ODTUG: Day 3…

Day 3

I made it through a panel session without talking constantly. I sat at the back of the “Database Development Panel” and kept my gob shut like a good boy. ๐Ÿ™‚

The next two talks, “Oracle Extended SQL Trace Data for Developers” by Cary Millsap and “Co-operating with the Database” by Jonathan Lewis, were more developer focused. Being a DBA/Developer type myself, there weren’t many surprises for me, but I guess a lot of the straight development crowd got plenty to scribble down. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve got quite a few clashing sessions tomorrow and I’m getting the early onset of conference burnout. Having the ACE Directors meeting before the conference makes it seem like a very long event. Early to bed tonight I think.

Cheers

Tim…

ODTUG: Day 1 & 2…

I’m not going to write about everything, but just post a few select highlights.

Day 1

There had been a timetable change that I had missed, so I arrived late for the “Messed up Apps: A Study of Performance Anti-patterns” talk by Cary Millsap. He knows his stuff, is a great presenter and he’s very pretty (in-joke). ๐Ÿ™‚

Next it was “Take a Load Off: Load Testing your Web Applications: Oracle APEX, JDeveloper, Web Services, Anything” by Chris Muir. Chris demonstrated JMeter and SOAPUI for stress (and regression) testing web apps. I’m vaguely familiar with JMeter, but SOAPUI was new to me, so this was a really useful presentation. Chris has a very casual presenting style, which I like. It feels kinda like you are chatting about a product, rather than being preached to. Definitely get to one of his sessions if you can.

For the love of God, don’t let me into panel sessions, or gag me. It doesn’t matter if I’m on the panel or in the audience (as was the case here) I just can’t shut up. The “Experts Panel” in the “Performance, Scalability, and Security” track had the misfortune of my attendance. I’m sorry.

Day 2

“How to Write Efficient SQL” by Jonathan Lewis was a very cool session. I’m no Jonathan Lewis, but I’m pretty happy with my SQL and SQL tuning skills. When I’m writing and tuning SQL it’s all about shapes. Some shapes work and some shapes don’t. I can’t really explain what I am doing to others, but it works for me. Jonathan on the other hand can explain exactly what he is doing and why. Almost like a repeatable recipe for success. Very good. After the presentation I was talking with Alex Gorbachev and he suggested I read The Checklist Manifesto. On a similar vein, I’ve had some dealings with NLP in the past so I know how important it is to model successful outcomes, so maybe my next task should be to understand my tuning methodology, rather than assuming I will never lose it. It will probably end up looking like a poor-man’s version of Jonathan’s. ๐Ÿ™‚

“Accessing the Oracle Database from Google (Apps, App Engine, Spreadsheets)” by Anjo Kolk was an eye opener. Some of the infrastructure Google has in place is still in its infancy, but it certainly makes you wonder what we might be doing in a few years. Maybe I can ditch Enterprise Manager Grid Control 11g in favour if iGoogle. ๐Ÿ™‚

The “Database Development Sundown Session” was another example of why I should shut the hell up in a panel session. That said, one of my more cynical comments did elicit a hand shake from Bryn Llewellyn (PL/SQL Product Manager at Oracle). ๐Ÿ™‚

One of the coolest moments of the day was during the reception with Oracle ACE Directors in the evening. The moment in question was when Victoria Lira and Lillian Buziak got a “Contributors of the Year” styleย award. If you are outside the Oracle ACE program you may not know who Victoria and Lillian are, but almost everything the ACE program achieves would be impossible without their organization skills. I’m very pleased they wereย recognizedย by this award. ๐Ÿ™‚

Cheers

Tim…

Proven Guilty…

Proven Guilty is by far the best book in The Dresden Files series (so far) in my opinion. The pace is really intense and it’s quite emotional, for want of a better description. I’m almost scared to read the next book because it must surely be a let down in comparison.

Cheers

Tim…

PS. Mouse continues to be the coolest dog that ever existed.

ODTUG: I’m in Washington D.C…

Well, I actually got on the first standby flight. It was delayed by over an hour, then we had to wait in a hot plane for an eternity for a runway slot, but at least I made it.

When I got to the hotel I met up with a few of the other Oracle ACEs and had a chat before bed. It is really hot over here, but fortunately the hotel has good air conditioning. Blow the environment, I wanna be cool. ๐Ÿ™‚

I got up pretty early this morning and my back made some “interesting” noises while I was stretching. I guess spending 20 hours sitting in planes and airports is not the best thing for a spine.

