Archive for the 'work' Category

Confused 2

For the past few months, I’ve had the webcam at the Red Rocks Visitor Center as my desktop background with a script that automatically updated it every 5 minutes. It basically gave me a window into Red Rocks on my desk. Every now and then, I’d hit the little ‘Show Desktop’ button and just stare into the beautiful mountains and clouds and wish I was far away from my desk, and definitely not working.

A few days ago, however, the camera was moved — whether it was intentional or just bumped I’ll never know — and now focuses more on the new visitor’s center that’s being constructed than the lovely landscape behind it. Consequently, it lost much of its desktop appeal. So I switched back the desktop I’d had before: a panorama I’d taken in Calico Basin (just outside Red Rocks proper).

Just now, I caught a quick glimpse of my background, my window into Red Rocks.


For a second I briefly considered standing up and leaving work that instant. And then I remembered. 🙁

Represent! 5

I just learned that I’ll be presenting at the 2008 installment of the DC PHP Conference (in Washington DC, oddly enough). I’m excited about the prospect.

The Importance of Bits 2

With their abundant availability both in volatile and permanent storage (i.e., RAM and hard-disks), sometimes I think the value of bits is lost on more recent developers, especially those that write in a very high-level language, like, say, PHP. The past few weeks I’ve been working very closely with some data analysts in our company — in particular, I’ve been compiling some very large tables (think nearly 1 billion rows per month) into “views” (technically, they’re completely new tables) that are much more manageable.

Tonight, mostly as an exercise in futility, I began looking at some of the foreign keys stored in the gargantuan tables. One of them in particular links to a table that currently contains (oddly enough) 256 rows. It grows very, very slowly. Currently the column is a long integer: 4 bytes. Imagine for a minute that we replaced that with what MySQL calls a small integer, or 2 bytes. Last month’s table was in the neighborhood of 900,000,000 rows, times 2, divided by 1024… That’s something just shy of 2 GIGAbytes that we’ve saved. (Never mind that there are about 4 other foreign keys this could also be applied to).

Every byte adds up, folks. Save ’em while you can.

(Some might call this inconvenient math. I’m not quite that unscrupulous.)

New Hire 2

I’d like you to meet my new coworker. We just started working with together yesterday (Friday), but we’re getting along famously. I’ve found that bouncing my code off him is increasing my productivity immensely, and — this might sound a little weird — I just can’t stop looking at him.

New Coworker

Forget the lame attempt at humor. Yes, that’s a Dell 24″ LCD. I’m quite excited about it, if you couldn’t tell. Makes me feel important or something.