Beverage Discrimination

Mountain Dew CanI don’t drink coffee. Never have. However, I do love and need caffeine–in large and frequent doses, but carbonated and refrigerated (refrigeration optional when desperate). That’s why I’m always a tiny bit upset when I arrive at a new customer site and as part of the usual tour I find office supplies, bathrooms, printer, and all the free coffee you can drink. Some of them have a water cooler too (which I try to substitute…my physician tells me this is better than my caffeine addiction).

Why doesn’t Equal Opportunity apply? I’m discriminated against because of my beverage choice. Shouldn’t I expect equal access to all the things I need in order to perform my job? I submit that if others I work with need coffee to perform their daily tasks (I presume that’s why it’s part of everyone’s salary/benefits package–including mine), I should be afforded the same. I shouldn’t have to pay part of the coffee tax if I don’t take part in consuming the coffee.

In the interest of full disclosure, I do have to say that my current employer provides a magically perpetually stocked fridge of carbonated delights that I frequent when I’m in the office (they also provide bottomless pots of coffee). Unfortunately, I haven’t been in the office for a month, so that doesn’t help me right now!

Gotta go get something caffeinated to drink before I fall asleep…

Acquisition Wednesday, Round 2: Indian firm Rolta buys TUSC

Apparently, Wednesday is the day to be acquired. Today, the announcement that Broech Corporation (which does business as TUSC) was acquired by Mumbai, India-based Rolta for US$45 million. TUSC will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rolta and Joe, Rich, and Brad will continue to lead “TUSC – A Rolta Company”, at least for now.

I definitely think that most people could not have foreseen TUSC being acquired, especially by an Indian firm, but it looks like Acquisition Wednesday is just full of surprises! I know things must have changed since I worked there as I certainly could never have imagined this event coming to pass. I’m unable to predict how TUSC (or any 17+-year-old private firm) will fare as part of a public company. Challenging times and big changes are in store I suspect.

For now, you can read the press releases here and here.

This seems to somewhat validate an article that was tweeted yesterday by Puneet Thapliyal. It was a posting that discussed the challenges that Indian firms are experiencing now with higher wages and many other factors. Thanks for sending it along, Puneet!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the acquisition in comments below.

Cool thing happened on Twitter today…

A neat thing happened today on Twitter. While I admit that I don’t necessarily “get it” as fast as some of my “web 2.0” friends do, I haven’t seen this happen too much on Twitter since I’ve been following it in the past several months. I’m sure it probably happens all the time to cool people, but I was lucky enough to cross over for a few minutes and that’s notable.

Basically, the “thing” was that someone needed help understanding how to get started with an OID installation for managing TNS connect descriptors. He wanted (and needed) to use an existing database since he was resource-constrained and wasn’t sure what the installation process looks like for such an installation.

Here’s the combined thread between @fuadar, @topperge and me (@dannorris) just a few minutes ago:

fuadar: looking for someone or some document to install oid in an existing 10.2 database need only names service resolution
dannorris: @fudar It’s much easier to just have it install its own DB. If you use existing DB, you must run metadata repos creation asst first.
fuadar: @dnanorris out of space already have a database out there for other functions. trying to setup oid to solve our tnsnames issues
dannorris: @fudar Issues? Honestly, OID usually introduces more issues than it solves when it comes to TNS. It’s a lot more complex than a text file.
fuadar: @dannorris true but i’m trying to come up with some way to manage acouple of hundred servers and a couple of thousand clients
dannorris: @fudar It’s definitely the right direction to head–just need realistic expectations about complexity and manageability–not easier!
fuadar: @dannorris agree just looking for better documentation
topperge: @fuadar fudar, all you need is RepCA and install the identity repos, http://tinyurl.com/yweyr8
dannorris: @fuadar Better free up some space first–you’ll need a gig or two I’d expect. (ps sorry for misspelling your handle)
fuadar: @topperge so what you are saying is just go thru the oid software install process and then so the repca manually
fuadar: @topperge i am using the Oracle Identity management dvd’s 10.1.4.0.1
dannorris: @fuadar Install RepCA first, run it, then install OID from IdM and tell it to use the repos you created.
dannorris: @fuadar be sure to check DB prereqs (version, pkgs, options, etc.). Follow section here http://snurl.com/1xzda
fuadar: @dannorris thanks reinstalling the software now
topperge: @fuadar There is a 10.1.4 MRCA with the DVDs, install from that first , then install from the OIM Infrastructure CD second
topperge: @fuadar then make sure you patch to 10.1.4.2 which is patch 5983637 on metalink (doing the same install right now)

Even patch numbers! Posting that same question to a forum would likely have taken several hours to get responses–and precise responses as well. Now, I don’t want everyone to believe that @topperge (Matt Topper) and I sit around all day looking for questions we can answer on Twitter. However, I am on Twitter most of the time (even though I don’t tweet that often) and occasionally will throw a response or post in when I think of it. Matt is usually there and seems to behave similarly most of the time.

