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* Posts by Bryan Hall

34 posts • joined 12 Aug 2006

So long, Rory: AMD board names Lisa Su president and CEO

Bryan Hall

Re: It's nice to see...

Exactly my reaction. Wow, she's an actual engineer. How did that happen? :-)

Good for them, there yet may be hope for AMD.

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Google hauls Java-on-Android spat into US Supreme Court

Bryan Hall

Best case

The best result, software patents are completely dismissed. Innovation wins, and lawyers lose - so we know that won't happen.

Second best, APIs are rulled as the generic interfaces they are.

The other option is so poisonous that the entire software industry will fail, leaving at best, a weak freeware / open source model since there isn't anyone worth a lawsuit. I really doubt that will be allowed to happen.

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Oracle: That BUG in our In-Memory Option will be fixed in October

Bryan Hall

Reporting

No doubt that Oracle might try to charge an unknowing customer for a false positive, much in the same way that MANY customers have probably been changed for spatial, even when they only use some locator functionality (hello ESRI customers). Many of their "detection" routines simply looked to see if there was an MDSYS schema, or there were any SDO_GEOMETRY objects in tables - both which are included with locator (all editions). So much so I wrote a complex function to go through every object in the database and log if it belonged to spatial, or just locator based on their complex definition in the appendix of which is which.

That they price this new option the same per processor as the base "enterprise edition" (much like a stripped down car with no performance options) is nuts, IMHO. Want in-memory - pay up. Want to partition your tables - pay up. Want to actively compress data in tables - pay up. Etc, etc. Honestly Oracle, want to increase sales and make your support users happy? Double the EE cost but throw in the works. Then us DBAs can really have a toolbox to tune for performance.

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Oracle rewrites 'the brain' of its database to take on SAP

Bryan Hall

Sounds good - so far

So far it looks like a winner. In a month when we get our grubby hands on it and kick the tires we should know for sure.

If I can avoid building and maintaining indexes and stats on billion+ row tables, and even get the same performance (let alone quicker) - it's a clear winner.

Hana's huge pitfall is HA and the cost of nodes. Don't want to have to wait (a long long time) while a node reconstructs and loads the data for a failed node, you have to duplicate the entire array as a mirror - at a huge $$ cost. Oracle is very expensive, but Hana makes it look like bargain-bin software by comparison.

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Samsung, Chipzilla in 4K monitor price cut pact

Bryan Hall

WQHD

Good news, as I have been watching (and putting off) getting a WQHD (2560x1440) monitor thinking 4K displays should be getting cheaper soon. I can wait a little longer and I hope they are serious about a true 4K monitor (4096 x 2160) instead of the "virtual" 4K (UHD) 3840 x 2160 units shipping now.

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BlackBerry sues American Idol host's company for 'blatant' patent infringement

Bryan Hall

Odd. I've now had a work BB for over a year now, and somehow have avoided having it hit concrete 3 times a week. Are iPhone's somehow attracted to concrete? Or are iPhone's just rather slippery?

Seriously, I think it looks like a rather good design. But I'd only want it if they also made a leather case to put it all in that works as good as the BB one. I still get a kick out of people trying to find the answer key when I pull it ringing out of the case (it already knows you have "picked it up").

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Want more software built for HANA? Cry us a River, SAP. Oh wait, you have

Bryan Hall

Why?

From every thing I have read, HANA is about the worst database architecture available. No one with other enterprise class database experience will even consider it. So putting pretty objects on top doesn't make up for the turd underneath the covers.

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It's about time: Java update includes tool for blocking drive-by exploits

Bryan Hall

About time!

This feature has been needed for a long time. Finally we can control what gets run (from what I understand so far).

RIA's are important apps, not replaceable by simple HTML5 solutions. Some of Java (JWS), some are Silverlight. We can't just block them all, but uncontrolled executable code on clients has always been an issue. No more, so it seams in Java. About time...

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Xerox copier flaw changes numbers in scanned docs

Bryan Hall

So that's what happened to Obama's "birth certificate"...

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'Wandering Dago' tuck truck ejected from NY race track

Bryan Hall

Grow a pair

If it offends you - don't eat there. I hate people who hide behind others (usually the government) because they don't like something or are offended.

If you have something to say - say it. If you can't man up enough to do that - go away you wimps.

