Fedora 22/23 and Oracle 11gR2/12cR1

 

linux-tuxAs always, installations of Oracle server products on Fedora are not a great idea, as explained here.

I was reading some stuff about the Fedora 23 Alpha and realised Fedora 22 had passed me by. Not sure how I missed that. :)

Anyway, I did a run through of the usual play stuff.

While I was at it, I thought I would get the heads-up on Fedora 23 Alpha.

The F23 stuff will have to be revised once the final version is out, but I’m less likely to forget now. :)

I guess the only change in F22 upward that really affects me is the deprecation of YUM in F22 in favour of the DNF fork. For the most part, you just switch the command.

#This:
yum install my-package -y
yum groupinstall my-package-group -y
yum update -y

#Becomes:
dnf install my-package -y
dnf groupinstall  my-package-group -y
dnf group install  my-package-group -y
dnf update -y

This did cause one really annoying problem in F23 though. The “MATE Desktop” had a single documentation package that was causing a problem. Usually I would use the following.

yum groupinstall "MATE Desktop" -y --skip-broken

Unfortunately, DNF doesn’t support “–skip-broken”, so I was left to either manually install the pieces, or give up. I chose the latter and use LXDE instead. :) F23 is an Alpha, so you expect issues, but DNF has been in since F22 and still no “–skip-broken”, which I find myself using a lot. Pity.

Cheers

Tim…

Windows 10 Again

 

DiagnosticsI wrote a few months ago about having a play with Windows 10 (here).

I’m visiting family today, catching up on all the Windows desktop (and mobile phone) support that I missed while I was away.

I purposely postponed the Windows 10 update on the desktops before I went away, but now I’m back I did the first of them.

The update itself was fine, but it did take a long time. Nothing really to write home about.

I’ve installed the latest version of Classic Shell on the machine, so the experience is similar to what they had before, Windows 8.1 and Classic Shell, which felt like Windows 7. :)

I’ve also switched out their shortcuts from Edge (Spartan) to Internet Explorer 11. They already use a combination of IE, Firefox and Chrome, so I didn’t want to add another thing into the mix. Also, the nephews use the Java plugin for some web-based games, so it is easier to leave them with IE for the time being. Maybe I will introduce Edge later…

So all in all, the user experience is pretty much unchanged compared to what they had before. I guess I will see how many calls Captain Support gets over the coming weeks! :)

Cheers

Tim…

WordPress 4.3 “Billie”

 

WordPress 4.3 “Billie” has arrived.

I was on my blog admin pages doing something else and I noticed the update was available before the auto-updater kicked in and updated the site automatically, so I gave it a nudge and now I’m upgraded.

Like most of the recent WordPress updates, there is little new that interests me, but it’s always a good idea to be up to date, so whatever… :)

Cheers

Tim…

WordPress 4.2.4

 

wordpressBy the time you read this, you are probably auto-magically running on WordPress 4.2.4. :)

It’s a security release. You can read about the changes here.

Have a good time sitting back and doing nothing while it takes care of itself! :)

Cheers

Tim…

The Proliferation of I.T. Voodoo…

 

When I say “voodoo” in this context, I’m really talking about bullshit explanations for things based on guesswork, rather than reasoned argument built using facts and investigation.

It’s really easy for voodoo explanations to proliferate when people are starved of facts. There are several ways this can happen, but a couple of them that spring to mind and really piss me off are:

  • A user reports a problem. You fix it, but don’t give a meaningful explanation of what you have done. As a result, the user is left to “make up” an explanation to tell their superiors, which then becomes part of the folklore of that department. When you fix a problem, you need to provide a technical explanation of what you have done for those that can cope with it and a more layman friendly version for those that can’t. If you don’t do this, you are starting to dig a really big hole for yourself. Users will make shit up that will haunt you forever. Next time you want to process that big change it will be blocked because, “Bob says that we always have a problem when you reboot the payroll server on a Tuesday if the parking barrier is locked in an upright position. Today is Tuesday and the parking barrier was locked in an upright position this morning, so we don’t want to risk it!” Once this shit takes hold, there is no going back!
  • A user reports a problem.  You don’t do anything, but it mysteriously “fixes” itself. You need to make sure all parties know you’ve done nothing. You also need to suggest someone actually finds the root cause of the issue, without trying to start a witch hunt. Unless you know why something has happened, people will make up bullshit explanations and they will become department folklore. etc. See previous point.

