Have you ever wondered how an Internet site might turn out if you combined SQL Server 2005 and Visual Studio 2005 marketing and educational content with snippets from a bunch of classic, Bgrade monster, scifi, and horror flicks? Me neither. But you can find the answer at http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=1029D:285886 .

"Eons in the making, a triumph for man and technology, destined to make it farther off the launching pad than Microsoft Bob. It's the new adventures of Microsoft SQL Server and Visual Studio 2005! Now there is hope for humanity in the struggle against gargantuan applications, and freedom for developers who toil in DLL hell!"

Imagine text and audio like that running against clips from old Flash Gordon movies, Godzilla rampaging in the background, and references to a host of other classics interwoven into a few short video clips appropriately named:

  • Evil Wears a Cape
  • I.T. From Ages Past
  • Repetitive Tasks of Doom
  • Change Orders of Death
  • Terror on Two Wings
  • You get the picture. It's a fun way to spend a few minutes during the course of a day and pretend that you're learning about all the new cool technology out there. Most importantly, the site includes a link that lets you order a free copy of the June SQL Server 2005 Community Technology Preview (CTP). Although the CTP is available through various sources, some folks prefer to get disks in the mail, and this is a quick, simple way to get them.

    On a completely different note, you've probably heard that Microsoft has named the next release of Windows (codenamed Longhorn) Windows Vista, and Beta 1 of the new OS is now available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers. I'm busy these days soaking up SQL Server 2005 knowledge in anticipation of the product's release to manufacturing (RTM) this November, but this tidbit about the OS is important news for all Windows users. In last Thursday's WinInfo Daily UPDATE newsletter, Windows guru Paul Thurrott reported about the release of the beta. According to a Microsoft representative, "The focus of Windows Vista Beta 1 is the fundamentals—security, deployment, manageability, reliability, and diagnostics. While the code also includes an early look at the new user interface design, the majority of enduser features in Windows Vista will not be included until beta 2." You can read Thurrott's announcement at http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=10290:285886 , and follow continuing coverage about the beta through Thurrott's SuperSite for Windows at http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=102A3:285886 . You'll find official Microsoft information about Windows Vista and Beta 1 of this product at http://lists.sqlmag.com/t?ctl=10296:285886 .