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January 2016


I knew I had to try out Neto’s  Graphora when I saw that it was a docker container to collect Oracle performance data and send it to Graphite. Graphite has been on my radar as I see and hear about more and more companies using it to graph and monitor performance data.  Any graphical Oracle performance tool interests me and recently I’ve been spending some time investigating Docker so having everything rolled up in Graphora sounded perfect.

Introducing stapflame, extended stack profiling using systemtap, perf and flame graphs

There’s been a lot of work in the area of profiling. One of the things I have recently fallen in love with is Brendan Gregg’s flamegraphs. I work mainly on Linux, which means I use perf for generating stack traces. Luca Canali put a lot of effort in generating extended stack profiling methods, including kernel (only) stack traces and CPU state, reading the wait interface via direct SGA reading and kernel stack traces and getting userspace stack traces using libunwind and ptrace plus kernel stack and CPU state. I was inspired by the last method, but wanted more information, like process CPU state including runqueue time.

David Bowie 1947-2016. My Memories.

In mid-April 1979, as a nerdy 13 year old, I sat in my bedroom in Sale, North England listening to the radio when a song called “Boys Keep Swinging” came on by an singer called David Bowie who I never heard of before. I instantly loved it and taped it next time it came on the radio via my […]

Subquery Effects

Towards the end of last year I used a query with a couple of “constant” subqueries as a focal point for a blog note on reading parallel execution plans. One of the comments on that note raised a question about cardinality estimates and, coincidentally, I received an email about the cost calculations for a similar query a few days later.

Unfortunately there are all sorts of anomalies, special cases, and changes that show up across versions when subqueries come into play – it’s only in recent versions of 11.2, for example, that a very simple example I’ve got of three equivalent statements that produce the same execution plan report the same costs and cardinality. (The queries are:  table with IN subquery, table with EXISTS subquery, table joined to “manually unnested” subquery – the three plans take the unnested subquery shape.)

MobaXterm 8.5

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.



KeePass 2.31

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.



KeePass 2.31 was first posted on January 11, 2016 at 9:05 am.
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Public Appearances H1 2016

Here’s where I’ll hang out in the following months:

26-28 January 2016: BIWA Summit 2016 in Redwood Shores, CA

10-11 February 2016: RMOUG Training Days in Denver, CO

Oracle Linux : UEK4 Released

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.

The “Two Spaces After a Period” Thing

Once upon a time, I told my friend Chet Justice why he should start using one space instead of two after a sentence-ending period. I’m glad I did.

Here’s the story.

When you type, you’re inputting data into a machine. I know you like feeling like you’re in charge, but really you’re not in charge of all the rules you have to follow while you’re inputting your data. Other people—like the designers of the machine you’re using—have made certain rules that you have to live by. For example, if you’re using a QWERTY keyboard, then the ‘A’ key is in a certain location on the keyboard, and whether it makes any sense to you or not, the ‘B’ key is way over there, not next to the ‘A’ key like you might have expected when you first started learning how to type. If you want a ‘B’ to appear in the input, then you have to reach over there and push the ‘B’ key on the keyboard.

Monitor the dNFS activity as of

As you may know, there is some views available since 11g to monitor the dnfs activity:

  • v$dnfs_servers: Shows a table of servers accessed using Direct NFS.
  • v$dnfs_files: Shows a table of files now open with Direct NFS.
  • v$dnfs_channels: Shows a table of open network paths (or channels) to servers for which Direct NFS is providing files.
  • v$dnfs_stats: Shows a table of performance statistics for Direct NFS.

One interesting thing is that the v$dnfs_stats view provides two new columns as of