The Dirty Dozen

Feb 8, 2007 / By Doug Burns

Tags: , , ,

Here’s the challenge.

How do I post to both work and personal blogs and provide appropriate material for both? It’s not a problem I expected to face because most employers, at least where I’m from, wouldn’t entertain the idea of employees blogging on company time to the company blog, far less encourage it. Which is one of several reasons that I found myself choosing to work with Pythian.

I thought about this quite a bit during January evenings (although Cary Millsap might have preferred me to spend a bit more time writing about Parallel Execution!), and Paul Vallée and I have discussed it on and off. Do the technical blogs belong here, because they crop up during work? That would be a bit of a disaster, given the already dangerously low level of technical content on my own blog. Besides, Pythian is full of smart young people who do that so much better than I do (and yes, even my team lead and the CEO count as young when you’re my age!). Then again, I can’t just blog about cuddly toys here. Actually, if I had a good enough argument, I bet I could swing it, but I don’t.

My thoughts turned to a series of some kind, just to give me a structure for my contributions, so that I can leave the ad hoc meanderings for my own blog. Since balance is good, I also wondered what I might contribute that could add something different to the Pythian Group blog. Maybe something that reflected my particular views on the challenges of remote DBA support, delivered by a growing company stuffed full of DBAs?

Then I remembered something Paul Vallée had shown me at the start of my second week in Ottawa during a long meeting about how things were going. We were talking about what I have called the DBA craft in the past, and about his constant references to engineering in conversation. He skipped across his office (actually, it’s small and completely impossible to “skip” across, but he’s a bundle of energy and he seemed to skip) and dug out a bundle of rolled-up posters he had in one corner.

They are produced by MARSS, the Maintenance and Ramp Safety Society, who are “a non-profit society dedicated to reducing Aviation Human Error”. Sounds like an excellent objective to me! At the risk of blowing the whole series by declaring everything up-front — you can see the posters here.

The lazy side of me would like to write about “The Magnificent Seven” (and they’re good, too) but the truth is that Paul has “The Dirty Dozen” and a few of those caught my eye. I’m not sure yet if they can all be applied to Oracle Database Administration, but I think it interesting (to me at least) to go through them one by one and see how well they apply. Which, if I’m not mistaken, commits me to at least 12 postings on the company blog.

Mmmm, can I change my mind before it’s too late?

8 Responses to “The Dirty Dozen”

  • Noons says:

    sounds good to me! something like the “dirty dozen no-nos of dba’ ing”,
    or words to that effect, anyway? Or maybe the ” 12 deadly sins”?
    Another thing: restrict it to remote dba. There are heaps of stuf already out there
    for general purpose dba work. Remote dba is a totally different proposition, eg:
    try using the OUI across an ocean span, for example. It’s just unusable. So,
    given that mr Oracle refuses to let people clone installations – why, to this
    day, beats me! – then what are the alternatives? What about mass-patching?

    One question: do you folks know how to make Firefox display your blogs and site in a larger font? I know, View->text Size -> Increase. That’s not the point, I just want to see it in a larger font upfront!
    11 px at 1280X1024 pxl lcd monitor, it’s bloody hard to read!
    I’ve got a bell going on somewhere that someone posted a solution to this, but I can’t find it!

  • Doug Burns says:

    Another thing: restrict it to remote dba.

    Smart tip – I’ll do my best. I’ll probably blog a bit more about remote working on my personal blog, too.

    do you folks know how to make Firefox display your blogs and site in a larger font?

    Not off the top of my head, no, but there’s bound to be someone who does …

  • Pete_s says:

    Noons – not that I’m smart ;-) but CTRL + will make the text bigger and CTRL – will shrink it again.

  • try using the OUI across an ocean span, for example.

    You’d be surprised.
    You know how I work from home usually? I have my desktop PC always on in the office and use remote connection via VPN.
    Our overseas colleagues work with remove X/VNC basically just as well as we do from the office. Doug?

    Noons – not that I’m smart ;-) but CTRL + will make the text bigger and CTRL – will shrink it again.
    Better yet, CTRL and mouse wheel. ;-)

  • Noons says:

    yeah, I know. that’s the same as the menu option. but what I want is for Firefox to ignire whatever stylesheet comes with the site and use mine instead. At least on what comes to font size. I must dig this up again, I’ve seen it before in one of the prior incarnations of dizwell.

  • Noons:

    You could always do View -> Page Style -> No Style. Not pretty, but it works.

    You could also install an Add-on such as Web Developer which allows you to add your own style sheet (among much other functionality).

    Dave.

  • Doug Burns says:

    Alex,

    Sorry, I didn’t notice this comment at the time.

    >> Our overseas colleagues work with remove X/VNC basically just as well as we do from the office. Doug?

    Yep, it worked surprisingly well, including VNC, RDC and port forwarding the X stuff. 9i OEM was no problem at all, to my slight surprise!

  • You know, I have the same concerns sometimes about whether to comment on a blog post in comments or write a full-fledged posting in my own blog… Can’t decide where to put the content.

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>