Technical Publishing…

Mark Rittman has an interesting article called “The State of the Technical Publishing Market“.

While I agree you are unlikely to make money from writing technical books, I still feel it has some value.

I was interested in the whole publishing thing for some time before I was offered the opportunity to write a book. It was nice to see the whole process in action.

A quick look at my website will show you the range of skills I’ve had to pick up over the years. Unless you constantly try to re-educate yourself, it’s easy to get locked into a state of mind where you only ever do what you know. I feel that writing articles for my website has helped prevent me from stagnating, but it’s not always enough. Writing a book on a specific topic forces you to focus your attention on that area, extending your knowledge beyond what you may normally achieve. There’s nothing like a deadline to focus your attention.

It’s a giant ego trip seeing your name in black and white. Of course I could publish a PDF with the same content, but regardless of what anybody says, it isn’t the same as holding a book in your hands.

I guess the funniest thing about publishing is people’s reactions. I’ve been writing web articles for years, serving tens of millions of pages each year to people all over the world. Mention that to somebody and you’re just another geek who thinks he has something to say. On the other hand, mention you’ve written a book and you’re a guru… What’s that all about?

What’s my opinion? Everyone should write at least one book in their life! 🙂



Lego Rules…

I recently found out one of my colleagues is a “Lego Master Builder”. He was given the title after he produced a full size guitar, or something like that…

Anyway, that little fact made the following list jump out at me when I saw it:

Top 10 Strangest Lego Creations

I use visits to my 4 year old nephew as an excuse play with Lego and relive my childhood. Although, I seldom build anything better than the USB stick 🙂



Oracle Community… As if…

I’m pretty pissed off this morning. It seems I’m at the center of some “Oracle on FC5” conspiracy because a few idiots can’t be bothered to read articles properly. The article in question is:

The original warning at the top of the article read:

“THIS IS A DRAFT DOCUMENT. It will be revised when the final version of FC5 is released.”

Apparently, this meant it was a fully finished article that should be trusted implicitly! See the conspiracy:

Also, it seems I should reply to comments while I’m sleeping.

Oracle community… My arse!


Back to work…

I was off work for 3 days last week with a sinus infection. I spent most of the time sleeping, which was good as it cleared up really quickly. The bummer is that all the time in bed has left my back in a bit of a state. It doesn’t like being stationary for too long.

I guess the next couple of days will knock everything back into place.



Desupport Notice…

I received a desupport notice this morning for, amongst other things:

  • iSQL*Plus version 10.2
  • SQL*Plus Windows GUI version 10.2

This sounded a bit odd, as both are the latest versions of the products. I checked the desupport date and in both cases it was 31-July-2010. This just seems plain stupid to me. Why produce a desupport notice for a product, when there is currently no natural upgrade or replacement available. Surely it would be better to wait for the release of Oracle 11(x) Database before issuing this notice.

I guess we can expect the desupport notices for the next version of the database before it’s actually released!



Update: I just noticed that Laurent Schneider has written something about this. Although I believe SQL Developer is an acceptable replacement for the GUI SQL*Plus, I don’t like the thought of having to have Oracle Application Express (HTML DB) to replace iSQL*Plus.

Quality purchases…

I made a few quality purchases today, including:

– Germolene New Skin – It’s like fake plastic skin you can paint over cuts and grazes to stop you coating every piece of clothing you own with blood. I lost some skin off my knuckles on Wednesday night at Karate. What with showers, baths and swimming my knuckles didn’t look too happy this morning, until I gave them a new coating of skin. It will probably end up giving me cancer, but at least I don’t have blood all over my shirt sleves anymore 🙂

Ghost in the Shell (Stand Alone Complex) 2nd GIG Volume 2 – This Manga series is totally cool. I’ve got everything that’s been released in the UK, including the two feature films. The 2nd GIG also has a really cool theme tune, which you can hear on the website.

Placebo – Meds – The new CD from Placebo rocks. After almost 10 years I still find myself playing “Nancy Boy” and “Bruise Pristine” from the first CD on a weekly basis. I’ve been showing my age by listening to some quieter stuff recently, but now Rock is firmly back on the agenda.



Pub or pool?

Regarding yesterdays closing question, pub or pool? The answer was the pool.

I knocked out another mile. It’s definitely getting easier, but I think it’s because my technique is getting better, rather than any increase in fitness…

Of course, the next question is, how long can I keep this up before I get totally bored plodding up and down a pool each lunchtime? 🙂