surprises and more surprises, rman!

It's been a week of very pleasant surprises in the new job.

First of all, I met again a very old friend: Thiyagarajan Radakrishnan. We first met many years ago when I left Oracle and started out on my own. This company was my first client. Thiyag was at the time just coming out of an IBM-only world and had the misfortune(!) of meeting me as his adviser in the Oracle and relational db world. It was a very pleasant surprise to see him again and have a quiet chat about the old times. We both have aged very gracefully. Or so I'd like to think... ;-)

Then again today, who do I find in the corridor? Ralph Meyen, a very old friend from the Prime Computer days. Ralph was the sales rep for the federal Department of Aviation tender, many moons ago. At Ralph's request, I and three other database-heads got locked away in a Canberra room for six months, non-stop writing a data dictionary extension to the then Prime Codasyl database. With this a developer could use a crt terminal to design databases and create basic screens and basic reports in a totally Codasyl/Cobol framework. All on the fly. Unheard of, back in the early 80s! One of the funniest and most challenging projects of my entire IT life. Prime Computer picked the code we wrote and made a product out of it. Alas, too late: by the time they polished it relational had taken over and no one wanted Codasyl anymore! Ah well, we tried!...

I have good memories of that time. You can't work in a high stress environment like that for so long without forging some very good friendships. One of the guys in that room, José Menano, went on to become my partner in business many years later. Len Augustine went on to become marketing manager for Oracle Australia and later joined SAP, where he still is. Noel Vanspaal - from Canberra via Madras - is one of the most intelligent and knowledgeable guys I ever had the pleasure of working with. He's still a landmark in Canberra's hallowed halls of Adabas/Natural. Yes, Adabas is still used! And if I know Noel, very effectively!

Ralph is still in IT, oddly enough working for the company I left nearly three years ago. And still based in Canberra, although now commuting to Sydney. It was a rare privilege to be able to catch up with him again, exchange emails and contacts and chat for a while. Will definitely get in touch with him soon as well as the Canberra contingent: they were very good people, doing a lot of good work back then.

Ah, but enough reminiscing.

Been busy learning the subtleties of RMAN: we use it exclusively here. In its current 10gr2 incarnation, it is a most usable product. Reasonably well documented, works quite smoothly and without too many inconsistencies and makes life simple in a multi-db, multi-server environment with multiple and sometimes conflicting availability requirements.

Still learning to take best advantage of it. I never had much chance of diving into RMAN due to the many past troubles and instabilities of this product and the fact that I always ended up in multi-version database environments: makes it awfully difficult to use a product that changes completely from version to version!

But now that we have one version only - 10gr2 - and a common server environment - AIX - things are much different and RMAN makes absolute and total best sense. If you have not used this thing before, I strongly recommend you spend some time playing with it: it's darn good in this release. And it - FINALLY! - produces compressed output directly. That alone makes a world of difference: I don't know what possessed Oracle to release a backup product without inbuilt compression in the first place!

Anyways, here is a view of one of the local shopping centres:

Warringah Mall. One of the largest centres in the Northern Beaches area of Sydney. It's very well setup and has this sort of internal patio areas with an attraction gizmo in each. This fountain is one of them. Very well done. Unusual, too.

And here is one of the reasons I love the area where I live in now:

Particularly at this time of the year - early Autumn - the whole lake fires up for fishing. Last year we pulled a monster Jewfish out of it!

Mind you, these fellas get aggro at all the fishing folks:

They don't like the competition! This one was getting quite upset by the folks in the background.

I guess no one explained globalisation to them?


catchyalata, folks!


Anonymous Andy Todd said...

Would those last photos be of Narrabeen by any chance?

Friday, March 09, 2007 3:01:00 pm  
Blogger Noons said...


Friday, March 09, 2007 3:51:00 pm  
Blogger Paweł Barut said...

Well said. RMAN in Oracle 10gR2 is really great.

Friday, March 09, 2007 7:21:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Saturday, March 10, 2007 11:55:00 am  
Blogger Noons said...

By the way, Don Burleson:
cowards like you who leave insulting posts in blogs get dealt with summarily.

Word of advice:
piss off and stay off. First and last public warning.

You have already been shown in public that I don't like your kind of idiocy and the morons from the IOUG you have in your pocket.

Apparently, you don't get it that I'm not afraid of you and your little band...

Saturday, March 10, 2007 5:54:00 pm  
Blogger Joel Garry said...

I thought this was pretty funny at the time. It didn't get build. The stadium referred to will probably be torn down in a few years.

Sunday, March 11, 2007 2:22:00 pm  
Blogger Noons said...


No one like the "Murricans" to come up with "the largest" or "the biggest" of anything!

yeah, that one looked like a bit of a behemoth.

"Bigger than Ben-Hur", as they used to say at the Prime R&D.

Still: I like this idea of "public art" in parks and other community aggregation areas. It improves the feel of living in a community.

For lack of a better way, might as well use the malls for this: no one goes to parks anymore...

Sunday, March 11, 2007 9:54:00 pm  
Blogger Joel Garry said...

...And on a downer note, loaded newbie hunter single-handedly wipes out trout subspecies.

I agree about public art, but it has to have public support. People 'round here get upset about their tax dollars going towards things they don't like. Google "split pavilion" carlsbad for a ridiculous story. There is now a little park there, with standard metal handrails that look a lot like the "sculpture" to some of us with cynical dispositions. A couple of weeks ago on a drizzly Sunday I went for a walk there, and there was a hippie bus with a bunch of cultists trying to recruit people. I tell ya, after wrestling with a commute and weird specs all week, and having all the "you're turning 50" things happen, watching those young sirens dance around with old balding hippies sure looked alluring... :-)

Monday, March 12, 2007 5:52:00 am  
Anonymous mrShop said...

Very interesting!

Friday, August 03, 2007 4:11:00 am  

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