OTN Tour of Latin America 2015 : UYOUG, Uruguay – Day 1


After 15 hours of sleep I still managed to feel tired. :) I went for breakfast at 6:30, then started to feel a little weird, so I took some headache pills and headed back to bed for a hour before meeting up with Debra and Mike to head down to the venue for the first day of the UYOUG leg of the tour…

The order of events went like this:

  • Pablo Ciccarelo started with an introduction OTN and the ACE program, which was in Spanish, so I ducked out of it. :)
  • Mike Dietrich speaking about “How Oracle Single/Multitenant will change a DBA’s life”.
  • Me with “Pluggable Databases : What they will break and why you should use them anyway!” There was some crossover with Mike’s session, but we both emphasised different things, which is interesting in itself. :)
  • Debra Lilley with “PaaS4SaaS”. The talk focused on a POC for using PaaS to extend the functionality of Fusion Apps, which is a SaaS product.
  • Me with “Oracle Database Consolidation : It’s not all about Oracle database 12c”. I think this is the least technical talk I’ve ever done and that makes me rather nervous. Technical content and demos are a reassuring safety blanket for me, so having them taken away feels a bit like being naked in public (why am I now thinking of Bjoern?). The session is a beginner session, so I hope people didn’t come expecting something more than I delivered. See, I’m paranoid already!
  • Mike Dietrich on “Simple Minimal Downtime Migration to Oracle 12c using Full Transportable Export/Import”. I think I’ve used every feature discussed in this session, but I’ve never used them all together in this manner. I think I may go back to the drawing board for one of the migrations I’ve got coming up in the next few months.
  • Debra Lilley with “Are cloud apps really ready?”. There was some similarity between the message Debra was putting out here and some of the stuff I spoke about in my final talk.
  • Me with “It’s raining data! Oracle Databases in the Cloud”. This was also not a heavy technical session, but because so few people have experience of running databases in the cloud at the moment, I think it has a wider appeal, so I’m not so paranoid about the limited technical content.

So that was the first day of the UYOUG conference done. Tomorrow is an easy day for me. I’ve got a panel session in the middle of the day, then I’m done. :)

Thanks to everyone who came to my sessions. I hope you found them useful.

Having slept through yesterday’s social event, I will be going out to get some food tonight. They eat really late here, so by the time we get some food I’ll probably be thinking about bed. :)



OTN Tour of Latin America 2015 : The Journey Begins – Arrival at Montevideo, Uruguay


ace-directorAfter the quick flight to Montevideo, I was met by Edelweiss and Nelson. A couple of minutes later Mike Dietrich arrived. You know, that guy that pretends to understand upgrades! We drove over to the hotel, arriving at about 11:00. Check in was not until 15:00, so I had to wait a few minutes for them to prep my room. The others were going out to get some food, but I had a hot date with my bed. I got to my room, showered and hit the hay.

I was meant to meet up with the others at about 19:00 to get some food, but I slept through. In fact, I slept until about 04:00 the next day, which was about 15 hours. I think that may be a record… I’m feeling a bit punch-drunk now, but I’m sure once I start moving things will be fine…

Today is the first day of the tour proper. Fingers crossed…



OTN Tour of Latin America 2015 : The Journey Begins – Buenos Aires Airport


ace-directorThe flight from Paris to Buenos Aires was long, but relatively uneventful. One little patch of turbulence, then plain sailing.

For the main meal they didn’t have me down as vegetarian. I don’t know why I bother ordering special meals because the vast majority of the times I don’t get them. Interestingly, they did have a vegetarian breakfast for me, probably fixed one up after the dinner issue, but they gave it to the lady 2 seats away from me. She had seen the issue with the dinner and passed it across to me. In big letters on the tray it said 27J, which was my seat number, so I’m not quite sure why it was so difficult. I honestly think a lot of people look at me and think, “There is no way he is that fat and a vegetarian!”, so they give it to someone who looks suitably skinny… :)

I watched Insurgent, which was OK, then started to watch Fast & Furious 7, but couldn’t get into it on such a small screen. Amazingly, I did manage to catch small snatches of sleep, which was very welcome, interspersed with the obligatory periods of standing at the back of the plane pretending there aren’t loads of hours of sitting left.

So now I’m in Buenos Aires airport waiting to get back on to the same plane to fly the last 25 mins to Montevideo. I will be back in Buenos Aires in a couple of days, but I will be arriving by ferry next time! :)



OTN Tour of Latin America 2015 : The Journey Begins – CDG Airport


ace-directorI’ve been in Charles de Gaulle airport for about three hours now. Only another four to go… :)

I tried to record another technical video, but you can hear kids in the background. Now the timings are sorted, it should be pretty quick to re-record when I get to a hotel, so that’s good I guess. I’m not sure I can face doing another one today.

My YouTube channel is on 199 subscribers. About to ding to the magic 200. :)

Perhaps I should get the GoPro out and do some filming of the barren wasteland, which is the K gates in Terminal 2E.



