No TWiT this week, future uncertain?

Leo Laporte reported today that there would be no TWiT (This Week in Tech) podcast for the next couple weeks and he’s not sure what the future of the show will be:

I’ll decide what happens to TWiT, the show, when I come back, but at this point it looks like it’s on life support and the heart monitor is flatlining.

Leo already has over 100 comments on the story which is only a few hours old. While I don’t envy him the hours he’ll likely spend reading the comments, I love the show so much I had to add my two cents worth:


I know how exhausting it can be to keep pouring your heart into something while others treat it as a hobby.

But, that’s what it is to some. I learned a long time ago, while managing student workers, that it’s important to remember what a job, project, podcast (or is that netcast) means to the others involved, not just what it means to you.

It sounds like you still want to do TWiT, and the tech news isn’t going to stop coming. Consider how you could re-engage some of the other twits. Is there a better time for others? Would a shorter format be easier? Are there topics they want to cover that you don’t normally hit on?

As much as I’m a big fan of the current TWiT regulars there are plenty of people out there with opinions. Perhaps you need a larger pool of regulars. When I want to play poker I always invite twice as many people as I want to have play knowing half will cancel for some (completely valid) reason or another.

Is it a TWiT without Patrick and John? I think so. Maybe just a different TWiT. You’ve got an established name, a big audience and even a sponsor. Why start something completely new when you’ve got these things going for you?

But, on a completely selfish level, please, please, please, please, PLEASE don’t stop making TWiT, and thank you and all the other twits for making so many great episodes.


technology, computer, news, information technology

This Week in Tech Podcast – Feed your Inner Geek!

TWiTThere are a lot of dry monotone technology podcasts out there, but Leo Laporte’s TWiT podcast isn’t one of them. Every week Laporte brings together a cast of industry leaders to discuss exciting technology topics ranging from the latest offerings from Microsoft to what’s new on RFID hacking.

Laporte, along with regulars Patrick Norton and John C. Dvorak are joined by other technology professionals for this roundtable discussion. Together they run through a dozen or so top technology each week. Typically these podcasts are a bit over an hour, but if you have a long drive like I do, it’s an hour well spent.

If you work in or are studying technology, especially information technology, you should check out the TWIT podcast. Get the MP3 or AAC version on iTunes!

technology, tech, podcast, mp3

Shifting Demand for Database Books

Donald Burleson of Burleson Consulting points out some interesting statistics from Tim O’Reilly on trends in the tech book market.

If we assume that people are buying books because of a market demand, we see Oracle is steep decline and SQL Server book sales up 83%, followed closely by PostgreSQL. We saw this exact same trend in 1992-1995 when Oracle books started to dominate the database book market, displacing DB2 and IDMS/R books.

As a whole, the big news is that database book sales are way-down with the exception of PostgreSQL and SQL Server books, which are up 83% and are now double the size of the Oracle market.

Check out Donald Burleson’s full article

Some of this shift may be due to the recent release of Microsoft SQL Server 2005. Dispite it’s small overall percentage, the growth in PostgreSQL book sales is significant enough to keep an eye on it in the near future.

Also interesting is the stagnation of the MySQL book sales, down 2% from last year. With the number of blogs, wikis and other relatively hot technologies running on MySQL I’m surprised this number is down.

In contrast to the book sales, Alexa, which measures a number of statistics to determine rank among web pages, shows increased web ranking for Oracle, MySQL and PostgreSQL, while showing decreased traffic to Microsoft’s corporate site.

Graph by

For the full scoop according to Tim O’Reilly, check out his articles State of the Computer Book Market, Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

books, book, tech books, technology, computers, database, dba, database administration, publishing, oracle

Tom Kyte’s Rant

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

Finally Some News on iPod Battery Settlement

On December 22, 2005 the Apple iPod Settlement Administration website posted that the settlement of the iPod battery class action suit was final and that “the Settlement Administrator can move forward with claims administration and claims fulfillment.” In the two months since then there have been no updates on what exactly that meant.

Today on my routine web crawl for information on the topic I found this article on which outlines the following timeframe for settlement:

February 17, 2006 – The Claims Administrator will mail $25 checks to Class Members who purchased the AppleCare Protection Plan and obtained battery repair/replacement under the AppleCare Protection Plan.

Beginning of March 2006 – For Class members who own a First or Second Generation iPod and who selected the $25 cash payment, the Claims Administrator will begin mailing $25 checks to those who submitted valid claims.

Middle of March 2006 – For Class members who own a Third Generation iPod and who selected battery/iPod replacement, the Claims Administrator will begin mailing letters containing instructions for battery/iPod replacement to those who submitted valid claims.

Middle of March 2006 – For Class members who own a First, Second or Third Generation iPod and who selected a $50 store credit, the Claims Administrator will begin mailing letters with certificate codes for the $50 store credit to those who submitted valid claims.

Around March 17, 2006 – The Claims Administrator will begin sending deficiency letters to Class members who submitted an incomplete/incorrect claim.

End of March 2006 – The Claims Administrator will send denial letters to those individuals who do not fit the class definition or who submitted their claims past the claims deadline.

It’s been almost a year since claim forms went out, but hey, at least there are signs of action. Thanks iLounge for reporting on this. Now why couldn’t the settlement administration have posted this timeline on the official website?

ipod, apple, apple computing, battery, technology