Oracle Database World : 3 Virtual Events Around the World

Just a quick reminder there are some Oracle Database World events happening in three geographical regions over the next few months. Here’s the marketing stuff.

These 2-day virtual conferences will run in three regions:

  • Americas – October 26th & 27th
  • EMEA – November 2nd & 3rd
  • JAPAC – December 1st & 2nd

They will be delivering ~approximately 90 sessions and 24 hands-on labs (powered by Oracle LiveLabs).

Register for your region here!

Cheers

Tim…

Joel Kallman Day : It’s a Wrap (#JoelKallmanDay)

Yesterday was an Oracle community day called the Joel Kallman Day (#JoelKallmanDay) 2021.

I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who took the time to join in. Here is the list of posts I saw in chronological order. If I missed you out, give me a shout and I’ll add you. 🙂

There are a few non-English posts in there, which I always like to see. You can Google Translate them to check them out. The community is not all about English speakers.

In addition to the blog posts there were tweets and a bunch of people joining in to retweet, which makes the day have more impact. You can see what happened on Twitter here. Thanks everyone for getting involved and see you next year for #JoelKallmanDay 2022!

Cheers

Tim…

When Algorithms Attack (Twitter Edition)

This morning Piet de Visser put out a Tweet to this short film.

It’s a work of fiction, but it’s all about the level of privacy we’ve given up without even knowing it, due to the real life collaborations between companies (Amazon, Google etc.) and institutions like the police and the NHS. In the film, algorithms take that data to make judgements about people. It’s well worth a watch…

Roger MacNicol replied Piet’s tweet saying it was very good, and I replied to the pair of them saying the following.

When Algorithms Attack

Very soon after tweeting this I was kicked out of Twitter. When I tried to get back in I was directed to a page that forced me to delete the tweet and told me I was going to be blocked from tweeting for 12 hours. I can still read tweets and DM. I just can’t tweet. I also received an email about it.

My first reaction was to burst out laughing for a couple of reasons.

  1. I was commenting about a film where algorithms were making judgements about people and their actions without taking context into account.
  2. I think anyone who follows me on Twitter knows my views on COVID-19 and vaccinations. I am very much in favour of vaccinations, and I’m not at all a believer in conspiracy theories surrounding any vaccination, including the COVID-19 vaccinations. I’ve had both my shots of the Pfizer vaccinations. I guess Twitter should know that because I tweeted about it.

Now clearly in isolation that tweet looks like I’m one of those folks I’m always complaining about, but looking at my history of tweets you would know I often reply to things with shit-posts and don’t always include smilies when I’m doing it. I think I wear my views on my sleeve, so I don’t really worry about people taking a single tweet out of context, but clearly the Twitter algorithm is another matter…

The algorithm isn’t very smart and just appears to flag up specific word combinations. OK. Nice AI Twitter! 🙂

What am I going to do about it?

Nothing, stupid! Twitter can play by whatever rules they want. I’ve just got to wait 12 hours before I can resume shit-posting on Twitter. 🙂

I guess the only thing that is annoying is I can’t post a message to say I’m blocked from tweeting. It would be kind-of nice if I could do that. Having said that, I’m on holiday today and I could easily waste all day talking crap on Twitter, so they’ve probably done me a favour! 🙂

In conclusion, we are all doomed! 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

PS. I once received a 12 hour ban when arguing with an anti-vaxer. I think the combinations of words in my tweets flagged me as one of those nutters. About 5 minutes later my account was unblocked, so I think maybe a human was doing some sanity checking at the time, or maybe the AI got smarter. 🙂

PPS. The 12 hours is now up…

Happy Holidays and See You Next Year!

Just a quick post to say I’m ending the year here. I don’t plan on doing anymore videos this year, and I’m going to do my best to stay clear of social media until next year. I’ve found 2020 a very difficult ride, and probably not for the reasons you are thinking. I normally do an end of year review, but I might not this year. Better to look forward than back.

Here’s the latest batch of “.com” clips from the videos this year. Thanks to everyone who contributed.

I hope everyone has a happy holiday season, and I hope 2021 is the polar opposite of 2020.

Cheers

Tim…

Video : Multitenant : Running Scripts Against Multiple Pluggable Databases Using catcon.pl

In today’s video we give a quick demonstration of using catcon.pl to run scripts against multiple pluggable databases (PDBs) in a container database (CDB).

The video is based on one section of this article.

You can find loads of information about living with CDBs and PDBs in the following articles and the YouTube playlist linked below.

