Search

OakieTags

Who's online

There are currently 0 users and 28 guests online.

Recent comments

Affiliations

December 2011

UKOUG 2011: Day -1

I missed the OakTable day because it was the 10th birthday party of nephew number 1, but I did make it back to Birmingham in time for the ACE dinner. Mark Rittman provided evidence of my presence here. I was already full of cake and trifle before I arrived, but the waitress didn’t seem to understand, “I’m not eating”, so I was *forced* to stuff myself again. :) Many thanks for the organizers of this event.

My UKOUG 2011 appearances

I’m just sitting in the airport, waiting for my Birmingham flight and it’s probably time to mention when and where I’m hanging out too:

Monday

Tuesday

Gwen Shapira on SSD

If you haven’t seen Gwen Shapira’s article about de-confusing SSD, I recommend that you read it soon.

One statement stood out as an idea on which I wanted to comment:

If you don’t see significant number of physical reads and sequential read wait events in your AWR report, you won’t notice much performance improvements from using SSD.

I wanted to remind you that you can do better. If you do notice a significant number of physical reads and sequential write wait events in your AWR report, then it’s still not certain that SSD will improve the performance of the task whose performance you’re hoping to improve. You don’t have to guess about the effect that SSD will have upon any business task you care about. In 2009, I wrote a blog post that explains.

UKOUG: I’m now speaking on Monday…

A couple of slots opened up in the UKOUG schedule due to cancellations and a message came through the OakTable mailing list asking if anyone could fill them. Alex Gorbachev and myself stepped up to the plate.

This means I’m now speaking about Clonedb on Monday at 11:05 in the Media Suite. See here.

The downsides to this are:

Stored Outlines (Plan Stability) are an Enterprise Edition Feature? A Self-Conflicting Story

December 2, 2011 An innocent question was asked in an OTN thread regarding the availability of plan stability options in the Standard Edition of Oracle Database.  If we check the documentation for the latest release (11.2.0.x) of Oracle Database, we will find the following statement: “The use of stored outlines is deprecated in Oracle Database 11g [...]

Fasthosts : Your technical support isn’t technical or supportive..

The first draft of this post was rather explosive, containing many expletives and could probably have landed me in jail on some trumped up charges. This is the more moderate version.

To cut a long and boring story short, I made a change to my hosting package today, which suggested it was an administrative change, rather than something physical. The fact it transferred my whole site to another server is annoying, but if I had bothered to read the 3000 pages of T&Cs it would probably have become obvious.

Friday Philosophy – The Worst Thing About Contracting

A while back I was asked by a friend to blog about being a contractor. In the pub last week my friend reminded me of this and that I had not obliged him. I will – think of this as instalment one Jason…

I’ve been a contractor on and off for 18 years. For anyone not familiar with the concept, it is where you are self-employed and you simply hire yourself out to a company for a period of time or to do a specific job. You generally have less job security than an employee and less rights and benefits – No holiday pay, no paid sick leave, no annual pay increase {OK, so that one is rare for employees too these days}, no training and generally the first out the door when the money gets tight. In return you get more money when working and a lot, lot less to do with office politics, HR, annual reviews and the like.

It is not for everyone but I like being a contractor. It gives me a broader degree of experience.

I like it apart from one main thing.

to_char()

Here’s an odd little detail about the to_char() function that happened to show up in a little demonstration code I used to create some data for last Friday’s quiz night.

When generating test data I often rely on doing things with rownum, and one of the thngs I do quite frequently is turn it into a character string. Nowadays I usually use the lpad() function to do this conversion because that lets me specify the defined length of the resulting column. But last Friday, rather than starting from scratch with my standard template script, I created my test case by cloning a script that I’d written in 2003 and the script had used the to_char() function.

So here’s a simple script to create a little table of character data, creating each column in a different way:

Ready for UKOUG

Yes, I know the technical content has been non-existent recently but it's conference season and I've started my trip to UKOUG already, despite the fact Birmingham is only about an hour away on the train from my new home! So although a fun weekend in Edinburgh awaits, celebrating a couple of important birthdays before I head into the utter chaos of conference, a quick post seems a good idea. (Train journeys do that to you ...)

I'm very excited about UKOUG this year. It only occurred to me when I was looking back through some old mails to dig out some details that last year hadn't been one of my happiest UKOUG experiences. I don't remember thinking it was that bad and my blog post seems fairly stoic in retrospect, but ....