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June 2011

Green Lantern…

I’ve said it before and I’ll no doubt say it again, but the mark of a good superhero film is you should be watching it thinking, “I wish I was !”.

As a fat 41 year old man, that is exactly what I was thinking whilst watching Green Lantern. If Iron Man is a 9.5/10, then this is somewhere around the 8.5/10 region in my opinion. Similar to Thor I guess.

Parts of it reminded me of Spawn. I found myself thinking, if this character had watched the Spawn movie he could manifest some better weapons and defenses. :)

If they do a sequel, it would be cool if they focus on some of the other Lanterns.




Author, author!

It’s official – I’m writing a new book for Apress.

The working title is: “A look at the internal mechanics of the important bits of Oracle for people who aren’t planning to become rocket scientists but who do want to do a little more than just push buttons in OEM”. (I’m still working on making the title a little more catchy.)

Target publication time – some time in November.



で、仕方がないので、勢いで販売直後のAMD 990FX+SB950チップセット搭載 マザーボードでテストをします。これでだめならGIGABYTEを止めます。

php long numbers

I got a mail from long time Oracle guy Joel Garry regarding the twitter widget in the right hand column.

On, you have a twitter feed, where each entry has a date/time link on it.  But those links look like which look to me like something is translating a big number to scientific notation…?

Well Joel was right. Something was translating a large number to scientific notation. That something turns out to be php itself. Twitter status updates are (apparently) a simple ever increasing integer. There are now a lot of twitter status updates. As this page shows recent versions of php will automatically display that in scientific notation unless explicitly told otherwise. Now I personally think that this is an odd thing for php to choose to do, but us database folks surely recognize the folly of the plugin programmers relying on default formats. Anyway my version of the plugin is now fixed – based on this forum post - and thanks to Joel for the heads up. Anyone reading this who programs in php against databases that might return large numbers might wish to reveiw their web pages for appropriate results.

UltraEdit 2.2 for Mac/Linux released…

UltraEdit 2.2 has been released for Mac and Linux. There is Fedora 15 download now, which is good. It’s nice to see the continued progress of these versions.

If you are a Windows user, version 17.10 is out now for you guys.


Tim… Ten year anniversary (again)…

I’ve been having a 10 year anniversary of internet publishing for the best part of a year now.

I started publishing scripts and articles on the internet some time early in 2000, so really my 10 year anniversary was some time last year. I can’t remember the exact date though.

The first time my site appears on the Way Back Machine is June 2001 under the name Since this is the first recording I can find of the site, I guess it means it was off the search engine radar before then, so this could be considered the official start of the site (as seen by the world), making this my 10 year anniversary right about now.

Later that year I changed the name of the site, so the first listing of on the Way Back Machine is in October 2001. I guess I have another 10th anniversary around the corner. :)

I started this blog in June 2005, so it’s only my 6th anniversary of blogging. That’ll be another 10th anniversary in a few years time then. :)

I think I’ll stick with 2000 as being the start of it all because I’m getting old and it’s easy to remember. How times flies when you’re geeking out…



HOWTO: XML Partitioning and Multiple XMLIndex Structures

Although not a “pure” XML partitioning example, that is partitioning data on criteria within the XML document, and before I forget to mention this exercise, I would like to point out the following URL:

This small exercise was setup based on questions / comments from a reader on this blog regarding the ”
Structured XMLIndex (Part 3) – Building Multiple XMLIndex Structures” content after heaving trouble to setup structured and unstructured local XMLIndexes.

The forum link demonstrates howto:

  • Register a XML Schema for use with Binary XML storage
  • Create a RANGE partitioned table with a XMLType column (Binary XML Securefile storage)
  • Create a Unstructured LOCAL Partitioned XMLIndex (UXI)
  • Create multiple Structured local partitioned XMLIndexes (SXI)
  • Create secondary indexes on the Content Tables created by the SXI structures
  • The effects of different queries and their explain plan output making use of the UXI, SXI and partitioning


Quit Blogging or Give a Quick Update With Pointers To A Good Blog, A Glimpse Of The Future And A Photo Of Something From The Past? Yes.

