Tim Hall

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Oracle related rants (and lots of off-topic stuff)...
Updated: 7 hours 24 min ago

Accuracy Matters

Thu, 2016-08-25 13:15

angry-1300616_640One of the annoying things about our industry is the volume of acronyms and very specific terminology used on a day-to-day basis. If you know the lingo you are fine. If not, life can be quite problematic.

In some cases, this is just a smoke screen to hide a lack of true understanding, say enough buzzwords you read in a Gartner report and people will eventually stop asking you to define them, but in other cases it is necessary to be able to communicate *accurately* about complex issues at a reasonable pace.

Some people are completely anal about everything, demanding an incredibly high degree of precision and exact terminology. Deviate from their prescribed ideal and you are in a world of hurt. Others, like myself, allow a lot more slack, knowing that every person is on a different part of the spectrum where this is concerned.

The problem with letting people get away with loose terminology and a lack of accuracy is it can sometimes come back to bite you on the ass. It’s all too easy to let them walk away with an unrealistic view of the situation, that becomes the new office myth, and travels with them through every company they ever work in…

  • Person: So Oracle does this right?
  • Me: Not really. It’s a lot more complicated than that. It’s more accurate to say it does …
  • Person: Yes, but it amounts to the same thing. It basically ends up doing this right?
  • Me: No. It really doesn’t. I can see how it appears that way in this case, but that’s too simplistic a view.
  • Person: Yeah, yeah. I know, but for the sake of argument, we will say it does this, which results in …
  • Me: Fine. That’s wrong, but lets leave that aside and move on…

… One week later …

I’m sure you’ve all been there at some point. It can be a really fine line between getting something across properly and being a total douche. Too far one side of the line and people are walking around believing rubbish. Too far the other way and you end up excluding people and sounding like an elitist prick.

It’s a journey babe!

Cheers

Tim…

Accuracy Matters was first posted on August 25, 2016 at 7:15 pm.
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Community and the “Hive Mind”

Sun, 2016-08-21 04:56

A really great thing about being part of the Oracle community is the networking and access to information it gives you. In my current job I have to do a number of things that are not really my forte. I know how to learn new stuff, but it’s always nice to get some feedback from people who know more than you. Over the last few years there have been a number of specific cases that spring to mind.

  • When I started getting involved in WebLogic administration I reached out to Simon Haslam, Jacco Landlust, Chris Muir and Marcus Eisele for some advice. I had RTFMed and I kind-of knew what I was doing, but I just wanted someone with more experience to validate my approach. Their feedback was, and still is, really valuable.
  • On the Nordic Tour a couple of years ago I spent some time speaking to Lonneke Dikmans about SOA. Our company were starting down the path of SOA and although I was not directly involved in the project, I wanted to know more about the issues we might encounter. Lonnikke was the perfect person for me to speak to.
  • As I started to take on more MySQL work, including some upgrades from early releases of 4.x to 5.6, I reached out to Ronald Bradford and Sheeri Cabral for advice. In some cases they confirmed what I already knew. In other cases they completely altered what I had planned.
  • Our company have recently signed a deal to move to Oracle Cloud Apps. I know almost nothing about them, but fortunately the ball-and-chain does. I’m not directly involved in our Oracle Cloud Apps migration project, but as I said before I like to know what problems may come my way during the process, and Debra is a great source of information.
  • Even when I’m dealing with database stuff, which I think I’m pretty good at, it’s always nice to have access to other opinions. The number of people I’ve had help from in the database world is to long to list. Just a few days ago I reached out to Richard Harrison about a problem I was having and in one email exchange he solved it for me. That probably saved me hours of messing about.

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!

Access to the community “Hive Mind” is a wonderful thing and will make your life so much easier! Get involved!

Cheers

Tim…

Community and the “Hive Mind” was first posted on August 21, 2016 at 10:56 am.
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VirtualBox 5.1.4

Wed, 2016-08-17 09:04

VirtualBox 5.1.4 has been released.

Downloads and changelog in the usual places.

I’ve upgraded on my Windows 7 office PC. I’ll give it a go on El Craptian and Oracle Linux 6 when I get home.

Cheers

Tim…

Update. Just done the upgrade on my Mac and Linux server. Worked fine.

VirtualBox 5.1.4 was first posted on August 17, 2016 at 3:04 pm.
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VirtualBox 5.1.2

Fri, 2016-07-22 07:31

You know a major new release is going to be rapidly followed by a bunch of fixes, so about 9 days after the release of VirtualBox 5.1 we now have VirtualBox 5.1.2.

I have got it running on my Windows 7 desktop and work and it seems fine. I’ll try OSX El Crapitan and Oracle Linux 6 hosts when I get home.

Cheers

Tim…

Update: Works fine on Mac (El Craptian) and Oracle Linux 6 hosts too.

VirtualBox 5.1.2 was first posted on July 22, 2016 at 1:31 pm.
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VirtualBox 5.0.26

Tue, 2016-07-19 07:28

If you’ve not taken the plunge and upgraded to VirtualBox 5.1, you might be interested to know that VirtualBox 5.0.26 has been released.

Downloads and changelog are now listed under the old builds.

In case you are wondering, I’ve been running VirtualBox 5.1 on Mac, Windows 7 and Oracle Linux 6 hosts since its release. As yet, not problems.

Cheers

Tim…

VirtualBox 5.0.26 was first posted on July 19, 2016 at 1:28 pm.
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APEX 5.0.4

Thu, 2016-07-14 10:24

You may have noticed people taking about the APEX 5.0.4 release over the last couple of days. I started rolling it out to our databases straight away and it’s now on all the production environments too.

The install/upgrade and patching procedures are the same as normal.

  • Clean install or major version upgrade here.
  • Patch existing 5.0 installation here.

Remember, you can kick the tyres of APEX 5.1 Early Adopter here.

Cheers

Tim…

APEX 5.0.4 was first posted on July 14, 2016 at 4:24 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.

VirtualBox 5.1

Wed, 2016-07-13 07:16

VirtualBox 5.1 has been released!

Downloads and changelog in the usual places.

I’ve only done the installation on my Windows 7 desktop so far. It seems to be working fine at the moment. I’ll do the Mac and Linux ones when I get home tonight.

Cheers

Tim…

Update: Worked fine on “El Crapitan” too. Still haven’t tried a Linux host.

VirtualBox 5.1 was first posted on July 13, 2016 at 1:16 pm.
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Oracle Midlands : Event #16

Thu, 2016-06-30 06:15

Don’t forget Oracle Midlands Event #15 next week!

om16

It’ll be interesting to see what this new kid on the block Jonathan Lewis has to say for himself!

Please show your support and come along. It’s free thanks to the sponsorship by RedStackTech.

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Midlands : Event #16 was first posted on June 30, 2016 at 12:15 pm.
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VirtualBox 5.0.24 Released

Wed, 2016-06-29 07:54

Less than two weeks since the last release, yesterday saw the appearance of VirtualBox 5.0.24.

The downloads and changelog are in the usual places.

I’ve only done the installation on Windows at this point, but it seemed to go fine. I’ll probably do the Mac and Linux installs when I get home tonight.

Cheers

Tim…

VirtualBox 5.0.24 Released was first posted on June 29, 2016 at 1:54 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.

Fedora 24 and Oracle 12c

Mon, 2016-06-27 05:40

fedoraFedora 24 was released a few days ago. As usual I had a play around with it and tried installing Oracle on it.

First comes the warnings, because people keep misunderstand why I do this. Do not install Oracle on Fedora before reading this!

With that out of the way, here’s what I did.

No real drama here. It was pretty much the same as Fedora 23 in that respect.

It’s kind-of hard to get excited about a new version of Fedora since I switched my desktop from Fedora to Mac. One thing that was interesting is the change to the upgrade process. In previous releases I used “fedup” to do it. Now it’s pretty much done using DNF (YUM). If you are interested, you can read about it here.

Cheers

Tim…

Fedora 24 and Oracle 12c was first posted on June 27, 2016 at 11:40 am.
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EU Referendum : Oh Hell No!

Fri, 2016-06-24 02:45

If you care, you’ve probably heard the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU) yesterday. Suffice to say I’m gutted!

I’ve just deleted most of the content this post because it contained a lot of inflammatory and negative comments. I could question the motives of the leavers, but what good would that do now. IMHO this is a dark day for the UK.

For all my friends around the world, I would just like you to know I wanted to remain part of something bigger than this little island…

Cheers

Tim…

PS. If anyone has got an EU passport going spare it could come in really handy!

PPS. One of my colleagues just described what I’m going through as the 5 stages of grief. I think he is correct.

 

EU Referendum : Oh Hell No! was first posted on June 24, 2016 at 8:45 am.
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WordPress 4.5.3 Released

Tue, 2016-06-21 15:20

If you have a WordPress blog, by the time you read this you will probably already be running WordPress 4.5.3.

It’s a maintenance release that fixes a bunch of nasty things. If your site hasn’t already auto-updated, you should probably log on and give it a nudge. I’ve got 5 different installations and all auto-updated successfully.

Cheers

Tim…

WordPress 4.5.3 Released was first posted on June 21, 2016 at 9:20 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.

VirtualBox 5.0.22 Released

Fri, 2016-06-17 08:02

VirtualBox 5.0.22 has been released.

The downloads and changelog are in the usual places.

Judging by the progress of 5.1, now in beta 3, it won’t be long before we’ve got something new to play with.

KeePass 2.34

Wed, 2016-06-15 05:13

I’m a little late to the party, but I just noticed KeePass 2.34 was released a couple of 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…

Update: Ian Murphy just mentioned this exploit, which is a very good reason to upgrade to 2.34.

My Glamorous Life : What’s the point?

Fri, 2016-06-10 04:19

Last night I put out a video of my trip home.

I’ve written about the My Glamorous Life series of videos before (here). A couple of people commented recently that “nothing happens in them” and they are “quite boring”. That’s the point really.

OGh Oracle DBA and SQL Celebration Day 2016

Wed, 2016-06-08 12:01

oghThe OGh Oracle DBA and SQL Celebration Day was the last stop on my trip and it went super-quick! The morning started with a keynote by Dad. He managed to resist the urge to talk about me for 60 minutes, which was good. It gets really embarrassing when he keeps telling everyone I’ve eclipsed his accomplishments in every way possible!

After the keynote is was speaking about efficient PL/SQL calls from SQL. I lost the ability to type, but I think the session went OK. There is a playlist of videos about this stuff here.

Amsterdam to Zeist

Mon, 2016-06-06 16:01

I had a lazy morning, then it was time to start the journey to Zeist. It was a pretty straight forward journey from Amsterdam Central, via Utrecht to Driebergen-Zeist station. I had planned to get a bus from Driebergen-Zeist station to the hotel, but looking on the map it was only a couple of miles so I walked it. It was a little annoying dragging my suitcase, but no big drama. You can check out the journey and the hotel in the video below.

I had a quick walk around part of the town, near the hotel, where I bumped into my new stepmom.

In the evening I got a message from Dad asking if I wanted to go out to a family dinner. It was just as you would expect. Me crying and screaming, “You can’t tell me what to do, you’re not my mother!” and her saying, “I’m not trying to replace your mother. I just want to be friends!” I got back to my hotel room to find some brochures for posh, but secluded boarding schools. I’m not sure what I should be thinking at this point…

Tomorrow I’m speaking at the OGH Oracle DBA and SQL Celebration Day. Dad is doing the keynote and my new stepmom is going to visit some relatives that live near. I have a sneaking suspicion it’s going to be like “The Princess Diaries” and she will find she’s actually next in line to the Dutch Throne. Does that make me a step-prince?

Cheers

Tim…

Amsterdam to Zeist was first posted on June 6, 2016 at 10:01 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.

Amsterdam : A long weekend that didn’t quite happen.

Sun, 2016-06-05 16:51

My plan was to spend a long weekend in Amsterdam before heading off to the next conference…

I got off the train at Amsterdam Central and felt hot, very tired, sick and had the start of a headache. By the time I got to my hotel room I was feeling about 3/4 Machu Picchu. I took some Lemsip capsules and crashed out. I woke up about 20 minutes later still feeling bad, but knowing I would survive.

The next day came and went. I spent most of the day in bed. I ventured out of my room to film some bits of the hotel and get some food, which I promptly threw up, then went back to bed. If nothing else, I did manage to edit some videos between bouts of sleep. If you want to see where I spent Friday evening and all day Saturday, check out the video below.

