Tim Hall

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Oracle related rants (and lots of off-topic stuff)...
Updated: 17 hours 34 min ago

VirtualBox 5.1.30

Tue, 2017-10-17 08:42

VirtualBox 5.1.30 has been released.

Downloads and changelog in the usual places.

It installed fine on a Windows 7 host on my PC at work. I’ll probably do the macOSX Sierra and Oracle Linux 7 installations tonight and update here.

Happy upgrading!

Cheers

Tim…

Update: The upgrade worked fine on macOS Sierra too.

VirtualBox 5.1.30 was first posted on October 17, 2017 at 2:42 pm.
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KeePass 2.37

Mon, 2017-10-16 05:49

KeePass 2.37 was released a few days ago. You can download it here.

You can read about how I use KeePass and KeePassX2 on my Mac, Windows and Android devices here.

Cheers

Tim…

KeePass 2.37 was first posted on October 16, 2017 at 11:49 am.
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Oracle OpenWorld (JavaOne) 2017 : Day 4 (Thursday)

Fri, 2017-10-06 15:17

I met up with some folks for breakfast, which was a first for this week. From there I went to my room, finished off some blogs and cleared down some work emails, then I was ready to start the day.

OpenWorld finished the day before, but JavaOne continued into Thursday, and since I was registered for both I decided to check out some sessions. A quick look through the agenda showed every session for the day was fully booked. I decided to go down and check it out, in case people didn’t show. When I got there is was really busy, with people queuing for sessions, so I turned round and went back to the hotel.

I heard later there were free seats in some of the sessions, but quite frankly waiting around on spec is not my idea of fun. There seemed to be a lot of angry people around, especially when they ran out of food. I can’t really complain as I didn’t pay for the conference, but if I was a paying attendee I would be really unhappy.

In the evening I met up with some folks to grab some foods, then it was back to bed. I’m not sure I’ve ever had such an “unconferency” day at a conference before, except when I’ve been sick.

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle OpenWorld (JavaOne) 2017 : Day 4 (Thursday) was first posted on October 6, 2017 at 9:17 pm.
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VirtualBox 5.1.28

Fri, 2017-09-15 07:54

VirtualBox 5.1.28 has been released.

Downloads and changelog in the usual places.

It installed fine on a Windows 7 host on my PC at work. I’ll probably do the macOSX Sierra and Oracle Linux 7 installations at the weekend and update here.

Happy upgrading!

Cheers

Tim…

Update: Worked fine on macOSX Sierra. Not tried ol7 yet.

VirtualBox 5.1.28 was first posted on September 15, 2017 at 1:54 pm.
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MobaXTerm 10.4

Wed, 2017-08-30 08:25

I just noticed MobaXTerm 10.4 was released about a week ago.

The downloads and changelog are in the usual places.

I love this tool. I much prefer using MobaXTerm on Windows to using a native terminal window on Mac or Linux!

Cheers

Tim…

MobaXTerm 10.4 was first posted on August 30, 2017 at 2:25 pm.
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What Employers Want : Stop Making the Same Mistakes

Wed, 2017-08-09 02:14

This isn’t so much what employers want, as some observations about mistakes I see people make all the time. Think of it as ways to avoid wasting time and making yourself look stupid!

  • Do your research. Know what you are applying for and who you are applying too.
  • Apply to a company in the appropriate way, typically described on their website. If you don’t use their preferred channels, you’ve probably wasted your time.
  • As an example of the previous point, many companies in the UK only employ via agencies, often having exclusive deals with those agencies. They will typically make this clear on their websites.
  • Tailor your resume and covering letter for each specific application, emphasising the relevant and de-emphasising the irrelevant for that role. One size fits all is not your best approach.
  • Your LinkedIn profile can be useful, but by it’s nature it is general. Don’t send a CV only to have it contradicted by what you say on LinkedIn.
  • Don’t bullshit! It’s so obvious.
  • Don’t send an email saying things like, “Got any jobs? Check out my LinkedIn profile!” You’ve just made a bad impression by clearly not doing your research, and probably deselected yourself!
  • Don’t contact people (like me) that clearly don’t employ people and ask for a job. Your lack of research makes you look stupid.
  • Companies will often Google you to find out more about you. If your social media is full of pictures and videos of you drunk and mooning at the camera, or you publish controversial material and opinions you are probably not going to get the job. Definitely don’t trash previous companies or colleagues. Clean up your public presence as best you can.

