Tag: databases

Friday night/Saturday morning

I went to happy hour after work last night with several people from work. We went to Chammps and we were there until just about 8 PM. I was home just before 9 PM and I tried to read for a little while but I was pretty tired and I went to bed soon after.

I was up at about 8:30 this morning and headed up to IHOP in College Park for a big breakfast. The place was packed. A tour bus had arrived just before I got there and it was chaos. Fortunately, because I was a party of one, I got seated quickly, and had my scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns, and pancakes post haste.

When I got back home, I worked on the book collection database for a few hours and did a little laundry. I’m eating lunch now and plan to head over to the gym for my arm and shoulder workout at about 2 PM or so. I’m in desperate need of a haircut so I may try to get my hair cut after the gym.

I plan on getting some writing done today at some point, but I’m not sure which story I am going to work on yet. I think I need a little more planning on both and that will give me a chance to test some of the features of Scrivner.

Last night my car ignition was getting stuck when I put the key in. It wouldn’t turn. This has happened before and I think it is a known problem with older Saturn’s but last night was the first time it happened in a while and it took some jiggling before I could get the key to turn. I’ve been careful about it since then and so far so good. But it’s another thing to keep an eye on.

UPDATE: When I Kissed the Learned Astronomer

It looks like my story, “When I Kissed the Learned Astronomer” is going to appear in issue #5 of Intergalactic Medicine Show. Issue #4 is slated for release on February 19, and I’m told that issue #5 will be released sometime in May. Keep it here for further updates.

Related, in a rather amusing way, is the fact that I now have to update my submissions tracking database because I never accounted for a way to track sales and publications–only submissions and rejections. Go figure! I’ll figure out a way to integrate this will my book collection database.

Wrap up

I spent about 6-7 hours today working on interfaces for my book collection/reading list databases. It’s possible that by tomorrow I will have enough in place to make some of this more public so that people who are curious can take a look.

I’m quitting for the night on this, and I’m just going to relax for the rest of the evening.

The driver side door on my car has a problem. When I opened it the other morning, I heard a pop. The cable that attaches from the car to the door to help the door open slowly and keep it in place snapped. I vaguely recall this happened to me once before many years ago (or maybe it was Tawnya’s car?). It’s not a problem, I just have to be careful when I open the door that it doesn’t fly open. But at some point, I should get it fixed.

I got my T-Mobile bill today and sure enough, I completely forgot to pay it last month; the new bill was exactly twice as much as usual. Oops.

A few minutes ago, I received email from Norm (of vickyandnorm fame). He emailed me from his flight from London to New York asking if it was unusual that the outside temperature at 38,000 feet was -75 C. For some reason, I found that amusing.

In the course of the last 3 hours that I have been writing code, I have listened to 46 songs in iTunes “party shuffle” mode. That’s an average of just under 4 minutes per song. I don’t know what made me think of checking that, but I think it means it’s time to go.

Free day tomorrow!

Book database updates

I got home from work at about 6 PM and I have been working on updates to the book/reading database ever since (virtually without stopping). My goal for the weekend was to (finally) get the web-based interfaces for updating the database put together and I made pretty good progress tonight. I got the interfaces for titles and publications well underway and working for the most part. There are several additional components to each of the interfaces that need to be added. And I need an web interface to the reading list that allows me to update, but I plan on getting those done tomorrow.

And then on Sunday, some searching capabilities…

Long day

I was up at 4:30 yesterday morning (since it is now past midnight) and it is now approaching 2 AM and I’m about ready to get to bed. I’ve been up for more than 21 hours and it’s my longest day in quite a while. I was working on my book database this evening, and then cataloging some magazines (I’ll have more to say about this tomorrow). Then I got stuck in front of the TV watching Armageddon.

Now I’m off to bed. I have to stop by the post office in the morning to pick up my passport.

The new MySQL-based reading lists

Enough of the infrastructure is in place where so that my new MySQL/PHP-based reading lists are available. They are far from finished, and functionality is minimal at the moment. No stats yet. Just a basic stylesheet, some queries and presentation of some of the data.

All of my reading back through 1996 is available, and if you want to take a look at a “beta” version of the new design, check it out at:


The nice thing about this is that it integrates seamlessly with (and will eventually have links in to) my book collection database. At some point in the near future, I will post the data model and you can see for yourself how cool this really is.

More work on the book and reading database

While waiting for Mom and Dad to call last night, I got some more work done on the MySQL/PHP version of my book collection, reading and submissions database. It is now generating lists from the database, which is good. No styles have been applied yet and so it’s really not in any condition to make public yet, but I think I’ll have something to show in a week or so.

