MacBook Prod 15″ Retina : Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter

I mentioned in my recent post about Riga Dev Day 2015 I had some trouble with my VGA adapter and had to borrow one from Andrejs. It seemed to be working fine before I left. I was going to buy a cheap replacement from Amazon, but after reading a few reviews I bought another £25 adapter from Apple. Both the new one and the old one seem to be working fine…

The Apple website says the “Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter” will work with either a Mini DisplayPort, like I had on my old 13” MBP, or a thunderbolt connector, like I have on the new MBP.

I did a bit of hunting on the net and it seems there are a lot of people out there having trouble with the retina MBPs when connecting to some projectors. Currently I have the native HDMI connector, which I’m using to connect to a second monitor. I also have 2 VGA adapters and a DVI adapter. I feel like that should cover all the bases, but I still feel like I should be taking my old laptop with me, just in case…

If anyone else out there has a recent 15″ MBP Retina with only thunderbolt connectors, I would be interested to hear your experiences with projectors on your travels. Should I be worried? :)

Cheers

Tim…

PS. Macs just work… Sometimes…

Writing a new conference presentation

At the weekend I put together two new talks. One is a session for a local University, which I will blog about when it is confirmed. The other is a new conference presentation called “Pluggable Databases : What they will break and why you should use them anyway!”, which I will be presenting at Oracle Midlands Event #8 and OUG Ireland 2015.

I find the process of putting together a new conference presentation quite daunting. I have an abundance of material to draw from, but the difficult thing is deciding on a specific message and finding the best way to deliver it with a suitable amount of impact. I don’t know how other people approach it, but I usually do something like this…

  1. Write down bullet points and just talk about them out loud, trying to get a feel for what I can say about them. Almost like I’m in a conversation with someone about it.
  2. From that stream of conciousness, I try to pull out the points that I think others will care about.
  3. Put some slides together with some relevant information on them. If there are demos, sort those out too.
  4. Run through the talk several times as if I were doing it for real.

At that point, I feel like I’m in a position to make a judgement about how I think it is working out. Sometimes you have to throw it away and start again. Sometimes you realise your emphasis is off target and you need to adjust your focus somewhat. Sometimes you don’t notice this until you are in front of a real crowd, as described here.

So for the next few weeks I have the mildly mind-numbing task of running through this stuff and “polishing” it, so hopefully it will be alright on the day.

Cheers

Tim…

 

Raising Steam

Raising Steam is the 40th book in the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett.

I waited a long time before starting this book because I heard from several sources that it wasn’t very good and I didn’t want to ruin what has been an awesome 39 book series. I finally bit the bullet and I’m really glad I did because I really enjoyed it. Maybe some literary types can argue some difference between the earlier books and this one, but as far as I can see it’s the same Discworld stuff I’ve enjoyed all along.

Steam trains have come to Discword and most of the world has fallen under their spell. I used to love toy trains as a kid, so I could relate to this. :)

Cheers

Tim…

phpBB 3.1.3

I just noticed that phpBB 3.1.3 was released at the start of the month.

Although the forum is still locked on my site, it pays to keep things up to date. :)

Happy upgrading.

Cheers

Tim…

Statistics Collection Enhancements on Oracle Database 12c

I’ve been having a play around with the enhancements to the statistics collection in 12c. I’ve put together this top-level post with links to all my other articles on this subject.

Here are the new articles it links to.

It also links to some of the stuff I put out previously for the Adaptive Query Optimization functionality, as that is statistics related.

In a totally unrelated incident, I wrote this thing about the new READ object privilege, but forgot to mention it on the blog.

The journey continues…

Cheers

Tim…

Keyboard Warriors : Unite and do something positive with your lives

I follow a few non-Oracle channels on Youtube and I sometimes check out the comments, which seem to be a constant stream of keyboard warriors posting their negative rubbish. Whatever people do, the commenters claim to be able to do it better, or claim they know someone who can. If it is sport or fitness related, it will be followed by accusations of using performance enhancing drugs, which although it may be true, does not negate the thousands of hours of training and dieting people put in to get where they are.

The technology press makes your average Youtube channel comments section seem like a playground spat. Lots of articles by people who are totally ignorant about the technology they are “reporting”. In many cases, spending 5 minutes reading Wikipedia would be enough to dispel most of the garbage that is written, but unfortunately, those with an axe to grind don’t even do that. They read a headline and run with it. The language is straight out of conspiracy theory. Phrases like, “some experts believe”, and, “an insider told us”, are used like they are going out of fashion.

