful advisor to, and investor in, startups, Here, he gives sage advice about surviving in the technology business. Read more...

Chuck Lathrope: DBA of the Day

Chuck Lathrope was a finalist for the Exceptional DBA of the Year award in 2009. We contacted him to find out more about how he became a DBA and for his views about the profession. What is the making of an excptional DBA? Read more...

Peldi Guilizzoni: Geek of the Week

Peldi is one of the most likeable of the new hybrid IT generation; part entrepreneur, part geek. Balsamiq is Peldi's creation, a tool for creating mockups of software. Balsamiq has shown what a good framework Adobe Air is, and how successful single-purpose software that completely fills a need can be. Read more...

No More Disconnected SQL Development in Visual Studio

Some types of development work are much more effectively accomplished if the developer can work directly on SQL Server Databases from Visual Studio, alongside the application code, rather than constantly switching applications to SSMS. Until SQL Connect was created, there was no easy way to do this. Nate Suver had just this requirement, and explains why SQL Connect is so important to him. Read more...

Josh Klein: Big in the IT Business

It is hard to categorize Josh Klein. Author, Technologist, Developer, Entrepreneur, polymath? He has participated in several startups, and is a popular speaker at conferences. He describes himself as an expert in 'taking things apart or putting them together again', reworking existing systems in unorthodox ways. Read more...

Geek of the Week: Tom Igoe

Arduino is cheap and simple way that desktop computers can monitor the physical world, and control devices. It is an open-source platform based on a simple microcontroller board, and a software development environment, ideal for teaching. We decided to find out more from Tom Igoe, from Arguino's team. Read more...

Glenn Berry: DBA of the Day

Glenn Berry works as a Database Architect at Avalara in Bainbridge Island, Washington. He is a SQL Server MVP, and has a whole collection of Microsoft certifications, including MCITP, MCDBA, MCSE, MCSD, MCAD, and MCTS. As well as working as a DBA, he is an Adjunct Faculty member at the University of Denver, where he has been teaching since 2000. He wrote chapters in the SQL Server MVP Deep Dives books as well as 'SQL Server Hardware' for Simple-Talk. Read more...

Geek of the Week: Ola Bini

Ola Bini is one of the core developers for JRuby, and creator of the JvYAML and RbYAML projects. He is also well known for his work on promoting YAML as an alternative markup to XML. Read more...

Seth Godin: Big in the IT Business

Seth Godin has transformed our understanding of marketing in IT. He invented the concept of 'permission marketing', sees the end of the "TV-Industrial complex" and the techniques of 'interruption-marketing' Instead he sees a sunny future, one where the consumer has the power to drive sales on merit Read more...

Geek of the Week: Don Syme

With the arrival of F# 3.0 Microsoft announced a wide range of improvements such as type providers that made F# a viable alternative to their other .NET languages as a general purpose workhorse. So what exactly are type providers, and why are they a killer reason for using F#? Why should we be considering F# for data-rich applications? To find out, we caught up with Don Syme, F#'s creator, to ask him about the latest developments in F# 3.0 and canvas his views on functional programming in general. Read more...

Scott Shaw: DBA of the Day

Scott Shaw was one of the finalists to the 2011 Exceptional DBA Award (XDBA). The award was founded in 2008 to recognize the essential but often overlooked contributions of DBAs, the unsung heroes of the IT community. In this interview, Scott describes the challenges of being a DBA in a busy Healthcare company, and his work for the DBA community. Read more...

Chuck Moore on the Lost Art of Keeping It Simple

Chuck Moore is still the radical thinker of Information Technology, After an astonishing career designing languages (e.g. FORTH), browser-based computers, CAD systems and CPUs, he is now energetically designing extremely low-powered 'green' multi-processor chips for embedded systems. Behind everything he does is a radical message: 'Embrace the entire problem, Keep it simple'. Read more...

The Marmite or Miracle Whip of Computer Languages

What is it about C++ that makes it one of the most important computer languages for systems work, yet so reviled by so many? Like Marmite, or Miracle Whip, nobody seems to take a neutral opinion of it. We asked the languages' creator, the great Bjarne Stroustrup. Read more...

Jeff Moden: DBA of the Day

Jeff Moden's election to the Exceptional DBA of the Year award for 2011 was a popular one. Although all the finalists were exceptional, Jeff has impressed everyone with his energy, stamina and wit, particularly with his work on SQL Server Central. In conversation with Richard Morris, Jeff comes up with several nuggets of advice and opinion that are valuable for any DBA or database developer. Read more...