I’m having a good time working on it. I find it easier to do certain database related tasks in PHP than in perl. Plus it’s fun to work on something of your own. Today at work, I’ll be working on C# all morning, developing fixes for 13 “open” bugs in the project tracking system I have been developing. And if I get all those out of the way before noon, then I move onto integrating the system security programmatically with Active Directory, something that I started on yesterday and that grew increasingly confusing the longer I worked on it.

Free day

Today is my free day–no workouts and I can eat whatever I want. I slept in until 9 AM, which is late for me and then I had a quick breakfast and headed out to the grocery store to do some shopping. Since then, I have been working on the book collection and reading database applications and have made good progress in converting the old formats to the new data model. I should be able to start writing actual code soon.

I’ve been listening to Pink Floyd all day. So far I’ve listened to Piper at the Gates of Dawn, A Saucerful of Secrets, Meddle, Obscured by Clouds, and Dark Side of the Moon. I’m now in the middle of listening to a live version of the Dark Side of the Moon album.

I talked to Doug earlier today. Their power has been restored and they should be able to go home today. (They live in Seattle and were affected by some of the storms there.) I also talked to jen_ashlock briefly. She and jkashlock are in San Diego this weekend and take the red-eye home tonight.

I’m off to treat myself to something good to eat.

Database development

Up just after 8 AM and breakfast. Then I started on the conversion and migration of my book collection and reading lists databases from Booxter/MySQL on my local machine, to the instance of MySQL I now have through my ISP and I have been working on that most of the day thus far, making some pretty good progress. This has to be done before I can write any of the perl or PHP (more PHP than perl, actually) code for the web interfaces. There are two parts to the web interfaces: public-facing, which is what people who go to my website will see; and private-facing, which is what I will use to keep the data up-to-date.

But I’m taking a break at this point to head over to the gym and do my strength training workout. This afternoon it’s arms and shoulders.

Improvements to online databases coming soon!

At home, I maintain my book collection, reading list, and story submissions databases within MySQL on my iMac. I have scripts that take this data and either build static pages, or create flat files that can be used by perl or PHP scripts to present the data on my website. Currently, my reading list is of the former category, static pages updated nightly. My book collection and story submission log are of the latter category, where flat files of the data are uploaded nightly and the data is presented via perl scripts on the website.

As of this morning, I have signed up for the MySQL database service offered by my ISP, Panix. With this service, I can maintain all of this data in MySQL databases hosted by my ISP and access these databases via Perl, PHP, Python, and C. What all of this means is that in the coming weeks, there should be some dramatic improvements to the capabilities you will see in these three databases, better searching, richer information, some pretty cool stuff.

Developing the public-facing code is not the problem (after all, I make a living doing application development, most of which involves databases). Finding the time to develop the public-facing code is another issue. But keep your eyes peeled for these changes. I’ll be sure to announce them as they are completed.

Progress on the book collection database

I did manage to get started tonight, but it was mostly on configuration and design issues:

I upgraded my system to PHP 5.1.4 and MySQL 5.0.24. I also upgraded my installation of MediaWiki to 1.7.x (I use MediaWiki for not only developer notes and design documents, but for just about all household related stuff) Once all of that was configured, I got to work outlining the stored procedure API, which now consists of 96 stored procedures.

I expect to do more this weekend, but I’m beat tonight, and am off to bed…

Changes coming to my book database

Ever since I switched from a PC to a Mac at home, I have been using Booxter to manage my collection of books. Back in the day, I had developed my own, Windows-based, home grown application to manage it, but on the Mac, Booxter seemed the way to go. It served me well for quite some time.

But I want something web-based, something that will do libaray and reference management, and something that ties seemlessly into my reading list application. Over the last week, I have been working on the data model in my spare time, and I now have a model that I think does everything I need it to do. To make this work on the web, I’ve decided to do it as a LAMP application (replacing the L for Linux with a D for Darwin): Darwin (Mac), Apache, MySQL, PHP. I’m using a three-tier model for the application design and I have outlined the core API (stored procedures) for the database layer.

I plan on getting started this Labor Day weekend. My goals for the weekend are as follows:

  1. Implement the data model in MySQL
  2. Code the API
  3. Export my data from Booxter into my new data model

If I can get that much done over the long weekend, I will be very happy.

As for the longer-term plan, I am trying to completely seperate the presentation layer from the rest of the application so that the initial interfaces will be bare-bones HTML. Ultimately, I will build up the look and feel using CSS. Once I have a working data management interface, I will look into porting portions of the application to my public website, so that people can search the database if they want to.

Sounds like the perfect thing to be working on during this long and rainy weekend.

I’m also looking into buying two more bookshelves for my home office since I am way out of space on the 7 existing shelve units. But more on this later.