February 5, 2005

A group (whose members shall remain incognito) of fascist, xenophobic, neophobic, and technophobic people (in varying combinations and degrees thereof) has recently decided to place an irrational and arbitrary restriction upon me and my freedom, depriving me of certain rights. I did not appreciate that. The perpetrators of these insane acts know who they are and can feel guilty accordingly.

NaI is coming along pretty well; I have managed to successfully (although after serious fiddling) implement a working database, and the things I can do now are amazing. I could not have made it without the perpetual help from Mr. Schrøder, though. Well, I could, but it would have taken far longer. The rudimentaries of the database are more or less set up; the only thing remaining is getting to know SQL better (and thus be more, uh, efficient with it) and getting various features I want in place. In related news, allow me to explain a pretty cool thing you can do with PHP and while loops. Check this out:

$query = mysql_query('SELECT * FROM foo');

while ($current_row = mysql_fetch_row($query)) {
  [...]
}

What's going on here is actually pretty ingenious, and beats my old method (which is not even worth mentioning). For each iteration through the while loop, it both assigns mysql_fetch_row() to the variable and checks that mysql_fetch_row() returns evaluates to TRUE (it will return FALSE when there are no more rows, which is the ingenious part of it), enabling you to simply choose which key you want from the array that mysql_fetch_row() returns. Of course, this works essentially the same way for mysql_fetch_array() and mysql_fetch_assoc(), too. I can't take credit for this, of course; that belongs to Mr. Schrøder, whom I've dubbed The Efficiency Whore.

I'm almost finished with my omnibus collection The More Than Complete Hitchhiker's Guide; I have a little left on So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, and the entirety of Young Zaphod Plays It Safe. I found another collection (by searching my local library) which contains Mostly Harmless, but unfortunately the person borrowing it hasn't returned it yet. Blast. Also, the librarian at my school ordered the third and fourth Planetes books over a month ago, and they still haven't arrived. Oh well. It's not like I'm going to run out of stuff to read.

I have been playing a fair amount of StepMania lately, and it is, contrary to the proclamations of my more testosterone-filled friends, insanely fun. It's an emulation of Dance Dance Revolution for the computer and is played by hitting the right arrow keys in synchronization with the arrows popping up on the screen. You can also, if you feel like it, buy dance mats that you can connect to the computer for a more authentic experience. Don't worry, I won't go that far.

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