OTN Tour of Latin America 2015 : The Journey Begins


ace-directorI’m about to board a flight to Paris, where I will wait for 7 hours before starting my 14 hour flight to Montevideo, Uruguay. I think you can probably guess how I’m feeling at this moment…

Why won’t someone hurry up and invent a teleport device?

I will probably put out little posts like this along the way, just so friends and family know what is going on. It’s wrong to wish your life away, but I’m really not looking forward to the next 20+ hours…

Hopefully I will get power in Paris, so I can do some stuff on my laptop…



OTN Tour of Latin America 2015 (Southern Leg)


ace-directorI put out a brief video a few days ago (re-uploaded today to fix typos) about my participation in the OTN Tour of Latin America (2015). I’ll be on the southern leg this year. Sorry to those countries who make up the northern leg. I will be back soon I hope.

Anyway, the southern leg of the tour shapes up like this.

  • 3/4 August Uruguay UYOUG
  • 5/6 August Argentina AROUG
  • 8 August Brazil GUOB
  • 10 August Chile CLOUG
  • 12 August Peru PEOUG

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone. See you soon!

After the Peru leg, the wife and I will be going off to see Machu Picchu.



Oracle ACE Program : Thanks Folks!


As you will know from my previous post, I picked up the “UK Speaker Award” at UKOUG Tech 14. I’ve already done a bunch of thank you messages, but I’d just like to take a minute and thank the Oracle ACE Program for the part they have played in this.

Many of you will know, I was invited to the ACE program because of my online contributions to the Oracle community. Prior to joining the program I had not done any public speaking and had not been part of any user groups. I hadn’t even attended a SIG or a conference before. The first conference I ever attended was Oracle OpenWorld in 2006, where I picked up the “Oracle ACE of the Year” award. It was only from that point on that I started to present.

If I had not been invited to the program, I doubt I would have ever tried to present at an Oracle event. Even if I had taken the plunge, I doubt I would have done enough presenting to come away with a speaker award like this. The amount of people I’ve met over the years and the amount of advice they have given me on presenting has been invaluable.

I know I’m not the best presenter out there and I know I’ve still got a long way to go, but I honestly don’t believe I would have come this far without the help of the Oracle ACE Program, so many thanks to everyone involved in the program, both organisers and ACEs alike, for all your help over the last  8 years. It is very much appreciated!



OTN APAC 2014 : Beijing Interviews


While we were in Beijing on the OTN APAC Tour, some of use were asked to do some media interviews. You can see them here:

I don’t like seeing myself on video, because it reminds me I don’t look like Brad Pitt. :)



OTN APAC 2014 : Auckland to Birmingham


Everything went smoothly at Auckland airport. Boarding an A380 takes quite a bit of time and I was near the front of the plane, so I was in the last group to board. Fortunately there was loads of room for hand luggage and the seat was pretty good. The people too my right were a couple, so they were leaning together, which gave me more elbow room. The extra room and a plug socket meant I was able to have the laptop open for most of the 4 hour flight.

At Melbourne we had to get off the plane, go through security, then wait to board the same plane in the same seat. My neighbours were also flying through to Dubai, so I had the same folks next to me for that leg of the flight. No matter how good the conditions are in economy class, and they were good on this Emirates flight, sitting in a plane for 14 hours is hell. Eventually I get cabin fever and have a desperate desire to get out. I have thoughts of faking a heart attack and forcing an early landing, just to get out. It’s really not cool. With a little bit of sleep, some re-watching of films and a lot of pacing up and down by the toilets I managed to get through it. The only bit of drama was when I was leaving the plane I realised I had left some things behind. I was allowed back on the plane to get them, so all was good!

After a totally uneventful 2+ hour layover in Dubai, it was back on to a 8 hour flight to Birmingham. By this time in the journey I’m usually kind-of frantic. Not so much thing time. I think my brain was mush by now. This flight didn’t feel so long, but I don’t remember too much about it, apart from ripping one of my finger nails and needing a plaster. I don’t think I slept much. I think I was just kind-of dazed.

I arrived in Birmingham in the early afternoon. After getting my luggage it was a relatively short taxi ride home. At one point we got in a traffic jam and I wanted to die, but then the traffic opened up and I got home. Once home I got a drink, put some washing on, had a bath, then went to bed. It was about 14:00.

Next thing I know, I was having a dream about something biting my finger. I shook my hand to get it off, and knocked my tablet off the bedside table. Freshly awake, I looked at the clock and thought, damn it. It’s 5 o’clock and I’ve slept for only 3 hours. I got up and drove to a store and it was closed. I checked the clock again and I had actually slept 15 hours. It was 5am, not 5pm. I guess I was pretty tired… :)

So now I’m back and I think I’m OK. I have that “aeroplane nose”, which I’m hoping is not a cold coming, and I also have a foggy head, which is I guess a jet-lag thing. I’ve got today off as it’s Sunday, but it’s back to work tomorrow…

My next post will be a wrap-up post…