Michael Pilato: Geek of the Week

For a large number of .NET developers, Subversion is Source Control. The book they go to to find out how to use it is O'Reilly's 'Version Control with Subversion'. Both Subversion and the book owe a great deal to the Subversion open source development team, including Michael Pilato of CollabNet, who has worked on the project for many years, almost since the project was founded in 2000 by Collabnet. Read more...

Geek of the Week: Linus Torvalds

For Windows programmers, Linus Torvalds work has suddenly become relevant. No, we don't mean Linux, but Git. This distributed Source Control system now works sweetly as a nut on Windows. We contacted Linus for a second interview; this time to talk mainly about Git, but also to catch up with his thoughts about computer languages. Read more...

Jez Humble: Geek of the Week

Jez Humble and David Farley achieved fame through a book that tackled the least glamorous but most intricate part of the application development cycle, Deployment. It was no accident that the book achived so much attention, since it was a lively and iconoclastic take on a vital but neglected aspect of development upon which the ultimate success of software projects so often depend. We found Jez to be an interesting guy, too! Read more...

Agile Techniques for developing SQL Source Control

In this interview, Stephanie Herr, Development Manager for SQL Tools at Red Gate, talks about the recent SQL Source Control development project. As a certified Scrum Master, Stephanie was keen to use Agile techniques throughout the development process, and she explains how the team maximized user feedback and ensured that customers got what they wanted, as quickly as possible. Read more...

Benjamin Pollack: Geek of the Week

Benjamin Pollack is well known for his work on Fog Creek Copilot, and Kiln. He is famous amongst young geeks for his role in a documentary film and website 'Aardvark'd: 12 Weeks with Geeks', which plotted his internship with Fog Creek back in 2005. Read more...

Eric Sink: Geek of the Week

Eric Sink became well-known for his work with the Spyglass browser, which was acquired by Microsoft and morphed into Internet Explorer. Since then, he has succeeded at the difficult double-act of combining programming and the software business. He is living proof that it is possible to master both skills. Read more...

Steve Furber: Geek of the Week

Professor Stephen Byram Furber CBE, FRS, FREng was one of the designers of the BBC Micro and the ARM 32-bit RISC microprocessor. The result of his work, the ARM chip, is in most mobile phones, calculators and other low-power electronic devices in the world. At the University of Manchester, he is working on the radical SpiNNaker project which could one day change the whole nature of the personal computer. Read more...

Rob Pike: Geek of the Week

Rob Pike's contribution to Information Technology has been profound, both through the famous books he co-authored with Brian Kernighan, and his contribution to distributed systems, window systems and concurrency in Unix. Now at Google, his creative skills are in full flow, particularly, in collaboration with Ken Thompson, in the exciting Go language, a grown-up, but radical, C with concurrency. Read more...

Roland Waddilove: Geek of the Week

A whole generation of British geeks owe a debt of gratitude to Roland Waddilove. He is a journalist with a rare knack of being able to explain complex technical ideas in a very simple way. Many successful developers cut their teeth many years ago on an Atari, Electron, Sinclair or Amstrad computer, poring over the technical articles of Roland Waddilove in well-thumbed magazines Read more...

Jorge Segarra: DBA of the Day

Jorge Segarra, also known on Twitter as 'SQLChicken', was one of the finalists of the Exceptional DBA award this year. He lives and works in Tampa, Florida. As well as working as a DBA, he's a Hypervisor for the PASS Virtualization Virtual Chapter and chapter leader of the PASS Professional Development Virtual Chapter, and has also co-authored the book from Apress “Pro SQL Server 2008 Policy-Based Management“. Read more...

Kevan Riley: DBA of the Day

When the ASK.SQLServerCentral.com site started, something magical happened. A band of DBA and developer volunteers got together to ensure the very best quality of questions and answers about SQL Server. Kevan was one of them. Through a couple of happy chances, the community discovered an exceptional DBA, and a source of valuable advice. Read more...

Dr Byron Cook: Geek of the Week

On moving to Cambridge University after developing the SLAM model checker used by Microsoft's Static Driver Verifier, Dr Bryan Cook's new computer locked up with what turned out to be a faulty driver. The result was TERMINATOR, the first practical tool for automatically proving that any application would always terminate. Read more...

Ted Krueger: DBA of the Day

Ted Krueger is well known for his 'Less-Than Dot' website. He is a SQL Server MVP who has been working in development and database administration for over 13 years. He was one of the finalists to the Exceptional DBA of the Year Award for 2010 Read more...

