Nintendo got it right again

I worked Circuit City when the PlayStation 2 launched. For weeks, we were sold out, and there was always a crowd around the blue demo unit in the gaming department. It’s easy to see why the PlayStation 2 was a hit looking back. It was powerful, inventive and excelled at local gaming. It was the right system for the time.

If Nintendo’s recent success proves anything, building for the time is more important than making for the future.

Nintendo is coming off a massive quarter that saw 88% year over year operating profit on the back of the Nintendo Switch. The company has sold nearly 20 million Switch systems since its launch, surpassing the total amount of Wii U systems sold and closing in on Gamecube’s tally of 21.7 million units.

The Switch is great. I can’t get over how good it is. Again, like other systems before it, the Switch is the right system for the time. It’s portable, it’s small, and it leans heavily on cloud services. It’s not the most powerful system on the market nor does it pack 4k gaming or VR capabilities. The Switch doesn’t even have YouTube or Netflix. It’s a game system.

The Switch was a big bet for Nintendo. The company was coming off of the nascent Wii U, which besides Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon, was a game system without good games. It seemed Nintendo had lost its edge. The Wii U, in a way, was a trial for the Switch. It brought gaming off the TV and into the hands of gamers — but those gamers had to be in the same room as the Wii U base station. The Wii U didn’t go far enough in all sense of the phrase.

By the time the Switch came out, the looming threat of mobile games seemed to be over. A few years earlier, it appeared that the smartphone was going to take over and eat up the casual gaming market. Even Sony got in on the theme, releasing a hybrid smartphone and game system called the Xperia Play. While the smartphone game market is alive and thriving, it never gobbled up the home console market. The Xbox One and PlayStation 4 launched and gamers settled into the couch. The Switch offers something different and timely.

To state the obvious, the Switch is mobile, and that’s what’s needed in today’s environment. It’s different from the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 and in the best way possible. Like previous Nintendo products, the graphics are below the market average, and the capabilities are less than competitors. But that doesn’t matter. The Switch’s gaming experience, to some, is superior. I take my Switch on long flights. I can’t do that with a PlayStation 4.

Gamers agree. With nearly 20 million units sold since it launched in 2017, the Switch is nearing the sales amount of the Xbox One, which launched in 2013 and has sold between 25 and 30 million units. The PlayStation 4 is the clear winner of this generation of game systems, though, with nearly 80 million units sold — and an argument could be made that Sony built the Playstation 4 for today’s gamers too, bypassing all the extras Microsoft included in the Xbox One and instead focusing solely on games.

Nintendo has done this in the past, too. Think back to the Wii. It launched in 2006 and went on to sell over 100 million units. In 2006 Sony and Microsoft were pushing heavily into HD gaming with the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. And for a good reason, too. Consumers were heavily shopping for their first HDTV at the time, and Sony and Microsoft wanted to build a system for the future. Both the PS3 and Xbox 360 went on to long, healthy lives but they never saw the runaway success of the Wii.

The Wii was the must-have Christmas gift for 2006 and 2007. It was novel more than beautiful. Compared to the graphics of the PS3, the Wii looked childish. But that was part of the appeal. First generation gamers were aging and having families, and the Wii was built for all ages. Anyone could pick up a Wiimote and swing it around to hit the tennis ball. To many outside the core gaming crowd, the Wii was magical. It was the right system at the right time.

The next part seems to be the hardest for Nintendo. Now that the Switch is a success, Nintendo needs to maintain it by building and supporting a robust ecosystem of games. And Nintendo cannot be the source of all the best games. Nintendo must court developers and publishers and keep them engaged in the advantages of the Switch gaming system. If it can do that, the Switch has a chance to be a generational product like the Wii before it.

via TechCrunch
Nintendo got it right again

How to recover deleted files

Getty Images/iStockphoto

You need a document, photo or other file that you’re sure was deleted. You’ve searched your hard drive. You’ve scoured the Recycle Bin. No sign of it? Don’t panic. As long as you act quickly, you can usually bring that file back to life. And to accomplish that feat, you’ll want to turn to a recovery program to help you undelete it.

I’ve used and recommend three such applications: Recuva, EaseUS Data Recovery and Active Uneraser. With these programs, you can run a quick search for recently deleted files and conduct a more time-consuming but thorough scan to dig up older ones. You can scan external media, such as USB drives and SD cards, as well as your computer’s internal disk.

