links for 2007-07-18



I’ve been asked for a cookbook of SQL to deal with issues in [WebCT / Blackboard] Vista. This seems like a daunting task.

Organizationally, I guess I lean towards “everything is miscellaneous”. Just about everything starts with a few SQL statements I’ve come to memorize. Outside of that, every request has a number of nuances which make saying, “Run x, then y, then z,” useless. Figuring out how to coach someone else in what to use in which situation is a supervisor / expert skillset. I’m so new at the SQL skillset it surprises me others would wish for my advice.

Part of it is most requests are different enough that I have to build together something to mine the data for what is sought. Over the year or so I’ve been at it, I’ve come to understand what I can get out of several tables. However, I have dozens of tables to go and many are not even used.

So I’ll do it. If anything it will be a good exercise in meta-congnition. I’ll know what I know so that I can look into what I ought to learn.

OpenOffice Is Like Mikey

Remember the commercials for the cereal where the kids decide to give Mikey the stuff to see if he likes it? Someone sent me a WordPerfect document. Its been years since I got one of those. Office XP obviously doesn’t open it without scouring the Microsoft web site for the coverters.

Before subjecting myself to such propaganda, I thought, What about OpenOffice? Its open source, it should be able to open anything! Sure enough, it opened up the file! I keep meaning to make OO my default editor. I just don’t deal enough with Office documents except Excel to bother. Easily 95% of the files I directly edit are plain text files (logs, notes, SQL, scripts, etc.). None of those do well in a word processor which is for memos and letters.


Originally uploaded by sneezypb.

Definitely time for a haircut.

About a week ago I decided I needed one. However, its been quite hectic. As most of you know, I work for the University System of Georgia’s Office of Instructional and Information Technology, specifically a project to provide system wide (35 schools) online classes. We have one of the largest implementations in the country (120,000 active students).

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