The life of a DBA…

Person: Is there a problem this morning?
DBA: A problem with what?
Person: Application “X” is throwing out errors. Do you know what’s going on?
DBA: That’s wierd, as far as I know nothing has changed on that project recently.
Person: They put some new software live yesterday, but they are sure that’s not the problem!
DBA: Which server are they seeing the problem on?
Person: Server “Y”.
DBA: The applications on that server don’t connect directly to the database. It doesn’t even have an Oracle client loaded.

So let me see:

  • The specific application does not, and has never, connected to the production database.
  • Some new software went live yesterday.
  • The problems they are seeing must be related to the production database. It can’t possibly be due to the new software put live yesterday!

I’m sure there is logic somewhere there, but I’m just too stupid to see it 🙂




After reading this article (Blog Software Smackdown: The Big 3 Reviewed) I decided to have a little dabble with WordPress and I’m very impressed. WordPress was first brought to my attention when I started to read Andy C‘s blog. My interest was rekindled when I read this post of his (a short history of Oracle blogging).

The installation was simple, there are loads of themes and pluggins and the administration side of it is very straight forward. Within 15 minutes I had downloaded it, installed it, picked a new theme and imported all my Blogger posts. It was that simple.

For the moment, I’m not going to jump ship from Blogger, but if I do, I think it will be to WordPress.



New article and a little surprise for me…

Somebody asked me how to install Oracle9i on Red Hat 4.0, so I wrote quick how-to. Personally, I can’t see the point. Why run an old version of Oracle that requires you to make RHEL 4 think it’s RedHat 9? Each to their own I guess.

A number of bloggers have mentioned the new Oracle blogs site, so I thought I’d check it out. I was more than a little surprised when I found my blog listed there. I’m a very “off-topic” blogger and my opinion of Oracle is not always flattering. I guess I slipped through the quality control net…

Now, who do I need to bribe in order to get one of those little ACE images? 😉



Taking Linux Window-Shots…

I been capturing a large number of window-shots on Linux servers recently. To do this I’ve been doing a screen-shot by hitting the “Print Screen” key (or Actions > Take Screenshot…), then manually chopping out the relevant window from the screen-shot. Needless to say it’s a complete pain in the butt.

After wasting quite some time doing this I thought I’d google round for a quicker solution. Almost instantly I hit upon the ImageMagick package. It’s on the RedHat/CentOS/Fedora CDs and if you have the “Graphics” option installed you probably have it already.

The two command line options of interest to me were:

import -window root /mypath/screenshot.jpg
import /mypath/windowshot.jpg

The first option captures the whole screen and saves it as the specified. The second option captures the contents of the next window you click on and saves it as the specified file. The window frame is not captured, just the contents.

Unfortunately, I’ve completed most of my current batch of window-shots, but next time around life will be alot easier and quicker 🙂



Google Adwords…

My hosting provider has given me £30 of free Google Adwords advertising, so I’ve started a “Campaign” on adwords. It costs £5 to activate the account and I’ve told it to stop advertising as soon as I’ve spent £25. I would be interested to know if anyone sees an advert on their travels.

Fun, fun, fun…



VMware News…

It seems VMware are releasing yet another free product. This times it’s VMware server:

VMware is a cool product. I was first introduced to it approximately 5 years ago. We had a big (for the time) server running Red Hat 7.1 as the guest operating system, which was subsequently split into 5 Windows NT virtual servers. These were used as development servers for a number of projects, including Oracle projects. I’ve been a fan of it ever since.

This free release should open the door for many more people. It’s really cool not having to mess with your main OS when you want to try out a new Oracle installation, or a new upgrade process.

The article also mentions Xen, which I’d not heard about before. Looks like it will be included in the next release of RHEL and SUSE. Sounds well worth a try.



Installation frenzy…

I’ve modified my “Linux Articles” page to show a matrix of all my installation articles. It makes finding stuff a little easier than reading the text long-hand. For the most part, these are installations I’ve practiced for work, or needed for home, so I doubt I’ll try too hard to fill in the gaps.

There are a couple of draft articles for Fedora Core 5 (FC5). It’s still in beta, so these will need some amendments by the time the final version is released.

Fun, fun, fun 🙂


Tim… Limited Release…

The patch is now available for:

  • Linux Intel (64-bit)
  • Linux x86
  • Windows 64-bit

Why 64-bit Windows and not 32-bit Windows? I would have thought the latter would be the priority as the uptake of 64-bit Windows has been poor so far. Perhaps it’s just a fluke 🙂



Ubuntu and Fedora Core 5 (Test 2)…

As always, I’ve been having a little scout round at whats going on in the Linux world at the moment. I’m pretty happy with CentOS 4, but it doesn’t do any harm to have a play. Here are some thoughts after a quick play with Ubuntu and Fedora Core 5 (Test 2).

The recent hype about Goobuntu, a possible Google variant of Ubuntu, made me sit up and take notice. I’m not sure it really exists, and if it does, I’m not sure it’s designed to be a Windows-Killer, but all the press increased my interest in Ubuntu.

You can read all about Ubuntu on the website, but suffice to say, people are claiming it’s very user friendly and a possibly the best Desktop Linux available at the moment. There seems to be some groundswell behind it, and the latest stories have made it seem even more attractive.

It came on one CD, which makes a change from the 4-5 CDs for other distributions. The installation was straight forward, but didn’t appear easier than any of the Red Hat variants. In some ways, the lack of a GUI installer made it seem even more geeky than some other distributions.

Once it was installed it seemed very much like any other distro I’ve used. It uses the Gnome window manager, so it feels very much like Red Hat with a different theme. The menu structure looked a little simpler and the “Add/Remove Applications” screen was neat, but it didn’t change my life.

I might have a go at installing Oracle on it, but then again, I’m not sure I can be bothered 🙂

My verdict, nice enough, but what makes it better than any other distro?

Fedora Core 5 (Test 2)
I was a devout FC fan before I switched to CentOS. I started to download all 5 FC5 CDs, but then switched to the 2.8G DVD. As the dumb-ass user I am, the only thing I noticed was change in graphics. I guess the new look and feel is an attempt to differentiate Fedora from Red Hat’s enterprise distro. Apart from that, it all looked like more of the same to me. So far I’ve not been able to install 10g R2 on it, but it’s still a beta, so who cares.

My verdict, nice enough, but what makes it better than any other distro?

I can’t really tell the difference between all the distributions these days. CentOS works well for me because it’s a clone of a distro that Oracle support, but apart from that, my daily life is unaffected by it.

The only thing that might make me eager to switch is if some heavyweight company puts their name to a free Linux distro. Like Google with Goobuntu? 🙂