Check out the rest of this series here.

Cheers

Tim…

What Employers Want : Stop Making the Same Mistakes was first posted on August 9, 2017 at 8:14 am.
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What Employers Want : Make Yourself Stand Out

Tue, 2017-08-08 01:42

If a job is worth applying for, lots of other people will be applying for it as well. What makes you stand out?

If you’ve taken on board some of the previous posts you already know about qualifications, enthusiasm, self-sufficiency, communication skills, confidence etc. If you’ve got those things down, you are on the right path, but what else can you do? Here are some of my opinions…

Blog : Over the course of your career you should keep writing about your subject. It will improve you as an individual and it’s public evidence that you take an interest in your subject. Over time it will improve your confidence when it comes to written work. If you do it for long enough you may even be able to build a profile for yourself, which may open doors for you. Just remember that not every company is populated by people who follow what’s happening in the community. There are no guarantees.

Present : Similar to blogging, this will improve you are a person and make you more confident in group situations, like job interviews and meetings. This could be something you do for colleagues as part of knowledge spreading, or you could venture out into the wider Oracle community, which can be helpful from a networking perspective.

User Groups and Local Meetups : Whether you are a student or already in work, try getting involved with a user group or local meetup in your area. You will learn a lot and you will meet people. Make the effort to interact. Especially at the local meetups, you will hear people speaking about their companies and vacancies etc. I’m not suggesting you turn up and ask for a job, but if you’ve built up a relationship with the people in your local meetup, you may find new opportunities. Networking is important!

Followers of the blog will know I’m rather biased where blogging and public speaking are concerned, but I can’t emphasise enough how this will change you as a person. Invest in yourself and the rest will fall into place!

Remember, if it is a good job you will be in competition with a lot of people for it. What makes you stand out from the crowd? If the answer is nothing, then you have some work to do before you will be able to get a job like that!

Check out the rest of this series here.

Cheers

Tim…

What Employers Want : Make Yourself Stand Out was first posted on August 8, 2017 at 7:42 am.
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What Employers Want : Communication Skills

Fri, 2017-08-04 01:28

It’s important you can present yourself in a confident and professional manner when it comes to interviews, but this also carries over into a work environment.

Once you get a job you need to be able to communicate effectively with your colleagues and with your customers/users. I know you think your silent genius act makes you look special, but it doesn’t. The initial interaction between humans involves building rapport. It’s kind-of difficult to build rapport with someone who refuses to talk to you and can’t look you in the eye. You need to get your communication skills sorted before you try to enter the job market.

If you are working in IT your written skills will be really important. You will need to communicate with colleagues and customers/users in a concise, but accurate way. People won’t read waffle (TL;DR), but they will demand enough detail to make sense of what you are saying. A quick read through your typical IT forum will make you realise that most people have terrible written skills and are incapable of stringing together a logical argument. You don’t have to be a prize winning novelist, but you need to be able to make yourself understood.

Remember in a previous post I wrote about enthusiasm. It doesn’t matter how enthusiastic you are if you can’t express it!

I’ve written some post on writing tips and public speaking tips. I think this is important for you as someone who is trying to enter the job market, or someone who is trying to move up the ladder. Don’t lose out on an opportunity because you’ve neglected your soft skills!

Check out the rest of this series here.

Cheers

Tim…

What Employers Want : Communication Skills was first posted on August 4, 2017 at 7:28 am.
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What Employers Want : Self-Sufficiency

Thu, 2017-08-03 01:30

Of the people and companies I spoke to, self-sufficiency was a common thread. They were looking for traits like the following in prospective employees.

