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Oracle related rants (and lots of off-topic stuff)...
Updated: 6 hours 38 min ago

Do you even [ Agile | DevOps ] bruh?

Fri, 2016-02-05 05:01

It seems I can’t turn around without getting myself involved in some discussion about Agile or DevOps these days.

agile-devops-meme2

I agree with many of the concepts and the aims of Agile, DevOps, Continuous Delivery etc. I find it hard to believe anyone wouldn’t see value in what they are trying to promote. As always, it is how people interpret and implement them that makes all the difference.

It’s just like religion. They all seem to be pretty sound at heart, but let a few lunatics and fundamentalists loose on them and next thing you know…

Things like Agile and DevOps have arisen to address perceived problems. If your organisation doesn’t suffer from those problems, you may not need to consider them, or you may already be doing something like them without knowing you are. :)

Your company can be agile, without following Scrum or Kanban. You will inevitably have arrived at similar patterns I guess. Likewise, your streamlining of process, automation of testing and deployment, good communication between silos (if present) may leave you wondering what all the DevOps fuss is about.

I am both a fan and hater of Agile and DevOps. I’m a fan of what they are able to achieve when used correctly. I’m a hater of all the bullshit that surrounds them!

Rant over. :)

Cheers

Tim…

Do you even [ Agile | DevOps ] bruh? was first posted on February 5, 2016 at 12:01 pm.
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Video: Amazon Web Services (AWS) : Relational Database Services (RDS) for Oracle

Wed, 2016-02-03 02:59

Here’s the latest video on my YouTube channel. This one is a quick run through of RDS for Oracle, a DBaaS offering from Amazon Web Services.

If you are not into the video thing, you can see the article this video was based on here.

Galo Balda has now joined the illustrious list of people who have said “.com” on one of my videos. :)

Don’t worry, I’ve not sold my soul to the cloud. I’m doing some talks at work and I’m doing these videos more as reference for my colleagues. Once this batch of videos is done, I’ll return to some less cloudy stuff. :)

Cheers

Tim…

Video: Amazon Web Services (AWS) : Relational Database Services (RDS) for Oracle was first posted on February 3, 2016 at 9:59 am.
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WordPress 4.4.2

Tue, 2016-02-02 13:30

WordPress 4.4.2 has been released.

You can see the list of fixes here. Three of the five installations I maintain had already updated by the time I got to them, so by the time you read this you will probably already have it too. :)

Happy blogging.

Cheers

Tim…

WordPress 4.4.2 was first posted on February 2, 2016 at 8:30 pm.
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Video: Database as a Service (DBaaS) on Oracle Cloud

Sat, 2016-01-30 09:29

The latest video on my YouTube Channel is a run through of using the Database as a Service (DBaaS) offering on Oracle Cloud.

There have been a few minor changes in the interface since I last ran through capturing images, so the related article has been brought up to date.

I used my dad for the cameo in this video. Hopefully this will help him get a little more recognition, as he’s pretty much a nobody on the Oracle scene at the moment. With your help this could change!

Cheers

Tim…

Update: Almost as soon as I released this blog post the footage was out of date as Oracle released some minor changes to the interface. I rerecorded the video and re-uploaded it, so it is up to date as of now. All links from my website and this blog post point to the new video. If you have read this post via an RSS reader, you may still be seeing the old version of the post, and as a result see the link to the video as broken. But in that case, you won’t be able to read this either. :)

Video: Database as a Service (DBaaS) on Oracle Cloud was first posted on January 30, 2016 at 4:29 pm.
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(Not So) Internal Dialogue

Thu, 2016-01-28 04:52

internal-dialogueWhen I wrote about rehearsals in my public speaking tips series, I mentioned talking through small sections of the presentations as a means for rehearsals. I do this a lot! I live on my own, so this is not an internal dialogue. I say this stuff out loud.

This morning I was talking through some ideas as I left the house and cleared the ice off the car. I continued during the journey to work, including when I got out of the car to get a coffee from the Costa Express at the garage. Even as I was unlocking the office door.

