Oracle OpenWorld 2013 : Tuesday

 

Another “groundhog day” morning. Up at silly o’clock, went to the gym, then read in my room for a while…

Tuesday was the first day of RAC Attack proper. We had 3 tables at the OTN lounge, all of which were full. There were a few teething problems with the new set of instructions, but we muddled through. In some ways, this is more fun than if things go too smoothly. :) RAC Attack took pretty much the whole day. I hoped to go and see my adopted dad (Graham Wood) in the Real World Performance Group session, but that never happened.

I left RAC Attack and headed down to the demo grounds to have a bit of a moan at the Cloud Control guys. To my delight the stand was being manned by Pete Sharman. I’ve “known of” Pete for many years, but our paths have never crossed before today. It was a pleasure to meet him at last, but that didn’t stop me from having a moan about some bits of Cloud Control. :)

As I was leaving the Cloud Control stand I bumped into Jacco Landlust. When he’s not offending Cary Millsap and Tom Kyte, Jacco skates the fine line between being a DBA and WebLogic administrator. Being a WebLogic newbie, I always like hooking up with Jacco to pick his brains and validate that I’ve not screwed things up too badly. After pumping him for information, I now feel like I’ve graduated to post-newbie status. :) Of course the big news is he’s the latest Oracle ACE to become an Oracle employee. It’s starting to feel like a recruitment program. :)

Next I headed up to the OTN Meetup, like I hadn’t spent enough time in the OTN Lounge already. :) I spent some time talking to Connor McDonald, Chris Muir, Lonneke Dikmans, Marcelle Kratochvil, Doug GaultScott Spendolini and Liron Amitzi, to name but a few. I’d like to say I was intelligent and insightful, but I had drunk 3 beers and felt extremely merry, so I’m guessing I was talking complete nonsense, nothing new there. :)

As the OTN meetup drew to a close I walked back to the hotel with Liron Amitzi. He’s in the room opposite to me and I keep ribbing him about permanently having the “Do not disturb” sign on the door. We were discussing some of the installation oddities we’ve seen, as well as the Larry Ellison key note, that Larry didn’t turn up to

I had a quick chat to John Scott and Roel Hartman in the lobby of the hotel as they left for the APEX Meetup.

So that’s another day done. Tomorrow is the second day of RAC Attack.

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle OpenWorld 2013 : Monday

 

Monday started in a similar way to Sunday. I woke up at silly o’clock, went to the gym, then read in my room for a while.

Monday morning was spent flitting between the demo grounds and the OTN Lounge. I also filmed a short interview for OTN, which will probably appear at some point. It was a one-take thing, so it will annoy the hell out of me when I watch it back 75,000 times. :)

Later in the day I went to the Real World Performance Group session, then it was back to the OTN lounge to for some more networking/chatting. :)

On the way back to the hotel I popped into a bar to meet the AppsLab guys and David Haimes, who filmed my abortive attempt at using Anthony’s Google Glass here. It’s tricky when you have glasses. You either have to balance them outside your glasses, or not wear your glasses, so everything is blurred. It helps if you are not in a noisy bar when you are trying them. :)

I got back to the hotel and found my credit cards had been blocked. I tried and failed to get them unblocked, which led to a few very angry tweets!

Being tired and rather angry, I just went to bed rather than going to the “Friends of Pythian” event.

Cheers

Tim…

 

Oracle OpenWorld 2013 : Sunday

 

I arrived in San Francisco on midday Saturday. I basically lost a nights sleep, all but 1 hour, so I was not feeling on top of the world. I got some food and went to bed for the rest of the day. I started Sunday at 00:30, so Sunday was going to be a looooonnnnggggg day. :)

After getting breakfast at 03:00, hitting the gym and reading for a while, I ventured down to the conference.

The first session I went to was “Carry Millsap – Thinking Clearly About Performance”. I’ve seen variations on this session a number of times and I’ve been on a one day course with Cary, but it’s still nice to hear this stuff again. Every time you pick up something new. I already have a copy of Mastering Trace Data from when I did his course, but I ordered the revised version from Amazon.

Next up was “Kyle Hailey – Oracle Instant Database Cloning”. The Delphix virtual database stuff looks amazing! I thought I was down with the whole database cloning thing (duplicate, clonedb, clone PDB), but this stuff is another level. Wow!