The star of today’s video is my long suffering wife Debra Lilley. Clearly suffering because of her social isolation, which of course means not seeing me. 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

Social Distancing : My Experience

The UK has started to relax *some* of the lock-down conditions, so I thought I would write down some of my thoughts related to social distancing…

The Good

First and foremost, social isolation and social distancing is predominantly a good thing for me. I live alone, and as I’ve said many times before I like it that way. There is a “work Tim”, a “conference Tim”, a “with friends/family Tim” and a “home Tim”, and it’s the “home Tim” I’m most comfortable with. I’m not talking about some schizophrenic thing. Just different aspects of my personality that I use to cope with different situations. The only authentic me is when I am home alone.

I keep saying to people I’m living my best life at the moment.

The Bad

Having said all that, it’s not been plain sailing. One thing I’m really struggling with is work-life balance. Before this I mostly worked from the office, and my computer at home was for doing my own thing, like the website and blog etc. Since I’ve been working from home the working day has stretched, which has been made worse by some weekend work. When I do eventually switch off, the thought of doing my own thing is really difficult. I feel like I want to walk away from the computer, so that’s what I’ve been doing a lot. I think the solution to this is to define some different phases of the day and try to stick to them. Things have improved since I’ve been actively trying to do this.

Exercise is another issue. The gym is closed, and I find it really hard to be motivated to do anything other than go to the gym. I’ve done very little exercise, which is really not good as I’m a fatty, and being a fatty is not good at the best of times, but it’s even more problematic at the moment. This week I’ve been going on some bike rides at lunch time. Nothing big. Just getting out of the house and moving a bit. Once again, it’s about trying to define phases of the day.

I started the social isolation/distancing thing about a week before most people in the UK. I go to the shop every few days, and go to pick up a prescription once a month. Apart from that I stay home. I think it’s going to remain this way for quite a long time for me, regardless of what the government suggest.

I feel sorry for people who live alone and don’t like it. I feel sorry for families with kids who are going stir crazy. I can’t relate, but I can sympathise.

The Ugly

What this whole thing has taught me is there are some selfish fuckers out there who should go fuck themselves. People who blatantly ignore the rules, without thinking what impact they are having on others. I kind-of expect this behaviour from young people, as they think they are indestructible and are too dumb to think about the bigger picture, so I give them a free pass. What really pisses me off are adults who don’t seem to give a shit.

You don’t know anything about the people around you. You don’t know what their risk factors are. You don’t know if they are worried about relatives they live with that are vulnerable. It is not your position to judge, and you have no right to put them and their families in danger.

Now I admit some people take it too far, like walking in the road when there is nobody on the path, but for the most part people are being sensible and considerate. For those that are not, see my first sentence in this section!

The Good… Again

Despite that there have also been some really positive things.

  • On the whole people seem friendlier and more considerate at the moment.
  • It’s quieter. Lawn mowers are working overtime, but most of the time things are quiet.
  • Life seems a little calmer.
  • I’m not using petrol.

The Future

Some random thoughts from me.

  • I can’t see myself working full time in an office again. I’m not saying I will never go in, but I don’t see myself doing a 5 day week again. My company used to have some issues with working from home, but now we’ve been forced to do it for a few months, I can see a lot of people never going back to the old ways. I’m not sure how they could justify not allowing working from home on a mass scale now.
  • I think it will be quite some time before I consider travelling again, if ever. I had already scaled back my conference stuff, but maybe it’s over for me now. I may change my mind. Time will tell.
  • I want to consume less. Both from a food perspective, and everything else. I’m not a very materialistic person, but I can still cut back. I want my life to be as minimalist as possible.
  • I understand there will be economic hardships as a result of this pandemic, but I hope it has taught people something about themselves. Life doesn’t need to be some dog-eat-dog race. You don’t need as much as you think you do.

OK. The random bullshit is over for now.

Cheers

Tim…

Video : Oracle REST Data Services (ORDS) : RESTful Web Services Handling Media Files

In today’s video we take a look at RESTful web services handling media files built using Oracle REST Data Services (ORDS).

This is based on this article.

There is more information about related stuff here.

