>I need a 20 GB + DB that I'd like to access by row number or physical order.
Are you certain?
In my experience, people who claim they need to access by physical order are making a
bunch of faulty assumptions, and REALLY want to access by temporal order, which is not
the same thing.
There are many things that can make the physical order meaningless, unless you are writing
data recovery utilities or similar.
>Of course I could use a special rownum column...
>mySQL already maintains such
I haven't examined the source code, but are you sure? It most likely keeps track of things
via offsets, rather than row numbers.
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