  • The ability to learn for themselves. Of course companies will be looking to train you, but they don’t want a wet lettuce that sits waiting for the next handout of knowledge. You have to take some personal responsibility.
  • Willing to make decisions. There are a lot of people who refuse to step up to the plate when someone has got to make decisions. Typically those people will be the first to start moaning when things don’t go as planned. When push comes to shove you have to be willing to get in there and make a decision.
  • Willing to take responsibility for their actions. Sometimes you will make the wrong decision, or make a mistake. It’s important you can recognise your mistake, admit it and move on. Some people will spend incredible amounts of energy trying to hide their mistakes, or prove they were somehow correct. If they just owned up and moved on things would be better for everyone.
  • Willing to ask for help when it is appropriate. As much as you need to be self-sufficient, you need to know when it is right to ask for help. Nobody likes to work with a leach that never takes responsibility for things, but by the same token you don’t want someone to spend weeks figuring out something you could have pointed out to them in a couple of minutes. Finding that balance is important.
  • Never bullshit! I can’t stress enough how important this point is. Saying I don’t know is a perfectly valid response. People can smell bullshit a mile off and it’s going to make you look stupid. Be honest and you won’t have a problem. It takes a surprising amount of confidence to say I don’t know. People will respect you for it! In an interview you can always redirect the question like, “I don’t know, but it sounds similar to X, which I have done…”, so the “I don’t know” becomes an opening into you speaking about something you are good at…

Check out the rest of this series here.

Cheers

Tim…

What Employers Want : Self-Sufficiency was first posted on August 3, 2017 at 7:30 am.
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What Employers Want : Enthusiasm

Wed, 2017-08-02 02:03

When I looked through the feedback I received from a variety of people and companies I kept seeing the same words and phrases. I think when you read them you will understand why.

  • Enthusiasm
  • Passion
  • Energy
  • Intelligence
  • Fresh thinking
  • Diversity of talent/interest

Companies are not necessarily looking for the finished article. They are looking for people who can adapt, grow and bring something to the company. This is especially true of graduate employees. It’s going to be difficult for you to reach your potential unless you can tick some of these boxes.

When you are applying for a job you have to ask yourself what your application says about you in relation to these points. If your application doesn’t display these traits you’ve failed. If you are not able to display these traits in an interview you’ve failed. We’ll talk about how to show these traits in other posts in the series.

Ultimately, if you are not enthusiastic and passionate about what you do you are going to struggle, but if you are enthusiastic, don’t hide it!

Check out the rest of this series here.

Cheers

Tim…

What Employers Want : Enthusiasm was first posted on August 2, 2017 at 8:03 am.
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What Employers Want : Qualifications

Tue, 2017-08-01 02:47

The companies and individuals I spoke to tended to split into 3 main groups regarding their attitudes to qualifications. Let’s call them yes, no, maybe. Remember, this question was mostly aimed at their attitudes towards graduate employees, so it doesn’t necessarily relate to their views on certifications. I’ve discussed that subject here.

Yes

Some companies care a lot about qualifications. This can be for several reasons.

  • They consider themselves the best, so they only employ the best.
  • If you don’t have the best grades it “proves” you don’t care about the subject.
  • They get so many applicants they throw away every application that doesn’t meet certain criteria, just to make their lives easier. It’s part of their HR process.

Don’t bother applying to companies like this unless your grades are top notch. You are wasting your time and theirs. No matter how outstanding you think you are, your application is going straight for the bin.

No

Some companies don’t worry so much about qualifications, but maybe for different reasons than you might expect.

  • Grades are irrelevant, it’s the person we care about.
  • Everyone has great grades, so we look for other things.
  • Grades mean nothing. We want experience.
  • What have you done? What apps you’ve built? What open source contributions have you made? Community participation?