If the deleted file is one you’ve synced or stored in the cloud, you can typically undelete it as long as your cloud provider offers some type of recycle bin or trash folder. Popular services such as OneDrive, iCloud, Google Drive, Box and Dropbox all give you ways to resuscitate deleted files, but even here you need to act quickly. These services typically grant you up to 30 days to recover a file. After the clock has run out, those deleted files are purged and removed from their file servers.

If you want to revive a deleted file, an old adage applies: the sooner the better. When you delete a file in Windows, that file first bounces to the Recycle Bin. You can bypass the bin by turning it off through its Properties window or holding down the Shift key when you delete a file. Even if you use the Recycle Bin, at some point it will get too full and start kicking out older files. In other cases, you may decide to empty your bin to free up disk space. And that’s when the adventure begins.

When you permanently delete a file in Windows, it’s not physically removed from the disk. Rather, the file’s locations are marked as available by the file-allocation table. As such, the file still lives — unless and until you start storing new files that end up overwriting the deleted one. A file is stored in separate clusters of space on your hard drive. Some of a file’s clusters may become overwritten with new data while other clusters remain intact. In those cases, you may be able to recover parts of a file but not necessarily the whole thing.

Of course, going forward, you should always back up important documents and other files on a regular basis. In that case, you can retain deleted files on your backup source for as long as you want. But as far as repairing the damage that’s been done, these three apps do a good job recovering a deleted file from your PC.


Recuva handles all types of deleted files, from documents to photos to videos to emails, and it can grab them from your hard drive, a removable drive or a USB stick. The program kicks off with a wizard that asks for the type and location of the file you want to restore. You can narrow the search this way or opt to look for all files in all locations. Recuva scans your drive to display a list of deleted files. You’ll see each file’s name, location, size, its chances for recovery and a comment with more details. After you select the file you want to restore, Recuva asks where to put it. Tip: If you hope to restore additional files from the same drive, save the recovered file in a different location to avoid overwriting any more clusters.

To cut to the chase, switch to advanced mode instead of using the wizard. There, you can select a location, pick a file type and enter a specific name or wildcard combination to limit the search. If your file doesn’t pop up, try a deep scan that digs for deleted files by analyzing each sector on the disk. But be prepared to wait: The deep scan took more than two hours to complete on my 2TB hard drive with 240GB of data.

I used Recuva to bring back deleted files from a hard drive, USB stick and SD card. I was able to successfully restore all files that were rated as “excellent” for recovery state. Files that were categorized as “poor” or “very poor” were either not recoverable at all or only partially recoverable, while those ranked as “unrecoverable” sadly never stood a chance. So we’re clear, a rating of excellent describes a freshly deleted file with no clusters overwritten. Poor or very poor refers to a file with few of its clusters intact. And unrecoverable points to an older deleted file with all of its clusters overwritten.

The basic version of Recuva is free; a $19.95 Pro edition works with virtual hard drives, provides automatic updates and delivers free premium support. There’s also a portable version you can run off a USB drive to avoid installing the software on your hard drive.

All told, Recuva works smoothly and efficiently. The wizard is simple to use, but be warned that it dumps so many deleted files into your lap that you might have a hard time locating the one you want. Instead, consider jumping straight to advanced mode, where you can exercise more control over what you see.

EaseUS Data Recovery

EaseUS Data Recovery, available for Windows and macOS, offers a variety of features and is available as both a free and paid product. You can restore files from internal and external hard drives, USB sticks, RAID configurations, SD cards, MP3 players, cameras, camcorders and more. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Free starts off by showing all of your hard drive partitions. Select a partition to scan for deleted files or choose a specific folder. Run a scan to begin the search; the program then displays a list of locations on your drive where it uncovered deleted files, arranged by folder or file type. Select a specific folder to see the files inside. You can narrow the list by opting to view only specific file types, such as graphics, audio, video, documents and emails. You can also search for files by name and wildcard symbols, such as an asterisk.

By default, the software shows you key details for each file, including the name, size, date, type and path. The program doesn’t indicate the recovery state of deleted files, but you can preview a deleted file to see if it’s intact.

