Monthly Archives: March 2011

Importing into SQL Server

Alas SQL Server Management Studio isn’t as friendly as it could be for pasting in data. You’d think Microsoft would have this humming, but when I tried to paste from Excel, it attempted to paste the entire first row from my spreadsheet into the first column (in one row) of the database.

Using MS Access to open up the database probably would have worked, but I didn’t have it on that machine.

Trying to import using the SQL Server Import And Export Data wizard from a CSV text file worked for a small amount of data, but the 80,000 rows I was trying to import from the world ports code list didn’t. Time and time again it would report an error (unspecified) and give me the option of Abort, Retry, Ignore. No matter option I chose, it crashed.

While the 64-bit version of the wizard on my 64-bit Win7 machine didn’t allow you to import from Excel/Access, the 32-bit version did (presumably because MS Office, at least the version I have installed, is 32-bit).

The next problem was that it only supported Excel 2003 format, which can’t handle more than 64K rows. I ended up having to split the data into two and import the two spreadsheets separately. Then it worked.

Shame the wizard is so flaky, and of course it’s a big shame that Management Studio doesn’t do copy/paste like one would expect. (Maybe that too was a 32-bit/64-bit issue.)

New York Times paywall

The New York Times will shortly introduce a paywall. It won’t include front and section pages, but will include most other articles.

But it’ll include a feature whereby most users can read up to 20 articles a month without subscribing, and will include free access when following links from social media such as Twitter and Facebook.

We’ve set the limit high enough that many readers won’t encounter it. But if you’re a regular reader, we hope you’ll consider subscribing.
NYT web site

For many non-US readers, 20 articles per month is reasonably generous I suspect.

But I wonder how they count up your tally. By IP address could cause issues with people behind corporate firewalls. By cookies could be circumvented.

Subscriptions will be USD $20 per month. Will be interested to see how this goes. I reckon it’s the sort of model the Australian Financial Review should switch to… its current paywall is all locked up, and provides almost zero access to casual readers.

(via The Australian’s media blog)

Advertisers impersonating Facebook ON Facebook

This “Mailbook” advert appeared on Scrabble, just below the normal Facebook toolbar.

"Mailbook" ad seen on Facebook

Seems dodgy to me. It’s a quite misleading way to try and get you to click on the ad.

Surprised Facebook would allow something that appears so similar to their own navigation.

Maybe they haven’t spotted it yet. I wonder if the icons are pixel-for-pixel copies?

Which browser?

I was taking a quick look at the browser stats on my personal site for February:

MS Internet Explorer 31.4 %
Mozilla 19.5 %
Firefox 18.9 %
Google Chrome 10.9 %
Unknown 8.7 %
Safari 6.3 %
Opera 0.9 %
IPhone (PDA/Phone browser) 0.7 %
Android browser (PDA/Phone browser) 0.5 %
NetNewsWire (RSS Reader) 0.4 %
Others 1.4 %

The detailed breakdown tells me that the most popular MSIE is version 8, with 13.7%. Then MSIE6 with 11.3%, and MSIE7 with 6%. Virtually nobody’s using MSIE9, with 0.2%. Worryingly there are a handful of hits from other older MSIE versions, although they’re all at 0%: versions 5.5, 5.01, 5.0, 4.01, 3.02 and would you believe it 2.0 all get a mention.

In Firefox land the biggest is version 3.6.13, with 13.2%, followed by a few on version 4.0, and other variations of 3.

Most of the Chrome users are on the current version 9.

There were a small number of hits (all less than 0.1%) from such rare beasts as SeaMonkey, Blackberry, Nokia browser, and the various versions of Netscape — everything from version 0.91 (!) up to 8.1. A bunch of various RSS readers are also in there.

But the real mystery is the figure of 19.5% for Mozilla. What does it mean in this context? Is it a munged reading for more Firefox browsers, a generic compatibility claim from various unidentified browsers, or something else? The detailed breakdown doesn’t tell me anything.

Upgrading Windows: 1 to 7

This is utterly awesome. This guy (with a good dose of humour) has started with MS DOS 5, and Windows 1, and followed the upgrade path all the way through to Windows 7.

(Spotted on Twitter, but it’s doing the rounds of Reddit and other places.)