2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 630 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 11 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


Guid vs Identity columns (Ints)

SQL Studies

I came across an interesting question on SE last week. Guid vs INT – Which is better as a primary key? In addition to the quite good accepted answer I thought I would throw in my own take.

  • Size
    • GUIDs are 16 bytes and hold more values you then could ever use.
    • With an identity column you can choose a data type dependent on your need.
      • tinyint 1 byte 0-255
      • smallint 2 bytes -2^15 (-32,768) to 2^15-1 (32,767)
      • int 4 bytes -2^31 (-2,147,483,648) to 2^31-1 (2,147,483,647)
      • bigint 8 bytes -2^63 (-9,223,372,036,854,775,808) to 2^63-1 (9,223,372,036,854,775,807)

    Remember that the size of your column affects not just how much space the table takes up but how many pages (both index and data) need to be read to perform a given operation. Bigger the column the less you can fit in a page, the more pages need to be read, the slower your queries…

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DO’s and DON’Ts when typesetting a document

LaTeX and Miscellaneous

The following rules apply when using LaTeX2e…

  • In display math mode, use [ ... ] instead of $$ ... $$.

$$... $$ is simply obsolete.

  • Use textbf, textit instead of bf, it.

bf, it are obsolete font selection commands. Under New Font Selection Scheme (NFSS), they should be replaced with textbf, textit. One immediate difference is that {itbf blabla} will not generate the composite effect of italic shape and bold series, while textit{textbf{blabla}} indeed produces bold italic fonts.

  • Put a tilde before references or citations, e.g., Jie~cite{habit06}.

This prevents LaTeX from putting a line break between the word and the citation. Similar cases are: length~$l$, function~$f(x)$, etc.

  • Be cautious when changing the page margin and page layout.

Studies show that articles with approximately 66 characters per line are the most readable. Reading would become difficult if putting more and more…

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Conflicting extensions for PHP development have been detected: Visual Studio

So you want to dedug PHP within Visual Studio.

You went ahead and installed extension 1 PhpTools from downloaded msi “PhpTools.xxxx.msi” from visualstudiogallery.

And for complete the installation, you also installed extension 2(like I did) Vs.php from installer “php vsphp_en_xxxx_web_installer.exe downloaded from URL

Then Visual Studio throws up below exception.

Microsoft Visual Studio
Conflicting extensions for PHP development have been detected:
– VS.Php
Continuing using of Visual Studio may result in an unpredictible behaviour. To fix this issue, please uninstall conflicting extension above and restart Visual Studio.



Because both these extensions are not supported by Visual Studio at same time, as they are conflicting in nature.

Why conflicting?  Because both extensions extend same features of Visual Studio and studio is saying that configuration of extension 1 has been or may be overwritten by extension 2.

So we need to uninstall one of these to use another.

Setting up php on Windows to connect to Oracle

Good Article

Solutions to IT problems


I recently needed to setup a Windows-Apache-PHP Server that can connect to Oracle. It turned out, that this is not a straight forward task to do if you are not used to it.

Which Apache and PHP Version to use

The newest Windows PHP version is compiled with the VC9 compiler. The default apache version for windows from http://httpd.apache.org/ is compiled with the VC6 compiler or said otherwise: they are not compatible. The solution is to either get the apache version from http://www.apachelounge.com/download which is complied with VC9 or use a older PHP version compiled with VC6. The approach you choose probably depends  if a VC9 compiled version if the modules is available. I went with the older PHP version (5.2.17) and VC6. Always select the thread-safe PHP version if you are using apache php module.
For this php version, download the zip archive. The installer did not work correctly…

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