If you happen see me doing this in the street, I’m not talking to an imaginary friend. It’s an imaginary audience. If you’re gonna do crazy, you might as well do it at scale… :)

Cheers

Tim…

(Not So) Internal Dialogue was first posted on January 28, 2016 at 11:52 am.
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Why ask how, when why is so much more fun?

Tue, 2016-01-26 12:43

OK. So the original quote from Spawn is exactly the opposite, but let’s go with it… :)

A few times in the past I’ve been asked questions and started to give a direct answer, then someone smarter has jumped in and asked the killer question. Why? Quite often it’s easy to answer the initial question, so rather than understand the reason for the question, you just respond and pat yourself on the back. That’s great, but without knowing the context of the question, the “right answer” could actually be the “wrong answer”. As Tom always says, “The answer to every question is *it depends*!”

I had another situation like that recently. The questions was, “How can I install VNC on a Linux box?” Pretty simple answer and I know a guy who wrote an article on that, so I pointed them to the article. Job done!

Then I got a pang of guilt and the conversation went like this…

  • Q: Why do you want to install VNC?
  • A: Because my boss told me too.
  • Q: By why does your boss want you to install VNC?
  • A: Because the network connection breaks sometimes, making a “ssh -X user@host” a dodgy solution.

Now I have nothing against VNC itself, but installing it on a server is one more attack vector to worry about, especially if it’s not necessary. Knowing the context allowed me to talk about silent installs, command line DBCA, running things in the background, even the screen command.

If the person goes away and installs VNC, that’s no skin off my nose, but just answering how, without knowing the context could well have opened them, or me, up to criticism down the line.

So next time you answer a question and are about to enable smug mode, ask yourself if you have actually helped, or just taken the easy route.

Cheers

Tim…

Why ask how, when why is so much more fun? was first posted on January 26, 2016 at 7:43 pm.
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Oracle Midlands : Event #13

Mon, 2016-01-25 16:41

Tomorrow is Oracle Midlands Event #13.

om13

Franck is a super-smart guy, so please show your support and start the year as you mean to go on!

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Midlands : Event #13 was first posted on January 25, 2016 at 11:41 pm.
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[Cloud | On-Premise | Outsourcing | In-Sourcing] and why you will fail!

Fri, 2016-01-22 07:47

error-24842_640I was reading this article about UK government in-sourcing all the work they previously outsourced.

This could be a story about any one of a number of failed outsourcing or cloud migration projects I’ve read about over the years. They all follow the same pattern.

  • The company is having an internal problem, that they don’t know how to solve. It could be related to costs, productivity, a paradigm shift in business practices or just an existing internal project that is failing.
  • They decide launch down a path of outsourcing or cloud migration with unrealistic expectations of what they can achieve and no real ideas about what benefits they will get, other than what Gartner told them.
  • When it doesn’t go to plan, they blame the outsourcing company, the cloud provider, the business analysts, Gartner, terrorists etc. Notably, the only thing that doesn’t get linked to the failure is themselves.

You might have heard this saying,

“You can’t outsource a problem!”

Just hoping to push your problems on to someone else is a guaranteed fail. If you can’t clearly articulate what you want and understand the consequences of your choices, how will you ever get a result you are happy with?

Over the years we’ve seen a number of high profile consultancies get kicked off government projects. The replacement consultancy comes in, hires all the same staff that failed last time, then continue on the failure train. I’m not going to mention names, but if you have paid any attention to UK government IT projects over the last decade you will know who and what I mean.

Every time you hear someone complaining about failing projects or problems with a specific model (cloud, on-premise, outsourcing, in-sourcing), it’s worth taking a step back and asking yourself where the problem really is. It’s much easier to blame other people than admit you’re part of the problem! These sayings spring to mind.

“Garbage in, garbage out!”

“A bad workman blames his tools!”

Cheers

Tim…

PS. I’ve never done anything wrong. It’s the rest of the world that is to blame… :)

Update: I wasn’t suggesting this is only an issue in public sector projects. It just so happens this rant was sparked by a story about public sector stuff. :)

[Cloud | On-Premise | Outsourcing | In-Sourcing] and why you will fail! was first posted on January 22, 2016 at 2:47 pm.
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Video: Oracle Linux Virtual Machine (VM) on Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Thu, 2016-01-21 03:14

Continuing the cloud theme, here is a quick run through of the process of creating an Oracle Linux virtual machine on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

A few months ago I wrote an article about installing an Oracle database on AWS.

