Is there anybody out there?

Well, it seems the answer is yes.

I’ve spent a few minutes over lunch checking out my website stats, something I try to avoid most of the time for fear of becoming obsessive. Some things that stood out were:

  • The country with the biggest hit-rate is the USA, with about twice as many hits as India in second place. This was quite a surprise because when I’ve checked in the past I’ve typically had more hits from Asia than the US.
  • As far as the US is concerned, I’ve got hits from all the states, but most come from California. At equal second come Texas and New York.
  • I don’t have any visits at all this month from Turkmenistan, Somalia, French Guiana, North Korea, Central African Republic, Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leon, Western Sahara or Chad. If you can hear me, I only want one click. πŸ™‚
  • IE has 63% of the browser market, with Firefox (go on boys!) on 33%. The rest are fighting over scraps.
  • Google is the only search engine. I seem to remember hearing somewhere that there were others, but I for one can’t remember what their names are, and it seems like you guys can’t either!

I’ve got to stop looking at them now or I’ll get all weird about trying to spread the word in Africa… πŸ™‚




Based on John Scott’s comment, I checked the screen resolutions. Approximately 2.5% of visits were done with a resolution of 800×600. Who’d a thunk it! πŸ™‚

Most are between 1024×768 and 1280×1024, with a few, including me, on 1920×1200…

Database Replay…

I logged in this morning and noticed I’d released my Database Replay article by accident last night. It wasn’t far off being finished, but it was in need of some “refinement”. Sorry to anyone who had the misfortune of reading the “beta” version. πŸ™‚

At OpenWorld last year there was much talk of both Database Replay and SQL Replay, the latter being the capture and replay of just a specific SQL workload. I was quite surprised when I couldn’t see SQL Replay on the list of new features in 11g. It turns out is is there, but it has the new whiz-bang name of “SQL Performance Analyzer”. I guess this will be my next port of call.



WordPress 2.3.1 and Films…

If you’re reading this my WordPress 2.3.1 upgrade when well…

I went to see a couple of films at the weekend. First up was Eastern Promises. I came out of the film thinking it was OK, but the next day I really couldn’t remember anything of note in the film. The performances weren’t bad, and the story was OK, but it was a little lack luster. I guess it’s supposed to be an action thriller about underworld crime centered around a family of Russian immigrants in the UK. There are a few grizzly scenes, one of which involves Viggo Mortensen having a fight in a steam room. I really didn’t expect, or want to see, quite so much of his wedding tackle. I’m not sure this level of “exposure” was necessary to the story. πŸ™‚

Next up was Resident Evil: Extinction. Milla Jovovich running around kicking zombie butt. I don’t think I need to say anything more do I? OK, it’s exactly the same as the previous two films, but that’s why I love it. Unfortunately, there were no scenes with Mila kicking zombie but in a steam room. This was a glaring omission in my opinion. πŸ™‚



Oracle 11g RAC on Windows…

I guess you would have to be in a coma to not notice that Oracle 11g is now out for Windows 32-bit.

To celebrate this release I’ve done an 11g RAC on Windows 2003 article, which is an update of my 10g RAC on Windows 2003 article. With both installations, if you get the networking stuff sorted, the installs are a breeze. Miss any steps out and you’re in for a world of hurt. πŸ™‚



Articles and stuff…


I think I’m finally getting myself back on track. It’s been an unusual few weeks though.

I spent quite some time complaining that I couldn’t think of anything to write about and hoping 11g would inspire me. Since the release of 11g and the inevitable installation articles, I’ve felt rather lethargic again. Getting into a new version of the database is always a bit odd. For me it’s a combination of excitement and denial… πŸ™‚

Well, I’ve finally updated the VMware RAC article for 11g, which was dependent on a RAM upgrade. It works fine, but very slow. Unless you want the ASM experience, I think the NFS RAC method is a lot cleaner and easier.

I’ve also started to plug through the DB new features. The first thing I played around with was Partitioning. I’m hoping I can keep up the momentum for a while. I wanted to sit the 11g beta OCP exam, but I know so little about 11g at the moment it seems really unlikely I’ll get to grips with it before the beta exam closes. It’s a shame really because it’s nice to be involved in the process.


I finished reading Vittorio the Vampire. Of all the Anne Rice books I’ve read I think it’s the weakest. It’s all a bit flowery and “mills and boon”. Not my cup of tea.

On a more serious note, my 5 year old nephew was in A&E last night with pneumonia. I was with him all day yesterday and although he wasn’t well, we didn’t suspect something so serious. A bit of Calpol and he was up attacking a balloon octopus with a plastic sword… Things got worse through the night which resulted in the A&E visit and the diagnosis. The doctor was surprised he was so active and chirpy considering. Tough as old boots! πŸ™‚ He’s back at home now and all looks good, but it’s very unnerving. I suspect within a couple of days he will be back in full effect.



Forum woes resolved…

I did an upgrade of my phpBB forum software from RC5 to RC7 yesterday. It’s not the final production release, so there are a few problems, including the upgrade from RC5 to RC7 seems to break the forum. I thought I had fixed it, but noticed I had no posts since it was “fixed”. This left me wondering. When I tried to post something this morning it all went gaga…

After doing some surfing I found this and fixed the problem… I think…

What’s the moral of this story? There are several:

  • Don’t be lured into using Beta or Release Candidate software just because it looks pretty. Wait for the production release.
  • If you want a day off answering questions, break your forum. It’s like having a mini-holiday.
  • Be prepared for the inevitable deluge of messages telling you your site is broken.
  • Blame it all on technical problems beyond your control. Never admit to messing it all up because you are too keen to upgrade to non-production versions of software. πŸ™‚



Oct-2007 DE SIG and PHP…

Yesterday was the Oct-2007 DE SIG. This proved quite an interesting experience for me because I gave a presentation on PHP and Oracle.

Now I like to think I know a bit about Oracle, but I’m not a serious PHP developer, more of a PHP Fanboy. Sure, I’ve been using PHP on for a few years now, but there’s a big difference between using it and presenting about it. When Andrew Clarke asked me if I was interested in doing the presentation my initial reaction was to run a mile, but then I thought, what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger… πŸ™‚

The whole process has been really interesting, if a bit scary, and I got some useful feedback off Andrew later in the pub. I’d like to say a big thank you to Andrew for organising the event and inviting me to speak, and I hope the attendees found it useful.

I must admit to feeling more than a little relieved now it’s over. For my next few presentations I’ll return to the safe haven of my normal skill set. πŸ™‚

I was late arriving at the event so I only got to see the two presentations that followed mine. The first was a demo of master-detail reports, flash charts and PDF printing in APEX. I really must spend some time looking at APEX. It’s really starting to look like a nice product.

Next, there was a presentation about JDeveloper 11 ADF New Features. There is some seriously cool Web 2.0 eye candy in JDeveloper 11 that is sure to attract some attention. Yet another thing on my list.

So much technology, so little time…