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Posted Wednesday, November 13, 2013 8:24 AM


Ten Centuries

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Ed Wagner (11/13/2013)
Greg Edwards-268690 (11/13/2013)
venoym (11/13/2013)
L' Eomot Inversé (11/12/2013)
wolfkillj (11/12/2013)
My new blog post on appropriate data types for storing latitude and longitude coordinates is up.

Thanks for indulging me in a little bit of self-promotion. I'm finding that it's hard to hit the critical mass of audience where a new post gets attention just by virtue of being posted.

Interesting article. I don't like the terminology though: a number like 123.456789 has 9 decimal places, not 6. It has 6 decimal places after the point and 3 before, making 9 in all. But I guess terminology is different in different places.


In this case I believe 9 would refer to Significant Digits (or Figures)(in many math/physics classes you hear the refrain of "Sig Figs" a lot). It's fairly common practice, in the US at least, to refer to the number of digits after the decimal point as "Decimal Places"


I was taught size (how many places for numbers) and precision, as some systems do not store the decimal point in the raw data, but have it defined in a data dictionary.
I'm sure with Steve this may bring back JDE memories.

I was taught 9 significant digits with 6 decimal places. I also thought the article was pretty interesting reading - good job.


Thanks for the feedback and discussion, everyone. It's nice to know you're reading my posts.

I take some comfort in having L'Eomot Inverse around to point out any errors or inconsistencies in my discourses on mathematics. I'll cop to muddling the terminology a bit. I used the term "decimal places" in the colloquial sense common in the U.S. to mean "digits to the right of the decimal point." I could have been more definite by stating that nine significant digits are necessary to represent latitude (as measured by augmented GPS) with appropriate precision - three for the integer part and six for the fractional part - while representing latitude with appropriate precision requires eight significant digits - two for the integer part and six for the fractional part. When writing for a global audience, it's good to remember that conventions for talking about and representing numbers can differ from place to place. At least we English-speakers have finally agreed that "billion" means a thousand millions and "trillion" means a million millions!


Jason Wolfkill
Blog: SQLSouth
Twitter: @SQLSouth
Post #1513918
Posted Wednesday, November 13, 2013 10:17 AM


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wolfkillj (11/13/2013)
At least we English-speakers have finally agreed that "billion" means a thousand millions and "trillion" means a million millions!

I wouldn't put too much reliance on that. In computing it's probably a safe bet, and in describing a country's budget deficit too; but in other fields the old meanings are still quite common.

This is the relevant bit of what the latest OED has to say about it:

Etymology: < French billion, purposely formed in 16th cent. to denote the second power of a million adj. and n. (by substituting bi- comb. form for the initial letters), trillion and quadrillion being similarly formed to denote its 3rd and 4th powers. The name appears not to have been adopted in English before the end of the 17th cent.: see quot. from Locke. Subsequently the application of the word was changed by French arithmeticians, figures being divided in numeration into groups of threes, instead of sixes, so that French billion, trillion, denoted not the second and third powers of a million, but a thousand millions and a thousand thousand millions. In the 19th century, the U.S. adopted the French convention, but Britain retained the original and etymological use (to which France reverted in 1948).

Since 1951 the U.S. value, a thousand millions, has been increasingly used in Britain, especially in technical writing and, more recently, in journalism; but the older sense ‘a million millions’ is still common.


So we have French terminology, appropriated by the British; then the French powers that were decided to change the meanings, and the British didn't; the US, being in the 1800s anti-British and pro-French, adopted the new French meanings; the French people paid about as much attention to the dictates of their masters as they did more recently to the academy's dictates on the use of the circumflex. But when the US became a real superpower and got up Frenchelitist noses, the French switched back to the original meaning so as not to be tainted by an Americanism - - this of course had teh advantage that the official French meaning was now what ordinary French people meant by the words. Of course once the French had done that officially, the English Frogophobes started using the words in their American senses (although it took them 3 years toget started on this) just to be seen as untained by Frogophilia. Now, 52 years after the first use of billion to mean 10^9 in a British publication, we still use it that way only about half the time.

For Trillion the OED says

The third power of a million; a million billions, i.e. millions of millions. Also, orig. in France and local U.S., a thousand ‘billions’, or 10^12 (i.e. the traditional English billion: see billion n.): this sense is now standard in the U.S. and is increasingly common in British usage.

However, the OED is wrong here. Contrary to American belief, in Britain a Trillion is not a number, neither 10^12 as the US has it nor 10^18 as the French and the OED would have it. A British Trillion is a dolly bird who has zany adventures on various zany spaceships. At least that's what the majority of British people believe, thanks to Mr Adams' excellent radio scripts and the follow ups in other media.


Tom
Post #1513976
Posted Wednesday, November 13, 2013 10:20 AM


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duplicate post - website problem??

