I just built out my own EM13c environment so I can answer many questions that I won’t be able to ignore just because I no longer work at Oracle.
UltraEdit 23 for Windows has been released. Followers of the blog will know I’m an UltraEdit junkie, so as soon as I got the email telling me UltraEdit 23 had arrived I installed it instantly. Fools rush in where angels fear to tread!
The glaring hideousness you are presented with is a ribbon! For ***** sake! Hasn’t the whole world spent enough time moaning about the Office ribbons already?
Captain Support was getting pretty sick of supporting the crappy old laptops his brother and mother were using, so he selfishly bought them 2 shiny new laptops to make his own life easier. The only slight flaw in the plan was they came with Windows 8. Although Captain Support had some previous experience of Windows 8 (Developer Preview, Consumer Preview, Windows Blue beta), he was a little nervous about unleashing it on his unsuspecting family members…
After having a play with Oracle 12c on Windows 8, I decided to give Windows Server 2012 a go. Here is the resulting virtual RAC installation.
As you would expect, much of the process is pretty similar to the 11gR2 RAC installation on Windows 2008.
If you manage Oracle on Windows, you probably have wondered why it is so difficult to work out which Oracle instances are running and which ORACLE_HOMEs they use. On Unix or Linux, this is a very simple task. Oracle services and their ORACLE_HOMEs are listed in the oratab file, located in /etc/ on most platforms and in /var/opt/oracle/ on Solaris. To find what is running, we would usually use the ‘ps’ command and pipe it through grep to find and run PMON processes.
On Windows, it just isn’t this easy. Each Oracle instance runs in a single monolithic oracle.exe process. Nothing about the process indicates the name of the instance. When we want to find all of the configured Oracle services, we can use the ‘sc’ command, and pipe the results through find (I have added emphasis to the ASM and database instances):
Followers of the blog know I’m a Linux fan, but over the weekend I needed to fix some stuff on a Windows server at work and I took my first tentative steps into the world of Windows PowerShell. It was very much a case of “scripting by Google”, but I managed to get the job done pretty quickly. That episode prompted this tweet.
That resulted in two little exchanges. The first from Niall Litchfield, who must have been a little under the weather.
At least one of the apps at work will be moving to Forms 11gR2, so I thought I better do a run through of the desktop developer installation before someone asks me how it is done.
Our standard desktop environment is still Windows XP (32-bit), hence the archaic choice here.
I mentioned this when I blogged about my 11gR2 Virtual RAC install on Windows 2008. It came up in a conversation with Niall Litchfield at UKOUG 2011 and I’m reminded of it again today, after doing an 11gR2 install on Windows XP to double-check my answer to a question. Oracle database installs on Windows are so incredibly easy!
Now I’m not saying I would want to run Oracle on Windows out of choice. I’m a Linux fanboy, as you probably know, but even the most staunch Linux fan would have to agree that Oracle installs on Linux require quite a few prerequisite steps, even with the oracle-validated package. There is just nothing to do on Windows except put in the CD (iso image) and go…
First the caveats:
I totally understand the concept of the new front screen and the whole Metro thing. Trying to keep a consistent experience between a Windows phone and a Windows touchpad is sensible. Just like the iPhone and iPad. What I don’t like is the fact the tiles are massive and take up loads of space. It just seems a bit silly to me. Why make me sideways scroll when all the initial options could be seen on my 24-inch monitor anyway? From a desktop computing perspective, it is so much worse than the Apple Launchpad (which I also despise) or the GNOME3 Activities screen.
Since I’m running it on a desktop machine, my biggest concern is getting a regular desktop to work with. I can do this by clicking the “Desktop” tile. The resulting desktop is basically Windows 7, which is fine, *except* there is no regular start menu. Clicking the Start button takes you back to the crappy tiled front screen, or hovering in the bottom-left corner presents you with the new menu. What is on this new menu? Bugger all of any use! The search screen is like a really bad GNOME3 “Activities” screen. It requires so many clicks and mouse moves to get where you want to go. It’s wretched. If I were a regular user I think I would probably pin a whole bunch of apps to the taskbar and maybe define a few folders on desktop containing useful shortcuts. Surely the ability to run the old Windows 7 menu would be a welcome addition for the vast majority of users!
Every dialog now has a ribbon instead of a toolbar or menu. This may prove useful for the newbies as it displays functionality that may have been hidden in sub-menus, but for me it is a disaster. The top inch of very window is filled with a bunch of crap that I don’t care about most of the time.
Typically the early releases have lots of tracing code enabled, so I don’t expect the production release will be as slow as this developer release.
So what is the future of the desktop computer? The rumors are that the next iteration of Macs will be essentially running iOS. It looks like the next generation of PCs will be running Windows 8. Although both these OSes seem fine for phones and touchpads, neither of them seem appropriate for a desktop computer. Now I realize that I am by no means a typical PC users, so maybe the vast majority of the PC users of the world will be happy with these changes, but I for one think it is a massive step backwards. It is starting to look like the future of desktop computing is Linux. Luckily, I’m already there.
Let’s hope a little sanity returns between now and the production release of Windows 8. If nothing else, just give us a proper menu, or fix that God awful search screen.
Update: Check out these hacks to restore the Windows 7 style menu.
PS. Let’s see if I end up contradicting everything I just said in a few months time.