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Author Profile

Buck Woody

Buck Woody has been working with Information Technology since 1981. He has worked for the U.S. Air Force, at an IBM reseller as technical support, and for NASA as well as U.S. Space Command as an IT contractor. He has worked in most all IT positions from computer repair technician to system and database administrator, and from network technician to IT Manager and with multiple platforms as a Data Professional. He has been a DBA and Database Developer on Oracle systems running on a VAX to SQL Server and DB2 installations. He has been a Simple-Talk DBA of the Day

Data Science Laboratory System - Distributed File Databases

Distributed File Databases manage large amounts of unstructured or semi-structured data. They are designed on the principle of splitting up the data into multiple locations, and then placing the code that processes each fragment close, or directly on, that location. Buck Woody shows how to install Hadoop in your Data Science lab to experiment with an example of the breed. Read more...

Data Science Laboratory System – Object-Oriented Databases

Object-Oriented Databases (OOD) avoid the object-relational impedence mismatch altogether by tightly integrating into the user-level OOP code to the extent that they are simply an engine that ships with the code itself. The developer is able to instantiate OOD objects directly into the code. Buck Woody explores the Object-Oriented breed of database in his Data Science lab. Read more...

Data Science Laboratory System – Graph Databases

Graph database are an intriguing alternative to the relational model. They apply graph theory to record the relationships between entries more naturally, and are a good fit for a range of data tasks that are difficult in SQL. Buck Woody gives an introduction to Graph databases and shows how to get Neo4J up and running to get familiar with the technology. Read more...

Data Science Laboratory System – Document Store Databases

A Document Store Database (DSD) is similar to a Relational Database Management system with the exceptions that a DSD allows for unstructured data and sharding a single database across multiple machines. So when or why would you choose a document database over a relational one? Buck Woody has the answer and an example using the DSD MongoDB on his lab system. Read more...

Data Science Laboratory System - Key/Value Pair Systems

Though the Key/Value pair paradigm is common to almost every computer language, there is no clear agreement yet for the definition of a Key/Value Pair database. However, Key/Value pair databases are valuable for special applications where speed of writing data is more important than searching and general versatility. It is certainly worth experimenting with in a data science lab. Read more...

Data Science Laboratory System - Relational Database Management Systems

There is no better way of understanding new data processing, retrieval, analysis or visualising techniques than actually trying things out in a lab system. Buck Woody continues his series by explaining why an RDBMS is essential for a lab, what that is, and how to install SQL Server into the lab. Read more...

Data Science Laboratory System - Programming and Scripting Languages

Although every computer language is suitable for data, some languages lend themselves especially well for working with certain types or sources of data, or processing the data in certain ways, and so are of particular use to the data scientist. Read more...

Data Science Laboratory System - Interactive Data Tools

Data tools interact directly with data and are great for automating data data-aquisition, but they aren't always the best way to prototype or pilot a process. Interactive data tools also allow you to test and refine the process, until it is ripe for automation. Read more...

Data Science Laboratory System - Instrumentation

It is sensible to check the performance of different solutions to data analysis in 'lab' conditions. Measurement by instrumentation makes it easier to develop systems that are efficient. Read more...

Data Science Laboratory System - Testing the Text Tools and Sample Data

Anyone who is frequently faced with preparing data for processing needs to be familiar with some industry-standard text-manipulation tools. Awk, join, sed, find, grep and cat are the classics, and Buck Woody takes them for a spin in his Data Science Laboratory Read more...

Setting up a Data Science Laboratory

There is no better way of understanding new data processing, retrieval, analysis or visualising techniques than actually trying things out. In order to do this, it is best to use a server that acts as data science lab, with all the basic tools and sample data in place. Buck Woody discusses his system, and the configuration he chose. Read more...

The Value of Professional Associations

If you're a technical professional, it is a good idea to belong to a professional association. There are several to choose from, and they all provide benefits. It is worth checking what each of the associations state as being their primary goal, before deciding which ones are right for you. Read more...

