Tim Hall

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Oracle related rants (and lots of off-topic stuff)...
Updated: 12 hours 32 min ago

MobaXterm 10.2

Tue, 2017-03-21 05:36

MobaXterm 10.2 has just been released.

The downloads and changelog are in the usual places.

The previous version (10.0) was pulled as it was getting false positives with some AV software. I’m glad to report this one doesn’t get flagged and installs fine!

Happy upgrading!

Cheers

Tim…

MobaXterm 10.2 was first posted on March 21, 2017 at 11:36 am.
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Website Broken Links (Mostly Not Oracle-Related)

Wed, 2017-02-22 14:57

In a recent twitter exchange someone asked if I scan for broken links, oh if you only knew, and the answer is yes. I don’t do it all the time as the results can be rather depressing, and I am OCD enough to force myself to fix them. I also get people notifying me of them, which is very welcome, so I am always trying to keep on top of this stuff. Based on that exchange I thought it was about time, so I logged on the sitecrawl.net and started a new scan.

As usual, the number of internal broken links were low. I had a couple of typos in links that are now corrected.

Typically I am greeted by hundreds of broken links to Oracle documentation, but thankfully this time that was pretty good. Only about 30, many of which were to ORDS docs.

Probably the biggest offenders this time were:

  • Google : They dropped the Picassa URLs, so lots of blog posts had to be amended.
  • Twitter. Now it’s not actually Twitter’s fault, but there were a lot of twitter accounts in the blog comments that no longer exist. I’m not even talking about those that are obvious people trying to promote their brand, but regular users too. I didn’t realise ditching your Twitter account was such a big thing.
  • URL Shortners : Either the URL shortener reference no longer exists, the thing it points to no longer exists, or a retweet has chopped off the URL, so it is just junk.

I’ve been pretty merciless with some of this stuff. Rather than wasting a whole weekend, it’s only taken about 2 hours to get things ship-shape.

Cheers

Tim…

Website Broken Links (Mostly Not Oracle-Related) was first posted on February 22, 2017 at 9:57 pm.
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MobaXterm 10.0

Mon, 2017-02-20 01:39

See Updates!

MobaXterm 10.0 was released a couple of days ago. As well as the usual bug fixes there are a number of enhancements and a new flatter look and feel.

Downloads and changelog in the usual places.

Happy upgrading!

Cheers

Tim…

Update: McAfee is listing this as containing the “Artemis!10A4D2BC47D8” trojan. I’ve backed out to 9.4 and contacted Mobatek, who tell me it’s a false positive. I’ve spoken to others who say their AV lists it as good. I’m going to try and contact McAfee to get them to sort their listing.

Update 2: My company have filed a potential false-positive with McAfee.

Update 3: Mobatek have pulled this version until they can work out this false positive with McAfee, then reissue it later.

MobaXterm 10.0 was first posted on February 20, 2017 at 8:39 am.
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The Great Wall

Sat, 2017-02-18 04:34

I went to see The Great Wall last night.

 

The critics gave it a hard time. The reviews aren’t great. It’s a really cool film!

OK, it doesn’t have the best story. The character development isn’t great. The progression of Matt Damon’s character is quite clumsy. I see the flaws in all that, but my gosh what visuals!

If you are going to watch this film I would suggest watching it on the biggest screen you can find. I watched it on an IMAX 3D and it was amazing. The use of colour was out of this world. Visually it was like all the best bits of House of Flying Daggers and Hero, mixed with a bit of video game feel and a real-life version of animation. It was just spectacular.

As I mentioned, Matt Damon’s character was not my favourite. In a way I would have preferred him not to be in it. I know what he was meant to represent in the film, but I found it a distraction. The real lead character was Tian Jing (Commander Lin Mae), who is fearless, beautiful and totally kick-ass as leader of the Crane Corps. Watching the Crane Corps on a big screen, especially on 3D, is enough to make you lose your dinner! According to IMDB she is in the new Kong film too. I hope they’ve given her a decent role, not just some crappy love interest.

China has some seriously spectacular scenery. If you’ve watched any of the Chinese epics that have been released over the last 15 years you will know what I mean.

So disconnect your brain, sit back and bask in all visual glory!

Cheers

Tim…

The Great Wall was first posted on February 18, 2017 at 11:34 am.
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Oracle : Sad Times

Thu, 2017-02-09 01:56

During my Oracle’s Cloud Licensing Change : Be Warned! post I said, “It’s getting really hard to remain an Oracle fanboy these days!”

