Month: August 2014

Ice Bucket Challenge

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Yes I was nominated by Ronald Vargas in Costa Rica to take up the challenge.

Here is the video.

My nominees are Mark Rittman, Heli Helskyaho and Chet Justice (aka Oracle Nerd)

You have 24 hours to take up the challenge and to post a video for all to see 🙂

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OUG Mexico

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We (Gorcan, Glen, Debra and I) arrived into Mexico around 10pm and had a few minutes wait for our local user group contact to meet us. They had arranged transportation to our hotel.
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The next morning (Friday) was the day of the OUG Mexico conference. We were collected from the hotel and taken to the conference venue. Our transport had to made a number of trips to/from the conference venue to cater for all the speakers, so some of us arrived in the middle of the opening keynote by Noel Portugal from Oracle.
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After lunch we had a group photo of all the speakers.
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My 2 sessions were on in the afternoon so I got to relax a bit and hang out with some of the other speakers. My first session was on Oracle Data Mine and my second session was on Oracle R Enterprise. Just like in Costa Rica I had a good attendance and again they seemed to enjoy the presentations as they were laughing along at my attempts at jokes 🙂
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The Mexico conference was on Friday the 8th August and this was an important day as my book was officially available that day. Just like in my previous countries I had a copy of my book to give away. Here is a photo of me with the winner.
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I had the last session of the day. Some of the sessions before this had over ran and I was under a bit of pressure to finish up my last presentation by 5pm. So apologies if this presentation seemed rushed.
Also many thanks to everyone who came up to me afterwards for a chat, to have your photo taken with me and to get my autograph! 🙂
Then it was time to catch a taxi to my next hotel in Mexico city centre. This would be my 6th hotel in 6 days 😦
After checking into the hotel it was time to go for dinner. Renne Antunez had invited some of the speakers to his house for dinner. These was a very enjoyable evening and for me marked the end of my OTN tour. Many of the other speakers were going to over countries over the next week.
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Many thanks to Renne and his wife for hosting this dinner, especially as it was Renne’s wife birthday. I hope he bought her a good present.
The next morning (Saturday) I was up at 5am to get a taxi to the airport and my long long travels home, from Mexico to Newark to Dublin getting home on Sunday morning at 8am.
A big thank you to the organisers of the OTN Tour and to each of the countries that invited me to present at their conference. I really enjoyed the experiences and hopefully I can join in another OTN tour sometime soon. Also a special thank you to Vikki in OTN for sorting out all the funding and everything else.
The finals thank you goes out to my travel companions for the tour, Gorcan, Debra and Glen. Without your companionship throughout the week it wouldn’t have been as much fun.

OUG Costa Rica

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After the OUG Panama conference we arrived later that night in San Jose the capitol of Costa Rica. The whole emigration, luggage pick up and customs was the smoothest experiences I have ever experienced at an airport. All was done in a matter of minutes. All the booths for emigration and customs was open and staffed. When was the last time you have ever seen this before. It was a very positive start to our short couple of days in Costa Rica. We had arranged for our hotel to have a taxi pick us up and sure enough the driver was there with a good clear sign. From time of landing to being in my hotel room, which was a 20 minute drive, took no more than 1 hour.

The next morning (Tuesday) we (Debra, Glenn, Gurcan and I) headed out to do some exploring of San Jose on foot. Our first task was to get some breakfast but none of us had any local currency. Debra volunteered to use one of the enclosed ATM machines to get some money. But there was some issue with the machine and she got locked into the cubical. At the same time she got a phone call from her bank in the UK. Her ATM transaction was flagged as a potential fraudulent transaction. I most say Debra’s bank was very quick to contact her and to make all the necessary changes so that she could withdraw some money. After which we had a local breakfast.

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Then we sent the next 3 hours walking around San Jose.

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Then it was back to the hotel in the early afternoon as the local Oracle User Group had arranged a mini bus to take us up to a hotel that was near the conference location in San Carlos. We had been told that the journey would take 2 hours. Well after 2 hours of driving up hill we were told we were only just over half ways there. It was a long long journey but the views were really beautiful. We had a 10 minute break at little village with a nice church and a really cool garden in front of it.

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After anther hour we arrived at the hotel, checked in, and we met up with some other presenters for some dinner. Then it was time for bed as we were being collected at 7:30am.

