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Year View| Summary| Highlights| Month View| Friday 27 May 2005 (Day View)

27.05.2005Friday 27 May – Oracle Dies, I Electrocute

I woke up when my alarm went off, and made one of those clever decisions one makes in the period between waking and becoming – that I would sleep in. I carefully weighed up the amount of work I had to complete on my assignment, the length of time it would take me, including how long it would take me to get to uni in the first place, and then I realised it was very cold. A few hours later, when it wasn’t so cold, I trained into uni, refreshed and ready to do a last minute panic for INFS3202 – and panic I did. Oracle, the crap joke of a database that it is, only worked one in a hundred attempts. It would seem it can’t handle being used as a database by more than one person at a time. I had done most of the work in my all-night stint, and only had testing and a few minor modifications to make. Had Oracle not failed most of the time, I could easily have done what I needed to do, but it is very difficult to test a modification that could have ramifications all over the place when Oracle will fail after three queries, repeatedly. There were people all over the place swearing and cursing. If Oracle are trying to give students exposure to their product by placing them in universities, I think they should reconsider. I will now attempt never to use an Oracle database, and most certainly couldn’t recommend one to anyone.
It is funny how stressful deadlines are. I submitted my INFS3202 assignment, hopefully working but largely untested, a minute or so before its four o’clock deadline – and I only forgot to submit one file. The lead-up to the deadline was not fun. Watching minutes tick by, database connection exception by database connection exception, interspersed with the occasional time when I could actually connect to the database, wasn’t my first choice on how to spend the evening. Looking on the bright side, I now have database error catching code in my assignment. I was sorely tempted to loop connecting until one actually worked, and keep a pool of spare connected connections for when it died, but I figured the people having noisy nervous breakdowns beside me would kill me if they found out.
I headed in to work after a quick trip to the Ville for Spaghetti Napolitana. Work involved much rushing around campus, testing things, experiencing electric shocks, and generally enjoying myself. I’m beginning to think that staying up all night occasionally is good – I felt rejuvenated and happy. Even when I should have been angry, upset and stressed, I saw it as a challenge and was amused by the anger of others.
The two men sitting behind me held a heated discussion about train control systems. They were particularly, and vehemently, interested in how they determine the length of a train, and what happens when a train isn’t that length. Their favourite phrase was “no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, that’s not what I’m saying”. A close second was “no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, what I’m saying is...” As exciting as their argument was, it couldn’t match the drunken football fans, who screamed, yelled, and either passed out or drank more in their admirable attempt at achieving a state as close as possible to that which any sane person would avoid, otherwise known as blotto. The bloke who woke up his passed-out girlfriend by blocking all her airways seemed to be a particularly innovative and caring type – I can’t help wondering why they never taught me that in first aid.
It is a quarter to four, according to “Banshee Screamer”, my clock down in the corner where the mouse pointer inexplicably jumps to when it runs off the edge of its pad – and I’m nearly out of jellybeans, so I should probably consider bed. In other news, Google have approved my next ad payment – but it breaks their terms of use to mention the amount. I suppose sleep must be got, so to get it I shall go.
I’d have thought I’d be tired after getting very little sleep all week, but apparently not. I am, however, now going to bed – tired or not. I’m also nearly frozen. I will use the “push” technique of sleep enforcement – setting an alarm so that I will only get five and a half hours sleep. This will mean that, eventually, I will be tired early enough to go to bed early. I may patent the idea (if I don’t die from sleep deprivation or jellybeans first).
Comment by Lucas – Sunday 29 May 2005, 10:36 PM
  I've used oracle at uni for 3 assignments in seperate courses over the past 3 years and really haven't much troubles... well at least nowhere near the amount you seem to be having!
  Maybe the DBAs are on holidays...

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