Know your tools: database performance tuning

An older book review on Ted Neward’s blog reminded me to hold forth on the subject of database tuning. Any application that has a relational database at its heart requires performance tuning. The development team needs to either hire or cultivate the skills required to extract the most out of the database, skills that go far beyond the basic select/insert/update/delete statement that most OO programmers know. This skillset is just as important as the analysis and “regular” programming skills that are obvious requirements for the team. For some reason we software folk tend to minimize the importance of database knowledge, at our obvious peril.

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Andrew catchup

The site has been down for a while, but we’re back up and I have a couple of Andrew video clips ready. The first is from the St. Michael’s Easter Egg Hunt WMV (3 MB) QT (4 MB). The second is from this weekend’s trip to Drumlin Farm – Andrew checks out the pigpen WMV (3.5 MB) QT (3 MB).
Andrew is very much enjoying the warmer weather; he loves to run around in the back yard. Sometimes it’s a struggle to get him into pants before we leave the house, but we’re working on him.

April Fool’s Roundup

Here are my favorite April Fools stories for this year:

  • Work for Google on the moon.
  • ThinkGeek is selling a PC Easy-Bake Oven. Mmmm….caffeinated meatloaf!
  • An exposé from VeloNews on the mutant sunflowers planted in rural France along the Tour de France’s routes. This is the best one I’ve read this year – a classic for its subtlety. I was drawn in until the very end.

For a historical perspective, here’s the Museum of Hoaxes’ all-time top 100 list.