Since then I’ve heard a number of stories of customers being contacted and told they need to double their licensing for systems on the cloud. This is for existing systems that were “fully licensed” before 23rd January 2017. I’ve also heard of a number of big companies that have now made policy changes to avoid Oracle in future. One person contacted me to say their company has now declared Oracle a “Sunset Platform”.

  • I like playing with Oracle tech. I’ve spent the last 21+ years doing it.
  • I like learning new stuff and writing about it.
  • I like interacting with the Oracle community and helping people.
  • I like interacting with the techies in Oracle, as I think their hearts are in the right place.
  • I can’t understand why the business side of Oracle are constantly sabotaging themselves. Every time you oversell a product/service that doesn’t live up to the hype, people believe you less the next time. Every time you piss off your existing customers, they start looking for alternatives, of which there are plenty these days! It’s not like new customers are flooding in, so why turn away your existing customers?

I’ve turned off comments as this is not a call to arms. It’s just how I’ve been feeling over the last few days, having read through your messages that typically begin with, “Please don’t mention my name!”, or, “Please don’t mention my company name!” It’s a really sad time!

Cheers

Tim…

PS. Once again, I’m *not* saying a policy update overrides your contract. I’m just mentioning how I feel about the contents in the private messages I’m receiving from people!

Oracle : Sad Times was first posted on February 9, 2017 at 8:56 am.
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Multitenant Enhancements in Oracle Database 12.2 (The Next Batch)

Sat, 2017-01-14 09:36

I’ve continued playing with some of the new multitenant functionality in Oracle Database 12c Release 2 (12.2).

Here’s the latest batch of articles.

This article is not a multitenant article as such, but you can use the functionality in a PDB.

I’ve added these to the list of all my multitenant articles here.

Cheers

Tim…

Multitenant Enhancements in Oracle Database 12.2 (The Next Batch) was first posted on January 14, 2017 at 4:36 pm.
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KeePass 2.35

Tue, 2017-01-10 09:46

I just noticed KeePass 2.35 was released yesterday. 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 2.35 was first posted on January 10, 2017 at 4:46 pm.
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Happy New Year 2017!

Sun, 2017-01-01 06:04

So here we are. Another year done and a new one beginning.

I failed abysmally at most of last year’s plans (see here), so I’m not going to make any for this year.

I hope things work out for you all this next year. There will obviously be ups and downs, but let’s hope at the end of the year everything lands on the up side.

Happy New Year!

Cheers

Tim…

Happy New Year 2017! was first posted on January 1, 2017 at 1:04 pm.
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Oracle Linux 12cR2 Preinstall Package

Thu, 2016-12-29 07:21

I was doing some clean Oracle Linux 6 and 7 installs today and look what I noticed in the yum repository for OL6.

Available Packages
oracle-database-server-12cR2-preinstall.x86_64 1.0-1.el6 public_ol6_latest
oracle-rdbms-server-11gR2-preinstall.x86_64 1.0-13.el6 public_ol6_latest
oracle-rdbms-server-12cR1-preinstall.x86_64 1.0-14.el6 public_ol6_latest

And for OL7.

Available Packages
oracle-database-server-12cR2-preinstall.x86_64 1.0-2.el7 ol7_latest
oracle-rdbms-server-11gR2-preinstall.x86_64 1.0-4.el7 ol7_latest
oracle-rdbms-server-12cR1-preinstall.x86_64 1.0-5.el7 ol7_latest

A quick look at the repos and it first turned up in September. I’m surprised I’ve not noticed it before now…

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Linux 12cR2 Preinstall Package was first posted on December 29, 2016 at 2:21 pm.
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PL/SQL Objects for JSON in Oracle 12cR2

Mon, 2016-12-26 13:37

I’ve been playing around with some more of the new JSON features in Oracle Database 12c Release 2 (12.2).

The first thing I tried was the new PL/SQL support for the JSON functions and conditions that were introduced for SQL in 12.1. That was all pretty obvious.

Next I moved on to the new PL/SQL objects for JSON. These are essentially a replacement for APEX_JSON as far as generation and parsing of JSON data are concerned. If I’m honest I was kind-of confused by this stuff at first for a couple of reasons.

