Thursday, 2 October 2014

Riding to SIOUG and HROUG

Usergroups are the lifeblood of a good community. And I like to help a little, but visiting or speaking if I can.

Hence I will be speaking at SIOUG.si and HROUG.hr usergroup conferences together with some some old friends and lots in interesting new people that I look forward to meeting.

Check the links to the conferences here. SIOUG is in Lubljana, the lovely capital of Slovenia:


And HROUG is in Rovinj, on the Adriatic coast:



This trip will not be as long as expedition I did last summer, visiting 3 conferences, doing 12000km including some classic mountain passes. But I still look forward to riding a lot of interesting roads on
the motorcycle.

The previous trip was a Great Success.  So let's do it again.

Here is the approximate route-plan for the coming weeks:

the route.. click to enlarge



If anyone who lives along the route wants a quick consulting visit or simply has good coffee, drop me a note. I always like to stop by hospitable folks (and I may need to dry some clothes if the weather isn't cooperating)

In case of moderate weather, I will have to use the toll-roads and tunnels like everybody else, but if the weather is good, I will search out some real motorcycle roads !

Best thing I ever did: re-start my motorcycle-life after so many years!


Friday, 11 April 2014

Simple, just go.


Despite an interesting migration project coming up, here is my travel plan for the summer... 




Ferry tickets Talinn-Helsinki-Talinn are booked, I guess I'm committed. 
No airplanes for me this time: plain two wheels (more simple? maybe).

At least one customer is gently asking to stay in touch by providing a laptop and/or remote facility.
Any tips for finding good Wifi on the trip ?

I'l put up some more details when I have them, and the more personal, non-Oracle stuff probably goes the pdvsecondblog where I tend to put my bike-pictures (yep,  new hobby)... 




Saturday, 23 November 2013

DOAG 2013 was Very Good - Danke Schön !

Back from DOAG2013 and I can say it was One of the Best Conference Ever.

The organisation is near perfect, the venue is very suitable, DOAG has free public transport arranged. And there is good food all day long. (Good, Tasty, and free!). And the Mercator Lounge provided Exellent Coffee too.

Needless to say the content of the presentation was Excellent (and I've learned a bit more Deutsch as well). And I met up with  many old + lots of new friends.  (could insert long list of names, facebooks, blogs, and twitters...)

Learned a lot of useful stuff and also many hig-tech items. And Still need to investigate a lot of the notes I made. (I suppose there is a download option for ppts as well.. I want to re-read some).


If there is anything to remark, maybe two small things:
1. Tip: Gently nudge the audiences to fill in pieces of paper with remarks (ask UKOUG!). That way the speakers get comments from those who dont want to talk directly. And both the organizer and the speaker  Learn a bit extra. Some surprising feedback I've had too (possibly a blogpost someday)
2. Wifi... It didnt work for my laptop most of the time (slow, bloated, corporate box, so maybe "duh"), but also worked only half the time on the Nexus7. We all know WLan is difficult in public venues, but still.
Oh and: the time+again ticking of a box and clicking a button is .... childish and annoying.
(but most venues do it, probably for legal reasons...).

Please dont take these two points negative, because the total Conference was GREAT.
Please give me the excuse to visit again: Just accept one of my silly abstracts, put me in some graveyard timeslot and I'm a happy bunny.

Danke Schön !


Thursday, 24 May 2012

Shoukran

Je dois remercier chaleureusement les marocains qui ont assiste au seminaire sur la haute disponibility des systems. Vous etiez des participant tres sympathique. Shoukran!

But I am going to lazyly, and safely, write the rest of this in english.

I am sure you all got the main messages about how "Simplicity" is your friend, and how you should avoid needless complexity - no matter what the salesperson tells your boss.

And after a brief chat with the folks from Omnidata I have one more piece of advice for you: Start a Usergroup.

Between the audience we had today, I think you have enough knowledge and experience to do some Interesting Exchanges. Why not start with some informal luch or dinner meetings and see which topics come up. And you can start giving presentations amongst yourselves.

You dont always need to fly-in some flashy-trendy foreign "consultant" to give you the lowdown. You can also chat amoung eachother in french, or any language you prefer (Frenglish when you mix in the IT jargon). 

A usergroup is good for knowlege exchange, and it is also great for networking. And you may find more sponsors then  you think. I think  Omnidata is interested already. And Oracle will probably want to participate as well.

If you need help, I'm sure the UKOUG or OUGF can offer you more relevant advice then I can type here. Feel free to contact Debra Lilley or Heli Helskyaho for all you need to know about running a usergroup.

It would be nice to find that next year you have a OUG going. I look forward to visiting the MOUG (Moroccan Oracle User Group) or GMUO (Groupe Maroccain d'Utilisateurs Oracle). Or even NAfOUG (North African Oracle User Group).
Disclaimer: I have no idea whether those sounds mean anything in your local languages, but I trust you to pick a name that doesnt sound like a Q in french.

Good Luck!

And one more Thanks for making me practice my business-French.
Like I told some of you, my wife and my 2 teenage kids are my main french teachers and I realize my french may sound a little youthly with a large anglophone influence and a dutch accent.
But I believe the main messages got across.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

multible blocksizes in an Oracle Database


In short: Not useful.

