Server Room Air Con

Take a bunch of servers, add some ropey air con and what do you get? A server room that can just about stay at the correct temperature.

Now add a whole bunch of new kit and run it all on the hottest day of the year. What do you think is going to happen? Maybe, one of the RAC nodes will bomb out complaining about the temperature and you won’t be able to get in there to do anything without an asbestos suit. I figure if we install a heat exchange we can probably supply hot water for the whole city.

In the UK we seem incapable of dealing with any temperature variations. I suppose it could be worse. Global warming could flip us into another iceage…

Cheers

Tim…

Ad Blocking. Is it right?

I’m having a bit of a moral dilema about ad blocking.

On the one hand I’m totally sick of seeing sites where the whole page is full of flashing ads. It’s a waste of my bandwidth and I don’t like having to scroll down before I can see the subject of the page. On the other hand I place google ads on my site to help me pay for the hosting costs.

Now recently I saw what I thought was a drop in my site (ORACLE-BASE) hitrates, basing this assumption on the stats that were provided by google. When I checked my real site stats (I don’t do that very often these days) I noticed that infact my page hits were through the roof. What does this mean? Either google are telling me porky pies (lies) or people are blocking the ads.

For me this is no major issue as I’m still covering my costs, but it does have a bigger impact. I like being able to access loads of content for free on the net. For alot of the individuals and companies supplying this content the only payback is advertising revenue. If the trend for ad blocking continues this will have one of two affects for alot of people. Either they will start to charge for content or they will stop providing content altogether. Either way this is bad.

I suppose another question is, do we have a contractual obligation not to block the ads? I read something recently about this but I didn’t bookmark the link. Also, there is a big debate in the UK over Tivo which allows you to record programs off TV and remove the adverts. Great for the viewer, bad for commercial TV which pays for it’s programming via advertising.

Personally I’ve decided not to use ad blockers. I think it would be hypocritical of me to place ads on my own site then block them on others. I guess it’s up to each one of us to make that choice.

Of course, if site owners had been a bit more sensible about the adverts they displayed we may not have got to this point.

I’m interested to know what other people think about this. Do you think ad blocking is good or bad?

Maybe a more popular blog might pick up this theme to get some real input on the matter…

Cheers

Tim…

Windows not ready for the desktop!

I’m constantly reading that Linux is not ready for the desktop, yet today I’m being forced to use WindowsXP on my desktop and I’m spending most of my time running Firefox, Thunderbird, SQL*Plus and OpenOffice. Now I’m thinking to myself, “Aren’t those the same applications I use on my Linux boxes?” Now all I need to do is invent a Bluecurve theme for XP and I’ll feel perfectly at home. So does all this mean that WindowsXP is not ready for the desktop?

I’m currently downloading Fedora Core 4 and it’s killing me. I foolishly left my disks at work and I don’t think they will appreciate me pulling the ISOs across the VPN. I’ve been using the FC4 Test 3 version of Fedora at home so I’m not expecting anything that different with the full version, but it will allow me to check that my Oracle 10g install guide still works OK.

Whilst I remember, I noticed a few interesting things about Thunderbird including:

  • You can use Thunderbird with your Hotmail, Yahoo and Lycos webmail accounts by using the extensions from this site http://webmail.mozdev.org/
  • It allows you to subscribe to RSS and blog feeds.
  • It’s got a built in spam filter that seems to work OK.

The first point is pretty handy. It beats paying Microsoft for the privilege of using Outlook Express to read your hotmail accounts. I installed it for one of my friends who uses dialup. He can now use his Hotmail account without having to make cups of tea between every button click.

Cheers

Tim…

Calm and Contented…

I’m a little calmer today.

It’s amazing how your mood changes after 2 hours of bending yourself into silly shapes followed by a quick visit to a pub … or two.

My open TARs are all up to date. The questions on my forum are all answered and so far all seems quiet.

Hopefully today we will start to move all our backups from an assortment of disk and tape devices to HP Data Protector. What’s more, we might actually get some backups of things that have never been backed up before (*). All the testing went well so what could possibly go wrong…

Cheers

Tim…

(*) Yes. I understand the gravity of this statement. As I’ve said before, you can lead a horse to water…

The ORACLE-BASE blog starts here.

I’ve decided to start a blog because I have lots of thoughts and opinions that don’t really fit in with the article structure on oracle-base.com.

This blog will also act as a replacement for the mailing list on my main website. I was never happy with the mailing list format. It always seemed a bit too formal to me. This seems more relaxed and informal so for the moment it seems like the way to go.

The existing website will continue in its current form, and this will be the location for my random musings.

Cheers

Tim…