Oracle Observations

November 26, 2017

Birmingham zero food hygiene ratings.

Filed under: Uncategorized — bigdaveroberts @ 5:25 pm

The Birmingham Mail helpfully publishes reviews of Birmingham food hygiene ratings on a quarterly basis.

As the UKOUG conference approaches, I do like to check up on the latest developments.

So firstly the good news, it appears to be much easier to access up to date information on local food hygiene ratings on the website and for your convenience, the data is made available through an API that third party apps mage available on your smart phone.

Secondly, more good news, The only restaurant on Broad St that received a zero food hygiene rating recently has actually shut down, so if you were looking forward to dicing with death at the Bombay Mix, I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed.

Thirdly, even more good news, The perennial zero offender, Pit stop, has somehow gained a satisfactory rating:

However on a more negative standpoint are the disappointing surprises.

The Handmade burger company, one of who’s restaurants can be seen over the canal from the ICC managed a 1:

The company has recently been rescued, so hopefully improvements are coming, however they declined to respond to esquires from the Mail:

Another noted failure in that article is the Smallbrook Queensway holiday inn, where I believe Christian Antognini stayed during one of his Oracle Midlands trips. However the latest rating appears to indicate that this has been resolved:

So, UKOUG conference visitors to Birmingham, EAT WELL!


[Error] Execution (5: 1): ORA-00600: internal error code, arguments: [kzaxins:lxgcnv], [68], [], [], [], [], [], [], [], [], [], []

Filed under: 11g — bigdaveroberts @ 4:51 pm

I failed to find anything on the internet about this one, which is quite pleasing as a significant amount of human error was involved.

We manage our development databases with netapp snapshots to allow retesting against known database configurations with updated applications.

We do try to make sure that we segregate pre-upgrade snapshots, however on this occasion we restored a snapshot that predated the latest patchset upgrade. and encountered the above error.

We did try to re-apply the database component of the upgrade, but that failed to resolve the issue.

We also rolled back to the snapshot and reapplied the patch, and that also failed.

We finally resolved the issue by restoring the snapshot, performing the startup upgrade and then performing the upgrade again.

The thing that slightly surprised me was that opening the database with the new version of the software without performing the startup upgrade made the dattabse unupgradable.

Shutting the database down and then performing a startup upgrade was insufficient.

Oracle may have a more eligant solution to the issue ( we didn’t raise a MOS ticket ) but the result may be that the database ends up in a non supported configuration.

So, always keep a copy of the pre-upgrade database and be careful to follow the instructions, simple steps like starting the database in normal mode before starting it in upgrade mode can sometime cause real problems.

November 3, 2017

PCC-S-02201, Encountered the symbol “void” when expecting one of the following:

Filed under: Uncategorized — bigdaveroberts @ 11:15 pm

This post, unlike my others, doesn’t revolve around a problem I resolved, but I don’t think Kev has a blog, so I’ll take the credit.

I’m also going to include a link sugested by Allyn for those interested in understanding C a little better.

The problem began after the operating system was upgraded on the development box (AIX) and various programs we have developed fail to compile:

++++++ progName.pc ++++++

/oracle/app/oracle/product/10.2.0/bin/proc sqlcheck=full userid=***** include=../Einclude include=/opt/IBMvast/primitiv dbms=v8 MODE=ORACLE CODE=ANSI_C CHAR_MAP=string LTYPE=NONE LINES=YES DEFINE=_LONG_LONG iname=progName.pc

Pro*C/C++: Release – Production on Thu Feb 2 11:58:12 2017

Copyright (c) 1982, 2005, Oracle. All rights reserved.

System default option values taken from: /oracle/app/oracle/product/10.2.0/precomp/admin/pcscfg.cfg

Syntax error at line 647, column 34, file /usr/include/openssl/crypto.h: Error at line 647, column 34 in file /usr/include/openssl/crypto.h int CRYPTO_memcmp(const volatile void a, const volatile void b, size_t len); ……………………………1

PCC-S-02201, Encountered the symbol “void” when expecting one of the following:

, ( ) [

The symbol “,” was substituted for “void” to continue.

Syntax error at line 647, column 58, file /usr/include/openssl/crypto.h: Error at line 647, column 58 in file /usr/include/openssl/crypto.h int CRYPTO_memcmp(const volatile void a, const volatile void b, size_t len); …………………………………………………1

PCC-S-02201, Encountered the symbol “void” when expecting one of the following:

, ( ) [

The symbol “,” was substituted for “void” to continue.

