Who cares about the facts?

I was doing a bit of reading the other day and I came across this soundbite.

“Research shows that in a presentation before a group, 55 percent of the impact is determined by your body language – posture, gestures and eye contact – 38 percent by your tone of voice and only 7 percent by the content of your presentation.”

(Mehrabian and Ferris, ‘Inference of Attitudes from Nonverbal Communication in Two Channels’, The Journal of Counselling Psychology Vol 31, 1967 pp.248-52)

Watching your audience and seeing how they respond to you is an interesting, if perplexing, thing. I’ve had many discussions with other presenters over the last couple of years about the balance between information and entertainment. From my own experience, the presentations I enjoy watching the most are the ones where I feel a connection with the speaker. Likewise, I enjoy presenting when I feel a connection with the audience. Since this sort of connection has very little to do with content, I find myself agreeing with the above quote.

Anyway, enough of this hippy stuff… πŸ™‚

Cheers

Tim…

PS. If you are teaching a course for an exam, please don’t remove all the content and replace it with slides of your dog. An audience love-in won’t get them through the exam. πŸ™‚

Oracle 11gR2 RAC On Linux Using VMware Server 2

I’ve taken my first tentative steps into 11gR2 RAC and it was a big surprise.

11gR2 RAC feels very different to 11gR1 RAC. I can imagine quite a few people wanting to upgrade from 11gR1 thinking it will be trivial and getting a rude awakening…

The Grid Infrastructure (Clusterware + ASM) seems more complicated. There are more installation options, more prerequisites, more background processes and a bigger memory requirement…

I typically install 11gR1 RAC on VMware using 1G of RAM per VM. If you try that with 11gR2 you will get to the end of the Grid Infrastructure installation and have nothing left. The minimum recommendation for Grid Infrastructure alone is 1.5G, but if you want the RAC DB as well you are talking 2.5G. It actually worked fine with 2G of RAM allocated to each VM, but this is a whopping increase compared to 11gR1.

At this point I feel like I know nothing about 11gR2 RAC, but it certainly doesn’t feel like a patched version of 11gR1. If this had been released as 12g I would have still have been surprised by the level of change.

So over the next few days I’m expecting the dust to settle, my residual fear of all things new to subside and I’ll probably change my opinion completely and think it’s all the same as it was before… πŸ™‚

Cheers

Tim…

PS. Please don’t try this installation on your 32-bit Windows laptop with 2G of RAM then write to me complaining it doesn’t work and telling me the article is rubbish… πŸ™‚

A nice copyright story…

I was Googling yesterday and saw two articles with strangely similar titles. One on my site and one on Scribd. It was pretty obvious it was a copy of my article. It even ended with my usual “Hope this helps. Regards Tim…” message…

Towards the bottom of all pages on Scribd is this link:

Copyright

Clicking on it takes you to this page:

http://www.scribd.com/copyright

Clicking on the “Submit a DMCA takedown request” link at the to-right presents you with a template takedown requests, you just have to cut & paste a couple of URLs into.

So I sent the request and a few minutes later I had a response saying the article had been removed. Brilliant!

Thank you very much Scribd… πŸ™‚

Cheers

Tim…

Website changes…

I’ve made a couple of minor changes to the hompage of the main website:

  1. The “Social” section of the front page wasn’t really doing much and it was adversely affecting page load speed so I moved it to its own page. I may remove it totally in future, but for now it is available from the “Misc” tab.
  2. I’ve included links to the 11gR2 documentation, including adding it to the documentation and error messages searches. These searches now default to 11gR2, since it is the terminal release of the product.

Cheers

Tim…

Windows to Mac and back again?

It’s quite surprising to see the amount of interest generated by my recent switch from Windows to Mac. People seem very curious about the whole Mac thing. When asked why I made the switch my answers seem a little vague. I guess my main motives were:

  • They look pretty.
  • Most of my work involves the browser and command line, so I don’t care about the OS too much.
  • They look pretty.
  • It’s kinda nice not putting money into the pocket of the evil empire.
  • Oh yes! I nearly forgot to mention, then look pretty.

