Showing posts from August, 2021

SQL Server - Collation - Scalability & Portability

   Mo st people (including Developers) if asked about database "collation", will likely look at as if you had two heads. There is a good reason for this - For the most part, no one 'worries' about it, until of course they have a need to migrate data from one server to another, then suddenly it becomes 'one of the most important things in the world' ! Collation governs the set of rules a computer applies when comparing and sorting data. In databases, this means for example when you return a list of items in alphabetical order, what does 'Alphabetical really mean?' For example is "Donut", "DONUT", and "donut" sorted the same way ? - If so you want a case-insensitive  collation . How about "├ęclair" vs "eclair" -If so you want an accent-insensitive  collation. Hmm, I suddenly feel a big hungry for a sweet now for some reason ? For the most part we do not have to worry about these things because collation is

The Magic Lamp

One day a programmer was feeling a bit down in the dumps! Gee Whiz - I can't seem to get anything right, no matter what I do or say. Nothing seems to be working out for me, what's the use of being motivated to do anything ??.. EVER!! UGGG !!! So one day (s)he started nosing around in various folders in the company directory and happened to come across this strange zip file called "magiclamp". Still feeling down but now a little curious, our semi-adventurous programmer decided, what the heck, I'll open it and see what is inside! So (s)he decided to extract the contents to his hard drive and came across this very README file that you are reading at this very moment !! After carefully exampling the contents and the code and declaring them safe our programmer decided to go ahead and very carefully RIGHT CLICKED ON the INSTALL.BAT file and choose "RUN AS ADMINISTRATOR" ..and from that moment forward his (or her?) life changed forever. Or at

Web Services - Over Promise and Under Deliver

Every time a 'new' technology is released, it tends to come with a super amazing promise. Somewhat reminiscent of the 'Amazing Discoveries' infomercial from the early 90's It's NEW - It promises to save the world!, reduce our work week, give us more time, make us lot's of money etc. etc. Web Services was no different. Web Services promised the ability for applications from different vendors to actually SHARE information easily. By having a common interface, you could now let your generic hotel ordering app to book you rooms in any hotel you want!...Well I guess that does work 'sort of' What these technologies fail to anticipate, is that just because technology allows for a 'cool new thing'. Doesn't mean people (in a particular business) will actually use it. Particularly if their is any kind of cost investment and the return on that investment just doesn't seem obvious. Generally speaking, companies are not interested in maki

Blockchain, Etherium..and dApps

As a huge proponent of de-centralization, and as I was learning about blockchain technology, Ethereum definitely caught my eye.  Like all other blockchains , it is a "public ledger". Specifically, anyone with sufficient hard disk space can have the entire ledger on their own machine and can view all transactions as much as they please. And this is where the beauty of decentralization arrives. With crypto-currencies you write transactions to the ledger and retrieve receipts. This posting requires a fee, and with the transaction you can write some text. One of the most important lessons we developers understand is their is really no difference between "data" and "code".  The machine does not care, you point it to data and tell it here is some code it will 'execute it'.  Which is why buffer overruns are huge security vulnerabilities . Put 'code' in the 'data' area, overflow the buffer and viola, you gain control of the system . Build

Online Busking - Can you 'chip in' ??

TLDR; ? - Watch the video instead Have you ever been to see a street performer? - Otherwise known as a busker, these performers travel around the world, taking their act with them. Some cities even specially host a 'buskers' festival in the 'downtown' part of the city  At the end of a show, the entertainer performs the 'passing of the hat'. Often an actual hat, the idea is for people to put some money in it, not unlike the way a musician may leave his guitar case open and people will drop in change (also a form of busking by the way) What you might not also realize - is that 'busking' has a format online as well! But WAIT - Isn't that why I have to look at / watch ads's online? - Doesn't that help support their work? The sad fact is, many online advertising sites, only share a small percentage of the ad revenue with the content creators.  Some are as low as 1cent for every 1 dollar the advertisement earns, other sites, won't even let yo