Stop the Safety Dance, I want to get off

by Peter Tyrrell Friday, August 19, 2005 11:21 AM

We can dance We can dance Everybody take off your pants. Men Without Hats. Not actually the actual lyrics. But can't. Get it. Out. Of. My. Head.



by Denise Bonin Wednesday, August 17, 2005 11:13 PM

I confess... I have always had a desire to drive a Zamboni. I'm not sure if this stems from my love of skating and the fact that I learned how to skate on a quintessentially Canadian back-yard ice rink in Saskatoon or from playing road hockey with my brothers and all the neighbourhood boys where I grew up in the frozen north. Maybe this desire is deeply rooted in the hilarity of seeing those Shultz cartoons of Snoopy driving a Zamboni on the frozen bird bath for Woodsock and his buddies or perhaps it is just from watching those wonderful machines doing their so incredibly specialized duty at the ice arena. When I was a girl there were no ice hockey teams for girls; at least not in my small community. The closest I came was teaching all the little hockey-playing boys how to skate and specifically how to stop before crashing into the boards. I did play on a women's hockey team in New Zealand, but I had to laugh when I was asked why I kept calling it grass hockey; they asked what other kind of hockey was there, anyway? Oh my goodness where have these people been? They kept referring to Canada's national sport as ice hockey. I had to ask why add the ice! Just think what a different person I might be today if I had been a member of the Canadian Olympic Gold medal womens hockey team! Anyway, I had my Zamboni driving (actually more like riding) desire fulfilled just the other day in the most unlikely of places: Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. We were on a family holiday and the temperature was hot: 30 plus degrees. We were driving along a nice country road heading towards a park for a bit of a hike when on the side of the road I saw a sign reading GOT ICE? Well, that caught my eye on that hot day and especially what was behind the sign… any guesses? Yes, a Zamboni! Imagine a Zamboni on Salt Spring Island! What was it doing there? How in the world did it get there? What were the people thinking when they brought it there? I convinced my husband to pull over on the return trip past it, which he did without hesitation, as he knew I had this deep down obsession with Zambonis and my daughter took photos of me on the big blue machine. It was a beautiful thing! At last a life long dream partially fulfilled! Now I just need the ice.


Legitimate News

by Peter Tyrrell Wednesday, August 17, 2005 9:57 AM

Scientists develop pee-powered battery Technology ushers in a new Golden Age. Laptops spark sale stampede "...with people being thrown to the pavement and beaten with a folding chair. One woman wet herself rather than surrender her place in line." Probably planning to power her laptop with the aforementioned. And by the way, they were 4 year old iBooks. Wtf?


What I reads

by Peter Tyrrell Tuesday, August 16, 2005 5:28 PM

What I'm reading right now. And reviews.

A New Kind of Science, Stephen Wolfram Brain say ouch. Smoo stars.

Farmer Giles of Ham, J.R.R. Tolkien Haven't actually started. Due back at library soon. Probably... not going to get read. Uh... no stars yet.

Eric, Terry Pratchett A book I'm almost finished but am not going to finish because frankly it sucks. I've read a lot of Terry Pratchett (by which I mean all of Terry Pratchett) and this one should be avoided. Can't believe I bought it. -1 stars. That's minus one.

The Pinball Effect, James Burke More goodness from Mr. Burke. The best part about reading him is that he writes like he talks. Ace stars.

Gardens of the Moon, Steven Erikson Sigh. I tried this once already, but Dana said I should try it AGAIN, so I promised him I'd make it through 200 pages before giving up. I'm on page 50. It had better get good FAST. 50 stars. One for every page I've suffered through.


Inmagic date formats and regional settings

by Peter Tyrrell Tuesday, August 16, 2005 1:37 PM

Okay, I did some tests and this is the conclusion: in v7 of dbtext anyway, the dbtext.ini file can be given a short date format, BUT this is very misleading because although dbtext uses the dbtext.ini format to *stamp* the date (when automatic), the dbtext.ini format is completely ignored when the date is indexed. And when indexing, dbtext indexes the date as an unambiguous absolute. What does this mean? Let's say today is Feb 10, 2005. My machine's regional settings are M/d/yyyy. To my machine, Feb 10 2005 reads 2/10/2005 in short format. If I don't touch the dbtext.ini, any autodate in short format in dbtext is going to be stamped in as 2/10/2005, and that date string will be indexed as Feb 10 2005. All good. As soon as you try to *overrride* Windows regional settings with dbtext.ini, problems arise. Let's summarize in shorthand, assuming the new record date is Feb 10, 2005: Trouble shows up when dbtext.ini is set to the Windows regional settings' opposite. The autodate gets *stamped* according to dbtext.ini, but *indexed* according to Windows regional settings. Remember "today" is Feb 10 2005 so the date should be getting indexed as Feb 10 2005. Wherever you see Indexed As Oct 2 2005 (Case 2 & 4) it's because dbtext.ini is set to the reverse of Windows regional settings. The take-home message is: do not assume that a date format setting in dbtext.ini overrides Windows regional settings, because it doesn't in all actions. Also, because the date index is never subject to reinterpretation, whatever absolute date was laid down at the time of the orginal indexing (usually when record was saved) is the absolute date that remains, *regardless* of whether the textbase is moved to another machine where the regional settings differ, and regardless of whether the machine the textbase resides on has its regional settings changed. You must re-index the date field to pick up on a different regional settings environment. The consequences of this legacy index behaviour are not at all clear in the Inmagic kbase article 2606 Troubleshooting when the Date format changes after upgrading operating system, nor are the risks of setting date formats in DBTEXT.INI discussed in Inmagic kbase article 2122 Date Formats Supported by DB/TextWorks. In the case of the former, there should be instructions to re-index after the Windows regional settings change, and for the latter, it should be made clear that DBTEXT.INI date format settings do not override Windows regional settings when indexing.


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