Backup Fiasco: Short Lifespan for CDs

I've been considering how to improve the backups of my personal digital library such as photos, music, files, and other data after reading a story that's been widely circulated since last week. An IBM researcher estimates the lifespan of CD-R discs to be a mere 2-5 years, depending on factors such as heat, humidity, and light.

Storage expert warns of short life span for burned CDs

I'm considering options such as a 300 GB, 600 GB, or 1 TB Maxtor Hard Drive, maybe two of them in fact. To prevent bit rot I could transfer all the data from one megadrive to the other every couple of years, back and forth to write the data fresh. Of course, just like genetic mutations, with frequent copying some variation is introduced due to minor copy errors.

Connection Failover with Oracle and ColdFusion

The most current version of the DataDirect JDBC Drivers (version 3.5) available for ColdFusion MX now support the AlternateServers connection string option for Oracle datasources. The Oracle driver now allows you to specify a list of Oracle Database servers when first establishing the connection. Each database server in the list will be tried until one is successful or until all have been tried unsuccessfully, repeating the list as necessary via the ConnectionRetry property.

ColdFusion MX 7 Administrator currently has a bug where connection string properties are not correctly added to the datasource definition as per this Technote. The Technote suggests that you manually edit the neo-query.xml file to manually add the connection string properties, however for the purpose of AlternateServers, you can just tack it on the end of the value in the Oracle SID field in the CF Admin DSN page.

The syntax for the AlternateServers property is:


Datasource Timeouts and Support for CFQUERY Timeout Attribute

When considering Timeout settings and sources of problematic bottlenecks in ColdFusion applications, a widely held misconception is that all active database connections do not obey timeouts. Discussions surrounding slowness or unresponsiveness in ColdFusion applications often boil down to isolating unusual database activity as the culprit. The explanation provided is often that while the general Timeout in the ColdFusion Administrator, as well as the page level CFSETTING timeout attribute, will be enforced for all page requests except those actively waiting on a response from the database server after a SQL statement has been sent. While this is true, its sometines overlooked that the CFQUERY tag itself has a timeout attribute that is worth considering in some cases. In fact, this particular timeout is something that I've often forgotten, too.

One reason for the confusion over the CFQUERY tag timeout is that not all drivers support it. Of the databases drivers that ship with ColdFusion MX, only the Oracle and SQL Server drivers will enforce the CFQUERY attribute for timeout if it is supplied.

From the ColdFusion documentation for CFQUERY, the timeout attribute is described as:

CFQUERY timeout attribute

Maximum number of seconds that each action of a query is permitted to execute before returning an error. The cumulative time may exceed this value.

For JDBC statements, ColdFusion sets this attribute. For other drivers, check driver documentation.