If you were to log in, you'd be able to get more information on your fellow community member.
Phil has the money to spend on Adobe PhotoShop and expensive machines running Windows NT. The starving artists among you might consider running Linux or FreeBSD, and using a free PhotoShop clone known as the GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program). You get the X server and so on, and can test CGI programs and run databases locally. You can then take the $2000 you would have to spend on Windows NT, PhotoShop, and Office, and triple your RAM and disk space. Administering modern Linux and BSD systems is not the painful torture of yore; if you installed your Linux the smart way (Red Hat) you can get all these packages installed and working with less difficulty than you would have doing the same under Windows 95.
Just follow the link to "Loquacious", and then click on the "philg" realm. You'll see a list of all the pages with comments, and you can dig through them to read everything. That's how I found this comment page, for example.
I'm not a DBA, I'm a sysadmin. But as a sysadmin, you have to work with DBAs and you learn little things about the RDBMS, like how to startup/shutdown, how you do a backup, how you find out which areas of the disk the RDBMS has glommed onto, etc.
From my perspective, Informix is a far better-designed product than Oracle. One of the DBAs at work says Informix is five years ahead of Oracle in technology, and I believe it.
Informix is also vastly easier to use and to learn; after a year of working at an Oracle site I had learned how to startup/shutdown. After a month of working at an Informix site, I had learned startup/shutdown, how to do backups, how to find out what areas of the disk the database has glommed onto, how to install the Perl DBI module for Informix, how to run it from an Intel/FreeBSD box to a HPPA/HP-UX box, etc.
Think of a computer-industry leader who is fantastically rich, fantastically driven by the art of the deal, who likes fa...