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Month: July, 2012

Unit 10 – MySql

As it goes with this class, the more I think I understand something the less likely I can get it to work. MySQL is one of the few terms I knew going into this course. I think I may have even used it before. So, imagine my frustration that I still can’t get the damn thing to work. And, to make matters worse, I’m not even sure how to describe my troubles enough to seek help from the discussion boards. (It might just be a location problem. I find I can never complete these assignments at the library (where I am now). I always encounter problems that seem to resolve themselves as soon as I get home.) And, so I’ve taken to doing the only thing that will prevent me from just pulling my hair out; I’m taking a break. I’m taking a break and writing my blog and hope that when I return to my assignments this evening, they will resolve their issues (this method has proven successful in the past). I really want to make this work, I am excited to see my relational database come to life. It is one of the few skills I have really noticed a sizable, positive change in since starting the SIRLS program. I know I’m still far from a master, but once I resolve this issue, I should be on my way…

UPDATE: So, after another week of attempts in which I was able to get closer and close to completing all of Unit 10’s Assignments, I have hit a insurmountable roadblock. I have connectivity issues. I have tried all the remedies to no avail. Try rebooting, restarting, changing to NAT mode, and on and on. I will take another break and work on Unit 11 in the hopes that when I return to these assignments the connectivity gods will shine down on me and resolve my issues. It seems, with these last few weeks, that I always have to take 2 steps back in order to get ahead. I don’t really mind, it’s a good review. I’m learning how to not get so frustrated. I just wish I had more time. I will keep you posted.

ANOTHER UPDATE: So in the end and only a couple of more troubled hours I was able to change to NAT mode and continue on with this week’s assignment. There is very little time between the sense of relief of solving one problem and the frustration that occurs at encountering the next one, but I’m just glad to have made it through to the end. Perseverance with patience and prudence.


Unit 9 – New Vocabulary

When I think of the struggles I have encountered in this course they all seem to stem from the challenge of observing new vocabulary. Even this week, which seems so familiar to me as it stems from a lot of the information I picked up in 515 presents vocabulary challenges. I’m starting to realize that there is more than one way to skin a cat. I wish there was another way to say that! There’s more than one way to teach XML and Relational Databases. There’s more than one way to refer to the procedure of creating a database, but there’s also different vocabulary that can be used. I think figuring out that this new word means that word I learned last semester is a bit of challenge.

Perhaps a greater challenge is looking at relationships. (This week that’s even true for human relationships as well) Next time someone asks me to do an XML schema, I’ll do books. Last time I chose diamonds. this time I chose bridges. I think I’m moving in the right direction. But I get a little muddled on the relationships. Lets assume that a bridge has one designer. (I understand that a bridge could have more than one designer, but if that happens I’ll considered that group of a designers an individual group (The Design Firm of Batman and Robin)). So a bridge (Arizona Bridge) has one designer (J. Smith). That’s a 1 to 1 relationship, right? But one designer (J. Smith) could design many bridges (Arizona Bridge, California Bridge). So that’s a 1 to many relationship, right? So, do I show to arrows one pointing from bridge to designer in a 1 to 1 and one point from designer to bridge in a 1 to many? God, I hope so because that is what I did. If not, I’m really confused because how could you show both sides of the relationship with an arrow that only points in 1 direction. It sort of makes my head hurt thinking about it. Maybe the answer will come to me while I’m playing tennis.

Update: After giving it more thought, I realized my mistake… The relationship has to work the same way in both directions. So, in other words, my thoughts at the end of the last paragraph are wrong. I have been thinking about one bridge, when the table contains many bridges so the relationship should I think of in this way: Many Bridges can have One Designer and One Designer can have Many Bridges. This still accounts for the fact that each bridge (One Bridge) will have One Designer, which is what i was getting tripped up on before. So Many Bridges can have One Designer and One Designer can design Many Bridges. Just like Many Bridges can go over One Body of Water and One Body of Water can have Many Bridges. So glad I cleared that up. Even though if I think about it too long I still get confused.

Unit 8 – Readings

I already mentioned on the discussion board which reading was the most helpful. The one that helped me greatly while working on my brother’s resume. But I found so many part of the other readings interesting. One thing that really jumped out of me from the Chabrow article was the shocking fact that the government spends 65 billion dollars on It projects every year. And, this article was written almost 7 years ago. I wonder what we are up to now. I know it seems like a large number, how many lifetimes would I have to work to make 65 billion dollars. But a larger part of me thinks that really it’s not enough. We need so much more technology projects implemented all over in schools, police departments, fire departments, in all government offices, the post office, etc. So many of our public areas seem so technologically-lite that it’s scary. So even though it’s a big number, it’s really not big enough.

Unit 7 – XML – It still works!

I’ve spent the last week visiting family on the East Coast. I have been amazed by my oldest nephew about to turn 4 in just a few days and how much his brain can absorb. It is a sponge. I, in sharp contrast, feel like I may be the youngest person ever to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. This week’s material was a bit refreshing though as I at least felt like I had a firm basis of understanding from having taken 515 last semester. I found the sample provided by Professor Fulton to be extremely helpful and just like last semester I spent more time thinking of what I should catalog then typing the metadata into the schema. I have also been refreshing my memory sporadically throughout the summer as I am TAing 515 next semester. If only I could learn to catalog the metadata in my brain as well as I can organize it in an XML document…

In other news, I have not had the best time getting through this week’s materials due to the unpredictability of my traveling this week. I’ll be traveling most of the day tomorrow and settled back in Tucson by Thursday at which time I hope to revisit the topics covered in this unit a little more closely. I will continue this post at that time.

UPDATE: So after a few missteps in which I had to go back and redo something from Unit 6, I finally got through all of Unit 7!! I am always so amazed when something goes right and my browser reads “This is User1’s homepage” just like it is supposed to. I don’t know if it’s just the result of things actually working, but I feel like I am starting to catch on with what we are doing (maybe also in part to a nice tutorial from fellow student Melissa). I’m also hopeful the the rest of this class wont be as taxing on my brain as I’m reaching the limits for new information allotted for this semester. Is it a sad day when XML starts to seem like a long lost friend and the word LAMP makes me want to throw my computer out the window? I wish I were having a true light-bulb moment. Although, I’m starting to feel like I’ve found the light-switch.