Sunday, August 28, 2005

Aloha

I'm now mid way through my Hawaiian holidays and it's been fun. Have yet to hit the beach but have met the mayor of the city and county of Honolulu and had my picture taken with him.

He mentioned that he would like to put in a rail transit system similar to what Vancouver has. Bit expensive but yeah, I can see the logic in that.

Anyhow, thought I would provide some comments on Burleson's latest on the undocumented _pga_max_size article. First of all, I just glanced through the article and all I can say is that this fellow has the upmost disrespect for all Oracle DBA's (as is evident by the remark made in his article). It seems that he has no respect for his clients (as is evident in his offshoring article on his blog - if it has not been removed or modified) and definitely no respect for his clients (as is evident by his article on the user community).

Take a garter at Tom Kyte's blog where Mike Ault has posted some responses and I'm sad to say that he (Mike) is almost up there with Don Burleson. BC would be the last consulting group I would recommend to my employers and any employers that I have contact with. My other beef are sites/magazines that publishes these so-called technical articles without much vetting them through a technical review for correctness. This is also true of conference presentations like Oracle Open World and the IOUG!! If they had done so, crap like these will never see the light of day!

Mahalo.

Edited to include the last rant on the publishers of these articles

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The US wins at the Badminton World Championships

This year's edition of the World Championships (held every two years) was at held at Anaheim, California. The first time that this event was held in N. America. Over the week long competition, the host country (i.e. the US) best chances at a medal is in the Men Doubles headlined by the partnership of Tony Gunanwan (a world class player formerly from Indonesia) and Howard Bach (US-born). Tony G has won the World Championships in 2001 and the Olympics in 2000 playing with different partners. This time around, he has moved to the US to study and to be with his girlfriend (wife) and has been playing and coaching in the US for the last two years.

The MD final pitted him and Howard against the dynamic duo of Candra/Sigit (of Indonesia and also former world champions). In a thrilling final, they won 2 games to 1 with score of 15-11, 10-15, 15-11 and thus made history to be the first team in the modern badminton era to win gold at the World Championships Not to be missed in all this excitement is the fact that Tony's former World Champion partner, Halim Haryanto, is their coach for the event.

Congratulations to the pair and here to hoping that there will be renewed interest in the sport in North America!

Comments on this blog now has word verification

Following David Aldridge, I've turned on word verification for folks needing to add comments. This is to prevent spam bots from posting on the blog.

Word verification requires that you type in the word displayed as an image to confirm that an actual human being is entering the comments not an automated program.

Thanks.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

I'm on vacation

I'm off for two weeks - a long weekend at Parksville, then a week in Hawaii. For those who has not been to Parksville, it's a very nice resort town on Vancouver Island and is great in the summer. The kids can go clamming and just basically hang around the beach. The wife is happy with shopping at the local stores.

The Internet is far reaching as the resort where we are staying have a couple of terminals and I'd just snucked out early in the morning to catch up. It looks like Don Burleson is up to his old tricks again (i.e. publishing "rules of thumbs" or information that do not work across the board without expressing caveats or caution). I have not yet read his article but both Tom Kyte and Jonathan Lewis have responded to the article. It's very unfortunate that the publishers of said article refuses to retract or attempt to have a technical review done before publishing. I will have to read the article (if it hasn't changed before I get to it) and post an entry on it sometime during my vacation.

On a completely different topic, Oracle Applications 11i. As noted in one of my previous entry, we are replacing our PeopleSoft Financials with Oracle Core Financials and we are learning more and more about the product every day. The implementation project has still not been kicked off yet but planning has certainly begun. One complication is our IT shop uses HP-UX running on HP Servers using PA-RISC technology. Now that PA-RISC technology are at their end of life (Dec 2006), it wouldn't make sense for us to go out and buy new PA-RISC boxes so we are looking at Itanium servers. Simple and done deal, right? Wrong! Oracle Applications 11i is not certified on the Itanium (only the database tier was) so we will have to use what Oracle refer to a 'split configuration' where the application tier resides on a PA-RISC server and the database tier resides on an Itanium server. Okay, that wasn't too bad but wait, how about the version of the OS? HP published a paper indicating that the HP-UX needed to be at HP-UX 11i v2 for both servers but our PA-RISC is on HP-UX 11i v1 so it's just a simple matter of upgrading to v2, right? Wrong! Our HP-UX servers uses a particular brand of controller cards from Emulex which are not certified for v2 and apparently would not work with v2 of HP-UX 11i. Jeez, what else can go wrong. I've logged a TAR with Oracle to ask for confirmation whether we can have a split configuration of PA-RISC running HP-UX 11i v1 (application tier) and Itanium running HP-UX 11i v2 (database tier) as well as verification of a statement in Oracle's Metalink that indicate that in installing a split configuration, you will have to install everything on the PA-RISC and then migrate the database tier over to the Itanium server. At this point, I'm covering my head in my hands. This is just technology and it's already complicated. Just wait until we get into the implementation phase! So much for the KISS principle.

Monday, August 15, 2005

What a weekend!

It's been a whirlwind of a weekend. My wife decided two days before hand to go ahead and hold an outdoor swim birthday party for my daughter. The reason why she left it so late was because of the weather. The party was fun and the weather was very nice and warm but boy, it was just exhausting getting everything organized. Phoning everyone and getting the food, drinks, loot bags, directions to the place, etc. Since it was at a park, we had to pack chairs, all the food, a portable BBQ, drinks, etc to the park. I had to get there early in order to secure picnic tables and beforehand pick up the cake which I eventually squashed when I had to move stuff out of the car.

