Where to begin with Battleship?

The good:

The bad:

  • If you hate disaster porn you’ll hate this film.
  • The aliens are an impressive mix of intelligent and retarded because they have some amazing technology, but they don’t bother to use it for quite obvious purposes, that would make them pretty much invincible. Lucky the human race is only ever invaded by amazingly advanced idiots.
  • The link into the Hasbro game Battleships is really ham-fisted. It’s not even similar to the game, which makes it even more embarrassing.
  • The film really needs an edit that can be shown outside the USA. There is about 10 minutes of footage that makes me want to vomit and quite frankly ruins the whole film. It makes Independence Day* feel like a multi-national experience in comparison. The fact that this is mandatory in Hollywood films kinda suggests it works will with the US audiences, so it probably pays to include it. I guess if the UK had any kind of film industry we would probably be just as bad, but since we can only make period dramas and east-end gangster films, we don’t get the opportunity to be quite so sickening. If this crap had been edited out I would have enjoyed the film sooooo much more.
  • It is so full of gaping holes you would think it was a Michael Bay film.

If you follow the blog you know that I go to some pretty awful films and enjoy quite a few of them. A little bit of editing and I would have come away saying very positive things. As it is, I’m so mentally scarred by the “Team USA” message, my overall impression was that it sucked.



* OMG, what a terrible film!

Critical Analysis of “Critical Analysis Meets Exadata”

Kevin Closson put out a post yesterday called Critical Analysis Meets Exadata, linking to two awesome videos. It’s well worth spending the time to watch these, even if (like me) you never get so much as a sniff of Exadata. 🙂

I was lucky enough to be one of several people asked to review these videos before they were released. I’m sure some of the performance gurus on the Oak Table had a lot to say, but of the several comments I fed back to Kevin, I would just like to post a couple here:

  • As a Joe Schmo dba, I almost never get to see what is happening internally in the storage layer (SAN, NAS etc). For the most part the storage is a black box that presents a few LUNs to me. If the storage subsystem and connecting network are capable of pushing enough data to and from my servers, to the point where my RAC node CPUs are the bottleneck, that is awesome. So if I think of the storage grid part of the Exadata configuration like I would judge any other SAN/NAS, then it gets a big gold star because it is good enough to keep my RAC node CPUs/cores, that are ridiculously expensive to license, working at full tilt most of the time.
  • I believe the storage cell licensing is sold on a per disk basis, not per CPU core, so the storage grid being full of idle cores does not mean I’m paying for software licensing on idle cores. If Oracle reduced the total number of CPUs/cores, the licensing costs would be unaffected. If on the other hand, the storage cells could perform a lot more of the CPU intensive load and free up the RAC nodes, then I guess the licensing situation would change, because Oracle wouldn’t want to lose those high-cost licenses from the RAC nodes.

Now Kevin is an architecture guy and I can see how from his perspective this setup sucks, because it does. He’s clearly displayed that. Then again, from a DBA perspective, do I really give a damn about some idle CPUs in the storage layer? For all I know, every other storage system out there could be just as stupid, especially now it’s impossible to buy chips with small numbers of cores. 🙂

Like I said, you should watch the videos because they are great, but don’t be afraid to have a different opinion because you may be judging things by different standards. 🙂



The Cabin in the Woods…

The adverts would have you believe The Cabin in the Woods is a “Game Changer”, “Astounding” and lots of other things that would make you think you are about to witness something that will change the course of movie history. That fact is, it’s just another teen slasher movie. It’s quite a good one as it goes, but there is nothing revolutionary here. I could have been watching any of the Scream films and it would have been pretty much the same experience.

If you like teen slashers, I think you will like this. To get maximum enjoyment, avoid any trailers, reviews with spoilers and hype.



Fedora 16, Nouveau Driver and GNOME 3…

I did an update of the my Fedora 16 machines this morning and I’ve got GNOME 3 back in full effect, rather than the fallback option. It seems the updated Nouveau Driver was included in the update, so I don’t have to wait for Fedora 17 to get me back on GNOME shell, and I won’t be requiring software rendering of GNOME shell when I do upgrade. Happy days…



Repairman Jack : The Haunted Air…

The Haunted Air is the sixth book in the Repairman Jack series by F. Paul Wilson.

It seems the world is quite literally going to Hell and Jack is one of the few people that might be able to stop it. This latest adventure sees Jack getting drawn into investigating the ritual killing of children, phony mediums and a ghost interfering in his private life.

On the plus side, the book was well paced and I was desperate to know what happens next. On the negative side, the content is really heavy and disturbing. There are elements that are very similar to one of the Felix Castor books, but with a much darker edge.

I like the main character. I want to see how his family life continues to develop. I’m not sure I can make it much further through the series without a break for something a bit lighter though.



Fedora 17 Alpha…

I’ve just tried the alpha of Fedora 17 to see if the GNOME 3 software rendering works and it did. You may recall, since updating my graphics card I’ve been forced to use the fallback mode on Fedora 16. I’m quite keen to move back to proper GNOME 3, which looks like it will be possible when F17 is released.

On a VM it seems a little on the slow side, so I hope this isn’t an indication that it will be annoying on my desktop. I guess time will tell. Fingers crossed though.



Repairman Jack : Hosts

Hosts is the fifth book in the Repairman Jack series by F. Paul Wilson.

Jack is reunited with his sister, just as a new virus threatens to link all human brains into a single collective hive mind, turning the human race into a docile petri dish living for the greater good of the virus.

Perhaps it’s my mood, but this story is just a little too depressing for my tastes. I’m hoping the rest of the series won’t degenerate into this type of doom and gloom. It needs a little more wit and humor to lift it.



Do you think Dropbox are getting nervous about Google’s GDrive?

Just got this message today…

Hi Timothy,

You can now earn twice as much free space by inviting your friends!

For each friend that installs Dropbox, you’ll both get 500 MB of free space. You can earn up to 16 GB.

Invite your friends now!

Thanks for spreading the Dropbox love,
– The Dropbox Team

P.S. Already invited a bunch of people? Don’t worry! You’ll get credited for all of them.

Do you think Dropbox are getting nervous about Google’s GDrive? 🙂



The latest website move…

Yesterdays move of the website went pretty smoothly from a technical perspective. I had done a trial run using a different domain name so I didn’t foresee any problems on that front. During the trial, the DNS propagation took less than an hour, but the real run took a little longer. Typical. 🙂

Let’s hope this marks the end of me harping on about hosting companies and website outages…



Planned Website Downtime…

The recent server switch within Fasthosts has not solved the availability issues with my website. It was down for 30 minutes again yesterday. Since the initial (accidental) server move in December the availability of the site has been terrible. What’s worse, Fasthosts seem incapable of giving me any information as to why. It’s on a shared hosting platform, so there isn’t much I can do to diagnose the issue myself.

On Saturday 6th April (morning UK time) I’ll be moving the site across to a different hosting company. I’ve done a dry run using another domain and it *should* go smoothly. I can do most of the prep in advance. Only the 3 mySQL databases will have to be done at the last minute. Judging by the trial run, it will probably take about 1 hour for the DNS changes to take effect. The site is pretty quiet on the weekends, so I doubt anyone but me will even notice. 🙂

If this move doesn’t provide me with the service level I want, then I think I will have to delve deeper into my empty pockets and  pay for a dedicated server. It would be nice to be totally in control of the system, but the extra costs are quite substantial for what is essentially just a hobby site…

I’ll keep updating G+ and Twitter with my progress as I’m doing it. Fingers crossed. 🙂