The star of today’s video is Katrina Shallahamer, who is one of my favourite people to meet at an event. She’s such a positive person to be around, and makes me wish I was a nicer person. It’s clear she’s the real brains of the OraPub operation, but don’t tell Craig I said so! 🙂

Cheers

Tim…

OGB Appreciation Day 2019 (#ThanksOGB)

It seems like every year this has a different name, but the motivation is the same… This year it is #ThanksOGB…

History

Back in the day we had a community site called Oracle Technology Network (OTN), which is why the first incarnation of this event was called #ThanksOTN. Later OTN got re-branded as Oracle Developer Community (don’t call it ODC 🙂 ), so the last couple of years we got #ThanksODC. That confused a few people, as they thought this was about the Oracle Developer Champions, Oracle Database Cloud, Oracle Developer Cloud or some other such stuff. It wasn’t. Some people didn’t identify as developers, so thought it was not for them. None of that is true. It’s pretty simple. I can’t image there is anyone working with Oracle technology that hasn’t used forums, read articles or downloaded Oracle software from OTN/ODC over the years. You must have directly, or indirectly, benefited from the work done by the people at Oracle who support our community. This is just an opportunity to say thanks to those brave folks who endure our endless moaning. 🙂

What is OGB?

It’s “Oracle Groundbreakers Appreciation Day”. Who are they? To quote Jennifer Nicholson.

“I want to point out that Groundbreakers includes ACEs, Java Champions, Ambassadors and all those who have the Groundbreakers spirit. :-)”

I would like to include Oracle staff, especially those that work directly to support the community. Even though it is “Oracle Groundbreakers Appreciation Day”, this is not specifically about the Oracle Groundbreaker Ambasssadors Program, so you aren’t blowing smoke up their asses. This is a thank you to everyone that makes the community great, especially those people that work at keep us all moving! If you’ve benefited from the Oracle community at large, please join in…

Does that mean I’m thanking myself?

You are thanking all the people who have have contributed and helped you in your journey!

When is it?

Every year I pick a date and have to change it because of a national holiday on some country. 🙂 At the moment the date of the event is in a little over a weeks time on Thursday 10th October 2019.

Check back closer to the time to make sure the date hasn’t changed. If we have to move it, it will only be by a day either side.

How can I get involved?

Here is the way it works.

  • Write a blog post. The title should be in the format “OGB Appreciation Day : <insert-the-title-here>“.
  • The content can be pretty much anything. See the section below.
  • Tweet out the blog post using the hashtag #ThanksOGB.
  • Publishing the posts on the same day allows us to generate a buzz. In previous years loads of people were on twitter retweeting, making it even bigger. The community is spread around the world, so the posts will be released over a 24 hour period.
  • Oracle employees are welcome to join in.

Like previous years, it would be really nice if we could get a bunch of first-timers involved, but it’s also an opportunity to see existing folks blog for the first time in ages! 🙂

The following day I write a summary post that includes links to all the posts that were pushed out through the day. You can see examples of the last two here.

What Should I Write About?

Whatever you want to write about. Here are some suggestions that might help you.

  • My favourite feature of {the Oracle-related tech you work on}.
  • What is the next thing on your list to learn.
  • Horror stories. My biggest screw up, and how I fixed it.
  • How the cloud has affected my job.
  • What I get out of the Oracle Community.
  • What feature I would love to see added to {the Oracle-related tech you work on}.
  • The project I worked on that I’m the most proud of. (Related to Oracle tech of course)

It’s not limited to these. You can literally write about anything Oracle-related. The posts can be short, which makes it easy for new people to get involved. If you do want to write about something technical, that’s fine. You can also write a simple overview post and link to more detailed posts on a subject if you like. In the previous years the posts I enjoyed the most were those that showed the human side of things, but that’s just me. Do whatever you like. 🙂

So you have a little over a week to get something ready!

Cheers

Tim…

Driving vs. Being Driven : The reason you fail to get good at anything!

It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve gone somewhere. I only know the route when I’ve driven there myself. Everything makes sense when you see someone else do it. You don’t realise how distracted you are, and how much you’ve missed until you have to do it for yourself.

When we have consultants on site to help us with something new, I assume I’m going to drive and they are going to give directions. I make notes as necessary, but the main thing is *I’ve done it*, not them. If I’m told I have to “observe and make notes”, I say I’m not willing to support it, as experience tells me there will be important stuff that gets missed as the consultant rushes through it. Once again, it’s the difference between driving and being driven.

I’ve written a lot about Learning New Things, and I think it always starts with learning to learn for yourself. If you are always relying on other people to lead the way, they are driving and you are being driven. They are getting better and you are just drifting.

I suppose the obvious retort to this is,

“Only a fool learns from his own mistakes. The wise man learns from the mistakes of others.”

Otto von Bismark

There is some truth in that, but the import thing in the second sentence is the wise person *learns* from the mistakes of others. There is still something active going on here. You are learning, not just being passive and waiting to be told what to do.

Standing on the shoulders of giants requires you to climb up on to the shoulders in the first place!

Cheers

Tim…