Today is the Oracle ACE Director Product Briefing. Hopefully I’ll manage to stay focused during the day. These sessions can be a little tough because they cover a wide variety of topics, some of which I know very little about, so it sometimes feels like buzzword bingo. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m really looking forward to meeting everyone again. One of the best things about the ACE program is getting to these big events and hooking up with all the other ACEs. There are some really cool people.

Cheers

Tim…

The Wolfman and How to Train Your Dragon…

One of the few advantages of flying long distances is you get to catch up on films you didn’t get round to seeing at the cinema. I caught these two today:

The Wolfman – It’s an OK werewolf film. Not great, but not terrible.

How to Train Your Dragon – This is a great film. It’s a kids animation and I’d heard from a couple of grown-up-kids that it was good, but I really couldn’t be bothered to watch it at the cinema. I really enjoyed it and kinda wished I’d gone to see it at the cinema.

Cheers

Tim…

ODTUG: Stuck in Newark Airport…

Someone commented on a previous post that I always seem to have some drama with every journey. It seems like this one is no exception.

I got to Newark Airport a few minutes early and started my 3 hour wait for my connection to Washington D.C. Then 3 hours became 3:45, then the plane was cancelled. I’m now on standby for a 17:00 flight. If I don’t get that I’ll be bumped on to a 19:30 flight. If I don’t get on that I’m apparently confirmed for a 21:45 flight tonight. Looking at the notice boards, there are loads of delays and cancellations, so I’m not banking on anything until I’ve actually landed at D.C.

How can I be so close to New York yet be so bored?

Several people have told me they avoid US connections. Since a wise person learns by other people’s mistakes I’ve always done the same thing myself. I will typically fly to anywhere in Europe that will take me directly to my US destination. I tried to do the same thing for this journey, but the Newark connection was so much cheaper than any other route I had no choice but to take it. After all, it’s not my dollar paying for it. Sigh…

Cheers

Tim…

Update: Just announced, my 17:00 standby is delayed to 18:00. This is not looking at all good. ๐Ÿ™

Update 2: Just announced, the delay is even longer. The plane has not taken off yet to start its flight to here. ๐Ÿ™

Don’t be a dumb-ass…

Here’s a comment I got today.

“Hey, you should inform that kill -9 spid terminate all oracle process and shut it down .. because of you i’m on trouble !! .. so i’m not going to say thanks to you ..”

So it’s my fault that somebody did something dumb. I’ve added a “Don’t be a dumb-ass!” warning now, but really… Read the disclaimer and don’t blame me because you can’t be bothered to read the documentation…

Cheers

Tim…

Grid Control 11g Installation… Success…

Well a new day and a fresh pair of eyes and it all went well. I was out this afternoon so I started the final bit of the installation running and it had completed successfully when I got home. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m not totally sure what was causing the previous problems. I had been taking snapshots of my VM at regular intervals over the last couple of days and I guess something must have been dodgy because when I threw it all away and started again from scratch it worked fine. Here is the installation guide listing all the steps:

So does this success change my opinion of this release? Not at all. The installation is a mess and I think Oracle really do need to have a shrink-wrapped install, even if it is a 8G download. It would reduce the barrier to entry and I just think it feels a little poor that you have to manually install a bunch of patches before you can get the product working. Makes me wince a little.

Cheers

Tim…

Grid Control 11g Installation Failure…

I’ve spent the last couple of days failing to install OEM Grid Control 11g on OEL 5.5 x86-64 with a 11gR2 database for the repository. The installation process is horrid. You have to manually install and patch the database and middleware software before starting the GC installation. So you end up with a whopping 7.1G of software, not including patches and the OS.

The docs are not ideal. There is a lot of cross-referencing to bugs, patches and metalink notes, which means I’ve often had about 10 browser tabs open while performing the installation. I can only assume that somewhere in the mish-mash of the docs I’ve missed something out.

I feel really disappointed with the installation process for this release. In my opinion there should be a single installation that includes the middleware, database and all necessary patches. I like to think of GC as a shrink-wrapped product I can install separate to everything else and leave alone. Not any more…

I’m off to ODTUG this week, so I’m not sure I can be bothered to waste more time on this until I get back. Perhaps someone there will be able to explain to me what the hell is going on with it.

Cheers

Tim…

Dead Beat…

In Dead Beat (book 7 of The Dresden Files), Harry is in the middle of a power struggle between some seriously bad-ass black magic practitioners who want to turn themselves into Gods.

Since the last episode, his puppy has turned into something resembling a small woolly mammoth.

Cheers

Tim…