The Airlines LOST my Luggage and I'm HAPPY about it!

Sometimes bad things happen and it wasn't your fault, but how you choose to respond can make all of the difference! And I still love Delta Airlines!

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"Good News" from the bank I love to hate...

I am looking at my Wells Fargo bank statement. I kid you not, it reads:

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A Eulogy for Richard Allen Hayes by Scott Hayes

Richard Allen Hayes. Dad. Dick. Dicker. RICHARD!!! "Sand Bagger". Grandpa. By whatever name you knew him, HE WAS A GOOD MAN.

What makes a good man? When I contemplate this question, I think about the Boy Scout Law - the standard of excellence for men - young and old alike...

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They're kidding right? They want to earn business writing resumes?

I found this ad on LinkedIn:
Resume Edge Ad How do you spell receive?

If ever there was a document that needs to be perfect in every way, it better be your resume, and every word needs to be spelled correctly with excellent grammar. If you don't have enough attention to detail to create a perfect resume, there's only one file that your resume is headed towards: the circular file.

And these people want to earn your business by writing a resume for you? That's comical.

Enjoy your day, Scott


Advice for your Wallet

I recently took my daughter Sarah to see the movie ICE AGE. It was a very good show, but I had a very unhappy ending.

Somehow my wallet fell out of my pants pocket. I didn't realize this until about five hours later. This discovery, of course, came on the heels of searching every place in the house, the car, the truck, the garage, the boat, and every other place that I had been to in the last few hours...

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Just a little humor for your day...

A friend sent me an email with subject "CDC Warning: Don't Do This!"

Young Toddler Boy kissing a pig

So, in light of worldwide health concerns, it seems to me that it is important to choose your friends wisely. This photo was just too cute not to share.

And remember to wash your hands continuously.

And don't touch anything or anyone, especially in a public place.

Wear leather gloves, leather boots, leather pants, and a leather jacket in public if you must go out, and cover your face too with a mask.

Well, maybe this is getting a little carried away. icon_rolleyes

Stay safe,
Scott


More Waste Elimination

My "30 Day Adventure" has ended, but with mixed success. It was difficult and sometimes impossible to find 30 extra minutes in each day for a brisk walk or run. Black coffee first thing in the morning was dreadful, so I added skim milk instead of 2%. I did have a few drinks to celebrate special occasions, but for the most part I successfully avoided beer. I have made friends with Quaker oatmeal. Overall, I managed to lose about 15 LBS since the start of the year. I plan to continue my pursuit of a better diet and exercise, for I'd still like to weigh around 185.

In other news, I am rather excited about a DB2 LUW Performance Tuning Science Project that I just completed. Readers of my personal blog have the good fortune of learning about my findings first.

IBM is kicking off a Smarter Planet initiative. Let's have a look at how a little bit of DB2 performance tuning can have a substantial impact on your organization. Watch this short 9 minute video:

As you hopefully saw, Database Performance Management plays a pivotal role in achieving GREEN IT and IT Cost Optimization Initiatives. By adding "the right" missing index, response times tumbled from 6-9 seconds to sub-second, CPU utilization dropped from 100% down to 5-15%, and Power consumption dropped by 7%.

DBI provides the tools you need to identify "the right" indexes so that you can be an IT Cost Optimization Hero within your organization. For Oracle professionals, check out Brother-Owl, and for DB2 LUW professionals, check out Brother-Panther®.

Best regards,
Scott


Eliminating Waist

I'm about 13 days into my 30 day adventure and I've lost about 12LBS. I am pleased with my results so far, but I'll confess that black coffee first thing in the morning is just dreadful - so I've been adding just a touch of skim milk but no sugar. Oatmeal is starting to grow on me too. Finding time to exercise remains a challenge, but I have been good about walking 30-45 minutes each day. Today, for instance, I walked from the "B" concourse of the Atlanta airport to the "E" concourse, and then back to "A", and then returned to the "B" concourse for my outbound flight. I think this was a good way to kill lay over time at the airport. And, for those of you not familiar with the Atlanta airport, this distance is just a bit short of 2 miles.

In other news, I've done some interesting research lately on GREEN IT, cost cutting, saving power, and the value of performance management and tuning. I hope to blog about this soon on www.ibmdatabasemag.com.