On Wednesday morning we got collected and taken to the conference venue which happened to be a local university. The User Group had proved a bus service from San Jose to the conference venue and there was a sizeable number of industry people mixed in with some of the university students.

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My first presentation was in the auditorium just after the opening keynote. This has to be one of finest rooms I’ve seen and presented in. Even better we had a HD projector. This has to be a first, so I had no resolution issues with running my VMs. I had a really good turn out for my presentation and the photo below shows only some of those who attended.

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In the after noon I had my 2nd and 3rd presentations. For my last presentation all the seats were taken and there was even some people standing. There was a lot of people who came to all my presentations which I was delighted with.

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After my last presentation I had a raffle for a copy of my book. There seemed to be a lot of interest in this :-). Here is a photo of me with the winner of the book and someone else who was having a read of it afterwards.

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This was a very enjoyable conference and the attendees at my sessions were laughing at some of my jokes or maybe they were laughing at me. Anyway I took it that they were enjoying my presentations. For the first time, I had people come up to me after my presentations to have their photography taken with me and to ask me for my autograph.

Here is a picture of the Oracle ACE Directors who presented at the OUG Costa Rica conference.

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We were told that our bus journey the day before was the scenic route so that is why it took 3 hours. As soon as the conference was finished we got back on the mini bus to be taken back to our hotel in San Jose. Theoretically it should have been a much quick journey as we were going back the quickest route. This time it took 2 hours 40 minutes.

On Thursday at 2:45am we were woken by a 4.7M earth quake. The room was shaking and everything was shaking in it including me. After breakfast on the Thursday morning, Debra had arranged for us to go on a tour of a Coffee plantation and factory. This coffee tour was hilarious and the best tours I have ever been on. Our tour guides were a comedy double act 🙂

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After the tour it was back to the hotel and to get our taxi out to the airport. Did I mention how well operated the airport was. How often have you gone through security when all of the scanners were in operation and fully staffed. This meant that there was almost no queue and I was through security in no time at all. From check in to the departure gate took about 2 minutes.

Our (Glen, Debra, Gorcan and I) next stop was Mexico

OUG Panama

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The OTN Tour of Latin America has come to an end and I was very lucky to have been a part of Northern part of the tour.

My OTN Tour consisted of visiting 3 countries in one week and giving 8 hours of presentations. This blog post looks back at the OUG Panama conference and I’ll have separate blog posts for each of the other countries.

My travels stared the Saturday before the OUG Panama conference which was on Monday 4th. My flights consisted of flying from Dublin to Newark and then onto Panama. All of that seemed to go smoothly until I reached Panama. After passing through emigration I was then in a very chaotic baggage hall. After about 1 hour of searching for my suit case I sought help from the airline. They were able to tell me that my suitcase was scanned off in Panama. So after another 30 minutes of searching for the suitcase with airline staff, there was still no sign of it. So a lost suitcase report was filed and off I went to meet the person who was collecting me from the airport. But there was no sign of them. I managed to find some wifi and sent a few messages looking for help and how could I get to my hotel. I got a quick reply and and 45 minutes later I was on my way to the airport.

This is the 3rd time that this particular airline has “lost” my suitcase.

I was very glad to reach the hotel but I had no change of cloths or toiletries with me 😦 For all future travels that involve a flight change I will be packing some of these in my hand luggage.

On the Sunday morning, after several hours trying to contact the airline, I finally got approval from them to buy some items. It was then time to meet up with Gurcan Orhan and we headed out to explore Panama city on foot (and to buy me some things). We spent about 3 hours walking around exploring Panama city where we say lots of differences in living standards right beside each other. Then it was back to the hotel as the local user group had arranged a tour for us.

Our tour guide and one of the helpers for the user group was Melin took us to see the Panama canal, the old town and lots of other areas of Panama. We finished of the evening with a dinner in a traditional Panama restaurant. On getting back to the hotel my suitcase was there 🙂 but no communication from the airline about what happened.

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On the Monday morning I met up with Gorcan, Debra and Glen who were to be my travel companions for the week. There was a bus arranged to pick us up from the hotel and off we went to the conference venue which was in one of the Universities in Panama. We arrived at the venue very early and not many knew about the conference or where we should go. After a while we worked it and found the conference location.

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Many thanks to the User Group in Panama for inviting us and for all the arrangements. There was plenty of helpers on hand.