More elaborated: Messy, waste of memory-space and admin-effort.


Let me explain:

I've come across this discussion again and I considered myself lucky that Charles Hooper has done all the research already.

I'm summarizing his findings here:

Multiple Blocksizes do NOT offer Any Proven Advantage.

The theory about more efficient indexes and better managed cache is good, and I dont deny there is good reasoning behind it. But in practice, having multiple blocksizes and multiple db-nK-caches doesnt make a difference.

It is a waste of the extra (little bit of) work.

And most likely, you end up wasteing cache-space because you hard-divide the cache space into chunks and you prevent the Oracle LRU-mechanism from utilizing all available cache as it sees fit.

Of course, you may be the exception that proves the rule, and I would like to hear from you in that case, but until further notice, I'll stick with my motto:

Simple = Better.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

sqldeveloper - the swiss knife for Oracle.

SQL Developer is the Swiss Army Knife for Oracle Developers (and DBAs and other interested parties, for that matter)This post is about SQLDeveloper and about "The Book" that introduces it.

In short: Recommended. The book and the tool.

Recommended for Newbies and experienced folk alike.

Recommended for Developers, DBA's and other users of the database.

Let me explain why.


Manuals are sooo last century.
Remember the boxes that came with Oracle7 and Oracle8/i?
(looks for picture of pallet)

Then in Oracle 9, there was a CD with .pdfs. I've seen people consume a tree or two on that, and I'm guilty myself of selectively printing chapters to study on long-distance trains and put yellow-stickies on. Laptop batteries were brief in those days.


I would be interested to know how many ppl dont carry books at all anymore, just .pdfs on laptops, e-readers or ipads [jokelink]. I have switched to laptop-reading for most manuals, but not for leasure-books. And the person who used to say: "From their bookshelf, I recognize the type of DBA/Developer" will have to flip through his customer's laptop or ipad to do an assesment"


Normally, I hestitate to recommend books to developers (or anyone) because there is a lot of rambling rubbish out there. Books tend to follow the hobby-horse of the author (at best), books may contains outdated information (a lot, given the pace of Oracle 7-8-9-10-11, the opt_cost_adj=120 and the go_faster=true|false come to mind). At worst, the information in books can be rampantly wrong. Notably Jonathan Lewis points out that you should be critical of information on the internet, the same caveat applies to the bookshop: Dont believe everything that is printed.


Oracle SQL Developer by Sue Harper, another link to the publisher ...But the SQLDeveloper book by Sue Harper is one of the Good Exceptions.

This is how a good introductory book should be.
It simply presents the tool and all its possibilities.
It doesnt impose a methodology.
It doesnt try to convince you of anything.

Like any truly good book, it allows you to do your own thinking.

And it does a very good job of introducing the tool and its many possible uses.
Check it out, and decide for yourself. You might be surprised.

To get an impression: you can read the first chapter Here at the publishers website.


To the Newbie developer it is a good introduction, to the more seasoned SQL-Plus user (or users of other tools, for that matter) it is a good reference.

As a die-hard command-liner, I will of course stick to my #$% prompts, but for those of you who have to be more productive, or who are forced off other tools for cost-cutting reasons this book can help you on your road to fortune and glory.

I'd also like to mention that there is a trend: Sue is not the first oracle Product Manager to write a book, and I had already enjoyed the writing of Larry Carpenter who runs the team that nurtured DataGuard into bloom. I can heartily recommend his book as well. I have recently used that too, to convince Customers/managers/leaders/victims/architects of the benefits of Dataguard (and soon to come: GoldenGate, running on a system near you). Larrys book was reviewd by Harold "Prutser" van Brederode

A tip of the hat and a big "Thank You" to both authors for going through the process of writing those books!

Monday, 30 November 2009

Tom Kyte at UKOUG on Complexity

That car may not have been as reliable tho...You all guessed it: I love simple stuff.


Must date back to the days I watched the Flintstones and Yogi Bear. Great Fun! Even my own kids, highscool-teenagers, already blogged about how their nostalgic primary-school days were refreshingly simple (and they have tons of jpgs to illustrate their memories).


Today, at UKOUG TEBS, Tom Kyte gave us loads of "Simple" and very good advice.

"We still underestimate complexity."
So why are some vendor-supplied products so complex?
so why do we bespoke our own work to un-explainable levels of complexity sophistication?

"Less code is less bugs"
So why do we all increase footprints everywhere?

"Errors will happen, prepare to handle them!"
So why do we still hide, ignore, or report errors erratically ?

His security-message related to the Starship Enterprise is Brilliant!

And his main message remains this very sensible:
"Always Question Everything"
(including this anti-complexity rant)


I know, I know,
we are not wearing bearskins anymore.
we have even moved on from Cobol.

Real world business isnt simple.
And Real Appl.... oops Real World Requirements are driving this unavoidable(?) complexity. Not to mention that increasing complexity is part of my own job-seurity

But still, some of Toms messages were of Refreshing Simplicity.

Thanks Tom.