Code Mash

Code Mash

January 10 and 11, I will be in Sandusky, Ohio at the Code Mash conference. “What does that even mean?” you might ask. Glad you did. From their site:

CodeMash is a unique event that will educate developers on current practices, methodologies, and technology trends in variety of platforms and development languages such as Java, .NET, Ruby and PHP.

The event will be held at the Kalahari Lodge (an indoor waterpark) and our lodgings are there also. The organizers have arranged a special rate of $88.00 a night for event-goers. Add to that bargain the cost of only $175.00 a person to attend the two day conference (that does have events on check-in night, as well – so 3 days) and this conference is a VALUE!!! Even now, with only a few days left, registration is at $250.00, but I don’t know how many conferences you’ve shopped, this is a steal. Even if your department doesn’t have a large IT training budget, this is priced to fit anywhere.

Let’s be real though. It is only a value if the cost to benefit ratio is weighted heavily on the benefit side. Let’s review, then. Sessions are broken up into several categories: Architecture & Design, Dev Processes & Methodologies, Languages, Rich Clients, Web Frameworks, and the catchall, Other. There is something for everyone with excellent opportunities to learn about things that are outside of your normal work domain or are emerging technologies (like Silverlight – a talk given by Jesse “Freaking” Liberty Jeff “Freaking” Blankenburg!). You can find out about Code Mash’s sessions here.

I am going to have the most trouble deciding what to attend. Luckily, I am going with my boss, so we can split up and catch more information for our company. I’m very interested in the architecture sessions as well as the sessions on new technologies like C# 3.0, Silverlight, Windows Workflow Foundation, and LINQ.

I also think this is going to be a great chance to meet a lot of developers from this area. So many other conferences are in places like Florida, California, or Las Vegas. The chances of me meeting someone from this area are slim to none. However, at CodeMash, I already know of at least 10 Columbus-area people that are going, and I assume there will be many more.

To be fair, I was planning to blog about CodeMash anyway, but Jeff Blankenburg’s contest certainly added some incentive to get this thing in the books 😉 If you are going, I hope to see you there, if you aren’t yet planning on going… get your butt to the site, register, and I’ll see you there!

Stay tuned, as I will post pictures and a recap of the event. And if I’m not too tired, I’ll try to post an update or two while I’m there.

Upgrade Problems

Adventures in Vistasitting

After Christmas last December, I took some of my hard-earned gift cards and cash and bought an eMachines T3516A desktop computer for the family’s general use. It was a pretty good deal. It was more computer that we’d need for daily computing and they actually took $50.00 off of the price of the computer if I’d take home a monitor and printer. Another bonus for me was that I’d get a free upgrade to Windows Vista when it was released a month later.

I submitted my forms and got my disk. I was hesitant to leave XP, since it had done me no harm, but I do love the latest and greatest. I ran the upgrade and after the first reboot, I got a STOP: 0x0000005C blue screen error. Very nice. At the time, there was no help to be easily found on the internet, so I had to reverse the upgrade and learn the intricacies of bcdedit to get things back to normal.

A few months later, I decided to give it a go again. Same STOP: 0x0000005C blue screen error. Google revealed that this was probably a BIOS issue. Nervous about flashing the BIOS, I reversed the process and waited again.

This past weekend, I gave it one more shot. Same error. However, this time I found a great site called The Unofficial eMachines Tech Info Site that had the download and offered some reassurance that this process would probably go well.

I gave it one last shot and actually got past the first reboot. Vista got completely installed. However, on boot (normal or safemode), it would hang on loading crcdisk.dll. None of the solutions I found had anything to do with me, so I had a much more painful rollback and am now back to faithful XP.

I think I’ve sworn off upgrading this eMachine to Vista for good.

Code Optimization

What Cost, Functions?

This post is about Sql, specifically in the Sql Server RDBMS, but I believe that the principles will hold up across platforms.

If you are using a function in a WHERE clause in your SQL, like the following:

FROM some_table a
WHERE a.hash_value = fn_hash_function('value')

The function will be evaluated for every row in your table. This will result in performance decreasing exponentially as your table grows.

A better way to accomplish this query is to do the following:

DECLARE @input_hash varchar(1000)
SET @input_hash = fn_hash_function('value')

FROM some_table a
WHERE a.hash_value = @input_hash

This code will only evaluate the function one time and as long as you have the comparison column indexed properly, you will see very impressive results. On one query on my local machine, Sql Profiler showed that query that was taking over 7000ms begin to return in about 70ms.

The performance gains in that exact instance were less drastic on a Sql Server running on an actual server (it had just been powering its way through), but in time it would have gotten unbearably slow, as well.

Hope that helps someone.



Well, I’ve struck out on my own. After having a private blog over on Blogger and posting innumerable quizzes, movie reviews, and jokes, I started to get quite bored. I had the idea to start this blog (and even had the name picked out), but just didn’t really have the motivation to get everything set up.

I’ve finally gotten that motivation and now I’ve struck out on my own with my own installation of WordPress. I plan to blog mostly about everything technology-related in my life (though mostly about software).

It may not be ground-breaking, but hopefully it will be interesting!