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December 2012

The Hobbit: An Expectedly Boring Journey…

I’ve been delaying going to watch The Hobbit for a while because I knew it would leave me bored and with bed sores on my ass.

I was with some friends the other day and they had watched the 3D HFR version and said it was cool. One of the guys said he would like to see it again in 2D because a lot of action sequences were really blurred in 3D HFR. I figured my low expectations might work to my advantage, so I agreed to go along and watch it today. What a mistake…

Nexus 4 : Crappy Design…

I had a HTC Wildfire for 2 years without any problems. Now, 2 days after posting about getting a Nexus 4, the glass on the back panel is broken. I hadn’t even taken off the protective sheets yet.

The design of this back panel is a complete pile of shit! Why would you possible want to put unnecessary glass on a mobile device? It’s asking for trouble. It seems I’m not the only one, as seen here and here.

I’m not sure what to do now. I guess I better contact Google and see how I can get it repaired, or cover my hands in plasters to prevent the little shards of glass it is dropping from slicing my fingers to pieces.

Cold Days…

Cold Days is the latest book in The Dresden Files series by Jim Butcher.

So Harry is alive again and now he’s the Winter Knight. The enforcer for Mab, the crazy queen of the Winter Fairies. Maybe staying dead was the better option. So what’s the first thing Mab orders Harry to do? Kill an immortal, whilst fighting an army of other-worldly beings, all the time trying to keep his friends safe and prevent Chicago from being leveled. Another day in the office for Harry Dresden.

A tip for lazy Oracle users – type less with ANSI DATE and TIMESTAMP SQL syntax

I am lazy, therefore if I can type less, I will type less.

Often people are surprised to see that Oracle supports the ANSI DATE and TIMESTAMP syntax in the SQL code, which allows me to shorten the lengthy TO_DATE( …. , ‘YYYY-MM-DD HH24:MI:SS’) syntax a bit. You can just type this if you want to compare some field to a date (day precision):

SQL> SELECT COUNT(*) FROM dba_objects WHERE created > DATE'2012-12-01';

  COUNT(*)
----------
         0

SQL> SELECT COUNT(*) FROM dba_objects WHERE created > DATE'2012-01-01';

  COUNT(*)
----------
       804

This way you can always use the standard date format regardless of any NLS settings that may say otherwise.

Nexus 4…

I accidentally bought a Nexus 4…

I had been thinking about getting a new phone for some time and the talk of the Nexus 4 peaked my interest. Even so, I’m one of those rare people that prefers a small phone and typically uses a mobile phone as just a phone. I always have a computer and tablet with me, so a smart phone is rarely useful to me.

The accident happened when I checked out the Nexus 4 online and it was sold out. I put my name down to be notified when it came back in stock, just for the hell of it. A couple of weeks later I got an email saying it was now available. Before I knew it I frantically opened a browser and placed an order, for fear it would sell out again. Only after I hit submit did I stop to consider whether I actually need a smartphone…

Quiz Night

Here’s a little puzzle if you have nothing better to do between now and the new year. The following extract came from 11.2.0.3, but could have come from 10.2.0.5 or 9.2.0.8 (and many others). I’ve got a simple heap table where the last thing I (or anyone) did was “alter table t1 move” before dumping the first (data) block of the table. Looking at the resulting trace file, I see the following:

fsbo=0x56e
fseo=0xf4d
avsp=0x5f
tosp=0x5f

If you need to have the acronyms decoded they are (according to my best guess):
fsbo – free space, beginning of
fseo – free space, end of
avsp – available space
tosp – total space

Doing the arithmetic, the free space starts at offset 0x56e and ends at 0xf4d, which means the free space gap is 2,527 bytes; but the total space available for use is only 0x5f bytes, i.e. 95 bytes. So what has happened to the other 2,432 ?

Oracle 11.2.0.1 and the ‘kfk: async disk IO’ wait event

Recently I was discussing some IO related waits with some friends. The wait I was discussing was ‘kfk: async disk IO’. This wait was always visible in Oracle version 11.2.0.1 and seems to be gone in version 11.2.0.2 and above. Here is the result of some investigation into that.

First: the wait is not gone with version 11.2.0.2 and above, which is very simple to prove (this is a database version 11.2.0.3):

Happy Holidays

For all those that are in the midst of some form of religious, seasonal or statutory holiday at the moment, I hope it goes well for you. :)

I promised myself I would forget about work for the next couple of weeks and just play with technology, but I’ve already logged in to check the backups etc. What a dope. :)

Wishing you all a happy holiday and a productive new year!

Cheers

Tim…

Snowman

Statistics

Updated 22nd Jan
I’ve previously advertised the fact that the latest online discussion that Red Gate has arranged for me to have with Grant Fritchey will be on 23rd Jan and we will be talking about statistics. If you’ve listened in to any of these talks in the past you’ll realise that they are completely unscripted; what you get is a couple of guys in a (virtual) pub comparing and contrasting their favourite database engines and trying to learn a little bit about how the other technology works.

Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year !! (The Snowman)

I just like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Index-Rebuild Free New Year !! I have a feeling next year will very exciting one for Oracle Database professionals:) My little “gift” this year is a lovely little animation called “The Snowman” that dates all the way back to 1982 when I arrived […]