I haven’t quit blogging, it’s just that I haven’t had a spare moment since joining EMC Data Computing Division back in March. My involvement in the upcoming Apress book about Exadata entitled Expert Oracle Exadata is complete so that is one of the few side-bar efforts that occasionally held me back from blogging. So, I should be able to craft some interesting content soon. I have a huge backlog of material I need to cover.

Now that I’m mentioning that Apress book I realize I still haven’t added Kerry Osborne to my blog roll. That’s a serious oversight. Folks, don’t miss Kerry’s blog!

What Is An Asymmetrical MPP? I Know What I Mean When I Say That. Do You?
After this blogging hiatus is over, I plan to start a blog series to cover an interesting architectural characteristic of data warehouse solutions. No, I’m not going to be the billionth person to regurgitate the phrase “shared-nothing MPP” because it simply doesn’t matter. That’s an argument for academics. Readers of this blog have commercial needs for business solutions—and IT budgets. The topic I’ll be blogging about is MPP symmetry or, more accurately, lack thereof. So I need terminology. In fact it would be nice to coin a term. Unfortunately for me, however, Netezza laid claim to the term Asymmetrical MPP, or ASMPP, for short. The context in which they use the term is not pejorative.

After I blog about MPP asymmetry, or what I refer to as Asymmetrical MPP, the term will be clearly pejorative—but the reasons will have nothing to do with Netezza. I have no intention of mentioning that particular technology at all going forward.

I think I’ll close this little update with a photo of one of the fish I caught during one of my last weekend outings before joining EMC. A photo of a fish is off-topic so I’ll put it under that page and offer a quick link here:

It’s just a fish.

Filed under: oracle

5 days left to vote for sessions at Oracle OpenWorld 2011 on Oracle Mix

Oracle has opened Suggest-a-Session on Oracle Mix. Suggest-a-Session is your opportunity to both submit your own presentation ideas as well as vote on the sessions that interest you. I’ve submitted 4 sessions. To vote on them simply click on the link:

Primary session:

others I posted

Also check out the presentations in Suggest-a-Session from Pythian

Sessions from illustrious Oaktable members

Riyaj Shamsudeen

Frits Hoogland

Randolf Geist

Marco Gralike

Alex Gorbachev

Richard Foote

Current top sessions can  be viewed with this impressive widget

for more information on the widget, check out

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The “XFILES APEX Community Edition” (XACE) is available for download

For all those to see and learn what you can do when combining the power of Oracle XMLDB and Oracle APEX an alternative APEX XFILES application is now available for download via It is based on the combined efforts of Mark Drake and Carl Backstrom to convert the XMLDB XFILES demo application towards APEX. This “XFILES APEX Community Edition”, XACE for short to make a distinction with the more sophisticated official XFILES XMLDB demo application, demonstrates an implementation of versioning based on DBMS_XDB_VERSION and APEX as UI.

Also for Roel Hartman and me, its an exercise to demonstrate what you can learn while “standing on the shoulders of giants”. Also, in the spirit of Carl Backstrom, we want to share our knowledge with the comminity and give “it” back in the hope you will also get excited of these two very powerful options in the Oracle database.

We use this XACE application to help us with our presentation to demonstrate APEX versioning so if you are interested and have the chance see us (and ask questions afterwards) during Kaleidoscope 2011 or (shameless plug here) vote for us on Oracle mix so we are able to present these techniques on Oracle Open World this year as well (“XFILES, The APEX 4 version – The truth is in there“).

The more important below…

Download the XFILES XMLDB source via: (among others webservices, geo location app, version control and more)
You can also download the OTN Developer Days Virtualbox environment to play with a fully installed XMLDB XFILES appl. (example 3 of the “Oracle By Example” XMLDB series).

Last but not least…

If you like it, in the light of the community

  • share it
  • learn from it
  • participate (and help to make it better)

…and if you really like the effort done, by the community, donate some of your bucks on “Carl’s Memorial Fund” ! (more info here: or under the “donate” link of

Hope you have some fun with it.

On behalve of…