Tom
Post #1513979
Posted Wednesday, November 13, 2013 11:43 AM


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wolfkillj (11/12/2013)
My new blog post on appropriate data types for storing latitude and longitude coordinates is up.

Thanks for indulging me in a little bit of self-promotion. I'm finding that it's hard to hit the critical mass of audience where a new post gets attention just by virtue of being posted.


I hit F5 a couple times for you
Post #1514012
Posted Wednesday, November 13, 2013 12:00 PM


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It is 23:27 Afghan time. Three minutes until my phone interview. Wish me luck!


Lynn Pettis

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Post #1514019
Posted Wednesday, November 13, 2013 12:02 PM
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Lynn Pettis (11/13/2013)
It is 23:27 Afghan time. Three minutes until my phone interview. Wish me luck!
All the best, Lynn. I'm sure you'll do well. Hopefully, you'll have something better to come home to when you're done over there.



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Post #1514023
Posted Wednesday, November 13, 2013 3:37 PM


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Lynn Pettis (11/13/2013)
It is 23:27 Afghan time. Three minutes until my phone interview. Wish me luck!


Just finished the interview, and I feel like a Junior DBA. I have been working in to sheltered of an area far too long. I could not answer questions about SSRS, SSAS, Clustering, MS Replication. Very little was asked in areas that I feel strong in, T-SQL and tuning code.

I really need to learn more about best practices as well. Sad to be asked about them and not being able to rattle them off the top of my head. Hopefully I hit them even if inadvertently.

I feel very small at the moment.



Lynn Pettis

For better assistance in answering your questions, click here
For tips to get better help with Performance Problems, click here
For Running Totals and its variations, click here or when working with partitioned tables
For more about Tally Tables, click here
For more about Cross Tabs and Pivots, click here and here
Managing Transaction Logs

SQL Musings from the Desert Fountain Valley SQL (My Mirror Blog)
Post #1514082
Posted Wednesday, November 13, 2013 3:46 PM


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Lynn Pettis (11/13/2013)
Lynn Pettis (11/13/2013)
It is 23:27 Afghan time. Three minutes until my phone interview. Wish me luck!


Just finished the interview, and I feel like a Junior DBA. I have been working in to sheltered of an area far too long. I could not answer questions about SSRS, SSAS, Clustering, MS Replication. Very little was asked in areas that I feel strong in, T-SQL and tuning code.

I really need to learn more about best practices as well. Sad to be asked about them and not being able to rattle them off the top of my head. Hopefully I hit them even if inadvertently.

I feel very small at the moment.


Don't. I can't answer questions about SSRS or SSAS either. I know clustering a tiny amount, but not much. You're fine and I'll bet you did better than you think.


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Post #1514085
Posted Wednesday, November 13, 2013 3:53 PM


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Grant Fritchey (11/13/2013)
Lynn Pettis (11/13/2013)
Lynn Pettis (11/13/2013)
It is 23:27 Afghan time. Three minutes until my phone interview. Wish me luck!


Just finished the interview, and I feel like a Junior DBA. I have been working in to sheltered of an area far too long. I could not answer questions about SSRS, SSAS, Clustering, MS Replication. Very little was asked in areas that I feel strong in, T-SQL and tuning code.

I really need to learn more about best practices as well. Sad to be asked about them and not being able to rattle them off the top of my head. Hopefully I hit them even if inadvertently.

I feel very small at the moment.


Don't. I can't answer questions about SSRS or SSAS either. I know clustering a tiny amount, but not much. You're fine and I'll bet you did better than you think.


+100

I hate leaving interviews like that. I always second guess myself and replay the answers I gave over and over. The upside is that if they want somebody to spend all their time on SSRS and SSAS you probably aren't a good fit for the position anyway. We all know you are far too talented to spend your time doing something you don't like. You will land on your feet running, the good people like yourself always do.


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Post #1514089
Posted Wednesday, November 13, 2013 4:11 PM
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Lynn Pettis (11/13/2013)
Lynn Pettis (11/13/2013)
It is 23:27 Afghan time. Three minutes until my phone interview. Wish me luck!


Just finished the interview, and I feel like a Junior DBA. I have been working in to sheltered of an area far too long. I could not answer questions about SSRS, SSAS, Clustering, MS Replication. Very little was asked in areas that I feel strong in, T-SQL and tuning code.

I really need to learn more about best practices as well. Sad to be asked about them and not being able to rattle them off the top of my head. Hopefully I hit them even if inadvertently.

I feel very small at the moment.


You can't know everything. There is a hell of a lot to know in SQL Server and if the interviewers didn't set up expectations for the interview properly you probably don't want to be working there anyway. I had an interview last week that I thought I was prepared for, but the first set of questions were all about Agile management. I had no idea they were going to focus on that and I don't know if I'd have accepted the interview if they'd told me that.


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What’s so unpleasant about being drunk?
You ask a glass of water. -- Douglas Adams
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