In the meantime, I encourage everyone to remain focused on personal growth and achievements that are within the power of your control. Daily personal successes make it easier to deal with national and international news.

Have a fantastic day,
Scott


Happy New Budget 2009

Farewell 2008 - Welcome 2009

2008 is behind us, but the news media suggests we will need to endure 2008's financial hangover well into 2009. Perhaps you've heard "It is going to get worse before it gets better". I loathe negative thinking like this. I mean, who hasn't heard of "self-fulfilling prophecies"? Negative thoughts and negative energy beget negative consequences. It wasn't long ago that Oprah was promoting " The Secret". If you haven't read the book or watched the movie, I suggest you add this to your accomplishments list for Q1 2009.

Keep reading for more...

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Happy Holidays 2008

My wife Janie, daughter Sarah, and I would like to wish everyone a very safe and happy holiday season. JibJab has removed our animated elf entertainment, so here is a little disco dance for you to enjoy!

Try JibJab Sendables® eCards today!

I hope your holidays are filled with good family memories.

Kind regards,
Scott


One Neck to Choke

I think I have heard this a few too many times. I would like to find the genius who first came up with this mantra and choke their neck.

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With all the humility I can muster

Did you ever have a day where you wanted to hide in a closet and cry?

We put weeks of effort into planning our launch of "DBI Bid" where customers can name their own price and terms for software license procurement. We even "upgraded" our web site infrastructure.

The big press release hit at 1am EDT earlier this morning for distribution around the globe. Much to our chagrin, around 9am EDT our web site tanked. Too many hours later, our provider got us back online.

I guess this is what is meant by "bleeding edge". When you innovate and you do things that capture the world's attention, I suppose it is probable that you take a beating along the journey.

No matter how hard it is being a trail blazer when it comes to helping IT organizations lower their costs AND simultaneously improving business performance, we will be relentless in our pursuit of being helpful. So, please pardon our occassional imperfections. We will emerge from each growing pain a little stronger.

With best regards,
Scott


The Bucket List - What do you want to do?

Every once in a while, you see a movie that stimulates your brain and gets you thinking about your priorities. The Bucket List is one such movie. I laughed, I cried, and it forced me to think about some of the things that I value and would like to achieve. At the time of this blog post, I'm about 46 so I need to get busy on making some changes.

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Man Injured by Tomato Basil Soup, No Data Breach Occurred

During the next few weeks, people who see me will probably ask "What happened to your forehead?" It's a long embarrassing story, so I'll tell it here and refer friends, family, and customers to this blog.

Read more for valuable life lessons learned...

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Vision and Values

We enlighten, equip, and empower heroes for IT performance and auditing success every day.

Being helpful is our number one most important company value. We help each other. We help our customers. Everyone on our team is uncommonly, extraordinarily helpful. It just tickles us pink when we help someone dramatically improve the performance of a database or achieve their audit requirements.

Just the other day we helped a customer in Illinois discover several database performance problems they were not aware of. We found an SQL statement that was using 41% of the CPU in the database - it was missing an index and scanning thousands of rows with each execution. In less than two hours, the performance of the application was dramatically improved!

Another customer was amazed when our support staff spent four hours on the phone with him helping him tune his database. In an age when many support calls are routed to a foreign country and it is difficult to keep a support person on the phone for ten minutes, suffice it to say that we greatly exceeded this customer's expectations.

Different people enjoy doing different things. Some like to knit socks, others like to exercise or cook, we like to help people solve database problems and improve efficiency. For us, helping a company accelerate its business is like solving a numbers puzzle - it's fun, and it feels good to help others achieve their goals.

How can we help you? Contact DBI

Cheers,
Scott


Garbage Disposal

This weekend I put some melon rinds into my kitchen garbage disposal, turned on the cold water, and flipped on the power switch. The disposal began with a loud roar that I had become accustomed too while making its dreadful chopping noises. After a minute, the raucous stopped and turned into a motor hum, the kitchen lights went dim, then smoke started coming up from the sink drain. "Clink" was the last sound I heard as the safety circuit breaker turned off the power...

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Happy Birthday DBI! Brother-Panther Available!

