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Birthday and OTN Tour of Latin America…

Tomorrow (Monday) is my Birthday and also the day I fly out to Colombia to start the OTN Tour of Latin America. On the positive side, the timezone changes make my birthday last quite a few hours longer. On the negative side, I’m going to spend 14 hours in a plane and 8 hours in airports. Good job I don’t really do Birthdays…. :)

Desktops, Laptops and Tablets…

File this under #NothingNewHere :)

Over the last couple of years we’ve been constantly bombarded with the “tablets are the future” message. Today I read this piece about Microsoft.

Being a techie, it’s hard for me to get in the “normal folk” frame of mind when thinking about technology, but it just so happens I had a conversation with a “normal person” last night. He’s a personal trainer at my gym. It turns out his opinion on the desktop/laptop/tablet debate is pretty similar to all the techies I’ve spoken with. He was asking me for some advice (which I’m not qualified to provide), but before I said a word he hit me with a few statements:

WordPress 3.4 Released…

WordPress 3.4 has been released. You can download it here, or use the automatic update for existing blogs.

Cheers

Tim…

Discovering More Work-Related Windows Apps…

I know it’s a little sad, but I’m kinda enjoying discovering new little apps for Windows to do all those things that come out-of-the-box on Linux. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not loving Windows, but enjoying the discovery process itself.

X Server

On a Linux desktop you don’t need to worry about this, as your desktop is already using one. To get GUIs on the remote server to run on the local desktop, you just need connect to the remote server using “ssh -X oracle@myserver.example.com”

On Windows you need some additional software. There are plenty of paid for options, like Exceed, but there are also some free options. Many moons ago I used to use Cygwin. It’s still around and still does the job just fine. Remember to install the Cygwin/X libraries. Once it’s installed, do the following:

My return to the rat race…

I mentioned on Twitter recently that I’d started a new job, which was greeted with some amusement. Some of my friends in the Oracle community have spent the last 4 years ribbing me about being “unemployed”. For those that don’t know the story, I was never unemployed. I am an employee of my own company, which paid me for the last 4 years. I spent that time representing the Oracle ACE Director program at conferences around the world, doing some teaching for Oracle University, but most of the time was spent at home, on my computers playing with Oracle technology , writing about it and answering questions about it. I had no serious intention of joining the rat race again in the foreseeable future, but at the same time I would never say never…

Job Interview…

I went for a job interview today… (pause while Debra Lilley picks herself off the floor)

It’s probably been about 8 years since I’ve had a formal interview like this. I admit I was a little nervous going in, but it turned out to be pretty good fun.

It started with a 1 hour written exam. It’s been about 20 years since I’ve written more than a signature with a pen, so having to write with a pen for 1 hour was pretty terrifying. I’m not big on remembering syntax (that’s what the manuals are for :) ), but hopefully I showed that I understood what was going on. Some of the questions could have been answered with “Read this: www.oracle-base.com/articles/….”. Pity that wasn’t an option. :)

Captain Support : The Newest Avenger?

I have a feeling Captain Support may be the latest addition to the Avengers lineup. Why?

One of Captain Support’s friends was having some problems trying to sign up to a bonsai mailing list because emails from the list were being rejected before they got to him. He used the special signal and Captain Support jumped into action. A little Googling revealed the Plusnet mail servers can be fussy about emails with too many people in the “To:”, “CC:” and “BCC:” lists. They apparently also get a bit cranky if emails contain lots of hyperlinks. Problem solved, so the bonsai world can sleep safe at night, surrounded by potted trees I guess…

You don’t need an app for that… (browser stats)…

I’m getting a bit sick of reading about how not having a mobile presence is a big fail. Once again the marketing people take a one-size-fits-all approach and assume that if you are on the net, then people must want to use your services from mobile devices. This is utter nonsense. In reality, the need for a mobile presence depends very much on what services you are offering and who you are offering them to.

For example, look at the OS breakdown for my website over the last month.

WordPress 3.3.2…

WordPress 3.3.2 is out. It’s a maintenance release, so you can see the changelog for the fixes.

WordPress 3.4 is knocking at the door, so you can expect another upgrade to follow soon when it moves out of beta.

Cheers

Tim…

Fasthosts : Good Riddance…

It’s been a couple of weeks since I stopped hosting my website with Fasthosts. It’s too early to start singing the praises of the new hosting company, but so far so good.

As a parting shot, when I asked Fasthosts to cancel my hosting account I asked for a refund on the 8 months of outstanding service I had paid for. I got the answer back today and it was a definite no.

I’m not particularly surprised at this, but I thought as a good will gesture to a customer of 11 years they may do the decent thing and give me my money back. It’s not like I wanted to leave. I was forced to by their complete incompetence.

My advice to anyone considering using Fasthosts would be DONT!

Cheers

Tim…