Carl Franklin and Richard Campbell: Geeks of the Week

Learning .NET doesn't have to be dull: not when there are geeks like like Carl Fraklin and Richard Campbell with the wit and ability to talk interestingly about it. If you don't listen to their podcasts on .NET topics, then maybe you're missing out on a great way of whiling away the time spent commuting between home and work. Read more...

Josef Richberg: DBA of the Day

As the winner of the Exceptional DBA Awards 2010 is announced, we take a moment to recognize last year's winner Josef Richberg. We sent Richard Morris to meet Josef to find out what has happened in the past year, and if life has changed for the Exceptional DBA of 2009. Read more...

Grady Booch: Geek of the Week

Grady Booch is probably best known for being one of the original developers of the Unified Modelling Language (UML). He defined much of the way we go about the Object-Oriented analysis of applications. He's also interesting to chat to about programming, as Richard Morris found out. Read more...

Roy Fielding: Geek of the Week

Almost certainly, you use the results of Roy Fielding's work every day. After all, he was one of the principal authors of the HTTP specification, was active in developing HTML and the URI, defined REST, and remains one of the directors of the Apache Software Foundation, having co-founded the Apache HTTP Server that runs the bulk of the words webservers. Read more...

Don Woods: Geek of the Week

Of all the original thinkers in IT, few are as original or as amusing as Don Woods. INTERCAL, Colossal Cave Adventure, the Jargon file and the New Hackers' Dictionary all owe much to his irresistible brand of humour, and his immense knowledge and experience in IT. Read more...

Tom Kyte: Geek of the Week

Tom Kyte's contribution to the AskTom column and site over ten years has been outstanding. Much of what he says has relevance to all relational databases. His views are straightforward, the discussions he provokes are lively: Not only does he know a frightening amount about both Oracle and SQL Server, but he's also refreshing to listen to. Read more...

Giancarlo Niccolai: Geek of the Week

Falcon isn't exactly new. It is a scripting language that is designed with a number of programming paradigms for multi-threaded applications. It is growing rapidly in importance. Richard Morris decided to contact Giancarlo, the language's creator, find out why there was so much interest in it. Read more...

Erland Sommarskog: DBA of the Day

Erland is best known for his famous SQL Server site http://www.sommarskog.se/. It is plain, it has eight articles in it, it is short on jokes: However, it is hugely popular and one of the great 'essential' SQL Server sites. We sent Richard Morris to find out more about Erland, and he discovered a diligent and energetic teacher and mentor in the SQL Server Community. Read more...

Brian Kernighan: Geek of the Week

When anyone mentions 'Kernighan and Ritchie', we all know what they are referring to: that brief book that introduced the C language to programmers, and set a high standard for all subsequent books on computer languages. Now over thirty years later it is still in print and translated into over 20 languages, being required reading for undergraduates. We sent Richard Morris to interview Professor Brian Kernighan Read more...

Chuck Esterbrook: Geek of the Week

The Cobra Programming Language is an exciting new general-purpose Open-source language for .NET or Mono, which features unit tests, contracts, ‘informative’ asserts, generics, Compile-time nil/null tracking, lambda expressions, closures, list comprehensions and generators. Even if it had been developed by a team, it would have been a remarkable achievement. The surprise is that it is the work of one programmer with help from a group of users. We sent Richard to find out more about that one programmer. Read more...

Cristina Cifuentes: Geek of the Week

Cristina Cifuentes was already well-known for her work on decompilers before she took the development of Sun Microsystems 'Parfait' bug-checking application for C/C++ source. Unlike the classic 'Lint', Parfait is careful about avoiding false positives. What is more, it is fast, and popular with programmers. Read more...

Doug Crockford: Geek of the Week

Doug Crockford is the man behind JavaScript Object Notation (JSON). He is a well-known critic of XML and guides the development of Javascript on the ECMA Standards Committee, as well as being the senior JavaScript architect at Yahoo! He is also the author of the popular 'JavaScript: The Good Parts'. Richard Morris was dispatched to ask him which the good parts were. Read more...

Rich Hickey: Geek of the Week

With Clojure soon to be ported to the .NET framework, as ClojureCLR, we felt that the time had come to see what the fuss was all about amongst the Java Geeks. We sent Richard Morris to find out from the creator of Clojure, Rich Hickey. Read more...

