phpBB Doctor SQL Challenges
This is the second SQL Challenge from the phpBB Doctor. It is my hope that this series of posts will be interesting but educational as well. The concept is simple: I will post a challenge that must be solved with (unless stated otherwise) a single SQL statement. No php code, no “insert into…” temporary tables, just one simple (or more likely not-so-simple!) SQL statement. There is often more than one way to solve the same problem, so I personally will be interested to see some of the solutions that are presented. Eventually I will post my original answer and optionally the best answers (judged by me) submitted to the challenge as well. Some of the challenges will use phpBB tables and data, others may use special data that I will create and make available for you to download.
What do you win? You win the knowledge that you solved a challenge. Is that enough for you?
In the first challenge in this series I presented some data that I had put together to analyze the posting history of users on my largest board. Rather than post the exact SQL used I thought it would be fun to leave it as an exercise for my blog readers. Today I’ll reveal my solution.
I got to participate in the second phpBB podcast! WooT!
I’m still not very familiar with phpBB3 code, but I have become much more familiar with phpBB3 features. In my role as a moderator at phpbb.com I use phpBB3 as a moderator, but I am also a user. So when the podcast team came out with the question, “What is your favorite feature of phpBB3?”, I definitely had an opinion. What did I pick?
Yup, in case you haven’t heard, this guy : – ) is now 25 years old. And he doesn’t look a day over 19.
It is interesting to me to see how many bits and pieces of computer history are actually preserved. Like we really do know who invented emoticons. It was a professor at Carnegie Mellon that claims that he was the first to put together some punctuation marks and tell people to “turn your head sideways” to read them.
“It has been fascinating to watch this phenomenon grow from a little message I tossed off in 10 minutes to something that has spread all around the world,” Fahlman was quoted as saying in a university statement. “I sometimes wonder how many millions of people have typed these characters, and how many have turned their heads to one side to view a smiley, in the 25 years since this all started.”
Read the full story on Yahoo
When Did This Happen?
I’ve been a loyal winzip user for years. Frankly, why wouldn’t I be? I paid my shareware registration years ago, and their agreement lets me use the program on as many computers as I have. I don’t remember which version I started with, but it could very well have been 1.0. The original author allowed free upgrades for life, meaning each time a new upgrade was available I was able to download it, install it, and enter my registration code.
Not any more.
That’s a partial screen shot of my paypal screen from last evening. Got the payment within 24 hours of having the ads set up on my board. Supposedly the company will continue to pay a month in advance. I guess if they decide to increase (or decrease) the rate they’re paying I will hear from them first.
So far so good.
The Saga of Nicole Draws to a Close
Last night I got an email from Nicole telling me how to install the ads from her company. It’s relatively painless. There are “generic” instructions for any php-based site. They also offer instructions for both phpBB2 and phpBB3. I took a look at the code to make sure it wasn’t completely going to bork my server. It’s not the best code in the world, but it’s functional.
They provide an empty CSV (Comma Seperated Values) file to start with. The first time your page loads it connects to their server to download the current ad campaigns. Right now I’m seeing stuff for “Credit Card Consolodation” and “Guitar Lessons” and “Phoenix Landscaping Companies” on my site. Hm. That’s a variety.
When we last talked I had sent yet another email back to Nicole. I had received acceptable answers as to how she found out that I own www.phpbb2mods.com, and more information about the service she was offering. I still haven’t heard back from Google (big surprise, they’re really slow at times) but this domain doesn’t use Adsense anyway. The last thing to be resolved was price.
In this post I talked about being contacted by an advertising service and covered four questions that I wanted to have answered. I have heard back from “Nicole” and here is what I have learned so far.
But first, I probably should apologize to “Nicole” if that is your real name. It just seems to me that many (most) board owners are probably male. (I’m not being sexist or politically incorrect here, I believe I could probably find statistics to back this up if I really tried. Or cared.) It also seems that board owners would likely respond to an email from “Nicole” or “Mary” or “Candy” more than an email from “James” or “Maurice” or even “Dave”. Marketing is such a funny subject… part sales, part psychology, part timing and luck. But I digress. Here are her responses and my comments to each of the four questions that I asked in my last post. And I will promote “Nicole” to a real person by dropping the quotes.
In no particular order…
Looking For Patterns
Spammers don’t use established domains, not often anyway. There will be the occasional registration from gmail or yahoo that comes through but for the most part they seems to be more interested in getting their own new domains, spamming the heck out of everybody, and moving on. I noticed some trends after reviewing the log from my Checkbox Challenge MOD that I thought would be interesting to share.