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As an engineer and programmer, when I run into something with my computer that I want to do, I normally like to do it as cleanly as possible.

Recently (within the last 2 weeks) I acquired a Lenovo IdeaPad. It’s immediately become at least one of my new best friends. However, I usually have a mouse associated with it, so I find the touchpad almost useless. Nevertheless, it would be rather obnoxious to not be able to use the touchpad if I did not have a mouse connected.

I obviously did a little bit of searching online, and found that it had been disabled on a registry-level by Synaptics. A few restore points and regedits later, I figured out what needed to be done. Note that I am doing this on Windows 7. Most likely, your manufacturer has drivers to do something similar to this in Vista or XP – try googling for them before you go as far as to edit your registry. Read more »

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IHOP even has the same port as MySQL!MySQL is a relational database management system that you probably hear tons upon tons about but if you’re reading this, you probably aren’t sure how to even begin picking at it. After all, there aren’t even any vowels in that word – that’s overwhelming enough! Well, because I’m only barely a step ahead of you (or in some cases, probably a step behind), I can promise you that it’s really not as scary as it looks. With the foundation laid out by my previous posts, we should be able to tame this beast pretty smoothly. Today we will introduce ourselves and familiarize ourselves with some MySQL controls – not necessarily database controls like we discussed in my initial post, but we’re just going to see if we can get our database to give us some information using a few key phrases.

Just note that this WILL be a bit of a longer post – so feel free to read it in simple segments and take breaks in-between. We’ve got a lot to cover! Read more »

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Designing a Database

January 16th, 2011

Just like with any design – whether graphical or in programming – you’ve really got to make yourself a roadmap to be successful. Databases aren’t that different. After all, just like with graphics design, they fall into information architecture. That is, the most successful databases are the ones which effectively organize your information.

In this post, I will discuss relationships between information, as well as how to effectively normalize your database so that each table avoids redundancy between each datum. Before we begun, let’s define a few key terms! Read more »

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Data Extraction Operations

January 13th, 2011

So, what’s the point of having a relational database if we can’t play with the information on it? That would be where our data extraction operations come from. There are two categories of data extraction operators – set and relational operations. Let’s find out what these mean. Read more »

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Database Basics

January 13th, 2011

So, in my previous post I went a little bit into SQL code. Well, today I backtracked myself a little bit, and just looked into the basics databases. I stopped by the bookstore, actually, and picked up a few books, including these two:

The Manga Guide to Databases
Sam’s Teach Yourself MySQL in 10 Minutes

The first one I’ve already begun to delve into, while the second has become more of a reference for some of the fun scripts that I’m already working with – that is, a basic Perl script that simply turns my CSV file into INSERT commands that I can simply feed into UNIX to add things to my table.

But anyways, let’s begin recording my findings, shall we? :) Read more »

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