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Monthly Archives: February 2008

Sitting in the Short Loan collection in the main library at the University of Huddersfield, it doesn’t really stand out as been any different to the other DVDs near it, but our copy of “City of God” is officially the most borrowed item from our entire collection (which is nearly 400,000 items) in the last 3 years.

It’s not quite as popular as it once was (the number of loans in 2007 was about half of the 2005 figure), but it’s now been borrowed 157 times since it first arrived here in 2004.

The most borrowed book was one of the copies of “Research methods for business students“, which has now been borrowed 118 times since it was first placed on our shelves.

Anyway, if you were thinking of rushing here to borrow “City of God”, sorry — it’s out on loan at the moment :-)

cityofgod
(if you were wondering, then “yes, that’s a Google Chart“)

I’m always wary of doing bulk changes to the bibliographic records via SQL, so I tend to be fairly cautious.

Anyway, we’d got nearly 100,000 bib records that need rejiggering (ISBN in the wrong field), so I knocked up a Perl script to do the deed. After it had changed a few hundred records, I connected to the database and ran the following SQL…

set rowcount 10
select * from bib where tag = “011″

The last thing I want to do is pull back everything with a 011 tag, so the “set rowcount” ensures only the first 10 results are returned. The output looks good, so I decide to check the size of the transaction log…

sp_dbspace

We use Sybase and that command shows the size of the main LMS database and the transaction log. The transaction log size looks fine and I minimise the window. However, my subconscious shouts out “something’s wrong!”, so I maximise the SQL window and look at the output again…

name: horizon
data MB: 5500.00
used MB: 54.68
percent: 0.99%
log MB: 300.00
log used MB: 88.40
log pct: 29.47%

My eyes automatically jump to the end of the output: “So, the transaction log is 29.47% full… that’s nothing to worry about…”

My eyes then wander up and my brain takes about 2 seconds to spot what’s really wrong — our entire LMS database is just 54.68MB!!! “That can’t be right… it should be at least 4,800MB!!!”

The colour drains from my face as the possibility that one of the SQL commands in my Perl script has nuked our entire database enters my mind. I sit motionless in my chair waiting for the inevitable phone call from a member of staff: “Dave… is there something wrong with Horizon?”

Then, in the space of about 30 seconds, I go through all seven stages of grief…

1) shock (“I can’t believe this has happened”)
2) denial (“maybe someone else did it?”)
3) bargaining (“I wonder if I can bribe someone else to take the blame?”)
4) guilt (“OMG — IT’S ALL MY FAULT!!!”)
5) anger (“damn it — this didn’t happen when I ran the script on the test database!”)
6) depression (“this won’t sound good when I apply for a new job and they asked me why I was fired from my previous job”)
7) acceptance and hope (“the time is right for a major career change”)

…so, can anyone guess what happened next?

Here’s a recent statement from SirsiDynix

“The Horizon 7.4.1 and HIP 3.09/4.13 releases are clear evidence that SirsiDynix remains committed to the Horizon platform,” said Gary Rautenstrauch, SirsiDynix CEO. “While SirsiDynix Symphony is our flagship platform for the future, SirsiDynix will continue to upgrade the Horizon platform for the next four to six years. “This commitment to our worldwide customer base is important to us, and we will keep it,” said Rautenstrauch.
(original PDF dated 11/Jan/2008)

…and here’s one that’s just been sent to all UK customers…

You may be aware that there has been a recent announcement about the general availability of Horizon 7.4.1 and HIP 3.09. SirsiDynix International has seriously considered the option of taking this release and including the various localizations into it. However, at this time we have decided that we cannot commit to the amount of work necessary on an International basis.

Clearly the commitment to the non-US customer base is important to the company, but just not that important.

Come on SirsiDynix, please try and do something to prove Scribe wasn’t right!

…in particular, the Google cache of web pages that it’s trawled.

Although Woolworths have removed the “Lolita Midsleeper Combi” from their web site, you can still find the product via the Google Cache

lolitawoolworths
(BBC News: Woolworths withdraws ‘Lolita’ bed)

I can’t decide what amazes me more — that a company would name a product for young girls “Lolita”, or that Woolworths don’t seem to employ anyone who was aware of the single definition of the word!

Anyway, I’m sure I can hear Nabokov giggling quietly in his grave :-D

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