My 3 sessions were not on until the afternoon so I hung out in a session by Gurcan and also one by Dan Morgan. Then a bit of hanging around with the conference people and talking about some Oracle tech stuff. For my 3 sessions I completely over ran on my first session and then for the last 2 sessions I was playing catchup. Especially for the last presentation as there was a bus booked to take us to the airport at 4pm. So I basically ran out of the presentation and straight into the bus to the airport. But before I did that I was able to give away the very first copy of my book. It wasn’t released yet (it would be on the 8th Aug). I had a raffle for everyone who attended my sessions and here is a picture of me with the lucky winner.

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We arrived at the airport, with a minor detour via the hotel, with lots and lots of time to spare for our flight. Our next location was Costa Rica.

my Oracle Data Miner Book

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Some of you may be aware that I have been writing a on Oracle Data Miner. Actually the book covers the Oracle Data Miner GUI that is part of SQL Developer, the SQL and PL/SQL functions, procedures and packages that form the Oracle Data Mining option in the database and lots of other topics for the DBA, Developer and BI/DW people.
Today is a bit day for this book as it is officially released and available for purchase. See below for some links to where you can but the book in print and e-book formats. It has been published by McGraw-Hill/Oracle Press.
The book is aimed at a variety of people and the aim of the book is to introduce them to using the Oracle Data Miner tool and how to perform various data mining and predictive analytics tasks using SQL and PL/SQL.
The book will not teach you about how each of the data mining algorithms works. There is a bit of an assumption that you know a bit about these already. There are lots of books and resources about that cover that material. You can look on my book as an getting start / how to use type of book.
Below are are the images of the front cover and the back cover.
Book Cover            Book Back Cover
For more details of the book and for some updates keep an eye on my ODM Book page. On this page I’m adding a FAQ secion. This will be based on questions that I receive about the book.
If you buy the book then I hope you will find it helpful. If you are going to attend one of my presentations at an Oracle User Group meeting then bring the book along and I can sign it for you. Alternatively if you are at Oracle Open World 2014, come along to the Oracle Press Book Store, as I will be there to sign books on Wednesdays 1st October between 13:00 and 13:30.
Where can you Buy my Oracle Data Miner book (print and e-book).
You can buy the book from the McGraw-Hill/Oracle Press website and from Amazon. Each site will offer discounts so check out which one is the best for you.
McGraw-Hill/Oracle Press
For USA locations (enter promo code Tierney to save 20% and free delivery) www.mhprofessional.com
For UK & Ireland locations (enter promo code Tierney to save 20% and free delivery) www.mcgraw-hill.co.uk/tpr
Amazon
Click here to buy it on www.amazom.com
Click here to but it on www.amazon.co.uk

Oracle Magazine-November/December 2000

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The headline articles of Oracle Magazine for November/December 2000 were on how application service providers are changing the way that business operate, everything from project management collaboration, professional services, online marking and how to go about becoming one.

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Other articles included:

  • Tom Kyte has an article on how working with Java is simpliernow that it is a native part of the Oracle database. He gives some examples of how to get some of the typical DB information and processing the results.
  • Oracle backs the development of a Common Warehouse Meta-model. This is and XML based metadata standard that was developed by the OMG. This will allow the exchange of e-business information and hopes to accelerate a company’s ability to move from data to decisions..
  • There was a number of articles on the Oracle Internet Platform, how it all works and its various parts. These articles helped to support the article on the application service providers.
  • Doug Obeid gives a good introduction article on the Secure Sockets Layer(SSL). He looks at securing transmissions, cryptography, authentication, various protocols and messaging.
  • The part 2 of the article on Indexing Oracle 8i interMedia for managing and deploying rich data on the internet.
  • Locally Managed Tablespaces looks to explain how the DBA can setup and manage tablespaces, so that the amount of space required can be minimized.
  • Steven Feuerstein has an article on using Native Dynamic SQL using DBMS_SQL.
  • Following up on previous articles (in previous editions) we have another article on how to go about analysing the Statspack Report. Statspack came with release 8.1.6 of the Oracle Database. The Statspack report is extremely useful for analysing and monitoring your database.

To view the cover page and the table of contents click on the image at the top of this post or click here.

My Oracle Magazine Collection can be found here. You will find links to my blog posts on previous editions and a PDF for the very first Oracle Magazine from June 1987.