T-SQL Tuesday #135: Tools Not Touching Data

February 9, 2021

I thank Mikey Bronowski (blog|Twitter) for hosting T-SQL Tuesday #135. The topic for this month is The outstanding tools of the trade that make your job awesome. I also want to acknowledge Adam Machanic’s vision behind this project. I learned a lot from some of the #TSQL Tuesday’s and participated in a few. Thank you, Steve Jones (blog|Twitter), for coordinating this program. If you are interested to see previous topics, visit here.

Mike gave us an open slate to talk about any tools, including how we slice our bread ( I only buy pre-sliced bread). I know many of the #sqlfamily will talk about great technical tools that we all will be highly benefited from. I will talk about few tools that I acquired since I started working remotely 100% due to the worldwide pandemic.


I always had a treadmill at home. I upgraded to a Life Fitness T5 Treadmill w/TRACK Connect Console. I have 40 inches TV/Monitor on the wall. Also, a homemade bench that I can put my laptop and work while walking. This room is across from my home office. I can take a short break, walk/run few miles. Catch some news or part of a show in HULU. Rarely can I watch a full movie in one work-out? This picture of me watching the Pass Summit 2020 keynote by Rohan Kumar while catching a run.

Picture: Treadmill

Standing Desk

I was using a standing desk at my office for three-plus years. I did not have one at home as I was only working from home one or two days a week. I got myself an Autonomous standing desk. I use it for at least four hours a day. Still need to work on my cable management.

Picture: Standing Desk

Standing Desk Mat

This one came from a Twitter chat with some of our #sqlfamily members. It is worth the money if you are standing and working. Here is the Amazon link. My kids have more fun with the vibration feature than I.

Picture: Standing Desk Mat

30 Minutes Hourglass

This was an idea I got from attending one of Brent Ozar’s online classes. I love it. It helps me concentrate on a single task without any interruption. I have three school aged children and they are doing 75% of schooling from home. Two of them are in grade four, which causes lots of interruption which I did not have before. I highly recommend this tool. This is the one I bought.

Picture: 30 Minutes Hourglass

USB 3.0 Switch Selector

This 4 Port USB 3.0 Switcher allows a one-button toggle between 2 computers to share 4 USB 3.0 peripheral devices without constantly pulling cables or set up complicated network sharing software. I love it. I have 3 monitors and I can share the middle monitor, keyboard, mouse, headset, and camera with push-button. I do this to switch between my work and personal computer.

Picture: USB 3.0 Switch Selector

Better Wi-Fi

I upgraded my speed from 100 Mbps to 400 Mbps. I changed my router and extender to an Amazon eero mesh WiFi system. One on each floor of the house. I needed better control of the traffic as three children have their own laptops and other devices. Signed up for the eero Secure+ plan. The best feature of this is by one click on my phone, and I can get everyone at the dining table with in a minute.

Picture: eero mesh WiFi system

There are few tools that is waiting in my shopping cart.

Audio-Technica BPHS1 Broadcast Stereo Headset with Dynamic Cardioid Boom Mic Black, Adjustable (Recommendation from Erik Darling). This will also need a converter. I still cannot make up my mind if want a mic that I can attach to my desk and a headset for audio-only.

Elgato Stream Deck – Live Content Creation Controller with 15 Customizable LCD Keys. I have seen some interesting discussions on Twitter among #sqlfamily. It appears this tool is not just for streaming. It can be programmed to streamline many day to day tasks.

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