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Submission + - Best software for ad-hoc sql reporting?

Vrtigo1 writes: I work for a small business (100 employees) that has a lot of data, but no easy way for the business users to get it in a self service fashion. We've used MS Access and SSRS to build reports that are frequently requested so the users can run them anytime they want, but we still get tons of unique requests and handling these eats up a large amount of our time. We'd like to find a reporting engine that allows users to build these queries themselves using an intuitive GUI interface. We're a Microsoft shop, but aren't opposed to a non-Microsoft solution as long as it can talk to MSSQL. We've found a lot of enterprise systems, but can't justify spending $30k+ on reporting software. If someone told you they had a budget of $10k to purchase a reporting package what would you recommend?

Submission + - How do you get your geek nostalgia fix?

Vrtigo1 writes: I keep a Pentium Pro CPU on my desk underneath my monitor because it reminds me of simpler times. Every once in a while I want to revisit the old days of the original Doom, the phonebook-sized Computer Shoppers, when you looked forward to the demo CD that came with Computer Gaming World because the Internet was too slow to distribute software, and when Falcon Northwest's Mach V was the envy of many a geek. IRC is just about the only technology I can think of that's still in use today and still looks the same as it did in the early nineties. So where do you go when you need to regress back to simpler times and get your nostalgia fix? I foolishly trashed my old tech mags, and there isn't a whole lot online that has survived from that long ago.

Submission + - Best corporate web filtering apps? ( 1

Vrtigo1 writes: "My company is getting to the point where we spend so much time removing spyware and other unwanted software from our PCs that we're looking at implementing some sort of web filtering software. We're looking for something that'll block spyware and adware, so if a user tries to download Webshots or AnthVirus 20XX the system will tell them the content is blocked. We need something that has good prebuilt categories / classifications and that is updated on a regular basis, but it would be helpful if the "this content is blocked" page has an option to send a note to IT to explain why a particular user needs to get to a blocked site. It needs to be able to integrate with active directory, and should be able to have different filtering classes for different users/groups. We have about 100 users, and are looking for something in the sub-$5,000 range. It should be able to run in a VM, or include the hardware in that sub-$5k figure. I know a lot of shops use Websense, but it looks like Barracuda and a few other vendors with good name recognition offer solutions, and I want to see what's out there that really works."

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten