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A Week in The Life of the PocketGPSWorld.com Database Admin
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MaFt
Pocket GPS Staff
Pocket GPS Staff


Joined: Aug 31, 2005
Posts: 12818
Location: Bradford, West Yorkshire

PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:52 am    Post subject: A Week in The Life of the PocketGPSWorld.com Database Admin Reply with quote

pocketgpsworld.comPractically every Wednesday we update our Speed Camera database; but what happens in between these updates?

Do I simply galavant around wasting your subscription money on fast cars and cheap women like a true Yorkshireman? Do I 'eckers like (I have a battered old Rover 25 for one thing...)!

Following on from DennisN's 'A Day in The Life of a PocketGPSWorld.com Verifier' from back in November 2007 here is a rare insight into one of my average weeks maintaining and releasing the Speed Camera Database.

Click here to read the full article...
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yeramihi
Lifetime Member


Joined: Jan 22, 2009
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 4:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lol... respect man.... And I was going to send you a moaning email about my application for verifier (from last newsletter) ;)
BTW: Interesting time to share your insights about it :D Got a deal with this McDonald's store or something? :P
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sn00p
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Joined: Jan 19, 2004
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow. You're seriously doing that all by hand? That would drive me mental, well, at least to the point that I wrote a piece of software to help automate the process.
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The Rudd
Regular Visitor


Joined: Apr 18, 2006
Posts: 121
Location: Newcastle upon Tyne

PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MaFt

You deserve a medal for the work that goes into a weekly update (and the admins as well) I never though that so much time and effort was used to do the speed cameras.

When you just upload your weekly update you take it for granted not knowing what's involved - now I do and I look on warning Gatso slow down with fresh eyes, £19.99 isn't a huge amount to pay for a year

It would be interesting to see if the other speed cams companies did the same amount of detail in doing this. though I don't think so.

Jezza aka Jerry
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DennisN
Tired Old Man
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Joined: Feb 27, 2006
Posts: 12896
Location: Keynsham

PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Disappointing article - I used to look up to and admire you - I thought you just took our money and swanned around in fast cars, drinking pink champagne and stuff with a girl on each arm, when in reality you're just that hard working guy sitting in the corner at McD's. Shocked Do you ever meet up with the TomTom, Garmin et al database guys for a quick McShake?
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Dennis

I'm getting a cat flap for my whippet
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SSR
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Joined: May 26, 2005
Posts: 432

PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How do I become a friend or family member of PGW staff?

And will you get more fingers broken for this typo? "I mentioned earlier that at busy times I don't always get chance to accurately guess the new cameras, so how do I get around this for the new Lifetime Subscribers?"
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spook51
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Joined: Mar 26, 2004
Posts: 548
Location: East Midlands

PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I take my hat off to you for your hard work MaFt, much appreciated; not just for maintaining the PGPSW database but for doing in McDonalds - now that is dedication!

Not Worthy Not Worthy Not Worthy
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MaFt
Pocket GPS Staff
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Joined: Aug 31, 2005
Posts: 12818
Location: Bradford, West Yorkshire

PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, It's now 12 noon and I suppose I should let you all into a little secret... Only a handful of you figured it out, even DennisN and Anita were caught out too!

The whole article is, in fact, an APRIL FOOL!

Not one bit of it is true - there are a small number of little truths in there (I do a couple of hours of my work in McDonalds 1 or 2 days a week while my daughter is at the pre-school over the road) but the rest is a load of tosh. I have 10mb cable broadband at home - even out in the sticks!

Your submissions get sent directly to the Submissions Database and these are then processed via a very technical admin set up that shows all nearby submissions on a map as well as loads of details to help verify them. We don't get anywhere near 800 submissions per day either! I also spend a more realistic 2-3 hours each day on processing submissions. In general I have the weekend off too. Oh, and MikeB's submission is a Photoshop job!

M8TJT does, in fact, email me every week with a load of heading / direction updates however the email in the article is completely fabricated. I do occasionally forget to process his heading updates but he's never sent such a rude email!

We've mentioned countless times about how the database files themselves are generated 'on-the-fly' and 'tagged' with a traceable code (for anti-piracy) - i.e. I don't do any of the manual editing in a spreadsheet file. None. There IS no spreadsheet file! I.e. we DO NOT use 3rd party sites to create the different formats.

Because everything is stored on a central database and we store a lot of information we have set up a system that generates a list of the first submitters for qualifying cameras. We do not pick and choose according to subscription status as suggested in the spoof article. I wouldn't dream of guessing the number of changes each week, or the users who qualify for a lifetime subscription. We give the free subscription to all who qualify - we DO NOT pick and choose family and friends! If we did then we wouldn't be as quick to publish the names of all who qualify every single week.

