PDF Test

This is just a pdf test.

Full Outer Joins

Contrary to my general principles, I will say something that may date me as a dinosaur.

One feature I like in the SQL standard is the full outer join. When I first learned SQL, there was no such thing. At least, it was not in the training program provided by our database vendor. There was a left outer join, but no full outer join.

Adding Parameters to an MS Query

Another request I get at the office all the time is for spreadsheets which can be updated periodically. One way to do this is to add parameters to the query(ies) in the spreadsheet. This is quite easily done by using a question mark (?) to specify parameters in the query. When the query is evaluated, the spreadsheet can prompt the user for a value or it can also pull it from a cell somewhere in your spreadsheet.

So for instance, you might have a query such as

select *
from emp
where deptno=?

Adding Totals To an Excel Sheet

I don't know about you, but where I work, I sometimes need to put data into an excel sheet. The data usually comes from our database, so I do a query and add the results to a sheet.

Now, most of the time, we like to have totals at the end of the data, and one way to do this is to add a Total Row.

Here is a link from MS on how to do this.

Changing Colors With LS_COLOR

Okay, it's only been ... maybe 16 years since I first used linux, and therefore bash, but I've never actually tried changing the color of the text on my screen. Okay, that's not completely true. I should just say I've never tried changing the default color of the directory entries when using Putty. Putty, if you don't know what it is, is a free terminal emulator which I like to use on Windows, because Windows doesn't come with a good default client for ssh or telnet.

Ant Alice

Since I know you enjoyed the last puzzle, here is another one from the ACM.

Ant Alice is the middle ant of 25 ants on a meter long stick, some facing east, some facing west. (We may assume ants are tiny compared to the distances between them, so they can be thought of as moving points.) At a signal, all begin to march in whichever direction they are currently facing, bouncing and reversing direction whenever two collide. The ants are all marching at 1 cm/sec. Those reaching the end ofthe stick fall off and float gently to the ground.

DiRT and Other Things

I spent some time today cleaning out some magazines I hadn't read. Before I did I flipped through them and I learned a few things.

One is DiRT. Apparently it's an annual Di(saster) R(ecovery) T(esting) exercise that Google does. A hypothetical scenario is one where their data center in Georgia shut down because zombies had overrun the place and were trying to eat everyone's brains. Amazon calls theirs GameDay but I have no clue if it involves zombies.

Weighed in the Balance

Here are a couple of puzzles from the ACM for those of you who like puzzles. Actually, there were three questions but the solution to the first one was too difficult for me to understand. So here's two.

1. Eight coins have at most two different weights; show that with three weighings, you can determine whether all coins have the same weight.

2. Following the same rules, solve it with 10 coins.



One of the things I may regret in the future is that I never got to work for one of the tech industry giants. Actually, all the companies I’ve worked for are just small companies. Not really a bad experience but it does sort of dull your instincts after a few years.

Uplbcoss.org.ph Renewal

I'm pleased to say we've renewed our uplbcoss.org.ph domain for another two years. The registration for our .ph domains were made possible by the generous contributions of a batch database alumnus ($100) and also by joane s. ($30), who I haven't actually met so I am not entirely certain what batch.


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