Post New Year Life Update and Moving Pictures…

Today marks the end of my first full week of “normal” life for quite some time!

I’ve managed to:

  • Swim every day.
  • Get to all my Karate lessons.
  • Do Yoga with my Yoga-buddies, as well do my regular stint of teaching.
  • Get to the gym.
  • Stretch a couple of times a day.
  • Do a bit of writing for the website. I’m concentrating on the OCP 11g new features stuff, but I still don’t think I’m going to be ready in time for the exam going live.
  • Do a bit of reading.

Things are starting to feel something like normal again. My routine has been all over the place since November. First I was in OpenWorld. Then I had a cold for a couple of weeks. Then my dad died. Then it was the Christmas and New Year holiday. I must admit I feel a lot more settled and positive now I’ve got back into my usual rut. 🙂

I finished reading Moving Pictures last night. As I said before, it’s been hard to connect with this book. I’m already starting to remember little bits of it fondly, but the overall experience was that it was a hard slog. I can’t explain why.

I opened up the next book, Reaper Man, and the first 40 pages flew by before I noticed how late it was.

Life goes on…



Quick note about publishing…

Howard Rogers has been very vocal on a few of points recently. I would link to his blog entries on the subject, but he’s thrown his toys out of the pram and blocked his blog for the time being.

The blog tag game. I love it. I like reading stupid stuff about people and I’m really glad Jake started it. It’s nice to see that we don’t all take life too seriously. I would hate to think that one person making a mountain out of a mole hill would stop people from trying new (for this community) things.

None of these blog posts are unsolicited. These blog posts are not being forced on anyone. If people don’t want to read them they can just switch off. I don’t remember ever asking for my blog to be included in one of the many aggregator sites, so I’m not going to apologize about writing lots of off-topic blogs. If you don’t like it, don’t subscribe.

Alternatively, just subscribe to the Oracle catagory of my blog, which probably will be on-topic:

Crediting other people. I would like to take this opportunity to say something about crediting the work of others. I got some grief from Howard because I did not reference his article, or give him any sort of credit in my article on rlwrap. There is a single very big reason for this. I didn’t know his article existed and I hadn’t read it when I wrote the piece. I Googled the term “rlwrap”, clicked on the first link returned, downloaded the utility, installed it as was obvious from the “./configure” output, and used it. Simple as that. It’s not exactly rocket science so I didn’t bother to search the net for other examples of how to do it. As a result I have no reason to credit him in this article.

If I had read his or anyone else’s article on this subject, I probably wouldn’t have written it in the first place, but I would certainly have credited them if I had.

You are not duty bound to search the net looking for similar articles and give credit where credit is not due. It’s good to credit people if their work has helped your understanding while writing your article. It’s important to credit people if you are quoting directly from them. It is illegal to republish information without permission.

Conclusion. Have fun with your blogs. That’s what the internet is all about. Write what you want to write. Don’t worry if someone has already done something similar. As long as you are not stealing it’s no big deal. Most of the articles the Oracle community write, including Howard’s, are variations on a theme, so to claim some form of ownership of the subject is wrong. Different people like different viewpoints and writing styles. There’s room for us all.

A request. Please don’t use the comments for this post for “me-too” posts. It’s only my opinion and it’s no more or less valid than anyone else’s. I’m not looking for support or validation because I’m secure enough in my self to not need it. 🙂




During his unconference session at OpenWorld 2007, Lutz Hartmann used rlwrap to give SQL*Plus and RMAN command line history and basic editing functionality. Like the Windows Process Explorer post I wrote recently, this is another example of a gizmo I’ve used in the past then completely forgotten about, so I’m grateful to Lutz for reminding me. To see how I install and configure it click here.



Update: Someone and just told me my rlwrap post is now ranked higher than Howard’s on Google. This is really a “duck and cover” event. 🙁

RMAN Enhancements in 11g…

My trip through the 11g new features continues with RMAN Ehancements. These combined with the Data Recovery Advisor and Flashback and LogMiner Enhancements I wrote about previously show that Oracle are really putting a lot of effort into getting this area right. I guess the Data Recovery Advisor will be the most outstanding new feature for most people, but there are loads of tweaks all round that all help to make life easier for us guys on the coal face.



Tag! Here goes a chain letter…

I just got tagged by Chris Muir, so here goes my 8 things you may not know about me:

  1. When I was 14 years old I weighed 19 stone. That’s 266 pounds or 121 kilos.
  2. I was a distinctly average student at school. A few of my friends were surprised when I passed my exams. Education only really started to click with me after I left school and could focus on subjects I was interested in. At sixth form and university I started getting into my groove.
  3. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 15, so that’s about 23 years and counting. Even before that I ate very little meat and I never ate fish. I don’t like eggs and I can’t drink milk on its own. I love cheese. Life without cheese is not life. 🙂
  4. I have a form of diabetes known as MODY. In my case it relates to a mutation of the Glucokinase gene. It’s no big thing, but I have to avoid getting too fat and I have to be careful with sugary food (refined or natural).
  5. I played guitar in a couple of bands (Pondlife and Coppertongue) at University. The bands were pretty good, but I wasn’t. I specialized in making weird noises with my guitar effects, rather than actually playing.
  6. I love singing. If I’m alone I sing out loud. If I’m in public I sing in my head. If you see me in the street or in a shop I’m not a crazy guy talking to himself. I’m just singing. 🙂 I can hold a tune, but I’m no star in the making.
  7. Most of my adult life I’ve been an insomniac. I find it very difficult to get to sleep and when I do I wake up a lot during the night. As a result I tend to remember lots of dreams. On average about 3-5 distinct dreams a night. I keep meaning to start writing them down but I’ve never got round to it yet.
  8. I started working with Oracle by accident. I was at an interview and they asked me if I’d heard of Oracle and I said, “Is that the teletext stuff on TV?” At the time Oracle was the name for teletext on ITV, so it wasn’t as dumb as it sounds. Somehow I got the job anyway and the rest is history.

I’m going to tag Andrew Clarke, Andy C, David Aldridge, Dimitri Gielis, Howard Rogers, Jeff Hunter, John Scott and Kevin Closson. (Alphabetical from my blogroll, hopefully not repeating anyone. 🙂 )



Data Recovery Advisor…

When I first saw the name Data Recovery Advisor, I thought I was going to have a really dull time figuring how this new 11g functionality worked, but it is really quite cool!

I don’t care if you are a beginner or a battle-scarred DBA, every time you have to recovery a database, you get a little twinge of doubt about whether it’s going to work. Sure, if your backups are good and you’ve practiced your recovery scenarios it should work, but what if…

The Data Recovery Advisor goes some way towards calming those jitters by automatically identifying, diagnosing and optionally repairing the problem for you. I think this is totally cool and a great move by Oracle.



PS. This article got on the front page before it was actually finished. I apologize if you caught the half-done version. 🙂

Guards! Guards! Eric and Moving Pictures…

I recently finished reading Guards! Guards! and Eric. Guards! Guards! has got some great characters and is probably one of my favorite books so far in the series. Eric is a really short story, but it quite pacey, so it was pretty good.

I’m about a third of the way through Moving Pictures and I’m really struggling. There are lots of elements I should find funny, but it’s just not fitting together for me. I think the subject matter is just too dull. I don’t really care about a bunch of sideways references to Hollywood, or in this case Holy Wood. I’m hoping it’ll click so I’m going to persevere.