Don’t mess with LIKE

As I have already shown you, implicit type conversion is one of the most dangerous features of Oracle SQL and PL/SQL. It is dangerous because it happens automatically without your knowledge and may lead to unpredictable results. These problems are most common when dealing with DATE conversions, but not limited to them. For example, let’s have a look at this question by James Collins. James had a problem, the following query was slow: Read more →

SYSDATE confusions

SYSDATE is one of the most commonly used Oracle functions. Indeed, whenever you need the current date or time, you just type SYSDATE and you’re done. However, sometimes it’s not all that simple. There are a few confusions associated with SYSDATE that are pretty common and, if not understood, can cause a lot of damage. First of all, SYSDATE returns not just current date, but date and time combined. More precisely, the current date and time down to a second. Read more →

Make it beautiful

You only need a single look at Sydney Opera House to recognise that it is a work of art. Any masterpiece is like that – you don’t need to do a throughout examination of Mona Lisa’s smile to realise its beauty – you see it instantly. Perfection needs no explanation, it works on subconscious level. The same applies to the software engineering too. Great code always looks good. It is always carefully formatted, indented and commented. Read more →

Quest for the perfect reader is almost over

Those who know me know that I’ve been searching for a perfect ebook reader device for years. I’ve used mobile phones, Palm PDAs, pocket PCs, laptops… About 7 years ago I got excited about prospects of E-Ink technology, promising to deliver just what I needed. Unfortunately, E-Ink has turned out to be utter disappointment, so far delivering little but bold promises. It took years and years for the first E-Ink devices to turn up on the market. Read more →

How to get a root password

It’s been a month since I started playing an involving adventure game “Get a root password for a weekend” with a very large multinational consulting company. That quest requires carrying out a complex sequence of actions, each of which is unknown in advance. A single error leads to a failure and necessity to start all over again. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200. Now I am almost through my second attempt. Read more →

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