Donald Burleson has an interesting article about determining the credibility of web resources.

This has been a big topic here at Plymouth State University since I was a student, and after a good discussion with Donald I have written up how I evaluate the credibility of web resources.

Consider whether the information makes sense. Chances are you’re reading about a topic you know a bit about. Does this information fit with what you have experienced? Of course what you know might be wrong, but at least you know it from your own experience. If you don’t know anything about the topic you’re researching, stop now. Go find someone who does and have them point you at some good resources.

If you’re looking for factual information you can probably find it on several sites. Do most sites seem to agree on this topic? If so that tends to lend to the credibility. If not you may be on a very opinion-driven topic which has no right or wrong answer.

What is the reputation of the site in question from other, possibly more reputable sites? For instance, Cliff wrote some instructions on Solaris partitioning which were linked by Sun support shortly after that. A link like that gives a high level of confidence in the content presented.

Anonymous and virtually anonymous resources like message boards, wikis, and newsgroups should not be assumed as correct. Misinformation, whether intentional or not, is common in these resources and, while Wikipedia is a great place to look up episodes of your favorite TV show it should not be used as a primary resource. These sites should be considered supporting resources at best.

These rules have not steered me wrong yet. Everyone has their own methods and needs to figure out their own level of risk, but this has suited me well.

web resources, web credibility, research

Alexander Kjerulf, the Chief Happiness Officer over at Positive Sharing has a great article outlining why the customer is not always right!

Alexander cites many ways the wrong customer can have a negative impact on your organization resulting in employee dissatisfaction and even poor customer service. There are some lessons here that some will be uncomfortable with, but it’s a great look at the big picture.

Oh, and thanks to Donald Burleson for sending this on to me!

management, project management, cat herding, customer service

Syam asked a while ago how we could find something like the first Monday or third Saturday in a month. Well Syam, it’s taken me a while to respond but here we go.

For this example we’ll use sysdate as input but any Oracle date will work. You can also substitute any other day of the week for Monday.

The first day of the month is probably a good place to start:

SQL> select sysdate from dual;

SYSDATE
---------
18-JUL-06

SQL> select trunc(sysdate, 'MONTH') FROM DUAL;

TRUNC(SYS
---------
01-JUL-06

Now that we’ve got that we can find the first Monday with the next_day function. Of course we need to remember the next_day function looks for the next named day after the date provided so we subtract 1 day from the date in case the first is a Monday.

SQL> select next_day(trunc(sysdate, 'MONTH')-1, 'Monday') from dual;

NEXT_DAY(
---------
03-JUL-06

Now that we have the first Monday of the month we can add 7 days to find the second Monday or 14 to find the third.

SQL> select next_day(trunc(sysdate, 'MONTH')-1, 'Monday')+7 FROM dual;

NEXT_DAY(
---------
10-JUL-06

SQL> select next_day(trunc(sysdate, 'MONTH')-1, 'Monday')+14 FROM dual;

NEXT_DAY(
---------
17-JUL-06

So from here you can change the day you’re looking for or the week number you want it in.

oracle, date functions, sql, database, database development, pl/sql

Two interesting articles about bad habits some bloggers seem to have. Of course me, I just post an article without finishing my sentences.

Andy C points out 7 habits of highly ineffectual bloggers including (automatically) playing music, crazy Flash animation (let’s face it folks, Flash animation is just animated GIFs grown up) and pleading for comments.

Rod Boothby of Innovation Creators points out an interesting survey asking What’s the Biggest Lie About Blogging? The most interesting response, as Rod points out, comes from Seth Godin:

Oh for sure, it’s this: That people care what you say. They don’t. They care what they get.

I think both articles bring up good points for aspiring bloggers. Don’t think they’re right? Take a look at the most popular stories and the most popular blogs. Do what you want with your blog, but both these posts point out some of the pitfalls best avoided, or at least used sparingly if you’re trying to build traffic to a blog.

blog, blogging

Despite new “self tuning” features in recent versions of Oracle, database tuning continues to be an essential part of the DBA skill set, but where do we acquire these skills? There is no substitute for experience, but once in a while there’s a roadmap for it.

Oracle Tuning: The Definitive ReferenceIn their new book Oracle Tuning: The Definitive Reference, Alexey B. Danchenkov and Donald K. Burleson reveal a holistic, platform agnostic approach to tuning the Oracle RDBMS. Both proactive and reactive tuning are given ample treatment while always conveying the “why” and not just the “how”. The techniques presented are complimented by a free copy of the Workload Interface Statistics Engine (WISE) tool (available via download), written by Danchenkov, which provides an interface into the tuning tables and views in Oracle.

The authors, clearly tempered by years of experience, take a very realistic approach to database tuning. They acknowledge that the DBA may not have the time, ability or influence to bring upon an application rewrite or change in server architecture. The bulk of the book focuses on tuning methods within the realm of the database administrator (though all areas affecting Oracle performance are covered.) While focusing on Oracle Database 10g the authors present tuning concepts and techniques in a way that many of the techniques and nearly all the concepts are applicable to all Oracle RDBMS versions.

Thoroughly covering everything from disk to SQL the book is littered with the exact commands you will be running in the field including example output and analysis. The authors have also included several pages of “Silver Bullet” tuning examples. These examples demonstrate how a quick diagnosis and the right tweak can save the day.

Testing a hypothesis on a large active database is like trying to tune a car while it’s flying down the freeway at 75 miles per hour.

This book is not for the beginner. If you do not feel confident about your knowledge of the Oracle architecture you will feel overwhelmed by this book. Of course if you do not feel confident about your knowledge of the Oracle architecture you should not be tuning a database.

For those comfortable with Oracle but new to tuning there will be many paragraphs you will read, re-read, then read again, but Danchenkov and Burleson have not missed a step. On almost every topic there are a couple notes on common pitfalls and how to avoid them. The authors have really taken great care to shepherd you safely through all steps of tuning the database.

In barely less than 1,000 pages, Danchenkov and Burleson have compiled the definitive reference for Oracle tuning. Coupled with a good background in Oracle, this book contains everything you need to tune almost every aspect of the Oracle database. I highly recommend it to the Oracle professional looking to learn about tuning or the experienced tuner looking for a good reference. The type of tuning presented in this book could easily lower your hardware costs and make you a rock-star DBA.

Oracle Tuning: The Definitive Reference
By Donald K. Burleson and Alexey B. Danchenkov
Copyright 2005 by Rampart TechPress. All rights reserved.
Kittrell, North Carolina, USA.

Available at Rampart-Books.com

« Previous PageNext Page »