After Kyle’s session I was part of an IOUG panel session called “What I wish I knew before I became a DBA”. I found it fun. I hope the audience did too. I ended up speaking to some people for about an hour after the session ended.

From there it was off to the OTN Lounge to do the “RAC Attack” introduction. I had to explain a little about the history of RAC Attack. I’m sure you will see a number of embaressing Ninja photos coming out. I am the fat ninja. :)

Then it was off to the Oracle ACE dinner at the Walt Disney Museum. It’s great to hook up with people I’ve not seen in a while. Put me in a room with geeks and I’m in my element!

I got back to my room at about 22:00 and basically passed out… As I expected, it was a long day! :)

Cheers

Tim…

Challenge: Most stupid exhibition freebie you can find at OOW2013

 

I’ve been challenged by Doug Burns to find the most stupid exhibition freebie as a present for Andy Cowling. I am of course going to cheat as much as possible to win this challenge, so if you see something particularly stupid, can you let me know so I can snag one. Needless to say, keep it a secret from Doug too. :)

If you are an exhibitor and you happen to have a particularly stupid exhibition freebie, feel free to contact me. Once again, make no attempt to contact Doug Burns… :)

Cheers

Tim…

PS. Anything really cool, like a free Exadata, might accidentally get kept for myself…

 

LAOTN Tour 2003 Interview Videos

 

During the OTN tour of Latin America, Pablo Ciccarello filmed a number of interviews with the speakers and has recently posted links to them here.

Right at the bottom on the page there is a link to an interview with Dana Singleterry and myself.

If you are interested in listening to our opinions of the tour, drop by and check them out.

Cheers

Tim…

LAOTN Tour (Southern Leg) : It’s a wrap!

 

After fluking a business class flight out to Latin America, I wasn’t looking forward to a cattle-class ride home, but when I got to Sao Paulo airport I got a free upgrade to business class. :) A number of things did not go well during my outbound journey with AirFrance and I was extremely critical on my customer satisfaction survey. I can only imagine this was the reason for my upgrade on the way back, but maybe I just got lucky…

I had an aisle seat, which is a must for me. Just before we took off, the steward asked me if I would swap with a child so it could be near to it’s mother. I foolishly said yes, and ended up in a middle seat. When I am in a window or middle seat, even a business class one, I feel trapped and spend my whole time wondering how I can get out of the seat without disturbing the people around me. Normally I get out at the first opportunity and just stand up for the rest of the flight. I managed to sit down for some of the flight, but spent a long time standing, so I didn’t get any sleep. It was a bit of a waste of a business class seat really. Also, no vegetarian food again…

Sunday/Monday ended up being one very long day for me. I left for Sao Paulo airport about midday on Sunday. I flew home via Paris over night, landing at Birmingham at about 11:00 on Monday morning. I got a taxi home, scrubbed the smell of aeroplane of myself, then went in to work. A little after 17:00 I went to the gym with one of my work buddies, then went home in a daze. I still feel slightly other-worldly now, due to the jet lag… :)

Here are the blog posts I wrote during the tour:

I feel like the tour was a big success. All the organisers and attendees I spoke to seemed really pleased with how things went. I’ve also received a lot of positive comments through email and social media, which is no doubt going to make my head swell. :)

The sessions I presented during the tour were based on these articles:

The titles of the presentations don’t match the article names exactly, but the content covered is the same. I would rather point attendees at a follow-up article as my slides are quite brief because I use lots of demos.

A number of people have asked me to comment on the safety/security aspects of visiting some of the countries in Latin America, as the security warnings from Oracle Travel would have you believe you will be shot the minute you leave the plane. As with any city in the world, if you rock up dressed and acting like a tourist, you are likely to draw the wrong type of attention. Provided you take sensible precautions things are going to be fine. As some of the guys (Alex and Dana) know, I am cautious to the point of paranoia. :) Having now done both the northern and southern leg of the OTN Latin America Tour I can say that I would have no worries about revisiting any of those countries again. On the other hand, there are places in my home city I would not consider visiting. :)

I’ve done a lot of thank you messages in the individual posts, but I would just like to take this opportunity to thank some people again.