Hello Readers,

Well, we've passed another milestone! On July 15, 2007, DBI turned 2! Today, July 16th, we've made downloads of Brother-Panther available. Brother-Panther Hunts Performance Problems with Speed and Agility - it is the best tool you can use to quickly become a Performance Hero in your organization. Good luck and have fun!

Best regards,
Scott


National and International Data Insecurity

In the early 1990s, Client Server computing became popular. Organizations linked multiple smaller computers together in a network to improve speed and access to data, and to lower their costs. Data Warehouses and Data Marts were built on open systems using distributed databases. Organizations raced to acquire virtual mountains of data to improve the quality and speed of decisions. Data has been made widely available throughout organizations - it is as if some even hang neon "Hot Now" lights in their hallways to alert privileged data consumers of the availability of new data that is ready for decision analysis. The problem is, during this Information Technology race to make data widely available to privileged users and decision makers, sufficient attention wasn't paid to security and accountability. The data buffet has been opened and no one is watching what data consumers consume.

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DB2 Magazine Blog and DB2 Performance

Hello readers,

Have you visited DB2 Magazine online lately? They've made several improvements and enhancements to their online content. Not only can you find the current print articles, but also extra "online only" articles, plus a new community wiki, and new blogs.

Speaking of blogs, I have become one of the contributors to the DB2 Magazine blog. In my first set of posts, I am teaching excerpts from my IDUG Education Seminar "DB2 LUW Performance Diagnostic Lab". If you're interesting in learning about DB2 LUW performance and tuning, please visit the DB2 Magazine blog.

Want to follow along here? First you'll need to prepare for the class by collecting some performance data from your DB2 database. You can find the class preparation instructions at www.database-brothers.com/db2mag/GettingReady-IBMDB2LUW-Performance-Diagnosis-Lab.pdf.

What type of database do you have?

You might think you have an OLTP transactional database. Or, you might think you have a Data Warehouse database. But what does your database think? How is it, or the queries within it, really performing?

The Average Result Set Size

Transactional databases tend to process small result set sizes (the actual number of rows retrieved for a given SELECT statement). Data Warehouse databases tend to process large result set sizes - often returning hundreds or thousands of rows for any given SELECT statement. My rule of thumb, or the tipping point between OLTP and Data Warehouse, is an average result set size (ARSS) of 10. If ARSS is less than or equal to 10, then the database is behaving like an OLTP database. If the ARSS is greater than 10, then your database is behaving like a Data Warehouse database. If the ARSS is just a little bit greater than 10, then you may have an OLTP database with some concurrent decision support (DW) queries running.

The ARSS Formula

Using a database snapshot (e.g. dbsnap2.txt), simply divide the number of rows selected by the number of SELECT statements (ROWS_SELECTED / SELECT_SQL_STMTS).

You can learn more about the Average Result Set Size (ARSS) here from Brother-Eagle's Advice, or you can download, install, and run Brother-Eagle Standard Edition ( get it FREE ) to have this and several other metrics computed automatically for you.

FREE is a very good price. icon_biggrin

Until next time,
Scott


Winning the Race Against Time

For a new year's resolution this year, I set the goal that I would (finally) run in my first 5K race. I enjoy running, and the rush that you get when you are finished. I won't ever set any world records or anything, but, like any performance guy, I do enjoy the challenge of continuously improving my best times.

Back in January, I was pleased to complete 3.1 miles in a little under 40 minutes. Heck, just making it to my virtual finish line was a thrill. I understand that improving performance is a process of continuous, disciplined improvement, so I kept at it. Some weeks I ran 3-4 miles two to three times per week, and other weeks I completed much longer runs of 6-10 miles during a single DVD movie (yes, I've got a DVD LCD TV in front of my treadmill). By mid-April, I had my 5K time down to about 34 minutes.

On April 28th, I participated in the Texas Round Up 5K/10K race in Austin. Wow, what a thrill that was. To see all of those runners and feel all of the energy was simply awesome. It took a whole minute just to get across the starting line, and then I was off! The first 1K was easy - it was on a slight grade downhill. What goes down, must come up - or something like that, so the last half of the race definitely challenged my willpower and perseverance. I am pleased to report that I crossed the finish line with a time of 32 minutes and 15 seconds - my personal best this year!