While you’re hunting for your deleted file, EaseUS conducts a deep scan to seek out files that may not have been uncovered in the first scan. That process isn’t exactly speedy: On my drive, the deep scan took more than five hours to finish. The good news is that you can view the initial results of the deep scan while it’s running. After the scan, check the file or files you wish to restore, and the software will ask for a recovery location. Remember to choose a drive other than the source if you want to undelete additional files from the same spot. After the program has revived your chosen files, it opens the recovery folder so you can check out the results.

With EaseUS Data Recovery, I was able to restore all recently deleted files and mostly recover older deleted files as well as those on hidden or lost partitions. The Deep Scan was especially effective at restoring files that I thought I’d lost forever.

The free version of EaseUS Data Recovery poses one major obstacle: You can recover only up to 500MB of files at a time. By sharing a link to the application on Facebook, Twitter or Google+, though, you can increase that limit to 2GB. If you need to restore a larger file, however, you’ll have to pony up for one of the paid editions. Priced at $69.95, Data Recovery Wizard Pro can undelete any size file. For $99.90, Data Recovery Wizard Pro+WinPE offers a bootable media option in case your hard drive ever goes belly up. And if you recover files and hard drives for a living, paying $299 per year (or $499 for a lifetime subscription) scores you the Data Recovery Wizard Technician version. All three paid editions grant you free lifetime upgrades and free technical support.

Active Uneraser

Active Uneraser has several tricks up its sleeve. You can start with the free version, which is plenty powerful in its own right. You can recover files from your hard drive, external drives, USB sticks and SD cards. You can undelete damaged partitions. The software also supports RAID configurations. Active Uneraser kicks off by displaying your hard drive partitions, even ones that have been deleted. Select a specific partition and the program provides plenty of details, such as the total capacity, used space, free space, file system and condition.

After you scan a partition, Active Undelete displays all the files contained within. You can switch the view among all files, existing files and deleted files. The files are arranged by folder to allow for quick and easy searching. You can always search for a deleted file by name and/or wildcards. If the initial QuickScan comes up empty, try the QuickScan Plus feature to detect more lost or damaged files or folders. Next in line, a SuperScan digs deeper but takes longer to find deleted files. If those methods don’t do the trick, turn to the Last Chance option, which tries to uncover files based on their signatures, which are used to identify their format.

You can preview certain types of deleted files, but the software limits your view to files 10MB or smaller. To bring back a file, select it and run the Unerase command. Active Undelete asks for a location to restore the file and then opens File Explorer or Windows Explorer to display the recovery folder.

I was able to restore all recently deleted files from a hard drive, USB stick and SD card. SuperScan took four hours to run while Last Chance ran for six hours; both were able to find and revive older files as well.

The free version comes with one small restriction: You can recover just one file at a time. To get past this limitation and access other features, upgrade to one of the two paid versions. For $39.99, the Professional edition adds a bootable Windows Recovery environment in case your PC can’t boot up. For $49.99, the Ultimate edition kicks in a Linux recovery CD and the ability to repair or restore damaged RAID configurations.

The best recovery program

Recuva, EaseUS Data Recovery and Active Uneraser all work smoothly and effectively to recover your deleted files. If you’re seeking a free tool, try Recuva. It works well and isn’t saddled with the limitations imposed by the free flavors of the other two programs. If you don’t mind spending a few bucks, check out the Professional edition of Active Uneraser, as it’s reasonably priced, offers three different levels of scans, and kicks in the bootable recovery environment.

via Engadget
How to recover deleted files

Five Easy Ways to Make AR-15 Lower Receivers at Home

It’s still very much legal to build your own firearms for personal use at home. Lots of shooters enjoy the process and many also appreciate the fact that their firearm doesn’t appear in any record or database.

If an AR-15 is on your build list, the normally serialized part of the rifle — the part that’s legally a gun — is the lower receiver. But this is something you can do yourself. There are at least five easy ways to make AR-15 receivers at home.

1. Purchase an 80% blank and finish it with a drill, files and a little patience. It gets easier with a Dremel type tool. Or use a drill, a mill and some skill. There are plenty of sellers of 80% lowers out there and many videos on how to do it  yourself.

2. Purchase an 80% receiver and finish it with a CNC machine, i.e. the Ghost Gunner. Order it on the Internets. The Ghost Gunner has an excellent reputation for creating quality receivers. Defense Distributed is expanding their line to include several different pistol models, including GLOCK and government model 1911s.

