Serpent Addiction

Friday, November 25, 2005


"The miraculous thing about this country is that almost everybody has food, clothing, shelter, and extraordinary devices undreamed of until a moment ago in human history: radios, telephones, color televisions, cars, radios in their cars even enough dough to fly across the country once a year, if they plan ahead and stay over a Saturday. I speak here not just of the great middle class." Andrew Tobias, 1996

Andrew talks about the material possessions, of which food, clothing, and shelter can only be taken for granted by most people in this country, but I'm certainly grateful for them. Working in the healthcare field, I'm thankful for my health. Also, my family and friends.

But what I'm mostly thankful for today is free software. Not just because it costs less, but the breadth and quality of open source software makes it a joy to work with computers. So thanks to Guido van Rossum, Linus Torvalds, and all the others who have dedicated contributed to free, high-quality software.

PostgreSQL is pretty cool. I'm now starting to use it in favor of MySQL. But I spent almost an hour today figuring out how to retrieve column names from a table. Resulting SQL:

SELECT attname FROM pg_class, pg_attribute WHERE relname='billcode' and
pg_class.oid=attrelid and attnum > 0 ORDER BY attnum;

Anyone know of a better way?


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