The bottom line: today, Twitter helped someone solve a real technical problem much faster than they were likely to solve it via other means (web 2 dot oh or otherwise). I don’t know that it happens every day, but we can only save one life at a time :).

You can follow me (@dannorris) on twitter, but as I don’t say much, you won’t likely be impressed. After all, I’m no Jake Kuramoto.

The User Group Conferences Are Coming!

Okay, not for a while, but for those that are presenters at the conference, the US winter is a time of solemn writing. Whitepaper deadlines are approaching for the IOUG program at the Collaborate 08 (April 14-18 in Denver) conference quickly. Soon after, the presentations for those sessions will be due. No rest for the wicked after that since ODTUG‘s Kaleidoscope 08 conference will come soon after, in June in New Orleans (note to self: bring extra sweat rags).

As has been the case for several years, the IOUG and ODTUG have graciously selected some of my submissions for presentation at their respective conferences. While ODTUG has announced that they’ve selected their sessions, they haven’t yet posted them or notified many of the speakers.

For the 5 or so people that probably read this blog :), here are the sessions where you’ll find me at Collaborate 08 this year: Continue reading “The User Group Conferences Are Coming!”

On handling logging in a script

This tip isn’t really new, but it is one of those things that I used to know, forgot, remembered, and am now blogging so that it will be easier to find (for me) when I finally forget it again. Besides, I was hanging out with Bex Huff earlier tonight and he told me I need to blog more and this was what popped into my head. On a side note, I would encourage everyone to seek out someone that you “know” from this internet thang when you’re traveling. Meeting in person certainly beats any “8 things” list :). I happen to be in Minneapolis this month, so I looked up Bex and also hope to find a bar or similar establishment where Billy can don the kilt 2.0 for another picture (that may be asking a lot in 31-degree temps, though).

Enough soapbox…on with the tech talk. Continue reading “On handling logging in a script”

Interesting Metalink findings

I generally don’t spend a lot of time surfing around Metalink. Normally, I get in, find the bug or patch or whatever thing I need, and get out. However, my current project involves a database upgrade for a very performance-sensitive application (they have an SLA that they actually have to honor–or honour for my UK friends :), so I’ve been doing a bit of research. Coincidentally, a posting to Oracle-L recently allowed me to mention one of my research findings and several subscribers (one publicly) there responded that they had never seen the document and that it was great. Well, it really is great and Oracle Support or whomever it is that supplied the content deserves a great round of applause for putting it together.

The document of which I speak is the Oracle 10g Upgrade Companion. This document contains more than just the upgrade steps, but starts with a list of recommended patches, then goes on to include sections on Behavior Changes (this is especially valuable and absent from most other upgrade plans), Best Practices for the upgrade process, and Documentation references. While I am reporting that this is a great resource, I have two general suggestions for improvement Continue reading “Interesting Metalink findings”

8 things and tag round 2

My friend Jake at OracleAppsLab tagged me today and it’s high time I get back on the blog saddle anyway, so thanks for giving me a reason to get (re)started. Of the universe of people he could have chosen, I’m honored to be among the 8 “chosen ones” for this first round.

I thought Jake’s 8 things about himself were pretty interesting. You know how when you talk to someone on the phone and immediately start creating a mental image of them? Later, you finally get to have a meeting in person and find out you were waaaayyyy off? As anyone that has met me or seen me knows, I’m not a particularly vain person. If it weren’t for the fact that I try to make a living and others generally judge me based on my appearance, I’d wear cutoffs swimming trunks (I am a diver as you’ll learn in a moment) and t-shirts with funny, almost inappropriate sayings on them all the time. I once asked my grandfather how old I had to be in order to stop caring whether my fly is open (note that most people won’t tell an “old person” when their fly is open). He said 62, not sure why, but he’s the authority on such things. If you ever saw him, you’d know.

Anyway, to delight your imaginations and give you many more reasons to change your mental image of my persona, here are 8 things about me.