  • If you are coming to it with an APEX_JSON mindset it’s easy to miss the point. Once you “empty your cup” it’s pretty straight forward.
  • The documentation is pretty terrible at the moment. There are lots of mistakes. I tweeted about this the other day and some folks from the Oracle documentation team got back to me about it. I gave them some examples of the problems, so hopefully it will get cleaned up soon!

I was originally intending to write a single article covering both these JSON new features, but it got clumsy, so I separated them.

The second one isn’t much more than a glorified links page at the moment, but as I cover the remaining functionality it will either expand or contain more links depending on the nature of the new material. Big stuff will go in a separate article. Small stuff will be included in this one.

I also added a new section to this recent ORDS article, giving an example of handling the JSON payload using the new object types.

I’ve only scratched the surface of this stuff, so I’ll probably revisit the articles several times as I become more confident with it.

Cheers

Tim…

PS. Remember, you can practice a lot of this 12.2 stuff for free at https://livesql.oracle.com .

PL/SQL Objects for JSON in Oracle 12cR2 was first posted on December 26, 2016 at 8:37 pm.
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UKOUG Tech16 : I’m Speaking

Wed, 2016-11-23 01:38

tech16_300wI originally thought the BGOUG event was my last speaking event of the year, but as it happens I am now presenting at UKOUG Tech 16 in a few days time.

If you fancy coming along to my session, it’s on Wednesday 11:30 – 12:20 and it’s called Put Your Feet Up & Have a REST. Take a Tour of JSON Support in the Oracle Database.

We might be celebrating my nephew’s birthday on the Saturday this year. If that’s the case I will be able to come to the Sunday event for the first time ever.

As for the week days, I will be in on Wednesday just to present, then I will be going back to work. One of my colleagues wants to do Wednesday, so I have to be in the office to provide cover. I will be doing one of the other two days (Monday or Tuesday), but I don’t know which yet.

See you there!

Cheers

Tim…

UKOUG Tech16 : I’m Speaking was first posted on November 23, 2016 at 8:38 am.
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Arrival

Sat, 2016-11-19 07:29

Imagine someone watched Independence Day and thought, “What a complete sack of shite! I’m going to make something completely the opposite of that!” What you would probably get is Arrival.

It is absolutely not your typical alien action film. It focusses on how we would communicate with visiting aliens who experience everything in a completely different way to us. I can’t really say much more than that or it will ruin things for you.

I really enjoyed it. It’s well worth seeing in my opinion!

Cheers

Tim…

Arrival was first posted on November 19, 2016 at 2:29 pm.
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Oracle Midlands : Event #18 (Cancelled)

Thu, 2016-11-17 09:06
Cancelled!

Don’t forget Oracle Midlands Event #18 next week!

om18

If you live near, please show your support for the event and come along. It’s free thanks to the sponsorship by RedStackTech.

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Midlands : Event #18 (Cancelled) was first posted on November 17, 2016 at 4:06 pm.
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Bulgarian Oracle User Group (BGOUG) 2016 : Pravets to Birmingham

Mon, 2016-11-14 13:05

bgougA group of us were being picked up by a minibus at 09:50 for the trip back to the airport. Timo Raitalaakso and Gianni Ceresa were on the same flight as me for the first leg. We said our goodbyes to everyone in the hotel lobby, then it was off to Sofia airport.

The airport was very quiet when we arrived. We checked in and dropped off our bags, then walked straight through security. It really doesn’t get easier than that. Timo, Gianni and myself then sat and chatted until the it was time to board.

The flight to Munich was listed as a two hour flight, but I have no idea how long it actually took. I was reading a novel written by one of my friends during the trip. The guy a couple of seats along was snoring so loud it kept making me laugh. I’m not sure how anyone could sleep in the same house as him!

We arrived at Munich, where I said goodby to Timo and Gianni, before trudging around for quite some time trying to find my gate. It was a 1:40 layover for me, so it wasn’t a rush.

The flight from Munich to Birmingham was another two hour flight. I spent the journey reading again, so I didn’t really notice much about the flight.

Back in Birmingham, I got my case and took a taxi home, while continuing to read my book. By the time I got home I was feeling quite drained, so I went to bed early, ready to start the working week!

That marked the end of my last international event of the year and I’m looking forward to spending some time at home in a single timezone. The last few months have been a killer!

