Error

MySQL Error 28: Temp Tables And Running Out of Disk Space

Bam: MySQL error 28, and suddenly my queries came to a stop. Error 28 is about disk space, usually the disk space for temp tables. The first thing to do is figure out what filesystem(s) the tables are on. SHOW VARIABLES LIKE “%dir%” will return a number of results, but the ones that matter are […] » about 300 words

Cataloging Errors

A bibliographic instruction quiz we used to use asked students how many of Dan Brown’s books could be found in our catalog. The idea was that attentive students would dutifully search by author for “brown, dan,” get redirected to “Brown, Dan 1964-,” and find three books. Indeed, the expected answer was “three.”

As it turns out, my library has all four of Dan Brown’s published books, including the missing Digital Fortress. The problem is that three books are cataloged under the more common Brown, Dan 1964-, but Fortress was cataloged under Brown, Danielle.

The problem is that cataloging is imperfect.

Yeah, it takes some marbles to say that, but the fact is that cataloging is a human endeavor. Humans make mistakes. The challenge we face is to build systems that tolerate error, and then make it easy to fix those errors when discovered.

We Regret The Error

Not all errors in news reporting are as trivial as this one: THE COST of beer kegs has risen by about 30% since the end of 2003. In addition, Neil Witte is the draught beer quality-control specialist of Boulevard Brewing Co., and Steven Pauwels is the brewer’s brewmaster. A March 14 page-one article on beer-keg […] » about 200 words