Shell Scripting Presentation at the Green Mountain Oracle User Group

GMOUGNext Tuesday, May 8th I will be presenting at the Green Mountain Oracle User Group annual meeting in South Burlington, Vermont. The topics will be Shell Scripting for the Oracle Professional and SQL Tuning.

This event is $20 for members (which includes breakfast and lunch) but non-members can pay $90 for the registration fee and 2007 dues. The event also includes the annual meeting of the GMOUG so it would be a great time to join and meet some of the members!

The event is in South Burlington, Vermont and will run from 8:15 AM to 4:00 PM. See the GMOUG website for a full agenda and RSVP information.

vermont, technology, oracle, information technology, unix

Easy Linux Commands: Book Review 3

Robert Vollman has now posted a review of my book Easy Linux Commands on Amazon.

He makes many good points but one I keep hearing from just about everyone is that almost all of the content of Easy Linux Commands can be applied on other UNIX and UNIX-like systems.

Here is Robert’s full review:

My shelf is full of technical books on a variety of topics, including Linux. But there have been times when someone new to the IT world will ask me for a book to get them started in a particular area. Alas, most of my books are thousand-page, exhaustively-detailed volumes that would be so inaccessible that the only use a beginner could get out of it would be to kill a few spiders.

But now, thanks to Jon Emmons and Terry Clark, I finally have a book I can give a young student, or a previously “Windows-only” PC user. “Easy Linux Commands” is just what it claims to be: an easy introduction to the command-line world.

Being easy to read and accessible is this book’s chief selling point. The book is not only under 200 pages, with lots of pictures, big text and barely 30 lines per page, but it’s also structured in the exact same familiar fashion as countless other books. Furthermore, I don’t find the author’s style overly technical. His writing style is very informal and almost conversational. Judge for yourself by visiting his blog “Life After Coffee,” where he occasionally includes excerpts from the book. In fact, if something is not clear, Jon Emmons is very accessible and answers questions quickly and happily.

Also notice that I said this books introduces you to the command-line world, not Linux. I said that for two reasons:
1. Almost everything in this books applies equally well to Unix. Very little in this book is actually Linux-specific.
2. Even though Linux has graphical user interfaces, like Gnome and KDE, this book covers command-line Linux only.

One word of caution. Don’t be thrown by the “Become a Linux Command Guru” picture stamped on the front cover. You won’t be a guru. This covers the basics, and only a little more. But this book will get you past square one and allow you to use some of those big books for becoming a guru (instead of an exterminator).

Easy Linux CommandsCheck out my book Easy Linux Commands, only $19.95 from Rampant TechPress.

Buy it now!

linux, book

How to reset a lost Oracle Enterprise Manager password

Below documents how I was able to reset the ias_admin password for an Oracle Application Server 9i instance. This may or may not work on other versions or products. If in doubt, check with support.

Oracle’s Enterprise Manager Web Site will enforce use of the current Administrator (ias_admin) password when you log in to Enterprise Manager, stop the Enterprise Manager Service, or change the ias_admin password. If you have forgotten your ias_admin password then you must reset it using the following procedure while you are logged on to your system as the person who installed Oracle Application Server:

1. Edit the following file and locate the line that defines the credentials property for use the ias_admin user:


The jazn-data.xml with the credentials entry in boldface type:



2. Remove the entire line that contains the credentials property from jazn-data.xml.

3. Set a new password with emctl set password reset new_password

I hope this helps if folks have this same problem, but as I mentioned above, mileage may vary. If you’re unsure, check with support.

oracle, application server, oas

Working from home – A UPS to get you through those power blinks

APC-UPS ES 650A good Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) can keep your equipment running through short power outages. It is a good idea no matter where you work from, but especially if you work from home. Here’s why:

Where I live power outages are common but short. Now, my primary machine is a laptop, so that will run for hours on battery (well, at least an hour), but since I need my cable modem and wireless router to connect to client systems if those devices loose power I’m basically out of business.

As I mentioned we have frequent power outages here in Concord, NH, USA but they are typically only a few seconds. That wouldn’t be a problem at all, except even a short power blip means I loose all my SSH connections! That can cause a 5 second power outage to cost me 15 minutes of work or more!

So, what do I have? Well, I’m partial to APC UPSs. They are what most of the data centers I have worked with use and they’ve got a great industry reputation.

Choosing a UPS

There are two major factors when choosing a UPS, Wattage and Volt-Ampres.

Wattage determines how much you can hook up to a given UPS. Devices generally give a wattage rating somewhere in the specs and power adapters often have them listed right on them. You’ll want to add together all the devices you wish to UPS (don’t forget about monitors) and purchase a UPS of at least that wattage, and probably a bit more.

Let’s say you have two computers which consume 85 watts, a monitor which consumes 120 watts, a cable modem which consumes 15 watts and a wireless router which consumes 7 watts (this is about my configuration.) That means I need a UPS which will support a maximum draw of at least 312 watts.

The Volt-Ampre calculation is a bit more complicated. This will determine how long the UPS will be able to supply power to your devices.

Correction: I had originally mistaken Volt-Ampre for Amp-Hours. Volt-Ampre is actually similar to watts except VA is more accurate for the complex power consumption in our computers. Higher is still better, but it doesn’t mean the UPS will necessarily last longer.

To determine the capacity of a UPS we would need to know the Amp-Hours of the battery. Unfortunately most (if not all) producers fail to publish this information so we the consumers are left trusting the manufacturers documentation to determine duration.

I ended up going with the APC Backup-UPS ES 650. At 65 VA and 450 max wattage for under $100 it was the right balance of cost and capacity for me. The delivered software also allows the unit to be connected via USB to a Mac or PC to adjust power management when running on the UPS similarly to how you can have different power settings on a laptop for when you are running on battery.

Seven Deadly Habits of a DBA

In my travels today I came across the Pythian Group’s Seven deadly habits of a DBA… and how to cure them.

Citing such pitfalls as blind faith in backups, lack of monitoring and finger pointing we’ve all seen these symptoms at one point or another, and they’re all worth some attention. While many of these are largely a product of inexperience I’ve seen my favorite, number 4, The Memory Test at all levels. The “if it happens again I’ll remember how we fixed it” syndrome is often a product of another environmental problem, a lack of documentation procedure. This exact problem is one reason I started blogging in the first place!

Check out the whole list, including their suggested cures for these problems.

dba, database, database administration, oracle