This might sound like the easy option at first, but actually most of these companies that “don’t care about qualifications” are harder to get a job with than those that care about grades. They are looking for standout individuals. Chances are the people they are looking for happen to have amazing grades anyway, as well as being well rounded and self-motivated types. When several thousand people apply for that job, what makes you stand out?

Maybe

Most companies consider qualifications as part of the package, but it is not the deciding factor.

What Should You Do?

You should take the time to investigate the companies you are interested in. Contact their HR departments and find out their attitudes. It is incredibly lazy of you to just send an application without doing the research and expect to get an interview. Do some research to check they are the right company for you and you are the right person for them!

Check out the rest of this series here.

Cheers

Tim…

What Employers Want : Qualifications was first posted on August 1, 2017 at 8:47 am.
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What Employers Want : A Series of Posts

Mon, 2017-07-31 04:37

A couple of years ago I was asked to give a talk about employability, with respect to graduates. I’m not an expert in that field, so I reached out to a few friends and companies to get some feedback about what they expect from new staff. I get questions about jobs all the time, so I figured I would write a short series of posts on the subject, just so I can refer people to them.

The posts in the series are as follows.

After doing the presentation I discussed it with the careers staff present, who confirmed this matched the feedback they were getting from their industrial contacts, so it seems the feedback I got from my contacts was on the money!

As I publish each post I will turn these bullet points into links.

Hope this helps.

Cheers

Tim…

What Employers Want : A Series of Posts was first posted on July 31, 2017 at 10:37 am.
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VirtualBox 5.1.26

Fri, 2017-07-28 08:14

VirtualBox 5.1.26 has been released.

The downloads and changelog are in the usual places.

I’ve done an installation on my work PC (Windows 7) and it worked fine. I probably won’t get to do it on macOS Sierra and Oracle Linux hosts until the weekend. Update: Worked fine on macOS Sierra and Oracle Linux 7 hosts too.

I’ve had some odd behaviour from a couple of VMs recently and I can’t tell if it’s a problem with the OS, VirtualBox, me or the combination of the three… I was secretly hoping this release would magically fix the issues, but it didn’t, so I guess I’m going to have to spend some time bottoming them out…

Cheers

Tim…

VirtualBox 5.1.26 was first posted on July 28, 2017 at 2:14 pm.
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VirtualBox 5.1.24

Tue, 2017-07-18 08:20

VirtualBox 5.1.24 has been released.

The downloads and changelog are in the usual places.

I’ve done an installation on my laptop (macOS Sierra) and it worked fine. I probably won’t get to do it on Windows and Oracle Linux hosts until the weekend.

Cheers

Tim…

VirtualBox 5.1.24 was first posted on July 18, 2017 at 2:20 pm.
©2012 "The ORACLE-BASE Blog". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement.

Learning New Things : Networking and Community

Fri, 2017-06-30 03:04

I’ve mentioned networking and community a number of times over the years. Most recently in a post called Community and the Hive Mind, where I talk about the impact of community on learning.

I think it’s important that you become as self sufficient as possible, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore what’s going on around you. Why would I bang my head against a brick wall for days if I can reach out on Twitter and get a response in minutes from someone who is better than me? As I said in that linked post

“This is not about expecting help. This is not about trying to offload my responsibilities onto others. It’s mostly about getting a second opinion and the odd bit of advice. More importantly, the other people in the community need to know that you’ve got their back too. This has to be a two-way street!”

Networking and getting involved in the community is a great way to increase your access to information, which makes learning much easier.

From a selfish perspective, the more you contribute, the more opportunities seem to come your way. It kind-of feels like I’m living a charmed life at times, but all these opportunities come from being actively involved and putting yourself out there. To quote Samuel Goldwyn,

“The harder I work, the luckier I get.”

If you want to start getting involved in the community you might want to consider reading my posts on writing tips and public speaking.

Check out the rest of this series here.