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Now it gets serious: Fracking could RUIN BEER

Bryan Hall

She needs to visit Colorado

...and visit with the Gov. He recently drank "fracking" fluid to prove it is safe. In the US, not a single well has polluted ground water, and the methods used now are far safer (thicker and more layers of casing) than those used for the previous decades. I'd be far more concerned about leaking fuel tanks at the local gas station polluting ground water, than these gas and oil wells.

This is just FUD - aimed at the beer drinking public.

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Flash card latency: Time to get some marks on benches

Bryan Hall

You are dead-on in that the interconnect has become the bottleneck. But not due to lots of small I/Os - but rather less rather large ones, at least for the workloads we have. In fact large IOPS are rather unimportant, as are low-latency single (small) block reads. Large allocation units (think MB not KB) see to that. Keeping track of little 8K AU's is so 20th century <grin>.

Rarely do we exceed 3K IOPS during busy times. Our top waits are log reads (due to resync during large materialized view refreshes) and direct path reads - and both do large sequential I/O's. Put ASM in the mix with multiple FC cards with say 6 channels and we can really punish the SAN.

Multi-threaded parallel use is now the database norm, not the exception (at least if you want to get anything done quickly). Add to that lots of RAM, say 256-512 GB (so the former "hot" I/O queens now are pinned in memory), plus lots of flash-cash for when SGA RAM overflows (so you get get it back quick as needed), and yesterdays storage problems are nowhere like today's.

So forget about needing crazy high (but small) IOPS, think raw throughput.

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Oracle's hardware wing keeps on bleeding

Bryan Hall
Thumb Up

Re: short-sighted?

Because... they heavily push Oracle Linux (Redhat with modifications to make it work better with the database), and of course on their own hardware. Soracle HW, Roracle OS, Oracle database - SRO?

Honestly, their kit is competitive price-wise, and if everything is on the Red-Stack then you do have one throat to choke. And better than that, bugs are usually discovered and a patch made available before you find it (unlike on other platforms where YOU are the test mouse). Having ran Oracle in production (in order for various companies) on Solaris/Sparc, Solaris/x86, Windows/x86, Solaris/Sparc, Solaris/x64, W2008/x64, and now AIX/P7 - I can tell you that is a good thing!

In fact - I really hope to move to the more price competitive Oracle stack - just to get away from the AIX "support" issue.

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NASA chief: Earth is DOOMED if we spot a big asteroid at short notice

Bryan Hall
Happy

Just warp them through

Don't we learn anything from Sci-Fi? Instead of blowing them up (making even more problems), or trying to move their path - just warp them through the earth.

All we need is a small spacecraft with warp technology and... Hey Jeff B, let's get going on this!

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Virty market share race reaches the bend and heeeeere comes Oracle

Bryan Hall

Of course their purchase of Sun Microsystems didn't hurt either. Not only did they pick up some Solaris VM technologies, but also the ever popular Virtualbox - the VM most people are much more more familiar with. No, not enterprise grade - but used by many more end users than VMware or Hyper-V.

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BlackBerry CEO: Our vibrating devices will satisfy most needs

Bryan Hall

Re: Heins is impressive

I noticed that on the pit wall they had BB Bolds, not Z10's...

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Microsoft blasts PC makers: It's YOUR fault Windows 8 crash landed

Bryan Hall
FAIL

720p? What's that?

Amazing - Windows 8 isn't that bad. Certainly better than Vista, and a step up kernel wise from 7. And the $40 upgrade was a deal that made it make sense.

BUT... Redmond seems to have forgotten about all those HTPC's that they pushed just years before - coupled to expensive 720p projectors when they set up the 8 standards. Some idiot in charge decided that 1024 x 768 was the minimum size screen for any device - so that tile apps (that most of us don't care about) - would have space to run on those tablets. Well - except second screens that are actually movie projectors and um... won't scale properly to 1080p due to cable lengths for the ceiling mounts with thick DVI cables (not HTMI).

Hard coded minimum of no less than 768 - FAIL!

SP1?

FAIL!

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Senate votes to continue FISA domestic spying through 2017

Bryan Hall

Re: Decline.

You do realize that Congress is full of progressives? Both parties are sinking the ship - just one blows bigger holes in the floor than the other.

