I am in the middle of moving my blog posts away from WordPress and into Notion (a great note taking tool that allows me to make specific notes publicly viewable with ease). By moving my site to Notion I hope to reduce the barrier to writing new articles in the limited time available to me... Continue Reading →

Making Reflection behave like PuTTY

Around 14 years ago, I switched from using Reflection to PuTTY because it was free and my employer at the time wouldn’t pay for such extravagance software purchases such as a simple terminal emulator! Since then I’ve become rather accustomed to the way PuTTY behaves, and find Reflections particularly annoying to use on the occasion that I visit a client who insists on using it.

However, it is possible to solve most of the biggest annoyances…

Using older Fujitsu ScanSnap scanners with Windows 10

A number of older ScanSnap scanners released by Fujitsu are no longer supported and the official line from Fujitsu is to buy new hardware. However, the ScanSnap range isn't cheap and you can avoid spending a large sum by utilizing Compatibility Mode built into Windows to get your older scanner working with the latest versions of Windows.

This guide will show you how.

Kornshell function declarations

Over the years I have seen and maintained many kornshell scripts written by DBAs, and there are a number of programming styles that provoke strong reactions on who is doing it the "right" way.

In this article, I will explain the different ways in which functions can be defined in Kornshell and explain why I personally prefer one method over another.

Dot Underscore ._ files in Dropbox

Recently, all my files stored in Dropbox suddenly acquired a "dot underscore" file in addition to the original file, which was then synced to all other computers that were linked to my Dropbox account. This post describes what these files are, and how I resolved the issue.

Reflect for Evernote – reviewing your notes in bitesize chunks

One of the most powerful features of Evernote is how quickly and easily you can add content to your notebooks. Sometimes however, this is both a blessing and a curse because there is no review process for removing old and outdated notes. Sometimes you come across a note that could do with more context around it as the original reason for writing/clipping it was not recorded at the time.
Well luckily, there is now a nice neat solution for reviewing your notes.

CRS: pullup() dependency test

The behaviour of the pullup dependency as described in the Oracle documentation for CRS resources is counter-intuitive and so I decided to do some testing around it to see the results and reassure myself that the documentation was correct.

Scripting: Is the DB DataGuarded?

Whilst developing some administrative functions within PL/SQL I needed to know whether the database that the code was being run in was part of an Oracle DataGuard setup, which you would think would be a trivial exercise. My first thought was that we could determine this via v$database. If the DATABASE_ROLE column in v$database contains STANDBY then we know... Continue Reading →

A direct link to your LinkedIn Recommendations

Two short and simple methods to create a URL which will direct someone straight to the recommendations section on your LinkedIn profile. This is useful for highlighting your existing recommendations and at the same time prompting the recipient to leave you a recommendation.

JDBC Connection strings for Oracle (thin driver)

This is a subject that I am often asked about by developers and support teams changing  application configuration details: What is the correct format of JDBC connection strings for the thin driver? Oracle's JDBC Thin driver uses Java sockets to connect directly to Oracle. It provides its own TCP/IP version of Oracle's SQL*Net protocol. Because it... Continue Reading →

TNS Configuration files – Search order

Oracle clients (and programs that use Oracle clients/drivers) will search for TNS configuration files such as sqlnet.ora and tnsnames.ora in the following order. Note that the first file to be found will be used -- so if there were files in both location 3 and location 5, then the one in location 3 would be found first... Continue Reading →

Continue SCP’ing file(s) after log out

The unix command scp is very useful for transferring files between two hosts over a secure connection, but sometimes you need to kick off an scp command that will take several hours to complete and you want to disconnect and go home. Using "screen" One approach is to use the screen command (available only on linux AFAIK) to start the initial transfer, then... Continue Reading →

Starting a Batch (DOS) file minimized

In my article How to backup your Evernote notes regularly I supplied a windows batch file that could be used with the Windows Scheduler to automatically backup your Evernote Notes. In use, however, it soon becomes annoying that the scheduler launches a DOS window to run the script right in the middle of the screen.

This article documents the technique for running a batch file minimized to the taskbar.

ORA-1089 reported by a database link

Recently, we encountered a strange problem whereby trying to issue a select over a database link caused an ORA-1089 "immediate shutdown in progress - no operations are permitted" error even though the source databases was up and fully operational.

MS Word: F3 != Find Next

I don't know about anyone else, but I find it incredibly annoying that the Microsoft Word doesn't use F3 as the shortcut key for finding the next occurrence of something that you have previously searched for. Here's the correct (i.e. out of the box) shortcut for finding the next occurrence and how to change it to F3 in Word 2007 and above.

RMAN: Displaying current backup progress

When performing a backup of a large database using RMAN, you often get asked "how is the backup progressing?" and "when it will complete?". Although the log produced by RMAN is detailed in almost every other aspect, there isn't any information recorded that will allow you to give a simple and straightforward answer to these questions

However, the information is available within the data dictionary.

Logging PuTTY sessions

As a DBA, it is generally a good idea to log all your activity when working on Unix/Linux servers. Logging provides an audit of changes that you have made to a system as well as being a valuable resource for notes and documentation.

This article describes how to log all PuTTY sessions and how to automtically maintain the resulting logfiles in a logical directory structure.

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