So now it’s about 3 months since the switch and my old Windows laptop has been retired to my brothers house. So what are my thoughts at this point?

The next time I buy a laptop I will decide what to get based on the price/pretty ratio, not on the OS…

For the most part I really don’t care about the OS, but there are a few negative things that really stand out about the switch:

  1. I really miss SnagIt. I read today that TechSmith, the makers of SnagIt, are going to release a Mac verison of the product, which will be great except for one minor problem. Most of my screen shots come from virtual machines running on my Linux server. I used to capture the images using my Windows laptop via the VMware Server browser plugin. That same plugin doesn’t install on Mac, only on Windows and Linux, so I will have the image capture tool of my choice, but not be able to use it…
  2. That leads on to my next annoyance. VMware Server isn’t available for Mac. I could buy VMware Fusion, but it doesn’t do everything VMware Server does, so why bother? As it is, I use VirtualBox, which I an OK product, but once again, it doesn’t do everything VMware Server does.
  3. I also miss UltraEdit. I’ve been using TextWrangler on the Mac, which is an OK editor, but I really like UltraEdit. When I finish this post I’m going to have a play around with Wine to see if I can get UltraEdit running on the Mac. My attempts on Linux have always proved flawed as there is always some functionality that fails, so I don’t hold out much hope, but you never know.

I’m sure if I were to switch back to Windows tomorrow I would find a bunch of things annoying about it, but for me there is so little difference between Windows, OS X and Linux that it is only the little things that grate on me…

Cheers

Tim…

A quick thank you…

Just a quick note to say thank you to everyone involved in making the 2-day PL/SQL workshop in Utrecht happen last week. Thanks to Miracle Benelux for staging the event, to Anjo for inviting me and to Annette for organizing everything, including Anjo. πŸ™‚

Of course the biggest thanks go to everyone who came to the workshop, because without them it wouldn’t happen. See you all soon. πŸ™‚

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle games console…

What is this years big OpenWorld announcement?

It’s not Oracle Database 11g Release 2, that’s already been announced and released. It’s not Exadata 2, that’s already announced.

So what can be so important it has relegated 11gR2 and Exadata to pre-OOW announcements, so as not to detract from the real message?

The Oracle Games Console. Working title OBox-720…

Get your first hands-on at OOW 2009…

Cheers

Tim…

RELIES ON clause no more…

I’ve been running through my demos before my PL/SQL workshop in Utrecht and I noticed a change in the behaviour of the PL/SQL Function Result Cache. In 11gR1 it was necessary to specify dependencies using the RELIES ON clause, but now Oracle 11gR2 takes care of Detection of Sources for you. Neat. πŸ™‚

Cheers

Tim…

Elbow update (the final one)…

I saw the surgeon today for my final checkup on my elbow. I’ve got the green light to get back to normal life again. πŸ™‚

The problem in my elbow was leading to pins & needles, loss of feeling and loss of strength in my left hand. There was some concern that even after the operation the loss of feeling and strength may be permanent. Well, a couple of months after the operation and all is good. I have no pins & needles or loss of feeling in my left hand, and funnily enough my left hand has better grip strength than my right now, which is a little unusual as I am right handed… πŸ™‚

So I’m hoping that marks then end of that little episode…

Cheers

Tim…

PS. I was at a wedding recently and I managed to convince someone the scar was the result of a shark attack. πŸ™‚

Dipping my toe in 11gR2…

I’ve had my first play with 11gR2 today:

Nothing too unpredictable really.

I guess the most noticeable change is the new installer. I didn’t have an issue with the old installer, but a few friends from the Microsoft world had pointed out how dated it looked. The new is much cleaner, and although it will take some getting used to, I think it is a step in the right direction.

I’ve decided that I’m only going to do 64-bit installations from now on. I see little point doing the 32-bit installations, as I hope I will never work on one again. πŸ™‚

Cheers

Tim…