  • Thank you to the organizers of the events for inviting me and making me feel very welcome. It takes a lot of effort to organize any event, but the level of support provided for us overseas speakers is fantastic.
  • Thanks to the Oracle ACE Program for actually getting me to these events. Without them I would not be able to take part in these events. I am very grateful for everything I’ve experienced over the last 7 years.
  • A big thank you to my fellow speakers who put up with me for so long. Thanks for all the advice and support. I constantly try to improve myself and a big part of that is the advice I get from fellow speakers.
  • I guess the biggest thank you must go to all those people that attended my sessions. If you ladies and gentlemen did not actually come to these events, people like me wouldn’t be able to show off and pretend we are important for a few days before returning to our regular jobs. :)

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I will get a chance to return next year!

Cheers

Tim…

Update: Rusty Schmidt noticed I had missed out the word “no” from the second-to-last sentence on the paragraph about safety/security, which made the sentence read like I would be worried about visiting these countries again. It was a typo. I would be happy to visit these countries again and hopefully will soon. I’ve corrected the typo. Sorry. :)

LAOTN Tour (Southern Leg) : GOUB…

 

The journey from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Sao Paulo, Brazil was quite straight forward. Just a 3 hour flight and I found myself in Brazil. I got one of the official taxis from the airport to the hotel, but if I told you the price you would think I had booked a private helicopter ride! Brazil is very expensive. :)

I dumped all my stuff in the hotel and took a walk around the shopping mall next door. Wow! This place is really expensive! If I lived here I would be skinny because I couldn’t afford to eat. :)

The morning of the conference started with a bit of a panic. I came back from breakfast, started up all my stuff ready for my talk and my VM was missing! Gone! Aaaarrrrgggghhhh! I have no idea how I managed to delete it. Out came the external hard drive and I recovered the VM using time machine. About 20 minutes later I had a VM again. Phew!

About 40 minutes later I was doing my first GUOB presentation to about 200 people, with my working VM. :) The presentation seemed to go well. I got a lot of questions during the following coffee break, as well as photos with some of the attendees. Proper rockstar stuff. :)

I attended a few presentations, including Dana Singleterry‘s session on ADF 12c, which looks pretty cool, and Mike Dietrich‘s session on upgrading to 12c, which gave me a couple of ideas about things I need to add to my article about 12c upgrades.

My second session was followed by a coffee break, which allowed me to extend the question and answer session with the audience. People seemed happy at the end of the session, so I think I did OK. :)

It seems lots of people have questions they want to ask, but not in front of the room, so I spent a lot of time answering questions between sessions. I can’t emphasise enough how important networking time is at a conference. I love chatting to people about technology, so the question and answer stuff is really good fun for me.

In the evening we went out to a Brazilian barbecue restaurant. There was loads of veggie stuff to eat, so I stuffed myself, whilst watching everyone else devouring a heard of cows. They like their meat in Latin America!

I got back just in time to see Soulja Boy arrive at the hotel. How the mighty have fallen. There were only about 20 fans there to meet him and he was travelling in the hotel minibus. He’s really small! He looks like a skinny little 10 year old, so I guess the hotel minibus felt like a giant tour bus to him. :)

I was only in Brazil long enough to present at the conference, so I didn’t get any shots of the city. You can see a few photos of the conference here, as well as a few pictures I’ve downloaded from twitter.

So that is the last event of the LA OTN Tour (Southern Leg) complete. I’ll be checking out of the hotel in a few minutes and starting the long trip home.

Thanks to everyone at GUOB for inviting me to the event and thank you to the Oracle ACE Program for making it possible for me to take part in the event.

I’ll write a wrapping up post about the tour once I get back home.