Bruce Schneier: Geek of the Week

If one were to close one's eyes and imagine a BT Executive, one would never conjure up Bruce Schneier. He is one of the greatest experts in cryptography, and a well-known mathematician. He even got a brief mention in thebook 'The Da Vinci Code'. He also remains an outspoken and articulate critic of the way that security is actually implemented in applications, as Richard Morris found out when we dispatched him to interview him. Read more...

Peter Norvig: Geek of the Week

It's likely that you are already using the results of Peter Norvig's work every day, if you search the internet with Google. One of the smartest moves that Google ever made was to hire the man who not only was a leading expert in Artificial Intelligence, but was an expert application developer. Now he leads a team of over a hundred researchers to discover better ways of handling issues such as the machine-understanding and machine-translation of language in the quest for semantic search. Read more...

Don Syme: Geek of the Week

It came as a surprise to many of us when Microsoft pulled from it's hat a rabbit in the form of an exciting, radical, language that offers an effective alternative to the Object-oriented orthodoxy. The creative force behind this language, F#, turns out to be a brilliant Cambridge-based Australian called Don Syme, already well known for his work on generics in .NET. F# has taken the specialised power of ML and OCaml and developed a versatile general-purpose .NET language. We sent Richard Morris across the road to investigate. Read more...

Robin Milner: Geek of the Week

Although Robin Milner is best known for creating ML, which has evolved into Microsoft's new F# language, he would, had this never happened, still be renowned for developing LCF, one of the first tools for automated theorem proving, and for calculus of communicating systems (CCS), a theoretical framework for analyzing concurrent systems. Richard Morris went along to find out more. Read more...

Itzik Ben-Gan: DBA of the Day

Itzik Ben-Gan, who was one of our first Geeks of the Week in 2005, is so well known and popular because he has all the instincts of a database developer and teacher, as well as being a certified DBA. His books and articles on Transact SQL are memorable because they relish the techniques of solving practical problems with SQL. His classes have been described as 'the mental equivalent of drinking Red Bull'. We sent Richard Morris to savour the adrenaline kick. Read more...

Guillaume Laforge: Geek of the Week

Guillaume Laforge is the project manager for the development of Groovy and Grails, and the creative force behind it. He has since shown, in a number of projects, how veratile Grails can be for the rapid development of web applications. Groovy is a dynamic language in a similar mould to Java, but with a malleable syntax and a greater economy. We asked Richard Morris to ask Guillaume about Groovy and Grails; and their context in the new wave of dynamic languages. Read more...

Buck Woody: DBA of the Day

Buck Woody is an irrepressibly ebullient DBA who, since he joined Microsoft, has managed to give the SQL Server development team a much better insight into the everyday problems facing DBAs. He remains refreshingly independent-minded and entertaining. Read more...

Donald Knuth: Geek of the Week

Donald Knuth is an extraordinary man. As well as inventing 'Literate Programming' and writing the most important textbook on programming algorithms, he is also famous for designing and programming one of the most widely-used digital typesetting systems ever, even designing the fonts that went with it. He also pioneered the use of 'Open-source' software. Knuth is a man of engaging charm and enthusiasms who combines a knowledge of history, music, art and mathematics with a unique insight into the art of computer programming. Read more...

Simon Peyton Jones: Geek of the Week

Simon Peyton Jones is a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research’s lab in Cambridge. Although he is best known as the developer of the definitive Haskell Compiler, his influence on the development of the new generation of functional languages such as F# has been profound. He has also been in the forefront of the development of parallel programming using Software Transactional memory. We sent Richard Morris across the road to find out more. Read more...

Interview with the Scary DBA - Grant Fritchey

For our first feature on working DBAs and their lives, we chose Grant Fritchey, the self-styled Scary DBA, who has been so successful in the past year with his books and presentations. How does he manage to pack so much into his life? we sent Richard Morris to find out. Read more...

Tucker Taft: Geek of the Week

What do military networks and a 19th Century Difference Engine have in common? Tucker Taft; industry leader in compiler construction and programming language design, and SoftCheck CTO. Tucker has taught disseminated his encyclopaedic knowledge at Harvard University, and has worked tirelessly to improve the Ada language for 20 years. We sent Richard Morris to find out about more about the man and his two-decade-long project. Read more...

Geek of the Week: Joe Celko

Joe Celko, the Database Developer and writer from Austin Texas, is not a man to mince his words. His encyclopedic grasp of SQL and relational Databases in general comes from a mix of academic knowledge and practical experience. In discussions he can be fascinating, cantankerous, amusing and satirical, but he is never ever dull, as Richard Morris found out when we sent him to interview the SQL language's most famous advocate. Read more...

