August 2008

August 2008

Nerdy Humor of the Internet Oracle

A questioner tried to fluster the Internet Oracle by writing a question in “iambic tetrameter” i.e. four syllable pairs (iambs) on each line, a style favored by the American poet Edgar Allen Poe.

Oracle most wise and weary,
Great and greasy, proud and portly:
Please address my vexing query
Which I’ll set before you shortly.

It’s caused me endless hours of strife,
Annoyed my friends and (worse) my wife.
My neighbours shun me and avoid me,
It’s years since someone last employed me.

An end to this would be such bliss
I’d gladly make a large donation
To the Oracular Foundation.
In any case, my problem’s this:

I can’t stop talking in this vile
Iambic tetrametric style!

The Internet Oracle rose to the challenge and replied in iambic pentameter, a style favored by William Shakespeare.

Put down that evil Poe. Read Bill the Bard,
And speech will flow more easily, I’d say.
It’s not a trick to speak in iambs five,
Unrhym-ed all so not to sound too trite.

Let me commend to thee this manner now,
And let your tongue unloosened freely wag.
Remember though, for each and every time
To always make the final couplet rhyme.

Check out the Best of the Internet Oraclularities for more nerdy humor of the Internet Oracle.

P.S. Can you spot and correct the poetic mistakes made by the questioner?

Tuning Limbo: Limbo Lower Now! 

Mike Spalinger from Colorado won the second round of Tuning Limbo iPod Shufflewith a solution that needs only one logical read to join two tables! A $50 Amazon gift code is winging its way to Mike now and the contest is now closed.P.S. Dan Grant from California who won the first round of Tuning Limbo points out that we can use query results caching in Oracle 11g to completely eliminate logical reads!


The Old Familiar Index BluesThis month’s question came to us from a customer:

“Why is Oracle not using my index?”

Iggy Fernandez of the Database Specialists team responds:

In the second-best Oracle book ever written, the author explains that there are many reasons and discusses five of them.

  1. The query criteria do not refer to the leading edge of the index.
  2. Under certain conditions, using the index might produce the wrong result!
  3. You are operating on the indexed columns with a function, e.g. UPPER(name), but don’t have a function-based index.
  4. You are using implicit datatype conversions on the indexed columns.
  5. If too much data is retrieved, using the index might be slower than scanning the entire table.
  6. The optimizer statistics may be stale and consequently the optimizer may not have the right information.

I hope this answer helps you. Best of luck to you.

P.S. The best Oracle book ever written was also written by the same author. It describes a wonderful philosophy of application design and database design.


Why did anyone think that a page size of 14 was a good default value for SQL*Plus? Why do we have to change the page size to a more useful value every time we use SQL*Plus? Arrgh!

NoCOUG Summer Conference

The Northern California Oracle Users Group held its summer conference, a whole day training event, on August 21 at Chevron in San Ramon. Performance guru Cary Millsap delivered the keynote address on his “Grand Unified Theory” of Tuning. NoCOUG makes its archive of conference presentations available to all. Check it out.

O Happy Days! Oracle OpenWorld is coming soon. People will flock to San Francisco from all corners of the world to meet old friends once again and enjoy the sights and sounds of San Francisco once again; they might even find the time to attend a few technical sessions. The entire archive of last year’s presentations is available online.

Call Database Specialists when you need remote DBA services or onsite support for your mission-critical Oracle database systems. Arrange a free consultation with a senior Database Specialists team member to find out how we can help increase your uptime, improve performance, minimize risk, and reduce costs. Visit our website for no-cost resources, white papers, conference presentations and handy scripts.

David Wolff
CEO, Database Specialists, Inc.
(415) 344-0500 x48

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