Cheers

Tim…

LAOTN Tour (Southern Leg) : ArOUG Day 2…

 

I was determined to get on a bus tour of Buenos Aires this morning. The plan was to do this yesterday, then spend this morning revisiting a few parts of the city in a bit more detail. Unfortunately, my inability to follow basic directions scuppered that plan… :)

So this morning I got myself to the tour bus and rode the loop of the city, taking photos as I went. You will see lots of blurred images and lots of pictures containing parts of the bus, but I don’t care because they are still good memories. :)

I got back from the tour bus, had a quick shower, then walked to the conference venue to do my last presentation of the ArOUG event. Everything went smoothly and people seemed really happy with it. I got to speak to more of the attendees, which is always fun, and pose for a bunch of photos with people. Everyone in Latin America has such nice skin tones, then there is me looking like casper the friendly ghost next to them. I think I will get a fake tan before I come next time. :)

After saying goodbyes to a few people, a few of us went out to a local bar to toast the end of another event. Alex would be proud of me, as I drank a pint of the local equivalent on Guinness, while eating chips (fries) with a cocktail stick. What a great idea! No sticky fingers. :)

I’m now back at the hotel and I leave for Sa0 Paulo, Brazil tomorrow. That’s four out of five events done. It hardly seems real…

Thanks to everyone in Buenos Aires and the ArOUG that looked after me and made me feel welcome during my stay. I hope to see you again soon. Also thanks to the Oracle ACE Program for making this happen.

Cheers

Tim…

LAOTN Tour (Southern Leg) : ArOUG Day 1…

 

I arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina late last night. The ferry ride from Montevideo took about 3 hours.

This morning I got a taxi to the ArOUG conference venue and did my first presentation of the conference. I was originally scheduled to do both my presentations today, then have tomorrow off, but Alex Gorbachev needs to leave earlier tomorrow, so I’ve swapped slots with him and my second presentation is now tomorrow afternoon.

Feeling adventurous, I decided to walk back from the conference venue. The directions seemed pretty straight forward, but I managed to get myself lost. I walked around for quite a while, thinking I must be close to the hotel, but not managing to find it. I eventually decided the only way to get back was to get a taxi. As I walked to find one, I noticed I was standing next to my hotel. Bonus!

The plan was to spend the afternoon on a city tour bus, but unfortunately I got lost on the way to the pickup point and I just walked around for a few hours until I found myself again, standing next to the hotel. :)

After reading a bunch of security messages from Oracle I felt quite nervous of taking photos and making myself look even more like a tourist, so I didn’t take many photos. If I can get on the bus tour tomorrow, and not get lost again, I will take loads.

In the evening went out to a barbecue-style place to eat. Everyone ate a little bit of salad and fish to start, then guys brought a procession of different meat out on large skewers, more like swords really, then it was a meat-fest for the rest of the night. I’m a vegetarian, so I kept eating the veggie stuff while I watched a herd of assorted animals get devoured. Everyone was very happy and full by the end of it. Even so, Alex still managed to eat some food from a street vendor on during the walk back to the hotel. I have no idea where he puts it all! :)

Cheers

Tim…

LAOTN Tour (Southern Leg) : UYOUG…

 

The trip from Lima to Montevideo took quite a long time. First I flew back to Santiago, then from there to Montevideo, Uruguay. The drive from the airport to the hotel was pretty cool. It was dark, but we were driving along the coast and the city was all lit up. We arrived quite late, so we dropped off our stuff at the hotel and went out to eat.

The next day was the UYOUG conference. I did three presentations at this event. My laptop died during my first session, so I had to fill while waiting for it to restart. The second session went without any problems. I managed to mangle my DB before the third session and I didn’t have enough time to recover it as I only noticed as my session started. Fortunately I have an article associated with each presentation, so I used the examples in the article to demonstrate how the features worked. It always pays to be prepared! :)

After my last session I went back to the hotel to get my bags, then it was a quick dash to the ferry port to get the ferry to Buenos Aires.

One bit of culture I did manage to encounter was Mate. When I was walking to the conference venue I noticed lots of people walking with what looked like bongs in their hands, which seemed a bit strange. Later I found out these were used for drinking Mate. I got a chance to try it. It tastes like a mixture of tea and tobacco and has a slightly smokey taste. It was quite an interesting taste, but not like anything I’ve tried before.

So I was in Montevideo for less than 24 hours, which was a shame as the people were great and the city looked interesting. Hopefully I will get a chance to visit again and take a proper look at the city next time.

Thanks to the organisers of the UYOUG conference for inviting me, and of course the ACE Program for getting me to the event!

I’m now in Buenos Aires for the 4th leg of the tour…

Cheers

Tim…