BGOUG Spring 2013 : Day 1 (part 1)…

Last night we all got together to eat some food and chat. Julian Dontcheff is practically a savant where Bulgarian Poetry, World Cup match results and random Oracle facts are concerned. Although Christian Antognini was pretty impressive on the random Oracle facts too. 🙂

I didn’t have any presentations today, so I got to sit and watch. 🙂 I’ve done loads of typing, mostly of syntax for 12c features, but it’s not really stuff that is worth posting, because I have no way to validate it out, so I’m just going to keep it as a reminder for when I get hold of 12c and can try it out.

The sessions I went to included:

  • Joze Senegacnik : Is my SQL Statement Using Exadata Features
  • Christian Antognini : SQL New Features in the latest generation of Oracle Database
  • Julian Dontcheff : Upgrading to the latest generation of database technology
  • Christian Antognini : How the Query Optimizer Learns from its Mistakes
  • Clive King : Solaris 11u1 performance and stability : features and frameworks
  • Tom Kyte : Tom’s Top 12 Things about the Latest Generation of Database Technology

There was a lot of material I had seen at OOW2012 and UKOUG2012, but also a lot I had not, so I’m glad I went to them. The smaller setting also made it easier to ask questions, which can be quite daunting at the big events. 🙂

Tom gave me a couple of tips that have gone straight into one of my talks for tomorrow. I’m gonna have to name check him for it, or I’ll feel like I’m passing it off as my own. 🙂

I said this after OOW2013 and I’m sure I will say it again, but the number of changes in 12c is pretty daunting. I guess the fact it’s been about a 3 year wait, rather than the normal 18 months adds to that. In many cases (but not all) it’s not the scope of the individual changes that are the issue, but the sheer volume of them. I think people are going to be blogging for a long time before they’ve got through them. It will be interesting to see what gets selected for inclusion in the OCP DBA upgrade exam. 🙂

I’m off to dinner now. I will try to get some photos and post them in “Day 1 (part 2)@ tomorrow. 🙂



BGOUG Spring 2013 : Day -1

It’s stupid o’clock in the morning and I’m waiting for my taxi to arrive. Considering how close Bulgaria is, it takes me a very long time to get there.

I am a mix of excited and nervous. This is my first conference this year, so all the usual insecurities are in full effect, from fear of flying to the constant nagging thoughts that perhaps I don’t know anything about Oracle and maybe I shouldn’t be on stage acting like I do. 🙂

I’m sure it will go OK and it will be nice to meet up with the gang again.



BGOUG Spring 2013…

On Thursday I’ll be flying out to Bulgaria for BGOUG Spring 2013. It’s been about 18 months since I’ve visited the people over there, so I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in.

2013-05-13 08.16.28


This will be my first conference of the year, so I’m feeling a little nervous at the moment. I’m sure the adrenalin rush will kick in and get me through. 🙂

I’m signed up for the southern leg of the OTN Tour of Latin America (Chile, Peru, Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil), but it will be a while before I get any confirmation, so there are no guarantees yet.

Fun, fun, fun…



Desktop SSD…

I wrote a couple of days ago about replacing my MacBook Pro hard drive with SSD. At the same time I bought a little SSD to use as the system drive for my desktop. I fitted that this morning, installed a fresh copy of Fedora 18 and mounted the original 1TB hard drive as a data drive.

Like the MacBook Pro, my desktop is a few years old, but still has plenty of grunt (Quad Core and 8G RAM) for what I need it for. I do run the odd VM on it, but any heavy stuff is run on my server, so there is no incentive to go out an buy the latest kit for what is essentially just a client PC.

The addition of the SSD means the start up time is a much better and it just feels a lot more responsive. Most apps start up almost instantly. Even GIMP, which used to take an age to start, is mega quick. I’ve put a couple of VMs on it and not surprisingly, they are fast to start up too. Overall I’m really pleased with the outcome.

