A Year Older, Any Wiser?

30 11 2010

November 30, 2010 (Updated December 1, 2010)

(Forward to the Next Post in the Series)

It feels a bit strange, but this blog went live a year ago today.  What was the motivation for creating the blog?  At the time I was comtemplating creating a publically accessible Oracle Database related blog, I already had a restricted-access Oracle blog, and if I was lucky I had maybe four regular visitors (I might have five regular visitors now, or two that hit the refresh button 2.5 times a day).  Before setting up this blog I made the following comment in the above linked OTN thread:

“Yes, a lot of time is spent putting together the test cases. Even more time would be required to put together blog articles that better describe what appears in the test. I do not know if I am able to justify the time involvement, but I will consider starting a blog. However, there are already a large number of very good Oracle blogs. Maybe if it were used just to preserve some of the test cases?”

I had commented something like this, in a previous OTN thread when someone suggested that I set up a blog:

There are already a large number of fantastic Oracle related blogs on the Internet, and every subtopic seemed to have been previously covered in great detail.  I could not image developing unique material that anyone would care to read.

I guess that I proved myself wrong, yet again.  I can think of five good articles in the last year that I published, although I might be imagining things.  So, for the five regular readers (or the 2 that hit the refresh button 2.5 times daily), what are the five good articles?

Wow, I spent (maybe wasted, had I not learned a lot in the process) a lot of time in the last year creating material for this blog.


Edit: December 1, 2010:

Some of the 400 to 800 non-regular (thus, those who want to know why something is as it is) visitors to this blog who visit daily may be wondering what the symbol means at the top right of my blog, and where I obtained the symbol.  I will leave the meaning of the symbol to your imagination.  So, where did I obtain the symbol?  It was created using a painting/imaging editing program that I created in the late 1990s.  Take a look:

The splash screen, created entirely in the program:

The starting point, not much unusual here:

Let’s use some of those mathematics abilities that the teachers said were so critical to know in life, let’s build a brush using a cosine wave:

Better yet, let’s use sine wave for the brush and change the colors a bit:

Finger painting with the new brush – looking good, except that I keep scratching the canvas, leaving behind black marks:

Let’s play with some more mathematics to transform the picture:

We will use a spiral wave which progressively twists the image the further out from the center you go – using the angular coordinate system and sine and cosine to translate back into X, Y coordinates:

Let’s crank up the twist a bit more and see what it looks like – that certainly looks better than the previous pictures (I fixed the scratches in the canvas first):

But the earlier picture is still too plain, let’s add some lighting effects using, you guessed it, more mathematics:

That lower right corner looks a little boring, let’s roll it up using more mathematics:

Let’s do the same for the top left corner – that’s what mathematics are good for, rolling up the rug:

The last four pictures – pretty neat what can be done with all the mathematics we have worked so hard to forget over the years, too bad I never did anything useful with the painting/image editing program other than to use it as a teaching tool: