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Tim Hall

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Oracle related rants (and lots of off-topic stuff)...
Updated: 10 hours 11 min ago

Stolen Content – Again…

Wed, 2016-02-10 14:04

frowning-150840_640In my Writing Tips series I wrote about Copyright Theft. I had a quick look through my blog and the first time I wrote about my stuff getting stolen was in 2006. I’m sure it had happened before then and it has happened many times since. Most of the time I try to deal with it privately and give people a chance to sort their lives out without publicly branding them a thief, but sometimes circumstances bring the worst out of me.

If you had followed my series of rants on Twitter tonight you will know it happened to me again. The reason I went off the deep end this time was because approximately 10 months ago, this same person did exactly the same thing to me. When I contacted them the first time, they were very apologetic and removed the content, saying they had paid someone to produce some content for them and they didn’t know it was all stolen. Since it was all resolved quickly and pleasantly, I said nothing more. I did of course keep a record of the whole process, including my contact with the hosting company etc.

Fast forward to today and Martin Widlake contacted me to say he had found some of my stuff on another site. When I checked, it was this same person again! Some of the content that got removed last time had mysteriously returned, and there was a load more with it. Most of the time it was a straight copy. Sometimes the article names had been slightly altered, but the content was straight off my site. Occasionally there was one extra sentence at the start. In total I found 141 articles stolen from my site. There may have been more, but these were all I identified up to now.

I wrote an email to the individual in question, which ended with the rather melodramatic statement of,

“What you are doing is wrong and illegal. I will end you!”

I was putting together a DMCA takedown notice when Martin Widlake said the content had started to disappear. I checked and sure enough, I was getting 404 errors for most of the URLs. I’m promoting Martin to “Chief of the Content Police”! :)

Now I’m a rather petty individual and I have a very large readership, so I’m pretty sure that if this person ever does something like this again, I will be able to make sure everyone he has ever worked for, or ever will work for, will know he has been proven to be a thief twice over. Not exactly the sort of person you want working with your valuable data!

Just some words to the wise:

  • If you steal content from a popular source, people are going to notice and tell the original content producer about it. There is no maybe. It will definitely happen.
  • When you are caught stealing stuff it makes you look like scum. You know why? Because you are scum! If you are lucky, you will be able to deal with it quietly. If not, the world will find out you are scum!
  • If you pay someone to produce content for you, you better make sure they are not stealing it, because if they are, it is you that will end up looking like scum, not them!
  • If you are paying someone for content and they are producing several articles a day, it is highly likely the work is stolen, or incredibly derivative at best. If you do not realise this, you are a moron. Being a moron is not a defence, and kind-of affects your future job prospects!

Changing tack slightly…

We are all writing about the same stuff. When a new product is released, there is a flurry of new articles on the subject, many of which are covering the same content. There is nothing wrong with that. No one person has a claim on it. You won’t get an email from me asking you not to write about it. That would be ridiculous. Everyone’s take on the same subject matter is slightly different. If you ever see me in person you’ll know I’m always encouraging people to get involved. Having said that, if your idea of getting involved is stealing other people’s material, we will not be friends!

Cheers

Tim…

 

Stolen Content – Again… was first posted on February 10, 2016 at 9:04 pm.
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Video: Amazon Web Services (AWS) : Relational Database Services (RDS) for MySQL

Mon, 2016-02-08 08:35

Here’s another video on my YouTube channel. This one is a quick run through of RDS for MySQL, a DBaaS offering from Amazon Web Services.

The video was based on this article.

If you watch the little outtake at the end you will hear me cracking up with the goofiest while filming Brian ‘Bex’ Huff‘s clip. :)

Cheers

Tim…

Video: Amazon Web Services (AWS) : Relational Database Services (RDS) for MySQL was first posted on February 8, 2016 at 3:35 pm.
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Annoying your user base never pays off!

Sun, 2016-02-07 06:09

lego-face-angryThis post is heavily inspired by the events of #RIPTwitter and the recent Fine Brothers fiasco, but it could apply to just about any company, product or person. When I say user base, I could easily mean customers or fan base.

There is a tendency for success to breed a certain level of arrogance. I think many of us have fallen victim to that in a small way from time to time. Now magnify the level success you might have encountered by several orders of magnitude and I think you will start to realise how disconnected most successful people and companies can become. As you become more disconnected, the normal feedback mechanisms start to break down. You are surrounded by hangers on who act like everything you say is the word of God. Without those feedback mechanisms holding you in check, it’s easy to spiral out of control. We see it again and again with popstars and actors. Recently we’ve seen examples of this in social media, as mentioned earlier.

In addition, companies are in the difficult position of having to be seen to grow and develop. If a company stands still, everyone, including the shareholders, believe they are dying. Balancing the needs of the shareholders and the user base is not an easy thing. Having said that, annoying your user base never pays off. Even if you think you’ve got away with it, it’s filed away ready to be resurrected the next time you annoy them. Twitter and the Fine Brothers have had the equivalent of an extramarital affair. As a result, some will choose to leave. Some will stay, pretending they can forgive and forget, but in reality it’s all just been stored in the bank for use later.

As I said at the start, this could be a post about any number of products, people or companies. It doesn’t matter who it is targeted at, the message is the same.

You can only kick a dog so many times before it bites back!

Cheers

Tim…

Annoying your user base never pays off! was first posted on February 7, 2016 at 1:09 pm.
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Do you even [ Agile | DevOps ] bruh?

Fri, 2016-02-05 05:01

It seems I can’t turn around without getting myself involved in some discussion about Agile or DevOps these days.

agile-devops-meme2

I agree with many of the concepts and the aims of Agile, DevOps, Continuous Delivery etc. I find it hard to believe anyone wouldn’t see value in what they are trying to promote. As always, it is how people interpret and implement them that makes all the difference.

It’s just like religion. They all seem to be pretty sound at heart, but let a few lunatics and fundamentalists loose on them and next thing you know…

Things like Agile and DevOps have arisen to address perceived problems. If your organisation doesn’t suffer from those problems, you may not need to consider them, or you may already be doing something like them without knowing you are. :)

Your company can be agile, without following Scrum or Kanban. You will inevitably have arrived at similar patterns I guess. Likewise, your streamlining of process, automation of testing and deployment, good communication between silos (if present) may leave you wondering what all the DevOps fuss is about.

I am both a fan and hater of Agile and DevOps. I’m a fan of what they are able to achieve when used correctly. I’m a hater of all the bullshit that surrounds them!

Rant over. :)

Cheers

Tim…

Do you even [ Agile | DevOps ] bruh? was first posted on February 5, 2016 at 12:01 pm.
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Video: Amazon Web Services (AWS) : Relational Database Services (RDS) for Oracle

Wed, 2016-02-03 02:59

Here’s the latest video on my YouTube channel. This one is a quick run through of RDS for Oracle, a DBaaS offering from Amazon Web Services.

If you are not into the video thing, you can see the article this video was based on here.

Galo Balda has now joined the illustrious list of people who have said “.com” on one of my videos. :)

Don’t worry, I’ve not sold my soul to the cloud. I’m doing some talks at work and I’m doing these videos more as reference for my colleagues. Once this batch of videos is done, I’ll return to some less cloudy stuff. :)

Cheers

Tim…

Video: Amazon Web Services (AWS) : Relational Database Services (RDS) for Oracle was first posted on February 3, 2016 at 9:59 am.
©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.

WordPress 4.4.2

Tue, 2016-02-02 13:30

WordPress 4.4.2 has been released.

You can see the list of fixes here. Three of the five installations I maintain had already updated by the time I got to them, so by the time you read this you will probably already have it too. :)

Happy blogging.

Cheers

Tim…

WordPress 4.4.2 was first posted on February 2, 2016 at 8:30 pm.
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Video: Database as a Service (DBaaS) on Oracle Cloud

Sat, 2016-01-30 09:29

The latest video on my YouTube Channel is a run through of using the Database as a Service (DBaaS) offering on Oracle Cloud.

There have been a few minor changes in the interface since I last ran through capturing images, so the related article has been brought up to date.

I used my dad for the cameo in this video. Hopefully this will help him get a little more recognition, as he’s pretty much a nobody on the Oracle scene at the moment. With your help this could change!

Cheers

Tim…

Update: Almost as soon as I released this blog post the footage was out of date as Oracle released some minor changes to the interface. I rerecorded the video and re-uploaded it, so it is up to date as of now. All links from my website and this blog post point to the new video. If you have read this post via an RSS reader, you may still be seeing the old version of the post, and as a result see the link to the video as broken. But in that case, you won’t be able to read this either. :)

Video: Database as a Service (DBaaS) on Oracle Cloud was first posted on January 30, 2016 at 4:29 pm.
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(Not So) Internal Dialogue

Thu, 2016-01-28 04:52

internal-dialogueWhen I wrote about rehearsals in my public speaking tips series, I mentioned talking through small sections of the presentations as a means for rehearsals. I do this a lot! I live on my own, so this is not an internal dialogue. I say this stuff out loud.

This morning I was talking through some ideas as I left the house and cleared the ice off the car. I continued during the journey to work, including when I got out of the car to get a coffee from the Costa Express at the garage. Even as I was unlocking the office door.

If you happen see me doing this in the street, I’m not talking to an imaginary friend. It’s an imaginary audience. If you’re gonna do crazy, you might as well do it at scale… :)

Cheers

Tim…

(Not So) Internal Dialogue was first posted on January 28, 2016 at 11:52 am.
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Why ask how, when why is so much more fun?

Tue, 2016-01-26 12:43

OK. So the original quote from Spawn is exactly the opposite, but let’s go with it… :)

A few times in the past I’ve been asked questions and started to give a direct answer, then someone smarter has jumped in and asked the killer question. Why? Quite often it’s easy to answer the initial question, so rather than understand the reason for the question, you just respond and pat yourself on the back. That’s great, but without knowing the context of the question, the “right answer” could actually be the “wrong answer”. As Tom always says, “The answer to every question is *it depends*!”

I had another situation like that recently. The questions was, “How can I install VNC on a Linux box?” Pretty simple answer and I know a guy who wrote an article on that, so I pointed them to the article. Job done!

Then I got a pang of guilt and the conversation went like this…

  • Q: Why do you want to install VNC?
  • A: Because my boss told me too.
  • Q: By why does your boss want you to install VNC?
  • A: Because the network connection breaks sometimes, making a “ssh -X user@host” a dodgy solution.

Now I have nothing against VNC itself, but installing it on a server is one more attack vector to worry about, especially if it’s not necessary. Knowing the context allowed me to talk about silent installs, command line DBCA, running things in the background, even the screen command.

If the person goes away and installs VNC, that’s no skin off my nose, but just answering how, without knowing the context could well have opened them, or me, up to criticism down the line.

So next time you answer a question and are about to enable smug mode, ask yourself if you have actually helped, or just taken the easy route.

Cheers

Tim…

Why ask how, when why is so much more fun? was first posted on January 26, 2016 at 7:43 pm.
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Oracle Midlands : Event #13

Mon, 2016-01-25 16:41

Tomorrow is Oracle Midlands Event #13.

om13

Franck is a super-smart guy, so please show your support and start the year as you mean to go on!

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Midlands : Event #13 was first posted on January 25, 2016 at 11:41 pm.
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[Cloud | On-Premise | Outsourcing | In-Sourcing] and why you will fail!

Fri, 2016-01-22 07:47

error-24842_640I was reading this article about UK government in-sourcing all the work they previously outsourced.

This could be a story about any one of a number of failed outsourcing or cloud migration projects I’ve read about over the years. They all follow the same pattern.

  • The company is having an internal problem, that they don’t know how to solve. It could be related to costs, productivity, a paradigm shift in business practices or just an existing internal project that is failing.
  • They decide launch down a path of outsourcing or cloud migration with unrealistic expectations of what they can achieve and no real ideas about what benefits they will get, other than what Gartner told them.
  • When it doesn’t go to plan, they blame the outsourcing company, the cloud provider, the business analysts, Gartner, terrorists etc. Notably, the only thing that doesn’t get linked to the failure is themselves.

You might have heard this saying,

“You can’t outsource a problem!”

Just hoping to push your problems on to someone else is a guaranteed fail. If you can’t clearly articulate what you want and understand the consequences of your choices, how will you ever get a result you are happy with?

Over the years we’ve seen a number of high profile consultancies get kicked off government projects. The replacement consultancy comes in, hires all the same staff that failed last time, then continue on the failure train. I’m not going to mention names, but if you have paid any attention to UK government IT projects over the last decade you will know who and what I mean.

Every time you hear someone complaining about failing projects or problems with a specific model (cloud, on-premise, outsourcing, in-sourcing), it’s worth taking a step back and asking yourself where the problem really is. It’s much easier to blame other people than admit you’re part of the problem! These sayings spring to mind.

“Garbage in, garbage out!”

“A bad workman blames his tools!”

Cheers

Tim…

PS. I’ve never done anything wrong. It’s the rest of the world that is to blame… :)

Update: I wasn’t suggesting this is only an issue in public sector projects. It just so happens this rant was sparked by a story about public sector stuff. :)

[Cloud | On-Premise | Outsourcing | In-Sourcing] and why you will fail! was first posted on January 22, 2016 at 2:47 pm.
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Video: Oracle Linux Virtual Machine (VM) on Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Thu, 2016-01-21 03:14

Continuing the cloud theme, here is a quick run through of the process of creating an Oracle Linux virtual machine on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

A few months ago I wrote an article about installing an Oracle database on AWS.

I updated the images in that article last night to bring them in line with this video.

The cameo today is by Joel Pérez, who was a bit of a perfectionist when recording “.com”. I’ve included about half of his out-takes at the end of the video. Don’t ever hire him for a film or you will run over budget! :)

Cheers

Tim…

Video: Oracle Linux Virtual Machine (VM) on Amazon Web Services (AWS) was first posted on January 21, 2016 at 10:14 am.
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MobaXterm 8.6

Wed, 2016-01-20 03:38

MobaXterm 8.6 has just been released. The downloads and changelog can be found here.

For SSH and X emulation, this is the best! I keep saying it, but give it a go. You won’t regret it. :)

Cheers

Tim…

MobaXterm 8.6 was first posted on January 20, 2016 at 10:38 am.
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Video: SQL Server Databases on Microsoft Azure

Wed, 2016-01-20 02:55

I mentioned in a previous post, the whole look and feel of Microsoft Azure has been rejigged. As a result, I had to do a run through of the SQL Server DBaaS stuff to update the screen shots in and old article on the subject.

Azure : SQL Server Databases on Azure

Since I was doing that, I figured I might as well do a video for my YouTube channel.

Cheers

Tim…

Video: SQL Server Databases on Microsoft Azure was first posted on January 20, 2016 at 9:55 am.
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VirtualBox 5.0.14

Wed, 2016-01-20 02:22

VirtualBox 5.0.14 has been born.

Downloads and changelog are in the usual places.

I’ve not done the installation on Linux yet, but it installed and seems to work fine on Windows 7 and Mac OS X (El Crapitan).

Cheers

Tim…

VirtualBox 5.0.14 was first posted on January 20, 2016 at 9:22 am.
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Video: Oracle Linux Virtual Machine (VM) on Micorosft Azure

Mon, 2016-01-18 02:17

The interface for Microsoft Azure has been re-jigged since I last did screen shots, so I did a run through of creating an Oracle Linux VM and recorded it for my channel.

I also updated the associated article.

Cheers

Tim…

Video: Oracle Linux Virtual Machine (VM) on Micorosft Azure was first posted on January 18, 2016 at 9:17 am.
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YouTube : 6 Months and 1000 Subscribers!

Thu, 2016-01-14 13:12

That’s right, it’s been a touch over 6 months and my YouTube channel has just hit the 1000 subscriber mark. :)

This YouTube experience has been quite odd. My plan was to try and upload a video every weekday for the first 2 months, and I came pretty close to hitting that target. Once I had got a bit of content on the channel, I was inevitably going to kick back a little. After all, there is the website, the blog, life and that annoyance they call work to consider. I think a realistic target is to aim for is 1-2 videos a week.

There will inevitably be periods (like this last 2 weeks) where I don’t hit that, but just like writing, I’m not going to beat myself up about it. It’s the normal ebb and flow of things.

So far the technical videos have almost all been based on command line examples, which is similar to my approach when doing technical presentations. That’s suited me while I’ve been finding my feet, but over time there will be a number of different formats. I’m probably going to avoid having my image in the videos. I don’t like being in front of the camera that much, as I have to suck my gut in for extended periods of time. :) I liked doing the car videos, as I was less self conscious about the camera while I was concentrating on the driving, but the sound quality was really bad, so I’m not sure if I’ll do more of those. We shall see.

The channel content will become more eclectic over time, because the DBA job is quite eclectic. There’s no point trying to bullshit about being a specialist, because I’m not one.

I would quite like to try my hand at some totally non-technical stuff, like a vlog maybe, but if I do that, it will probably end up on another channel, so it doesn’t dilute this channel too much. We’ll see what happens.

Anyway, to everyone who has subscribed so far, thank you. Thanks to all the folks that have done cameos for me so far. I’ve got a whole bunch more coming. If you’ve not already seen my channel, give it a try and see what you think.

Here’s to the next 1000 subscribers!

Cheers

Tim…

 

YouTube : 6 Months and 1000 Subscribers! was first posted on January 14, 2016 at 8:12 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.

Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 13c : Navigation and “Look and Feel”

Wed, 2016-01-13 08:40

o-enterprisemgr-13c-clr-2769481I’ve continued to play around with Cloud Control 13c and I’m generally getting a nice vibe from it.

One of the things I really hated about Grid Control 10g and 11g was the navigation. It felt like you had to click on 50 links to get to the thing you wanted. When Cloud Control 12c came along and had a main menu it was a massive improvement. Even so, it was still a little annoying as the menu was split, with some bits on the left and some bits on the top-right.

em12c-menu

In Cloud Control 13c, these menus have been brought together into the top-right of the screen.

em13c-menu1

If the screen size is smaller, the buttons collapse to show just the icons, which saves space.

em13c-menu2

It probably sounds really trivial, but having both menus together is a really nice touch. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been fumbling around, unable to find something, only to remember it is in that blasted menu at the top-right. Now there is no excuse. :)

The job scheduler navigation is also a lot nicer. In Cloud Control 12c we had a bunch of drop-downs and a “Go” button.

em12c-jobs

In Cloud Control 13c there are tiles along the top to alter the context of the output and the tree on the left allows you to quickly flip between criteria.

em13c-jobs

It is so much quicker to get the information you want this way.

So as far as I’m concerned, Cloud Control 13c is getting a big thumbs-up from a navigation perspective!

A couple of people have asked my impression about the new look and feel. If we ignore the navigation, most of the pages are quite similar to what we had before, so there is no need to panic. Overall it has a sparser, cleaner look, which is more in keeping with the way the web is these days, so I think that’s a good thing. Anyone who has used Oracle Cloud will find the look very familiar. :)

I guess the biggest bonus of the new look and feel is it is more responsive. On some of the old pages you had a lot of sideways scrolling to do if you have a small browser window. The new look and feel deals a lot better with that. It’s not perfect, but it is better. So I’m giving the new look and feel a big thumbs-up too!

Being the bitter old man that I am, I reserve the right to change my mind and hate it all in the future. :)

Cheers

Tim…

Caveat: I use a very small subset of the functionality available from Cloud Control, so my opinion is going to be based on the bits I use a lot. It might be that other areas have been adversely affected by the new navigation or look and feel, but the bits I care about are looking good.

Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 13c : Navigation and “Look and Feel” was first posted on January 13, 2016 at 3:40 pm.
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