SF Chronicle Article: Free TiVos to Comcast Customers

If you work and/or live around Alviso, California or are from the Bay Area and don't mind going to Alviso :D, the article in today's (December 16,2004) Business Section of the San Francisco Chronicle, Free TiVos to Comcast Customers may be of interest. 40-hour Tivo recorders will be given away on Friday from 11 am to 1 pm. I have been a Tivo user since Tivo's early days and I'm very happy with it.

Responding to RFP

I've been writing proposals in one form or another, in response to RFP in one industry or another since 1978.

Yep, yep, yep

Way back, early in my career, I was sent a letter of commendation from Hughes for my work on the system engineering part of a proposal from Thiokol to provide the apogee kick motor [rocket engine] for one of the Intelsat satellites.

What was so special about what I wrote? I repeated their requirements and described how my team would fulfill those specific requirements, using their own language. They could understand it.

It always amazes me when I read someone else's proposal, and they don't do that.

It amazes me even more when the lowest bid wins, even when the technical proposal doesn't meet the requirements. And it happens all the time. One of the most amazing was out of six proposals that a county in California deemed responsive, 4 of us were just about at the million dollar mark. One big firm was at two million, and one firm was at half-a-million. Guess who won? With a proposal that didn't meet the requirements in any way, shape or form. Guess what happened to the project?

Ah well.

Bay Bridge Savings on the new Design.. A Joke?

Bay Bridge

The San Francisco Chronicle's article "Governor Picks Simpler Bay Bridge Plan" leaves one thinking...

Let's be realistic here. Factor in the cost to redo the work done to date, rising costs of everything, cost of the delay and all other costs associated with resources including time. Who are they kidding? Do you think they'll really save $300 million to $500 million with the new design? Ok, during these hard times for most Bay Area residents, I agree on saving money if there are savings involved. Yeah, yeah, yeah... no tax increases as promised during campaign period but increase in tolls, increase in this and that....

The date is not April Fools Day, is it?

Phishing for WebEx

I've become so accustomed to bank, credit card and other financial phishing emails that I don't even blink before hitting the delete key. But today marked our first phishing scam spoofing WebEx.

At least the email headers don't match.

So, in Outlook, right click on the message and check options. In your webmail client, check to show full headers, In both cases look at the path the email took to get from the sender to your email server. Look at the Return-path: From: From and Reply-to: headers. If anything looks at all suspicious - just delete that email. If the subject line intrigues you, and you might want the offer, if it's legitimate, go to the web site directly or through Google by Googling the company name.

And yes, From: [with a colon] and From [without a colon] are two different data fields in the email headers.

Common Oracle DBA Technical Questions

Here are common Oracle DBA Questions I have encountered:

1. What is the format of an Oracle Release Number?
Example: 10.1.0.3.0
10 - Major database release number
1 - Database maintenance release number
0 - Application server release number
3 - Component specific release number
0 - Platform specific release number

2. What is a mutating table?

A mutating table is a table that is currently being modified by an update, delete, or insert statement. If an application has a row trigger that reads or modifies the mutating table, the common ORA-04091 error is generated.

ORA-04091: "table %s.%s is mutating, trigger/function may not see it"
Cause: A trigger (or a user defined plsql function that is referenced in this statement) attempted to look at (or modify) a table that was in the middle of being modified by the statement which fired it.
Action: Rewrite the trigger (or function) so it does not read that table.

3. What is the difference between deadlock and blocking lock?
A deadlock is a condition where two or more users are waiting for data locked by each other.
A blocking lock is held by the blocking session.

4. What are the data structures used for database recovery?
- Redo Logs
- Rollback and Undo Segments
- Control Files

5. When monitoring Oracle databases, what are the common V$ used?
V$PROCESS
V$SESSION
V$SESS_IO
V$SESSION_LONGOPS
V$SESSION_WAIT
V$SYSSTAT
V$RESOURCE_LIMIT
V$SQLAREA
V$LATCH

6. What are some Initialization Parameters that affect performance?
- DB_BLOCK_SIZE: database block size
- DB_CACHE_SIZE: size of the buffer cache in the SGA
- SHARED_POOL_SIZE: size of the shared pool in the SGA
- PROCESSES: maximum number of processes that can be started by that instance
- SESSIONS: set by default from the value of processes
- JAVA_POOL_SIZE: If using Java stored procedures, this parameter should be set depending on the memory requirements for the Java environment
- LOG_ARCHIVE_XXX: Enables redo log archiving.
- ROLLBACK_SEGMENTS: Allocates one or more rollback segments by name to this instance

7. What is the difference between Suspending a database and Quiescing a database?
Starting with 9i, the concepts of Suspending and Quiescing a database were introduced.
Suspending a database : database suspend/resume feature
- ALTER SYSTEM SUSPEND statement suspends a database by halting all input and output (I/O) to datafiles and control files
- ALTER SYSTEM RESUME statement resumes normal database operation
Quiescing a database: By putting a database on quiesced state, only DBA transactions, queries, or PL/SQL statements are allowed
- ALTER SYSTEM QUIESCE statement puts the database into a quiesced state

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The TeleInterActive Press is a collection of blogs by Clarise Z. Doval Santos and Joseph A. di Paolantonio, covering the Internet of Things, Data Management and Analytics, and other topics for business and pleasure. 37.540686772871 -122.516149406889

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