Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. – Arthur Clark
One of the factors which draws me to programming, and especially database programming, is that most people cannot understand it. To most people, computers, networks, and the internet etc quite simply work by magic. They know how to turn it on, and the basics of using the technology, but can’t or simply do not want to understand it. Beyond that, the process of creating, administering, or reporting from databases is simply foreign to them. I have always been driven to understand why technology works, and look at my job as being paid to work on puzzles every day. However, part of its allure, is the satisfaction of knowing something that others don’t; I have never wanted to have a profession that just anyone could do. So in essence, I like being a magician and always have.
I may not pull rabbits out of my hat, but to the average user, what I do may as well be
magic. In fact, most IT managers don’t really understand what we do either. One of my geek interests is reading science fiction and fantasy novels. I have a large collection of the Dragonlance Series created by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, and they were wonderful reads while I was in my teens.
Raistlin Majere – The Ultimate Geek
One of my favorite characters is Raistlin Majere, the tortured and misunderstood soul who’s yearning for power drives his endless quest for magical abilities. He spends the vast majority of his time studying difficult magic spells utterly incomprehensible languages (cough.. Visual FoxPro… cough…) to perfect his craft. Does this sound like anyone you know? Anyway, his intelligence and knowledge of strange and mysterious powers enables him to come close to conquering the entire world. Fear not dear reader, I do not have aspirations of world domination, but this character had a profound impact on me while growing up. Is there truly that much difference here:
Abdis tukng! Kumpul-ah kepudanya Kuasahan! Burus longang degang birsish Sekalilagang! Degagng kuashnya, lampar Terbong kilat mati yangjahat! Xts vrie!
lcfilter2 = STRTRAN(UPPER(lcFilter),["],[']) lcfilter2 = STRTRAN(UPPER(lcFilter2),[.T.],[1=1]) lcAdvFilter2 = STRTRAN(UPPER(lcAdvFilter),["],[']) lcAdvFilter2 = STRTRAN(UPPER(lcAdvFilter2),[.T.],[1=1]) lnHandle = CURSORGETPROP('ConnectHandle','jomast')
IF EXISTS (SELECT * FROM dbo.sysobjects WHERE id = Object_id(N'[dbo].[fn_base36]') AND xtype IN (N'FN',N'IF',N'TF')) DROP function [dbo].[fn_base36];
To the average person are those really all that different from each other?
As I write this, flying at 34,000 feet above our world, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on one of my motivations for continuing to pursue this knowledge and be the best at it. If you’ll excuse me now, I’m going to open up my ancient book of runes to study my magic so I can move up to the level 3 spells.