Tag Archives: MySQL

Being a Website Mechanic

It is a niche I really did not plan on, but it is probably the best description of what I do on a daily basis. Thanks to the SoloBizCoach for pointing that out during one of our chats.

Using the term mechanic invariably brings to mind a car mechanic, and a website mechanic is very similar. If you want your car to look better you take it to a body shop, but if you want it to run better, tune it up, or fix something you take it to a mechanic. And that is the same situation here. If you want graphics or a slick looking website, I should not be your first choice to help you. However, if something is not working right, or you want to tune it up, I can usually help you.

In just the last week I have converted a couple of static sites to WordPress, repaired a slow loading blog, fixed a site that was not loading properly and several other small “mechanic” tasks for others. I also do a lot of custom stuff. Here is a good post from WayneJohn explaining some Twitter API work we were both involved in.

Remember, there is nothing wrong with needing help. A lot of the people who call on me are excellent bloggers and designers, but we each have our skill set and we need to know our limitations. Trust me, if I want some hot graphics I am going to call on someone else to help me out.

A key to success is being able to know when you need help and utilize other peoples skills to advance your work.

Used Car Database

For quite some time now I have needed and wanted to make a database listing of Used Cars by Year, Make and Model.

I finally have the used car database complete. The result is a database that should help any programmer needing the same information for their used car project.

The Used Car Database currently has over 5,200 cars listed by Year, Make and Model, from 1989-2009.

The data matches what is listed in the Kelley Blue Book which has been the nation’s number-one-selling automotive book, I did this to have a good reference point for data validity.

The file download includes 2 file formats of the database. A CSV file and a MySQL export file. Between these 2 formats, most programmers should be able to incorporate this data into a project easily.

Here is a random sampling of the data.

2002 Saturn SC2
2009 Chevrolet Colorado
1992 Mercury Sable
1994 Dodge Viper
2007 Chevrolet Equinox
1994 Suzuki Samurai
1999 Lexus LS 400
1999 Dodge Durango
2001 Ford Mustang
1992 Buick Riviera

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Web Programming

Years ago I started programming in ASP (Active Server Pages). This was a great language and was fairly easy to migrate into. However, the “cost of inclusion” was rather high as it is a Microsoft language and required (of course) that you be hosted on a Microsoft platform server. Then Microsoft decided to upgrade ASP to ASP.net.

At that point they lost me. With the advent of Linux and the world of open source it just did not make any sense to stick with something that required so much overhead. Another key downside was the database programming required either SQL Server or MS Access. One was too expensive and the other not robust enough.

I switched to PHP and MySQL and I have never been happier. It is easy to find a hosting company that supports these languages and there is a wide realm of support and samples for both. If you like web programming PHP is a must to check out.

And of course the ever popular WordPress platform is PHP based.