Tim Habersack

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I don’t control all the communication

Does this ever happen to you? You get an email or text from someone you haven’t heard from in a while, with a message of, “Hope all is well, haven’t heard from you in a while.” Or something similar. What is even worse are the ones you hear it through others, where someone says, “Bob Balaw wanted me to tell you he misses you.”

The older I get, the more this irks me. My main gripe with it is this: Communication goes both ways. It isn’t my responsibility to always initiate communication. If someone misses you, why don’t they contact you? At least with something more than a, “haven’t heard from you in a while”. Because that means that I haven’t heard from them in a while too. But the implication I see there is that it is my responsibility to contact them, and I haven’t. Which really, if you think about it, is manipulative. Some emotional blackmail, that. Especially if they use a parent or someone you really care about to convey the message.

I guess my point is this: if you want to talk to someone, or miss someone, initiate communication! Don’t send guilt-laden messages.

This post is in no way is a result of recent life events. 🙂

I don’t like it.

I’m looking at my blog, and I am totally uninspired to write.

I look at my blog circa 2004 and I totally want to write on that! Why is that?

I miss the old internet. There was less concern with slick-looking pages, and more excitement about just getting content up there. Part of it is too, it reminds me of my excitement I had back then for my blog.

I’m redesigning my site to make it look like my old Movable Type site. Maybe then I will post more. And I don’t care that it won’t look slick, this blog is primarily for me, after all.

Voltaire introducing me to some new words, ideas.

I’ve been reading selections of Voltaire’s work. Namely, a group of short essays, jots (dare we say blogposts) called ‘Selections’. It’s been good for me, I feel like my mind is getting a little more active. My plan to read more is paying off.

I’m stumbling across all sorts of wonderful words, and rabbit trails to new things to research. I’ll be sharing them as I go along. Here are a couple new words:

  • Voluptuary: n – a person whose life is devoted to the pursuit and enjoyment of luxury and sensual pleasure.
    • This reminded me of San Francisco. I know people in SF who aren’t like this, but it seems like the majority of people there are.
  • Calumniate: v – to make false and malicious statements about; slander.
  • Manichaeism: n – the system of religious doctrines, including elements of Gnosticism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Buddhism, etc, taught by the Persian prophet Mani about the 3rd century ad . It was based on a supposed primordial conflict between light and darkness or goodness and evil. (See also the wikipedia article)

Actual Nickelpinch news!

Link first, to the project on github.

So, I spent time this weekend working a little on Nickelpinch. Saturday, I haunted the Lafayette Library’s halls and coded away, and have a pretty good finished product for what the new database structure will be like. See the model in PDF.

Then last night and today I worked with jQuery Mobile to start on the mockups of the new interface, optimized for mobile/tablets.

  1. Start here
  2. The starting page. click login at the top left
  3. The login page! just click submit
  4. The overview page. You are viewing a users info, they have four categories (rent, food, fun, utilities) Click on any to open the details of the category. It will show the Reserve (how much they’ve allocated to that category), Tally (how much they’ve spent so far this month in that category), and Limit (The limit of how much they want to spend on that category). The color coding should be mostly self-explanatory. Then click add, on the bottom left
  5. The Add Entry page. It’s where you’ll be able to add a new purchase. I believe it’s pretty user friendly, though it needs a date picker.
  6. End of tour

Holy moly is it cool!

I’m totally wiped right now, otherwise I’d write more.

Date-storing tests in MySQL; Part 2

The results are in. First, there was a little thing I forgot about when describing the test to you earlier. Namely, storage size. The amount of storage required is also another thing to think about.

The relevant sizes of MySQL data types:

  • DATE: 3 bytes
  • INT: 4 bytes

Looking at my 3 ideas, one should be thrown out right away. Having three integers, even reducing them to 2 TINYINT’s (1 byte) and 1 SMALLINT (2 bytes), we are still talking 4 bytes, and thats with a lot of extra complexity. So that was out.

I generated a dataset with a little over 7 million rows, with data looking like:

[sourcecode language=”sql”]
mysql> SELECT * FROM crunchme LIMIT 10;
| idcrunchme | a_date | tim_date | a_year | a_month | a_day |
| 12111 | 2009-01-01 | 20090101 | 2009 | 1 | 1 |
| 12112 | 2011-03-03 | 20110303 | 2011 | 3 | 3 |
| 12113 | 2008-11-19 | 20081119 | 2008 | 11 | 19 |
| 12114 | 2009-07-16 | 20090716 | 2009 | 7 | 16 |
| 12115 | 2008-10-19 | 20081019 | 2008 | 10 | 19 |
| 12116 | 2009-04-22 | 20090422 | 2009 | 4 | 22 |
| 12117 | 2009-04-03 | 20090403 | 2009 | 4 | 3 |
| 12118 | 2011-06-10 | 20110610 | 2011 | 6 | 10 |
| 12119 | 2009-06-01 | 20090601 | 2009 | 6 | 1 |
| 12120 | 2008-08-24 | 20080824 | 2008 | 8 | 24 |

Let’s see what happens when we run some queries!

[sourcecode language=”sql”]
mysql>SELECT SQL_NO_CACHE count(idcrunchme) FROM crunchme WHERE tim_date >= 20100101 AND tim_date <= 20110514;

| count(idcrunchme) |
| 2388242 |
1 row in set (2.96 sec)

mysql>SELECT SQL_NO_CACHE count(idcrunchme) FROM crunchme WHERE a_date >= ‘2010-01-01′ AND a_date<=’2011-05-14’;
| count(idcrunchme) |
| 2388242 |
1 row in set (3.61 sec)

So, the integer solution is faster, by roughly 22% at this level. However, here is where it gets fun. It is larger, by one byte. Also, it will mean having to add extra code when I’m working with dates in my CodeIgniter app.

After all this, I am going to go with the MySQL DATE type. I was surprised to see the time difference being so low.

I hope this helps someone else out!

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