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March 2012

University of Birmingham CS Alumni Dinner (update)…

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my invite to the University of Birmingham CS Alumni Dinner, which took place last night…

It was really weird being back on the campus after all these years. I finished my PhD about 18 years ago (or something like that) I popped in to my department (Biosciences) a couple of times soon after I left and I used to train at the University gym for a little while, but it must be over a decade since I’ve been back. I don’t know about the rest of the campus, the part where I spent most of my time as changed a lot. Very freaky. :)

VirtualBox 4.1.10 Released…

I, for one, welcome our new VirtualBox 4.1.10 overlords…

See changelog

Happy upgrading.



John Carter…

It’s been a while since I’ve been to the cinema. I’ve been checking the listings regularly, but nothing has caught my interest. Yesterday I saw an advert on some website for John Carter which caught my eye. The name of the film sucks, which is probably why I never noticed it before, but after seeing the trailer I though it was worth a shot.

I really enjoyed it. The story is pretty neat, provided you don’t try to analyze it for more than a second. The visual effects are fantastic. There is a cute dog/lizard/monster thing that I really want. The leading lady is hot. Most importantly, it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

I went to see the 2D version, but Noons said the 3D version was good too.

If you like Sci-Fi movies I think you will like it.



Thoughts on a Hyper-Extended Oracle Performance Monitor Beta

March 12, 2012 As long time readers of this blog might know, in my free time during roughly the last 10 years I have been working on a program named “Hyper-Extended Oracle Performance Monitor”.  Since 2005 or 2006 I have permitted a few people to try the beta versions of the program, thinking that I might [...]

Half Price

Another book offer from Apress.

I can’t find any online confirmation at present, but until the end of this week (19th March) it seems that promotion code SXSW12 will get you all the Apress eBooks you want with a 50% discount according to this posting on the Oracle-L list server:

Windows 8 Rant Continued…

One of the comments on my  rant about Windows 8 suggested this might be a good thing for desktop Linux. I just don’t see it myself. The only people I know who run desktop Linux are techies or immediate family members of techies. I don’t see this changing any time soon. Why? The same reasons that have been used for years…

Analysing Row Lock Contention with LogMiner

Recently I had to analyse a row lock contention problem that can be illustrated by the following test case:

First_rows hash

Just like my posting on an index hash, this posting is about a problem as well as being about a hash join. The article has its roots in a question posted on the OTN database forum, where a user has shown us the following execution plan:

Mac|Life and Tom Kyte

I usually have my nose in my Kindle or iPad while traveling, but there's always the time between take-off and 10,000 feet where electronics are verboten where I need something to occupy my time. As my time filler, I will often pick up a magazine to read and on yesterday's trip home from the Hotsos Symposium in Dallas, I grabbed a Mac|Life magazine to read.

Windows 8 Consumer Preview : Complete Abortion!

I wrote some time ago about the Windows 8 Developer Preview, which I didn’t like at all from a desktop perspective.

Today I installed the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. What a complete abortion of an operating system! I thought the developer preview was bad, but it’s like they’ve taken all the comments people made about that steaming pile of crap, given everyone the bird, then made it even worse just to spite them.

Now let’s get this straight. I’ve never used Windows 8 on a phone or on a fondle-slab. It may be awesome on those, but I’ll probably never find out. I’m talking here about a desktop machine with a keyboard and mouse.