CMOS battery replaced…

My main desktop machine has been playing up a bit recently. When powered down it was sometimes forgetting the date and time settings. I figured it was the CMOS battery, but I couldn’t be bothered to open the case and change it. Anyway, after redoing the CMOS settings far to many times I finally opened it up to see what kind of battery it took. To my delight it was a “CR2032”, which rang a bell as I had bought one recently to put into some kitchen scales. A quick trip down stairs and I “found” a new battery, popped it in and Robert’s your Father’s Brother. 🙂

I would just like to point out that I still believe this event was a sign that I should waste money on some new hardware… 🙂



Oracle 11gR2 on Oracle Linux 6…

With the arrival of Oracle Linux 6 comes the inevitable installation articles.

The Oracle installation on Oracle Linux 6 is certainly smoother than the recent Fedora installations have been. Even Enterprise Manager works fine with no meddling.

The official 11gR2 installation guide has not been updated to include Oracle Linux 6 and I can’t see any notes on MOS about it, so I’ve essentially followed the installation for Oracle Linux 5 and adjusted where necessary. I’m guessing when the official notes are released they are going to be pretty close to this. I can’t see any certifications against Oracle Linux 6, so I guess I would avoid it for production Oracle installations at the moment.



True Grit…

I watched the original True Grit (1969) film a few times as a kid, so I wasn’t that bothered about True Grit (2010). Then I saw a bunch of reviews saying it was a reworking from the book, rather than a remake of the original film blah, blah, blah, Coen Brothers, blah, blah, blah…

I’m sure if I watched both films side by side I would say there are a lot of differences and the latest version was a better film, but as it is I came away feeling rather underwhelmed. For the new audience I think it will be pretty cool. For those like me who watched the old version multiple times over the years I just don’t see the appeal. As for Oscar nominations, the girl was good, but Jeff Bridges seemed decidedly average to me.

Must remember, remakes are for a new audience, not miserable old gits…



ASMLib and OCFS2 for RHEL6? I don’t think so…

I was just scanning through some stuff on MOS when I came across a couple of RHEL6 tidbits.

  • Doc ID 1089399.1: “For RHEL6 Oracle will only provide ASMLib software and updates via Unbreakable Linux Network(ULN). Oracle will no longer provide ASMLib packages for Red Hat kernels.”
  • Doc ID 1253272.1: “Starting with RHEL6, Oracle will provide OCFS2 software via ULN only. ULN requires an Oracle Linux support subscription, even for those customers using OCFS2 just to store database files.”

The OCFS2 thing doesn’t phase me. I only need a cluster file system for a few shared directories when I’m doing RAC and using OCFS2 and RAC together is a disaster, so I never use OCFS2 these days.

The ASMLib issue is a bit more interesting because it is still the recommended approach in the documentation. A recent thread on the OakTable mailing list about ASMLib resulted in most replies saying to avoid ASMLib completely and use udev instead. I don’t mind ASMLib myself, but I guess this is another nail in the ASMLib coffin. I can’t see me bothering to use ASMLib again now.



Where’s my money gone? Update…

Followers of the blog will know I’ve had a little trouble with Oracle Norway randomly taking money off me for no reason.

Today I got the money refunded, but there was a snag. I was refunded less than the amount that was taken. I’m guessing this has something to do with exchange rates etc. So as it stands I am about ÂŁ40 out of pocket, which is significantly better than the several thousand pounds I was before.

As you can image, I sent an email off this morning asking for the missing money. Let’s see how quickly that is dealt with.



Nokia signs its own death warrant?

I’m really not sure what to think about the collaboration between Nokia and Microsoft. Prior to my recent switch to HTC, I’ve always used Nokia phones, so I have a soft spot for the company, but this recent announcement has me in two minds.

My first reaction was this move is a complete disaster for Nokia and a big bonus for Microsoft. Nokia ships a serious amount of phones, so Microsoft will quickly get some impressive numbers, which is great for them, but what do Nokia get out of it? Currently it seems they get a mobile platform that nobody really wants or cares about.

My second reaction was maybe this is the right move for Nokia. Symbian has a lot of the market share at the moment, but it is going down hill very quickly. They need to make a move, but where to go? If they go Android they will be just another manufacturer in the mix. They would be better off than they are now, but could they dominate this market? If they go Windows they could mark themselves out as the dominant force in this market. The other offerings in this space look rather weak. As Windows Phone develops, with Nokia’s help, maybe this could be a very attractive market.

Of course, only time will tell, but I know one thing. As the mobile OS market currently stands, I won’t be buying a Nokia phone running Windows Phone.



