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ALS (No) Ice Bucket Challenge

Ronald Vargas challenged me to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Unfortunately we didn’t have any ice, but the water was cold anyway, as you can see by my reaction at the end. :)

I challenge Debra Lilley, Graham Wood and Heli Helskyaho.

Please don’t forget to donate!



ALS (No) Ice Bucket Challenge was first posted on August 24, 2014 at 10:20 am.
©2012 "The ORACLE-BASE Blog". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement.

Why I like the term “Research Lab”

I love the term “Research Lab” to refer to our collection of Oracle Engineered Systems. It’s because that’s what we do with the equipment. We test it, we try weird experiments with it, we take it apart with a screw driver and we put it back together again. And lot’s of times we break things. But better that we break them in the lab than on a production system at a client site. The lab is a great learning environment for us and our customers. Enkitec has had a pretty solid lab for a while, but it’s about to get a lot bigger.

Here’s an abbreviated list of the what we expect to end up with in the lab in the next few weeks.

  • Lot’s of Exadata’s (V2, X2, X3, X4)
  • A SPARC SuperCluster
  • A few Exalytics’s
  • At least one Exalogic
  • A couple of Big Data Appliances (BDAs)
  • Several Oracle Database Appliances (ODAs)
  • A ZFS Appliance or 2
  • An Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance (OVCA)

So here’s to the new and improved Research Lab. Hopefully a few of the new systems will have the cool built in beer shelf like out current BDA.

BDA Beer

I’ll post some pictures when the new stuff shows up. :)


I’ve had a day off today, so as well as swimming, starting to clear out my junk room and going to the pub to say “see ya” to a colleague who is going on maternity leave, I went to see Lucy.

Let me start by saying this is pretty much a rip-off of Akira. Not in a word-for-word copy sense, but it’s like Luc Besson watched Akira and said, “How and I take most of the main points, while trying to make it seem like I’ve written something new, but still steal a bunch of the visuals?” He then went to sleep, woke up and wrote Lucy.

Plagiarism (or derivative work) gripe aside, I really enjoyed it. I watch Akira on a regular basis, so the fact this film has a similar message is pretty neat. Scarlett Johansson doesn’t really do it for me, but she is OK in this role. It’s nice to see strong female characters kicking off. There are a few scenes that should have been modified in my opinion. I think Luc Besson disappeared up his own ass a couple of times, but on the whole it was pretty darn cool.

Added to that, they kept the time down to a pleasant 89 mins.



Lucy was first posted on August 22, 2014 at 5:50 pm.
©2012 "The ORACLE-BASE Blog". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement.

Reluctantly campaign fund-raising begins for “Farnham for US Senate”

Plan A was that social media would erupt in response to my proposals for a guaranteed minimum income for persons legally in the country (which costs about the same as the controlled dole method we currently use but leaves far less than the current 12 million plus Americas in deep poverty) and to impoverish the drug lords and take profit driven marketing out of recreational pharmaceuticals by ending the drug war and making everything legal.

(If you haven’t heard me speak about why those both work, look to this blog. My son is getting married this weekend, but I’ll have detailed posting on each of my key proposals by the end of next week. I look forward to addressing your comments and questions.)

But Plan A is not in evidence.

So, reluctantly, I have filed notice of a campaign committee with the state of NH (and I will file with the FEC within the allotted time if I cross the $5,000 aggregate contribution limit). I’ve also cleared my paypal account at down to zero dollars so I can immediately begin accepting donations electronically without co-mingling funds.

The name of the campaign committee is “Farnham for US Senate”.

If you want to send physical checks, send them to:

Farnham for US Senate
c/o Mark W. Farnham
36 West Street
Lebanon, NH 03766

 The feds have different levels of identification required for different sizes of contributions. For consistency and transparency, I am going to ask that you give me the full identification for any contribution (and expect this to be posted to the feds, the state, and on my reports). I think the voting public has a right to know who has sent me money even though that does not imply they agree with me or I agree with them about anything.

“For contributions exceeding $200, the complete identification of the contributor (full name and mailing address, occupation and employer), as well as the amount and date of receipt of the contribution.”

I’ll know the amounts and dates of receipt. But please include your full legal name, mailing address, occupation, and employer if you send me a check.

I’m not going to deal with cash coming into the campaign coffers. If I get cash, it will be recorded and immediately donated to the Lebanon United Methodist Church simply because that is the easiest rule to comply with about anonymous cash receipts. (Any legal purpose not related to the campaign.)

If you want to send money to the campaign via paypal, again, the account has been set aside for that purpose. Please use the subject line “Farnham for US Senate” and include your full legal name, mailing address, occupation, and employer in the comment space.

I will be returning funds I cannot identify.

Now – how do I plan to use the funds?

First, what I will *not* do:

1) Litter the roadsides with banners with my name. If you’re swayed more by how many times you see a name than my ideas and what I will push in the Senate, you are probably not going to vote for me.

