Plymouth Bridge – Almost Gone

bridge_aug23Two days later and it’s almost gone. The bridge over the Pemi River is no longer connected to either shore.

At the rate they are going, there will be nothing except pilings left by the end of the week. Hopefully they are as quick at building the new bridge as they have been about tearing down the old one. Then again, the temporary bridge is already better than the old one. I guess we’ve already won.

Thanks Leasa for taking pictures so I could continue driving without getting in a fiery car wreck or driving off the temporary bridge.

For an earlier view of the bridge removal take a look at my post Plymouth Bridge Destruction

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Giant Drinking Birds!

So it appears I am not the only one who thinks these drinking birds are cool. Artist Daniel Reynolds has taken them over the top.

Reynolds conceived the idea in 1994. After extensive re-engineering of the original drinking bird, in 1998 Reynolds unveiled 15 new drinking birds at six and a half feet tall!

Check out more photos, movies and information on this fantastic exhibit at

This enormous display piece was only ever shown in Germany; however it was received very well there. Hopefully someday soon someone in North America will pick up this exhibit. For now we will have to settle for the website.

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Plymouth Bridge Destruction

bridge_aug23As some I’m sure are aware, the bridge that links Holderness to Plymouth (NH) is being replaced. It’s been fairly cool watching the old bridge being taken down over the past month or so and I just wanted to share this with some of the folks who may not get up to Plymouth so much anymore.

The picture was taken earlier today from the temporary bridge. It was taken with a cell phone so the quality isn’t stellar, but you get the idea.

More pictures of the earlier part of the project are available at the University’s Phisical Plant site.

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Oracle Password Hacks

As a DBA it is often useful to change a user’s database password for testing, but what if you don’t know the user’s original password so you can change it back when you’re done?

There is no easy way to decipher the encrypted password, but you can view it. What you can do is copy the user’s encrypted password, change the password to a known value for testing with the normal alter user command, then replace the original password with a special alter user command.

In my case I am actually using this to synchronize passwords between two databases to assure database links work properly. This will only work if the usernames are identical.

Here is an example of how I am using this technique to synchronize passwords:

First we want to set up a user with a known password

In the original database:

SYS:TEST> alter user jemmons identified by copyme;

User altered.

SYS:TEST> select username, password from dba_users where username='JEMMONS';

------------------------------ ------------------------------

Now we connect up to the database we want to clone the password to. Note the first attempt to connect as jemmons fails as that is not the assigned password.

In the database you want to copy the password to:

nolog> conn jemmons/copyme;
ORA-01017: invalid username/password; logon denied

nolog> conn / as sysdba
nolog> alter user jemmons identified by values 'EAEC44107194EBC6';

User altered.

Elapsed: 00:00:00.01
nolog> conn jemmons/copyme;

Now we see that this only works if the usernames are identical. This is because the hashed password is based on a combination of the password provided and the username.

nolog> conn / as sysdba
nolog> alter user ken identified by values 'EAEC44107194EBC6';

User altered.

nolog> conn ken/copyme;
ORA-01017: invalid username/password; logon denied

Warning: You are no longer connected to ORACLE.

If you want to know more on this, check out article from

Note: This was done on a 9i database. This may or may not work across versions.

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