Learn Where You Are

In order to make progress in your career in IT, you need to actively plan your professional development rather then allow others around you to control it. For anyone in IT, the task of learning new skills and technologies is part of your work: and you can do it right where you are, in your current job. Read more...

Distributed Computing - Hybrid Systems Considerations

When the Cloud was new, it was often presented as an 'all or nothing' solution. Nowadays, the canny Systems Architect will exploit the best advantages of 'cloud' distributed computing in the right place, and use in-house services where most appropriate. So what are the issues that govern these architectural decisions? Read more...

The Lure of Simplicity in IT

A deceptively simple solution to a business-re-engineering problem can beguile companies into selecting a compromise that doesn't actually meet all their needs. Simple is great, but not at the expense of functionality. Some IT solutions are complex because the problem is complex, but they can be made conceptually clearer Read more...

Big Data is Just a Fad

The Term 'Big Data' is nothing more than a fad, and we'll soon be cringing with embarrassment at the thought that we ever used it. However, the data, and the challenges to processing it that it presents, will stay with us. If jargon like 'Big Data' helps us focus on the problems, then let’s use it: temporarily, perhaps. Read more...

Windows Azure from a Data Perspective

Before creating a data application in Windows Azure, it is important to make choices based on the type of data you have, as well as the security and the business requirements. There are a wide range of options, because Windows Azure has intrinsic data storage, completely separate from SQL Azure, that is highly available and replicated. Your data requirements are likely to dictate the type of data storage options you choose. Read more...

The ASs of Distributed Computing

What's The 'Cloud'? nothing more than one or more of three different types of distributed service, conceptually similar to any other service such as telephone or gas. These services provide Infrastructure, Software and platform. Buck Woody cuts a trail through the jungle of marketing verbiage to reveal the technology behind the Cloud.. Read more...

Buck Woody's Cloud Howlers

We asked Buck Woody to come up with his favourite 'Cloud' Howlers. After 'Howler' monkeys, we are faced with Howler letters. Buck dreams of sending Howler letters to the folks who dreamed up the marketing hype around 'cloud' services, who misunderstand services, who don't prepares applications for distributed environments and so on. Read more...

Mission Critical: SQL Server General Configuration

You know how to set up a SQL Server instance, but it is great to have a list of all the necessary checks and procedures: even better is to have the link to in-depth explanations for every stage by the renowned SQL Server Expert Buck Woody. Read more...

Mission Critical: SQL Server Upgrade

You're faced with the task of doing a SQL Server Upgrade? Do you know all the steps, and the right order to do them? You do? Even with interruptions and distractions? Maybe, but it is wise to be able to refer to the Mission-Critical Task checklist. Read more...

Mission Critical: Engine Pre-Installation

Even with a task you're entirely familiar with, it is always great to have a checklist to make sure it is all done. No? Have you never forgotten your car-keys? Read more...

Mission Critical: Database Design

There is nothing like a checklist to make sure you've completed all the tasks in designing a database, and there is absolutely nothing like Buck Woody's military-style Critical Task List Read more...

Mission Critical: SQL Server 2008 Engine Post-Installation

Even an experienced DBA finds it safer to double-check that all the tasks have been done, and in the right order. Buck Woody continues his series with another handy checklist, army-style. Read more...

Mission Critical: SQL Server 2008 General Maintenance

There is nothing that beats a simple checklist for ensuring that things don't get forgotten in the Database Maintenance process. Once again, Buck Woody imagines how the US military would have tackled DBA checklists for 'mission-critical' databases. Read more...

Mission Critical: SQL Server 2008 Performance Tuning Task List

In which Buck Woody imagines how the US military would have tackled DBA checklists for 'mission-critical' databases. And having imagined it, lo, it came to be. The CTL for the DBA with short-back-and-sides. Read more...

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