3. Bolt one together from properly sized aluminum sheets/blocks. Some drilling and tapping required. Specs and templates are available on the Internet. This has great potential for building at home. I have not found any kits, but these should be easy to create.

4. Print a lower with a 3D printer. Code and 3D machines are available on the Internet. 3D-printed receivers have been improved much since the first ones were printed as proofs of concept. They tend to be the least durable of the homemade receivers because of the common materials used in inexpensive 3D printers, such as ABS and Nylon. As 3D printers continue to become cheaper and more versatile, the durability of 3D printed receivers will continue to improve.

5. Cast your own out of an epoxy resin. Molds, resin and instructions are available on the Internets. Reviews of this method indicate it makes a fairly durable and tough receiver. Probably not be as tough as aluminum, but they work fairly well.

All of these methods have been shown to work reasonably well, requiring various amounts of time and money. These aren’t the only methods available, either. There are many combinations available depending on tools, time, and materials. For example, there are hybrid designs that print out smaller parts that can then be bolted together.

All of the information is available to mill an AR-15 receiver from a block of aluminum. Some have used this method, but it takes more time, skill, and effort than the others listed.

You don’t have to buy over the internet, either. Troll the aisles at a local gun show and you’re likely to find a few of these available. Sold as kits for cash and carry, they leave no digital or paper trail. The kits are simply information and materials, sometimes with a few basic tools.

Assembling kits is a simple matter. It would be a great money making project for a gun club or a gun rights group to promote both First Amendment and Second Amendment rights, self reliance, and personal independence, all at once. The systems are inexpensive enough to be a good money-making project for a church group, Trail Life, 4-H Club, or Boy Scout troop, if they can develop enough spine for it.


©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

Gun Watch

via The Truth About Guns
Five Easy Ways to Make AR-15 Lower Receivers at Home

The 6 Best Ergonomic Keyboards to Improve Computer Comfort


Typing all day can really take its toll on your wrists. You’ll see why if you look at the way your wrists naturally fall on the desk, and compare it to how most keyboards force you to hold your hands.

An ergonomic keyboard is designed to complement your body, not fight against it. Here are six of the best ergonomic keyboards—from traditional to split and everything in-between.

Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop Keyboard

Microsoft has a history of making quality keyboards. It was one of the first companies to bring ergonomic typing to the mainstream, and the Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop is the latest full-sized iteration of that design.

The use of a “Natural Arc” key layout is designed to mimic the shape of your fingertips, with an extended palm rest to take the strain off your wrists. It’s an investment in comfort at a reasonable price point, with a few additional features like media keys and 128-bit AES encryption of your keystrokes to boot.

The wireless design works with Windows 8 and above (though it’ll work on your Mac too) via a USB dongle, and uses two AAA batteries for power. You also get a separate flat-design number pad, which you can position anywhere on your desk.

2. Kinesis Freestyle2 Blue (Windows, Mac)

Kinesis Freestyle2 Blue Ergonomic Keyboard

Kinesis Freestyle2 Blue Wireless Ergonomic Keyboard for Mac (9″ Standard Separation)

Kinesis Freestyle2 Blue Wireless Ergonomic Keyboard for Mac (9″ Standard Separation)

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Kinesis Freestyle2 Blue Wireless Ergonomic Keyboard for PC (9″ Separation)

Kinesis Freestyle2 Blue Wireless Ergonomic Keyboard for PC (9″ Separation)

Buy Now At Amazon

The Kinesis Freestyle2 Blue is the wireless version of the Freestyle2, and it’s available in both Windows and Mac versions. While the keyboard communicates with your computer wirelessly, the two split sections are joined by wire in the middle and available in 9-inch and 20-inch versions.

The Freestyle2 uses low-force responsive keys, and the traditional design and layout removes the requirement for an adjustment period. Add the optional VIP3 or V3 lifters and Kinesis Palm Support for an even more comfortable typing experience (sold separately).

One handy feature allows you to sync the keyboard to three separate devices at a time, and switch between them with a button press. The rechargeable lithium polymer battery provides a six-month battery life, and you can use the keyboard while charging too.

