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User Journal

Journal Journal: Heaven Help Us

I just saw a link to this on another site. This thread should be a poster child for why important databases need to be managed by people who know what they're talking about. It also demonstrates the clear and present danger that there are lots of people in the world who enjoy _sounding_ like they know what they are talking about, whether they do or not.

While there were some decent posts in the discussion, in general the whole thread was full of posts by people who (in spite of their exceeding confidence):
  • Do not understand the difference between encrypting database traffic on the wire and storing encrypted data in a database.
  • Do not understand that Microsoft(R) SQL Server(TM) can already do on-the-wire encryption.
  • Do not understand that if they want to use open standards to store encrypted data in Microsoft(R) SQL Server(TM), they are already free to do so.
  • Do not know that Windows has an encrypting file system.
  • Do not know that, in general, it would be an exceedingly bad idea to use an encrypting file system to store database files.
  • Do not understand the features already in Microsoft(R) SQL Server(TM) (or the features absent from MySQL, for that matter).
  • Don't understand the new encryption features in SQL Server 2005.
  • Think that applications will have to care about those new SQL Server 2005 encryption features.
  • Do not know that it is an exceedingly bad idea to build indexes on encrypted data.
  • Do not understand why, in general, you would never encrypt all of the data in a database.
  • Still don't understand the implications of most of what I've written above.

I wish I had time to write a more constructive/instructive post, but I don't. I just couldn't believe the level of ignorance about All Things Database that was so pervasively displayed by so many people in this thread. Discussions like this are a big part of why I find myself reading slashdot discussions less and less frequently.

OK, I'll get off my soapbox now. Like I said, it wasn't everybody, but it sure seemed close. I doubt that many people will even read this, but I guess I was just looking for a place to vent. I feel better now.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Dvorak's Revenge 2

Today's most interesting computer-related adventure:
  1. Install Ten Thumbs Typing Tutor (TTTT) to learn Dvorak keyboard.
  2. Switch keyboard layout to Dvorak.
  3. Run first few lessons of TTTT on the Dvorak keyboard.
  4. Go eat dinner (btw, it was great, Margie!)
  5. Come back from dinner to find screen locked and computer asking for my password.

I bet you can fill in the blanks from there.

After failing to log on a couple of times, and then panicking because I couldn't log in, I finally realized that I was failing because the computer was still using the Dvorak layout, but I wasn't. So, after panicking a bit more because I had no chance of entering my very complicated password using the Dvorak layout, I then recovered my senses and used another nearby computer to look at the Dvorak keyboard layout on the Web. I then proceeded to use this layout as a visual guide, and thus succeeded in botching my password a couple of more times.

Next, I wrote down (still using that handy Dvorak layout on the Web) what I thought the Dvorak version of my password should be, and using this new cheat-sheet, failed to log on about 5 more times.

As the despair grew, I decided to write down the Qwerty version of my password in plain sight on the same piece of paper, and I double-checked my translation to Dvorak. Thus equipped, I promptly failed to log on about 5 more times.

Finally, I put the Dvorak version of my password directly over the Qwerty version, letter-by-letter, and after double-checking everything a couple more times ... well, after all THAT ... I was able to log on quite easily. Once.

Mental note number one: re-enable Qwerty before leaving the 'puter for more than 10 minutes.

Mental note number two: complain to Microsoft because their Dvorak implementation is obviously buggy.

Mental note number three: maybe I don't need a password that's *quite* so complex.

Mental note number four: I'd better shred that piece of paper.

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