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Comment Re:I've never understood the UNIX world's fascinat (Score 4, Insightful) 267

How does it work for searching though? If I just have my "freespace" file and my pointers to records, does a search for some piece of user requested data have to hit every record or is there a hash somewhere for the data contained in the record? You don't mention it in your description.

It seems that the biggest advantage to a relational DB is that the syntax for accessing it is well known, SQL. It has a human read-able interface and while sometimes whonky to work with for complex operations, it provides the simplest cross-platform way to access data. I don't need to know which data blocks hold the data, I just ask the database for them "SELECT slashdotid, name FROM users where slashdotid 20000"... and I get rows of data.

Could I just read it from a file? Yes. Would it be simpler? Maybe. But what if I have 200001 records, then I have to do some magic sorting in my program, and I have to manage memory for them, and disk space, etc. It is simpler to let the DB handle that mess and I just ask for the data I need.

It breaks up the process of programming into data storage and data manipulation/presentation. DB's for storage, my bad python for manipulation and presentation.


Comment Re:Just do what you did... (Score 5, Insightful) 201

First Black President, that's why this is important. I plan to watch it. This is how far we as a nation have come in the 60 years since the civil rights movement and the Jim Crow laws that held black people down for so long. More than just another president being inaugurated this is a statement that anyone can achieve anything they push for. Yes, I'm a flag waving optimist about this but having grown up in an inner city and having seen the devastation of being poor in America, It makes me hopeful that things can change for the better.

This is the kind of thing that can give an inner city kid a shred of hope that he can get out of the slums and into something better.

I'm starting to get all preachy now, but that's why this is something kids should watch.

Comment Re:I did predict the suckage. (Score 1) 109

I'm going to second that. Wrath is very nicely done. The graphics are visually arresting. The quests aren't just kill six snow moose, it's go kill 10 crazed dwarfs and crack open their skulls to see if their brains are rotten... and I'm all for the skull cracking.

Blizz learned a lot from the BC expansion and definitely made this one better. I am a fan of WoW and have been playing for three years now. I often take breaks from it to play steam games, but no other MMO has offered anything remotely like it in terms of ease of use, that is, it doesn't act like it hates the player. But this is an AoC article so I'll stop being a slavering fan-boy now.

Comment Re:The best (Score 1) 785

The stone blocks are "Richter's Anchor Stone Building Sets". I liked your photos of them and did a little googling to find them.

http://www.ankerstein.org/ has a lot of info about them and some pictures. I also found them at some other toy retailers (google is my friend).

Makes me wish I had some when I was a kid or that I had kids to give them too now.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Data is Heavy...

So I've been neglecting my slashdot journal for too long.

I am moving hosting providers to save some money. Virtual data is hard to move. Sure, file copies happen fast, but directories, databases, emails all these things take work to move. Data has no mass, so why is it difficult to move? Well, it is energy so it can in theory have mass...

So moving masses of data, I spend my afternoons entwined in it.


Submission + - John W. Backus, FORTRAN creator/developer dies.

dcowart writes: ""John W. Backus, who assembled and led the I.B.M. team that created Fortran, the first widely used programming language, which helped open the door to modern computing, died on Saturday at his home in Ashland, Ore. He was 82." Source: NY Times. I first read this on the Beowulf mailing list, where a lively discussion of programming in Fortran vs. C vs. C++ was in process..."

Submission + - Drowning in Tech Junk?

JackStrife17 writes: "In an attempt to reduce the clutter in my home office, I've been gathering up all of my spare disk drives, cables, screws, mice and other miscellaneous bits that I have lying around. While a tall cardboard box filled with categorized plastic and anti-static bags was once a satisfactory system of organization, it is no longer working for me. I currently access my "box of holding" about once a day where locating and retrieving things I need has become a tedious affair. With dozens of different types of tools, components, and cables that every nerd needs regular access to, how does Slashdot organize and store its own collections of tech junk?"

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Practical people would be more practical if they would take a little more time for dreaming. -- J. P. McEvoy