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New Monitor… Again…

220px-Commodore_PET2001I’ve just bought myself a Dell U3415W 34-Inch IPS LCD Monitor for use with the laptop. It’s quite an extravagant purchase, but it’s pretty amazing. Having 3440×1440 resolution on a single screen feels much more useful than sitting a couple of smaller monitors next to each other. It feels almost like having 3-4 screens in one.

I bought it to replace the Asus PB298Q 29 inch Widescreen AH-IPS Multimedia Monitor I got about 7 months ago. The resolution of 2560×1080 is pretty darn decent, but I don’t like having a depth of 1080. When you are using a wider screen, the limited height feels really restrictive for some reason.

Site maintenance and how to manage changing URLs

DiagnosticsAfter my recent rants about Oracle changing URLs and breaking stuff, I’ve actually done some changes myself. :)

From time to time change is forced on internet content producers. This might be because of platform changes, or changes in the way search engines behave. The important thing is how you handle that change.

Real Push Button Refresh with Raspberry Pi

Push Button

In this post, we’re going to perform a push button refresh of an Oracle Database, Application Express (APEX) installation, and Tomcat webserver.

“But Oracle Alchemist,” you’re probably thinking, “we know about that. You’ve told us about how Delphix can provision and refresh data.” And yes, you’d be right. But I wasn’t done yet.

We’re going to perform a refresh of an Oracle Database, APEX installation, and Tomcat running in Amazon Web Services, replicated from a local Delphix Engine, by pressing a physical button wired to a Raspberry Pi running a python app that communicates with the Delphix REST API in the cloud over wifi.

phpBB 3.1 Ascraeus Released

Just a quick heads-up for those that use it, phpBB 3.1 Ascraeus as been released. It’s a feature release, so the upgrade is a bit messy. I did the “automatic” upgrade. There was so much manual work involved, I would recommend you take the approach of deleting the old files, replacing with the new ones, then running the database upgrade from there. I’ve not tried that approach, but the docs say it is OK to do it that way…

I figured I might as well upgrade, even though the forum is locked. :)



Website Outage Warning : 26 Oct 2014 20:00-00:00 GMT

DiagnosticsJust a quick note to say the website will be out of action this evening for 3-4 hours.

There have been a couple of random failures recently. With nothing in the logs to work with, I figured I’d try testing the hardware. Yesterday I tested the disks and they came back OK. Tonight it’s the turn of the memory. The plan is for the site to go down about 20:00 UK Time (GMT) and be up by midnight.

Sorry if this annoys anyone, but I’ve been looking through the site statistics trying to find the best time to do this and Sunday night seems to be the quietest time.

I’ll let you know how it goes. :)



The Ad Hoc Reporting Myth

Empowering users! Giving users access to the information they need, when they need it! Allowing users to decide what they need! These are all great ideas and there are plenty of products out there that can be used to achieve this. The question must be, is it really necessary?

There will always be some users that need this functionality. They will need up-to-the-second ad hoc reporting and will invest their time into getting the most from the tools they are given. There is also a large portion of the user base that will quite happily use what they are given and will *never* invest in the tool set. They don’t see it as part of their job and basically just don’t care.

ReadyNAS 104

My old NAS went pop a little while ago and I’ve spent the last few weeks backing up to alternate servers while trying to decide what to get to replace it.

Reading the reviews on Amazon is a bit of a nightmare because there are always scare stories, regardless how much you pay. In the end I decided to go for the “cheap and cheerful” option and bought a ReadyNAS 104. I got the diskless one and bought a couple of 3TB WD Red disks, which were pretty cheap. It supports the 4TB disks, but they are half the price again and I’m mean. Having just two disks means I’ve got a single 3TB RAID 1 volume. I can add a third and fourth disk, which will give me approximately 6 or 9 TB. It switches to RAID 5 by default with more than 2 disks.

Yosemite : It’s like OS X, but more boring to look at!

I went on my MacBook last night and saw I had updates available on the App Store. I figured this was one of those Twitter updates that seem to happen every time you blink. Much to my surprise it was a new version of OS X. You can tell how little of an Apple fanboy I am. I didn’t even know this was due, let alone here already. :)

I figured, what the heck and let it start. About 20 minutes later it was done and now I have Yosemite on my MacBook Pro (mid 2009). I wasn’t really timing, so that’s a guess.

First impressions.

Managing your Database in a Zombie Apocalypse

Zombie Server Room

Only two things are really certain: network latency over long distances, and the fact that humanity will soon rapidly degenerate into undead brain-eaters.

When that day comes, when the dead are crowding at your door and the windows are busted out and ripped up rotted arms are clawing at the inside of your home, I know what you’ll be thinking: is my database protected?

Don’t worry, my friends. The Oracle Alchemist has you covered. We just need to zombie-proof your DR plan. Let’s get started.

Getting the Power Back

Hopefully you did the smart thing and figured out how much battery and generator power you’d need to survive multiple years of failing power systems due to zombies. I know I did.

Another Great OpenWorld

Last week I attended Oracle OpenWorld 2014, and it was an outstanding event filled with great people, awesome sessions, and a few outstanding notable experiences.