I updated the images in that article last night to bring them in line with this video.

The cameo today is by Joel Pérez, who was a bit of a perfectionist when recording “.com”. I’ve included about half of his out-takes at the end of the video. Don’t ever hire him for a film or you will run over budget! :)

Cheers

Tim…

Video: Oracle Linux Virtual Machine (VM) on Amazon Web Services (AWS) was first posted on January 21, 2016 at 10:14 am.
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MobaXterm 8.6

Wed, 2016-01-20 03:38

MobaXterm 8.6 has just been released. The downloads and changelog can be found here.

For SSH and X emulation, this is the best! I keep saying it, but give it a go. You won’t regret it. :)

Cheers

Tim…

MobaXterm 8.6 was first posted on January 20, 2016 at 10:38 am.
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Video: SQL Server Databases on Microsoft Azure

Wed, 2016-01-20 02:55

I mentioned in a previous post, the whole look and feel of Microsoft Azure has been rejigged. As a result, I had to do a run through of the SQL Server DBaaS stuff to update the screen shots in and old article on the subject.

Azure : SQL Server Databases on Azure

Since I was doing that, I figured I might as well do a video for my YouTube channel.

Cheers

Tim…

Video: SQL Server Databases on Microsoft Azure was first posted on January 20, 2016 at 9:55 am.
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VirtualBox 5.0.14

Wed, 2016-01-20 02:22

VirtualBox 5.0.14 has been born.

Downloads and changelog are in the usual places.

I’ve not done the installation on Linux yet, but it installed and seems to work fine on Windows 7 and Mac OS X (El Crapitan).

Cheers

Tim…

VirtualBox 5.0.14 was first posted on January 20, 2016 at 9:22 am.
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Video: Oracle Linux Virtual Machine (VM) on Micorosft Azure

Mon, 2016-01-18 02:17

The interface for Microsoft Azure has been re-jigged since I last did screen shots, so I did a run through of creating an Oracle Linux VM and recorded it for my channel.

I also updated the associated article.

Cheers

Tim…

Video: Oracle Linux Virtual Machine (VM) on Micorosft Azure was first posted on January 18, 2016 at 9:17 am.
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YouTube : 6 Months and 1000 Subscribers!

Thu, 2016-01-14 13:12

That’s right, it’s been a touch over 6 months and my YouTube channel has just hit the 1000 subscriber mark. :)

This YouTube experience has been quite odd. My plan was to try and upload a video every weekday for the first 2 months, and I came pretty close to hitting that target. Once I had got a bit of content on the channel, I was inevitably going to kick back a little. After all, there is the website, the blog, life and that annoyance they call work to consider. I think a realistic target is to aim for is 1-2 videos a week.

There will inevitably be periods (like this last 2 weeks) where I don’t hit that, but just like writing, I’m not going to beat myself up about it. It’s the normal ebb and flow of things.

So far the technical videos have almost all been based on command line examples, which is similar to my approach when doing technical presentations. That’s suited me while I’ve been finding my feet, but over time there will be a number of different formats. I’m probably going to avoid having my image in the videos. I don’t like being in front of the camera that much, as I have to suck my gut in for extended periods of time. :) I liked doing the car videos, as I was less self conscious about the camera while I was concentrating on the driving, but the sound quality was really bad, so I’m not sure if I’ll do more of those. We shall see.

The channel content will become more eclectic over time, because the DBA job is quite eclectic. There’s no point trying to bullshit about being a specialist, because I’m not one.

I would quite like to try my hand at some totally non-technical stuff, like a vlog maybe, but if I do that, it will probably end up on another channel, so it doesn’t dilute this channel too much. We’ll see what happens.

Anyway, to everyone who has subscribed so far, thank you. Thanks to all the folks that have done cameos for me so far. I’ve got a whole bunch more coming. If you’ve not already seen my channel, give it a try and see what you think.

Here’s to the next 1000 subscribers!

