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I Want a Database Expand / Collapse
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Posted Tuesday, July 21, 2009 11:49 PM


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Comments posted to this topic are about the item I Want a Database






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Post #757154
Posted Wednesday, July 22, 2009 6:54 AM


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"He talks about how much digital information he's captured, tells us never to delete anything" - depression era mentallity meets the electronic age. In this paradigm our children and grand children, after we are gone, will be going through our databases saying, "Why did they save this Twitter message about brushing their teeth"? shortly before they scrap the whole thing. Just because we can save stuff doesn't mean we need to. The old piece of string isn't going to get used, and neither is the Twitter message.

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Post #757382
Posted Wednesday, July 22, 2009 7:30 AM


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Reading the interview, what he wants is a Data Modeller or Data Analyst, not a Database. He says he has several of them, but the problem is relating them together or getting them to communicate with each other. That's a problem that has aways been in the computer world and won't be solved today or anytime in the near future.
Post #757422
Posted Wednesday, July 22, 2009 7:32 AM
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I used to keep everything. Then I said... "Retention Period Expired." and purged all of the old stuff I had no use for. Did I really need my notes from college 6 years later when the only time I looked at them was to digitize them? Digitizing information gets ugly. We quickly lose site of what we have and worse... where it is. Upon cleaning stuff up a year or so ago I spent the better part of several weekends just removing duplicate information caused by multiple machine rebuilds. Didn't want to lose anything so I made a copy. Looking back... I am not sure there is much I would miss if i lost everything short of my digital photos, tax documents, resumes, and a few other misc. items.

On the needing a database side... we have a good ability to search on tags and other meta data. The problem is actually tagging documents. There is not a great way to do this right now. I would love to have all of the tagging done on our digital photo library but that is a royal pain to do.
Post #757425
Posted Wednesday, July 22, 2009 8:15 AM
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Just because data exists doesn't mean the disparate pieces should be connected. It would have no relevance. Data is just little pieces of stuff. Information occurs when relevant data is brought together in a meaningful form.

What happens, though, is data that has nothing to do with each other are merged into invalid information and that can be dangerous. I worked for an organization that wanted to look at sales trends among area codes. They assumed that area codes were geographic-based. They were once. Now with cell phones and VOIP, you could get an area code that is not relevant to your geographic area. That data is now useless to them.

Relevant data such as merging all of one's medical records from disparate medical sources into one view is useful. But, simply merging data together without thought is bad.
Post #757460
Posted Wednesday, July 22, 2009 9:03 AM


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Speaking of specialized databases there is one that almost everyone overlooks. Most of us are using it right now and don't realize it. It's been around for a very long time, deployed to millions of instances, has needed very few revisions, and has adapted well to changing needs.

NTFS


ATB

Charles Kincaid

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Posted Wednesday, July 22, 2009 9:06 AM


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But I think there's too much that's unsaid. I read (between the lines) a movement to collect everything because we don't know what knowledge exists, and then an attempt to sift through the collected data to create reporting and trending and a collective conscious in a computer format, to try and give a computer perspective similar to a human.

I don't know if he's really going for that, or if I'm just high, but it seems like he's trying to change the perspective on what's important to keep, because all those miniscule things like Twittering about brushing your teeth actually impact the humans who do it. The question is how do we figure out *why* that's important, and relate that to the computer so it can help us make more viable choices/searches/etc. Perhaps in aggregate it makes some sort of sense.


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Posted Wednesday, July 22, 2009 9:08 AM


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Charles Kincaid (7/22/2009)
Speaking of specialized databases there is one that almost everyone overlooks. Most of us are using it right now and don't realize it. It's been around for a very long time, deployed to millions of instances, has needed very few revisions, and has adapted well to changing needs.

NTFS


BOL?


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Post #757526
Posted Wednesday, July 22, 2009 9:15 AM


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From the article (Bell speaking):

This is a memory surrogate, so I think of a machine as a memory aid and then, incidentally, your life ends up there as a residue because everything goes through there.

From a Digital Lives perspective this is what you live and breathe, and everything is there, so what more do you want?


What i want is security. If, as Bell seems to want, one's entire life is saved and categorized, what happens when someone else gets access? I am definately not comfortable with so much detailed information about me being collected anywhere but in my head.
Rather than ask the question, "what more do you want?", i think one should ask "why would you want this?". In Bell's case, i have to guess it is his age. With such a tool he can leave quite the legacy behind. i can't think of any other reason someone would risk using such a tool.
Post #757533
Posted Wednesday, July 22, 2009 9:30 AM


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What troubles me about this sort of discussion is the more general question; do we need to keep "improving" databases? Or maybe said another way, are these things really "improvements"? ...or are we really just adding more stuff to SQL Server so Microsoft can keep the revenue stream flowing for years to come.

If you work in an industry where you use SQL Server to do truly cool, modern, very important stuff - I say, great for you - but most people I know using SQL Server are doing the same mundane inventory tracking, record keeping, book balancing, web supporting stuff that I think 95% (maybe 99%?) of the world does with it.

It seems this concept of "improving" is great for a very small percentage of the SQL Server user family and this begs the question, if a company is "improving" something for 1%, 5% 10% of the user base - is that really any "improvement"?

I am also a bit peeved when talk of these "improvements" comes out of Microsoft itself, or those beholden to the company. Thats just a bass-ackwards way of defining improvements, and worse, judging them as good or bad.

Having survived Vista, Office 2007, and .NET I have seen that when Microsoft "improves" something they usually botch the job, over-complicating what was once easy, and then forcing the marketplace to accept what amounts to a step backward.

As a manager and a guy who has to account for the payroll budget, I dont see these things as improvements - they make the tasks twice as hard, twice as confusing and twice as long to complete. If that is what now passes for "improvements", well, it sure was nice of the Japanese to "improve" Pearl Harbor.



There's no such thing as dumb questions, only poorly thought-out answers...
Post #757560
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