We had thought that we will have Sat to prepare but no, we had to go for a family gym and then later over to a friend's for a BBQ and to make matter worse, the first thing on Sunday morning (day of the birthday party), I found that a swarm of wasps had build a nest right in the corner of the roof on top of the garage when the path the front door run past. Definitely not a good situation with us & the kids going in & out. Actually tried to flood the nest by sticking a water hose and letting the water ran for close to 15 minutes (of course I did this after dusk in order to minimize the risk of getting stung). No go as this morning, they were buzzing around the nest in the roof. We will have to contact a professional but I am going out to buy a can of RAID Hornet & Wasp killer to see if that will do the trick first.

I was exhausted and looking forward to going into the office to rest up :D

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Oracle Applications 11i

Well, my organization decided to replace their existing financial system with Oracle Financials 11i. We are still working through the details (licencing, implementation, etc). We are going 11.5.10 (I hope since I heard that there are some issues with 11.5.9). I have been talking with the implementation DBA (from IBM Consulting) about the architecture required and other technical details. It was suggested that we will need about 300Gb of disk space for each instance of Oracle Appls and we might end up with up to 6 or more instances (demo, dev, test, train, patch, prod, pilot, etc). That's potentially a requirement of 1800Gb of space! Of course, this include the space requirements for the Appl Server too but still, that is kind of ridiculous but when you install Oracle Applications, you install all modules and only those modules that you are licenced are activated.

Another suggestion was to have only one OS account to own both the db and application software which I don't think is best practice so that was rejected and the consultant agreed to two OS accounts (one which will own the DB software and the other owns the application software) and since we will be creating multiple instances, it was suggested that we set up two OS accounts per instance which I am having lots of problems with (e.g. demo instance will have orademo1 and appldemo1 as owners of the db and application software respectively). The reasoning is apparently to avoid confusion as to which instance we are working with. Hmmm...I don't think so but have yet to formulate my disagreement to the consultant.

I think this is going to be one hell of an implementation project and hopefully I can influence key decisions and I am also hoping to get an experienced Oracle Application DBA to come in at key times to do a health check (got to figure out how to sell this to my manager and also to the project team).

Saturday, August 06, 2005

What's with the Judges???

I think the Canadian Justice & Legal system is going down the tubes. The judges have been making decisions that are so far fetched in order to protect "victim's rights". In today's paper, one of the BC Supreme Court judge ruled against the Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) where the bank froze the accounts of one of their customers who had cashed a counterfeit cheque of over Cdn$950K in order to recover the monies! The cheque was originally cleared by the Royal Bank after the account being drawn on has sufficient funds but Royal Bank later came back to notify BNS that the cheque was counterfeited but after the funds had been release to the customer. Obviously said customer denied any wrongdoing but the cheque was made out to them from someone (another company) that they had no dealings with nor were there any accompanying note to the cheque. Hmmm...

Anyhow Judge Bruce Cohen rapped BNS' knuckles and that the frozen accounts must be released thereby allowing said customer to access the funds (not legally obtained)! So if you can successfully cash a counterfeit cheque of any amount and have the funds deposited in your account, you can walk away a rich person.

The legal system is getting ridiculous where the rights of the victims are down at the bottom with the rights of the suspect right at the very top. Take for example, Mr. Saxena (a person wanted by the Thai authorities on charges of emblezzing C$88m) has been ordered extradicted back to Thai 10 years ago. He has filed appeals after appeals fighting this extradition. He even had the judge agreed to house arrest all these years by paying for his own private bodyguards to keep him under house arrest. Guess what. During these times, he has allegedly ran or help organized boiler-room operations where folks are bilked out of their savings. Right now, he is asking the court to annul the extradiction order against him because it has been ten years and when it was originally filed, it had an expiry period of ten years. In the meanwhile, ordinary folks who are good upstanding citizens have been told that their application for residency are rejected even though they are good productive residents in Canada!

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

The perils of publishing or rather not publishing fast enough

Check out the entry on Fabian Pascal's blog

Now granted that I have not gone to c.d.t to check out Josh Hewitt's post, but it does seem that here is a case of someone "demanding" (see HJR's entry on a similar vein) that they be listened to or at the very least have attention paid to them.

Obviously Fabian along with Chris Date and Steve Tarin has been working feverishly on their TransRelational (tm) Model (TRM) (or at the very least Steve Tarin) and I for one is looking forward to all the details when they are ready to publish.

Fabian's entry seems to highlight the current culture of instant gratification or rather the Andy Wohl's 15 minutes of fame.

On a different note, I found this at David Rea's blog where he found the following article on Technology Research News on how Japanese scientists and researchers have managed use a laser to embed information on a fingernail which could be read by an optical microscope. It is still a proof-of-concept but they figured that it will take another 3 years to develop commerical applications for it. Incredible!

Managing, Part Deux

Hah, managing people is probably one of the toughest things to do. The reasons varies but a key component is that emotions/feelings comes into play which means that most folks tend to have an emotional investment in their work.

Anyhow, I got to deal with a people issue where one team member decided to trash another while the other employee is away. It was a comment (unfortunately it wasn't one-off as this employee has repeated it a number of times at different occassions). Regardless whether it's true or not, I will have to have a little chat with said employee and request that he stop doing that and to respect all team members. Maybe I should have stepped right in and told him that during the team meeting but I didn't think it would be appropriate to kind of jump down his throat.

I guessed the next best thing is the little chat and see how it goes from there.