Span 2 monitors with Remote Desktop Connection

Allrighty, this is awesome. One of my main reasons I like to work in the office instead of at home is how my environment is set up. Things are kind of slow over the VPN so its easiest to just use Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection (mstsc.exe) to connect to my work PC. But the big issue was the display. I like having a lot of screen realestate. I've got 2 21" monitors at work, and I've got the same setup at home. Well with the latest version of mstsc.exe you can create a huge desktop session that spans both monitors!

RedHat: Using system-config-packages from a local disk instead of CD-Roms…

Helpful tip from the RedHat site if you installed the OS from Cd-Roms and want to add new packages from a disk mount...

– Dave


Getting return value and output text with Perl...

I know using Perl backticks call I can execute an OS command and easily get the output. I know using Perl system() call I can execute an OS command and easily get the return value. Today I found out a way to get both.

Open Source BI and Reporting Project

A friend of mine just turned me on to Pentaho.

From the site:


Oracle9i Database: Advanced Backup and Recovery Using RMAN

So I took my first hands-on class from Oracle this month.

I'm usually of the 'sit down with a book and computer' camp when I need to learn something new, but where I work we needed RMAN proficiency quickly. I thought it might be better to get out of the office for a few days and buckle down on the topic.

Changing spreport to run StatsPacks from the command line...

Statspack Reports can be useful for diagnosing performance problems, but they are only useful if they are generated and available!

Questioning Traditional Data Management

I found an interesting article by Scott W. Ambler on Doctor Dobbs Journal today called "Questioning Traditional Data Management".

Scott points out 6 assumptions data management professionals often make and points out why he believes they are not valid assumptions. Assumptions like: It's expensive to evolve a database schema and Review and inspections are an effective way to ensure quality.

At this point in my career I have worked as a DBA about as long as I was a Software Developer so I can see both sides of this issue.


Automagically Graphing on Linux

So my last post was about administration on Linux. After running Oracle on Windows for way too many years we migrated our Oracle systems to 64-bit Linux over the past year.

Now that we're on Linux I needed a lightweight way to capture and graph some performance data. The performance data was a mix of OS utilities and 3rd party utilities, but all the utilities output text, so I knew I could screen scrape the output, massage it a little, and save the data to a file. After I had the data in a file I knew I could run it through GnuPlot to graph it.

Moving an oracle instance between machines (Linux/Unix)…

…is not as hard as it is on Windows. I went searching for articles on the topic and couldn't really find any. Now I know why.

In Windows land to move binaries for an instance from one machine to another you have to worry about oradim/registry dependencies. Because of all of this I usually just install Oracle binaries off of the original disks and patch to appropriate level and the move the Database (data files, control files, etc) and recreate the database on the new machine.

Assuming the source and target are the same architecture on Linux I had to:


Returning Error Codes from SQLPLUS

There may come a time when you need to return an error code from SQLPlus, either to a calling batch file, shell script, or Perl script.

SQLPlus has a WHENEVER directive available for handling errors it encounters. This command controls the behavior of SQLPlus when an OS or SQL error occurs. There are many options for this behavior.

More after the jump…

SQL errors include errors thrown by a single command entered into SQLPlus or an error raised by a PL/SQL block:


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