From day 2 and counting

Dec 8, 2011 / By Michael Abbey

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My recent forage into RAC-on-the-laptop-land proves a point that I have been making all my adult life—stuff one has never done before is only hard until it isn’t. I would not consider myself to be a fluent RAC techie (yet) but I sure know a lot more now than I did then. It almost reminds me of one of my favourite sayings from the famous Samuel Langhorne Clemens—when I was 16 my parents didn’t know anything and by the time I turned 21 I could not believe how much they had learned. I once did a ring job on a Ford with a mechanic friend of mine. Since then I have been able to speak the lingo and remember bits and pieces of what we did—expert? No way. Familiar—way. I am doing RAC attack today at UKOUG as well as giving a 2-hour exert technical session at 11:25am. The show so far? Sweet!

The sessions I have attended have been educational and for the most part enjoyable. There are supposedly 2,000 people here but I have not figured out where they are all hiding. This conference centre handles lots of people well. It reminds me of the year there was a-bomb scare at Moscone and the vendor holding an event there had reported over 40,000 attendees. The San Francisco fire marshal reported of the 40,000+ people there, all 8,500 were successfully evacuated. The buzz words, according to what I have heard so far this week (no surprise; actually a buzz word) is Exadata. From what has bled into my psyche from musings about Exadata … it is a dream come true. Naturally it comes with a price. Companies able to spend money to make money should meld well with the technology as it has a hefty price tag. I have not heard a lot about the Cloud, but I do know it’s hovering over the ICC.

Last night I was treated to some local fare and confirmed my suspicions—if I had been a Brit, I would be very thirsty. I find their ale (I think) leaves a weird after-taste in my mouth and I like something a tad sweeter. Please do not breathe a word of this to any locals as “complaining” about their beer is grounds for deporting. It has been a veritable tweet-erama and I have picked up a whole bunch of new lines to use with friends and colleagues as a result.

I attended a very late in the day keynote earlier this week given by Cary Millsap of Method-R and other fame. I have had the pleasure of doing 4-6 of these over the past few decades and the opportunity to address a whole conference AND in a non-tech mode at that is special. Cary was great (as expected) and pined to the audience how he was hoping for a repeat of the honour again soon. I took away a message from the keynote, not too far from one of the mantras that has driven my life ever since I was old enough to care about others as much as, if not more that the self—live for today and provide ones close to you opportunities to  learn.

Pythian has quite the presence at UKOUG—2 Brits, Ireland, Latvia, and a handful of Canucks. We have many presentations straying all the way from Oracle CORE database to the new-fangled kids on the block. Marc Fielding in particular is a rock-star in my eyes. I only hope after my 150th presentation that I can articulate the details of my paper to session attendees with the skills of Mr. F. I will sneak away from RAC attack long enough,  if I can to take in a few more Pythianites as they present their wares in technical sessions. This place is populated with the aristocracy of the user community and, yet again, I have been and continue to be thrilled by meeting Mr. ORACLE-BASE at this show and hopefully many more to come.

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