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April 2012

Shrinking Tables to Aid Full Scans

{This blog is about shrinking tables where the High Water Mark is higher than it needs to be. Prompted by one of the comments, I wrote a follow-up post on finding the High Water Mark and tables that consist mostly of empty space, which would be candidates for shrinking.}

This blog is about one of those things I do as almost an autonomous “not thinking about it” performance housekeeping task, one which I have been meaning to mention for ages.

There can be quite a lot to gain by checking out full scans on “small” tables and seeing if it is as efficient as it can be. Sometimes it is, sometimes it is not. Often it is “good enough”. Occasionally it is awful.

Recently I was just casting an eye over the “top 20″ SQL on a system for any code generating a lot of consistent gets. I came across the below:

Webinar Recording

So to wrap this up, the webinar recording (this time hosted on YouTube, the recording available from the webinar archive is hosted somewhere else) along with the webinar material for download is now officially available on

I suggest that if you still have any questions regarding this webinar then you can comment on the post over there and I'll try to address them.

If you interested in more stuff like that, then stay tuned as there are more of them planned covering many of the aspects that I deliberately left out or mentioned only briefly in this basic introduction.

Extents of an Oracle Database DBA’s Knowledge Base

April 18, 2012 I saw an interesting thread on the OTN forums this morning that forced me to stop and think about several items.  The thread contains a question posed during a recent job interview – one of the best questions that I have seen (dare I say, better than one I might have crafted myself).  [...]

Wrath of the Titans…

Wrath of the Titans has one clear advantage over the previous film. It’s not a remake of a film I have seen masses of times. That alone makes it a little more interesting for me.

It looks great, but it does seem to drag on at times. I came out thinking they should have cut about 30 minutes to make it flow better. Imagine my surprise when I found out the running time was only 99 minutes. :)

IMHO this is a “wait for DVD” film. Even then I would hold on until you can get it in a sale. It’s not bad, but it won’t rock your world.




Where to begin with Battleship?

The good:

The bad:

Critical Analysis of “Critical Analysis Meets Exadata”

Kevin Closson put out a post yesterday called Critical Analysis Meets Exadata, linking to two awesome videos. It’s well worth spending the time to watch these, even if (like me) you never get so much as a sniff of Exadata. :)

I was lucky enough to be one of several people asked to review these videos before they were released. I’m sure some of the performance gurus on the Oak Table had a lot to say, but of the several comments I fed back to Kevin, I would just like to post a couple here:

Statistics poll

Thanks to everyone for spreading the link and participating in the poll on statistics. As it was pointed out in the comments, the poll isn’t very specific, I know. My point was to get an idea how many people use the defaults (I considered Oracle version 11g) for stats collection, how many do a very simple and reasonable tweak to get more stable execution plans, and how many people prefer custom statistics management. Well, I think the results will not change much and here are as following (326 votes at the time of writing):

Information exchange

This is a short note on the topic of information exchange. I use to get up-to-date technology news. This is a blog aggregator I’ve tried first and have been using it since then, which is 3-4 years I guess. It’s great </p />

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The Magic of Doing One Thing At A Time

I just read an article from the Harvard Business Review entitled "The Magic of Doing One Thing at a Time" and thought it was excellent. I highly recommend reading the whole article (it's not long) but here are a few "policies worth promoting" from the article:

1. Maintain meeting discipline.
Among other things, this includes starting and ending meetings at a "precise" time and insisting that all digital devices be turned off throughout the meeting. Amen!
2. Stop demanding or expecting instant responsiveness at every moment of the day.

The Cabin in the Woods…

The adverts would have you believe The Cabin in the Woods is a “Game Changer”, “Astounding” and lots of other things that would make you think you are about to witness something that will change the course of movie history. That fact is, it’s just another teen slasher movie. It’s quite a good one as it goes, but there is nothing revolutionary here. I could have been watching any of the Scream films and it would have been pretty much the same experience.

If you like teen slashers, I think you will like this. To get maximum enjoyment, avoid any trailers, reviews with spoilers and hype.