The Book of Eli…

I wasn’t really sure I wanted to see The Book of Eli. A post-apocalyptic story with an religious angle didn’t strike me as being my bag, but the Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman factor swung it for me. It’s not as depressing as I thought it would be, and certainly not as preachy as it sounds.

Denzel does the tough good guy with an edge really well. Gary Oldman is always an excellent bad guy. The scenes with Frances de la Tour and Michael Gambon were amusing. I didn’t realize Mila Kunis, the female lead, is Meg Griffin from Family Guy. How cool is that? 🙂

Altogether it worked pretty well.



PS. To the lady 2 rows behind me who spent the whole film talking on her phone and kissing teeth… Learn some manners.

PPS. To the group of guys in the car next to me at the traffic lights, honking their horn and blowing kisses at me… You made me laugh out loud. Nice one.

Grid Control ( on OEL 4.8 x86_64…

I recently managed to screw up my Grid Control VM, so I was forced to reinstall it. I’d not written an article on it since 10gR2, as I’ve just been applying patches since then. Faced with a new install I decided to go x86_64 and do clean install direct to 10gR5.

I used OEL 4.8 as it is the highest supported OS version. I went with the standard new database installation as I can’t really be bothered messing about with an 11g database as the repository. I think of Grid Control in the same way I think of Oracle Apps. They are shrink-wrapped products and I try to keep them as basic as possible. Anything that can present a problem, usually will.

I must admit to liking Grid Control as a product, but the installation and configuration is truely horrible. At every step of the way you are waiting for the next disaster. There are just too many working parts and it eats resources like nobodies business. Am I the only person who thinks the infrastructure is overly complicated for the job it is actually doing? I really hope the 11g version (if it is ever released) will be neater.




After tonight’s karate session I felt tired and wired at the same time, which is a bit of a weird combination, so I thought I would chill out by watching a film.

Daybreakers turns the normal vampire film on its head because the world is populated by vampires and humans are nearly extinct. I suppose it’s a little like I Am Legend in that respect, but here the vampires are more like regular people with jobs and families etc. They just “live” during the night. The lack of human blood means the vampire population is starving, which causes them to turn into giant insane bat people. Will humans survive? Will the vampires survive?

I’ve just read back that paragraph and it makes the film sound really naff, but it is actually OK. Not awesome. Just OK. Of course, in comparison to the “little girls vampire films that shall remain nameless” it’s a total Oscar winner. If you like vampire films that are not targeted at 13 year old girls you might like it. Of course, if you prefer your vampires to be pretty, shine in the sunlight like diamonds and fall in love with school girls then lock yourself in your bedroom until you’ve finished puberty. 🙂



Sherlock Holmes…

I really enjoyed Sherlock Holmes. I’ve never read the books and I’m not a fan of the TV series, so I wasn’t sure I would go for this, but it really works for me. Thanks to Noons for encouraging me to go. 🙂

Robert Downey Jr. is always great, so no big news there. I know Jude Law is pretty, but he’s never really impressed me before, but I actually thought he did a decent job here. I think the two of them worked really well together.

In addition to having an excellent name, I really like what Mark Strong does. I was watching Revolver again the other day and he plays “Sorter” really well. He was also very cool in the TV show The Long Firm. I’ve seen him play good guy, bad, guy, quirky guy and straight guy and he just seems to fit.

Another big success for Guy Ritchie. IIf you omit “Swept Away”, he’s had an unbelievably consistent career.



Oracle Database File System (DBFS) in 11gR2…

I’ve been having a play with the DBFS functionality in 11gR2.

For the most part it is extremely simple. If you are working on Linux then it’s a really neat solution. On any other platform you are limited to using the dbfs_client tool, which is currently lacking a lot of functionality. Even so, it’s a good first step.

I am having a bit of trouble with the “/etc/fstab” mounting. I’ve included it in the article, with a warning that it isn’t working for me. If anyone has got it to work I would really appreciate some input on what I’ve got wrong. The documentation is a little sparse on this subject even with some digging around it’s proving difficult.

I’ll probably be witing another article on a different aspect of DBFS soon.



Some minor outages…

There were some minor outages on the site yesterday. It seems the PHP engine on the server took a nosedive a few times.

That lead to a rather interesting interaction with the support staff at my hosting provider. It went like this:

  1. Site dies.
  2. I ring support, they also see the problem and raise a ticket for further investigation.
  3. Site comes back up.
  4. Support analyst checks site, it’s working now so they close the ticket.
  5. GOTO 1

How foolish I am. I forgot that if the problem isn’t happening at the very moment you check something, that means it can never ever happen at all so the problem must be solved!

I dispair… 🙂




Since finishing the Discworld series* I’ve really struggled to find something else to latch on to. I’ve tried a few things, but nothing has really grabbed my attention. Being the nonliterary type I am, one of the most important factors in any book is how easy it is to read. Some of the stuff I’ve tried has been what I can only describe as jagged or spiky. Authors with writing styles like that last about 4 pages with me…

On my recent trip to Australia I bought Nation, my first non-Discworld Terry Pratchett book. I never got chance to read it on the trip, even during the 21 hour flights, but I finished it this morning.

It’s very different to the Discworld books. It’s not a funny book by any means, but it’s a really interesting story and of course it flows nicely making it effortless to read. 🙂



* I’m still waiting for the paperback of Unseen Academicals to be released. Reading hardbacks in the bath is a pain.