Toastmasters – Testing public speaking away from ‘production’

| Nov 30, 2012
Every Wednesday lunch (pretty much) there's a Toastmasters meeting at the company where I'm working. After having been there a year, I finally got around to turning up a couple of weeks ago. Hey, they also have live music on Wednesday lunch. It's a busy place.

Yury, from Pythian and the Sydney Oracle Meetup, has mentioned Toastmasters. Given my audience is mostly developers, let me sum it up my way: Toastmasters is a test environment for public speaking.

As with a test environment, you're expected to have a few "does not meet requirements" incidents. That's why it is (more...)

Windows 8 running Oracle 11g XE

| Nov 10, 2012
It's been several months since my last blog post, mostly because free time is a scare resource.

But after a few false starts, I've removed the last vestige of "Windows XP" from my home, and upgraded my netbook to Windows 8. Windows 7 was never an option for this machine and Windows 8 has an afforable XP upgrade option and a simpler set of variants. The "Pro" version which has replaced my "XP Home" adds such goodies as acting as a Remote Desktop server, which was always skipped for 'home' users. I feel all grown up :)

The Jumps

Being just a little bit unique

| Jul 17, 2012
A few weeks back, I saw a mention of an old Tanel Poder post about the uniqueness of ROWIDs.

This is an interesting subject as a lot of people expect ROWIDs to be unique, but don't think about how unique that is. While you can't be a little bit pregnant, you can be a little bit unique. Or at least unique only within a specific subgroup.

The only complaint I have about the piece is that it is very DBAish. Lots of moving files around the OS and all those other things that DBAs like to do.

I'm a developer, (more...)

Whatever happened to…Packaged Apex Applications

| Jul 7, 2012
Many moons ago, there existed a bunch of packaged applications for Apex on the Oracle website.

Alas and alack, they were removed and all that exists in their place is a collection of sample code. They'll be making a comeback in Apex 4.2 where they will be 'prepacked' in the installation and ready to install. You can keep them vanilla, and perhaps get some support from Oracle for them (or maybe just an upgrade path), or you can unlock them and make your own customisations and enhancements.

These packaged productivity apps also got mentioned as part of the cloud. (more...)

Chrome, Firefox and chunky padlocks

| Jul 2, 2012
For sometime now I have been using Chrome as my preferred browser. Once upon a time it was Firefox. But there's a few things about Firefox I dislike and this is one of them.

Some site, such as the New York Times, have a half-hearted implementation of HTTPS. I generally see this when someone who uses a tool like "HTTPS Everywhere" posts a link. The problem is that Firefox doesn't make it REALLY obvious that the https is a bit broken.

You see the regular icon, and if you bother to click on it, you get a little warning.

Now, (more...)

Ever increasing priorities

| Apr 28, 2012
Inspired by a recent Martin Widlake post, I also have something to say about urgency.

In most problem/incident management systems there is some 'priority' level. And all the ones I've met, count it the wrong way, by starting with "1" as the highest priority.

The reason this is wrong is that, as anyone who has worked on the receiving end of such a system, there is always something that will trump the current highest priority.

"1" should refer to the lowest priority item. A typo in the help text (or the use of the phrase 'most unique'). The items (more...)