Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Yahoo messenger connection refused

It seems like there are other folks that have noticed connections to Yahoo Messenger are getting a "connection refused" error. I get errors in the morning all the time. Using advice from this page, I tried hard coding an IP address in place of the scs.msg.yahoo.com and it connected first time. This is not a long term solution by any means. The post also suggested doing an ipconfig /flushdns from a Windows command prompt. But as with other errors I am simply spreading the word.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Jackets... Playoffs...

To quote myself from Bigsoccer:

After that first period and those two strange goals it is clear this just is not meant to be...

I don't even hear Bill Murray from Caddyshack saying "Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. It looks like a mirac... It's in the goal! It's in the goal! It's in the goal!"

All I have in my head now is that "Bag of Weed" song from Family Guy this Sunday.

The very first playoff game in Nationwide Arena history was over in one minute. With enough electricity in the building to power the cities of Columbus and Detroit what was the worst thing that could happen? A Detroit goal about one minute into the game? How about another Detroit goal at the end of the first period? I am certain the City of Columbus street cleaners are probably happy. The vacuum created by all the air being let out of the arena was probably powerful enough to suck the dirt and trash off streets in a four block radius around Nationwide.

The lowest point of the evening had to be the attempted retaliation for the brutal hit by Stuart on R.J. Umberger. Commodore flops into the Detroit bench after trying to make a hit then proceeds to push a Redwing over and watch Cleary (a Redwing) handling the puck behind the goal. The Jacket player guarding the net leaves to play the puck and Cleary leaving Zetterberg wide open for the third goal as Rick Nash and Mike Commodore literally stand there and watch mere feet away from play. It would have been a sin if there was no retaliation for knocking R.J. into a game five (which is looking like it will never be played) but what the players on the ice did was even worse. They looked like staggered drunks trying to retaliate and let one more goal in while doing so.

Game four better feature one or more of the following:

  • a hard, legal hit that leaves a first or second line player on the Detroit side flat on the ice (extra points for the leg twitch)
  • a goal by Rick Nash, heck I would settle for a crushing blow by Nash on someone at this point
  • a good, legal check on a Redwing by at least six of the following players: Russell, Peca, Huselius, Chimera, Williams, Modin, Vermette, Nash, Voracek
The team needs to exceed the physicality shown toward it, not match it.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Spinning wheels

Have you ever had one of those days where you are doomed to spinning your wheels working on a problem?

I have been working on improving one of our database triggers to do a single MERGE statement instead of opening two cursors, doing an insert and then doing an update of the same record. I kept getting a PL/SQL: ORA-00969: missing ON keyword compilation error. Can I not LEFT JOIN something to DUAL? Can I not use a :new.column variable within a function in that MERGE? I tried the usual reworking of the statement a half dozen times.

I tried a Google search.

Most arguments argued that it was just one record and to keep things simple and just do the update (or insert) and then handle the error to perform the other DML event. Yeah, it is only one record and the extra statement parse overhead is negligible in the grand scheme of things. Then again, I am an old mainframe system geek that remembers every little bit counts when dealing with high volume processing. Back in those days shortening an eye-catch in working storage by a couple bytes could end up saving 4K in a C.I.C.S. page. Do that for a couple dozen programs and you might end up increasing response time because of fewer space compressions. I see that methodology in practice; making things easy for the application developer at the expense of performance. It is a fight that is being lost to the get it done quickly, take credit, and make yourself and your resume look good crowd.

Then again, I could have used a code generator or some drag and drop development environment and it might have saved me a couple of hours of work by adding the required parenthesis around the condition on the ON clause before the merge update and merge insert clauses. I could have saved a couple hours of my valuable time. It is all about finding a good balance between doing what is best for performance and sustainability of hardware versus making our lives easier.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Jackets? Playoffs?

The past two times I happened to be wearing my Columbus Blue Jackets shirt when going out to eat for lunch I have been asked if they are going to make the playoffs. They are definitely not in yet but are in fairly good shape. So I sat down during lunch to figure things out.

First, the win against Nashville was huge.

There are 5 games and 10 points left in the season. To be completely safe from the Anaheim Ducks and Nashville Predators the teams 7 of the remaining 10 points. At 6 points we would probably be edged by the Ducks because they (would) have more wins. To be completely safe from the St Louis Blues sitting at 9th, the team needs 6 of the 10 points. Columbus could probably do it with 5 points but would have to win more games because a tie in games won would give the edge to the Blue who have a better head to head record against Columbus. To be safe from the Wild and Oilers the teams needs 4 of the 10 points, but could do it with 3 points. This assumes these five teams win all of their remaining 5 games and get the full 10 points.

Here are our remaining games:

  • Apr 4 at Predators; loss
  • Apr 5 vs Blackhawks; win
  • Apr 8 at Blackhawks; loss
  • Apr 10 at Blues; loss
  • Apr 11 vs Wild; win
I think we will manage 4 points in the next 5 games. Sneaking out with a point in an overtime loss in any of the 3 away games would be great. The Blues have games against the ailing Coyotes, Stars and Avalanche and their last home game of the season against Columbus. They won't get points in Detroit unless the Wings have a brain fart like the last time Columbus visited. So 8 points to the Blues. The Predators will likely get 4 points at home and at least 1 in their 3 away games; so let's say 5 points. The Ducks have 2 games against the conference leading San Jose Sharks but I think they will get 1 point from the home/home melee. They will probably get 2 points against the Coyotes and Stars giving them 5 points.

So:

  • 6th Jackets 88 + 4 = 92
  • 7th Ducks 84 + 5 = 89
  • 8th Predators 84 + 5 = 89
  • 9th Blues 83 + 8 = 91
or
  • 6th Jackets 92 points
  • 7th Blues 91 points
  • 8th Ducks 89 points
  • 9th Predators 89 points, miss playoffs
We aren't in yet but I think the team will make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.