Microsoft Surface Pen LED Not Working

I have one of the newer models of the Surface Pen, with no clip and just one long button on the side.
So the other day I went to mark up a document on my Surface Pro and I just couldn't get my Surface Pen to work. I tried to troubleshoot the Bluetooth pairing, replacing the AAAA battery, and watching a bunch of YouTube videos and just nothing was working. Apparently if you hold down on the top button for a few seconds you should at least see the little LED blinking. Not on mine! Completely dead.

Anyway, credit where credit is due: I came to write this post because I was pretty blown away by the Microsoft Store and the way they handled my problem when I reached out. I logged into the Microsoft Store and then initiated a chat session which was really quite painless. I explained my problem and the steps I'd taken to resolve it, and I fully expected the agent to run down a scripted list of troubleshooting steps that I'd already done. Instead she simply told me that they would gladly exchange it for me since I'd already determined it to be malfunctioning. Mine is also still under warranty.

It's weird to say that I'm shocked when a customer service agent actually listens to me but I really was. Within just a few minutes we'd sorted out the exchange details with my shipping address and everything and I was all done.

So if that LED stops working on your Surface Pen, just reach out to Microsoft and they'll deal with it quickly!
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SSRS: Listing Multivalue Parameter Selections on Report

If your SSRS report has a multivalue parameter and you would like to display the values that were selected on the report itself, use the JOIN functions to list them delimited by commas (or whatever other character you'd like). Just insert a text box on your report and insert the following expression:

=JOIN(Parameters!YourParameterName.Value, ", ")

So if for example your parameter allows you to choose the name of a country, the output using the above expression after selecting a few countries would be something like this:

Canada, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Cuba, USA, Italy
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SQL Server Agent: Automatic Refresh of SSAS Cube

Unless you're dealing with completely static data, you're going to want to set up an automatic refresh of your SSAS cube on some sort of schedule. Here's how you can get a full refresh going on a regular basis:
  1. Make sure that permissions to your SSAS server are set up properly to allow the agent to trigger the refresh. Your service account should be added as a server administrator.
  2. Create a new SQL Server Agent job.
  3. Add one or more schedules on the Schedules page.
  4. Add a step of type 'SQL Server Analysis Services Command'.
  5. Choose your service account under 'Run as'.
  6. Enter the URL for your SSAS server under 'Server'.
  7. Enter the following as the command, making sure to edit the "database" value to match the name of your SSAS cube:
  "refresh": {
    "type": "full",
    "objects": [
        "database": "NameOfYourSSASCube"
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Power BI: Force Correct Locations on Map Visualization

If your locations aren't correct on your Power BI map visualization, you can make an adjustment to your dataset to force them into the right places. This is possible without having specific latitude and longitude coordinates. For example, if I try to map the city of Sydney then Bing Maps tends to place that in Australia. Unfortunately what I'm actually looking for is the city of Sydney in Canada.

The easiest way I've found to quickly correct this issue is to add a new field to your dataset that joins together as much of the location information as possible. For my purposes I would have City, Province/State, Country. So instead of using 'Sydney' as a location I am now using 'Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada'.
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My Site Has Been Taking a Long Nap

I know: I've been neglecting my site. The fact is that I've been really busy with so many projects that I just haven't thought about spending the time to write something here. For a while I thought about disabling this site altogether but then I keep seeing comments and getting e-mails here and there from people that are still finding some of the content useful today. So perhaps I'll start adding to it again, but in the meantime I'll just say that this site is just taking a rest but isn't totally abandoned. Have a nice day!
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Stop Using Windows XP!

With the exception of non-networked computers running Windows XP for the sake of continued use of legacy applications... stop using Windows XP!

After supporting the Windows XP operating system for just over a decade, Microsoft eventually decided to stop rolling out updates and providing technical support. Though you might have found those updates annoying and never used their support anyway, you should really heed the advice of experts and install a more current operating system. Otherwise you're potentially leaving your computer open to new threats from which you won't be automatically protected.

What are your options?
  1. If you want to continue using Windows, upgrade to a newer version.
  2. Consider trying out macOS if Apple is more your speed.
  3. Check out an open source OS like Linux. They're budget-friendly and can provide you with a lot of control over your system. There are a lot of different ones to choose from but I personally enjoy using Fedora.
It's a decent new year's resolution. Keep your computer up-to-date.
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