Saturday: This was my day off before OOW11 started. I spent the morning following Chris Muir round toy shops, trying to find something cool to take home for his kids. Then we went and registered for the conference. After that it was back to the hotel to chill out a bit before the OakTable Network party in the evening.
I have to admit to feeling a little daunted about the OakTable Network party. I wasn’t able to go last year because it clashed with the Oracle ACE party, so this was my first time. I’ve met many of the members before, but standing in Graham Wood’s house surrounded by a bunch of people with brains the size of planets tends to make a grunt DBA/developer like me feel a little paranoid. Luckily, everyone is really low temperature, so I quickly felt at home. Graham and Joan certainly know how to throw a party. Vast quantities of food and drinks along with great conversation. I’m already looking forward to the next one, but I must eat less next time. 🙂
Sunday: I started the day of with Marcelle Kratochvil‘s session about unstructured data and multimedia. If you know Marcelle, you’ll know that she is passionate (a massive understatement) about multimedia and is now starting up a multimedia and unstructured data user group called OMMUDS. It’s early days at the moment, but I hope things go well because it is a fascinating subject and one that will do nothing but grow in importance in the coming years.
After that I went to see Scott Spendolini do a brief history of APEX, which is a pretty cool intro session for the APEX symposium. I was planning to watch some more of the APEX symposium, but I got pleasantly side-tracked and ended up going to get some food with Frits Hoogland. That developed into a couple of hours of geeking-out about Exadata. I know very little about Exadata, but Frits knows loads, so I guess I got a lot more out of it than him. 🙂 During that time he showed me some of the stuff he’s presenting at UKOUG this year. If you have the opportunity you should definitely go to his sessions. He has some really neat stuff to show you.
In the evening it was the ACE party. Once again, a cracking event, but once again I ate far too much. Victoria also forced me into taking a doggy-bag home with me, which I really didn’t need, but emptied anyway. 🙂 I spent a lot of time talking with Oded Raz and Liron Amitzi. With a bit of luck I might get to present in Israel in the future. Just as it was closing time I bumped into Steven Feuerstein and we had a little chat. Don’t forget to try my questions on the PL/SQL Challenge in October. 🙂
I’ve continued to get to the gym a couple of times each day, but considering the amount of food I’ve eaten, I’m not sure it will do me much good. This morning both Lillian and Victoria were at the gym, but there was no sign of Justin. Come one dude, you are letting the side ACE Program down. 🙂
If you’ve followed Twitter over the last couple of days you’ll have seen cryptic posts about the content of the ACED briefing. We all had to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to make sure we didn’t tweet or blog about the Oracle Games Console (OGC) before Larry announces it next week. Day 2 is done and we have a day off before OOW11 starts for everyone else. I’m already totally knackered. 🙂
It’s quite freaky to think the ACE program has got so many of us together in one spot and essentially provided a 2 day conference just for us. It’s even more amazing to think that they were able to get so many important people to take time out during the busiest time of their year to come and speak to us. I don’t think many people can pin down Thomas Kurian for an hour this close to Open World. It says a lot about the amount of work Justin, Victoria and Lillian have put in over the last few years, that they can get this level of buy-in for the program. Despite being a tired and grumpy old man, I am extremely grateful to be part of the program.
If you are coming to OOW, you are going to hear a lot of interesting announcements this week. If you can’t make it, you might want to keep an eye on the Oracle YouTube channel. It will have live content streaming, which should help keep you up to speed with what’s going on over here.
I mentioned in a previous post Jeremy Schneider invited me to help out at RAC Attack at OOW 2011. I’ll be doing a couple of shifts on Tuesday. Come along and have go. It should be fun.
I’ve managed to drag myself into the gym quite a bit. I did the evening of my arrival and morning and evening on both days since. Once the mayhem surrounding OOW kicks in I don’t know how easy it will be to keep it going. Time will tell.
I’ve done quite a few certification exams, so I’ve seen a lot of OCP questions in my time. In the past I’ve been openly critical of some of the OCP questions, but always said that it must be a really tough job to create the exams. With that in mind, when Steven Feuerstein asked me if I would be interested in providing the October questions for the SQL quizzes on the PL/SQL Challenge, my first reaction was OMG!
