WordPress 2.3 and VMware Server 1.0.4…

It’s been an exciting couple of days on the upgrade front…

First, VMware released VMware Server 1.0.4. Don’t expect any new functionality. I can’t see anything different here, but it allegedly contains a whole bunch of security fixes, which is nice. Still no RHEL5 in the guest OS list, and the Vista support is still labeled as experimental. Both OS work fine, but I would have thought by now they could have sorted this. I guess you get what you pay for… 🙂

Next, WordPress released version 2.3 of their blogging software. If you’re reading this, the upgrade when well. 🙂

Happy upgrading…



Vista is dead. Long live CentOS…

I’ve been using Vista on my Laptop for a few months, and I’ve tried hard to like it, but the truth is it annoys the hell out of me. This weekend I wiped off all traces of Vista and installed CentOS 5 (x86_64). At last some calm has returned to my world. There will be a couple of applications I will miss, but for the most part it feels like I’ve returned home.

Just for the hell of it, I’ve installed a Vista virtual machine, but I doubt I’ll use it much. If I’m ever forced to use a Windows application I think I’ll run it on an XP virtual machine and avoid the constant barrage of, “Are you sure?” questions.



WordPress 2.2.3 and (unrelated) Trojan Horse…

I thought I better add the “(unrelated)” into the post title before I get a flame about WordPress having nothing to do with this. Just reporting two unrelated things in a single post! 🙂

Wordress 2.2.3 was released over the weekend. I guess it won’t be long before the finished 2.3 release, but for the moment it’s just bug fixes of 2.2.x.

On a completely separate note, I got an email from someone today saying their antivirus software was detecting some malicious code when they accessed pages on my website. I asked for the full error message and checked out the suspect file and to my surprise found an extra bit of Javascript had been tagged to the end of one of my javascript files. The modification happened yesterday. I know it wasn’t me for two reasons:

  1. The code was written as a single line. I never write code like that. If it isn’t neat and indented properly it doesn’t make it to my site.
  2. The modification was done yesterday. I didn’t log on to a PC all day!

I checked the contents of my content management system and the offending line of code wasn’t there, so it had been added by someone or something else!

The code in question didn’t cause my AV software to log a problem, so I guess this guys AV software was more sensitive than mine. In my haste to correct the problem, I didn’t keep a record of the offending Javascript, so I don’t have any evidence to supply to my hosting provider, other than an error message that was emailed to me.


I would be interested to know if anyone else saw got any AV messages when accessing my site over the last 24 hours. Hopefully not!



Update: It seems the file I fixed yesterday has been compromised again. I contacted my hosting provider and they claim there is nothing wrong on the server. They believe this additional line is being added manually, or via an exploit on my site. I’ve fixed the file again and changed every password I can ever remember having. I’ve now got to try and identify anything on my site that could possibly be exploited. Bummer!

Of course, if this is down to WordPress or phpBB I’m in trouble!

PL/SQL updates in Oracle 11g

On the surface, the changes to PL/SQL look rather minor, but there is some seriously cool stuff in there. I originally intended to write a single article, but some sections got too big so I thought it was worth sectioning them out into separate articles.

As usual, I’ve tried to keep the explanations brief and include cut & paste examples.

There are a couple more things I might add, but I’m not sure if they are too niche. I’ll see what I think over the next couple of days.



Oracle ACE Program…

If you read Oracle blogs, you will probably have noticed a few lively debates about the Oracle ACE program. The announcement of the Oracle ACE Director category caused a bit of a stir, causing several people, including myself, to throw the toys out of the pram. I’m not totally sure what I want to say in this post, but I feel I need to say something, so here goes…

I was very flattered when I was nominated as an Oracle ACE. I’ve spent a lot of years writing about Oracle and it was nice to get a thank you from someone for my efforts. It was not something I expected, or really thought I was worthy of, but it felt good. I never considered it to be more than a pat on the back, but when I looked at the names of existing members it was a little daunting.

Worth to the community is a very difficult thing to judge. Some people have great technical skills, but quite a small readership, so they are not helping the wider audience, but they are raising the bar by which we all measure ourselves. Some people are less technical, but have a very wide readership, so they are helping to get the message out there. In my opinion, both of these groups of people have equal importance to the community, but service it in different ways.

I think we can also be a little myopic about the Oracle community, assuming it means the big names in the English speaking world. There are many large Oracle communities where English is not the first language. I don’t read articles or attend seminars in these regions, so I’m not in a position to “rate” these individuals and their contributions, but just because I can’t rate them doesn’t mean they have no value.

I think the Oracle community is still very database-centric, by which I mean value seems to be judged on the level of skill in the core database technologies. Oracle has moved on, so should we. My passion is still the database, but it is almost irrelevant to others, who could still arguably be called world leaders in their field, which is Oracle technology.

As for the Oracle ACE Director, it is now clear to me it’s just a pat on the back with some extra commitments. If people think it means more than that they are wrong.

I’m starting to bore myself now… 🙂