Mistel Barocco Ergonomic Keyboard

Mistel Barocco Ergonomic Split PBT RGB Mechanical Keyboard with Cherry MX Red Switches, Black

Mistel Barocco Ergonomic Split PBT RGB Mechanical Keyboard with Cherry MX Red Switches, Black

Buy Now At Amazon

An ergonomic keyboard that uses a split design and mechanical switches, Mistel’s Barocco is a pricey but high-quality offering for gamers and serious typists. Of note is your choice of Cherry MX Black, Blue, Brown, Clear, Red, Silver, and Nature White switches, for the ultimate personalized feel.

You can program the entire keyboard, from the layouts (such as the productivity-boosting Colemak layout) to key bindings, macros, and media keys. Per-key RGB backlighting adds a premium look, with several modes available depending on your mood.

For low latency response time, the Barocco uses a wired design rather than Bluetooth. Thus it requires no batteries or charging.

Microsoft Surface Ergonomic Keyboard

Microsoft 3RA-00022 Surface Ergonomic Keyboard

Microsoft 3RA-00022 Surface Ergonomic Keyboard

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Too low to display

Built around the same design as Microsoft’s full-sized Sculpt keyboard, the Surface Ergonomic is a lightweight and compact ergonomic design that works with Surface devices and Windows 10. It uses a similar “Natural Arc” design, with a cushioned palm rest to help reduce wrist strain.

The chiclet design is whisper-quiet and you can expect 12-month wireless battery life from two AAA batteries. There’s a set of media keys on top, and the number pad is integrated into the main design unlike the Sculpt Ergonomic featured earlier.

Unfortunately, some users of older Macs may have issues getting their devices to recognize the Surface Ergonomic as a keyboard. It’s not compatible with older Bluetooth 3.0 devices, and you’ll need to sacrifice a USB port for the wireless dongle too.

Kinesis Advantage2

Jestik Kinesis KB600 Advantage2 USB Contoured Keyboard (Black) with SmartSet Programming Technology for PC and MAC Plus Advantage Palm Pads And Microfiber – VALUE BUNDLE

Jestik Kinesis KB600 Advantage2 USB Contoured Keyboard (Black) with SmartSet Programming Technology for PC and MAC Plus Advantage Palm Pads And Microfiber – VALUE BUNDLE

Buy Now At Amazon

The Kinesis Advantage2 uses a patented contoured design designed to minimize hand and finger extension. With a built-in palm rest, and thumb keys for Enter, Space, and more, the Advantage2 is a wired keyboard for desktop use that’s certainly going to take some getting used to.

Features include compatibility with Windows, Mac, and Linux out of the box, a vertical key layout, and an optional electronic click to optimize your typing. The whole keyboard is programmable, so you can change keys around as you see fit.

The Advantage2 comes with mechanical Cherry MX Brown low-force switches, perfect for typing and coding at speed. You’ll also find palm pads in the box for added comfort where required. The biggest drawback is the price, since this is the most expensive keyboard on our list.

ErgoDox EZ

A split-design wired keyboard, the ErgoDox EZ is a pricey yet highly customizable input device that’s fully adjustable to your typing needs. Not only can you adjust the position of the EZ for maximum comfort, you can replace the keycaps and switches too.

When you purchase the kit from ErgoDox, you can choose from printed, blank, or no keycaps. You pick from a full rainbow of Cherry MX switches (with the quiet Brown being the most popular), as well as a selection of Kalih switches.

Based on an open source design, the kit comes with the Wing (a custom wrist rest) and a tilt kit. You can purchase all these accessories separately too (including keycaps and switches). And take a look at building your own firmware for the keyboard if you have skills in that area.

It’s expensive, but incredibly popular for such an unorthodox design.

Using Windows Keyboards on a Mac

Not all of these keyboard come with Mac layouts or express support for macOS. Most of them, however, will work with macOS just fine. You can reprogram any issues you encounter with incorrect key mapping (mostly for Cmd, Option, and Control) with apps like Karabiner-Elements and Keyboard Maestro.

