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Hunting and Gathering Expand / Collapse
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Posted Friday, March 26, 2010 11:59 AM


Ten Centuries

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Great editorial.

As a DBA I'm constantly studying. A lot of the material comes from books, bol, search engines, blogs, sites like ssc. What I've found trying to sift through mountains of information is that you begin to trust certain authors, sites and bloggers over time. The more I learn the more I learn to tell when the information doesn't apply, is misleading or completely wrong. Sometimes I find that my way of thinking is completely wrong. I think some of the authors over time realize that some of their ways of thinking were wrong as well.


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Post #890949
Posted Friday, March 26, 2010 12:04 PM
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What did people do back in the day? (how ever long ago that is for you.) Where did you get your information from, technical manuals and trial and error? I'm talking like back in the days of punch cards and computers only universities and governments could own. You couldn't just go ask someone because no one would know what the heck a dip switch was.

Point: It's paradoxical, how can you determine if a piece of information is correct if you are the one searching for the correct answer?

Point: I think, ultimately, it shakes out those types of people who are prone to tinker with technology. Let me try it then log my results, learn, evaluate, then make a slight change and try it again, then document, then share what I learned.

Anecdote: When I first learned from the Internet about low level formatting of hard disks I promptly ruined my 10GB IDE drive. (although it did work the first couple of times.)

Can someone offer up a story from more than 15 years ago?
Post #890956
Posted Friday, March 26, 2010 1:30 PM
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That's what the education system is supposed to do... it doesn't give you all the answers, it equips you with the tools to find the answers to the questions you haven't been asked yet.


Post #891038
Posted Friday, March 26, 2010 1:42 PM


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Phillip - Texas (3/26/2010)
What did people do back in the day? (how ever long ago that is for you.) Where did you get your information from, technical manuals and trial and error? I'm talking like back in the days of punch cards and computers only universities and governments could own. You couldn't just go ask someone because no one would know what the heck a dip switch was.

Point: It's paradoxical, how can you determine if a piece of information is correct if you are the one searching for the correct answer?

Point: I think, ultimately, it shakes out those types of people who are prone to tinker with technology. Let me try it then log my results, learn, evaluate, then make a slight change and try it again, then document, then share what I learned.

Anecdote: When I first learned from the Internet about low level formatting of hard disks I promptly ruined my 10GB IDE drive. (although it did work the first couple of times.)

Can someone offer up a story from more than 15 years ago?


Manuals mostly; failing that - just keep testing/tinkering until you find the solution. I don't go back so far as the punch card era, but even in the late 80's and early 90's, you didn't have centralized places to find such info.

I do find that my older books were substantially better with complete detail than the newer stuff (where you're lcky to get any schematic, let alone a functional schematic you could use for repairs).

I remember having to resodder a motherboard backplane for some critical server based on scavenging parts from another machine and relying on a black and white "picture" of the motherboard layout.


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Post #891047
Posted Friday, March 26, 2010 1:52 PM
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Yeah, that sounds familiar, that documentation was better in those days. Probably too many reasons to list here why over the years we have seen cutbacks in documentaion and manuals. Many are maybe related to cost/benefit/what you can cut out.

I do recall older manuals containing diagrams, schematics, etc. I am betrayed by my reaction of "who the heck would use that?"
Post #891060
Posted Friday, March 26, 2010 9:09 PM


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I, for one, still think the internet is a well paved onramp to a dirt road and it always will be because anyone can post about anything at anytime with little or no knowledge and little, if any, repercussion for their posts. There are some sources that I gravitate towards because I've tested their published knowledge and they've been mostly correct.

Still, not everything on those cherished fountains of knowledge are accurate and some are still dangerous. Anyone remember 2k sp3???

The bottom line is that any who seek knowledge on the internet must do just as all hunter/gatherers must do... even when on a familiar and well trodden path, one must watch for bears and wolves, avoid traps set by others, and try not to step off a new cliff in a tight squeeze or break an ankle in a new pothole.

The only remedy is to test for both the positive and negative paths. When you're done testing, test again, sleep on it, and then test one more time.


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"RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for "Row-By-Agonizing-Row".

First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column."

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Post #891222
Posted Monday, March 29, 2010 9:22 AM


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It's a good analogy. The web gives us a lot of easy access to a lot of information, but one look at Snopes.com or MuseumOfHoaxes.com should convince anyone that care needs to be taken before "eating" that information.

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Post #891952
Posted Tuesday, June 26, 2012 1:11 PM
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HAL: I would recommend that we put the unit back in operation and let it fail. It should then be a simple matter to track down the cause.
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