Wednesday, January 9, 2008

ASM, Humor, PeopleSoft, RDA,, The Oracle Plane, Various, IT Opinion


Some wisdom on cloning an ASM database from Alejandro Vargas.


Ok, let's face it, Oracle has never been, shall we say, a strong Microsoft partner, but this video that Bill Gates did linked from Carl Beckstrom's blog is very amusing.


An article on PeopleSoft Enterprise Portal 9.0 over at PSADMIN.

New Version of the RDA Available

The Remote Diagnostic Agent is an often misunderstood beastie. Some customers think we here at Oracle have them run an RDA just to get them out of our hair for a while. Nope. It's a very useful utility that gathers a huge amount of useful information about your system. When I worked performance optimization in the field in my past life as a DBA I would often use the RDA as a tool to quickly evaluate a customer's system on a lot of details that effect performance.

Here's the official announcement:

Oracle Support Announces RDA 4.10 - Production Release

RDA is used to gather detailed information about an Oracle and Operating system environments. The data gathered is used to aid in problem diagnosis. The output is also used to monitor the overall system configuration. Oracle Global Product Support encourages the use of RDA because it provides a comprehensive picture of the Oracle Product and Operating System environments.

Read the full article. (in Metalink).

The Oracle Plane

Video of the Oracle stunt plane showing that gravity, physics, etc. all are negotiable, even flexible...if you're a good enough pilot.


A miscellany of links of interest from Eddie Awad here.

IT Opinion

H. Tonguc Yilmaz reminds us that all that seems to come from a guru may not in fact be wise in this article. Over my years working with Oracle technology, and many other topics of interest, I have found that the humble are often the strongest authorities. When you question a real expert about their topic they will either:
  • Prove to you then and there that they are right (Tom Kyte usually does it by creating a schema, running several experiments, then tearing it all down, all at a SQL*Plus prompt and NEVER BACKSPACING ONCE, which scares most mortals).
  • Cite a reliable source or two that demonstrate their point
  • Admit that there may be a problem and look into it.
If you get an answer based on the fear of being wrong it will often be tinged with anger, because anger is the shadow of weakness, following along wherever it goes. If you get an answer that seems to be couched in the language of non-Euclidean geometry intersticed with the tax code you are probably dealing with ignorance. Of course if you are discussing a meta-study of non-Euclidean geometry and the tax code this may be a normal answer. Generally, though, a clearly phrased question should elicit a clearly phrased answer, and technology often allows answers that fall into clear categories:

  • That's how it works
  • It's like that because it's broken, but the fix is coming in release XYZ
  • It's like that because the software is hopelessly hosed and you are making a major career error by attempting to install it on prod.
  • I don't know.
Human nature has a strong element of rationalization. This ill-begotten child of the rational makes us want to explain every problem we encounter in the simplest possible terms, perfectly happy to dispense with all norms of reality and logic to do so. How many times have you read that the market took a downturn today because of a loss of consumer confidence in sealing wax or the like? It may very well have been caused by the consumers being frightened by a rise in the number of gopher coughs or a simple increase in the seasonal flu statistics as filtered through the complex mechanism of society and the economy, or a combination of innumerable factors. But what's needed in journalism is a quick explanation that everyone can understand. As a result of this, the answer, 'I don't know' is often very hard for us to pronounce. Experts use the term fairly often because they have a firm grasp of their field and actually know what they do and do not know.

So be careful of who and what you trust online, and that includes blogs, even this august institution you are reading.

Chris Gait
Infogram Editor

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