Stephen Curtis Johnson: Geek of the Week

Stephen Johnson, one of the team that developed UNIX, can claim to be the man who originally wrote the software tool that has been the longest continuously advertised and marketed software tool ever, since 1984. Lint for C and C++ was not his only success, though. He wrote YACC too, still used after 35 years, the Portable C Compiler, and possibly his greatest achievement, the MATLAB compiler. Read more...

Walter Bright: Geek of the Week

After developing the first native C++ compiler, the Zortech C++, and writing the Symantec Java compiler, Walter Bright created D (C Done right). He has written a number of commercial compilers for a number of languages, and D is the culmination of everything he has learned in over twenty years. As a result of all this experience, he has interesting views on compilers and languages. Read more...

Alan Kay: Geek of the Week

The development of Object-oriented programming, the windowing User-interface, Ethernet and the Laptop all had essential contributions from a brilliant, visionary, former professional Jazz and Rock guitarist. Alan Kay. His second career as a computer scientist led to him being the creative catalyst at Xerox, Atari and Apple. Alan is driven by the vision of the computer's potential role in education, to build a better society. Read more...

Luca Cardelli: Geek of the Week

Luca Cardelli is probably best known for Polyphonic C# and Biocomputing, but he has designed a number of experimental languages and published a variety of papers on Theoretical Computing subjects such as type theory and operational semantics. He is now Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research in Cambridge, and head of the Programming Principles and Tools and Security groups. We sent a slightly apprehensive Richard Morris to ask him about DNA Computing Read more...

Sir Tony Hoare: Geek of the Week

After inventing the QuickSort algorithm, and designing the compiler for the Algol 60 programming language, Tony Hoare went on to apply axiomatic semantics to compiler design and his work and writings have since had a great influence on software engineering, and the way we specify, design, implement, and maintain computer programs. Now, at 75, he is working at Microsoft research on projects that will filter through to .NET languages. Read more...

Chuck Moore: Geek of the Week

Charles Moore is one of the greatest ever programmers. The 'Forth' language he invented is still in use today, particularly by NASA, and has never been bettered for instrumentation and process control. He still argues persuasively that the only way we can develop effective software quickly is to embrace simplicity. Like Niklaus Wirth, he remains a radical whose views have become increasingly relevant to current software development Read more...

Richard Stallman: Geek of the Week

Many famous geeks work away at their programs without considering the wider implications of what they, and others, are doing. Richard Stallman isn't like that. Richard (rms) is one of the great brains behind Linux Distros, as he wrote the GNU compilers and GNU debugger. He is driven by strong opinions about the nature of free software, and the restrictive nature of software copyright. We sent our intrepid reporter, Richard Morris, to find out if Richard Stallman really required journalists to read parts of the GNU philosophy before an interview, for "efficiency's sake". Read more...

Niklaus Wirth: Geek of the Week

It is difficult to begin to estimate the huge extent of the contribution that Niklaus Wirth has made to IT as it exists today. Although now retired for ten years, he remains a abiding influence on the design of computer languages. It is likely that the first structured computer language you ever learned was written by him. He still has fascinating views on contemporary software trends, as Richard Morris found out when he spoke to him. Read more...

Craig Newmark: Geek of the Week

Occasionally, readers of Simple-Talk will ask quizzically if the 'Geek of the Week' that the editors have chosen really is a true 'geek'. Nobody could ever ask that about Craig Newmark, the founder of the famous website 'CraigsList'. The site is uncompromisingly geeky in attitude, spartan in appearance but immensely popular, and supported by an army of enthusiasts. One can say exactly the same about the admirable Craig Newmark himself. Read more...

Ken Blanchard meets the One Minute Reporter

With economic doom and gloom all around him, Richard Morris decides to seek advice before starting a business. Who better, we suggest, than Ken Blanchard, the relentlessly optimistic purveyor of uplifting materials to the wannabe entrepreneurs, and author of the best-selling 'One Minute Manager'. We sent him of into the rain in his trilby to interview Ken and infuse himself with some get-up-and-go Read more...

Marc Wick: Geek of the Week

Marc Wick is the genius behind GeoNames, the free Web Service that powers a number of popular GPS applications and games. It is an open-source database of geographical information that is used by hundreds of applications from iPhone apps to political organizations. Its data is used for research and geo-visualizations in universities around the world. It underpins a large number of geography-aware applications and can be loaded into SQL Server Spatial and used with the new geospatial features of SQL Server 2008 Read more...