2) Phone calls, robot dialing, push polls, or a bunch of post cards in your mailbox or hangers on your door knobs. These are apparently all great on the ground tactics, but I just cannot stand being associated with making those interruptions and generating that waste and litter. (The only phone calls I plan to make are to editors and the like to schedule interviews and see if any reporters want to directly ask me questions. Those will all be me, in person, and not some recording.)

3) Spam mail (e- or snail). Possibly by request I’ll have available printed hard copy of my principles, polices, and proposals available, but I hope to minimize my campaign’s footprint on the environment as much as possible.

4) Anything else that seems to me like an unwanted intrusion.

Now, what I will do:

1) Buy those cute little text boxes “transaction ads” and classified advertising in newspapers featuring the url to this blog and specific posts on this blog and my youtube account “pudge1954.”

2) Travel expenses and reception type food and beverage to any gathering that will have me (probably first come, first served, with a preference for places I get to talk at least a half hour and then answer questions over “debates” where I get one twelfth of the elapsed time and might end up spending 90 minutes for an aggregate of 8 minutes of communication. If we get to the general election, I suppose getting half of the time when the moderator is not speaking will be sufficient.) Still, I’m not saying no to any debates, just a preference for me getting to give folks a serious overview of an issue instead of a calculated sound bit.

3) Keeping my campaign finance transparent and in compliance with all the rules. (The State of NH online campaign finance guide is so big I have yet to successfully download a full copy.) Once the fund raising total reaches $500 I need to report to NH. And once it reaches $5,000 I need to report to the Feds.

One more thing – I do not want aggregate contributions exceeding $1,000 from anyone. Anything in excess of $1,000 will be returned as soon as I figure out that it was over $1,000 in aggregate from one source.

If you think my ideas are good or if you just think they should get a full airing whether or not you agree with any or all of them, please consider a contribution.

Mark W. Farnham

New Hampshire Republican for US Senate


Altering Hosting Service : The Gift That Keeps Giving

I moved my website to a new dedicated server about 3 weeks ago. As well as the usual DNS nonsense, I found out today that a whole load of emails have been blocked…

I have a mailbox at the hosting company to handle all my email. That all gets sucked into Gmail. That’s the way it has been for ages and life has been good. Since I made the move, the “new” mailbox looked like it was working fine, but I hadn’t noticed the spam filtering was turned on to a really high level and it was blocking loads of good emails. As a result, a lot of really important emails were gathering in the spam folder of my mailbox at the hosting company, something I never check.

I’ve now turned off the spam filtering on that mailbox, so it all gets sucked into Gmail and that handles my spam, the way it always did…

I’ve been working through the emails this evening, but it is highly likely some have fallen by the wayside, so if you were trying to send me something important over the last few weeks and I’ve not replied, it’s possible I’ve not actually received it. :(

This all came to light because people were talking about the ACED OpenWorld emails, which I hadn’t got. :( Thanks to some emails from Debra and Doug (who was mostly at the pub) and some Twitter DM-ing from Vikki, I got the information, registered for OpenWorld and booked my hotel. The deadline was tomorrow. Phew! :) Just got to sort the flights now….




Altering Hosting Service : The Gift That Keeps Giving was first posted on August 21, 2014 at 8:20 pm.
©2012 "The ORACLE-BASE Blog". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement.

Quiz night

Here’s a script to create a table, with index, and collect stats on it. Once I’ve collected stats I’ve checked the execution plan to discover that a hint has been ignored (for a well-known reason):

create table t2
        mod(rownum,200)         n1,
        mod(rownum,200)         n2,
        rpad(rownum,180)        v1
        rownum <= 3000

create index t2_i1 on t2(n1);

                method_opt => 'for all columns size 1'

explain plan for
select  /*+ index(t2) */
from    t2
where   n2 = 45

select * from table(dbms_xplan.display);

| Id  | Operation         | Name | Rows  | Bytes | Cost  |
|   0 | SELECT STATEMENT  |      |    15 |   120 |    15 |
|*  1 |  TABLE ACCESS FULL| T2   |    15 |   120 |    15 |

Predicate Information (identified by operation id):
   1 - filter("N2"=45)