Cheers

Tim…

 

YouTube : 6 Months and 1000 Subscribers! was first posted on January 14, 2016 at 8:12 pm.
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Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 13c : Navigation and “Look and Feel”

Wed, 2016-01-13 08:40

o-enterprisemgr-13c-clr-2769481I’ve continued to play around with Cloud Control 13c and I’m generally getting a nice vibe from it.

One of the things I really hated about Grid Control 10g and 11g was the navigation. It felt like you had to click on 50 links to get to the thing you wanted. When Cloud Control 12c came along and had a main menu it was a massive improvement. Even so, it was still a little annoying as the menu was split, with some bits on the left and some bits on the top-right.

em12c-menu

In Cloud Control 13c, these menus have been brought together into the top-right of the screen.

em13c-menu1

If the screen size is smaller, the buttons collapse to show just the icons, which saves space.

em13c-menu2

It probably sounds really trivial, but having both menus together is a really nice touch. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been fumbling around, unable to find something, only to remember it is in that blasted menu at the top-right. Now there is no excuse. :)

The job scheduler navigation is also a lot nicer. In Cloud Control 12c we had a bunch of drop-downs and a “Go” button.

em12c-jobs

In Cloud Control 13c there are tiles along the top to alter the context of the output and the tree on the left allows you to quickly flip between criteria.

em13c-jobs

It is so much quicker to get the information you want this way.

So as far as I’m concerned, Cloud Control 13c is getting a big thumbs-up from a navigation perspective!

A couple of people have asked my impression about the new look and feel. If we ignore the navigation, most of the pages are quite similar to what we had before, so there is no need to panic. Overall it has a sparser, cleaner look, which is more in keeping with the way the web is these days, so I think that’s a good thing. Anyone who has used Oracle Cloud will find the look very familiar. :)

I guess the biggest bonus of the new look and feel is it is more responsive. On some of the old pages you had a lot of sideways scrolling to do if you have a small browser window. The new look and feel deals a lot better with that. It’s not perfect, but it is better. So I’m giving the new look and feel a big thumbs-up too!

Being the bitter old man that I am, I reserve the right to change my mind and hate it all in the future. :)

Cheers

Tim…

Caveat: I use a very small subset of the functionality available from Cloud Control, so my opinion is going to be based on the bits I use a lot. It might be that other areas have been adversely affected by the new navigation or look and feel, but the bits I care about are looking good.

Enterprise Manager Cloud Control 13c : Navigation and “Look and Feel” was first posted on January 13, 2016 at 3:40 pm.
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MobaXterm 8.5

Mon, 2016-01-11 02:28

MobaXterm 8.5 was released at then end of last year. The download and changelog can be found here.

If you use a Windows desktop and you ever need to SSH a server or use X emulation, you need this bit of software in your life. There is a free version, or you can subscribe to support the development.

Give it a go. You won’t regret it.

Cheers

Tim…

MobaXterm 8.5 was first posted on January 11, 2016 at 9:28 am.
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KeePass 2.31

Mon, 2016-01-11 02:05

KeePass 2.31 has been released. You can download it from here.

You can read about how I use KeePass and KeePassX2 on my Mac, Windows and Android devices here.

Cheers

Tim…

KeePass 2.31 was first posted on January 11, 2016 at 9:05 am.
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Oracle Linux : UEK4 Released

Sat, 2016-01-09 07:29

linux-tuxI wrote a post a couple of months ago called
Which version of Oracle Linux should I pick for Oracle server product installations? One of the points I raised was the use of UEK allows you to have all the latest kernel goodies, regardless of being on an older release, like OL6.

I saw a post today about the release of UEK4, so now you have access to all the improvements in the 4.1 mainline Linux kernel, whether you are on are running OL6 or OL7. That just goes to prove the point really.

If you are running RHEL, you might be feeling pressure to move from RHEL6 to RHEL7 to get a bunch of the kernel enhancements that came with it. If you are running OL6, just switch to UEK4 and your kernel is ahead of the RHEL7 kernel. No stress and no having to deal with systemd and firewalld. :)

Cheers

Tim…

Oracle Linux : UEK4 Released was first posted on January 9, 2016 at 2:29 pm.
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