Sunday morning was significantly better. After my Machu Picchu incident last year, a couple from the US gave me some electrolyte replacement sachets. I didn’t use them at the time, but found them in my bag and took one as soon as I got up. I decided to go and have a walk around, but it quickly became apparent I had zero energy. I didn’t feel ill, but just couldn’t walk any sort of distance. After about 2 miles I was totally done.

To make sure the day wasn’t a total right-off, I got onto a Sightseeing Boat and did one of the three possible loops (Green). I then picked up some food and headed back to the hotel. No puking this time, which was good. Once I was sure I wouldn’t be seeing lunch again, I headed back out and did another loop in the boat (Blue). You can see the photos and videos from the day here.

It wasn’t exactly what I had in mind for the weekend, but what ya gonna do?

So tomorrow I have to get a train down to Zeist for the OGH Oracle DBA and SQL Celebration Day on the following day.

Cheers

Tim…

PS. The “My Glamorous Life” title for these type of videos was always meant to be a joke, but in this case it is really funny. There was nothing glamorous about this weekend.

AMIS 25 – Beyond the Horizon – Day 2

Sat, 2016-06-04 09:16

amisDay 2 of AMIS 25 – Beyond the Horizon started with me playing catch-up on some blogging, then the conference proper started.

The first session I went to was Jeremy Ashley presenting “General Session – Oracle Applications User Experience: Trends and Strategy”. I wrote loads of notes on this, because I find it really interesting. I’m not going to post them here because I will make some mistakes and look like a fool. I’ve seen a number of sessions by the UX team over the years and each time I do, it seems to click a little more. I’m starting to think SQL*Plus may not be the ultimate in UI or UX, but I’m not 100% sure…

Next up was Björn Rost doing a “Quick Guide to Open Source SQL Tuning Tools (Quickie)”. This was a short session talking about some tools I know and use (rlWrap, SQLcl, MOATS, Snapper, SQL Developer) and something that was new to me TUNAs360.

After that was my session about running Oracle databases in the cloud.

I then took a break do some work, upgrading Tomcat and deploying a new application, before heading off to the OTN Cloud Developer Challenge results.

I would like to say we were robbed, but we really weren’t.

AMIS 25 – Beyond the Horizon – Day 1

Fri, 2016-06-03 02:58

amisWe had already been at the venue the day before for the beginning of the OTN Cloud Developer Challenge, but today was the first day of AMIS 25 – Beyond the Horizon. The day started at about 07:00, with a short minibus trip to the venue.

The first session I attended was “Get your money’s worth out of your Database” by Patrick Barel. He presented a whole bunch of database features that developers need to be using to make the most of their Oracle databases, including a bunch of 12c features. I like these kind of sessions. Much of what we end up doing at conferences is giving people pointers to what we think is interesting.

Next I went to “Smart Offices Are the Future of Work, Powered by the Internet of Things” by Noel Portugal. This started with some talk about designing for mobility, because people are connected all the time. It then moved on to the internet of things, where he discussed how small, cheap electronics can bridge the gap between the physical world and the internet, using examples like Amazon Dash, gesture controls, voice controls like Amazon Echo etc. The UX team are regularly using a lot of this stuff for their own office, kind-of making it the office of the present, not the future.

At this point, our team got together to carry on working on the OTN Cloud Developer Challenge, which took a big chunk of the day…

Later I headed off to see Jonathan Lewis present a session called “Just Don’t Do It”. As the name suggests, this session was focussed on improving performance by avoiding unnecessary work. The session was made up of examples from the OTN forums and consulting jobs where SQL was doing loads of unnecessary work. Often reframing the question allowed the statement to be rewritten to reduce the amount of work necessary to achieve the same goal. Neat!

From there it was back to the OTN Cloud Developer Challenge. All the groups got together to do the pitch for their solutions. With such a short timescale and the complexity of some of the services, most groups had hit some roadblocks, but everyone produced something. Debra actually did the pitch for two groups, but she did an exceptional job for ours. As I mentioned in a previous post, our team didn’t actually include people who do development outside of the database, and the challenge focussed on the non-DB side of things, which left us in a rather awkward position. By substituting comedy for content, Debra managed to make our pitch sound a lot better than it was. She also demoed our mobile app on her phone, and conveniently forgot to mention it was written in APEX. Your can see the home page below.

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