.NET Reflector Saved their Bacon: The Gremlins strike back

Quite often, .NET Reflector is downloaded in an emergency. Whereas most of the users are developers who use it as a routine to explore objects and methods inside Assemblies, the occasional user is getting it because they are in desperate straits. We've always felt that we, and other NET Reflector users, would like to hear more about these real-life emergencies, so we sent Richard Morris to investigate. Read more...

Sarah Lacey on The Rise of Web 2.0

Sarah Lacy's commentary on the IT Industry for BusinessWeek is widely read and causes polarised opinions. She is a skilled and experienced writer whose work on TechCrunch is a virtuoso display of the art of blogging. Her treatment at the hands of the audience at SXSWi 2008 Tech-fest was the stuff of every journalist's nightmare, and baffling to those of us who watched the video in retrospect. We sent Richard Morris meet her and find out more. Read more...

Anders Hejlsberg: Geek of the Week

Anders Hejlsberg, the creative genius behind C#, and much of the .NET framework, had already been famous for sixteen years as a compiler-writer before he joined Microsoft twelve years ago. His BLS Pascal, Turbo Pascal, and Delphi had revolutionized the way that we develop software. Today, he is still bubbling with new ideas and radical initiatives. Read more...

Gail Shaw: Geek of the Week

Gail Shaw, the fabled 'gilamonster', earned her MVP, and the gratitude of a great number of SQL Server professional seeking technical help, through her expert forum posts on SQL Server Central. She brings great enthusiasm to everything she does, including SQL Server, and has come to be a huge influence on the communities she joins. Read more...

Simon Sabin Says SQLBits

SQLBits is the largest SQL Server conference in Europe. Because it is held on a Saturday, and is free, it has proved extremely popular with database professionals, especially in the current economic climate. SQLBits is renowned for the quality and independence of the speakers. To find out more about SQLBits, , we sent Richard Morris off into the February snows to interview Simon Sabin, the organiser. Read more...

Michael Meeks: Geek of the Week

Richard Morris talks to Michael Meeks, a young Geek who has made a huge impact on the quality of Open source software in the past eight years. He is a Cambridge graduate, a committed Christian, and is modest about his impressive achievements. He gives an interesting interview too! Read more...

Up Against It: Gary McKinnon

In the first of a new series about IT people or organisations in trouble, or 'Up Against It', we send Richard Morris to interview a curiously nondescript hacker from Crouch End called Gary, who gives an impression completely at odds with the 'evil Genius' described by US prosecutors who are applying for his extradition. Is Gary a stoned loner looking for evidence of UFOs, or a terrorist capable of influencing the US Government by intimidation and coercion? Read more...

Larry Gonick: Geek of the Week

Cartoonist, mathematician, historian and environmentalist. Larry Gonick proved that learning could be fun by producing a wide range of educational books, all done as comic strips. Many present-day geeks attribute the awakening of their enthusiasm for science to coming across one of Larry's books. Read more...

Bjarne Stroustrup: Geek of the Week

Without Bjarne Stroustrup, object-oriented programming would have taken much longer to gain mainstream acceptance. Bjarne wrote and popularised 'C with classes', later C++, which changed the way that mainstream computer languages worked. It is still the language of choice for system programmers. Read more...

Verity Stob: Geek of the Week

Real geeks read Verity Stob. Verity writes her painfully funny invective from a powerful advantage, she is a geek herself, and her humour comes from the pain of every-day life as a programmer. Verity Stob, with her unique, and hilarious, contribution to making our lives bearable, had to be our Geek of the Week. We sent Richard Morris to interview her, of course. Read more...

ANTS Profiler and the Un-Rest Cure

After a while, successful applications can get set in their ways. Bart Read and Andrew Hunter decided to go for a much more radical approach when given the task of bringing ANTS Profiler up to date, and, almost accidentally, they reinvented the way we do Performance Profiling. Read more...

'Peli' de Halleux: Geek of the Week

It is extraordinary how much 'Peli' has achieved in a short space of time. Here, our choice for Geek of the Week, 'Peli' de Halleux, talks about his contributions to MbUnit, .NET Reflector, QuickGraph and Pex. Read more...

SQL Response: The dim sum interview

Richard Morris met David and Nigel of the SQL Response team, in a dim sum Restaurant in Cambridge. They had just finished a new Red-Gate product called SQL Response. Away from the office, they described the fourteen month software project that had been dominating their lives; and they were still able to say that they loved writing software. Read more...

