SELECT * FROM MySQL.Conference LIMIT 12,6

record 12
Wednesday afternoon and I’m taking the MySQL Core Certification exam. This exam is recommended for people who have one month of experience working with MySQL. There is also a “Professional” exam, for those with six months of experience. There is a bit of chatter that the Core exam is more difficult than the Professional (and being Core certified is a prerequisite for Professional).
I had to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement to take the exam. As part of the terms and conditions:

I will not copy, disclose, publish or transmit to any person or entity any details of any Certification Exam, or information pertaining to it, in any form or by any means.

Standard NDA stuff, and meaningless. I can’t disclose information pertaining to the exam in any form or by any means? So I shouldn’t reveal to anyone that I have ever taken the certification exam, or that I have even heard of it.
My exam number was MY001003B0073890.

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dummy forms

Near the end of March, I disabled comments to the site (I renamed the script, thus breaking the link). I have been getting a new kind of comment spam that doesn’t get caught by MT Blacklist; those clever boys are randomly encoding the characters in their urls, so instead of “online-casinos” the url is “online-casinos”. The blacklist plugin doesn’t convert those entities back into characters, so they get past the filter.
This is, perhaps, fixed in the newer versions of MovableType, I don’t know, and I’m not upgrading just to find out. The spammers who use this method are a more sophisticated variety, they are using multiple IP numbers (either open proxies or zombied machines) so there’s no point in IP banning.
I’ve implemented dummy forms, as suggested by SimonG. These are duplicate comment entry forms that don’t display in the brower and that point to an incorrect comment URL. The idea is that automated scripts which look at the page source for the form tags will grab field names and urls from the dummy form, thus preventing the spam from getting posted.
I have also disabled new comments on older articles.

SELECT * FROM MySQL.Conference LIMIT 6,6

record 7
Scattered on the walls of the Santa Clara Westin Great America are a number of prints and paintings. Electronic signs indicate that these works are for sale. But for some reason the signature on the works is hidden by the frame. It is generic art. There are four very colorful monoprints in the hallway which goes between the convention area and the hotel proper. By one of the convention Ballrooms, there is what appears to be a large (perhaps 22″ x 30″) copper plate bearing the image of a flower. The image was flat bit, and the plate has been inked, and the plate mounted and framed. At least that is what it looks like to me.

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record 0
I am quartered in a Holiday Inn somewhere in Santa Clara, California, attending a conference about MySQL, the database technology. There’s something of a long story as to how I came to be here, which would involve of details about my current work situation, my new job, new company, and so on. Better to jump right in. Come play along.
There are people blogging about the conference. There is an aggregator of blogs here. Go take a peek, if you are interested in things like database clustering, or new features in MySQL 5. There are photo galleries as well.

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Reading for March, 2005

The Glass Hammer by K.W. Jeter. Reread.
Fool’s Errand by Robin Hobb. The first book in the third trilogy by Hobb (who has also written several books under another name). Hobb is a solid fantasy writer; throughout the FitzChivalry Farseer books she uses a single voice for all the storytelling. There are too many writers out there who shift the narrative voice as it suits them, the worst offenders being those writers who like to “peek” into the mind of the villain / antagonist because they don’t know how else to move the story forward. Jasper Fforde’s /The Eyre Affair/ is a good example of this slovenly writing style.
(Comments are disabled. Email shoehorn at if you want to leave a comment.)

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