Thursday, December 20, 2007

Oracle Infogram Weekly, 20-DEC-2007

Oracle RDBMS
(From Chris Gait, Infogram Editor)

As we close out 2007, here is the Most Popular Technical Articles on OTN for 2007.

In the realm of performance, Pythian Group has a very informative podcast on memory, swap, and all that jazz here. It was even recommended by performance guru Jonathan Lewis here.
Authoritative praise indeed.

A holiday diversion from OraStory.

HA (High Availability)
And no, HA does not stand for High Anxiety, usually

In praise of Oracle Streams for moving a large DB at the Oracle at Work Blog


Patrick Wolf gives us a way to effectively 'comment out' code within ApEx when we may need it back later here

BI (Business Intelligence)

Part 3 of a series on building an analytic workspace at the Oracle BI Blog


Mining the listener log can give you great forensic information on intruders, and many other things. read the series at DBAZine.

E-Business Suite

Two links from Steven Chan's blog:

Linux Itanium & Windows Itanium Certified for Release 12 Database Tier

HP-UX 11.31 Certified for Apps 11i & 12


A nice set of links on PeopleSoft reporting tips and tricks.

Next time you're on line at the market and bored, you can strike up a conversation on the PeopleSoft aspects of:

Changes in Calculation of Predicate Selectivity in Oracle 10g

IT Business News

In praise of checklists at Radio Free Tooting blog. Lessons from emergency medicine that transfer well to IT.

IBM Creates a Virtual World to Hold Conferences

Big Blue has been investing a lot of time and effort in the virtual world of Second Life, and previously announced an effort to standardize virtual world interfaces (thus permitting a person to create a single 'avatar' identity that would have the same possessions and characteristics in a variety of worlds). Now they are making use of the experience gained to build their own internal metaverse:

Free Stuff!

You can get a free database. Small, yes, not with the rich features of an enterprise, yes, but the price is right. Please ignore all the products in the review that are not Oracle XE :):

IT Opinion

As more IT people are blogging, more of what they think, rather than strictly what they do, is appearing on the Web. This week I am including a couple of items from the category of IT Opinion.

Accusations and observations on software development as a whole over the last couple of decades from Daniel Fink:
We are IT! We are Devo!

Legend, Lore and How We Deal With Them

Richard Foote's discussion of Oracle Rules here gave rise to an interesting article on the Dizwell Blog: here
about the philosophy of 'Oracle Nostrums'. Should we rebuild indexes? Does the buffer cache hit ratio mean anything? There are some rules of thumb that, over the years, become all thumbs. Human nature tends to move from one extreme to the other. Thus if something is no longer the norm it becomes, in the minds of many, useless. The Dizwell article, and the discussion in comments, brings up several interesting points.

The comments area is of interest both for content and nature. Human communication is at its best in person. A phone conversation loses a certain amount of the 'signals' involved (gestures, facial expressions, etc.), written communication loses yet more (inflection, tempo and other subtle signals). This results in people who would have come to an understanding within a few seconds on a technical issue in person getting into a polite but firm flame war on the issue instead when the discussion is written, particularly on the Web.

I have found that the intermediate between phone and in-person conversations, virtual meetings (such as in Second Life), restore some of the lost signals in conversations. However a virtual world or 'metaverse' introduces its own set of distractions and troubles, so it's yet to be seen if it becomes a popular method for conducting business and technical meetings. But some companies are already experimenting with this form of communication (see the item on IBM's Metaverse in the IT Business News section today.

The latest issue of Oracle magazine (Jan/Feb 2008):


Mister Geeky said...

Sadly, on the checklist thing - from a NYT op-ed piece by the same writer:

A year ago, researchers at Johns Hopkins University published the results of a program that instituted in nearly every intensive care unit in Michigan a simple five-step checklist designed to prevent certain hospital infections. It reminds doctors to make sure, for example, that before putting large intravenous lines into patients, they actually wash their hands and don a sterile gown and gloves.

The results were stunning. Within three months, the rate of bloodstream infections from these I.V. lines fell by two-thirds. The average I.C.U. cut its infection rate from 4 percent to zero. Over 18 months, the program saved more than 1,500 lives and nearly $200 million.

Yet this past month, the Office for Human Research Protections shut the program down. The agency issued notice to the researchers and the Michigan Health and Hospital Association that, by introducing a checklist and tracking the results without written, informed consent from each patient and health-care provider, they had violated scientific ethics regulations. Johns Hopkins had to halt not only the program in Michigan but also its plans to extend it to hospitals in New Jersey and Rhode Island.

The government’s decision was bizarre and dangerous. But there was a certain blinkered logic to it, which went like this: A checklist is an alteration in medical care no less than an experimental drug is. Studying an experimental drug in people without federal monitoring and explicit written permission from each patient is unethical and illegal. Therefore it is no less unethical and illegal to do the same with a checklist. Indeed, a checklist may require even more stringent oversight, the administration ruled, because the data gathered in testing it could put not only the patients but also the doctors at risk — by exposing how poorly some of them follow basic infection-prevention procedures.

Christopher Gait, Oracle Infogram Editor said...

Mister Geeky,

Sad, and yet another Kafka moment from the government and its involvement in medicine. Thanks for the reference.

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