And so it is, too, with the challenge of continuously improving response times and performance of our business databases. It is an iterative process that requires skills, tools, and perseverance over time.

Next week is the 19th Annual IDUG North American Conference. Remarkably, I have been to them all, and been a speaker since 1996. I look forward to renewing and refreshing old friendships and making new friends. This year DBI is unveiling some new distributed database performance solutions that will have features and capabilities unlike DBAs have ever seen before. I look forward to showing you how Brother-Panther™ can help you Hunt Performance Problems with Speed and Agility. Brother-Thoroughbred™ will help you Win the Race Against Time by accurately identifying accountability for response times, resource bottlenecks, and service level attainments. And, of course, our Brother-Eagle™ database monitoring solution for DB2 LUW and Oracle is still soaring high and stalking the world's databases for performance improvement prey.

I look forward to seeing you at IDUG. Look me up if you'd like to go for a run.

Cheers, Scott


Achieving Milestones

On Saturday, March 17, 2007, I flew on Delta from Louisville KY to Las Vegas NV via a stop in Atlanta GA. At some magical moment between Atlanta and Las Vegas, Delta's flight records indicate that I have successfully flown more than 1,000,000 miles. For this great achievement, which, they say, "fewer than 1% of our frequent fliers ever achieve", I received a congratulatory letter, spiffy new luggage tags, lifetime silver medallion status, and my choice of a new piece of luggage. I am pleased to report that, as of 1,019,680 miles, this new luggage hasn't be lost yet - not even once.

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Reign Over Me

Have you seen this movie yet?

You never know when you are going to see you loved ones again. This is a movie about how one man tries to cope with the loss of his family after 9/11. I give the movie ten thumbs up.

Yesterday there was a horrific tragedy at Virginia Tech. There are now 33 families grieving unexpectedly, trying to cope with their loss.

So remember this: the next time you leave your home, try to have a pleasant, thoughtful, loving good-bye, good luck, and hugs and kisses if appropriate. The next time your spouse or family is leaving home, bid them a kind, loving farewell.

You just never know.

See the movie.

With kindest regards,
Scott


Fell off a horse

Hello readers,

Where has the time gone? I have to say I think about writing in my blog almost every day, but this is often a fleeting thought when there isn't a computer nearby. Things are extremely busy at DBI these days; we've got a lot going on. Still, this is no excuse for my shameful neglect of my blog. So, here I am at midnight on Tax day 2007, getting back up on the horse after my fall. Please pardon my absence.

We had to shut down the posting of comments to our blogs - it seems people promoting web sites of ill-repute will stop at nothing when it comes to advertising their filthy URLs. Well, we cleaned those up and will strive to maintain professionalism. If you do see something offensive here, our apologies in advance. Please Contact Us and we'll promptly remove the offensive content.

I think my younger daughter has grown about 5 inches since my last blog post. I should probably stop putting Miracle Gro in her milk. But as I watch her grow up so fast, I'm thinking a lot about values and finding ways to teach values. There are some values that I believe are particularly valuable and important, though I recognize and appreciate that everyone may have different priorities for their values.

We have a strong value system at DBI, too. In some of my future posts, I'll write about our values and why they are important.

And for the technical followers amongst you, yes, I suppose I'll write about DATABASES from time to time. IBM has a lot going on with DB2, as usual, and Larry over at Oracle is keeping us busy and entertained as well. It's a great time to be a database professional - everyone is doing it all over the world. In fact, the rush to become a database professional or Java programmer has quite possibly contributed to the shortage of tractor trailer truck drivers in the United States and global warming worldwide.

Now that I've finally picked up my keyboard to post a blog entry, I am feeling a rush of excitement just like when you do get back on a horse after falling off. Now, I want to ride and ride, but time is running short. It's time to say farewell for tonight, tomorrow is another day.

With best regards,
Scott


Better than a Fraud Alert, FREEZE your Credit File

I have to thank the Wall Street Journal, Money and Investing Section, in the Saturday/Sunday November 4-5, 2006 paper, for reminding me of Credit Freeze Laws.

