Dodgy SQL and Dodgy Products

Dodgy SQL
Developer: What’s wrong with this SQL statement?
Me: I’ve done an SQL trace on it and it churns through 1.6 Gig of data, 0.3 Gig from disk taking 439 seconds, the rest coming from memory, but incuring a 140 second delay due to assorted cluster waits.
Conclusion: It’s a quality statement, not! 🙂

Dodgy Products
My hatred for Oracle Collaboration Suite (OCS) is growing by the day. It’s completely…

I’ve decided to take leaf out of David Aldridge’s book and create a list of my own:

Alternative meanings for the OCS acronym:

  • Overly Complicated Sh*t
  • Obtuse Craptastic System
  • It doesn’t work, it’s complete crap, just ditch it and write something decent that works and doesn’t need loads of harware to do a really simple job!

OK, the last one doesn’t quite work, but the sentiment is spot on! Please feel free to contribute your own ideas 🙂

By the way, did I mention that OCS is a steaming pile of…



PS. Oracle applications are a total mess as well.

PPS. The application servers are a nighmare. Hopefully Larry will get his head out of his ass and do something about them!

PPPS. Why are there so many bugs in the DB these days?

Do no evil?

Breaking copyright laws and selling company trademarks to competitors. Now that’s not evil is it?

But it’s Google, so it must be OK. Seems the law doesn’t think so 😉

I understand the logic of full text searches of books, but I’m not totally sure I agree with Google being in control of this. If it’s going to happen I think it should be controlled by an independent body, not the next Microsoft. There’s an old proverb about putting all your eggs into one basket.

The Adwords thing is not entirely their fault, but they should have seen it coming. I’m sure if Microsoft bought the adword Oracle and plastered any google search with SQL Server ads Oracle wouldn’t be too pleased.

I’m a Google fan, but power corrupts and Google are mighty powerful these days.



3 Films, no insights…

I watched three films over the weekend, two at the cinema and one on DVD. I hate it when people give away the stories in reviews so I’m not going to say anything much, just observations and gripes 🙂

The Island
If you take a bunch of ideas from films released over the course of my lifetime and pile them all together they form a new and fresh idea, right? Wrong! I sat through the film thinking, this is just like that bit in… Even so, I thought it was fairly neat.

My biggest gripes were:

  • The film makes heavy use of the, “if I shake the camera you’ll think something exciting is happening”, technique. This can get more than a little tedious.
  • Ewan McGregor struggles to do anything but his normal Scottish accent. He didn’t sound English in Star Wars and he doesn’t sound American in this film. Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s an OK actor, but let him speak in his normal voice!
  • If Scarlet Johansen’s top lip grows any more it may start to affect her breathing. If this is a natural feature, fine, but if it’s surgically “enhanced” then it’s a mistake. It’s started to take on a life of it’s own.

Overall it was an OK film, but not on my list of things to watch again.

The Skeleton Key
If you’ve seen the trailer for this film you pretty much know what it’s about. There’s really not a great deal more to it that what you see in the trailer. It’s not really a scary film, but it’s not really a thriller either. The film is all about Hoodoo, which like the magic of Voodoo without the religion, apparently…

I’m not quite sure where I would place it, but I liked it. OK, I’m a little shallow and the fact I like Kate Hudson added to my enjoyment. I’m sure I’ll end up seeing it again some time. By the way, John Hurt is really cool in it.

Hide and Seek (on DVD)
OK, I’ll start off by saying I’m a rabid De Niro fan. Even when he’s rubbish I think he’s great 🙂 Also, I’m quickly becoming a fan of Dakota Fanning. She’s been cool in everything I’ve seen her in. Let’s hope she goes from being a great child actress to a great adult actress. Add Famke Jannsen into the mix and you’ve won me over before the film even starts.

The advertising would lead you to believe it’s a horror film, but I don’t think it is. There are a couple of suspense bits and a couple of “make you jump” bits, but I wouldn’t call it horror. I enjoyed the film, but there’s not much you can say without ruining it, so I’ll leave it there 🙂

Of course, the biggest single flaw in the film was that Famke Jannsen didn’t do any cool DR Jean Grey/Phoenix stuff. I can’t wait for X-Men III!