Of course we don’t expect the optimizer to use the index because we didn’t declare n1 to be not null, so there may be rows in the table which do not appear in the index. The only option the optimizer has for getting the right answer is to use a full tablescan. So the question is this – how come Oracle will obey the hint in the following SQL statement:

explain plan for
                leading (t2 t1)
                index(t2) index(t1)
        t2.n1, t1.n2
        t2      t2,
        t2      t1
        t2.n2 = 45
and     t2.n1 = t1.n1

select * from table(dbms_xplan.display);

| Id  | Operation                             | Name  | Rows  | Bytes | Cost  |
|   0 | SELECT STATEMENT                      |       |   225 |  3600 |  3248 |
|   1 |  NESTED LOOPS                         |       |   225 |  3600 |  3248 |
|   2 |   NESTED LOOPS                        |       |   225 |  3600 |  3248 |
|*  3 |    TABLE ACCESS BY INDEX ROWID BATCHED| T2    |    15 |   120 |  3008 |
|   4 |     INDEX FULL SCAN                   | T2_I1 |  3000 |       |     8 |
|*  5 |    INDEX RANGE SCAN                   | T2_I1 |    15 |       |     1 |
|   6 |   TABLE ACCESS BY INDEX ROWID         | T2    |    15 |   120 |    16 |

Predicate Information (identified by operation id):
   3 - filter("T2"."N2"=45)
   5 - access("T2"."N1"="T1"."N1")

I ran this on, but it does the same on earlier versions.


This was clearly too easy – posted at 18:04, answered correctly at 18:21. At some point in it’s evolution the optimizer acquired a rule that allowed it to infer unwritten “is not null” predicates from the join predicate.




LinkedIn Anniversary Messages

Thank you to everyone who has sent congratulations messages via LinkedIn, but I think LinkedIn might have mislead you somewhat… :)

When I left a previous job I switched my LinkedIn profile to say I was employed by That was in August 2008. I’ve never changed it since then, so now it says I’ve been “employed” by for 6 years, hence the “anniversary”…

I bought my first domain and started putting articles on the net in July 2000. In August 2001 I renamed the site to, so depending on how you look at it, the site is a little over 14 years old, or 13 with the current name…

So to everyone that has sent me a message congratulating me on my 6th anniversary, thinking that’s how long the website has existed, I would just like to point out is it the 14 year anniversary. :)

For those that think I’m employed by, I’d just like to point out I’m not. I’ve got a regular job and I do the website for fun in my spare time. That’s why when you write to me asking for a job at, I always say no. It’s not a company. It doesn’t employ anyone, not even me! :)

Anyway, sorry if LinkedIn has confused you, but thanks for the messages of support anyway. It’s very kind!



LinkedIn Anniversary Messages was first posted on August 21, 2014 at 9:05 am.
©2012 "The ORACLE-BASE Blog". Use of this feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this article in your feed reader, then the site is guilty of copyright infringement.

AZORA Rises Like the Phoenix!

The Arizona Oracle User Group (AZORA) was reincarnated Tuesday July 29 by a group of six Oracle specialists interested in focusing the Oracle User Community in Arizona. A board was elected and began review of the organization bylaws (dated 1990) to be completed and presented at AZORA’s inaugural Educational Workshop tentatively scheduled for October. The new board includes: President, John King (King Training Resources); Vice-President Danny Carrizosa (OneNeck IT Solutions), Treasurer, Raj Chotalla (Intel), Secretary, Carlos Aquilar (GoNet USA), and Past-President Stephen Andert (IBM). Two of AZORA’s past presidents Steve Lemme (Oracle) and Stephen Andert (IBM)  are actively involved and lending their experiences and expertise. Visit the “AZORA – Arizona Oracle User Group” LinkedIn page to learn more. AZORA plans an educational activity to be scheduled in October; plans will be publicized, as they become firm. If you are (or know) an Oracle user in Arizona, go to the AZORA – Arizona Oracle User Group meetup page to join the group and keep informed of upcoming events.

Exciting Oracle Developments

The summer has brought us a new version of Oracle’s flagship database and the Introduction of Oracle Mobile Application Framework. Both, truly big news.

Oracle 12c was released in July! This is a full release and includes many new features including:

  • In-Memory Database
  • Big Data SQL
  • JSON Support
  • RESTful Data Services
  • Improved Index Compression
  • Zone Maps
  • Attribute Clustering
  • Full Database Caching
  • Enhanced Multi-Tenant Features
  • Rapid Home Provisioning
  • Approximate Count Distinct

For complete documentation; see Oracle’s web site:

In July the Oracle Mobile Framework (MAF 2.0) replaced and enhanced what was formerly known as Oracle ADF Mobile Framework and Oracle JDeveloper (12.3.1). Oracle did more than remove ADF from the name; Oracle Mobile Framework’s (MAF’s) enhancements include many bug fixes and new features like:

  • Java SE 8 support
  • Improved Maven interaction (many bugs fixed)
  • Critical Patches Downloadable from Oracle Update Center
  • REST services support
  • HTTP REST Analyzer
  • WADL Viewer Improvements
  • Web Socket Support
  • New Data Visualization (DVT) Charting improvements: Thematic Maps, New Gauges, New Deck Component, Table First Page Template, Client-Side CSS, Recursive Bounded Task Flows (BTFs), Debugger for Groovy, Groovy UI hints, support for Excel 2013 and Windows 8, New Desktop Components & Properties

For more information see the Oracle Web Sites: and”>