Cheers

Tim…

Bulgarian Oracle User Group (BGOUG) 2016 : Pravets to Birmingham was first posted on November 14, 2016 at 8:05 pm.
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Protecting Your Empire and Shortermism

Sat, 2016-10-22 07:06

bookshelf-29811_640Followers of the blog know that I’m far from being an expert at APEX, but I recently did an APEX presentation at work. As a follow-up I sent out an email with a bunch of links to online tutorials, YouTube playlists and documentation etc. One of my colleagues replied saying,

“It’s really wonderful having someone so knowledgeable who actually shares knowledge here as well as at these conferences !!!”

I was thinking about that comment this morning and it raised two questions in my mind.

  1. Do any people contribute to the online community and present at conferences, but not do knowledge spreading in their company?
  2. Does anyone still believe that withholding information for the purposes of protecting your own little empire is a successful strategy these days?

Regarding the first question, I think it would be pretty sad if people are doing knowledge spreading in the community, but not giving their colleagues the benefit of their experience. At minimum they could be pointing their colleagues to their community work, but it would be better if they could personalise it for their colleagues. In the case of my recent presentation, I used applications from work in my demos that I would never show at a conference. I think that helps put things into context.

The answer to the second question interests me a lot more. When I started in IT the internet as we know now didn’t exist. The only way to learn anything was using the manuals (typically out of date paper copies) or asking a colleague. At that point it was possible for people to protect their empire by hiding information, which I saw happen many times. Typically the people who did this were despised. What’s more, at the first opportunity they would be cut out of the mix for future projects, for fear of them expanding their empire of secrecy.

Fast forward to today and I can Google just about anything. The only thing you could possibly try to hide from me is company-specific information, but if your company allows you to do this they are fools.

Trying to protect your empire by hiding information stinks of shortermism. You may be successful in the short term, fooling people into believing you are indispensable, but in the long term they will realise what you are doing and you will fail. I’ve never been in a position where knowledge spreading and being open with information has lead to a negative result. Theoretically it makes you easier to replace, but in practice that is not the case. It allows people to see what you are doing, what else you are capable of doing and that you are not the sort of dick that will try to hold the company to ransom in the future.

Cheers

Tim…

PS. Please don’t ask me questions about APEX. I’m rubbish at it and I’m just going to point you to the OTN APEX Forum where the real experts play.

Protecting Your Empire and Shortermism was first posted on October 22, 2016 at 1:06 pm.
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Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 13c Release 2 (13cR2) Installation/Upgrade

Tue, 2016-10-18 02:51

em13cOracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 13c Release 2 (13cR2) was released a couple of weeks ago. In a previous post I mentioned we were going to stop our rollout of 13cR1 agents to production and upgrade from 13cR1 to 13cR2 before we resumed.

I don’t like doing anything at work that I haven’t already tried at home, so the first step in that process was for me to do some clean installs and practice upgrades. After a busy weekend and a late night last night I think I’m happy with the process. That resulted in these articles.

If you’ve done a 13cR1 installation, the clean 13cR2 installation will come as no surprise. They now have multitenant and non-CDB repository templates to choose from. I used the multitenant template in this example. The installation was fine on both OL6 and OL7, so nothing out of the ordinary to report there.

The upgrade process was similar to previous point release upgrades too. We used the non-CDB template, the only one available at the time, to build our 13cR1 installation, so not surprisingly I practised the upgrade using that as a starting point. The upgrade process went fine, but I got a lot of warning messages during the process. It was all working fine at the end though…

I guess we will start rolling this bad-boy out once I get back from the APAC Tour and Bulgaria (BGOUG).

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 13c Release 2 (13cR2) Installation/Upgrade was first posted on October 18, 2016 at 8:51 am.
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macOS Sierra (OS X 10.12)

Sat, 2016-10-08 08:15

In the 80s and 90s the Sierra was an incredibly popular, but boring saloon car from Ford. Today I upgraded to macOS Sierra, which will eventually be an incredibly popular (for Mac owners), but boring operating system from Apple.

So what’s new? You get Siri! Oh yes, you also get Siri! There is also Siri! And finally, for good measure you get Siri!

If you own multiple devices, there is some fluff, like shared clipboard, but I don’t own multiple Apple devices, so basically this OS is what I had before with a sprinkling of Siri.

What was the experience of upgrading like? An absolute nightmare! It said it was going to take about 18 minutes, but it seemed to hang for a couple of hours. I ended up doing about 5 hard reboots before it actually came up. After all that hassle and wasted time, I got El Crapitan + Siri. Amazing. Way to innovate Apple!