Syntax error at line 256, column 24, file /usr/include/openssl/bio.h: Error at line 256, column 24 in file /usr/include/openssl/bio.h void BIO_set_flags(BIO b, int flags);


PCC-S-02201, Encountered the symbol “” when expecting one of the following:

, )

So an operating system upgrade causes compilation errors?

Actually, the errors are only seen in the pre-compiler, not in the compiler. I don’t know if the AIX C compiler would have issues with this but I would hope not.

Several people worked on the investigation.

I tried using the 11g verion of Pro*C, but the error persisted.

I didn’t have access to a 12c Pre-compiler at work, so I am unable to confirm if the same issue would be present.

The issue was traced by a coligue to changes in the openssl header files, where various prototypes had been changed.

Reverting to the old versions allowed the programs to compile sucessfully.

The issue appears to be a failure of the Pro*C compiler to sucessfully process some of the newer C syntax.

My colligue, not only solved the problem, but found the git hub repository where the change was discussed and debated.

The issue was that the prototype was changed in opensl/crypto.h so that:

int CRYPTO_memcmp(const void in_a, const void in_b, size_t len)


int CRYPTO_memcmp(const volatile void in_a, const volatile void in_b, size_t len)

The link explains that the motive for the change was to stop the GNU C compiler from optimising code that could theoretically allow unencripted values beins stored in memory.

As we weren’t using this function, and we weren’t using the GNU compiler, we felt it safe to revert this change back.

Ultimately, it is perhaps useful to understand the concept of the const volatile, which is explained in this interesting article suggested by my coligue:


November 6, 2016

#ukoug_tech16 #ukoug_apps16 #ukoug_jde16 Food hygeiene

Filed under: Uncategorized — bigdaveroberts @ 7:00 pm

For future visitors to the upcoming ukoug conventions at the icc in Birmingham I thought it might be useful to highlight a series of articles produced by the local rag, the Birmingham Mail.

Every 3 months the Birmingham mail does a report on the establishments in Birmingham that have achieved the ignominy of a zero food hygiene rating.

The most recent article is published here:

All 25 Birmingham city centre restaurants and takeaways rated ZERO food hygiene

The only troubling thing is the number of establishments who receive a zero food hygiene rating who receive another warning within the next 12 months.

We are due the next report soon, and I will update the post when it becomes available.

OT glmedia android app.

Filed under: Uncategorized — bigdaveroberts @ 6:46 pm

The first purpose of this post is to see if google will index it, currently there are no hits for glmedia as a single word.

I currently have 2 android devices and a couple of weeks ago, both started displaying full screen adds in windows with the name glmedia and an Android icon. All the adverts redirected to the android play store.

They looked official, but were incredibly intrusive and I couldn’t find anything about glmedia on the internet.

I hadn’t installed any new apps recently, and the fact that it affected 2 devices at the same time made me think that this was an update from an existing app, rather than being an infection from a website.

I downloaded addons selector which found no malicious software, but it did list glmedia as an installed application and allowed me to uninstall it.

And the adverts stoped.

But I have no idea where it came from.

Anyone else with issues with this app?

Please share.

December 2, 2015

Birmingham roadworks from the north. #Ukoug_tech15

Filed under: Uncategorized — bigdaveroberts @ 10:55 pm

This evening, with four days to go, I popped up and down the aston expressway, which I presume most attendees to the conference by car will use to see what a mess the council are making.

I was pleasently surprised, while there were meny cones, they were in the side of the road and not yet in use.

So I continued to paradise circus to see the impact of it’s ‘closure’.

Essentially paradise circus is no longer a roundabout and there is no longer any direct access to broad St.

So if you come down the aston expressway and take the road over the roundabout, then through the first tunnel and then avoid the second tunnel, you will be brought round an sent south and end up exactly the same place as if you’d taken the second tunnel.

To access broad St from here you need to go round the pagoda roundabout (after dark the radison blu may be more visible), back in the direction you just came from and then take the left turn down Holiday St. which runs parrellel to Broad St and will be behind the majority of the hotels that most attendees will be staying in.

I honestly don’t see any issues for attendees arriving on Sunday. However, anyone attempting this route on Monday morning should anticipate additional delays.


