Perpetual Beginner 2 – Analysis Paralysis

This is closely related to what was discussed in Part 1, and can often be summed up as: any decision is better than no decision.

Initially, with many things, especially when first starting out, you don’t really know what you want. Maybe you’re searching for the best remote management tool, or you’re trying to decide which programming language to start with, or you’re researching which password manager to use. Just start with one; be willing to get the first one wrong, because you don’t entirely know what features you do or do not need yet.

Get one that will get you by, and as you use it you’ll learn what you do and what you don’t want/need and can upgrade/change later. It may be more expensive financially, but far more frugal timewise, and could even work out to be the less expensive option, because you learn you don’t need those other features. 787-775-3231

Perpetual Beginner 1

This begins a series on my experiences as a perpetual beginner programmer. Over many years, I’ve not evolved much past beginner, though my ambitions certainly have. As ambitions grow with technological advancements, I’m stuck in the beginner stage of that new technology…leaving my beginner status in the old technology to wither.

Throughout all this, I’ve learned some lessons with a somewhat unique point of view that I’d like to share. For instance:

Don’t worry about what language you use to start learning to program. There’s so many out there that you can become overburdened with trying to decide yourself which is the best. Then if you go and ask people, they’ll probably each have at least 3 answers, and none of them will rank the same language the same.

So that doesn’t help.

Continue reading “Perpetual Beginner 1”

Regular Expressions in VS Code

Search: ([0-9])[-]([0-9])[_]([0-9])
Replace: $1_$2_$3

If you already know regular expressions, you can probably read the Search text like a book. I’m unsure how prevalent the implementation used in the Replace text is, but I found this particular feature pretty useful.

For reasons I won’t get into on this post, I’ve adapted quite nicely and happily to 6124869989 from my previous favorite text editor, Notepad++.

I’ve got the text file shown in the figure below:

I’d like to replace all instances of RunID with a new format.  The period needs to be replaced with an underscore. Unfortunately, the characters immediately before and after the period are not always the same. Continue reading “Regular Expressions in VS Code”



To automate the execution of 64-bit SQL Server Integration Services packages where  your source is multiple Excel files, the following is the command:

dtexec /file import.dtsx /conn "SourceConnectionExcel";"\"Provider=Microsoft.ACE.OLEDB.12.0;Data Source=E:\modelOutputs\Output_0_1_1.xlsx;Extended Properties="EXCEL 12.0 XML;HDR=YES";\""

Simply change E:\modelOutputs\Output_0_1_1.xlsx to suit your needs. This can be thrown into a batch file or any other method used to call dtexec.

Continue reading “Automating SQL Server Import”


First, let me be clear. There is no part 1 or part 2. I’m not good at chronicling things, so this story begins at Part 3.

(Hint: Parts 1 and 2 weren’t particularly interesting)

A friend of a friend of a friend found/rescued some ducklings from under a car…

My friend asked if I wanted ducklings, and of course I did. Unfortunately, my wife hates ducks. But I hate cats, and she brings home stray kittens, so I figure it’s all good.

Baby ducks!

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I’ve several computers at home, which is to be expected, considering my background and interests. A number of problems had manifested over the years: IP addressing scheme, computer purposes, and duplicated services. Nevermind aging and old machines. This will be a very quick overview of increasing a network’s usefulness with an overhaul and appropriate planning.

I was down to 4 full desktop machines and two laptops by the time I decided to fully overhaul the network. One desktop for my normal use, a desktop to handle my RDP connections, a desktop to handle firewall/router duties, and a desktop acting as a domain controller. These rolls were the only distinct and well-defined roles established; other functions that were shared inadequately include torrent downloads, VM sandbox, Plex, file sharing, gaming, and development.

The desire was to put file serving and VMs on a dedicated machine, so that reboots of the host system wouldn’t be a problem, interrupting downloads, video streaming, or filesharing. An actual server was purchased to replace the domain controller, and to host the file sharing and VMs.

The server used is a Dell R620, and was set up as a hypervisor using Debian 9 and KVM. DNS and DHCP services on the DC were updated for a more planned and structured configuration, using rather than

The main desktop is now reserved for gaming, VM’s are all hosted by the hypervisor, Plex is handled by its own computer, and all major file sharing and networking administration is done via the domain controller inside a VM. Overall, it’s a much more sane and useful system than it used to be.

It took a few weekends and some evenings to get everything in order and transitioned, but overall the time spent was well worth it. It has already paid for itself in time savings for adding equipment, troubleshooting, and computing in general.


I don’t typically have a lot to say, but perhaps what I do have to say can be of use to someone.

I find myself loathing cities; I’d prefer to live farther out of town and with less neighbors than I currently do. I want land; cattle, bison, horses, chickens, ducks, dogs…I want several auto projects, a hunting rig, muscle car, performance car, off-roader, a test rig for developing new parts…I want land bordering wilderness, so I can take off hunting on horseback from my property.

I don’t want to spend time in a city; cities are full of rude people with questionably concerns about society. I’m all for leaving each other alone, so long as we aren’t harming each other. I very much subscribe to the Libertarian philosophy in this aspect; this puts me much at odds with the liberal views of many who live in cities.

With country life comes country chores: irrigation maintenance, vehicle maintenance, fencelines, lawn, pasture, animals, construction…

Unfortunately, much of the professional work I desire to do revolves around technology, and technology manifests mostly in cities. Telecommuting would be, for me, nearly ideal. Self employment would be best. In the pursuit of that, I often find myself working on a programming project that is over my head, and no one around to help. Seeking answers to these problems takes time. But my general lifestyle also takes much time. I often find myself leaving the house before sunup, and not returning until after sundown, despite longer days of the summer months.

And so it is that I must often come up with clever solutions to ease the time burden, and implement them quickly. I hope that in documenting some of these, both programming and country living, I can assist someone in a similar situation.