All those silly things about there being no software for Mac's is all sheer nonsense too! I run Windows on my Mac for some custom software that we have as well as using DreamWeaver for web stuff. Although I do actually use OpenOffice there are Office Suites available from Apple and others.

And, finally, I don't get 'billed' for the new lifer's subs money and Rob is, in fact, short for 'Robot' not 'Robbery' as we work among cyborgs. Oh, wait, it's after midday isn't it...

Oh well, I hope you enjoyed it Very Happy

MaFt
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MaFt
Pocket GPS Staff
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Joined: Aug 31, 2005
Posts: 12818
Location: Bradford, West Yorkshire

PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

and for a bit more fun, here's a couple of PM's i received today:

Quote:
From: Jellyroll
To: MaFt
Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 8:44 am
Subject: MacDonalds and Working Too Hard Quote message
It pains me to see all that effort.

Perhaps 90% of it is needed, but there are things that can be done with spreadsheets, even OpenOffice.org ones, to simplify the sorting and camera name changes, for example, and there are more programs on (and available for) yer average Mac than you suspect, so FireFTP is only one option. As for web page design - well, FrontPage is a heap of pimply shite that produces bloated garbage. There are other solutions than text editors (although Real Men make web pages in VI or EMACS, naturally {hehe}).

While I make it a general rule never to go into a MacDonald - certainly never to eat in one - I'd not be averse to crossing the Pennines and looking over your shoulder one day to see if there's anything I can do to speed up, simplify or automate some of the processes for you. It's what I do.


Quote:
From: BigPerk
To: MaFt
Posted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 11:27 am
Subject: A Day in the Life ... Quote message
Hi MaFt - congratulations on all that work (Rob doesn't really break your fingers, does he? You would have to work even longer hours! )

I was just wondering, though, if you meant to leave M8TJT's name in (unless it's tongue-in-cheek - it doesn't quite look like it)? If not you might have time to remove it while he's in the garden.

Also, with the spreadsheet, I presume there is a reason you can't have the directional info in a separate field, so you could still sort on type, as you used to. I would have thought it needn't mess up the file format, but maybe it does?

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BigPerk
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Joined: Sep 06, 2006
Posts: 1618
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Embarassed Embarassed Embarassed Embarassed

ME - Fooled? Rolling Eyes

Only looked at the date about 15 minutes ago, but suspect it wouldn't have made any difference actually what with my age and gullibility

Nice one MaFt, bet you spent more on coffee in GrotDonalds doing this spoof than the rest of the year's visits put together!
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David
(Navigon 70 Live, Nuvi 360)
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DennisN
Tired Old Man
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Joined: Feb 27, 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MaFt wrote:
and for a bit more fun, here's a couple of PM's i received today:

[SNIP]


Naughty boy - shouldn't have left the poor souls' names in!!

Anyway, to get my own back, here's a quote from Earlier today.......

MaFt wrote:
DennisN wrote:
Stop it! I think Moderators should get advance warning of spoofs so that we don't get egg on our faces from stuff like this - I believed it at first!!
Tough - that's what you get for being a Northerner living Down South!

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Dennis

I'm getting a cat flap for my whippet
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spook51
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Joined: Mar 26, 2004
Posts: 548
Location: East Midlands

PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LaughingLaughingLaughing Good one MaFt - far better than 'Was Shakespeare French?' and 'Prescription Windscreens for motorists'. I consider myself well and truly 'had' though my thanks for maintaining the database remain.

David
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MaFt
Pocket GPS Staff
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Joined: Aug 31, 2005
Posts: 12818
Location: Bradford, West Yorkshire

PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should also congratulate G1LIW who spotted the filename 'hint': week-life-database-admin-Fo01.php

we removed his post though cos it was classed as a spoiler Very Happy

SSR also figured it out (and got removed Wink)

MaFt
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DennisN
Tired Old Man
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Joined: Feb 27, 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MaFt wrote:
I should also congratulate G1LIW who spotted the filename 'hint': week-life-database-admin-Fo01.php

God how I hate Smart4rses!!! How do they spot stuff like that? I saw his post before it was removed and I was just worrying about capital letters and apostrophes!
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Dennis

I'm getting a cat flap for my whippet
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Jamesrisk
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Joined: May 30, 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ha Ha, Brilliant,

I did think @ little things, like no FTP for a mac, and other Mac-esque things...
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