Apple Magic Keyboard 2

To learn more, check out our full guide to using a third-party keyboard with macOS

How to Use & Customize a Third-Party Keyboard on Your Mac

How to Use & Customize a Third-Party Keyboard on Your Mac

If you want to buy an Apple keyboard, you only have two flavors of Magic Keyboard to choose from. That’s why a third party keyboard might be a better choice…
Read More


Other Ergonomic Computer Improvements

While you’re trying to save your wrists, spare a thought for the rest of your body. A laptop stand will elevate your display to a position that is less likely to cause stiffness and damage to your neck. Investing in an ergonomic mouse

What Kind of Ergonomic Mouse Should You Buy? 6 Wrist-Friendly Mice

What Kind of Ergonomic Mouse Should You Buy? 6 Wrist-Friendly Mice

When you imagine a computer mouse, you probably think of the traditional mouse with two buttons and a scroll wheel. An ergonomic mouse looks entirely different — and it can decrease the strain on your…
Read More

as well is a good idea.

Image Credit: JPCPROD/Depositphotos

Explore more about: Buying Guide, Ergonomics, Keyboard.

The 6 Best Ergonomic Keyboards to Improve Computer Comfort

A Kind Introduction MySQL Windowing Functions Part I

Windowing functions are a critical tool for grouping rows of data that are related to other rows. But they go far beyond the regular aggregate functions found in MySQL 5.7 and earlier. In MySQL 8 you do not have to collapse all the information down into a single output row. Each row can retain its individual identity but the server can analyze the data as a unit.

Statistics and Damned Lies

Finding the total Population of the District Texas from the table is simple. 

SQL> select District, sum(Population)  
from city where district = ‘Texas’;
| District | sum(Population) |
| Texas    |         9208281 |
1 row in set (0.0068 sec)

 Simple.  But try to expand it to the entire USA and you get problems.

SQL> select District, sum(Population)  
from city where CountryCode = ‘USA’;
| District | sum(Population) |
| New York |        78625774 |
1 row in set (0.0046 sec)

The results only give out the results for all the cities and lumps them under New York. This is not the desired answer. By the way the only time New York (and New York city in particular) has 78 million people is when they are all on the road in front of me when I am trying to take a taxi to an airport.

With a windowing function it is easy to iterate over a subset of the entire data.  Imagine reading the data through a page with a section cut out to form a window that is just the right size to read only the group of rows desired!

SQL> select name, District, Population, sum(Population) over() as p0, 
     District, sum(population) over( partition by District) as p1
     from city where CountryCode = ‘USA’ limit 10;
| name       | District | Population | p0       | District | p1      |
| Birmingham | Alabama  |     242820 | 78625774 | Alabama  |  801519 |
| Montgomery | Alabama  |     201568 | 78625774 | Alabama  |  801519 |
| Mobile     | Alabama  |     198915 | 78625774 | Alabama  |  801519 |
| Huntsville | Alabama  |     158216 | 78625774 | Alabama  |  801519 |
| Anchorage  | Alaska   |     260283 | 78625774 | Alaska   |  260283 |
| Phoenix    | Arizona  |    1321045 | 78625774 | Arizona  | 3178903 |
| Tucson     | Arizona  |     486699 | 78625774 | Arizona  | 3178903 |
| Mesa       | Arizona  |     396375 | 78625774 | Arizona  | 3178903 |
| Glendale   | Arizona  |     218812 | 78625774 | Arizona  | 3178903 |
| Scottsdale | Arizona  |     202705 | 78625774 | Arizona  | 3178903 |
10 rows in set (0.0075 sec)

The above query has two windows.  The keyword to notice is OVER().  The window defined is OVER() with nothing within the parenthesis as this should be under stood to mean ‘the widow is open wide enough to see all the data’. So sum(Population) over() as p0 will give us the sum of all the Population columns and name the column p0.

The second window is defined as sum(population) over (partition by District) as p1 will provide all of the Population of each district summed in a column named p1.  

Different Types of Windows

The OVER clause has two forms – window_spec and window_name.  The window_spec option declares the specified window with the parenthesis.  While window_name is a window defined elsewhere in the query.  The send window in the above query  (where the output is named p1) is a window_spec.

So here is a window_name example:

SQL> SELECT District, Sum(Population) OVER w 
    FROM city where CountryCode =’USA’ 
    WINDOW w AS (partition by District) limit 10;
| District | Sum(Population) OVER w |
| Alabama  |                 801519 |
| Alabama  |                 801519 |
| Alabama  |                 801519 |
| Alabama  |                 801519 |
| Alaska   |                 260283 |
| Arizona  |                3178903 |
| Arizona  |                3178903 |
| Arizona  |                3178903 |
| Arizona  |                3178903 |
| Arizona  |                3178903 |
10 rows in set (0.0032 sec)

The window was given the name w and then defined as WINDOW w AS (partition by District).   By the way the declaration within the window_name is itself as window_spec.

