Welcome to the universe (again)…

A little over two years ago I wrote about a new arrival in New Zealand. I got a call last night to tell me about a new addition to the population of New Zealand, so I would like to take a moment to formally welcome Naomi Freya Lukic to the universe. Thanks to the wonders of Skype I also got to see the young lady in question.

Daughter number one (Ruby) is blonde with fair skin and pale eyes. Daughter number two (Naomi) has black hair, olive skin and dark blue eyes. I guess they need to get to work on daughter number three, who should be a red head to complete the set. πŸ™‚

It’s fantastic news and it has left me with a permanent grin this morning.

Using my psychic abilities I predict lots of sleepless nights, crying and smelly stuff… πŸ™‚



The Expendables…

I watched The Expendables tonight. As a whole package I don’t think it worked very well. The dialog was poor and they didn’t really do enough to make me give a crap about any of the characters, so it just decended into a bunch of fights and explosions with nothing to really string it all together.

Having said that, there were some elements that I thought had potential. It was quite cool to see fighters from different disciplines working together or fighting each other. I’m not talking about X could beat Y in a fight. I just mean the physical dynamic between the people. Seeing Jason Statham and Jet Li double team Gary Daniels was kinda fun. Seeing Steve Austin fighting Randy Couture was interesting too. The fight scenes weren’t executed as well as they could have been. There was some serious talent available but it wasn’t really made to work.

Statham is really fluid and always works nice angles. Jet Li is one of my favorite martial artists, but rarely gets to show what he’s capable of. Gary Daniels is very flexible and can do some really great techniques, but here he was involved in close-up stuff which doesn’t show him at his best. And of course, you know if Randy Couture, Dolph Lundgren, or Steve Austin hit you it’s going to hurt. πŸ™‚

So all in all it wasn’t a great showing, but I hope they do another with better dialog and get someone in to sort out the fight scenes. It could very easily be awesome…



PS. Forgot to mention I saw Karate Kid recently. It was quite good fun from a nostalgia perspective.

More Copyright Theft (Update)…

Regarding my previous post (here), it seems Guenadi N Jilevski has now removed the articles that are direct copies of mine. Thankyou for the quick action.

There is still at least one article remaining that contains large chunks of text scraped from my site. I guess the fact he has included his own screen grabs and some minor alterations to the text lead him to believe it is original content. Sigh.

I’m also glad to see he has removed the blog post where he attempts to defend his stance. I’ve taken copies of all the important posts for my records, but I’m hoping this marks an end to this little affair.



Update: I found a new batch of stolen stuff I’m attempting to get removed. The list from the previous post has been extended accordingly.

More Copyright Theft…

Thanks to Don Burleson for pointing me at this article by Timur Akhmadeev that lists a whole bunch of articles that have been stolen by Guenadi N Jilevski.

Unfortunately, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Just looking at the stuff he’s stolen from me, there are three types ripoff:

1) Complete Copies.




2) Articles where the bulk of the copy is stolen word for word, with a couple of sections added and different screen grabs, which at first glance would make it seem original. Make no mistake, this is still stolen.


3) Articles that, although they are not direct copies, have very similar names, order of content and are published very soon after my articles were released. A quick scan through makes it pretty obvious that they are copies that are trying hard not be be copies. The sort of schoolboy tricks teachers spot a mile off. Since these are pale imitations of the originals it’s hardly worth bothering about.

Fortunately, WordPress.com (and most other services/ISPs) have very clear guidelines on this matter, see “http://automattic.com/dmca/“, so I’m expecting a speedy resolution. I’ve posted comments on the offending posts asking for them to be removed. If they are not I will contact Automattic directly to get them removed. I’m guessing if everyone concerned does the same the blog will be pretty empty very soon.

I think it’s strange that in an industry that relies so heavily on trust and intellectual property a person would think nothing of stealing someone elses work. You might as well put a tag line on your blog reading, “Don’t hire me. I’m gonna steal everything I can from you!”




  1. I was advised to break the links to his content to avoid giving him extra publicity. πŸ™‚
  2. It seems trust is not a big deal these days: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/08/19/rogue_workers_survey/
  3. Looks like this issue is mostly resolved from my perspective. See here.
  4. I found another bunch of stolen stuff:

The Last Airbender…

The Last Airbender is really hard to make a judgement on. At some points the acting is really cringeworthy, followed by scenes with Dev Patel who is really cool. There are sections of dialog that could have been written by a five year old, then visuals that are absolutely fantastic.

I’m sure kids will like it as the problems with the dialog will probably not matter to them, and judging by the popularity of the Harry Potter and Twilight series, acting is not of prime importance either.

I hope they make the next two in the trilogy as I would really like to see what other visuals they come up with.



Oracle RAC on VirtualBox…

With the recent news that the latest version of VirtualBox now supports shared disks, I thought I better give it a go and see if I could do a RAC installation on it. The good news is it worked as expected. You can see a quick run through here:

This is pretty good news as that was the last feature that tied me to VMware Server. I’ve now moved pretty much everything I do at home on to VirtualBox and it’s working fine.

It’s worth taking a little time looking at the VBoxManage command line. Some of the operations, like creating the shared disks, have to be done from the command line at the moment. It’s also handy for running VMs in headless mode if you don’t want the GUI screen visible all the time.



Unseen Academicals…

Unseen Academicals is the 37th book in the Discworld series. When I first started reading the series I found Terry Pratchett‘s writing style a little strange. Having had a long break from reading his stuff, switching back was a little difficult at first. Fortunately the characters are brilliant, so you get drawn back in fairy quickly. The first 50 pages were a little tricky, but after that it was just like home again.

The wizards of the Unseen University are forced to make a decision between playing football or eating less, so obviously they pick football. There are a few new characters introduced, including Nutt, who is awesome.

If you like the others you will love this.



PS. Football refers to real football, not that American stuff. πŸ™‚

Learn to search the Oracle Docs…

Question: What is the most important skill any Oracle DBA/Developer needs?

Answer: Knowing how to search the Oracle documentation.

The Oracle database is a massive product. There are sections of it I’ve never ventured near. Do I spend my time trying to remember syntax and procedures for every possible occurence? No. I try to understand the principles of what is going on and regularly refer back to the docs to fill in the gaps. I search the docs constantly. There are some very basic tasks that I would probably fail to complete without reference to the manual (or one of my articles). Whenever I see an error message I search the docs for that error message to see what the action against it is. I can’t imagine anyone being able to function as a DBA or developer without constant reference to the docs.

I am frequently asked questions that are very easily answered by searching the docs for the relevant keywords in the question. So the original poster has wasted the time taken to type the question, plus the time it takes for me to come online and answer it. Since most of my readers live in a different timezone to me, it can be several hours between the post arriving and me answering it.

So if you want to get good at Oracle, learn to search the docs. Every time you want to know something:

  1. Go toΒ the online documentation for your DB version.
  2. Type in some relevant keywords. Stick to keywords, not whole sentances.
  3. Click the “Search” button.
  4. Refine your search if you don’t get the answer.

Over time you will become an Oracle Certified Professional Documentation Searcher… πŸ™‚