MySQL, PHP, Thought Tree

Moving to the Good Side of the Force

OK, so I returned from vacation late last night, after putting almost 1700 miles on my car this past four days. A friend of mine had his Master’s thesis show (in furniture design) down in Savannah, Georgia. It was a fantastic time, and Ezra’s work is truly astonishing, but I was quite exhausted after the long drives to and from Columbus, Ohio.

You may remember that I have been helping my twin brother learn PHP and MySQL programming. I’m pleased to say that he is progressing quite well! Every time we Skype chat, he seems to have picked up more and more programming vocabulary and is understanding some of the trickier concepts fairly well. My teaching is ongoing. I have advised him to try and learn five new PHP functions every time he sits down to code, and to practice the functions by using them in his work. For instance, in the last “session”, we used the functions arsort(), preg_split(), array_key_exists(), array_map(), and explode() in learning about arrays. This is something that I recommend as a general principle when learning new languages of any kind. Bit off manageable chunks and use the newfound knowledge in your code/conversation. It helps you to remember the functions (or language elements) much faster and retain the knowledge longer.

Moving a New Jedi to the Good Side

So, tonight I have another challenge. A friend has officially had enough of Windows. The repeated crashes, spy and malware infestations, and the annoying habit of Windows applications doing “things that he can’t see or control” have pushed him to his limit. Therefore, tonight, I will be backing up his data and moving him to Ubuntu. I’ll be sure to post tomorrow the results of the move, along with solutions to any problems I might encounter. I’ve installed Ubuntu at least a half dozen times myself, and feel fairly confident that the process will go smoothly. But, you never know!

MySQL Camp Trip Booked

In other news, I booked my flights to and from San Jose for MySQL Camp, the unconference in November. I was reading Mark Shuttleworth’s blog post this morning about the Ubuntu Developer Summit going on in Mountain View and was delighted to see that the conference was the few days prior to MySQL Camp, which may mean some Ubuntu developers might hang around Google HQ for the MySQL unconference. That would be mighty cool.