Here is the record on votes against an amendment to recognize the protections of the 4th amendment over electronic communications. Let them know you are displeased with how they vote!

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=112&session=2&vote=00234

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The amazing magical LED: Has it really been fifty years already?

Bryan Hall

Re: ...and they last for XXX years...

I agree.

The LEDs themselves may still be good, but the crap electrolytic caps supporting them love to dry out an fail. Good luck getting them replaced under warranty.

On the other hand, most 20,000 hour incandescent bulbs generally make it to their designed lifetime - thanks to KISS technology, and then cost next to nothing to replace when they do.

Look, I am for LED and other new technologies. But only if they are good looking and truly economical to use and are not forced onto me by a tyrannical Govt.

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Bryan Hall

Re: Every one already?

Almost none of the old lights in town are LED based. Only new intersections or those that are changed or expanded use the new technology.

Like home LED bulbs, the new traffic LEDs are very expensive. Sure, you save on electricity, but the equipment costs and labor costs to change them far outweigh that.

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World's oldest digital computer successfully reboots

Bryan Hall
Trollface

Can't resist

Ding Dong the WITCH is... not Dead!

Well done folks. So - did you buy an UPS for that? ;-)

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Galapagos islands bombed with 22 tonnes of Blue Death Cornflakes

Bryan Hall
Trollface

DC

So... could we drop some of this in Washington? Lots of rats there!

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USS Enterprise sets out on its final mission

Bryan Hall

Re: Curious

"The US seems to be following in spending more than half it's budget in military related expenses."

No - that would be for "entitlements" Medicare, Medicaid, and SS. DOD makes up less than 20% of the budget - and that was while we were still in IRAQ.

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China could penetrate US with new huge missile

Bryan Hall

Who needs an ICBM?

No one...

Just drive the bombs across the Mexican border. A truck is a heck of a lot cheaper and easier to get places than an ICBM all the way from China!

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Dell quarterly revenues down 8% on poor desktop performance

Bryan Hall
FAIL

Not suprising

We ordered 11 high-end developer workstations over a month ago - and were told they would be delivered the 8th of this month. That has come and gone - and NO ONE at Dell seems to have any idea when they will ship. Status says "in manufacturing". RIGHT....

They used to be on top of things - who knows what's happened inside...

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Ten... dual-band wireless routers

Bryan Hall

No Asus RT-N66U?

I'm somewhat ammazed that the older internal antenna ASUS device won - and the newer (and compatible with alternate firmware) external antenna RT-N66U was not listed instead.

Oh well, even with the manf. firmware, it is a very solid wireless router.

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Big layoff (singular) at Oracle on Thursday

Bryan Hall

Funny - We tried to buy some new Soracle x86 servers but...

As a long-time Sun hw user, we wanted to renew our database boxes and asked for a quote. They came for a meeting. All they (Oracle) wanted to sell us were crazy expensive exa machines. We don't need (and cannot afford) that kind of database - we just wanted to renew our db hardware. But they would not (could not?) answer simple questions - like how do we buy one with a 5 year warranty. Or - how much to keep failed hard drives.

So - we went Dell and no longer look at Soracle hardware. Idiots.

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Trekkie wants to build USS Enterprise … in twenty years

Bryan Hall

Moon base?

If the next steps are to really establish a working moon base - the Space 1999 Eagle design is much more practical design as a space workhorse than Enterprise. The Enterprise would be rather dull with very slow "impulse" ion engines don't you think?

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Spy under your car bonnet 'worth billions by 2016'

Bryan Hall
Happy

Re: Before anyone says "here comes big brother"...

Are you serious? Hard to tell... I guess that doesn't apply to Top Gear eh? :-)

I regularly pass a series of three or four semis (lorry's) on two lane roads out in West Texas around 120 MPH in my Corrado. If you don't - you may need to wait another 20 minutes for a chance of good clear road, going maybe 55 MPH in the mean time.

At least over here - we are to spend as little time in the opposing lane as possible. I have no problem with that myself! Not that it is really any different than a track day, other than the rather large "cars" I'm passing.

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iPlayer repeat fees threaten BBC earthquake

Bryan Hall

F1 and Top Gear on the BBC

I'm all for it! Please do this.