Kalen Delaney: Geek of the Week

Kalen Delaney has been involved in SQL Server from the beginning. Her talks and her writings are always interesting but, most important of all, she was able to successfully take on authorship of the 'Inside SQL Server' series of books from Ron Soukup, and make them her own. Despite her own protests that she is a trainer first and foremost, she richly deserves our accolade of 'Geek of the Week' Read more...

Women in IT: Change at Every Level

In the past, straight-forward sexism was a real problem in the IT industry – women in IT were discriminated against simply because they were women. Overt sexism like that is finished, legally, and in the western societies we have moved on. However, a second, more subtle form of disincentive exists in the way we work; both in terms of hours and in terms of “male” thinking. Read more...

SQL Toolbelt 2008: Predominantly an Engineering Task

The conversion of the Red-Gate tools to be compatible with SQL Server 2008 might not seem, on first impression, the most interesting or creative project ever undertaken by the company. However, the two people most involved in the project were adamant that it was a fascinating and rewarding experience. Why? We sent the indefatigable Richard Morris to find out. Read more...

Andrew Tanenbaum: Geek of the Week

Andrew Tanenbaum has had an immense influence on the way that operating systems are designed. He provided the inspiration for Linux, in his lightweight kernel Minix, and his classic textbook 'Operating Systems: Design and Implementation' that Linus Torvalds  described as ‘the book that launched me to new heights.’ Read more...

Ross Anderson: Geek of the Week

Professor Ross Anderson is one of the foremost experts in Computer Security in the world. He has published widely on the economics of security. cryptology, formal methods, hardware design, and the robustness of distributed systems in general. He is best known for his book 'Security Engineering: A Guide to Building Dependable Distributed Systems'. He has never been shy of controversy, and we were intrigued by the influence he wields at Cambridge University; so intrigued  were we that we sent the taciturn Richard Morris to find out more from him Read more...

Linus Torvalds, Geek of the Week

Linus Torvalds is remarkable, not only for being the technical genius who wrote Linux, but for then being able to inspire and lead an enormous team of people to devote their free time to work on the operating system and bring it to maturity. We sent Richard Morris off to interview Linus, and find out more. Read more...

Dr Richard Hipp, Geek of the Week

Simple-Talk's Geek of the Week is Dr Richard Hipp. His code is probably running on your PC, and running completely reliably, for he almost single-handedly wrote SQLite, the most widely deployed SQL Database system in the world. Then he put it in the public domain for all of humanity to benefit from. We sent Richard Morris off to ask this remarkable man why he did it. Read more...

Tim Berners-Lee, Geek of the Week

We interview Simple-Talk's Geek of the Week, Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee OM KBE FRS FREng FRSA. , ranked first in The Telegraph's list of 100 greatest living geniuses, and director of the World Wide Web Consortium. What has he achieved? He invented the World Wide Web, Browsers and Web Servers. You could reasonably argue that he invented Wikis and Blogs too. And he's still inventing things. Read more...

Risking your Reputation

IT companies sometimes don't survive an incident that damages their reputation. Often, when happenstance brings a commercial disaster, businesses make things worse by their instinctive reaction to clam up. We sent the square-jawed Richard Morris off into the rain in his trench coat to find out more. As 'reputation-management" is his daytime job, he was soon back in the dry with some tips on what to do when the night-soil hits the ventilation system.. Read more...

The Burning Men - The IT drug habit

It would seem bizzare that IT staff who depend on their quick wits for their living should ever think it a good idea to fry their brains with recreational drugs. It is therefore worrying to hear that there has been a 34 percent increase in IT employees in the US testing positive for cocaine usage in the workplace. We sent the taciturn Richard Morris to find out more. Read more...

Blogged to death

Suddenly, Bloggers aren't just writing the news, they are the news. Are we expected to believe that the pressures of the job are enough to cause premature death and disease amongst professional bloggers? Is it now time to feel sorry for the high-profile personalities of the blogosphere? Once again, we send our own journalist, Richard Morris, out into the rain in his trenchcoat to find out. Read more...

The Dark Arts of Journalism

Although the IT industry is usually blamed for security breaches in confidential databases, it is likely that it is usually the staff that operate the databases that are responsible. Should we be designing IT systems that log and report every access by the users? We sent our roving reporter, the steely-eyed Richard Morris, to find out. Read more...

Level Playing Field

The Federal Government in the States accepts tenders for their IT projects from a wide-range of competent, innovative software companies. In Britain, by contrast, 11 firms account for 80% of the UK government IT projects, despite some spectacular disasters. Why is this? We send Richard Morris to investigate. Read more...

