DonAithnen (donaithnen) wrote,
DonAithnen
donaithnen

Random stuff

I finally got around to checking out FareCast this week for flights to DragonCon. Except it turns out that since the last time i checked FareCast got bought out by Microsoft and is part of the Bing search engine now =P I wonder why Google didn't manage to snatch them up? It seems like it ought to have been right in their bailiwick. Score one more for the Microsoft monopoly.

Not that Microsoft is _always_ bad (just usually =) I've been dealing with converting a project from MS-SQL to Oracle at work for the past few weeks (or more accurately, adding code in parallel so that the user has the option of using either.) It's rather painful some of the stupid things Oracle does, or maybe it just seems that way because i started out on MS-SQL. But still, it seems entirely natural that it ought to be possible to do a search inside a procedure that returns zero results. MS-SQL handles this just fine, you get a null result back and as long as you remember to check the results before trying to use them everything is fine. Oracle on the other hand insists on throwing an error if a search in a procedure doesn't return any rows, which not only seems stupid, but handling exceptions in Oracle is a lot more painful than just checking for a null value in MS-SQL.

But lest i think too fondly of Microsoft, this new project has also involved learning to use C#. It seems pretty similar to C++ in a lot of respect, though there are some annoying bits of trivia. However the most trivial thing that has been bothering me the most is that MS Visual Studio insists that in C# projects breakpoints _always_ have to be highlighted. There's a even specific setting in the generic debugging options menu to turn highlighted breakpoints on and off, which works in C++ projects but gets ignored in C# projects =P

But aaaaanyways, when i checked FareCast Bing on sunday it said the lowest price it could find was $325 and recommended i wait. When i checked today the prices were down to $275 and it recommended i buy, so i've got a flight to DragonCon now :) The price actually ended up getting bumped up to $289 so i could get non-stop flights at "reasonable" times. I debated about whether to go with AirTran, who i'd never heard of before, or Delta, but after checking Consumer Reports it actually seems like AirTran is the better airline, _and_ it was $10 cheaper, which is a bit strange when flying into the Delta hub :)
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