"More states are letting consumers prevent businesses from seeing their credit reports without permission. Is it an identity-theft solution, or just a nuisance? B4"

Credit Freeze laws "permit consumers, often for a small fee, to stop a credit-reporting agency from releasing their file to almost anyone without their explicit authorization. A freeze affects eveything from opening a credit card to setting up cell phone service".

I'll tell you what, if this credit freeze capability will stop the four to eight credit card offers I receive DAILY from arriving in my mailbox, this sounds like an excellent idea. About 25 states have enacted credit freeze laws. New York's law took effect November 1st, 2006, and laws in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin take effect on January 1, 2007.

Consumer groups are in favor of these laws, and, as you might expect, companies who want to freely examine your credit reports are against them.

"An estimated 95 million Americans have been exposed to some risk of identity theft in the last two years because of breaches at companies, institutions, and governments". The US population is about 300 million, so this is about 1 out of 3 Americans. Every time I speak in public, I survey my audiences and ask for a show of hands to discover who, directly or indirectly, has been impacted by identity theft. Invariably, 10-25% of the audience will raise their hands.

Perhaps you are amongst the lucky 2 out of 3. It seems it is just a matter of time until we are all impacted unless businesses, institutions, and governments really get serious about protecting valuable information. According to a Computer World article released on November 13th, Protecting Data Becomes Top Security Priority for IT in 2007. I humbly suggest DBI's Brother-WatchDog solution. icon_wink

Meanwhile, it seems a prudent idea to learn more about the laws enacted by each US state and consider if a credit file freeze is right for you. Unfortunately for me, Texas - as is the case with some other states - only allows a credit file freeze if I have already BEEN an identity theft victim. How STUPID is THAT?!?!?!

To find out if a credit freeze is available in your State, visit this link: www.consumersunion.org/finance/creditfreezeinfo.htm.

I hope this post is helpful to many of you readers. Feel free to add a comment and talk about your identity theft experience if you have been a victim.

Best regards,
Scott


Help Protect Yourself from Identity Theft Fraud

Did you know?

You can place a free 90 day fraud alert in your credit file. The alert requires lenders to take extra steps to ensure validity of applicant information before granting credit. I call Equifax at 888-766-0008 every three months to keep my alert active.

Equifax has made the process very simple. You never have to speak with a human. You will need to enter your social security number and the number of your street address (for example, enter "123" if you live at 123 Main Street). You will also enter a day time and evening telephone number for lenders to call you to verify applicant data. The entire process takes less than 5 minutes, and Equifax also notifies the other credit reporting companies so you only have to make one phone call.

So, with 1 out of 3 Americans being impacted by identity theft, I suggest you pick up the phone now - while you are reading this - and spend 5 minutes on a free call to help avoid months or years of aggravation.

Best regards,
Scott



Please Vote November 7th

I just saw the movie "Man of the Year" last night starring Robin Williams. I thought this movie was great and I wish all politicians could be as forthright and brutally honest as Williams' character "Tom Dobbs".

I've also had the recent opportunity to be involved in our neighborhood's Home Owner's Association (HOA). Our community has some issues to resolve regarding fairly apportioning the costs of some community improvements amongst the home owners. Our current Board and Officers were "elected" without a majority of home owners (voters) present, and now several community members are upset about the proposed cost distributions.

Voter apathy is a problem in our country. If you want to change things, make sure you vote. If you don't vote, please - no whining about the consequences afterwards.

Make sure your voice is heard this November 7th - Please VOTE!

Thanks!
Scott



DB2 LUW MAXFILOP

Dear DB2 LUW Database Administrators,

I continued to be surprized and amazed by the number of database snapshots that I've seen recently where "Database Files Closed" is greater than zero, and often times much greater than zero.  It is not reasonable to expect DB2 to perform its best when it is busy wasting valuable CPU cycles by closing and opening files (or devices) - an operation that can take significant relative time and slow down SQL response times.

The culprit is often database configuration parameter MAXFILOP.  The default value of 64 was invented around 1992 when we were lucky if a machine had 128MB of memory.  64 is completely unreasonable, unacceptable, unthinkable, and unrealistic for today's hardware.  If this is your value, or if you are observing "Database Files Closed" greater than zero, then, PLEASE, HURRY UP and INCREASE the value to a minimum of 512, or incrementally by steps of 512, until Database Snapshots regularly show "Database Files Closed = 0".