Of course, Apple fanboys will love it and it will change their lives… Whatever!

Cheers

Tim…

macOS Sierra (OS X 10.12) was first posted on October 8, 2016 at 2:15 pm.
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Stupid Stuff I’ve Done : The Clone Wars

Wed, 2016-10-05 13:29

stormtrooper-1343772_640Following on from the theme of yesterday’s confession about my screw-ups with pluggable databases comes one about cloning.

For some systems we use cloning (RMAN DUPLICATE) as a method of refreshing Dev and Test environments from Live. The process of doing a backup-based or active duplicate is not that complicated and typically you do it once, script it and you don’t have to worry too much about it again.

Yesterday we had to refresh a test environment from live, so we used our trusty clone script, but it failed with the following message.

RMAN-06054: media recovery requesting unknown archived log for thread 1 with sequence ???? and starting SCN of ????

Strange! The message is pretty clear. It is expecting an archived redo log that doesn’t exist. If this were a backup-based clone I would suspect one of the archived redo logs had not been copied across, but this was an active duplicate, so it automatically transports everything from the target to the auxiliary instance. How could it lose something?

I knew I had seen this before, but no matter how much I searched my website, private work notes, MOS or using Uncle Google I couldn’t find the solution. Everything pointed to a missing archived redo log, but that couldn’t be happening on an active duplicate right? Wrong!

After much denial, wailing and gnashing of teeth I remembered the archived redo log backups! During the clone operation an archived redo log backup had kicked in on the target database and deleted all the logs that had been backed up. By the time the active duplicate tried to grab them they were gone and hence the error…

Notes to self:

  • When you see something like this happen, write a note about it! Don’t think you will remember it next time. You won’t, or you will waste loads of time before you do remember it! How many times do you have to tell yourself, “If it’s not written down it doesn’t exist!”
  • The error message is trying to tell you the answer. Don’t try and intellectualise your way round it. It’s probably not a bug that is causing some spurious misreporting of the “real problem”. You probably don’t know better than the error trapping. Think less about why the error message might be wrong and think more about what could have caused the situation that resulted in the error, as it is reported.
  • Don’t write a blog post confessing how rubbish you are at your job or people will find out and… Doh!

Cheers

Tim…

Stupid Stuff I’ve Done : The Clone Wars was first posted on October 5, 2016 at 7:29 pm.
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Oracle ACE Director Briefing – Day 2

Fri, 2016-09-16 22:58

ace-directorToday was Day 2 of the Oracle ACE Director Briefing.

As with yesterday’s post, we had a number of speakers coming in to talk about specific areas of the Oracle stack and Oracle Cloud. Once again, I’m not going to mention any details.

There were a few areas that were super-relevant to what’s going on with me at work, so it was good to make some more contacts in those areas.

The shear volume of stuff going on at Oracle at the moment is actually quite scary. I’m sitting in the sessions wondering how I’m going to do my job, learn all the new regular Oracle stuff and learn all the new Oracle Cloud stuff as well. It’s quite daunting…

Thanks to the folks at the Oracle ACE Program for making this event happen. This last two days has been like a full-on conference, complete with multiple tracks. Your efforts are greatly appreciated. Thanks to all the speakers too. I know we sometimes give you a hard time, but we do appreciate you taking the time to come and speak to us!

I’ve got tomorrow off, then the crazy world of Oracle OpenWorld 2016 starts!

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle ACE Director Briefing – Day 2 was first posted on September 17, 2016 at 4:58 am.
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It’s the little things that really matter!

Wed, 2016-09-14 15:57

Companies keep adding features to their products. Some features are really sexy and will get a lot of press. Some features are not so sexy, but are really useful during the day-to-day grind.

I remember when Oracle added the ability to drop columns from a table. At the time I was writing loads of scripts to recreate tables in order to drop columns. Adding this feature changed my life!

You can see another example of this in MySQL 8. If you look at the new features list you will see a section called Account Management, that links to Using Roles. OMG! This is massive for me! I don’t really care about a bunch of the sexy stuff. The presence of roles is a game changer for me!

mysql-8-role-meme

It’s interesting how sometimes it’s the little things that really matter!

Check out Giuseppe Maxia‘s post on MySQL 8.0 first impressions.

Cheers

Tim…

It’s the little things that really matter! was first posted on September 14, 2016 at 9:57 pm.
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