Writing

Exatadata Book 2

I have been getting quite a few questions about our upcoming Exadata Book lately so I thought I would post a quick update. We are working feverishly on it so please give us a break!

Just kidding!

I am actually feeling like we can see the light at the end of the tunnel now. We are well past the half way mark and I am feeling confident about the content. Well more than confident actually. I think it’s going to be awesome! In large part that’s due to the fact that I feel like we have the Dream Team working on the project. Tanel Poder has signed on as a co-author. Kevin Closson is the Official Technical Reviewer (and we’re tentatively planning on including a number of his comments in the book – in little “Kevin Says” sidebars). As one of the main architects of Exadata, this should provide some interesting perspective. Arup Nanda has volunteered as an unofficial technical reviewer as well. I have to say that Arup has been a great help. And I really appreciate him providing another perspective on what we’re writing about. All three of these guys are fellow Oak Table bretheren, by the way. Randy Johnson is the other co-author, and although he generally prefers to keep a low profile, he is extremely knowledgeable on things that the rest of us don’t deal with that much on a day to day basis, namely backup and recovery and storage configuration. He has a great RAC and ASM background as well. I have to also say that a guy none of you has ever heard of (Andy Colvin) has been a huge help as well. He is our in-house Exadata patching guru. Without him I’m not sure we would have been able to do the necessary testing to complete the book.

I must say that I feel honored to be involved in a project with such an accomplished group of guys. And by the way, we have had numerous offers from people that I have a lot of respect for to help with various aspects of the project. I want to thank all of you for those offers, even if we haven’t taken you up on all of them (our little brains can only absorb so much feedback at any one time). The book is actually available for pre-order on the Amazon already (so someone must think we are actually going to finish it pretty soon). I think we’re  right on track for later spring delivery. :-)

Brown Noise in Written Language, Part 2

Here is some more thinking on the subject of brown noise in written language, stimulated by Joel Garry’s comment to my prior post.

My point is not an appeal for more creative writing in the let’s-use-lots-of-adverbs sense. It’s an appeal for clarity of expression. More fundamentally, it is an appeal for having an idea to express in the first place. If you have an actual idea and express it in a useful way, then maybe you've created something that is not spam (even if it happens to be a mass mailing), because it yields some value to your audience.

I’m in the Wrong Business

Well I stayed at home today to do some writing on a book project while one of my sons and one of my daughters and my wife went to the Fort Worth Natural Science Museum. So I was feeling a little overworked and like I was missing out because I’ve been slaving away writing “scholarly technical material”. Then I got a text from my son. Just a picture that’s all.

I’m sure these two books will probably sell a few orders of magnitude more copies than any book that I contribute to. Kind of puts it all in perspective. I think next weekend I’ll go to the zoo with them.

Exadata Book

Here’s some white Exaddata text

Well, I guess it’s official. A couple of weeks ago I committed to write an Exadata book for Apress, along with my intrepid co-author Randy Johnson. For those of you who don’t know Randy, he’s a very experienced Oracle Guy with a wealth of knowledge, particularly around RAC. I think the two of us make a pretty good team – making up for each others weaknesses (oh wait, I should say we have “Complimentary Skill Sets” – yeah that sounds better).

Anyway, it turns out that writing a book is a lot of work! The way Tom Kyte turns them out I thought it must be pretty easy, but I’ve always been a little overconfident. So I’m starting to realize that I may not have time to do as many blog posts as I might like. But I must say that I am really excited about the subject matter! So I think it will be worth the effort. By the way, that’s not the official cover art (or even the official title as far as I know). I just hacked that together with a Adobe Illustrator. ;-)

As I have said many times, I think the Exadata storage software will usher in a whole new era in relational databases. Not just for Oracle, because you know the other guys will be trying to follow in their footsteps. But I think Oracle is miles ahead at this point, and they own their own hardware platform. Oracle claims that it has been their most successful product launch ever and I believe it. They are starting to pop up like weeds. It will be very interesting to see what the future holds for this platform. To be honest, I think we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg at this point. Anyway, I appreciate the guys at Apress having the faith in us to take on this project. I hope we don’t disappoint them (I don’t think we will).

Writing Some Chapters in a Book

My friend Karen Morton asked if I would be willing to contribute to a book that she is working on (i.e. write a few chapters). Of course I said yes. The book’s title is Pro Oracle SQL and it is to be published by Apress sometime before the end of the year (my first deadline is fast approaching).

Karen is the lead author, but there are also several co-authors involved in this project, all of whom I have a lot of respect for. Here’s the List (in alphabetical order by last name):

Robyn Sands
Riyaj Shamsudeen
Jared Still