November 30, 2015

Nörjske #ukoug_tech15

Filed under: Uncategorized — bigdaveroberts @ 10:40 pm

If there was one place you’d expect to find a Nørgaard during the ukoug tech conference in the wild, I suppose it would be here.

November 28, 2015

Upcoming ukoug tech conference birmingham 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — bigdaveroberts @ 2:05 am

Apologies to all attendees, at least those arriving by car.

Birmingham has engaged in a pletora of road building, building demolition and unneccisary/premature road closures/diversions.

While i have found several pages describing the work, i’d sugest you use google and only beleive half you read on websites with in the url.

However, for those arriving by train, there is better news.
The redevelopment of new St station is complete, although I’d caution against getting caught short in that vicinity:

Also you may find navigation from the station to the ncc slightly more complex.

The library is now completely closed, but they have re-opened fletchers walk to facilitate access.

On the positive side, I have heard that the tap has been refurbished.

Looking to check that our on Monday.

Good luck!

February 21, 2015

oracle midlands #om7

Filed under: Uncategorized — bigdaveroberts @ 4:48 pm

Unusually, frequent bloggers Tim Hall and Martin Widlake were absent from the attendees at Oracle midlands January event.

So for the benefit of the absent, a review of the 2 talks.

The first talk by eDBAs James Anthony was on the topic of the new in memory option

I had attended a couple of talks by @SQLMaria at #ukoug_tech14 on this topic so assumed that I wouldn’t get much new from this session.

I was wrong, the first half covered the theoreticals of the new functionality, which overlapped heavily with the sessions I had previously attended.

However, eDBA had been part of the beta program and James proceeded with an analysis based on real world data-sets, with real figures for the actual levels of compression achieved, which without intelligent column selection didn’t come close to the figures quoted by Oracle.

However with the intelligent selection of columns for the in memory option, the figures came incredibly close to the theoretical figures quoted by oracle.

The fact that the Syntax for selectively caching columns was obscure was observed. The fact that selective caching appears to be crucial to get the greatest benefit from this new functionality makes this complexity an anomaly.

I suspect an intelligent algorithm will be introduced in a future Oracle release to make this functionality more beneficial out of the box.

The second talk by Yves Colin was on a specific bottleneck that was observerd and resolved by paralleliasing the target database table.

This second talk was lighter on the theoretical and heavy on the practical demo aspect.

This was a good thing, because I would have not believed the observations in the talk without the demos.

In essence the question was how do we reduce a bottleneck on inserts by a combination of changes to partitioning and indexing.

The issue appeared to be caused by the fact that the date/time of the data measurement was causing hot blocks that were acting as a bottleneck.

The solution was not as expected.

I would have expected that moving the date time from being the first entry in the index would resolve the hot block problem.

However the requirement was to improve the insertion rate without compromising the performance of the reporting function.

The result was by changing the partitioning and keeping the counter intuitive index, then acceptable insert performance was achieved without compromising reporting performance.

In short, a session that explains to you that what you thought you understood was wrong is so much more useful than a session that adds details to the level of knowledge that you already know on a subject.

In essence, more complex scenarios need testing, simple rules of thumb break down very quickly outside of the most simple scenarios!

Ultimately one session that unexpectedly added to my knowledge and one session that blew a hole in what I thought I already knew.

An evening well spent.

#OM8 due Tuesday 03 March 18:00 – 21:00 at Innovation Birmingham, Faraday Wharf, Holt St, Birmingham B7 4BB
Edition based redefinition and plug able databases.

January 8, 2014

Oracle Midlands #1

Filed under: Uncategorized — bigdaveroberts @ 8:35 pm

I attended the first Oracle Midlands event last night.

Apart from the poor choice of hash tag, the inaugural event went well.

The 2 talks were by stalwarts of the SIG and conference circuit Tim Hall and Pete Finnegan and excellent as to be expected.

I have to admit, I’d attended both talks previously, Tims at a ukoug conference and Pete’s at this years uk oak table world conference.

I also have to admit, either Tim has updated the presentation since I last heard it, or I’d forgotten a lot. Pete’s talk, was much more recent in my mind, and my notes from the talk were still in my latest notepad, so I could compare!

It is apparent that Pete talks around his slides using them as an aid memoir, as while most of what he said was the same, it wasn’t in the same order as my notes. A sign perhaps as to how comfortable Pete is with his area of expertise.

I think a very high standard has been set with this first event, let’s hope we can keep this going at the same high level!

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