Direct NFS (DNFS) Clonedb…

A bit before Christmas I got an email from Kevin Closson asking me to take a look at a new undocumented Direct NFS (DNFS) feature in the patch set. I think he wanted to see what a regular DBA would think of it. What with Christmas and some family issues, I didn’t get too much done. As soon as I hit the first hurdle I kinda caved in and left if for the new year.

Well, January came and went, then I finally got round to looking at it again. I like to think my constant questions and dumb mistakes has helped to prepare Oracle for the sort of thing that will happen when other idiots like me are let loose on it. Anyway, the result of that little journey is documented here.

As I’ve said in the article, things are still in a state of flux and I will no doubt have to do some alterations once the My Oracle Support (MOS) Note 1210656.1 is released that will properly document it.

So as a regular DBA what do I think? I think it is awesome!

Old-style cloning of databases isn’t hard, but it’s boring and can take ages depending on the size of the database and storage being used. It’s one of those tasks that always makes me sigh, before I get off my ass and start it. Clonedb turns that on its head because it is really quick and simple. There is a bit of setup, but that is really going to be a one-time thing on most servers. You are doing your backups anyway, so there is no big deal there. Now you can just run a script and bang, you have a running clone.

I think this is going to please a lot of DBAs out there!



The Myth of Oracle Fusion…

I read a post this morning by Grant Ronald talking about fusion apps. In Grant’s post he mentioned things that people have been saying about Fusion over the years. Middleware and Apps are not my specialist field, but I get to hear a lot about them from the conferences and ACE Director meetings, so I have been witness to the Oracle Fusion myth from the beginning.

Cast your mind back several years and the whole concept of Fusion was launched at OOW. We were told that the middleware stack was going to become a single coherent product, rather than the buggy rag-tag bunch of technologies we had in 9iAS and AS10g. Sounds good so far, but then all the existing stuff got rebranded as Fusion Middleware when the products it was made up of hadn’t significantly changed. That’s confusing.

Fast forward a bit and we were expecting something like real Fusion Middleware to appear, then the BEA buyout was announced and WebLogic became the core of Fusion Middleware. Oh. So this wonderful coherent product that Oracle had been developing and we were expecting soon was swapped for a best-of-breed app server from an acquisition. Strange and a little disconcerting, but at least we have a better app server now, except that some of the existing features still required you to install the old AS10g stuff. Still the name Fusion is plastered everywhere.

Fast forward a bit more and we have got to a point where applying the term “Fusion” to the middleware stack is less insulting, but if anyone experienced Fusion along the way they would probably have been left with a bad feeling about what Fusion actually means. It’s very hard to overcome a bad first impression. Are Oracle really surprised that the term “Fusion” is associated with myth and confusion?

OK. That’s the Middleware. What about Fusion Apps? Well, the name includes the word “Fusion”, so it takes on all the bad connotations associated with the infancy of Fusion Middleware. Added to that, since the original announcement of Fusion Apps there have been numerous acquisitions, all of which have no doubt added to the confusion about what Fusion Apps actually is. Then we are told there is no natural upgrade from eBusiness Suite to Fusion Apps. It’s a new product and we have to migrate data to it as we would any new ERP. Next we are told that the initial release will only be a subset of the modules we require, so we will have to run it alongside eBusiness Suite. Wow. This is really confusing. That sounds like a half-finished ERP built on a half-finished middleware stack. Once again, are Oracle really surprised people react like this?

Now I’m not saying the Fusion Middleware is bad. It’s come a long way. I’m also not saying Fusion Apps are bad. I’ve seen the demos and they look amazing. I’ve also talked to people in that field who are genuinely impressed and exited by it. I believe it will be a big eye opener and possibly a game-changer for a lot of people. What I’m saying is I can totally understand when people on the outside of our little goldfish bowl have a really bad and confused impression of anything containing the term “Fusion”, because it does have a very long and sordid history.

In my opinion the term Fusion needs to be scrapped and replaced, then perhaps we can forget the history and focus on the now. Kinda like they did with Beehive. 🙂




I went to see Hereafter this evening. On the surface the subject matter sounded pretty grim, what with it being about death and the afterlife, but Clint Eastwood directed it, so I thought I’d give it a go.

The overriding thing I can say about the film is it was very gentle. If this were standard Hollywood crap there would have been X-Files type revelations or flash ghostly effects. As it was, there was none of that. It was just the characters and how death and the afterlife had affected their lives. Very understated and told at a gentle pace and in no way challenging. I want to say words like “nice” and “pleasant”, but they sound a bit insulting, but I don’t mean them to be.

If you like spooky psychic stuff this definitely is *n0t* the film for you.

Matt Damon and Bryce Dallas Howard worked really well together. She had quite a small part in the film, but her character was definitely the highlight for me. The other actors were a bit out of their league in comparison, except for the cameo of Derek Jacobi playing himself. If he had got that wrong it would have been a bit sad. 🙂