F5 Load Balancer Training Course

I’m on an F5 Load Balancer training course for the next 3 days.

I have no idea what to expect and to be honest, I really don’t think I should be here. 🙂 With the exception of a bit of fiddling with Apache reverse proxies, I don’t really know anything about this stuff, so I’m not sure if this will go over my head or be intensely slow and boring…

If anything comes out of it worth blogging about I certainly will.

Chertsey is like a seaside town. It’s full of cafes, restaurants and odd little shops. When I was searching for a place to swim Google came up with loads of pool installation and maintenance companies, so I think it’s a pretty rich area. I found a local swimming pool, but I’ve had to remortgage my house to afford to swim there. 🙂 I went this morning at 06:30 and it wasn’t too crowded. It’s unusual to find a private gym with a 25M pool. Most of them in the UK have tiny little things that you can’t swim in. It was a bit on the warm side, but then I guess you have to expect that when it’s not a training pool. Hopefully I won’t be too much of a slob by the time I get home.

I’m thinking I might do a cinema visit every night to play catch-up.



More Oracle Multitenant Changes (

When I wrote about the remote cloning of PDBs, I said I would probably be changing some existing articles. Here’s a change I’ve done already.

There are also new articles.

I’m sure there will be some more little pieces coming out in the next few days…

As I mentioned before, the multitenant option is rounding out nicely in this release.





How to ask a question: The optician edition

I’ve just returned from a rather awkward and unpleasant visit to the optician…

Let me start by saying this is the same optician I’ve used for the last four years. I don’t think we would ever be capable of being friends, but I don’t have to like someone to “work with them”. That’s what being professional is all about. It’s only once a year, so before now I’ve never felt the need to go elsewhere. That has probably changed now.

Issue 1:

  • Optician: Look at the black spots. Do they look blacker with or without the lens?
  • Me: Neither. They look the same.
  • Optician: That is impossible.
  • Me: With the lens the spots look bigger and more defined, but the “intensity of the blackness” is the same. Do you mean which look clearer, or do you mean the which actually look “more black”?
  • Optician: Stop overcomplicating it. Do they look more black with or without the lens?
  • Me: Neither. Like I said, the “level of blackness” is the same, but the clarity is different. What are you asking for, the “blackness” or the clarity.
  • Optician: Can you just answer my question?
  • Me: I can’t answer the question unless I understand the question.

Issue 2:

  • Optician: Look at the two sets of stripes. Which look clearer?
  • Me: Where should I be looking? If I look at the vertical stripes they look very clear and the horizontal stripes look burred. If I look at the horizontal stripes, they look clear and the vertical stripes look blurred. If I try to look between the two they look equally clear/blurred. What do you want me to do?
  • Optician: Please just answer my question.

Issue 3:

  • Optician: Look at the “+” symbol. Do the lines above and below line up in the centre of the “+”.
  • Me: The top one does, but the bottom one is kind-of jumping between being in line and being slightly out of line. Also, the bottom one sometimes goes very pale.
  • Optician: Please don’t give extra information. Just answer my question. Do they line up.
  • Me: If the bottom line is moving between sometimes lining up and sometimes not, what answer should I give?
  • Optician: Do they line up or don’t they?
  • Me: Sometimes.

Issue 4:

  • Optician: Can you see the improvement by using this lens when reading 5pt font at this distance.
  • Me: Yes.
  • Optician: That means you should probably consider having your glasses adjusted to allow for that.
  • Me: OK, but I never read something that small at that distance, so does it really matter?
  • Optician: Well, I’m not able to test you for 10 hours straight at your normal resolution to see if it is giving you eye strain.
  • Me: I’m looking at a monitor pretty much from the time I wake up to the time I go to bed. If this were an issue, would I feel like I had eye strain?
  • Optician: I’m telling you it’s a issue.
  • Me: I understand that. I’m just trying to get an handle on if my current reading habits are affected by this, or is it only an issue if I want to do something I never do?
  • Optician: Well, you will probably just change the resolution of your screen to counter it.
  • Me: Well, I’ve not changed the resolution of my screen and I am not feeling any noticeable eye strain, so do you think it’s actually an issue?
  • Optician: I’ve just shown you it is an issue. You said the print looked clearer.
  • Me: Yes, but only when I do something I never do. My point is, is this affecting my “normal” life or are we trying to fix a problem that has never and probably never will manifest itself?

Maybe someone will read this and think I was being a complete jerk, but I was genuinely unable to understand some of the things I was asked to do. What’s more, when I asked for clarification it was not forthcoming.

On my way home I was thinking how similar this situation was to things that happen in the IT world. People are generally really bad at asking questions (see here) and very quick to complain when they don’t get the answer to the question they think they have asked…



PS. On a brighter note, swimming went well this morning. I’ve started to incorporate sprints into my sessions.

MySQL Upgrades

I read Wim Coekaerts post about the MySQL 5.6.20-4 this morning. I logged on to my server and did the following command as root.

# yum update -y

That’ll be the upgrade done then… 🙂

If you are using MySQL on Linux you can use the MySQL Repository for your distribution, rather than using the bundled MySQL version, to make sure you stay up to date with the latest and greatest. As long as you stay within a point release (5.6, 5.7 etc.) of the latest version, upgrades should really be as simple as a “yum update”.

I’ve started the ball rolling for the upgrades to the MySQL servers at work. That will take a bit longer because of the required testing. 🙂

Now I know that Oracle is a very different beast to MySQL or SQL Server, but the patches for MySQL and SQL Server are so much easier that patching Oracle, it’s not surprising people gravitate to them. I’m sure the pluggable database stuff in 12c is going to simplify things somewhat, but it’s still not going to be anywhere near as simple as this stuff.