If you like, go ahead and set MAXFILOP to its maximum allowable value of 32,767.  This parameter hurts a lot if it is too small, but I am not aware of any adverse consequences of having it too large during the past TWELVE years.

Here is an example of the command syntax:

  • db2 "update DB CFG for DBNAME using MAXFILOP 512"

If you are not sure what I'm talking about, or if you are unsure if your database is plagued by this severe problem, then give Brother-Eagle™ a try (it's free) and let it do the analysis for you.   Database Files Closed is just one of 24 key health, efficiency, cost, and problem metrics that it monitors. Check out the full list here.

Until next time,

Scott




Happy Birthday DBI!

On July 15th, 2006, DBI turned one year old.  We had quite a party! 

In case you missed it, we hired a party boat on Lake Travis in Austin and spent the day on the water.  Every "brother" on our team received a noodle as a party favor and it was quite a sight to see everyone floating around this beautiful lake.  The diving platform and water slide were big hits too, and Brother-Sergio did a fantastic job on the grill cooking burgers and hot dogs.  It's remarkable how refreshing ice cold water can be when you are the target of a squirt gun.

I am very proud of our team and what we have achieved.  Tecnically, yes, DBI is a "young" company, but in just 365 days we've grown to over two dozen seasoned professionals with decades of IBM DB2 and Oracle expertise.

"Start-ups", or "young" companies, traditionally don't become profitable until their 3rd or 4th year of existence.  Remarkably, DBI has booked over $2.2M in revenue during the first two calendar quarters, we're about $1M in the black so far, and we're on target towards $5-6M annual revenue for 2006.  DBI is presently privately held so we can do the right things for our customers and employees without being a slave to quarterly Wall Street results.  Ask any of our team members, and they'll tell you that we're on to something special here.

To all of the DBI "brothers", thank you for making DBI such a success in such a short period of time.  Interested in joining our team?  Please visit our Careers page at http://www.database-brothers.com/careers.php

To all of our customers, thank you for your trust, confidence, and your business.  Do you have your FREE copy of Brother-Eagle? yet?  This is DBI's gift to the DB2 LUW and Oracle database communities - please run Brother-Eagle to analyze performance of any database BEFORE needlessly upgrading your hardware.

No other company on this planet is working harder to deter identity thefts and data crimes.  With Brother-WatchDog?, accountability extends throughout your organizations and does not rest solely on the shoulders of the CEO, Board of Directors, and Auditors.   Compliance isn't enough - Achieve Accountability!

Until next time,
Scott




A Touching Moment

Whether you agree or disagree with the war in IRAQ, I think our men and women who are fighting this war are heroes.

Today, during a flight from Atlanta Georgia to Columbus Ohio, the flight attendant made a special announcement on the PA as the plane was about to land.

She told all of the passengers that there were two soldiers on board who were coming home from IRAQ for a 15 day leave.  These men hadn't seen their families in many months.  The flight attendant also asked that everyone remain in their seats so that these soldiers could exit the plane first and join their families as soon as possible.  Everyone on the plane applauded at this request.

And, after the plane arrived at the gate, everyone remained seated.  When the soldiers stood to collect their carry-on luggage, everyone applauded again.  In fact, the cheers and applause continued until the door was opened and these men exited through the door.  My eyes were filled with water.  I was very happy for these men, though I doubt I was as happy as they were to be home. 

Whether you agree with this war or not, no matter your political orientation, when you see men and women dressed in uniform who are serving our country's "leadership", remember that they are the ultimate servant of our country.  Please thank them for their service.

Thank you,

Scott




Brother-Eagle is coming soon.

Isn't it just a joy to figure out how to make something work?

A new blog area has been added to DBI's site called "Brother-Eagle".  This blog is open to new registered users, new posts by registered users, and comments.  The intent is to have a professional community for Brother-Eagle users to discuss this product.  Please share tips, techniques, how-to's,  and suggestions.

Visit Brother-Eagle's Discussion Forum

Cheers,

Scott




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