Thursday, November 20, 2008


Later, Steve asked "What's the difference between enchiladas, tacos, burritos, and fajitas?"

I was on a roll by now. I said "Well, an enchilada is a tortilla with stuff in it, whereas a taco is a tortilla with stuff in it..." Alan interrupted "Aren't taco shells hard?" I said "they can be soft tortillas. A Burrito, on the other hand are tortillas with stuff in it." I was starting to giggle uncontrollably. "You must be really tired" quipped Steve. I managed to get out "Fajitas are different. A fajita is a torilla with stuff in it", and almost fell off my chair.

What Do Floating-Point Numbers Want?

I was having dinner with Steve and Alan at SC08. Alan mentioned that the trouble with floating point is that it is difficult to define the "right" answer to certain computations. Starting very early in life we learn that in math, answers are either right or wrong. But with floating-point math, there is no "right" or "wrong".

I responded that floating-point numbers must live in a moral gray area. They deny the existence of God, yet they try to do good.

Monday, November 17, 2008

MySQL sandbox

At the OpenSQL Camp, I attended a talk by Giuseppe Maxia on MySQL sandbox.

I tried it out, and it's great.
  1. Download and unpack the tarball at
  2. Obtain a mysql tarball.
  3. Run "make-sandbox /path-to-tarball/mysql-X.X.XX-osinfo.tar.gz"
  4. Run "start", which starts a mysql server.
  5. Run "use", which starts a mysql client.
Total elapsed time (starting at step 3), 12 seconds.

RIC has free wifi

Cool, Richmond airport has free wifi.