VirtualBox 6.1.26, Vagrant 2.2.18 and Packer 1.7.4

Hot on the heels of VirtualBox 6.1.24 we get version 6.1.26. Let’s be honest, you knew it was coming right? πŸ™‚

The downloads and changelog are in the usual places.

When I shutdown some VMs before the VirtualBox upgrade, I noticed Vagrant 2.2.18 had been released. Downloads here.

I’ll need to rebuild my Vagrant boxes again, so I thought I should check if there was a new Packer version. Sure enough, Packer 1.7.4 was available. Downloads here. It came out just over a week ago, but I hadn’t noticed.

They are all installed now, so I’ve just got to start doing some Vagrant box builds. Happy days… πŸ™‚



Update: I used Packer to rebuild my OL7 and OL8 vagrant boxes. They are now uploaded to Vagrant Cloud.

AdoptOpenJDK to Adoptium

This post is a “note to self”….

If you’ve been using AdoptOpenJDK to download OpenJDK, you will have noticed for the last few months there has been a message at the top of the screen with this link.

That message recently changed to include the following message.

“Our July 2021 and future releases will come fromΒ

When you go to the link you will see a very familiar looking page layout, with some slightly different branding. πŸ™‚

They July updates are scheduled for the end of July, so you’ll have to wait a bit. In previous quarters they’ve been less than 3 working days of the initial security announcement, but I guess the reorganization has delayed things somewhat.

So just remember to switch from this:

To this:

Happy patching!



Accelerate : My Review

There was a Teams discussion at work and this book was mentioned, so I thought I would give it a go. I must admit I was a little nervous about it because I really didn’t like The Unicorn Project (see here) and it kind-of put me off reading anything else with Gene Kim’s name associated with it.

The Good

There are two forwards. The first by Martin Fowler and the second by Courtney Kissler. By the time I finished reading the forward by Courtney Kissler I felt really hyped up and I couldn’t wait to get into it. Reading it back now I’m not sure why it resonated with me so much, but it did…

The book is split into two main parts. The first part discusses the conclusions from the research. I think there are endless quotable moments here. I started to write some down, thinking I could incorporate some into this post, but there were too many, so I decided not to. πŸ™‚ If you’ve read other books on DevOps and Lean, there won’t be a lot that is new to you, but these conclusions are evidence-based, rather than just speculation and rose coloured spectacles views of projects gone by. One of the things that irritates me with some books is I wonder how much is real, and how much is rewriting history to fit the narrative. Evidence based feels more real.

The second part of the book was more focused on the evidence that was gathered that lead to the conclusions. That sounds like it could be a little dry, but I think it worked quite well.

The Bad and the Ugly

I don’t have anything really negative to say about the book. The bad and the ugly is more down to the way I felt as the book came to a conclusion. When I’m reading these books I get a bit lost in them, and feel like I can make a difference. I’m all enthusiastic, but when they are over I come crashing down to earth. Discussions of culture change driven from the top, with senior management developing a culture of learning, leave me desolate. Discussions of the teams and people needed for success make me wonder if we have the raw materials to do this. It just seems insurmountable…

There was one section that mentioned working with 3rd party apps, and I was really interested to see what they said, but it was rather vague and disappointing, which I could have predicted. That was probably my only real gripe, but the book was unapologetically focused on software development, so I can’t really hold this point against it. πŸ™‚


If you are into the whole DevOps, Lean and organisational transformation stuff I think it’s worth taking a look. You aren’t necessarily going to walk away with new insights, but you might get a better understanding of how you can quantify a transformation you are taking part in. It’s also nice to be reminded of stuff you’ve read before…

Some other things you might want to check out.



Video : Proxy Authentication : Connect to the database using proxy authentication

In today’s video we demonstrate using GRANT CONNECT THROUGH to enable proxy authentication.

The video is based on this article.

The star of today’s video is Lonneke Dikmans, who always seems to be doing something cooler than me. Check out DoeMee, an app that “offers a total model for contemporary governance”.



Updates to Vagrant and Docker Builds : ORDS and SQLcl 21.2

The 21.2 version of ORDS and SQLcl dropped at the start of the month. I guess I missed that, as the first I noticed was Alex Nuijten talking about SQLcl 21.2 nearly two weeks later. As soon as I realised they had arrived I downloaded them and went to work.

All of the relevant Vagrant and Docker builds were updated to use ORDS 21.2, SQLcl 21.2 and Tomcat 9.0.50.

You can check out what’s new in this post by Jeff Smith.

The Oracle security patches come out next week, so these builds will be updated again to include the latest versions of OpenJDK (AdoptOpenJDK) and the Oracle database patches where necessary.

SQL Developer and Database Modeler

These aren’t anything to do with my builds, but thought is was worth mentioning. The 21.2 version of SQL Developer and Data Modeler have been available for the last few days. You can read Jeff’s announcement here.



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! πŸ™‚

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. πŸ™‚

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! πŸ™‚

In conclusion, we are all doomed! πŸ™‚



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. πŸ™‚

PPS. The 12 hours is now up…

Video : Blockchain Tables in Oracle Database 21c

In today’s video we demonstrate blockchain tables, introduced in Oracle database 21c.

The video is based on this article.

As I mention in the video and the article, blockchain tables are a niche feature, but it’s good to know they exist in case you come across a requirement where they would be useful.

The star of today’s video is Martin Klier. πŸ™‚



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.