For so long I.T. has had a poor reputation where user engagement is concerned and it *always* generates more problems for us than it actually does for the users. Get with the flippin’ program!

Cheers

Tim…

PS. Can you tell I’m pissed off about something? :)

Password Manager Woes

 

I read a post this morning and it hit a raw nerve or two.

As followers of the blog will know, I use KeePass for all my work and personal passwords. I’ve come across a number of sites that prevent pasting passwords for “security reasons” and it drives me nuts. Fortunately, most of the them can’t prevent the auto-type feature, so at least that’s something…

This attitude goes beyond websites though. The policy at my current employer is all passwords should be strong and unique, but you are not allowed to use a password manager. Why? Because if someone installs a key-logger on your PC and gets the credentials for the password manager, they will have access to all your passwords. WTF? I think this attitude is moronic. I am not capable of remembering hundreds of unique, strong passwords. Using patterns is predictable, so that is also a fail.

I have seen the way some of my colleagues (past and present) deal with passwords and it is farcical.

  • One password to rule them all.
  • Kept in a text/word document on the desktop.
  • Kept in a text/word document on a network drive.
  • Kept on a piece of paper in their desk draw, that is never locked.
  • Freely shared amongst colleagues, so they can “test something using my account”.

For someone to step in and say we can’t use a tool that generates random, strong, completely unpredictable passwords and stores them in an encrypted format makes my blood boil.

Flippin’ morons!

Cheers

Tim…

Learn it or don’t. The choice is yours.

 

glasses-272399_1280-smallTechnology is scary for a lot of people, but the biggest problem I see out there is denial (It’s not just a river in Africa! :) ).

Newbies

For people who are new to technology, the biggest problem I see is they refuse to actually read what is on the screen. I’m not talking about those stupid End User License Agreement (EULA) screens that nobody reads. I’m talking about basic instructions. If a screen says,

“Enter your username and password, then click the Login button.”

I don’t think that should be a taxing problem for anyone, but for the less computer literate, if something doesn’t go *exactly* as they expect, they go into total melt down. People just have to take a deep breath and read what is in front of them.

Techies

The situation is not always much different for many techies when they are faced with learning new skills. All those lessons you learned in your core skill-set seem to go out of the window. Things like:

  • Read the manuals.
  • Check the log files.
  • Check the vendor support website.
  • Google it.
  • Raise a support call.

Instead, people throw their toys out of the pram and decide the product/feature is rubbish and give up.

This is exactly what happened to me when I started playing with the Multitenant option. I was in total denial for ages. When I finally made the decision to sit down and figure it out it wasn’t so bad. It was just different to what I was used to.

Learning is not a spectator sport!

(Shameless use of the title of Connor McDonald’s blog, which is in itself credited to D. Blocher.)

Learning stuff is all about time. The optimizer fairy didn’t visit Jonathan Lewis one day and tell him “the secret”. If you don’t spend the time, or you give up at the first hurdle, you are never going to get anywhere. You will probably start to make excuses. I’m too old. It’s too complicated. I’ve always been rubbish at learning new stuff. I don’t have time. My company doesn’t support me. We won’t use it for another 3 years, so I’ll leave it until later. The list is endless.

Next time you are sitting in front of the TV watching some trash, ask yourself what those “smart kids” are doing at the moment?

I don’t care what you do with your life. Your choices are no more or less valid than mine. Just don’t fool yourself. Be honest. If you wanted to learn it you would. The fact you haven’t means you really can’t be bothered. :)

Cheers

Tim…