Cheers

Tim…

Learning New Things : Networking and Community was first posted on June 30, 2017 at 9:04 am.
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OGh Tech Experience 2017 : Day 1 – Rumours of my demise

Thu, 2017-06-15 12:39

For those that missed me, I did actually turn up to the event today. I arrived at about 11:00, got my badge, sat down in the speaker room for a bout 2 minutes, then left and came back to the hotel.

I was ill most of last week and I thought I was a lot better, but the flight yesterday and the heat since I’ve been here have really put me back. My sinuses feel like they are going to explode and I have zero energy.

I seem to be jinxed where the Netherlands are concerned. Last year I got ill between the AMIS and OGh events. This time it’s come slap bang on the OGh event.

Unless something changes drastically overnight, my plan for tomorrow is to arrive late, do my two presentations, then leave and get back to bed. I fly home the following morning.

Cheers

Tim…

OGh Tech Experience 2017 : Day 1 – Rumours of my demise was first posted on June 15, 2017 at 6:39 pm.
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KeePass 2.36

Mon, 2017-06-12 03:12

KeePass 2.36 was released a few days ago. You can download it here.

You can read about how I use KeePass and KeePassX2 on my Mac, Windows and Android devices here.

Cheers

Tim…

KeePass 2.36 was first posted on June 12, 2017 at 9:12 am.
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Enterprise Linux Upgrade : It’s a Sorry State!

Tue, 2017-05-30 01:54

It’s 2017 and it’s still not possible to reliably upgrade an Enterprise Linux distribution between major versions!

At this point you are scrolling down to the comments to “educate me” about the redhat-upgrade-tool, because you read about it somewhere and you once heard someone successfully upgraded an installation on a lab machine. Unless you have an ultra vanilla starting point, you are going to end up with a mess that probably won’t boot. By the time you come to upgrade a “real server”, there have been years of changes and it is unlikely to resemble some pristine minimal installation.

I know your next comment is going to be something about the architectural changes brought in by project X and version Y in RHEL7, which is why it is all so hard. Stop now! You are boring me already! Is it an enterprise distribution or isn’t it? If it is, you should be able to upgrade it reliably!

Next up comes, “But you have to reinstall when you get new hardware!” I present to you virtual machines. Physical hardware upgrades with no need to reinstall the OS on the VM.

I can’t believe I’ve been using Linux for about 19 years and this is where we are at.

Cheers

Tim…

Enterprise Linux Upgrade : It’s a Sorry State! was first posted on May 30, 2017 at 7:54 am.
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VirtualBox 5.1.20

Wed, 2017-04-19 10:56

VirtualBox 5.1.20 has been released!

The downloads and changelog are in the usual places.

The installation on macOS Sierra and Oracle Linux 6 hosts went well and all seems to be working OK there.

I’m not 100% sure about the Windows 7 host though. The installation itself went fine, as did the installation of guest additions on a Linux VM running inside it. After a restart of the VM I attempted to do a yum update and the VM just seems to have died now. I can’t get more than a couple of commands out of it before it becomes unresponsive and has to be restarted. I think I’m going to have to remove and rebuild it. I don’t know if this was something I did, or something weird with VirtualBox.

That’s on my work PC and I’m not at work this week, so I was doing it over TeamViewer. I probably won’t have time to look at this again until next week. I’d be interested to know if anyone else has issues on Windows.

Happy upgrading.

Cheers

Tim…

VirtualBox 5.1.20 was first posted on April 19, 2017 at 4:56 pm.
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Oracle Code : See you there!

Fri, 2017-04-07 01:30

You may have seen a lot of tweets (#OracleCode) recently about the Oracle Code events around the world.

The content of the events is rather different to the typical Oracle events I go to, so it will be a good opportunity for me to learn some new stuff.

I’ll be speaking at two of the European events this year.

They are Oracle events, so there is bound to be an Oracle spin on things, but I think it’s a welcome change of tack for Oracle to acknowledge that they are not always the centre of the universe in the minds of developers. If there is an event near you, check it out and see what is happening in the development world these days.

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Code : See you there! was first posted on April 7, 2017 at 7:30 am.
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