Oracle 10g Release 2 on Solaris 10…

Well, it was released and I have VMware, so I thought I would give it a go. I’ve not used Solaris for a while so I hit a few stumbling blocks, but I got the installation to work in the end:

Oracle Database 10g Release 2 ( Installation On Solaris 10 (x86)

Given the choice I would use Linux… 🙂



Where’s the “Go Faster” switch?

Oracle has been around for over 25 years and I’ve been working with it for over 10 of them, but I still haven’t found the “Go Faster” switch. Now either I’m not too clever, or this switch doesn’t actually exist. If the latter is true, why is it people ask me questions about tuning and don’t like the answer when I suggest they need to do some work to solve the problem?

People generally don’t want to hear they have to trace the slow process so they can see what statements are executed and check out the execution plans and waits associated with the statements. The don’t want to run the profiler to see which bits of procedural logic are taking the most time. They just want a switch to flick to make everything better. For this reason I’m going to raise an enhancement request for the following statement to be supported:


I don’t care that it does nothing. I just want it to give the “System altered.” message. Then the next time I have someone looking for a shortcut I can say, just flick the GO_FASTER switch and tell you boss everything will be OK.



PS. I would prefer this parameter to remain undocumented and unsupported, since that seems to add to the mystique 🙂

The Black Dahlia…

I was planning to see Children of Men at the weekend, but instead I went to see The Black Dahlia. Big mistake!

It started off pretty cool. It was a 1940’s detective story and I was really starting to get into it, but then it kinda lost its way and started to get a bit random. I can’t say I really know what was going on, but I didn’t really care.

When we came out of the cinema we looked at each other, burst out laughing and said, “What was that all about?”

Needless to say, I don’t recommend it 🙂



V for Vendetta…

I finally got round to watching V for Vendetta last night. I didn’t think it would appeal to me, hence the delay in watching it, but I really liked it. There were a few annoying moments where Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving had less than adequate English accents, but on the whole they did a great job. Natalie Portman is very easy on the eye, regardless of her hair style. Infact, I think she looks better with it shaved off!

I might be going to see Children of Men tonight, but I’m not sure yet.



Interview with the Vampire…

I’ve never really enjoyed reading, so I rarely do it, except for technical stuff for work. Instead I spend hours in front of the TV, half watching things while I do other stuff. Recently I decided to try and reduce the number of hours I spend in front of the TV. I already do lots of physical stuff, so adding more of that seemed pointless, so I decided I would have a go at reading again…

I’ve always liked vampire movies, so vampire books seemed like the obvious first choice. I promptly sent off for the Complete Vampire Cronicles, which is actually just the first four of many vampire books by Anne Rice. I’ve just finished reading the first book, Interview with the Vampire. I’ve watched the film many times and I love it, so I was a little bit nervous about reading the book. I spent the first quarter of the book thinking, “that’s not how it was in the film”, or, “I wonder when such and such an event will happen”. By about half-way through I had forgotten about the film and was quite into it. Last night I finished it, and I must say it was one of the few times in my life I enjoyed reading a book.

In an attempt to keep my momentum I read the first paragraph of the second book, The Vampire Lestat. Hopefully, I won’t find it too hard to pick that up now…

I guess from my blog posts you will be able to judge how well I get on with the second book 🙂



Crank and Children…

I went to see the film Crank on Friday. It stars Jason Statham, who’s pretty cool in The Transporter (1 & 2) and several Guy Richie films. Of course, I didn’t expect Oscars, but this seemed like a random set of scenes designed to thrill or shock loosely strung together. It seemed more like a student film project than a cinema release. Some bits were enjoyable, so bit were not. If you’re a fan, wait for the DVD. If not, forget it ever existed…

On a ligher note, several things happened recently involving children that made me laugh, grossed me out or just plain shocked me:
1) I was talking to a friends 7 year old daughter, who asked me about my wife. From there, the conversation went something like this:

Me: I don’t have a wife.
Her: Everyone has a wife!
Me: I don’t. I live on my own.
Her: Everyone lives with someone. Even John and Richard live together and one of them is the wife!

John and Richard are a Gay couple, so this cracked me up. So as not to offend, I’m not going to publish which of the guys she thought was the wife. 🙂

2) I was at a friends 41st birthday party over the weekend. At one point she walked up to me with a pretty young woman and said, “This is my niece, she’s 12 years old!”… After she left, there was a collective, “Oh my God!”, from the group of people I was standing with. Twelve year old girls should not look that way! It’s just wrong on so many levels…
3) At the weekend, I was in a kids swimming pool with my brother and his two kids. After a few minutes, one of the kids noticed something in the pool with us. The “Crap Alert” was sounded and there was a sharp exit… 🙁
4) On the way out from the pool my nephew said, “I want an ice cream. You don’t have to ask my mom!” The onset of lies, deceit and trickery in a childs mind. You’ve got to love it 🙂


My Pool Nemesis…

Over the months I’ve come into contact with several people who have competed for the the title of my Pool Nemesis, including:

  • Really slow, floats with the current, guy.
  • Middle of the lane backstroke guy with wide flappy arms.
  • Three quarters of a length diagonal lane swimmer girl.
  • Doesn’t swim much but gets in the way when I’m trying to turn girl.
  • Swim half a length and stop to talk to the life guard dude.
  • Refuse to swim in a clockwise clockwise direction in the lane, even when asked by the life guard, guy.
  • Stand still and chill out about 5 metres away from the edge of the lane girl.
  • Lean against the lane rope pusing it 1 metre into the lane girl.

I think today I met my true Pool Nemesis. She had drawn some of her super powers from virtually everyone I have encountered in the past. You’ve got to respect someone that can pull together so many different skills and integrate them seamlessly into a single package. Truely worthy of the title! 🙂



Random Rant Alert…

If you are sensitive to random venomous rants switch off now!

I know different countries have different attitudes to some of the following points, so please don’t be offended, but as an uptight English man the following things drive me nuts!

I hate it when people:

  • drop litter in the street. There’s no defence. It’s just plain wrong.
  • throw rubbish out of your car window. You may no longer be able to see it, but I can!
  • flick ash or your cigarette butts out of the car window. You have an ash tray. Use it!
  • drop chewing gum, or sticking it to objects so I end up touching it by accident. I’m a big fan of chewing gum, but when I’ve finished with it I put it in the bin.
  • jump queues. I’m bigger, faster and stronger than average, so if I really wanted to get to the front of a queue by force I probably could. The reason I don’t is I have manners.
  • let there dog go to the toilet in a public place, like a park, without cleaning it up. It may be fine in the countryside, but in a city it’s just wrong.
  • murder a soft toy and fake a suicide to cover your tracks. It’s the start of a slippery slope. Today it’s a soft toy, tomorrow it’s genocide. You will be found and dealt with. Right Doug
  • hog the middle lane on the motorway. Once you’ve overtaken, move over! (suggested by Jeff Moss)

The list could go on, but…