Web surfing today I stumbled upon Ora-WTF.blogspot.com. This will be one to follow.

Now most of the world won’t understand why logging users clear-text passwords in a table is a bad idea, or that your error handling should handle errors, not cause them, but for those of us who get some perverse pleasure from disaster prone, elaborate solutions to everyday problems this is a great site!

I am amused. This blog has just the right attitude for my current mood (spread too thin, working on too many disparate projects at once, and jealous of my student worker who gets to work on one thing at a time, at least at work.)

oracle, weblog, blog, wtf, database administration, database programming

Tom Kyte, one of the (many) good guys in the Oracle blogging community posted quite a rant a couple weeks ago. In short, Tom was disappointed with the attitude of a user who asked a broad, newbie question and was then upset when Tom’s answer was more involved than “Take two of these and call me in the morning.”

Tom’s experience reminds me that there is a right way and a wrong way to use the information on this site (and others.)

The wrong way to use information on this site:

“There’s the code I need!” copy, paste “That’s done!”

Using any commands you don’t understand in a production system should scare you. If it doesn’t, just consider what good excuse you’re going to give your boss when a system fails due to some code you just got off the internet.

The right way to use information on this site:

“That looks like what I want to do, let me read more on that and try it in a test system.” or “What was the syntax for what I’m doing?”

The information here isn’t provided to solve your problems, it is provided for educational purposes. Education and reference. While that may sound like it’s intended to lower my liability when you blow up your production database, it is; but it is also my true intention.

I am the type of person who wants to know how everything works. That doesn’t mean I won’t grab some code, throw it in a test database, see what happens, and learn from that example, but it does mean that I won’t put my job on the line with someone elses information.

Seek knowledge, not information. It takes longer to acquire, but it is far more applicable and will get you much further.

technology, oracle, information technology

If you’re serious about your website then you either are already gathering statistics on your site’s traffic or you wish you were. If WordPress is your publishing platform of choice here are a couple WordPress plugin options I use which will give you some great results with little effort.

bsuite

The first option, which I’ve been using since I started Life After Coffee is Casey Bisson’s bsuite plugin. This plugin is what puts the Top Stories in my sidebar as well as handling my tagging, showing read counts at the bottom of stories, and much more.

The bsuite plugin gives you lots of options and a comprehensive report of reads on top stories and your top days for reads. Initial setup is easy with lots of options for more advanced configuration.

Google Analytics and Google Analyticator

If you haven’t already got a Google Analytics account you’ll have to get in line. As of the time of this writing they are not allowing new accounts but you can sign up to be notified when they open up.

Once you’ve got an Analytics account you need to post a few lines of Java code into the head of your pages. This is where Google Analyticator from cavemonkey50.com comes in. This plugin will automatically insert the Analytics code in all the right places.

Analiticator setup is straight forward with some nice options. It sets up like most other WordPress plugins then all you need to do is activate it and enter your Analytics UID (provided by Google.) Most importantly, since Analyticator is a plugin it continues to work if you change themes to another plugin compatible theme (which would not be the case if you manually inserted the code.)

google analytics, analytics, stats, bsuite, wordpress, plugin, blog

Innovation Creators (which I’ve started reading regularly) has an interesting and broad article about micromanagement. The article touches on micro- versus macro-management in industry, relevance to enterprise blogs and economy.

Having recently suffered through the ultimate micromanagement experience, and now working for a true macromanager (referred to as Theory X and Theory Y managers respectively) this article outlines the differences very well and points to some other interesting resources on the topic.

management, project management, theory x, theory y, cat herding, micromanagement

JR Screen Ruler and PixieI’m no web designer but I’ve done quite a bit of modification for this site and these two little free tools help a lot.

The first one is JR Screen Ruler. It’s a small app which does just what you see. You can place a ruler, measured in pixels, anywhere on your screen. You can have it vertically or horizontally and you can adjust the length.

This image actually shows one ruler vertical and one horizontal. It will stay on top of all open windows. There are other screen rulers out there but this one has all the features I’m looking for.

The second app is Pixie. Pixie shows you a swatch of the pixel your mouse is currently over. It also gives you the hex, HTML, RGB, CMYK, and HSV values of the color making it easy to capture the color for reproduction in your favorite app. You can even hit control-alt-c to copy the HTML value for the color you’re looking at straight to the clipboard.

Thanks again to Zach (who is a web designer) for introducing me to these tools.

development, web development, graphic design, graphics, html

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