After the initial panic/fear/denial had subsided I decided to bite the bullet and get a feel for how hard a job it really was. I would love to say it was really simple, but that would be a complete lie. 🙂 The initial questions themselves were pretty easy to write, but the fine tuning to make sure they were properly focussed and reduce the chances of accidentally misleading people was quite a big job. The team of question reviewers deserve medals for helping me knock the questions into shape. Big thanks to all those involved.
During October, you will be able to judge for yourself how well I got on by trying the SQL Quizzes. In addition to the normal feedback channels, feel free to contact me directly and let me know. Please be gentle. 🙂
There were no real dramas on the way from Birmingham to San Francisco, which makes a change for me. 🙂
I got to San Francisco at 16:00 local time and told myself I would go to bed at 21:00 at the latest. I trotted off to the gym, got cleaned up and went down to the bar to say hello to some people. Fatal mistake. I did my normal trick of talking incessantly until about 01:00. Luckily I was not drinking pints of “jetlag” like others I could mention. 🙂
So at about 01:00 I was in bed. I woke up at about 04:15. 🙁 If nothing else it meant I got to catch up on all my emails and go to the gym again. I think there are going to be a few very tired people during the ACED meeting today. I apologise in advance if I fall asleep in your session.
As always, I’m a little daunted at the start of this week. Having 2 days of ACED meetings followed by the main 5 day conference is a lot more difficult than it sounds, especially when everyone knows enough to make you paranoid about your own abilities. Having said that, I know it’s going to be fun and I know I’ll be glad I came.
PS. Already missing the people I know can’t make it this year. Excited about meeting up with everyone again.
PPS. Must remember to speak less and listen more.
PPPS. Must try remain calm this year, not act like a kid in a sweet shop. 🙂
It’s all a bit last minute, but today I decided to do an Oracle 11gR2 (22.214.171.124) RAC installation on Oracle Linux 6.1 using VirtualBox. The 126.96.36.199 patch has fixed all of the installation issues related to RAC on OL6.1, so it was pretty smooth. The procedure can be seen here.
As noted in the article, the screen shots of the GI and DB installers are from an 188.8.131.52 article. I’ll update these screen shots when I get back from OpenWorld. Like I said, it was all a bit last minute. 🙂 Normally I wouldn’t put an article like this live (and you can see it’s not on the homepage yet), but I get lots of questions about this subject, so I thought I would make it available to make my life easier.
PS. There is no suitable oracle-validated package available for this at the moment, so the prerequisites have to be done manually.
The Oracle Database Appliance has been released. It looks like a pretty neat bit of kit for the SMB market. It’s listed in a couple of locations, each page with links to different technical docs, so it’s worth looking at both:
Interesting point’s include:
- It’s a 2 node 184.108.40.206 RAC on Oracle Linux 5.5 implementation.
- Two 6-core Xeons per node.
- 96G Memory per node.
- 12 TB shared disk, but triple-mirrored, so you have 4TB of storage.
- Mirrored “Solid-state disks for redo logs to boost performance.” I can see that point generating some discussion. 🙂
- No hardware upgrade/expansion options.
- Pay-as-you-grow licensing available.
For the full lowdown, check the technical docs under the top-level links.
If you like the one-vendor-supplies-all approach, this is kinda neat and a lot less complex than a full blow Exadata system.
With OOW fast approaching, the last thing I wanted to do was be left without a passport, but the week after I return from OOW I have the first leg of the APAC OTN tour in Beijing. A little over a week ago I sent off all my documents, including my passport, and I’ve had a nagging feeling in my guts ever since. This morning I received my passport and a single entry visa for China along with it a wave of relief.
Applying for visas is very stressful when you have other trips on the calendar. I know some of the other people on the tour have got a more visas to apply for and less time to do it, so I hope they can cope with the stress better than me. 🙂
So I’m £84 + £11 postage out of pocket, but travel approval permitting, I should be fine for Beijing. The Auckland and Perth legs are fine because I don’t need a visa for New Zealand and I’ve already been to Australia this year, so my ETA is still valid.
