Laptop woes…

I’m a little bit fed up today. Since returning from Bulgaria my laptop has been playing up. It’s never been the quietest thing in the world when under load, but the last couple of days it’s been making a noise like a server room at full tilt.

I had a quick Google and it seems Apple have a long history of crappy fan (not fanboi) problems in their laptops. I went in the Apple shop today and turned it on, declaring loudly over the din that looking on Youtube this seems to be a common problem with Apple laptops, at which point the machine was quickly sent for repair.

Why then am I fed up? Well, I’m not really sure how long it is going to be. The repair will probably be quite simple, but the lead time on the part is unknown at this point. With my next Oracle University course in Croatia looming I’m faced with two options:

  1. Wait and hope I get it back and working in time.
  2. Buy a new laptop. I’ve checked the prices and it’ll be about £1,300. Call me mean, but this seems like a massive waste of money considering I will get the MacBook back in working order at some point.

It’s been about 10 months since I got the MacBook and I’ve still not had that moment of clarity where I declare my undying devotion to all things Apple. In fact quite the opposite. I’ve decided my next laptop will run Windows. Why? The only thing I can say beyond doubt is that the metal case on a MacBook is pretty to look at. I think OSX is extremely overrated. It’s not bad, it’s just not as good as people would have you believe. I certainly don’t consider it better than Windows or Ubuntu. So the only reason to go Apple is to get a pretty box that has a minority market share, such that a lot of software “I” like using doesn’t run directly on it.

As a side issue, it will also mean I don’t have to answer those, “Why do all you Oracle nerds use Macs?”, questions. I can fade effortlessly back into the Dell/Windows background.

I will of course stay a firm devotee of Linux on my servers. CentOS does so many things I need from a server so effortlessly, and cost free.



Bulgarian Oracle User Group (BGOUG)…

I’m back home from the BGOUG event now, having had a great time in Bulgaria. It was really cool to hook up with everyone again. I’m not great with names, but I usually remember a face and there were lots of familair faces.

Dimitri Gielis and Patrick Wolf did some great presentations on APEX. I didn’t see many others as many of them were in Bulgarian. My presentations were back-to-back on the second day. I was almost expecting the room to be empty because it was the morning after the appreciation party and people did some serious partying. As it was I got a really good turn out and the presentations seemed to go down well. I’ve already had some follow up emails about it, which is nice.

It’s interesting to note that in these times of user groups struggling to get good conference attendance and struggling to get enough sponsorship to run events, the numbers were up at BGOUG this year and the event was done without the usual sponsorship and stands you see at other conferences. In addition to learning something, the social element of the conference is so good I think people would come back even if there were no speakers. 🙂

I may be back in Bulgaria later in the year to teach a class for Oracle University. I certainly hope I will be at future BGOUG events.

I’d like to send a big thank you to everyone at the BGOUG event for making me feel so welcome and also to the Oracle ACE program for getting me to Bulgaria. Even a Volcano can’t stop the ACE program. 🙂



BGOUG… I’m here…

I made it to Sofia, Bulgaria, without so much as a thin layer of volcanic ash on me.

I got to the airport and my flight was not listed on the departures board, even though it was on the airport and Lufthansa website. I asked at the desk and they said everything was fine. What’s more, all but one of yesterdays flights went out OK too. That seemed a little odd to me since they were all marked as canceled on both websites when I checked.

I really don’t understand what was going on there, but none of it matters now as I’m here. I came with extra clothes in case I’m not allowed to leave of course. 🙂




I went to see Kick-Ass last night. I thought it was cool.

One thing that stood out for me was Hit-Girl. She was awesome. Now I’m not suggesting people go and teach their 11 year old daughters how to brutally slay people and come out with lines like, ”OK you c—s, let’s see what you can do”, but it makes a change from the vacuous lead girls in recent years. The likes of Moonlight and The Vampire Diaries seem to suggest a woman’s only role in life is to look pretty and sit around pining over her moodily cool boyfriend. Certainly not the sort of role model I would want for any daughter of mine.

Where is Ellen Ripley when you need her?



Clash of the Titans…

Just got back from watching Clash of the Titans. I found it a little dull really. Obviously all the effects are amazing compared the the 1981 version, but I don’t think it really added anything or took the film anywhere different. Just the same old thing, but revamped to bring it up to date.

I was skeptical of the whole 3D thing when I went to see Avatar. I’m even more skeptical now. Using 3D for CotT is a complete waste of time in my opinion. Save your money and see it in 2D. There is just not enough in it to warrant the extra cash. I know Hollywood are pinning their hopes on 3D to boost cinema audiences and reduce piracy, but if I never see another 3D film it won’t bother me. It adds so little and you have to wear the stupid glasses, which are a pain. It’s nice for a one-off like Avatar, but that’s it as far as I’m concerned. I’ve done 3D. Time to move on.