  1. My entire family attended all of my high school functions. My dad was the high school principal and I had to leave my date at prom, homecoming…pretty much all functions for about 15 minutes to get a family photo taken. In between functions, just trying to get everyone to forget that you’re the principal’s kid was a full time job.
  2. I can operate pretty much every piece of machinery found on a grain farm from planter to cultivator to combine. From the time I was 12 until college, I worked all summer and weekends in the fall and spring as the sole farmhand for 2500 acres of corn and soybeans. Great tan, kept in shape, made some cash, and learned a lot about mechanical things too. Sometimes, I still yearn to work a weekend or two in the fall when harvest starts. There’s a funny story about getting followed by an unmarked sheriff’s deputy car while driving the pickup back to the farm (I was 13 at the time and not driving legally). Turns out, my boss’ brother was the sheriff who was just stopping by for a visit…I almost soiled myself.
  3. I was a crew trainer at McDonald’s when I was 16. Only those that have experienced it can attest to the permanent smell of recon onions and pickles that sticks around for 2-3 days after you work a shift on the grill. I made the biscuits (at 4:30am) back when McDonald’s used to make fresh biscuits in every location. They’re shipped in frozen now–fresh was better. Also note that if you ever saw a McRib before they covered it in that sauce, you’d never eat one again.
  4. I’m a scuba diver. After 6 years of wanting to learn, I finally got around to it (delay due to children) this year. I am currently a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver and am working on my Rescue Diver certification as soon as it thaws out in Illinois. I keep my scuba diving page here up-to-date…mostly.
  5. One of my favorite times in life was working as an Assistant Stage Manager at Illinois State University. As part of the student stage hands crew, I got to work on setting up and tearing down roadshows that came through Bloomington-Normal, Illinois on their tours. I worked on shows for Travis Tritt, Marty Stuart, Megadeth, Extreme, Stone Temple Pilots, Toad the Wet Sprocket, the launch of the Smashing Pumpkins world tour, Buddy Guy (awesome), Harry Belafonte, Bill Cosby, Gallagher, and a bunch of others I can’t remember. I used to mix sound for some local bands too. Unforuntely, I was only there two years, but getting paid to hang out back stage is pretty cool, even if only for a little while. (I was at Illinois State for 2 years before transferring to UIUC where I graduated 2.5 years later.)
  6. My brother is an orthopedic surgeon. Those are the guys that bring drills, screws, pins, plates, and fake joints into an operating room. Weird stuff. I’ve learned that when he wants to show me pictures of the place he went last weekend, I have to be prepared for the accidental picture of some dude’s broken femur to be “accidentally” stuck in the middle of the stack. I think he just does it to test my constitution–he secretly remembers all those times I beat him up when we were younger. Mom always told me that someday he’d be bigger than me…(and he is that too, but has kindly chosen photographic torture instead). Regardless of our past, I’m very proud of him.
  7. My wife is a (great, goes without saying really) writer. I suspect like all great writers, she writes many things that she immediately throws away claiming that it isn’t worthy of reading. If there is an opposite to my work, creative fiction writing is probably about as close as it can get. She doesn’t get much time to work on writing due to taking care of Kids 2.0 (including updating their website) and House 3.0 (this is our 3rd ownership experience). She’s wonderful and her strengths complement all my weaknesses perfectly. Plus, she’s one helluva cook! 🙂
  8. I like to travel. Well, not constantly, but I’d rather buy a trip to some interesting place than to buy a “thing” for myself. I enjoy the occasional travel for work. Unfortunately, it usually comes in batches (gone for a month, home for a month) which is tiring and stressful for my family, but I generally enjoy going to new places. With the New Web, I am especially enjoying my ability to find people in the places I go and (at least try to) connect with them. Since I’ve recently added diving to my hobby list (there’s one on the list, diving), and I live in Chicagoland, travel will become more important as the diving in and around where I live is only truly fun for a few months in the summer. After that, it’s tolerable, but I digress…

So, there you have them, 8 things about me. I know, some are really about other people, but they are people that define me, so that’s why they’re on the list. Now for the fun part–8 people to tag for the next round.

I hereby officially tag the following individuals: Jeremy Schneider, Lewis Cunningham, Billy Cripe, Chris Muir, Charles Schultz, Mogens Nørgaard (a.k.a. Moans Nogood), Mark Rittman, and Alex Gorbachev. I’ll be emailing or tweeting you shortly to let you know you’ve been tagged!