So what is a window_spec??


The definition from the manual ( informs that a window_spec is defined as:

window_spec: [window_name] [partition_clause] [order_clause] [frame_clause]

The window_name is an alias that can be used elsewhere in the query.

The partition_clause is how the data is to be divided up into groups. If this is unspecified it makes one big group.  

The order_clause provides the sort_order. Remember the ORDER BY from regular SQL queries?  This is how you can order the groups.

And the frame_clause determines sub groups within the big group.

And as it so often happens, there is a lot of material to be covered under the frame_clause and that will be in a future blog.

via Planet MySQL
A Kind Introduction MySQL Windowing Functions Part I

Comic for July 29, 2018


Man: You said the software would be finished by today. Dilbert: I said it might be finished by today. Man: Why did you say it might be finished if you knew it wouldn’t? Dilbert: I didn’t know it wouldn’t be finished. Man: Now you’re flip-flopping all over the place. Dilbert: You’re conflating your own false memories with my actions. Man: That’s exactly what liars say. Dogbert: How was work? Dilbert: Totally normal. Unfortunately.

via Dilbert Daily Strip
Comic for July 29, 2018

How to Make Sure You’re Getting the Internet Speeds You’re Paying For

Image: Shutterstock

It’s probably been a while since you signed up for internet service, but you should have an idea of how fast your plan is. If not, give your ISP a call. Write down your plan’s maximum download and upload speeds. You can then use these speed-testing websites to see just your wifi’s actual performance stacks up to what you’re theoretically paying for.

Before you begin, one quick word on testing: You’ll want to run a few speed tests at different times of the day across different sites, just in case your connection is suffering from congestion or any of the sites are under-reporting your speeds for whatever reason.

Fast by Netflix

Screenshot: certainly lives up to its name, providing you with an almost immediate measurement of your download speeds in Mbps (megabits per second). If you click on “Show More Info” once the site’s measurement is finished, you can also test your upload speed and latency—how long it takes a webpage to start loading after you click a link. also has an app if you want to check your speeds from your iOS or Android device.


The speeds you see when testing your internet connection in the morning might not reflect the speeds you can expect to get in the afternoon or at night, when everyone is firing up Netflix after work. With, you can keep a tab open in your web browser and automatically measure your internet speed at different intervals throughout the day, which can help you figure out whether your ISP or your bandwidth-hogging neighbors are to blame for your connection.

Ookla Speedtest

Screenshot: Ookla Speedtest

The Ookla Speedtest measures your download speed, upload speed, and latency, and separate apps are also available for checking the same statistics on iOS, Android, and your Windows or Mac computer. Create an account to save your results and chart all of your readings, which can help you figure out whether your speeds are falling (or improving) over long-term testing.

Measurement Lab Network Diagnostic Tool

If you need more detailed information than some of the other internet speed tests provide, consider Measurement Lab’s Network Diagnostic Tool. It isn’t flashy at first—giving you basic information on latency, download speeds, and upload speeds—but selecting the Details tab will show you even more advanced information: your packet loss, any network congestion, duplex mismatches, and whether it thinks you might have a cable fault (to name a few options).

SourceForge Internet Speed Test

Numbers only tell so much of a story. You can run a bunch of tests, sure, but how much speed do you really need to stream a movie or play an online game? SourceForge’s Internet Speed Test gives you many of the same statistics as our other options, but it also recommends services you’ll be able to use (or should avoid) based on your ping, download and upload speeds, and a combination of your packet loss, jitter, and latency. You’ll know, rather quickly, whether services like Skype, Netflix, or VoIP are worth trying on your connection.

via Lifehacker
How to Make Sure You’re Getting the Internet Speeds You’re Paying For

Machine Dismantling a Car

Machine Dismantling a Car


Once a car is no longer drivable, it heads to the junk yard. But before it ends up on the scrap heap, machines like the Powerhand VRS are used to rip apart the car to separate materials, maximizing recyclability of components. It looks like a great way to work out aggression too.

via The Awesomer
Machine Dismantling a Car