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November 2012

When is Video Better?

Ok, I’m stuck, and I need your help.

At my company, we sell software tools that help Oracle application developers and database administrators see exactly where their code spends their users’ time. I want to publish better information at our web page that will allow people who are interested to learn more about our software, and that will allow people who don’t even realize we exist to discover what we have. My theory is that the more people who understand exactly what we have, the more customers we’ll get, and we have some evidence that bears that out.

I’ve gotten so much help from YouTube in various of my endeavors that I’ve formed the grand idea in my head:

Row Level Security Part 1

I’ve been working a little on Row Level Security (RLS) recently and wanted to mention a few things, so first some groundwork.

If you want to limit the rows certain users can see, you might think to use views or you might think to use RLS (part of VPD – Virtual Private Database). You can also (from V10 I think) limit which columns users can see. An example is probably the best way to show this. I’m doing this on Oracle

I have two users, MDW and MDW_OFFSHORE. MDW has DBA-type privileges and MDW_OFFSHORE has connect, resource and one or two other simple privs. I will now demonstrate creating and populating a simple table under MDW, adding RLS to it and how it alters what MDW_OFFSHORE sees.

Learning is not a spectator sport

Connor McDonald's Oracle blog

New Blog

I’ve just discovered that Connor McDonald has had a blog for ages, and I hadn’t noticed because it’s not getting accumulated on the Oak Table site. So, for a brief period only, here’s the URL.

Power Loss and Database Recovery…

About a week ago we had a big power outage at work. What with UPS and generators, most systems coped fine, but one system didn’t fair so well…

One of the mount points, and some of the data files within it, got corrupted and the Solaris container holding the database decided to repeatedly bounce between nodes. After a few days work on the part of the sysadmins, including a file system restore to repair the Oracle software installation, the server was given back to me.

A DBVerify showed there were loads of block corruptions in the data files, so I did a full restore and recovery of the database. The app was released for testing to the users this morning. A little before midday we had another power outage, even more severe than the previous one. Some of the UPS had not fully recharged since the last outage…

Importance of feedback


The human brain works so well because it calculates outcomes as it takes actions feeding back the current results compared to the expected results  which allows immediate corrections if the two are not aligning.

Such a immediate comparison between expected results and actual is an important functionality to include into software in order to have the best results especially when it comes to usability and user friendliness.

Software that doesn’t give any feedback until a job is supposedly finished is setting itself up for at worst failure or at least wasted time and effort. As  Cary Millsap recounts in one of his presentations “imagine practicing your put and after you hit the ball you have wait an hour to find out where your ball went.” That would make it tough to learn how to put better.

Here is a nice video that helps get this point across. The first two examples are visual. Go to 16:50 for a more typical programming code task, binary search.

MobaXTerm 6.0 Released

I was filling a new memory stick with useful stuff for work, including the latest PortableApps, and noticed MobaXTerm Version 6.0 has been released.

It’s a standalone exe, so it runs just fine from a memory stick. :)



MobaXTerm 6.0 Released was first posted on November 13, 2012 at 10:30 pm.
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Busy – busy

You may have noticed that I haven’t added any new material for some time – sometimes life just gets too busy with other things.

As a stop gap for those who like to browse interesting Oracle information, I’ve added a few more links to my “Bits and Pieces” page – the newly added items are marked with ***



While writing this I am singing the Skyfall theme in the style of a bad pub singer, kinda like Vic Reeves would do.

I couldn’t face queuing and all that jazz during the opening weekend of Skyfall, so I went at lunchtime today instead. I’m an old git, so Sean Connery will always be the “real” James Bond for me, but I think Daniel Craig is a very close second. I like the fact he looks like he’ll **** you up if you mess with him! The last bond that really had that presence was Connery.

Luca Canali’s Wonderful Public Oracle-Related Materials

This is just a quick blog post to direct readers to treasure trove of public information offered by Luca Canali (of CERN).

Let there be no mistake. These are not just ordinary presentations. Many of them have detailed how-to information in the speaker notes to amplify the information in the slides. They fall into the class of must-read.

Enjoy, and thanks, to Luca!

The list:

Compressing very large data sets in Oracle, UKOUG Conference 2009, Birmingham, Dec 2009.

Upcoming: Active Data Guard at CERN, UKOUG 2012 conference, Birmingham, December 4th 2012