database first impressions

I’ve spent almost all day trying to get these free versions of large databases working. Well, that, and watching a good amount of Justice League. So far, I’ve yet to feel like I’ve made any good progress. Although that one battle with Lord Hades was pretty darn cool.

These new cartoons are a lot grittier than even Batman: The Animated Series was. The animation isn’t as sharp, though, but it is detailed in other places. It’s a trade-off, I guess.

Anyway, here’s my impressions so far:

Oracle XE

  • Easy to install
  • A pain in the arse to connect, what the crap is TNS and SID variables I need to set? I’m really lost.
  • The web interface is really slick.
  • The instant client installed without any issues on Gentoo (on both 32 and 64 bit installs, I dual boot).

SQL Server 2005 Express Edition

  • Just as easy to install
  • No cool frontends, no nothing. It does come with a separate SQL script thing you can run in DOS (that’s odd).
  • I can’t figure out for the life of me how to connect with PHP, but I don’t think it’s going to be easy or possible, considering its so new. ODBC *might* work.
  • I’m not even sure if its accepting remote connections yet. I can’t even get an ODBC connection created.
  • I would be using the 2000 version, but I didn’t find it til much later, and I’ve already got everything installed.
  • I would have found it much earlier if Microsoft didn’t make it so freaking absolutely gouge-my-eyes-out incredibly hard to find. Naming the databases 2000 and 2005 doesn’t help my search queries too much. Not that sql or server are really original either. Come up with some original names, guys, like … “Relational Asinity” or something.


  • I can’t even get the thing started or figure out how to create a database.
  • I tried the web admin (ibwebadmin), and while it looks like a really cool app, see above.
  • Couldn’t find any cool foss guis, so I gave up after searching for just a little bit to try the other ones.


  • Just barely finished installing it, I’m feeling optimistic about this one.
  • Not too excited about installing RPMs on my Gentoo box just to get the PHP client working. Actually, I wouldn’t mind if there was an ebuild. 🙂

Granted, I’m reading very little documentation while I do this, other than the PHP website, and going as far as this will take me intuitively. I’ve spent most of my time on Oracle, and their website is really nice, and has a section just for PHP. I still can’t get any connections working though.

One thing’s for sure, it makes me love PostgreSQL even more than ever. And I used to think it was a pain to setup. Holy crap, its a cakewalk compared to these guys.

I think it’s time for some more cartoons. Green Lantern is definately the man. I think he’s tougher than Superman.

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