The funny thing is, I never noticed how noisy spinning rust was until I switched to these SSDs. The Mac is silent and runs for a lot longer before the fan kicks in. The desktop is also silent, until I pull something from the data disk, at which point I hear that slight grinding noise. 🙂

I don’t think I would invest in large capacity SSDs for home until the prices drop considerably, but having witnessed the before and after results on these two old machines, I can’t imagine ever running without an SSD system disk again.



PS. While I was reconfiguring my desktop I tried out Dnsmasq. Much simpler than BIND.

Update: I worked through some of the suggestions here to enable TRIM support and reduce wear.

Prize Winners : Oracle E-Business Suite R12 Integration and OA Framework Development and Extension Cookbook

A couple of weeks ago I started a competition to win 2 copies of Oracle E-Business Suite R12 Integration and OA Framework Development and Extension Cookbook by Andy Penver. Thanks to Packt for donating the prizes. The competition closed yesterday and the lucky winners are:

  • Arun
  • Ajay Sharma

I’ve sent your email addresses to my contact at Packt, who will contact you to deliver your e-book.



MacBook Pro Mid 2009 : Replacing hard drive with SSD…

I’ve had my 13″ MacBook Pro since the mid 2009 refresh and it’s been really reliable. Apart from one brief visit to Apple to replace a noisy fan, I’ve had no worries. A few years ago I upgraded from 4G  to 8G RAM, so I’m not stranger to taking the back off it.

Even though it’s quite old by computer geek standards, I really don’t have any performance problems. I do demos with a couple of Linux VMs running Oracle and it works OK. Despite this, I was bored the other night and decided to buy an SSD to replace the internal hard drive. It arrived yesterday, so during last nights insomnia, I decided to fit the hard drive, rather than stare at the ceiling.

The actual hard drive replacement is pretty simple. You can see an example of it here. It takes about 5 minutes.

The transfer of the data proved a little more tricky than I expected though…

Attempt 1:

I use Time Machine for backups, so I slapped in the new hard drive, booted from the CD and expected to just restore from Time Machine. It turns out my Time Machine backups weren’t as complete as I thought. 🙁

Attempt 2:

No worries. I connected my old hard drive using a USB cable, booted from the CD and used the Disk Utility to restore the old hard drive to the new SSD. That would have been fine, except the new hard drive was fractionally smaller than the old one. That would have been fine for a Time Machine backup, since the old drive was not completely full, but for an image restore it’s a big no-no. Now I was starting to get worried. I could always replace the old drive, but I was starting to think I might have wasted my money.

Attempt 3:

So finally I bit the bullet and re-installed Snow Leopard (the most recent media I had), upgraded to Lion, then Mountain Lion through the App Store. Once that was done I dragged my apps and data from the old drive across to the new drive. Job’s a good’un!

So it got solved in the end, but it wasn’t quite the blissful experience I expected. 🙂



Update: Thanks to Luis Marques for reminding me about TRIM, with this Twitter comment, “Tim, don’t forget to enable TRIM on SSD (if it supports it) using this  or

MobaXterm 6.3…

Thanks to Norman Dunbar for pointing out that MobaXterm 6.3 has been released. You can find the download and changelog in the usual place.

I’ll be interested to see how the performance improvements to SFTP work out. I’ve seen some issues with this during transfers of large files before. The built in NFS and VNC servers sound interesting too. I can think of one situation where the NFS server would come in really handy. 🙂

Great stuff!



The year of the “back-fill” author…

I recently filled in this years ACE Director self assessment survey. Among other things, as part of that process I check how many articles, blog posts and forum answers I’ve posted over the year.

Whilst getting these numbers I noticed about 50% of articles I put live this year weren’t promoted to the front page as new articles because they were “back-fill”, written on general topics that haven’t really changed over the years. Of the last 6 articles I’ve written, only 1 has made it to the front page as a “new” article. Some of these back-fill articles were prompted by answering readers questions and some by situations that have come up at work. They all go live on the website, but I’d feel silly posting them as a new article. 🙂

Probably the biggest factor in the ratio of back-fill to new material is the delays in the release of 12c database. Each release prompts a rash of new articles and it’s been so long since 11gR2… 🙂