[Video] Halloween Office Hours in Salem, MA


I visited friends in Salem, Massachusetts, home of the 1692 witch trials, and it turns out Salem is a great place to visit around Halloween! There were tours, characters in costume, witch gear shops, and all kinds of spooky-themed happenings.

I sat down outside of the Charter Street Cemetery to take your top-voted questions from https://pollgab.com/room/brento:

Here’s what we discussed:

  • 00:00 Start
  • 01:33 SQLDevDBA: Hey Brent, have you thought about an episode where you put the questions asked here into Chat GPT or (the little brother it has to take everywhere) Bing AI to see how hilariously bad and misleading they are? It seems those systems go mostly unchecked and it would be cool to see.
  • 02:27 Bill Grates: I want to test how long a query takes to run, without actually returning results. I vaguely remember some kind of Select Into Null construct. Does that still exist, what is the syntax?
  • 03:33 ProochingMan: Too eliminate bloat and lower work for daily maintenance jobs, what do you think about periodically cleaning up auto-created statistics by dropping any that are older than a set threshold (e.g., 6 months) and just allowing any that are being used to be recreated again?
  • 04:28 MyTeaGotCold: How do I transition from SQL Server to Postgres without having to start from scratch? What are the most important skills that won’t be transferable?
  • 05:25 sqltzy: Hi Brent. A colleague mistakenly ran an INSERT selecting from a table with 16B rows. 4 hours and many log file growth events later, I noticed and killed it. The rollback took ages. For next time, is there a way to kill without a rollback when you really don’t care about the data?
  • 06:33 Sylvie: In what scenarios do you like to use the SSMS option for discarding query results after execution?
  • 06:51 Montro1981: Hi Brent, I hope you are doing good. Can you share one of the craziest thing you needed to do to get across the finishline?
  • 08:38 AllHailOurMachineOverlords: Did you get to see the recent Northern Lights while in Iceland and are they as amazing as people say?
  • 10:06 Calvin Broadus: Have a NC index with high writes to low reads for a busy table that we are considering dropping. Would like to know which app(s) are using this NC index before we drop it. Is there a good way to search which apps are using this index before we drop it?
  • 11:22 Stupid DBA: I’m having an Ascending Key Problem in a table. I have attempted to update statistics, but no matter what I do SQL Server estimates 1 row to be returned and actual is 3M from the start of the query plan.. This makes me feel stupid, please unstupid me.
  • 12:55 CaliDBA: Hi Brent, Hope you enjoyed your travels. What would be your advice on the best/quickest way to back up a multi terabyte database which is accessed by users 24/7?
  • 13:33 soupnazi: Do you have any horror stories for us where a shop ran their web app under the SQL SA account?
  • 14:56 MyFriendAsked: Hi Brent, have you had any experience with 3rd party backup tools, such as Redgate SQL Backup Pro or LiteSpeed for SQL? If you had to choose a 3rd party tool for backups of VLDBs, what would you go for? Thank you
  • 16:00 Gonzo: Why did SQLBits change their speaker reimbursement model? Will this have an adverse effect on speaker turn out?
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2 Comments. Leave new

  • I just looked into a limited use case in an ETL process for a Postgres DB that I thought the implementation would be simple enough for the intended use that I could get away with doing nothing more than periodically creating or deleting indexes.

    I was stunned to learn that you had to run vacuum to clean up free pages – particularly relevant for ETL.

    I was also stunned to learn that logical fragmentation is still a problem for PostGres which would be particularly problematic in a database that only periodically reclaims its space through an administrative job.

    It is like Postgres is stuck back where SQL and Oracle were more than 20 years ago and even MySQL is ahead of that in spite of its turbulent development since Sun Microsystems.

    • Yes, and it’s unbelievable how expensive their licensing is despite that clearly obvious shortcoming

      (holds earpiece)

      Wait, one moment please


      I’m being told that Postgres is in fact, not expensive


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