Being in the US, I would definitely be willing to pay-per-view (if you will) for both online F1 coverage and Top Gear UK, and occasionally news coverage. Maybe with this model change they could even carry the entire season, again, next year. I don't see Sky doing this - and I really dread having to watch racing interrupted by long commercial breaks (on a cable service you have to PAY for) - with commentators who generally have no clue about what is going on. More than likely I will just wait for a torrent instead of having to put myself through that pain.

As it is now, although I would send something to the BBC so I can legally watch both of these live on the iPlayer - but there is no way to do so. Now when I pay for this, I will expect a good quality feed - as glitch free as possible.

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Time to say goodbye to Risc / Itanium Unix?

Bryan Hall

License costs drive hardware choice

Beyond IBM's chips - what RISC chips are out there that are remotely competitive with x64 chips for servers? Not some specific benchmark - but TCO including software.

For years we were a Sun SPARC / Windows shop. About 4 years ago we dumped SPARC for x64 (AMD in that case). We still run Solaris / Windows, but on x64.

Why? Performance per socket or core depending on licensing. Software licenses are MUCH more expensive to buy and maintain per unit than hardware. The RISC cores were just too slow to justify their costs.

Instead of buying more licenses as loads increase, we just buy the latest / quickest hardware available - it is much cheaper to do so, especially for the socket license models where you can now have 8+ cores per socket.

One of our big cost apps is Oracle Enterprise with Spatial and Label Security. The last go around we moved from a Sun SPARC v880 to a 16-core monster AMD box. This year we are dumping that and moving DOWN to a 12-core Intel box with TMS flash for all storage. The money we save in license renewals will pay for the new hardware. And we calculate that it will be about an order of magnitude quicker to boot. THAT is a no brainier upgrade - even for the US Govt.

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Tesla Motors sues BBC for defamation

Bryan Hall

Rubish - Zero Emissions?

Agree entirely. Something at the bottom really caught my eye however...

"The zero-emission Roadster"

That is a false statement (lie) for almost 100% of the potential owners.

At least in the US, it is mainly a Coal-Powered car, hardly zero-emission.

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MS-DOS paternity suit settled

Bryan Hall

GEM

True, GEM on the PC stinked, at least in comparison to the version on the Atari ST's due to the Apple lawsuit. I tried it and couldn't believe how stripped down it was.

Too bad, at least the Atari version was much better than the early crappy versions of Windows.The final blow was Microsoft making Windows incompatible with DR-DOS.

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The trouble with rounding floating point numbers

Bryan Hall

No rounding required

We don't do these kinds of calculations using IEEE math for this reason. Since the data is in the database, and CPU costs are the same for application or database servers, we just do the math using Oracle's number format, which is exact in storage.

Here is an example of the results from the topic text in PL/SQL:

SQL>SET NUMWIDTH 38 SERVEROUTPUT ON

SQL> DECLARE

2 num1 NUMBER;

3 num2 NUMBER;

4 BEGIN

5 num1 := 0.37;

6 num2 := 0.37;

7 DBMS_OUTPUT.put_line (num1 + num2);

8 num1 := 59.00;

9 num2 := 1.125;

10 DBMS_OUTPUT.put_line (num1 * num2);

11 END;

12 /

.74

66.375

We actually get the results you would expect. 0.37 is stored as:

SQL> select dump(0.37,10) from dual;

DUMP(0.37,10)

-------------------

Typ=2 Len=2: 192,38

That is, two bytes, shown here in base 10 as 192 and 38.

To decode the precision, take the 2nd to last (only one here) numbers and subtract 1:

38 - 1 = 37

To decode the scale, find the difference from 193, and if negative, divide by 100 that many of times:

192 = 193 - 1 so 37 / 100 = 0.37

In case you are wondering, here are the other two values as they are stored:

SQL> select dump(1.125,10) from dual;

DUMP(1.125,10)

------------------------

Typ=2 Len=4: 193,2,13,51

193 (one whole digit), 2-1= 1, 13-1= 12, 50-1=50 -> 1.1250

SQL> select dump(59,10) from dual;

DUMP(59,10)

-------------------

Typ=2 Len=2: 193,60

Thus, Oracle can store "at least" 38 digits of precision using this method in its NUMBER format. No trickery with 1/2's here, exact numbers are actually stored, and in less space.

For more information see: http://www.jlcomp.demon.co.uk/number_format.html

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