16 October 2009

Oracle numeric test

A colleague and I found ourselves needing to write a one-off bit of SQL that used a character column in a join condition. The character column is performing double duty, sometimes acting as a (numeric) foreign key, and sometimes holding other data.

I was perplexed by the lack of some kind of "is numeric" test in Oracle's dialect of SQL. I scrounged around forums and found something that I thought would work, but my colleague finally put me straight and we used this condition:

REGEXP_LIKE(char_column, '^[[:digit:]]+$')

03 October 2009

News from Montevideo

The Economist reports on the success of the XO laptops in Uruguay. Interim results: mixed to negative.
In Escuela 95, up to half of the students in some classes have broken their machines, usually by cracking the screen or snapping the antennae that pick up a Wi-Fi signal.