Now take a deep breath and relax…
PS. For anyone else travelling to OOW, make sure to apply for your ESTA, or check last years is still valid… 😉
First the caveats:
- Remember I said Apple iPad… I just don’t get it… Then promptly went out an bought one. I now use it most days for surfing and checking my emails from bed. 🙂
- Windows 8 is pre-beta, so hopefully a lot will change between now and then.
I totally understand the concept of the new front screen and the whole Metro thing. Trying to keep a consistent experience between a Windows phone and a Windows touchpad is sensible. Just like the iPhone and iPad. What I don’t like is the fact the tiles are massive and take up loads of space. It just seems a bit silly to me. Why make me sideways scroll when all the initial options could be seen on my 24-inch monitor anyway? From a desktop computing perspective, it is so much worse than the Apple Launchpad (which I also despise) or the GNOME3 Activities screen.
Since I’m running it on a desktop machine, my biggest concern is getting a regular desktop to work with. I can do this by clicking the “Desktop” tile. The resulting desktop is basically Windows 7, which is fine, *except* there is no regular start menu. Clicking the Start button takes you back to the crappy tiled front screen, or hovering in the bottom-left corner presents you with the new menu. What is on this new menu? Bugger all of any use! The search screen is like a really bad GNOME3 “Activities” screen. It requires so many clicks and mouse moves to get where you want to go. It’s wretched. If I were a regular user I think I would probably pin a whole bunch of apps to the taskbar and maybe define a few folders on desktop containing useful shortcuts. Surely the ability to run the old Windows 7 menu would be a welcome addition for the vast majority of users!
Every dialog now has a ribbon instead of a toolbar or menu. This may prove useful for the newbies as it displays functionality that may have been hidden in sub-menus, but for me it is a disaster. The top inch of very window is filled with a bunch of crap that I don’t care about most of the time.
Typically the early releases have lots of tracing code enabled, so I don’t expect the production release will be as slow as this developer release.
So what is the future of the desktop computer? The rumors are that the next iteration of Macs will be essentially running iOS. It looks like the next generation of PCs will be running Windows 8. Although both these OSes seem fine for phones and touchpads, neither of them seem appropriate for a desktop computer. Now I realize that I am by no means a typical PC users, so maybe the vast majority of the PC users of the world will be happy with these changes, but I for one think it is a massive step backwards. It is starting to look like the future of desktop computing is Linux. 🙂 Luckily, I’m already there.
Let’s hope a little sanity returns between now and the production release of Windows 8. If nothing else, just give us a proper menu, or fix that God awful search screen.
Update: Check out these hacks to restore the Windows 7 style menu.
PS. Let’s see if I end up contradicting everything I just said in a few months time. 🙂
The cloning feature in VirtualBox was a welcome addition, but there are a couple of fringe issues to be aware of:
- If you use the cloning feature to clone a VM that has shared disks (like in a VM RAC setup), the shared disks are also cloned, so you end up with a new VM that is not accessing the original shared disks, but has a new set. I’ve put a note about this in my VirtualBox RAC articles and suggested you still use the old method of cloning the virtual hard disk manually. I guess for most people this is not a big deal.
- The virtual disks of a clone get placed in the default location. Once again, not a big deal unless you try to spread your virtual disks onto different spindles to get better performance.
Like I said, these are very edge-case issues and not a reason for most people to avoid the cloning feature.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve kinda ignored the fact that any operating system other than Linux (specifically Oracle Linux) exists. It’s quite easy to do when you are working with Oracle products and you get to choose your own environment. 🙂
As a vague nod to the fact that Windows does actually exist, I’ve finally got round to updating my Windows virtual RAC article.
Windows 2008 is an unusual operating system in some respects. The RAC installation is pretty simple really, but finding some of the config dialogs is a complete nightmare. Chains of menus, dialogs, buttons and hyperlinks to get you to the dialog you need. What’s worse, some of the menus are hidden unless you remember to “Alt” or “Alt+N”. Crazy! If I was using Windows on a regular basis I think I would just memorize all the dialog program names and start them directly from the Run menu. It’s got to be easier than traversing that nightmare. I remember when Windows was considered the easy option. It doesn’t feel like the case anymore. 🙂
In related news, yesterday I got an invite from Jeremy Schneider to help out at RAC Attack at OOW 2011. That should be fun. See you there! 🙂