Exporting our Competence

There are several initiatives that have ambitions to replace the Internet. Some of these, in the States and Europe, we know about, but the ones that should concern us are the ones we know almost nothing of. In China, the funding and the political will is at its strongest. 'They are so much more clear sighted than we are. And they need the money!' . We sent our man in the raincoat, Richard Morris, to investigate. Read more...

The Seven Billion Dollar Man

When the incredible news broke, last week, that a trader at the third-largest bank in France, the Société Générale, had allegedly managed to over-ride the entire compliance mechanism of the bank, implemented at immense cost by a department of 2000 IT compliance 'officers', to cause a massive $7 billion loss, it sent waves of panic throughout the IT industry, as well as the money markets. So we sent our roving reporter, Richard Morris, to try to find out what went wrong. Read more...

Cybercrime Cop-out

In the US, the IC3 has shown the world how to tackle the immense threat of Cybercrime. Britain's current government record makes a painful contrast. Richard Morris, our roving reporter, exposes a sad, but familiar, tale of British muddle and spin. Read more...

The Winter of our Missing Disc Content

The UK government, ten years ago, launched several reforms of the public sector, pinning their faith in radical IT initiatives to create a powerful, efficient, welfare state. Only now is the full extent of the failure of this dream becoming apparent. Our square-jawed reporter investigates remorselessly, 'in the interests of greater transparency' Read more...

A Life After Crime

Our redoubtable reporter goes in search of the stories of some of the IT high-flyers who blew their tech career by getting in trouble with the law. Read more...

Restraining the Workplace Bully

Workplace bullying is not to be taken lightly. For the victim it can be traumatising. It is a symptom of poor management and badly-functioning teamwork, and now, at last, it is not only contemptible but also illegal Read more...

IT Interviews and the law

Have you ever wondered whether those odd questions and tests you are sometimes asked at interview are actually legal and pertinent. The answers may interest you and are important for any interviwer to know Read more...

Handcuff Your IT Staff

Our fearless and intrepid reporter investigates the constant struggle between IT headhunters and the IT departments that are using employment contracts to defend against their activities. Read more...

When the wheels come off

It is somewhat comforting to know that even the great and the good in industry make mistakes. The IT industry is amongst the leaders. Our investigative reporter is on the trail... Read more...

The DBA and the Battle for Reputations

Richard Morris comments on the perception amongst some DBAs that the reputation of their profession is declining. In today’s world of burgeoning information theft, are DBAs part of the problem or part of the solution? Read more...

Enabling the Blind to See the Web

For most net users, trying to navigate a badly designed website means irritation. For disabled people, particularly those with a visual impairment or who find it difficult to use a mouse, bad design means many sites are out of bounds. Not only are these websites losing a huge potential audience, they may also be breaking the law. Read more...

Second Life: A Virtual World of Real Money

As more and more people invest in alter egos to live a pseudo life online in Linden Labs' latest creation, Richard Morris investigates the potential of Second Life's cyberspace and the motivations of many corporate brands to join the international virtual world. Read more...

Why editorial freedom is worth fighting for

One of the biggest challenges in running any publication is balancing editorial freedom …the ability to report on all events that affect the community without fear or favour …against the need to meet your "bottom line". Currently, the advertorial, pop-up and page-peeler are ubiquitous, but can other models work? And regardless of the model used, what is the price of losing editorial freedom? Read more...

The India Skills Gap

As outsourcing demands continue to grow, Richard Morris investigates a worrying shortage in India's pool of IT talent, and its potential consequences for their burgeoning technology sector. Read more...

An Interview with Tim Berners-Lee

Richard Morris offers some revealing insights into what the "father of the web" thinks about his invention, where it is heading, and how it can fulfil its full potential. Read more...

Tales of Corporate Espionage

Corporate espionage eats into an organisation's wealth, but Richard Morris explains how corporate detectives are often hired at great cost to root out what is sometimes viewed as a harmless crime. Read more...

Cyber Crime

Richard Morris investigates the increasingly sophisticated tactics of an industry that survives and thrives by feeding off the wealth of others. Read more...

The CV Detectives

As more and more CV fraudsters creep into the technology sector, increasingly covert tactics have to be employed to hunt them out. Richard Morris reveals all... Read more...

Why Join

Over 400,000 Microsoft professionals subscribe to the Simple-Talk technical journal. Join today, it's fast, simple, free and secure.