fuller.artful at gmail.com
Tue Oct 11 12:58:13 CDT 2016
Wow. I really did not intend to solicit this outpouring of gratitude and
friendship. I learned as much here as I offered. Many times when someone
presented a question whose answer I did not immediately know, I paused to
"write a little test program". Occasionally I had the solution quickly, but
most of the time had to revise the test a few times before getting it right.
Funny how the oddities stick out. Years (decades?) back I wrote a SQL-based
solution to Sudoku. Obviously there were better languages to use, but that
wasn't the point of the exercise. In fact, it ran very slowly, taking at
times, depending on the problem, upwards of five minutes to solve it.
Another time I wrote some SQL based on the COALESCE keyword that would
visit the detail rows of some parent table and write a concatenated list of
the PKs in all the detail rows.
Another time, this one having nothing to do with SQL, I tried to conquer
chess with "teleology". Another major failure. If you're unfamiliar with
that term, in essence it reverses the notion that cause precedes effect, or
to put another way, that evolution is goal-directed rather than random
mutations. My idea was to work backwards from known end-game solutions,
subtract the difference between the current position and the first position
of the known end-game solutions. It didn't work out at all. O well. As
somebody once said, experts are defined by the number of mistakes they make
-- the more mistakes, the more expert the person becomes.
I have also modelled and built databases involving several hundred tables
and many more stored procedures -- but that was work, not fun, and pales in
comparison. Also, wasted many hours thinking that I was on the verge of
solving the Pointcaré conjecture, and a few other outstanding problems. No
successes, but a lot of fun.
Perhaps this all began when I was in my first geometry+algebra; I showed
some talent, and one day Mr. Christie, my math teacher, suggested that I
try to trisect an angle, using only a compass and a straight edge. I spent
hours per night for about a month, and finally went to Mr. Christie's
office, head hung in shame, and said, "I can't do it." And Mr. Christie
replied, "That's ok, Arthur. Nobody else can either."
On Mon, Oct 10, 2016 at 11:58 PM, Gary Miller <gary at garynmiller.com> wrote:
> Arthur... Although we haven't swapped lines of code for many years now I
> thank you from the bottom of my heart and can tell you in all honesty that
> you made a huge difference to the lives of hundreds of burgeoning (and
> experienced!) programmers with all of the insightful and timely help that
> you have given over the years on the dba and access-l lists. You have truly
> left a legacy and have been a model for many in this special little niche
> of the world that we have shared. May the next leg of your journey be full
> of great wonder and joy and the start of something even more wonderful than
> the last. Vaya con Dios compadre. When you leave this world you will leave
> with my with my deepest respect.
> Gary N. Miller
> Gary Miller IT Services
> Sisters Country Photography
> Sisters, OR 97759
> gary at garynmiller.com
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