Imagine a world where all the time spent writing derogatory comments and downright lies was spent on doing something productive. Maybe producing informative articles and videos to help people, or contributing to open source projects. The press and TV has long been fuelled by fear and hate. Social media is one giant hate crime. If people aren’t being directly mean, they are trying to convince you that their life is better than yours, or their children are prettier or more intelligent that yours. It is all so terribly sad and boring. I’m not claiming I am above all this. I have been guilty of the same thing on numerous occasions.

So next time you do *anything* ask yourself, “Will what I am about to do have a positive impact?” If the answer is no, you probably shouldn’t do it.

Surprisingly, this post was not initiated as a result of something that was said or done to me. I have just witnessed several things this week that have made me really angry. What really irks me is I allowed those people to have that power over me. I allowed their actions to make me angry.

Enough of this hippy bullshit. I’m going to play with 12c…

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Midlands : Event #8

Oracle Midlands Event #8 is now confirmed and one of the speakers looks rather familiar! :)

om8

Thanks again to Redgate for sponsoring the event, allowing it to remain free!

Put the date in your diary. See you there!

Cheers

Tim…

Fedora 21 : Upgrading from Fedora 20

I just did an upgrade of my old desktop from Fedora 20 to Fedora 21. The process was similar to this old blog post, but there were some variations, so I’ll list the procedure here.

  • Update your current Fedora 20 system by issuing the “yum update -y” command and restart once it is complete.
  • Install the latest “fedup” package using “sudo yum –enablerepo=updates-testing install fedup”
  • Run the “sudo fedup-cli –network 21 –product=nonproduct” command.
  • If you are using Dropbox, disable the repository using the “yum-config-manager –disable Dropbox” command. Re-enable it once the Fedora 21 repository is available.
  • Run the following clean up commands.
    sudo rpm --rebuilddb
    sudo yum distro-sync --setopt=deltarpm=0
    
    sudo yum install rpmconf
    sudo rpmconf -a
  • If you are using Chrome, uninstall and reinstall Chrome.

It seemed to go fine!

Cheers

Tim…

Ex Machina

Nephew #2 was in a football tournament near to me and parents weren’t allowed to watch, so my brother dropped him off and paid me a visit. I don’t have furniture, so when someone comes to see me we have to go out. We decided to go to the cinema to watch Ex Machina.

If you’ve seen the trailers you will know what to expect. The plot is quite predictable and most of the themes have been covered in other films (A.I., I, Robot, Transcendence) already, but none of them really got it right in my opinion. That all sounds a little damning, but this film works! The predictable elements of the plot and slow pacing give you a lot of time to turn things round in your mind. This is definitely a thinker of a film. My brother’s not a techie and I was a little worried he would be bored, but he totally got it too.

Visually the film is amazing. Almost every scene draws you in. I’m not just talking about the CGI. The whole thing is just beautiful.

IMHO this is fantastic sci-fi. Unfortunately the Michael Bay generation will be disappointed by the lack of explosions and hate it…

Cheers

Tim…

Riga Dev Day 2015 : The Journey Home

The morning didn’t start well. I woke up several times in the night feeling pretty bad. The combination of a cold, general lack of sleep and too much beer was not great. I don’t drink very often, so it doesn’t take much to make me feel bad. :)

I went down for breakfast with a few of the folks, then went back to bed and spent the next few hours switching between sleep and being sick. Luckily, everything seemed to calm down just before I had to get the taxi to the airport.

Check-in and security was quick and efficient. I found my departure gate, then got some food and a drink (non-alcoholic), which made me feel a lot better. The plane was pretty full, but was able to do a little work, which makes the journey much more bearable.

It was another fairly quick connection in Frankfurt, before getting on the plane home. I arrived at Birmingham airport in time for rush hour, which was not the best, but them’s the breaks…

The Riga Dev Day event was good fun. Riga is a really nice looking city and the people were friendly. As an English speaker, I had no problem at all from a communication perspective, which makes the whole process so much simpler and less stressful. :)

I mentioned in a previous post, the conference is a mixed discipline event, so you get to chat with a range of people from different backgrounds. I think it’s really important to break out of the bubble from time to time, so that you can get a feel for what the rest of the world is up to. For any of the other speakers reading this, you should give this Riga event a try. I think you’ll like it.

Thanks to the folks from LVOUG for inviting me to the event and making me feel welcome. Thanks to the attendees and speakers who I spoke to during the event. I hope to meet you all again! Big thanks for the Oracle ACE Program for getting me across to the event and allowing me to fly the flag.

Cheers

Tim…