Forum Spam…

My forums seems to be getting a lot of spam at the moment. I’m running the latest patch of phpBB, so I don’t think it’s a security issue. I think it’s just some very patient spammers.

If you visit the site and see adverts for certain drugs to make older men very happy or picture of ladies who can’t afford many clothes I’m really sorry. I’m deleting them as fast as I can.

This thing seems to go in cycles, so I’m hoping it will die down soon.

Cheers

Tim…

Compulsive Tuning Disorder…

I can’t remember where I first heard the phrase “Compulsive Tuning Disorder”, but it was mentioned again at ORCAN recently. I guess my approach to the database is almost the opposite of that. Maybe “Compulsive Non-Tuning Disorder”.

When you’re reading the blog posts on the internet you could be forgiven for thinking that every Oracle database is a massive, high performance, 24X7, mission critical system. We all tend to write about interesting systems and issues, but these don’t necessarily reflect the reality of most DBAs day to day jobs.

I would hazzard a guess that most installations out there would run just fine with default settings and very little intervention.

Why do I mention this? I get lots of questions from people who are running very ordinary systems but are expending massive amounts of energy on pointless tuning because they read the latest article by person X, Y and Z.

Am I saying you don’t need to know about more detailed stuff? Of course not. The more you know, the easier it is to deal with a real performance problem when it occurs. The trick to being a good DBA is knowing how to focus your effort. Don’t obsess about minute details on humdrum systems. Your time would probably be better spent teaching the developers how to write better SQL and PL/SQL. That would probably have a more profound impact on database performance than the constant pointless tweaking.

Enough of my random ramblings for today… ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheers

Tim…

Silverlight 3.0 to be released in July?

I noticed this today.

One of my friends is currently developing a site using Silverlight 3 beta and he gave me a demo. I was extremely impressed. It seems much more responsive than the Flash equivalent to me and all the programming was done in .NET, so it was a more consistent approach than using the mish-mash that is AJAX/DHTML. What’s more, I was running the demo on Firefox on a Linux box, so there is no tie-in to Windows from the user perspective.

Could it be that Microsoft are finally doing something right for a change? Of course, Flash is ubiquitous, so it remains to be seen whether Microsoft can eat into that market, but the product definitely seem the real deal.

Cheers

Tim…

The morning after…

My assessment of the morning after my operation… It hurts! I sense a few days of liberal use of pain killers and very little movement coming on. ๐Ÿ™‚

As part of my paranoia about dying on the slab, I sent details of how to keep ORACLE-BASE.com alive after my death to a friend. He lives in a different timezone, so this is the reply I got this morning…

“Ok no problem, though I recommend that you try to survive the operation since I’d make a poorย Oracle ACE and I may even insert some PostgreSQL articles…”

PostgreSQL-base.com… Not quite the same ring to it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheers

Tim…

I’m alive…

The operation went well and I’m back home now. They gave me a local in my arm as well as the general anesthetic, so when I came round everything felt fine. It’s starting to wear off now so it feels a bit nasty. I think I will hit the drugs in a bit. No point trying to be a hero. ๐Ÿ™‚

The ulna nerve was trapped in 2 places either side of my elbow. The surgeon was actually surprised at how constricted the nerve was in both locations, which made the operation harder than he expected. That all means it’s going to take longer than expected before we know if the current nerve damage is permanent or if it will heal. I’m typing with the hand now, so if all the operation has done is prevent the problem getting worse I’ll be happy.

I see the surgeon again next week. The stitches come out in about 10-14 days. It will be anywhere up to 6 months before we know how successful its been. Hopefully I’ll get some grip strength back and get full movement back, but who knows.

So it’s all looking good for ODTUG, where my scar will be on display and I expect massive amounts of attention and sympathy. ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheers

Tim…

Operation time…

Today’s the day. In a few hours I’ll be off to hospital to have an operation on my elbow to try and fix my left hand.

The recovery will be anywhere from 6-12 weeks, depending on how much damage they have to do during the process. Assuming there are no complications, I should be fine to travel to ODTUG, but I will have to be pretty careful with it.

I had knee surgery about 3 years ago and I wasn’t at all nervous for that. For some reason I have a bad feeling about this one. I guess time will tell if that feeling is valid or not.

Just in case anything bad happens, have a nice life…

Cheers

Tim…

Wintersmith and Making Money…

During my recent trips I read the last two books in the Discworld series…

Wintersmith – The Wintersmith (the God of winter, sort-of) falls in love with Tiffany Aching, a young witch. If Tiffany handles it badly the discworld cold be thrown into a permanent winter. The 4th in the young adults series. I got half way through this and left the book on a plane, so I had to buy a new copy to finish it.

Making Money – Moist von Lipwig, a former conman, tries to revitalize the Ankh Morpork banking system.

I’ve been reading these books since November 2007. That’s about 19 months, which works out at roughly 1 book every 2 weeks. There is a new book out later in the year, but I’ll wait for the paperback.

So now what? I don’t really know what to read next. Any suggestions welcome… ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheers

Tim…

Wolverine and Underworld 3…

This week I caught up on a couple of films…

X-Men Origins: Wolverine – I’ve seen all I want to see of Hugh Jackman. When I saw the first X-Men film he was by far the coolest character. Now he just bores me. Even so, this was a pretty cool film. Mostly because of the other characters. Gambit is totally awesome and the Wade Wilson (Ryan Renolds) character could have been great if we had seen more of it. Of course, this was always a Hugh Jackman vehicle, so we were never going to see enough of the other characters. I hope this film makes a lot of money so they do some more using the other characters.

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans – This is a prequel to the other films, telling the story of Lucian and Sonya. If you’ve seen the first film, you already know roughly what happens because of the flashbacks, but this film fleshes out the story. I like the genre and I liked the other films, so this one went down OK with me.

Cheers

Tim…

Swingbench 2.3…

Swingbench is a pretty useful load generator and I can’t say I really had any issue with version 2.2, but this morning I downloaded the 2.3 candidate and it has a lot of neat new features. Sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference, like now it can take AWR snapshots before and after runs, which saves me from doing it manually and sometimes forgetting. ๐Ÿ™‚

If you’re interested check out the screencasts and viewlets.

Cheers

Tim…

When I was cool…

When I was in Bulgaria I was talking to Mark Rittman, who used to be a club DJ, and he was talking about how he used to be cool and now he’s a computer geek and a dad…

I was recently contacted by a friend from University who I’d not seen for nearly 20 years. That prompted me to have a look through some old photos where I found a photo of a band I was in called CopperTongue. Del’s (right) haircut was my doing. ๐Ÿ™‚

I also found a photo of some of my gear. I am a computer geek, but I wasn’t always so nerdy. Or maybe I was just a closet geek playing at being cool. ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheers

Tim…