More meaningless and totally uninsightful film reviews to come…



Helping Open Source, or cashing in on it?

I noticed this post on The Register: Lloyd’s taking on open source IP risk.

On the one hand I think this is great news, because the fact insurance companies are willing to get involved implies to me that the risk of litigation must be low. Afterall, insurance companies are in the business of making money.

On the other hand I see it as a little sad that yet another industry is trying to cash in on the Open Source community without giving anything back.

By the way, I got bitten by an insect on Tuesday night and by yesterday my arm was swollen. After a quick trip to the quack (doctor) I found I had cellulitis (an infection under the skin). On top of that, my dodgy throat that I thought had cleared up has come back, but this time as an annoying cough. I’m hoping it’s a bacterial secondary infection, that way the antibiotics for my cellulitis will fix this also. In reality it’s probably viral so I’m gonna have to wait it out.

I’m thinking of changing the name of this blog to “Disease Watch!” 🙂



Internet Searches and the Earths History…

I’ve been putting together a website for my Karate Club recently. They wanted it plain and simple and that is exactly what they got. Website design is certainly not my forte 🙂

Anyway, during the process of building this site I had to search the net for pieces of information, like competition results etc. It then struck me that the world only came into existence about 5 years ago, or so it would seem if you base your view on the contents of the internet.

The IT industry is like a bubble where everything moves so quickly, while the outside world just ambles along. Sometimes it’s easy to lose site of this, but when searching for time-based information outside of the IT industry the net can very quickly become a wasteland.

I noticed today that Yahoo! passed google in total items searched. I guess this should be good news, but I’m sure the reality is that their index has been filled by duplicate information and automatically generated search optimization sites. Could IBM Shake up the Search Engine World? Well something needs too 🙂



Symptoms and Oracle 10g R2 for Windows

Yesterday I sounded like Barry White, today I can’t speak, much to the delight of my co-workers. I feel fine, but when I talk nothing comes out. Perhaps I should write all this text with a white font on a white background to simulate my current situation.

This reminds me of a summer holiday during University, when I worked on a production line in a factory for 3 months. All but one of the guys I worked with were deaf, and the one guy that could hear was at the other end of the line so I never got to speak to him. Fortunately the guys were really good at lip reading, so for 3 months I talked at work mostly without making any sound. I remember having a “chat” in the canteen one lunchtime and I started to speak out loud and got some funny looks from some of the guys off another line. It was only then I realized they had assumed I was deaf to as they had never heard me speak out loud 🙂

I had to teach a class last night using the “do as I do” method. Thought I would save my voice. Fat lot of good that did me!

I’ve just noticed that a Developers Release of Oracle Database 10g Release 2 ( for Microsoft Windows is available for download. Not sure what’s missing from this, but it’s not a fully supported production release like the Linux version.



Bits and bobs…

David Aldridge’s blog contains links to a couple of handy Firefox search extensions here. Thanks to all involved. I’m making good use of them.

Howard Rogers made reference to Desktop ASM in one of his recent answers on the Dizwell Forum. Sounds like it’s worth a play. I haven’t managed to play with ASM very much. We made the transition from 9i RAC to 10g RAC really early and at the time there was very little to suggest that ASM had been used in anger. As a result we made the decision to avoid it, which on reflection was a pity.

I’m feeling a little under the weather this week. On Monday my nose was blocked. On Tuesday I felt fine. On Wednesday my throat was a little sore. Today I woke up sounding like Barry White (should have recorded an album), but now I sound normal and my nose is dodgy again. I have no idea what is going on. Let’s see what the symptoms tomorrow brings.

Isn’t it great when two separate members of the team, in this case a developer and yours truly, are independently asked to solve a problem and come up with the same solution. The question is, do we have equally good or equally bad solutions? I guess both 🙂