DaveWentzel.com            All Things Data

June 2010

Good things come to those who wait

...it's a motto I live my life by.  I can only think of a handful of people who have wronged me who haven't suffered.  Maybe it's karma.  Here's another famous Indian with a quote that I can relate to especially today...

First they ignore you; then they ridicule you; then they fight you; then you win.




Data Virtualization

For some reason "data virtualization" is one of the new hot buzzwords in my industry.  Data virtualization is really just combining a bunch of data sources (databases, unstructured data, DWs, weblogs, whatever) into a single virtual data tier layer that provides access to applications.  Haven't we been doing this for years.  I remember when linked servers came out for SQL Server.  I thought they were the coolest thing at the time.  I could now connect to Oracle from my SQL Server and manipulate the data in the more familiar TSQL, realtime, without the need of an ETL process.

RAID 0+1 and RAID 1+0

I often hear people advocating the use of RAID 1+0 as the best RAID choice for a SQL data file.  In reality, these people really mean RAID 0+1, it's a simple mistake to make, but it does make you sound a little less-than-knowledgeable when you make the mistake (and I've made it often).  

The War in Afghanistan is now the longest war in US history

As of today, June 7, 2010, the War in Afghanistan is the longest war in US history.  A few interesting facts

  • it's a landlocked country with no real industry or agriculture to speak of...some think 1/3 of the GDP is from the drug trade...
  • yet it's always been a focal point of war and invasions.  Maybe to control the drugs, or profit from them...Vietnam parallels come to mind.  Or maybe it's psychological...Afghanistan sits right in the middle of Asia and could be viewed as a stepping stone to any other part of Asia.   Or maybe it's the *possibility* of vast unproven oil reserves.  
  • Let's look at a few of these invasions:
Invader Purpose of Invasion Outcome
Alexander the Great probably just another stepping stone after Persia He got ousted almost immediately, calling the inhabitants "brave", "lion-like".  
The Mauryans Basically invaders from India, they brought Buddhism and weren't too terrible They left after about 100 years.  
Muslim armies They brought Islam Many different rulers emerged, mostly peacefully, and Afghanistan was the home of great architecture and liberty (for that period of history)
Genghis Khan he liked war and pillaging The mongols and successors ransacked everything.  The people simply moved to the countryside as farmers. 
Tons and tons of other invaders various At times Afghan culture flourished, at other times the occupiers were too oppressive and the populace took to the countryside as farmers. But they were always looking for the next opportunity to rebel and throw off the ruling class (true libertarians).  
Soviet invasion Civil war started amongst the Afghans and the Soviets backed a communist faction so they invaded to "help out"

Of course the US backed the other side, causing tensions.  By the withdrawal in 1989  (10 years), a half million Afghans were killed and quite likely many more Soviets.  Again, afghans fled to the countryside or left the area completely.  The US views this as a psychology victory over the Soviets in the Cold War...having forced the USSR into their "Vietnam War".  

Wow, doesn't seem like a good record for the invaders.  Seems like the guerrilla tactics worked, forcing a long slog for the invaders to endure.  Every invader eventually left, pissing off the native peoples, severely weakening their invading forces in the process.  

But we're Americans, that could never happen to US.  

SQL Injection

By now you should know all about SQL injection, I won't rehash it here.  I'm always interested in nifty tricks to overcome difficult problems.  For SQL Injection attacks where you are building dynamic sql most folks will tell you to use sp_executesql to overcome most of the headaches, vs simply taking a string parameter and passing it to EXEC().  But here's another trick I like that uses derived tables instead.


Some research on Solid State Drives

I started to do some research on SSD's and began to write a page on the subject.  

Don't be an Asshat

As usual, I'm behind the times with the newest trends.  Today I've noticed this by being the only person who apparently has never heard of the term "asshat."